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Our thoughts on the EOS RP
On August 20, 2003 Canon announced the Canon EOS Rebel 300D the first digital SLR camera under $1000. Two years later on August 22, 2005, Canon again created a market that didn’t exist before by creating the 5D, the first “small” full frame camera under $3500. Both moves sent shockwaves through the industry.
In 2018, Canon finally joined the full frame mirrorless party and announced a new mount, the EOS RF mount. Six months later, Canon once again is shaking up the industry releasing the EOS RP, a $1299 full frame entry level camera in the same vein as the diminutive EOS M, the M50 which has been a sales success for Canon. It may be that Canon simply reused spare parts and took advantage of their factory automation to come out with a full camera this inexpensive, but let's be real - no other manufacturer has released a full-frame digital camera at, or even close to $1299 before. Like the M50 before it, it will be widely panned for its video, imaging capabilities, and advanced feature set. But it has a combination of a small camera body and low cost to appeal to the masses.
Some Sony users will mention that Sony continues to sell the A7 and the A7 II as less expensive options for users, however, no matter how good these cameras are, they will be considered "old". Some of the functions of these cameras are also dated, having no touchscreens, annoying menus, and tilt screens which are problematic for video bloggers. The EOS RP combined with Canon’s marketing muscle will provide stiff competition for these cameras. The Sony cameras, still have the advantage of a much bigger and more mature ecosystem to use, a position that Canon is not used to being in. It’s usually Canon that has a much more mature ecosystem. As Canon continues to add lenses and accessories, and third-party vendors start producing RF mount lenses, this will be less of a problem.
Canon is also moving very fast in filling out the lenses for the RF mount, and we hope that Canon pays attention to one of the under-sung areas of their EF lens catalog, the light, inexpensive IS STM lenses that dominated the Rebel lineup. Canon has made a credible start with the RF 35mm IS STM and the RF 24-240 IS STM, however, more is needed, and quickly to match this camera body, and provide a competitive ecosystem for the “new full frame Rebel” to sell well in.
In a way to combat the lack of an RF ecosystem right now, Canon is catering to the largest installed base of users out there, the Canon EF mount users. With the included EF adapter in the base package, they are encouraging the EF and EF-S mount users to move over to the RF mount. This is huge, and it's always understated that when looking at Sony cameras, to match this functionality requires a much more complicated and expensive adapter to the EF mount. There will also always be a resistance attached to using EF lenses on a Sony camera because it requires that you use three different vendors, the camera, the adapter, and the lens companies are usually three different vendors. This complicates service and support. The EOS RP will provide seamless integration to Canon EF and RF lens mounts providing an inexpensive bridge camera into the new world of Canon’s RF system.
We think that the EOS RP should be a success for Canon. It’s not the best in any area, it doesn’t have to be. It’s simply a competent camera for an unbelievable price that will appeal to a much broader market.
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