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EOS R8 vs EOS R7 vs EOS RP: which Canon mirrorless camera is the best choice for the needs of serious photography enthusiasts?

How does the EOS R8 compare? Discover the differences and similarities between the mid-range models in the EOS R System lineup: the EOS R8, EOS R7 and EOS RP.
EOS R8 од Canon стои врз лисја со богата зелена боја, фотографиран одозгора.

Запознајте го EOS R8, што при промовирање е најлесниот фотоапарат за целосна слика некогаш произведен од Canon, идеален за снимање портрети, настани, пејзажи и многу повеќе. Дознајте каков е во споредба со EOS R7 и EOS RP.

As the Canon EOS R System range continues to grow, there is more choice at all levels, from the pro powerhouse EOS R3 to the beginner-friendly EOS R50. In the mid-range there are a number of models all with outstanding performance but slightly different feature sets, aimed at slightly different users. Head-to-head, how do they compare?

Here, Canon Europe Product Marketing Specialist Tibor Szövetes and Product Marketing Manager John Maurice guide you through the similarities and differences between the EOS R8 and the closest mid-range EOS R System models, the EOS R7 and the EOS RP.

A Canon EOS R8 sits on a blue ledge. The foreground is in sharp focus while the background is blurred.

A full-frame camera, such as the Canon EOS R8, offers more potential for creating a shallow depth of field. Although there are other factors, particularly your aperture setting, it is generally agreed that a full-frame sensor makes it easier to throw background and foreground details out of focus, making your subject really pop out.

Sensor size: APS-C vs full-frame

Both the Canon EOS R8 and the EOS RP feature full-frame sensors, while the EOS R7 has a smaller APS-C sensor, which captures a narrower view of the image projected by the lens. You can read all about the differences between APS-C and full-frame in our in-depth article, but what advantage does the smaller sensor of the EOS R7 offer?

John: "Resolution and reach. In wildlife and sports photography, there are often situations where you need to shoot over long distances. So, you'll benefit from the telephoto reach that an APS-C sensor provides. The 32.5MP resolution in the EOS R7 also gives you extra cropping potential."

Tibor: "The 24.2MP EOS R8 and 26.2MP EOS RP obviously have lower resolutions than the EOS R7, but their full-frame sensors are beneficial for low-light photography, both in indoor settings such as weddings or corporate events and for shooting nightscapes, twilight seascapes and so on."

John: "A full-frame camera like the EOS R8 is going to give better low-light performance than the EOS R7. The EOS R8 has a wide native ISO range of 100-102,400, for example, whereas the EOS R7 goes up to only ISO 32,000 and the EOS RP up to ISO 40,000. The EOS R8 also needs less light to focus."

Tibor: "There's also the benefit of more creative control over the depth of field with the full-frame EOS R8 and EOS RP. Portrait photographers often prefer working with full frame because it's easier to achieve a very narrow depth of field. Portraiture often happens indoors, and you'll get a better dynamic range and lower noise out of the full-frame sensor in the EOS R8 than the APS-C sensor of the EOS R7."

A technician wearing white gloves cleans the sensor of a Canon camera.

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A person standing near a body of water holds a Canon EOS R8 in both hands.

The Canon EOS R8 and EOS RP have full-frame sensors. Both cameras can be paired with any RF lenses including RF-S lenses, which are designed for use with APS-C cameras, but with an RF-S lens in place, the camera will automatically apply a 1.6x crop to match the narrower view of the APS-C lens.

A person wearing a light blue winter hat and blue overcoat holds a Canon EOS RP in a misty woodland setting.

While the Canon EOS R8, EOS R7 and EOS RP are heavyweights when it comes to features, all three are lightweight in design, weighing just 461g, 612g and 485g (with card and battery) respectively. This makes handheld photography a breeze.

Size, design and controls

The Canon EOS R8, EOS R7 and EOS RP are all more compact than their DSLR counterparts. All three cameras feature a familiar EOS control layout, including an array of customisable buttons and a vari-angle touchscreen. If you're upgrading from an EOS DSLR, you'll feel right at home. However, there are a few subtle differences in the feel and handling of each camera.

John: "The EOS R7 weighs 612g with card and battery, whereas the EOS RP is only 485g with a card and battery. They're all quite lightweight cameras, though, and when they're on your shoulder or with a lens added, you won't feel much of a difference between them, but if you compare them to the DSLR-plus-lens alternative you really do start to notice the change."

