This guide is a bit different than our usual camera comparisons in that we’ve studied three cameras: the Canon EOS R8 vs EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS RP. But if you’ve purchased the Canon EOS R6 Mark II recently, it’s unlikely you’ll be selling it – and nor would we encourage you do. This Canon EOS R8 vs EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS RP comparison is really to examine whether it’s worth upgrading from the EOS RP to the new camera that sits above it, the R8. But because the Canon EOS R8 shares much of the same tech as the R6 Mark II, we thought it was worth looking at all three at the same time.
The Canon EOS R8 is one of the most unique cameras we’ve seen recently. Its small form factor, combined with speed, power and video prowess make it the perfect camera for enthusiasts looking for that step up to full-frame photography. And yet it should also appeal to professionals looking for a back-up body that can keep up with the demands of their workflow.
The R8 inherits many of the features that impressed us with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, and with the Canon EOS R8 price tag at £1699, it’s significantly cheaper than its sibling. But it merges that speed and power with the small form factor of the camera it now sits above in Canon’s EOS R system, the Canon EOS RP. At its launch, the RP was the smallest, lightest and cheapest full-frame mirrorless camera you could buy. Canon pared back some of its features to keep its price, but those were compromises many could live with. Now, with the R8, you get that same diminutive size but with many of Canon’s latest features and technology. Is this the complete package for enthusiasts? Let’s take a look.
Canon EOS RP: 26.2MP Full-frame sensor
Canon EOS R8: 24.2MP Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: 24.2MP Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
The chip inside the EOS R8 is the same sensor that was developed by Canon and debuted in the EOS R6 Mark II. The sensor is neither backside-illuminate nor stacked, but the R6 was designed with low light capability in mind and this intent continues into the R6 II and R8.
Yes, the Canon EOS RP’s sensor has a slightly higher pixel count. So you might see a tiny bit more detail in images from the RP at low ISOs. But the the R6 II and R8 will be better at mid to high ISOs. The R6 II also has better noise reduction algorithms and processing as well.
Canon EOS RP: Digic 8
Canon EOS R8: Digic X
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Digic X
The EOS R8 and EOS R6 Mark II both use Canon’s latest processing engine, the Digic X, while the EOS RP uses the previous generation processor. The Digic x debuted in 2020 and is designed to process 4K video at 120fps and 8K video at 30fps. It also introduced improvements in noise-reduction and AF tracking capabilities.
While the Digic 8 was no slouch, we have to give the edge to the R8 and R6 Mark II here for the increased speed and power.
Canon EOS RP: 4K at 25fps, Full HD at up to 60fps
Canon EOS R8: 4K at up to 60fps (oversampled from 6K), Full HD at up to 180fps
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: 4K up to 60fps (oversampled from 6K), Full HD at up to 120fps
This is a tough category to call. The RP clearly loses this contest, as it’s limited to 4K at 25fps. What’s more, this 4K footage is recorded from an area of the sensor that’s around APS-C-sized. This means there’s a focal length magnification factor of around 1.6x. Consequently, you have to shoot at 1902×1080 if you want your lenses to show their true focal length.
Making a Canon EOS R8 vs EOS R6 Mark II video comparison is a little trickier, though. Both shoot 4K video at 60fps, which is oversampled from 6K. The EOS R8 can shoot Full HD at up to 180fps, which is a slightly higher frame rate than the R6 Mark II offers at this resolution (120fps). However, the R6 Mark II has an excellent in-body image stabilisation system, while the R8 does not. The R8 has Digital IS.
The R8 might have a slight edge in frame rates on paper, but being able to film and move freely thanks to its IBIS makes the R6 Mark II a more versatile camera for filming video.
Canon EOS RP: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 4,779 AF positions
Canon EOS R8: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 4,897 AF positions
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection with 100% coverage
The EOS RP uses Canon’s original Dual Pixel CMOS AF with phase detection focusing. This technology was groundbreaking when it debuted because every photoreceptor is divided into two so they can all play a part in focusing on a subject. In total, there are 4,779 selectable AF points across 88% of the width of the frame and 100% of its height. Its AF system can also focus in light levels as low as -5EV. It’s a strong and capable AF system.
Both the R8 and R6 Mark II, however, employ Canon’s latest Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which boasts improvements to the deep learning algorithm and allows eye detection in any focus mode or focus area. Overall, there are 6,072 AF points, and it adds a Face-only AF option that tells the camera not to re-focus on the background when your subject leaves the frame. There are also three different sized Zone AF options, as well as some new detectable subjects, such as planes, trains and horses.
Let’s just say that while Dual Pixel CMOS AF was astonishingly good, the latest iteration builds on this and then some.
