Ten days with the R (a rant)

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 17,146
Ten days with the R (a rant)
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Yes, I know that many people here had it for more than a year. I have had prior experience with it as well, more than once. There is a new group of users here however.

Overall, I like it and it will probably replace my 5D4. This does not make it better on all fronts, of course.

Body/grip: As good as it gets. It feels well in my big hands (no pun intended). With my 100-400 II it feels a bit "lighter". When the tension ring of the lens is in the hardest position, trying to zoom reveals a slight play at the mount. My 5D4 basically solders that lens. Also, I feel confident holding that combo with one hand with the 5D4 even horizontally, not so much with the R. Anyway, a minor complaint.

Buttons: The AF-On button is placed in a stupid place. I am pressing it with my thumb all the time without realizing it. I'd have to disable it. I have not used the control bar yet. In the beginning, I was completely lost with the buttons until I remapped them to my taste. How do you exit the movie mode, BTW? I had to google it. Now, I just remapped that button. I was missing the mini-joystick first but now I do not even use the small wheel on the back.

RF lenses control ring: I do not use it. I prefer the buttons and the dials. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks (unless the dog is very old and had an experience with the aperture ring of the film lenses).

AF: Really good. Eye/face detect sometimes fails to recognize a face though.

Tracking: I tried that with my 100-400II only. It is definitely slower (in fps) than my 5D4. Also, there is a slight EVF lag. Several times, I was sure that I was catching the player kicking the ball (kids playing soccer) but the ball was outside the frame in the actual shot. I have to learn to anticipate the moment. The tracking in good light was very good though; very often the R was identifying the face of the player and most of my shots were critically focused with players moving erratically across the frame; and me following them erratically. It is a different experience than my 5D4 however which shoots like a machine gun (well, that applies to the 1DX cameras better).

"IQ": Whatever that means, it is great.

Color: Too early to tell but so far so good. Skin tones look a tad more saturated than my 5D4, especially indoors. They respond well to tweaking. On the other hand, the 5D4 has much less saturated/orange skin tones than the 5D2 I had before, almost to a fault. Aside from skin tones, so far the colors are pleasant both with DPP and LR but again, I need more time to evaluate them.

EVF: As far as EVF's go, it is good. I do not like EVF's and this has not changed. Indoors the colors could be quite artificial compared to what I see with a naked eye, especially the reds. WYSIWYG is a huge overstatement. The actual shots have great color though. The EVF changes brightness abruptly when I pan/recompose; and when I half-press the shutter. Can some genius combine the benefits of the OVF and the EVF in small package?

Touch screen: It is responsive for a touch and drag AF. My leading eye is the left one, and the R is designed for a leading right eye. I did try to make the upper right quarter of the screen active and use my left eye. My nose is getting on the way though.

Other: I dislike the fact that the IS remains active when you use the EVF. Also, I would prefer that the shutter closes after some time of inactivity; now it seems that it does not; just the back screen disactivates.

Adapter/EF lenses: The (basic) adapter is great and my EF lenses work as they should. I cannot see decentering cause by the adapter. Canon changed the rear caps though, and this is a major annoyance. I need to carry an EF and an EF cap when I carry both types of lenses and I have to think all the time which one is which. So far, when I changed lenses, I would just put the cap of the new one on the old one, as simple as that. Not anymore. Also, the RF caps need to be positioned carefully with the red bar matching the mark; otherwise you cannot screw them. I guess they had a "let's screw the customer" day at Canon when they designed how the RF rear caps would screw.

Swivel screen: It allows for more creativity and I already took a few low angle shots of my dog which my family loved. I could do the same thing with my 5D4 in LV though but not so conveniently. I would prefer a simpler tilt screen though. Very often, I would just leave the screen the way it is and use it as I would use my 5D4.

Summary: Overall, I like the R. The RF 24-105 is a major improvement over the EF one but I have another thread about this.

Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EOS 5D Mark II
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