Image quality

Processed in Adobe Camera Raw
ISO 320 | 1/125 sec | F1.8 | RF 35mm F1.8 Macro

Not surprisingly, the EOS RP performs similarly to the EOS 6D Mark II with which it shares a sensor - but thanks to the updated processor, there are some subtle differences.

Key takeaways:

  • In Raw, the EOS RP performs all-but-identically to the EOS 6D Mark II including good (but not great) high ISO noise performance
  • JPEG performance shows some improvement in sharpening and detail over the 6D II thanks to revised default parameters, color remains a strong point

Studio scene

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Straight away we can see good detail capture from the EOS RP, with slightly more aliasing on the text than the 6D Mark II - though they share a sensor, the RF 50mm F1.2 is just marginally sharper than our EF 85mm F1.8 studio lens used on the 6D (and we'll be changing over to an RF 85mm once we have one in our studio). We can see at lower ISO values that all cameras here provide good fine detail, to the point of showing moiré in some places. As ISO values climb, the EOS RP and 6D Mark II show essentially identical noise performance, as we'd expect, and pull ahead of the similarly priced (at the time of this writing) Sony a7 II. But against the likes of the Sony a7 III and Nikon Z6, which are both quite a bit more expensive body-only, we can see that these newer 24MP sensors handily outperform the 26MP chip in the Canons.

Switching over to JPEG, and we can see that sharpening on the RP at low ISO values is well-judged. The default parameters for the 'standard' picture profile on the RP have changed since the 6D Mark II, with slightly less pronounced haloing on high-contrast edges.

Though there have been some questions regarding evolving color science over the last several generations of Canon cameras, we still find them to offer up pleasing results overall. Though we have used different lenses between the two, a look at our EOS R comparison between the RF 50mm F1.2L and EF 85mm F1.8 show there to be no discernible difference in color transmission between the two lenses.

As ISO values climb, all cameras here do a good job of keeping noise at bay and balancing noise reduction with detail retention. Again, though, looking at the RP against more expensive competitors shows how much room there still is for improvement for Canon's high ISO detail retention.

Dynamic Range

Looking at our ISO Invariance tests, we can see that - just as was the case with the EOS 6D Mark II - an image shot at ISO 100 and pushed six stops looks much noisier than one with the same exposure, shot at ISO 6400. Once you get down to somewhere between a 2EV and 3EV push, the images look a lot more like the ISO 6400 image. So there is some flexibility in the RP's files, but they're still behind what most other contemporary full-frame sensors can produce.

The exposure latitude test, where we lift the shadows in images shot at progressively lower exposures shows that the EOS RP's performance is behind that of the Sony a7 II, and looks to be behind the EOS M50, despite the latter's smaller sensor.