TCSTV Canon EOS R8 Hands-On Review

The new Canon EOS R8, is it worth the hype? Compact, loaded with features and under $2000, our TCSTV Team had to put it to the test. In this review, Evelyn and Dave got their hands on this popular 24-megapixel full-frame camera to test it out in a variety of shooting situations. From photographing birds in Southern Alberta to planes at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and even filming the smashing of cameras in a rage box, the EOS R8 was put through a lot, but is it the new, must-have camera? It’s looking like a yes!

Starting off their day of adventure, Dave and Evelyn took the Canon EOS R8 outside Calgary to photograph birds and test out the 24-megapixel sensor that’s found in the R6 Mark II. Achieving 14-bit raw images and 40 frames per second, all while boasting Canon’s stunning colour and sharp details, both Dave and Evelyn were thoroughly impressed with the image quality. To keep the camera compact, the R8 has a first curtain electronic shutter, which also gives it its fast frame rate and better dynamic range while preventing banding and rolling shutter.

Of course, Dave and Evelyn didn’t stop there, birds are the perfect subject to test out Canon’s autofocus technology! Quickly and accurately, the R8 locked on even the smallest of birds and had no issue with longer lenses where it can be trickier. They also were enjoying the pre-burst mode for raw shooting, which made taking fleeting moments, such as birds taking off, even easier to capture.

Dave did notice the viewfinder wasn’t as nice as other Canon models at 2.36 million dots, as well as the rear LCD screen at only 1.26 million dots, which was a bit of a problem on a sunny day. But given the price of the camera, and how incredible the performance and autofocus of the camera are, it’s not a make or break.

The next stop on Dave and Evelyn’s adventure was the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta. The museum was the perfect spot to test out the low light performance, where the R8 truly excelled. Dave was routinely shooting at the 6400 ISO and Evelyn found no issues in pulling detail from the shadows and that noise wasn’t an issue. They both agreed the R8 would be an excellent camera for event and wedding photographers, along with any indoor shooting. At this point in the trip though, they did notice the battery wasn’t lasting as long as they like and extra batteries are definitely a must if you’re planning on shooting video or taking advantage of the amazing 40 fps. It also only has a single card slot, which is something to factor, but not the end of the world depending on your photography style and workflow, especially if using the R8 as a second camera.

Evelyn took a moment to point out how Canon did a great job with the ergonomics of the R8. It’s the same design as the Canon EOS RP, a smaller full-frame mirrorless camera from a few years ago, which was recognized for its form factor. A few adjustments to the R8 include the power switch being moved to the right-hand side, making it easy to switch from photography to videography along with a touchscreen that is very interactive so you can go through the menu selections and can do autofocus selections. There are also two command dials, one on the top and one on the back, making it easy to adjust your exposure. However, Evelyn did miss having a joystick on the back of the camera when it came to autofocus.

Now, for the final destination of Dave and Evelyn’s adventure, Evelyn surprised Dave by taking him to one of Rage Zone’s rage boxes! This gave Drew the perfect opportunity to test the video side of the R8 while Dave and Evelyn raged out on old cameras. Drew found the 180 fps was awesome and mainly used slow motion to capture the destruction. He also found it had a lot of other video features such as oversampled 4K uncropped, a fully articulating screen, headphone and microphone jacks, and a micro USB port, and was overall very happy with the performance of the R8.

In all, the whole TCSTV team was impressed with Canon’s newest camera and how well the R8 performed, but of course, you have to see for yourself. Check out TCSTV’s Canon EOS R8 – Does It Really Live Up To The Hype? review below and let us know what you think!

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