Canon plays catchup with EOS R firmware update

Canon EOS R firmware update 1.2.0

Eye AF is becoming the hot topic of 2019 as portrait, social and wedding photographers see its potential for sharp shots with moving subjects and wide aperture lenses. 

The Canon EOS R already had Eye AF, but now it’s been enabled in the Servo AF mode too, bringing the EOS R into line with the newer (and cheaper) Canon EOS RP and Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D.

Portraits only look ‘right’ when the eye closest to the camera is in focus, and with today’s trend towards high-resolution full  frame cameras and fast lenses used wide open, critical eye focus has become much more important, and harder to achieve quickly without dedicated eye AF technologies.

Other new features in the EOS R 1.2.0 firmware update include improvements to the Small AF Frame Size, which now also supports the Servo AF mode and is available in movie mode regardless of the Movie Servo AF setting.

• See also: Canon EOS R vs Sony A7 III

Canon EOS R

Fast eye AF is becoming ever more important for portrait, social and wedding photographers and the EOS R firmware update 1.2.0 helps the Canon keep up with rivals.

Canon EOS R firmware update 1.2.0 bug fixes

Canon has also fixed a glitch which could prevent the electronic level display in the EVF from working properly, correcting some issues with data display rotation and has sorted out problems updating the firmware for the wireless file transmitter WFT-E7.

The EOS R 1.2.0 firmware update should now be available from the Canon website in your territory, and is chance for Canon to make up some ground against its full frame mirrorless rivals. Nikon is planning its own major eye detection AF firmware update for May 2019, Panasonic has incorporated eye detection AF in its new Lumix S models the Lumix S1 and S1R, and Sony already considers itself a generation ahead with its own eye-detection AF technologies.

Read more:

• The best Canon camera in 2019
• The best mirrorless cameras in 2019

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at