Reviews |Canon EOS R8: first impressions

Canon EOS R8: first impressions Review

Canon EOS R8 review

Our Verdict

Our Canon EOS R8 review is still underway, but our first impressions are that this is a camera that could have a very wide appeal. Beginners and those using APS-C cameras will see it as an attractive jump into full-frame photography, with an attractive set of features. Advanced enthusiasts and even professionals might see it as a viable second body thanks to the sensor and powerful features it inherits from the Canon EOS R6 Mark II.

Will the power and speed of the Canon EOS R6 Mark II in a body that’s smaller and lighter than the EOS RP be enough to put the DSLR vs mirrorless camera debate to bed for good? Canon is sure hoping so with the new EOS R8, and they could be on to something. There’s still a lot of testing left to be done for our Canon EOS R8 review, but here’s what we know so far.

What is the Canon EOS R8?

The Canon EOS R8 is a new lightweight, full-frame mirrorless camera that sits above the EOS RP and below the EOS R6 Mark II in Canon’s EOS R system. It’s aimed at content creators, students and those using APS-C cameras who might want the resolution of a full-frame camera but with the smaller form factor that they’re currently used to.

The EOS R8 body is based off the design of the EOS RP, but internally it inherits a lot of the power and functionality of its sibling, the EOS R6 Mark II, including the sensor.

Price & Availability

The Canon EOS R8 price tag starts at £1,699.99 for the body only and rises to £1,899.99 for the body plus the new RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 STM standard zoom lens, which was announced on the same day as the camera. The lens on its own retails for £379.99, meaning the lens kit price tag marks nearly a 50% savings on the standard zoom lens.


Inside the Canon EOS R8 is the same 24.2-million-pixel sensor that debuted in the Canon EOS R6 Mark II near the end of 2022. It also uses Canon’s latest Digic X image processor. This combination enables the R8 to provide a native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 102,400, which can be expanded up to ISO 204,800.

Like the R6 Mark II, the EOS R8 is also built for speed and can shoot at 40fps with its electronic shutter. In fact, the R8 has no mechanical shutter.

The R8 also includes Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology and is capable of focusing in light levels as low as -6.5 EV. It also boasts three Flexible AF Zones with Eye Tracking, and AF tracking is available in all shooting modes. What’s more, Canon has added horses, planes and trains to its list of subject detection modes.

As for video, the R8 can record 4K video at 60fps, which is oversampled from 6K footage for greater quality. Users can shoot in Full HD at up to 180fps.

Like the R6 Mark II, Canon has included its 3- and 5-second Pre-Record functionality, as well as False Color and C-Log3 for greater dynamic range.

There are also ports for an external microphone, remote release and HDMI cable.

Users will also find Canon’s Guided Interface and Focus Bracketing feature. And it’s worth noting that the EOS R8 does not include IBIS.

Build & Handling

At just 461g with its battery and SD card, the Canon EOS R8 is the lightest full-frame camera in the EOS R system and one of the smallest full-frame cameras on the market overall.

Canon says it has based the body design after the RP, however, it also features some of the design changes that were added to the R6 Mark II. Like its sibling, the R8 inherits the on/off switch on the right side of the body, while the stills/video switch sits on the left. The latter means that users have access to all of the mode dial options while in video mode.

At 0.39-inch, the R8’s EVF is slightly smaller than the EOS R6 Mark II, but maintains the same resolution.


Our Canon EOS R8 review is still underway, so we can’t yet comment on its performance in real terms. But the small form factor coupled with the sensor and speed we saw in the EOS R6 Mark II certainly makes the EOS R8 look like an attractive option for photographers and hybrid shooters across a wide range of disciplines.

The R8 may lack the IBIS found in the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, but for a full-frame camera priced at £1,699.99 it has nearly everything else that the R6 II is offering as its main selling points.

Because they share the same sensor, we can expect the R8’s image quality to be fairly comparable to the EOS R6 Mark II. Our Canon EOS R6 Mark II review is still ongoing, but so far we’ve seen that it’s able to control noise very well, with a good level of detail visible even at some of the higher ISO settings. In our Canon EOS R6 review, we found that it controlled noise very well even all the way up to ISO 51,200. So we have high expectations for the EOS R8.

We’re also keen to test its new AF subject detection additions and features like the Focus Bracketing mode that allows you to composite your images in-camera and Jpeg-only multiple exposure mode that can combine up to nine shots.

Overall, this seems like a smart launch by Canon that should have a lot of crossover appeal in the market. It’s a step up into full-frame photography for some or a capable back-up body with some powerful features at a popular pixel count for others.

Though it was later to the game, Canon has persisted and innovated its EOS R system each year, finding new gaps in the market and giving photographers more reason to ditch their DSLRs. The R8 looks set to push this even further.


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