Reviews |Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS R8 review

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Our Verdict

The Canon EOS R8 is perfect for content creators, students and those looking to step into full-frame photography. It combines a lightweight, compact design with powerful features from the EOS R6 Mark II. Its 24MP sensor delivers high-quality images in a range of lighting. It’s also fast (40fps) and responsive, with advanced autofocus and robust video capabilities for an entry-level model, making it a great choice for both photos and videos. However, it lacks in-body stabilisation and there are some ergonomic compromises like the lack of a joystick for AF control. While its battery life is better than expected, additional batteries are recommended for long sessions. Overall, the EOS R8 is an excellent entry into full-frame mirrorless cameras, offering good value. Canon’s ongoing innovations with the EOS R system make the R8 a compelling DSLR alternative.


  • Small and light for full-frame
  • Excellent subject detection AF
  • 40fps shooting capability


  • No joystick
  • No in-body stabilisation
  • Smaller capacity battery than other full-frame Canon EOS R-series cameras

What is the Canon EOS R8?

The Canon EOS R8 is a new lightweight, full-frame mirrorless camera that sits above the EOS RP and below the EOS R6 Mark II in Canon’s EOS R system. It’s aimed at content creators, students and those using APS-C cameras who might want the resolution of a full-frame camera but with the smaller form factor that they’re currently used to.

The EOS R8 body is based on the design of the EOS RP, but internally it inherits a lot of the power and functionality of its sibling, the EOS R6 Mark II, including the sensor.

Will the R8 be enough to put the DSLR vs mirrorless camera debate to bed for good?

Canon EOS R8 Price and Availability

The Canon EOS R8 price tag starts at £1,699.99 for the body only and rises to £1,899.99 for the body plus the new RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 STM standard zoom lens, which was announced on the same day as the camera. The lens on its own retails for £379.99, meaning the lens kit price tag marks nearly a 50% savings on the standard zoom lens.


  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: February 2023
  • Sensor: 24.2MP Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Processor: Digic X
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-102,400 expandable to ISO 50-204,801, Video: ISO 100-25,600 expandable to ISO 102,400
  • File formats: Raw, C-Raw + Jpeg/HEIF, MP4
  • Continuous shooting rate: Electronic 1st curtain: 6fps for 1000+ Jpeg or Raw or C-Raw, Electronic shutter: 40fps for 120 Jpeg or 56 Raw or 100 C-Raw images, or 30fps with 0.5 second pre-record for a maximum of 158 images
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98fps) inter frame (IPB) / (IPB Light)
  • Colour sampling for internal recording: 4K / Full HD – YCbCr4:2:0 8 bit or YCbCr4:2:2 10 bit
  • Log: Canon Log 3
  • Autofocus system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection with Eye/Face Detection and Tracking AF (people, animals and vehicles), Movie Servo AF
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch 2.36million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 119.98fps refresh rate (59.94fps in power save mode)
  • Screen: 3-inch 1.62-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Stabilisation: Digital or lens-based only
  • Storage: 1x SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions: 132.5 x 86.1 x 70.0mm
  • Weight: 414g body only / 461 g with card and battery
Canon EOS R8 review: front of camera


Inside the Canon EOS R8 is the same 24.2-million-pixel sensor that debuted in the Canon EOS R6 Mark II near the end of 2022. It also uses Canon’s latest Digic X image processor. This combination enables the R8 to provide a native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 102,400, which can be expanded up to ISO 204,800.

Like the R6 Mark II, the EOS R8 is built for speed and can shoot at up to 40fps with its electronic shutter. Interestingly, the R8 doesn’t have a mechanical front shutter, only a rear one. This means that the exposure is started with a digital shutter ‘opening’, but it’s ended when the rear mechanical shutter closes.

The R8 also includes Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology, which means there’s phase detection focusing across the sensor. It’s also capable of focusing in light levels as low as -6.5 EV and boasts three Flexible AF Zones with Eye Tracking, and AF tracking is available in all shooting modes. What’s more, Canon has added horses, planes and trains to its list of subject detection modes. This take the full list to Humans(Eye, Face, Head, Body), Animals (Dogs, Cats, Birds and Horses) or Vehicles (Racing cars or Motor bikes, Aircraft and Trains).

As for video, the R8 can record 4K video at 60fps, which is oversampled from 6K footage for greater quality. Users can shoot in Full HD at up to 180fps. Video can only be recorded in MP4 format but there are H264 and H265 codecs, plus there are ports to connect an external microphone, headphones, remote release and HDMI cable.

The R8 is limited to shooting 30 minutes of 4K/60p and 1080/120 footage, and you can shoot up to 20 minutes of full HD footage at 180fps (1080/180). However, dropping the frame rate for 4K or Full HD video to 30p extends the clip duration to up to two hours – assuming you have enough power and storage.

