Mirrorless Goes Large
HWM Singapore|February 2019

It’s taken a while, but full-frame mirrorless cameras are finally being produced by companies other than Sony. We put the latest off erings from Sony, Nikon and Canon to the test to see which one is best.

Marcus Wong

CANON EOS R

The first full-frame mirrorless offering from Canon, the EOS R introduces a brand new mount, the RF Mount, to go with a new series of RF lenses. Canon says the new RF mount is shorter, which allows them to design smaller lenses than what’s currently possible with EF Mount.

At the heart of things is a 30MP full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus capabilities, setting up the camera for faster focusing with both stills and video. The EOS R actually has a total of 5,655 AF points spread across the frame, and can achieve focus as quick as 0.05s. However, the only group AF mode in which all AF points can be used automatically is face detect mode. The two Large Zone AF modes only cover about 1/3 the frame horizontally or vertically.

At first glance, the EOS R looks very much like EOS cameras of old, with a deep handgrip on the right and an information panel on top. However, the power switch is now a knurled dial.

A small change that really doesn’t work well in practice, as trying to quickly turn on the camera to get a picture now takes more effort than necessary. The vertical orientation of the front dial didn’t sit right either, nor was it the most responsive.

We do like the implementation of a new Multi-function Bar though. This is a bar that sits just beneath the top information panel that you can slide your thumb across or tap on either side to activate different settings. You can assign a good number of settings to this bar, so we think you will definitely find a way to add this into your work flow.

Unlike the other contenders, there’s no in-body image stabilization (IBIS) with this camera. Coupled with the fact that there’s only a single card slot with the camera (that takes SD UHS-II); you get the feeling the camera is an offering for amateurs rather than serious photographers.

AT A GLANCE

SENSOR

Full-frame CMOS with Dual Pixel AF

RESOLUTION

30.3-megapixels

DIMENSIONS

135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4 mm

WEIGHT (BODY WITH BATTERY AND MEMORY CARD):

660g

PRICE (BODY ONLY)

$3,399.00

NIKON Z6

Of all the cameras in this shootout, the 24.5 MP Nikon Z6 feels most like a traditional SLR. The handgrip is nicely proportioned, and the controls are well laid-out, so points to Nikon for maintaining consistency there.

It uses an entirely new Z-mount, which is much shallower and wider. Nikon says the new design makes it easier to direct light into the corners of the sensor, which in turn lets them develop lenses with wider apertures, like the upcoming 58mm f/0.95 Noct. Also new, is a customizable control ring that replaces the usual focus ring on your lens. You can use this to manually adjust focus as usual, or set it to adjust other functions to best fit your shooting style.

There’s also a new FZ-mount adapter introduced. This has a mechanical aperture lever built in, so you can use AF-S and AF-I lenses with full aperture control on the new Z-series cameras. Older AF-D lenses will only get autoexposure, and AI lenses will only get full metering, but this means that practically all current Nikon users will be able to continue using their existing lenses. As of right now, there’s no option to buy any Z-series camera without the FZ adapter bundled in. This may be fine for current Nikon users, but certainly seems like an additional cost involved to purchase the camera if you don’t have any Nikon lenses to begin with.

Like the EOS-R, the Z6 has also integrated full touch into their menu system, making it easy to dive into menus, get to settings and review images. What’s different is that the Z6 also comes with an AFselector joystick (much like the D500), which makes it easier to set focus. Something worth noting though, is that the Z6 only takes a single XQD slot, so you’ll need a completely new set of memory cards if you’ve been using SD or CF thus far.

AT A GLANCE

SENSOR

FX BSI-CMOS

RESOLUTION

24.5-megapixels

DIMENSIONS

134.0 x 100.0 x 67.5 mm

WEIGHT (BODY WITH BATTERY AND MEMORY CARD):

675g

PRICE (BODY ONLY)

$3,249.00

SONY A7 III

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