Recently, we updated our review of the Canon EOS R8 after the latest firmware update. It doesn’t do much for the camera at all. If anything, it reaffirms for us that the company really doesn’t care about it. It’s the closest thing to a full-frame Canon Rebel that we can have. And we dive deeper into those thoughts by providing criticism and how Canon could improve it. Though at the moment, it feels like a money grab that can either be super affordable or very costly.
For more, you can read our entire Canon EOS R8 review, which you can find here. But otherwise, please see the updates to the review below.
Ease of Use Update November 2023
Firmware 1.1 for the Canon EOS R8 adds some, well, a whole lot of nothing. Here are the details:
- Adds support for the Software Development Assistance Kit (EDSDK/CCAPI).
- Fixes minor issues.
This is the first full-frame camera from Canon’s RF lineup to not get much of any sort of major improvements. When the Canon EOS R launched, Canon did a press trip pretty much dedicated to the fact that they supercharged the autofocus. They also tuned up many of their other full-frame cameras.
But we’re updating this review during holiday season 2023. And right now, the camera is a few hundred bucks off. It more or less meets what I thought would come to fruition when I stated that it’s a disappointment.
This Canon EOS R8 was designed to modernize a long-time Canon strategy where they made lots of entry-level products and then drove the price down a lot to move them around the holidays. But the camera world has majorly changed — and I think Canon is going to need to realize that they have to improve even cameras like this one.
As far as I go, there aren’t any bugs worth talking about with this camera and even with the update, I didn’t notice much of a change. But what’s even more insane is that they couldn’t at least add the feature that brings the shutter down over the sensor to protect it.
Truly, I don’t know why I’d buy this camera. The only thing truly saving it is the price point and the features that they packed into it without making it weather-resistant. And with that said, it’s a ploy just to get consumers who aren’t reaching for higher fruit to get the camera. Though to use the best features of this camera to the best of its abilities, you need to dish out a few thousand dollars more for L-lenses. Canon’s 100-400mm is a joke compared to those from other competitors. But their 100-500mm is the best in the business. Add onto that that Canon doesn’t have any official 3rd party lens support at the moment and you get an entry into a system where you’ll be locked in unless you want to pay for a massive upgrade.
The strategy for a Canon shooter used to be that you buy a cheap camera, get the expensive lenses, and then upgrade to an expensive camera later on. But I wouldn’t really recommend that now partially because Canon’s cheap cameras are so mediocre. On the contrary, you can get something like the Sony a7 IV and a high-end Tamron lens while spending less compared to the Canon EOS R8 and L-glass.
Let’s be clear here too and talk about what else Canon could’ve implemented into this camera:
- Improvement to the touch and drag settings: currently, to make it really useful while the camera is to your eye, you need to adjust the sensitivity. But I wish that they provided more options.
- The display simulation could use some refinement. Exposure during depth of field preview doesn’t seem to work all that well. And it makes more sense to do this because otherwise, the autofocus performance could be sacrificed.
- Improvements to the auto-scene detection
- Splitting the animal and bird function but also letting us keep the all-animals feature.
I’ve got a feeling that Canon won’t do this and that instead we’ll be getting those features with other cameras.
Let me leave you with another thought though: if you’re sitting here defending Canon, then you’re the problem. Why are we defending a billion-dollar company that is highly capable of doing this? When phone cameras came around, they completely killed the lower-end market. And now, I feel like Canon needs to work harder.
Truly, I’d rather bring my iPhone 14 Pro Max around than this camera.