Like the R6 Mark II, Canon has included its 3- and 5-second Pre-Record functionality, as well as False Color to assist with video exposure and C-Log3 for greater dynamic range.

Users will also find Canon’s Feature Guide and Mode Guide on hand as well as the Focus Bracketing feature.

It’s worth noting that the EOS R8 does not include IBIS (in-body image stabilisation), but there’s digital stabilisation for video.

Canon EOS R8 review: flip-out screen

Build and Handling

At just 461g with its battery and SD card, the Canon EOS R8 is the lightest full-frame camera in the EOS R system and one of the smallest full-frame cameras on the market overall. At 132.5 x 86.1 x 70.0mm (WxHxD), it’s smaller than Nikon entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z5 (134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm).

With my index finger on the shutter button, there’s just enough room on the R8’s grip to accommodate my other four fingers, but I frequently tuck the end of my little finger underneath.

Canon EOS R8 review: top of camera

Canon has based the body design on the Canon EOS RP, however, it also features some of the design changes that were added to the R6 Mark II. In fact the top-plate is near identical to the R6 Mark II as the R8 inherits the on/off switch on the right side of the body, while the stills/video switch sits on the left. The latter means that users have access to all of the mode dial options while in video mode.

There’s also the familiar exposure mode dial to the right of the viewfinder hump, while the red record button is to the left of the power switch.

Canon EOS R8 review: back of camera

The back of the R8 is more similar to the RP than the R6 II. For instance, like the RP, the R8 doesn’t have a joystick for setting the AF point and making menu selections. I miss this control because its a quicker and easier way to work. By default, you have to press a button on the back of the camera before the navigation pad can be used to shift the focus point around. This slows you down. Fortunately, the button press can be avoided with a trip to the customisation options in the menu to set the navigation pad to set the AF point directly. As the navigation pad is lower down on the camera body than the natural resting point for your thumb, you have to reach down to make adjustments. It’s not as convenient as using a joystick but its far better than a two-step process involving a button press.

Of course, you can set the AF point with a tap on the screen if you’re composing images or video on the screen rather than in the viewfinder.

Another omission from the R8 in comparison with the R6 II and the Canon R5, is the large control wheel on the back of the camera. That’s handy for scrolling quickly through menu options, but as I like using the touch control, it’s not a major loss for me.

Canon EOS R8 review: back of camera

Canon R8 viewfinder and screen

Full-frame mirrorless cameras often have a 0.5-inch viewfinder, so the 0.39-inch unit on the Canon R8 is a bit smaller than we’ve become used to. However, the R8 is an entry-level full-framer so there have to be a few compromises made along the way to keep the price down. In use, the 0.39-inch 2.36million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder in the R8 proves more than adequate. It gives a clear, accurate preview of the image. It also has a refresh rate of 119.98fps, which movement looks smooth and there’s the option to drop down to 59.94fps by selecting the power save mode.

Meanwhile, the 3-inch 1.62-million dot vari-angle touchscreen is pretty standard fare for Canon. The R6 II has the same screen while the Canon R5 has a more luxurious 3.15-inch 2.1-million dot vari-angle touchscreen. The R8’s screen performs well showing a good level of detail and not suffering excessively from reflections. It’s also responsive to touch and it’s possible to navigate the main and quick menus with taps.

Is the Canon EOS R8 weather sealed?

According to Canon, the R8 is primarily constructed from a magnesium alloy (partially aluminium alloy and partially polycarbonate resin with glass fibre). And while it is lightweight, the R8 feels well put together. There are no squeaks or creaks when I grip it tightly and the dials feel secure. According to Canon, the camera is also resistant to dust and weather, but it’s not thought to be to the same degree as the R6 Mark II.

Naturally, the weather sealing is only effective as long as the card/battery storage door, terminal covers and hot shoe cover are securely attached and closed. Canon is also careful to point out that while the R8 has a dust- and water-resistant construction, it cannot completely prevent dust or water droplets from entering the camera.

Canon EOS R8 review: memory card


The Canon EOS R8 is an excellent performer that delivers good exposures (guides by the accurate preview in the viewfinder sea screen), colour and detail. A 24MP sensor is a popular choice that balances image size and noise control very well.

Canon R8 Image Quality

The Canon R8 has a maximum native sensitivity setting of ISO 102,400, and the results actually look good for such a high setting. However, they won’t pass muster aesthetically in many situations. They are fine for recording events, or evidence for instance, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to make large prints of them. Generally, I’d be inclined to keep to ISO 25,600 or lower whenever possible.

