Aimed at travel photographers and the ever-expanding content creation market, the Canon EOS R8 is the latest full frame mirrorless camera from the global brand.
Built as the lightest full frame EOS R series camera from Canon, the R8 shares similar DNA to the R6 Mark II along with the compact size of the EOS RP. It houses a 24.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, a maximum ISO of 102,400 for boosting image brightness, and can shoot up to 40 frames per second continuously. With specs like these, the EOS R8 seems like a versatile camera for many different photo and video scenarios.
Remind me, what’s a full frame mirrorless camera?
Different to a traditional DSLR camera, which uses a mirror-based design, full frame mirrorless cameras like the Canon EOS R8 use digital technology. With modern cameras, you tend to have two choices when it comes to the device’s image sensor.
First is the crop sensor, which is smaller and usually found in more affordable cameras. Due to their smaller size, crop sensors create a zoomed-in effect because they don’t fit as much into the frame. Meanwhile, full frame sensors employ the same ratio as 35mm film, which is larger and lets more light in. This enables a shallower depth of field, creating more distinctly blurred backgrounds when shooting portraits. Additionally, because it doesn’t crop the frame, you can squeeze more of your subject in, which is ideal for landscape photography.
What’s notable about the Canon EOS R8?
When fully equipped with a battery and SD card, the R8 weighs just a tick over 460 grams, making it a seriously light full frame camera. To enable flexibility, it has a mode dial with 12 different modes for stills and videos, plus a dedicated switch to quickly swap between photo and video shooting.
Like the EOS R6 Mark II, the EOS R8 has Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology, resulting in fast and intelligent autofocus. The company’s testing indicates you can autofocus on a subject as quickly as 0.03 seconds, while the tracking technology helps keep subjects including faces, animals, and vehicles in focus.
From a video perspective, the Canon EOS R8 can shoot 4K video at 60 frames, oversampled from 6K data. If you film in slow motion, the camera also supports 180 frames in Full HD. For those who take filming and post-production seriously, there’s the option of recording using Canon Log 3 at 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 H.265, which the company says enables greater flexibility in the edit suite alongside greater dynamic range.
You can also connect to the Camera Connect app via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology to efficiently share photos and videos to other devices.
A new light zoom lens
As is usually the case with new camera announcements, Canon revealed a new lens. This time, the new glass is the RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM, a small, light lens with up to 4.5 stops of advanced image stabilization. This boosts up to 7 stops when paired with a Canon camera supporting In Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), like the EOS R6 Mark II. Unfortunately, the EOS R8 only has Movie Digital Image Stabilisation, which isn’t as advanced as IBIS. However, the lens does take advantage of the R8’s focus breathing correction feature, which is when the focal distance changes as you adjust focus.
According to Canon, the new RF 24-50mm lens is suited to shooting portraits, interiors, and travel photography and videography. When paired with a full frame camera, it’ll benefit from the broader dynamic range and more light let in to properly expose a shot.
Canon EOS R8 price and release date
While Canon didn’t confirm an official recommended retail price for either the new camera body or lens, both will arrive in Australia starting in late April 2023. Expect to see it a bit cheaper than the $4,000 EOS R6 Mark II to reflect its more enthusiast-level status. Some retailers like Ted’s Cameras and Camera House have pre-order listings live, indicating a potential price of up to $2,999.
As a more advanced option than the smartphone-replacement R50 camera it was announced alongside, the Canon EOS R8 looks like a decent foray into full frame technology for camera enthusiasts wanting to take the next step.