Years ago, after my Canon S3 IS got stolen at a hockey game, I decided it was time for an upgrade. I wanted better image quality and more manual controls, but I didn’t want to lug around a big ol’ DSLR. That’s how I ended up in the micro four-thirds (m4/3) family with an Olympus E-PL1. But micro-four thirds sensors still aren’t as big as APS-C, which aren’t as big as full frame. Times have changed and now the Canon EOS R full frame mirrorless camera has entered the fray.

For a while there, if you wanted to go mirrorless and compact, micro four-thirds was the way to go. You’d pick up an Olympus or a Panasonic. Then, Sony changed the game by going with a bigger sensor on bodies that were almost as compact. Then, Sony went full frame and the game would never be the same again.

And for these past few years, if you wanted a full frame mirrorless, you had to go Sony or go home. And then Fujifilm added some incredible offerings for people who were more interested in stills than videos. But still (no pun intended), Sony was the reigning king. That might slowly be changing.

You may recall that Nikon announced its full frame mirrorless cameras a couple of weeks ago. It’s a positive step for Nikon to catch up with trends, but many people are disappointed with the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7. But what about the Canon EOS R? Is this the true mirrorless alternative? Better than the somewhat half-hearted EOS M?

On paper, that might still be debatable. The Canon EOS R gets a 30.3MP sensor (full frame), dual-pixel autofocus, DIGIC 8 image processor, and an ISO range of 100 to 40,000. For all the vloggers in the audience, you’ll be happy to hear that you get a flippy touchscreen. The OLED electronic viewefinder is there too for when you don’t want to use the touchscreen.

The design aesthetic mirrors that of Canon’s SLRs, but the control scheme is a bit different. You’ll notice a sliding control bar on the back, for example, and you’ll now find a dedicated control ring on the lenses themselves for things like setting the aperture. Expect a 24-105mm f/4 L, a 50mm f/1.2 L, a 28-70mm f/2 L, and a 35mm f/1.8 macro. There are lens adapters too, of course.

The Canon EOS R is set to retail for $2,299 for body only and $3,399 with the 24-105mm kit lens. Preorders start next Wednesday with shipments to follow in late October.

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