Canon EOS RP: 5fps with AF Tracking
Canon EOS R8: 40fps; 6fps electronic first curtain
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Mechanical shutter: 12fps for 1000+ Jpeg or 110 raw or 1000 CRAW images, Electronic shutter: 40fps for 190 Jpeg or 75 raw or 140 CRAW images, or 20fps, 5fps all with AF tracking
Despite the RP having Canon’s Digic 8 processor, its maximum continuous shooting rate is just 5fps. And that’s only possible in One Shot AF mode. If you want the focus to adjust as you shoot you’ll need to drop to a rate of 4fps to enable Servo AF. Those are pretty unimpressive figures by modern standards. And the RP isn’t that old.
The R8 and R6 Mark II, on the other hand both offer some of the fastest burst rates in the land at 40fps with their electronic shutter. In fact, the R8 only has an electronic shutter, as it drops the mechanical shutter. The R8 can maintain its 40fps burst rate for 120 JPEG or 56 RAW, 100 CRAW images.
The EOS R6 Mark II can shoot at up to 40fps for 190 JPEG or 75 raw or 140 CRAW images. With its mechanical shutter, the EOS R6 Mark II can shoot at 12fps for 1000+ JPEG or 110 raw or 1000 CRAW images.
Canon EOS RP: Vari-angle 3-inch Clear View LCD II touchscreen with 1.04 million dots
Canon EOS R8: 3-inch 1.62-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: 3-inch 1.62-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
One thing that Canon has been brilliant at over the years is that it was an early adopter of vari-angle touchscreens in its camera design. Other brands experimented with tilting screens and other sorts, but the fully articulated screen really is the best. It allows you to vlog very easily and simply compose images from virtually any angle. So from that standpoint, all of these cameras are winners.
But if you’re counting dots, then the EOS R8 and EOS R6 Mark II have a little more resolution than the RP. But Canon’s touchscreen LCDs are all historically very responsive and intuitive to use.
Canon EOS RP: 0.39-inch 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage
Canon EOS R8: 0.39-inch 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: 0.5-inch 3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 120fps refresh rate
The EOS R6 Mark II has the physically larger and higher-res EVF of the three cameras, but it’s worth noting that the EVF on the other two cameras is also bright and crisp and perfectly adequate. But if you’re tallying, advantage R6 Mark II.
Canon EOS RP: Lens / Digital only
Canon EOS R8: Lens / Digital only
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: In-body image stabilisation (IBIS) that works with lens IS and enables up to 8-stops of shutter speed compensation
The EOS R6 Mark II stands out as the clear winner here as the only camera of the trio to have IBIS. As we pointed out in the video comparison up above, its in-body image stabilisation gives the R6 Mark II so much more versatility. You can film and shoot in conditions and situations you would never have thought possible. It frees you from a tripod.
For many photographers and hybrid shooters, IBIS is a big deal and this is what really separates the R6 Mark II from the R8. If you don’t like carrying tripods or shoot enough regular jobs where you need to be on the move or use longer shutter speeds, the R6 Mark II will make your job easier.
Body & Weight
Canon EOS RP: 132.5 x 85 x 70mm / 440g
Canon EOS R8: 132.5 x 86.1 x 70mm / 461g
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: 138.4 x 98.4 x 88.4mm; 588g / 670 g with card and battery
All three cameras are fairly similar in dimensions and weight. The EOS RP has an ever-so-slight advantage here, but the difference between it and the R8 – and even the R6 Mark II – is so minimal that you’re unlikely to notice it in the field, apart from maybe the R6 II, which is a bit heavier than the other two.
Should I sell my Canon EOS RP?
Again, this is a Canon EOS R8 vs EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS RP comparison, but the question we’re really trying to answer is should you upgrade from the Canon EOS RP to the EOS R8 or EOS R6 Mark II. And the answer is an unequivocal yes. The EOS R8 and EOS R6 Mark II outperform the RP in almost every category. The RP has a slightly higher resolution sensor, meaning you might find a little more finer detail in your images shot in good light at low ISOs, but the sensor in the R8 and R6 Mark II has been optimised for low light and will provide much better results overall.
If you are an EOS RP user and considering an upgrade, it is time to do so and either of these new launches from Canon will provide a big step up in technology.
If you are trying to choose between the EOS R8 and EOS R6 Mark II, the big, key difference is IBIS. The R6 Mark II has it, and the R8 doesn’t. If you don’t like carrying tripods and/or film a lot on the go, it’s probably worth investing in the R6 II. If this isn’t as important to you, the R8 will serve your needs and you can use that money you’ve saved to invest in a lens.
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