Tibor: "At just 461g, the EOS R8 is even more lightweight. In fact, as we speak, it's the lightest full-frame camera that Canon has ever made. The weight difference between the EOS R7 and the other two cameras is largely down to the battery. The EOS R7 uses LP-E6 type batteries, whereas the EOS R8 and EOS RP use LP-E17 batteries, which are a lot smaller and lighter – although LP-E6 battery life is longer than that of LP-E17 batteries."

John: "In terms of body design, both the EOS R8 and EOS R7 feature a dedicated stills-to-video switch, which is really handy if you're a hybrid shooter. This is not available on the EOS RP, which has an older generation body."

Tibor: "With the EOS R7, you get dual card slots – a pro-level feature that the other two cameras don't have – and the new thumb dial, which is a scroll wheel combined with the AF controller. This enables you to make adjustments very quickly."

A woman uses a Canon EOS R8 with a mic attached to it to record a man using a power drill.

Both the Canon EOS R8 and the EOS R7 have a control switch that enables the cameras to be toggled quickly between stills and video modes.

A woman in a field, with her back facing towards the camera, uses a Canon EOS R7 with mic attached to record herself.

"If you're shooting a wildlife documentary, then you're probably wanting telephoto reach while still having a high level of detail," Tibor suggests. "This is when the oversampled 4K 30p from 7K video and APS-C sensor in the EOS R7 are really beneficial."

Video capabilities

Video performance is one of the key strengths of the Canon EOS R8, making it a better choice in some situations than the EOS R7 or EOS RP.

With no 30-minute clip limit, the EOS R7 and the EOS R8 let you record for longer. The EOS R8 offers higher frame rates too, with the option to shoot Full HD at 180fps for super-slow-motion playback at the standard 25/30fps. The EOS R7 shoots up to 120fps Full HD, while the EOS RP shoots up to 60fps Full HD.

John: "The EOS R7 gives you the option of 4K 60p, plus a 4K Crop mode, which is handy for filming wild animals and sports that you can't get close to, and a 4K 30p Fine mode. This oversamples the 7K sensor output for better quality."

Tibor: "With the EOS R8, you also have the ability to record very high quality oversampled 4K 60p from the camera's 6K sensor data. The EOS R7's 4K Fine mode sounds better, but that 7K output is coming from a smaller sensor. The EOS R8's full-frame sensor is going to provide more of an artistic look and give better results in low-light conditions, so if you're shooting video where these aspects are important, then the EOS R8 is the better choice."

John: "While the EOS RP doesn't have the advanced video features of the other two cameras, it does deliver 4K footage, albeit cropped, or Full HD at 60p. It has a more basic video capability but will suit casual video making."

A motorbike rider performing a wheelie on a curve on a racetrack, photographed using a Canon EOS R7.

"The EOS R7 supports full autofocus and autoexposure tracking during Burst mode, whereas the EOS R8 only has autofocus tracking," Tibor explains. "The EOS R8 won't make any adjustments if there's a sudden change in lighting, so you might end up with darker or brighter pictures. The EOS R7 is more capable on that front." Taken on a Canon EOS R7 with a Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens at 324mm, 1/640 sec, f/7.1 and ISO400.

A photo taken with a Canon EOS R8 from a high vantage point of a man in a floral shirt standing surrounded by plants.

"All three cameras have Eye AF," Tibor says. "But the EOS R7 can recognise and focus on a body, head or face when their eyes aren't visible, and the EOS R8 is even more advanced with its option of being able to prioritise a person's left or right eye." Taken on a Canon EOS R8 with a Canon RF 15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens at 15mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6 and ISO12800. Vertical Garden by Patrick Blanc. © Alexandra Andreeva

Autofocus and subject tracking

The Canon EOS R8 offers the most advanced autofocus of the three cameras, as it inherits the next-generation intelligent subject tracking of the EOS R6 Mark II.

John: "The more deep learning progresses, the more subjects it can detect reliably. The EOS R8 offers the latest version of subject detection. Unlike the EOS R7, the EOS R8 can detect and track trains, planes and horses, as well as people, cars, motorbikes, cats, dogs and birds."

Tibor: "The EOS R8 also gains the EOS R6 Mark II's auto subject detection option, which will analyse the scene and try to recognise whether the subject is a person, an animal or a vehicle. It will then attempt to focus on the relevant part of the subject."

John: "Compared with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II of the EOS R8 and EOS R7, the EOS RP's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system isn't as sophisticated. It still offers eye detection, just not to the same level as the other two. The camera isn't really built for shooting fast subjects, though."

