A System Guide to Canon EOS RF

bythom canon rf

Items on same line indicate model updates. Different lines indicate varying model levels.

The EOS RF mount is designed for full frame cameras, of which we have five current models right now (one is an astronomical version of an earlier camera). To some degree, Canon is mimicking their DSLR lineup with these cameras: the RP is basically equivalent to the 6D Mark II DSLR, while the R5 is an updated variation of the 5D Mark IV DSLR. 

Neither the R or the RP is a top-end model; both appeal mostly to budget-conscious consumers, not pros and high-end enthusiasts (though a pro might value some of the things mirrorless provides over the DSLRs, such as silent shooting).

Here's my advice with cameras: 

  • On a strict budget: buy the RP with a lens bundle on periodic sale.
  • Looking for excellence: buy the R6 if you don't have a need for lots of pixels or 8K, the R5 otherwise.

As with the M series, the RF cameras can use EF DSLR lenses via an adapter. Canon actually makes three EF-to-RF adapters: a basic one, one that adds an additional control ring to the lens, and one that allows drop in filters within the adapter. All three adapters work quite well with virtually every EF lens Canon has made, and with most third party EF lenses, too. Note that the current RF bodies do not have sensor-based image stabilization, so you probably want to stick with EF lenses with IS in them.

Speaking of lenses, the RF native lenses are still a work in progress at the moment, and many of the available lenses are L lenses (high-end). Most buyers are likely going to get the 24-105mm f/4 L IS. That's very definitely the appropriate kit lens for the R, as it matches up in quality and price fairly well (e.g. high consumer, low prosumer). 

The f/2.8 zooms are all excellent, as are the 50mm and 85mm f/1.2 primes. The 100-500mm f/4-7.1L is a really good telephoto option. I'd suggest R5/R6 users start with the 24-105mm f/4L and supplement with the lenses just mentioned. The 24-100mm f/4 and 100-500mm f/4-7.1L make for a really strong 24-500mm kit.

One thing to be aware of is that Canon M and Canon RF mounts aren't compatible in any way. If you're thinking about buying a crop sensor and full frame mirrorless from Canon, you're going to either need to lens sets (M and RF) or dip heavily in the DSLR EF lenses.

Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
DSLRS: dslrbodies.com | general: bythom.com| Z System: zsystemuser.com | film SLR: filmbodies.com

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