Is the Canon EOS R8 the best entry level full frame mirrorless? With blisteringly 40fps burst shooting and 4K 60p video packed into a compact chassis, it could well be.
The Canon EOS R8 is the manufacturer's lightest full-frame mirrorless model and borrows its diminutive, compact and petite proportions from the entry point Canon EOS RP, while inheriting some of the more desirable features from the recently announced Canon EOS R6 Mark II, so sits somewhere between these two bodies in the 13-camera EOS R lineup.
• Read our hands-on Canon EOS R8 review to see our first impressions
Features carried over from the R6 Mark II include its 24.2MP full-frame sensor, a native ISO range of 100-102,400 and that 40fps burst mode (using the electronic shutter). It also boasts the powerful Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, with Canon claiming that autofocus can be achieved in just 0.3 secs. In addition to the standard Face, Eye, Head, Body, Animal and Vehicle detection, the EOS R8 has new tracking modes for horses, trains and aircraft, with autofocus possible down to -6.5EV.
Features that the new model has in common with the EOS RP are its compact and portable size, which makes it ideal for photographers and vloggers that like to pack light. In fact, the EOS R8 is significantly lighter than the RP with a battery and memory card inserted.
The R8's small and portable form factor comes at the cost of having no in-body image stabilization, though Canon is keen to stress that many RF lenses have optical stabilization – and the R8 also has a Movie Digital IS mode that will crop your frame by around 10% but deliver more stable results. Another disadvantage of its petite proportions is that only one memory card slot is included, and it also uses the lower capacity LP-E17 shared by the EOS RP.
The EOS R8 has been designed as a hybrid camera, so it should be just as practical for videos as it is still images. Supporting this is a new dedicated Movie switch, as well as an on / off switch that is now integrated around the shutter button for faster operation. The camera features headphone, microphone, micro HDMI and USB-C ports, and also integrates Canon’s new Multifunction Shoe so it can be used effortlessly with the new generation of accessories.
The Canon EOS R8 does away with the previous maximum video recording time of 29m59s in one continuous clip, and can capture 4K video at 60p oversampled from 6K in C-Log3, with FullHD (1080p) up to 180fps for super slow-motion. You can also set three- or five-second pre-recording, so you don't miss a moment of action.
Canon has made some improvements to the electronic viewfinder, which has a fast 120fps refresh rate as well as an Optical Viewfinder Assist (OVF) mode that simulates the look and feel of a finder on a DSLR.
Other features include 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and UVC for streaming. It also has a RAW burst mode that can pre-record half a second before you press the shutter, making it even easier to capture those moments that require split-second timing.
The Canon EOS R8 will be available from late April at a body only price of £1,699.99 (US and Australian pricing TBC) or in a kit with the new Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for £1,899.99.