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Introduction

Canon is one of the largest and most prominent camera manufacturers in the market, and it has delivered some solid options throughout the years. Its DSLR models have been the norm and the gold standard for many years even today, and you couldn’t realistically compete with its high-end models for a long time. But recently we have seen a technology boom in some other camera technologies.

One of the most prominent camera technologies in recent years has been the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that thanks to the advancement in features and technologies have started competing with DSLR cameras and sometimes delivering better performances than them. But still, they have a long way to go, before they undermine the supremacy, versatility, and compatibility of DSLR cameras, however, there are some models that claim that they can perform equally to them with smaller bodies and weight.

Canon has been a little behind compared to Sony in the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera market, however, it is catching up, and its most notable model the EOS R is a worthy camera that can perform a lot of grueling tasks. While it can’t compete with Canon’s most advanced and newest cameras, it can be compared with a little older 5D Mark IV.

The Canon EOS R is a full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera released in October 2018. Meaning that it is a fairly new camera, and it comes at an affordable price point, it is Canon’s first effort at this kind of camera, and it has hit most of the sweet spots, and if the reports are true, its successor will break the market, with its ultra-advanced sensor and futuristic features.

On the other side, we have the Canon 5D Mark IV, a full-frame digital single-lens reflex camera that was released in September 2016. While it is about 2 years older than the EOS R, this camera does so many things right, it aims to be the last camera you buy. It is compatible with a pretty wide range of lenses and it is a full-blown professional level camera that will leave you in awe.

Since we are introduced to our cameras, let’s take a closer look at them, and see if one of them comes on top, or if they are winners in their own right.

Head To Head Comparison

Canon R

Like I mentioned earlier in this comparison, the Canon EOS R, is Canon’s first effort at making a full-frame mirrorless camera, but what amazes me the most about this camera, is that it does so many things correct. While the majority of manufacturers have tried multiple times before delivering a camera this good, Canon has done it with its first try, however, it came later than most. But then again, everything considered, nothing less than perfect is acceptable, and since their die-hard fans won’t opt for any other brand of camera, the company has never disappointed them.

The Canon EOS R is pretty much the same in performance and features as other high-end cameras in the EOS lineup, but this is not a bad thing since all of them are pretty consistent and reliable cameras. It comes with the company’s now trademark Dual Pixel Autofocus feature, full-frame sensor, amazing OLED viewfinder, quick shooting, amazing build quality, and tons of other features and performances that we’ll discuss in this short review.

First off, I want to mention that this camera is one of the better-designed mirrorless cameras in the market, and I am sure that it will impress you. It is pretty light and small as it measures just 3.3×5.3×3.9-inches and weighs 1.4-pounds, making it substantial and delivering a premium feel. It is constructed with a magnesium alloy chassis with a magnesium shell on top to make it extremely durable, and it is all finished with a matte finish. Combined with the matte textured finish it has a DSLR sized handgrip, making it pretty easy to use even with just one hand.

If you have used any camera from the EOS lineup, you will not be strange to the control and dial layout of the Canon EOS R, the EOS range is a gift that keeps on giving. On the back there is a 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD panel, that is extremely responsive, sharp and displays rich colors. The OLED electronic viewfinder is also excellent as it displays 3.69 million dots accurately.

We have come to know, that high-end mirrorless cameras have sophisticated autofocus systems, and the Canon EOS R is no different with its 5,655 phase-detect autofocus points, covering 88 percent of the vertical space and 100 percent of the horizontal one. It is rated to go as low as -6EV, and it really can go as much as that. One of the most advanced systems in the market, capable of focusing on every scenario, fast-moving objects are no challenge you can comfortably focus on anything.

For image quality it uses 5D Mark IV’s 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor and the Digic 8 image processor, that delivers perfect performance in a wide range of scenarios, it is capable of handling noise pretty well, but not too aggressively so that it comes out unnatural, but just the right amount. It has an ISO range from 100 to 40,000, which can be further expanded, from 50 to 102,400. In the high ISO levels, it was still great and capable, the low-light performance was top of the class and it delivered a pleasing full-frame experience.