RAW burst and pre-capture

Comparing shooting speed head-to-head, the EOS R8 beats the EOS R7 and the EOS RP. It's able to shoot at up to 40fps with its electronic shutter, compared to the EOS R7's 30fps and the EOS RP's 5fps. In addition, the EOS R7 and EOS R8 both have a 30fps RAW Burst mode with pre-capture. This enables the camera to start capturing RAW files when you half-press the shutter button and then, when you fully press it, save the images in the buffer at that moment – up to half a second's worth of shots. This is ideal for photographing unpredictable subjects.

Comparing only the top burst speeds of the EOS R8, EOS R7 and EOS RP doesn't tell you the full story, though.

Tibor: "Although the EOS R8 can hit 40fps continuous shooting with the electronic shutter, it reaches 6fps with the electronic 1st-curtain shutter. The EOS R7's electronic shutter is slower than the EOS R8's, but the EOS R7 can achieve 15fps with the mechanical shutter. When you're panning the camera or taking pictures where there is high-speed movement – the classic example is capturing the swing of a golf club – then you might notice a 'rolling shutter' effect with an electronic shutter, so you might want to switch back to mechanical – and if you do, the EOS R7 is faster than the EOS R8."

John: "Having said that, the EOS R8 is designed to minimise rolling shutter – the same as the EOS R6 Mark II. That makes it trickier to decide which camera is right for you, because you've really got to consider your shooting requirements and whether rolling shutter will actually be a problem for you. It's likely to arise only in extreme situations such as in very fast-moving motorsports where the movement is parallel to the photographer, or if you're shooting in artificial light, where the light can produce a strobing effect. It's not going to be noticeable when you're shooting common types of motion, such as a dancer spinning around or a dog jumping to catch a ball in the air, for example."

Tibor: "The EOS RP is slower, but it's not designed for speed. It's a small, lightweight and affordable option for people who enjoy shooting landscapes or portraits or want to record their travels with a good camera."

Alexandra Andreeva stands holding a Canon EOS R8, with a large building behind her out-of-focus.

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A woman using a Canon EOS R7, with trees and bushes around her and more visible in the distance.

The In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) in the EOS R7 works in tandem with the optical Image Stabilizer (IS) in many RF lenses, and together with the RF lens mount's lightning-fast communication speed enables up to 8-stops of stabilisation for steady handheld photography.

A Canon EOS R8 with a Speedlite flash fitted to its multi-function shoe sits on a table with a potted plant, map, notebook and pen next to it.

Both the EOS R8 and EOS R7 feature a multi-function shoe with support for a range of accessories including external microphones and the latest Speedlite flashes. When not in use, this is protected by a close-fitting shoe cover that is dust- and water-resistant. The EOS RP has an older-style, less versatile hot shoe.

All three cameras can make use of lenses equipped with an optical Image Stabilizer (IS) to counteract camera shake and capture sharper images. The high-speed RF lens mount enables movement information from the camera sensor and the lens to be combined for even more effective shake correction.

The Canon EOS R8, EOS R7 and EOS RP also all offer 5-axis Movie Digital IS. This produces a more stable image when recording video. If an IS lens is being used, then the digital and optical IS systems can be combined for even steadier footage.

The EOS R7, however, goes a step further.

John: "The EOS R7 is the only camera of the three to have an In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS), which works in a coordinated way with lens IS and Movie Digital IS to give really smooth results when filming handheld."

Tibor: "Realistically, the combination of optical IS and Movie Digital IS could be enough for careful panning and handheld filming, while the addition of IBIS could allow you to shoot video as you walk carefully with the camera, although it's not quite going to match the pro solution of using a gimbal. IBIS can also make a big difference when you're shooting stills without a tripod, providing up to 8-stops of stabilisation with selected lenses."

Which is the mid-range EOS R System camera for you?

The affordable EOS RP is a great companion for those taking their first steps into the world of full-frame photography, and ideal for photography enthusiasts who want a small, light and intuitive full-frame mirrorless camera for travel or general landscape and portrait shooting.

The high-speed EOS R7 meets the needs of wildlife and sports photographers in particular, with its APS-C sensor giving lenses greater reach when you can't get closer to capture elusive animals and action on the playing field. Sports and wildlife photographers on location will also benefit from pro features such as dual card slots, IBIS and autoexposure in Burst mode, which will all help you bring home that unrepeatable shot.

The EOS R8 is an ideal hybrid camera for content creators who want video capabilities as much as photo, with pro-level video features and the next-generation intelligent AF introduced in the EOS R6 Mark II. For capturing landscapes, portraits and events, it offers the depth of field, wider angle of view and low-light performance benefits of a full-frame sensor, as well as continuous shooting at a blazing 40fps with electronic shutter.

Find out more about the mirrorless Canon EOS R System and all the outstanding cameras in the range.

Marcus Hawkins

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