Video

The EOS RP's video spec is a little underwhelming. It can shoot 4K but the more you shoot with it, the more you find yourself wondering if you've overlooked some significant fineprint.

Key takeaways:

  • Disappointing 4K with significant crop and rolling shutter and poor autofocus
  • 1080p video at up to 60p with Dual Pixel AF and useful e-stabilization options
  • Headphone and mic sockets are provided

4K video

Cropped video causes a number of problems: firstly, it means your field-of-view gets cropped, which can make it difficult to shoot with a wide-angle view (something that's really useful in video), secondly it means you're using a smaller light-sensitive region, which means noisier video, for any given exposure, than using the full sensor.

Cropped video and significant rolling shutter left us very disappointed with the RP's 4K video

As if that weren't not enough, in 4K mode the EOS RP loses access to one of its most compelling video features: Dual Pixel AF. Without it, the camera reverts to using a rather slow and unreliable contrast-detection system. This, combined with the significant rolling shutter exhibited in its footage, left us very disappointed with the RP's 4K video.

In principle you can fit an EF-S lens via an adapter, since these are designed to match a smaller sensor (and hence are more likely to give a useful field-of-view to the RP's 4K mode), but it's not obvious to us why you'd go to such lengths to get slightly soft, slightly wobbly video when there are better options around. You'll also lose access to 1080 mode, if you do.

As you can see, the RP's 4K footage isn't the most detailed. And that only gets worse if you crop in further by applying increasing amounts of digital stabilization. The 1080 footage is at least taken from the full width of the sensor. Again applying more digital IS comes at a cost of image quality and detail, so we'd suggest avoiding the 'enhanced' setting.

1080p

Things are slightly better in 1080p mode. You can shoot 1080 footage at up to 60p with the option of 'HDR' video at up to 30p (though there's no 24p option, so you can't seamlessly combine 1080 and 4K clips). The HDR mode essentially combines pairs of frames to capture additional highlight information that's then squeezed into a standard dynamic range video file: this is not comparable with the HLG modes that aim to exploit the increased dynamic range of the latest TVs.

The RP's 1080p footage isn't especially detailed by modern standards but it's easy to shoot, thanks to Dual Pixel AF, which lets you tap-to-focus with a good degree of confidence in the result.

There are mic and headphone sockets included, at least, so you can at least make sure your videos sound alright. Focus peaking is also present, making it easier to shoot with adapted manual focus lenses. Sadly there's no 'zebra' option to indicate exposure or clipping, so you have to rely on the camera's exposure meter, which is a fairly simplistic way of working.

Overall

The EOS RP is pitched at a lower price than any of its contemporaries but we're surprised how modest its video capabilities are. Most of its (admittedly more expensive) contemporaries can shoot 4K footage from their full sensors. Arguably its most direct rival, the aging a7 II, shoots better 1080 footage but doesn't offer 4K capture.

However if you expand your thoughts beyond full-frame (and the RP acts as a sub-APS-C camera in 4K mode), then you'll find a host of cameras that can capture better 4K footage than the RP. Most notably the Fujifilm X-T30, which will shoot oversampled 4K footage from the full width of its sensor or 60p with a small crop. Sony's a6300, a6400 and a6500 cameras also shoot much more detailed 4K but, like the Canon, show a lot of rolling shutter when doing so.

Overall, the RP makes it easy to shoot some 1080 clips in amongst your stills shooting. It can even shoot some reasonable-enough 4K if you can work around the restrictions. But there are cameras that are much better at offering both stills and video capabilities, if you have interest in both disciplines.