It is worth mentioning that it is pretty quick too, as it can shoot 8 frames per second in continuous shooting with locked autofocus, and 5 frames per second with full autofocus. It has a large buffer size of about 47 raw files and 100 JPEGs, but the battery life was a little disappointing, at 350 shots with EVF on, but it is decent enough for a mirrorless.

Sony A6000 Sample Footage:

Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon’s prowess in the digital single-lens reflex camera business has been without any serious competition as it has delivered the best cameras time and time again without missing a beat, and each has been more advanced and attractive than the other. Their 5D series has been one of the most influential and prominent models both for aged veterans and for professionals that won’t accept anything less than perfection.

The 5D Mark IV is no different as it even adopts the same look as its predecessor, but this time around it has amazing upgrades under the hood. These upgrades include a high-resolution sensor, amazing autofocus system, 4K video capture, weather sealing, WiFi, GPS, new image sensor, and countless other features making it the perfect professional camera. However, despite being a 3-year-old camera by now, it is still a pretty expensive device.

In terms of looks and design the Canon 5D Mark IV is pretty much the same as its predecessor the 5D Mark III. Some notable upgrades in the design department are the increased number of seals that make this device perfect for shooting under difficult weather conditions, and since we are at it let me mention that I tested it in the pouring rain and it didn’t affect its performance at all. It uses a construction made from magnesium alloy and polycarbonate, a great combination that makes this camera durable and pretty much lightweight for a full-frame DSLR, coming in at 1.75-pounds.

In terms of controls and dials, it has a pretty familiar layout as most of the other cameras in the EOS lineup and you will feel at home if you have used any other EOS camera. It is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD that is tiltable and has 1.6 million dots, it is very sharp and rich colors delivering excellent controls and previews of your photographs.

The Canon 5D Mark IV has a pretty advanced autofocus system with 61-points, of which 41-points are cross-type and it delivers a great experience. The autofocus system is connected to the metering system which detects and tracks, not just colored objects, but faces as well. It covers the largest part of the screen and the system is pretty fast capable of tracking fast-moving subjects without any difficulty.

For image quality, it uses the 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor, which is the same as in the EOS R. Also like I stated earlier this sensor delivers amazing image quality, with plenty of sharpness and thanks to the Digic 6+ image processor the image quality is perfect. There is nothing too different in the image quality department, and it also has the same ISO range as the EOS R.

Even though this is a very versatile camera, i use it as my monochrome photography camera, because i find it the most convenient.

In terms of speed, it is capable of shooting 7 frames per second in burst shooting mode, and it delivers great performance with it with its wide buffer size and amazing 960 shot battery life. It is worth stating that it delivers great photographs in burst shooting mode while tracking fast-moving subjects.

Canon 5D Mark IV Sample Images:

Canon R vs Canon 5D Mark IV Feature Comparison

Canon R Canon 5D Mark IV
Camera Type
Full-Frame Mirrorless
Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels
30.3
30.3
ISO Range
100-40,000 (50-102,400)
100-40,000 (50-102,400)
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
Yes
AF Points
5,655 AF points
61 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
Yes
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
CMOS
CMOS

Conclusion

As you can see there are no major differences between these two cameras apart from their natures and their autofocus systems, however, even their autofocus systems are pretty similar in performance.

The main difference between these cameras is their price, as the Canon 5D Mark IV is a pretty expensive camera compared to the EOS R. Another factor that might push you to buy one of these is their compatibility with more lenses, and it is a matter of fact that 5D Mark IV has more lenses available.

In the end, I would opt for the EOS R if I was in the market for a secondary camera, and the 5D Mark IV for a primary camera. But then again, you can’t realistically go wrong with each of these, tremendous work from Canon.