Skip to main content

If I didn't already own a camera, I would buy a Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP

As someone who reviews cameras for a living, I constantly get asked "What camera should I get?" by friends and family. However, something that people rarely ask me is, "James, what camera would you get?" 

And that's a really interesting question. Because recommending a camera for somebody else is like recommending a car for somebody else; what do you want to use it for, where do you want to take it, what would you like it to do with it… these are all personal questions, and your answers are going to be different to mine. 

Canon EOS RP specs

Sensor: 26.2MP full frame CMOS
AF points: 4,779 AF positions
ISO range: 100 to 40,000 (exp. 102,400)
Video: Up to 4K 25p
Viewfinder: 0.39" EVF, 2.36m dots
Memory card: 1x SD UHS-II
LCD: 3" Vari-angle, 1.04m dots
Max burst: 5fps
Size: 132.5 x 85 x 70mm
Weight: 440g (body only)

So it's interesting to consider, if I didn't already own a camera (full disclosure: I currently own fourteen cameras, six of which are in constant use for different purposes), which one would I actually buy for myself? 

The answer, right now, is the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab). This is a camera that I've used on and off since its launch in 2019, and in my opinion it is one of the absolute jewels of the EOS R system. (See also our Canon EOS R10 vs EOS RP comparison.)

Right now it's just $999 in the US (opens in new tab) and £959 in the UK (opens in new tab) – which is a ridiculously good price for a full frame mirrorless camera, especially with the Canon caliber. And aside from lacking in-body image stabilization, it has everything you could ask from a modern mirrorless. 

A punchy 26.2MP image sensor, crisp 4K video capability (albeit with a moderate crop factor), fully articulating touchscreen, brilliant Dual Pixel AF phase detect autofocus, a great app to quickly transfer files to your phone… and it boasts a light, compact chassis that's a million miles from some of the chunkier mirrorless bodies on the market. 

Crucially, it not only supports the best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab) (which are some of the best lenses on the market right now) but also the best Canon lenses (opens in new tab) for DSLRs – so you can pick up older, more affordable EF-mount glass as well as cutting-edge RF optics. 

And here's another crucial thing; not only is the RP itself an affordable purchase, but the new generation of RF lenses are both cheap and compact as well. This stands in stark contrast to when the EOS R ecosystem first launched in 2018, with lenses that were huge and expensive. 

Now, though, we've got truly pocket-sized and pocket-friendly primes like the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 (opens in new tab), Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro (opens in new tab), along with brilliant zooms like the Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 (opens in new tab) – all of which are perfectly proportioned to sit on the smaller EOS RP. 

For just over a grand, you can have an RP with a nifty fifty – one of the best all-purpose shooting setups on the market, which anyone would be lucky to shoot with. And if I was buying a camera for the first time, right now, that's exactly what I would get. And if you're in the same position, I'd recommend it to you, too.

Read more: 

Canon EOS RP review
(opens in new tab)Best Canon Black Friday deals
(opens in new tab)Best Canon cameras
(opens in new tab)Canon EOS R vs RP (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.