Conclusion

What we like What we don't
  • Pleasing JPEG image quality
  • Strong autofocus performance
  • Impressively compact
  • Comfortable grip, good controls
  • Solid-feeling build
  • Pupil Detection now works in Servo AF
  • Built-in mic and headphone jacks
  • Good color and contrast from the electronic viewfinder
  • Great buffer
  • USB-C port supports charging
  • Good wireless connectivity
  • Relatively affordable
  • Images in Raw are noisier than many other contemporary options
  • Poor battery life
  • Unimpressive video quality
  • Small size is offset by size of (current) RF lenses or adapter for EF lenses
  • Limited exposure tools in video
  • Relatively slow burst shooting speed
  • Lots of rolling shutter
  • USB-C port only offers USB 2.0 transfer speeds

Overall conclusion

To begin, the EOS RP is a significant camera for us at DPReview - it's not often that we need to create a new scoring category, but this is the first camera to really fall into the 'Entry-level Full Frame Camera' space. Previous entries, like Canon's 6D series, were certainly stripped down, but with specifications and prices that were solidly mid-range. Today, the EOS RP sells for less money than many cameras with smaller sensors, though of course, there are some trade-offs to contend with for those wanting to get into the full-frame club.

The EOS RP won't slay the competition with its spec sheet, but it's a fun photographic companion. Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 100 | 1/2000 sec | F2.8 | Adapted Canon EF 50mm F1.4

The biggest trade-off comes from the 26.2MP full-frame sensor. Sure, with the right lenses, that large sensor gets you access to shallower depth-of-field (blurrier backgrounds) than cameras with smaller sensors. But when shooting in Raw, the RP's images are also noisier than most current full-frame cameras (especially in the shadows), and similarly noisy to some APS-C cameras at low ISOs. The video features and quality will also disappoint power users, and the battery life is perhaps best described as 'tolerable.' It'll get you through a day of heavy shooting, provided you turn the camera off between shots.

There's a lot that the EOS RP gets right

On the other hand, there's a lot that the EOS RP gets right. The combination of pleasing JPEGs, an excellent grip, light weight, good controls, strong connectivity options and compact size is just a recipe for fun. The autofocus system is reliable, and Pupil Detection makes it easier to get perfectly focused portraits - though some competitors' eye-focusing systems are more effective. Our biggest reservation concerns the RF system's lens selection, which is currently limited and generally pricey. However, get the RP with an EF lens adapter, and you'll have access to a vast selection of affordable lenses of all types, with the caveat of some added bulk.

For those existing Canon users eyeing the RP as a compact second camera - as long as you understand its limitations - you may find yourself spoiled by how fast and accurate autofocus is on the RP with adapted EF lenses. And for newer users wanting the full-frame 'look,' it's hard to beat the RP as a camera you can grow into and have fun doing it.


What we think


Allison Johnson
Managing Editor
On paper the RP checks a lot of boxes for me: flip-out touchscreen, built-in EVF, nice JPEGs and very compact. Unfortunately, the size advantage doesn’t quite hold up when you add an adapter and a lens. It’s a likable camera, but personally I’d rather go for a smaller APS-C camera with a wide selection of native lenses that will keep the whole package nice and compact.


Richard Butler
Technical Editor
The EOS RP isn't aimed at enthusiast or professional photographers: it's a simplified, easy-to-use entry-level camera. From a purely technical point of view it has real shortcomings, and yet it's a camera I've really enjoyed shooting with: the things it gets right are fundamentals of camera operation. This doesn't blind me to its numerous shortcomings (especially in terms of video) but it does make the RP a better camera than it appears on paper.

Compared to other inexpensive full-frame cameras

At the time of this writing, the Sony a7 II is still a current (though aging) model and retails for slightly less than the EOS RP, both body-only and with a kit lens. While its specs are competitive and it has in-body image stabilization and better battery life, it isn't our favorite camera to use. Also, with three dials and near-infinite customization, the Sony can't match the unthreatening demeanor of the RP. Of course, the Sony does offer more native lens options than the RP at this time, if you don't want to go adapting EF lenses. In any case, if you are the kind of photographer that wants a higher level of control, we'd recommend the much better Sony a7 III, which is available with a basic kit zoom for a similar price to the RP and 24-105mm F4L.

Canon's own EOS 6D Mark II is a DSLR, but it's another natural point of comparison. As we've covered in-depth already, the 6D II is the natural pick for those looking for more rugged build quality, a beefier grip for use with larger lenses, and much better battery life. But the EOS RP is the better option for most users, and of particular note is the RP's vastly superior autofocus performance across the board.

Lastly, the (also a DSLR, and also aging) Nikon D750 currently retails for a similar price to the EOS RP, both body-only and in a kit with a very good AF-S 24-120mm F4 lens. The Nikon is aimed at a distinctly more advanced audience, and as such has better build quality, dual card slots, offers significantly better Raw image quality and is the better option for sports and peak action. But for the more casual user, the EOS RP is likely better, offering a more modern touchscreen and Live View experience that is more welcoming for novices.


Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Canon EOS RP
Category: Entry Level Full Frame Camera
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Canon EOS RP's specifications aren't exactly exciting, but don't let that fool you - it's a likable little camera with engaging controls, good build quality and it produces excellent JPEGs. Of course, the Raw files are noisier and aren't as malleable as some more contemporary full-frame cameras, but for the target audience, that won't likely be a deal breaker. For those users looking for a friendly way to get into full-frame imaging, the EOS RP is an excellent option.
Good for
Newer users getting into full-frame for the first time, existing Canon users looking for a second camera body, anyone looking for a travel-friendly full-frame camera for casual use.
Not so good for
Those looking to shoot high quality video, power users who want the most out of their Raw files, and those who routinely shoot fast action and need faster burst speeds.
83%
Overall score

Sample gallery

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