My mate Rossco Gibb from Ross Gibb Photography is one of the best motor sport snappers in the country in my opinion. For years he has been supplying me images for use in Australian Videocamera, and every so often we do manage to get together.
Until recently he, like many pro photographers, has been welded to his Canon 1D through all its different Mark X iterations, but I learned recently he had switched to the new Canon R series.
My own weapon of choice is a Canon 5DS with a 70-200 lens or a standard nifty 50 nailed to it. In a recent email conversation with Ross, he waxed lyrical about the R series he had just invested in, so when Canon sent me a EOS R10 the day I was interested to see how this new series has changed things.
I received the “kit” version that comes with the body and a Canon 18-45 lens in the box and this costs between AUD$1469 and $1600 depending on where you go.
My first impression is how light and small it is! Sure, I only have the benchmark of the 5DS to compare it to (from the Canon stable anyway) but nonetheless, I did expect a bit more heft in the hand but hey, a combination of durable plastics and magnesium alloy help the cause along.
It feels nice and balanced, and the right hand has plenty of grip on the body due to the shape. As you can see from the photos, the control layout is logical and straightforward, and all controls are easily available without too much wrist movement.
A couple of nice touches I appreciated; one is the MF/AF control on the front of the body that falls very nicely under the 3rd finger of the right hand and the other is the angled shutter release button that just seems to me to be a more comfortable arrangement as against the 5DS which is more steeply raked.
The 3” LCD screen flips out and twists giving lots of leeway but in bright sunlight it did suffer a bit. You could see it but seeing any detail to focus I found difficult and had to resort to the OLED EVF on which there is no tilt sadly.
The LCD is touch screen enabled and also lets you tap to set the point of focus when shooting and also trigger the shutter release. A quick menu can be popped up too allowing access to metering and focus modes as well as changing video mode and other options. You’ll need to mesmerise the options via their icons though. There’s a lot of ‘em!
All the standard ports are under rubberised flaps on the left of the camera – USB, mini-HDMI, 3.5mm mic and 2.5mm wired remote ports. Note though despite the seals, the R10 is not rated as weather resistant.
A single SDXC slot is available for storage.
You also get Wi-fi and Bluetooth as is the norm these days and you can use the Canon Camera Connect app for both Android and iOS devices for remote connectivity.
Finally, tucked away – I didn’t notice it initially – is a flip up flash unit over the top of the EVF.
Showing that things have come a long, long way, the R10 has bult in subject recognition; when a subject is recognised it draws the focus box around them. DougieTheDoggie was instantly picked up as was EmuTheChook, and apparently, but not tested, the aforementioned Mr Gibb might be happy that motorsport recognition is also available.
Ah, no, in hindsight, probably not …
In fact, the whole subject focus thing is fascinating to explore including allowing you to select what parts of the area being viewed can have the function applied such as Whole Area and progressively getting narrower.
The focus speed is too shabby either, locking on very quickly when a subject is picked out.
I didn’t have the chance to check this out against any other cameras, but a quick read around my peers’ reviews suggest that Canon has this right functionality spot on and its implementation is better than anything else on the market right now.
The still imaging overall I thought was up there too except when you cranked up the ISO a bit (sometimes regrettably necessary with a lens with a max aperture of 4.5) then some grain started to sneak in.
As you’d expect, in the video area, 4K is supported and Canon says the camera down samples a 6K image down to the 4K when shooting in 24 or 30fps and this gives excellent clarity.
The one drawback of this camera in video mode though is a lack of in body stabilisation, instead using a mixture of lens and digital cropping. This made handheld shooting a little jumpy in my opinion. My Zhiyun Weebill 3 is not compatible with the Canon R10 unfortunately, and nor is any other Zhiyun model at this point a check of their website tells me. You’ll need to get a DJI RS3 if you want a decent gimbal to counter this.
As mentioned, my review unit came with an 18-45mm lens as part of the kit, but you can get the R10 as body only and then choose your own les(es) from the RF range of which there is a number. Alternatively, if you already own a bunch of EF lenses, Canon has made available an EF to RF adaptor that’ll set you back around $170. Again shop that around.
All in all, I enjoyed the Canon EOS R10. As an entry level into the R series, it does an admirable job, is easy to learn and use, and the ergonomics I liked a lot. If there is one thing I did not like and never will is the way the SD card slot is next the battery and only accessible from the bottom the camera. Pleas, please mount it on the side somehow!
Personally, I would not get the kit lens model, probably instead opting to go for the RF 50mm F1.8 STM along with a RF 100-400mm if I was being serious, but of course, this varies depending on exactly what you intend to shoot.
The stabilisation issue in video mode may be a problem for some. Battery life was also not that stellar in my usage, so I’d recommend having a couple of spares on hand and perhaps a power bank as well.
If you are jumping from a smartphone say to your first “real” camera, then the Canon EOS R10 is a very good choice. Canon build is legendary, you have a good range of lenses augmented by the EF-RF adaptor and the price is reasonable. If you are a Vlogger, it will work there too, but may be a slight overkill if that is all your thinking of doing.
There is more information complete with all the technical specifications right here.