It's been less than a day since one US retailer mistakenly – and rather prematurely – posted a pre-order listing for the EOS Ra on its site, revealing everything there is to know about the astrophotography specialist camera. However, Canon has now made it official, with the EOS Ra up for pre-order in most markets.
The announcement (opens in new tab) confirms what we already know about the new camera – it's headline feature is the infrared (IR) cutoff filter sitting just in front of the same 30.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor it shares with its EOS R sibling.
This filter makes the camera four times more sensitive to hydrogen-alpha light (the 656nm wavelength emitted by celestial objects) as compared to other standard cameras – necessary to capture details within the deep-red spectrum if you're keen on shooting the night sky that includes not just the stars but nebulae as well.
Good things, small packages
Pretty much every modern camera has the ability to capture the night sky, but none of them will go the distance if you want to zoom into the dust clouds and nebulae amongst the dark twinkling dome.
To capture those breathtaking images of the deep night sky, professional astrophotographers need to lug around a ton of gear, including guide telescopes, camera, and a tripod mount to name just a few. While you're still going to need some of that kit, Canon promises that its latest full-frame mirrorless camera is the smallest and most portable astrophotography snapper yet, making it a better choice to add to an astrophotographer's camera bag.
To ensure users are able to focus precisely on celestial subjects, the rear touch-enabled LCD display on the EOS Ra offers three magnification ratios for Live View images – 1x (actual size), 5x and 30x.
Everything else – physically and in terms of specs – is identical to the EOS R, including the Digic 8 imaging engine under the hood and the same excellent 5,655-point phase-detect autofocus system. It even weighs exactly the same as the EOS R at 660g with the battery and an SD card.
The EOS Ra will begin shipping in December with a price tag of $2,499 in the US and £2,580 in the UK. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but a simple conversion puts the cost of the body at about AU$3,600.