At ISO 51,200 the R8 produces raw files that look quite grainy at 33% (around 8×12 inches) on a computer while ISO 25,600 raw files have a similar gritty look when viewed at 100% on screen, and there’s a hint of smoothing in the Jpegs. Dropping the ISO 25,600 files to around 50% magnification, which is the point at which the files fill a 27-inch monitor, improves their appearance and they look very good. However, images captured at ISO 12,800 are sharper and have more fine detail.

Colours from the R8 are typically Canon, by which I mean pleasantly but not excessively vibrant in the default settings. That means that Jpegs are generally share-ready while raw files give scope for taking and personalisation. There’s also good dynamic range, which means that shadows don’t turn completely black nor the highlight burn out too quickly. Should the need arise, you can also expect to be able to brighten low ISO images by 3EV or a little more if necessary.


Even in gloomy conditions, the Canon R8 is quick to focus, and generally the subject detection system, which can track Humans(Eye, Face, Head, Body), Animals (Dogs, Cats, Birds and Horses) or Vehicles (Racing cars or Motor bikes, Aircraft and Trains) works well. However, the subject detection isn’t infallible. There were several occasions when it picked a non-existent subject, for instance, and when photographing my dog it occasionally decided his nostril was an eye when both his eyes were in the frame. Similarly, when photographing ducks it could detect their eyes, but sometimes would latch onto their rear feathers instead.

Canon’s subject detection system can be combined with its AF Area modes and in most situations, if the selected subject type isn’t in the frame, the camera defaults to focusing on the subject under the AF area. If the camera doesn’t detect a subject in Whole Area AF mode, it can usually be persuaded to by using one of the smaller AF area options. When a smaller area such as Expand AF Area is selected, the R8 usually picks up subjects under or closely surrounding that area. However, it can still throw in a curve ball now and then, either not spotting the subject or jumping onto something else. In these situations, the solution is to turn off the subject detection and rely on the selected AF Area instead.

The R8’s ‘standard’ autofocus system works extremely well, getting subjects sharp quickly and keeping them in focus if they move and it’s set to in Servo mode.

Canon R8 Video performance

The video specifications of the Canon EOS R8 are remarkably extensive for an entry-level full-frame Canon camera. The footage it captures is also excellent with the 4K video downsampled from 6K particularly impressing.

I shot with the Canon RF 24-50mm f4.5-6.3 IS STM, which is widely sold with the R8. While this is a stabilised lens, there’s still some shake visible in much of my handheld footage. Activating the in-camera Digital IS, however, deals with it very well albeit at the expense of a significant crop.

The focus system performs as well in video mode as it does when shooting stills, and the exposure and colours are consistent in the two modes.

As usual, the onboard mic does a decent of recording ambient sound provided that there’s no wind, but the first hint of wind reminds you that you really should use an external mic with a wind muff.

Canon EOS R8 review: battery

Canon R8 Battery Life

On paper, the Canon R8’s battery life is disappointing at just 220 shots when using the viewfinder. Having shot with the earliest mirrorless cameras, I have developed a habit of turning a camera off between shots. Sometimes it drives me mad that I do it, but it’s a reflex. This put me in good stead with the R8 because after shooting 272 images (raw and Jpeg so 474 files), the battery life icon had only dropped by one bar. Another 86 images (172 files) later, and the status was down to half. Then just 30 more shots saw th battery indicator drop to zero and flash red. This gives a total life of 361, not huge but significantly higher than the CIPA rating.

CIPA’s rating often don’t reflect the real-world battery life, but I would still recommend buying at least one spare battery to go with the R8.

Canon EOS R8 Sample Images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images from the Canon EOS R8. Please respect our copyright.

Canon EOS R8 Sample Video

This video was shot on the Canon EOS R8 with the Canon RF 24-50mm f4.5-6.3 IS STM lens. It was shot in 4K 50p and two clips are slowed to 50%. It was all hand-held, occasionally with the camera resting on a convenient rail. There are two clips (indicated) in which the onboard Digital IS was activated.


The Canon EOS R8 is a solid choice for content creators, students, and APS-C camera users seeking a full-frame model in a relatively compact form. Its lightweight design, combined with robust features inherited from the EOS R6 Mark II, offers a blend of convenience and quality. The 24MP sensor strikes a good balance between image size and noise control, delivering impressive results in various lighting conditions. The camera’s high-speed capabilities, efficient autofocus system with expanded subject detection, and commendable video performance make it versatile for both photography and videography.

However, the lack of in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) and some ergonomic compromises, like the absence of a joystick for AF point selection, are notable limitations. While the battery life exceeds expectations, it still suggests the need for spares during extended shoots. Overall, the EOS R8, with its compact size and feature-rich profile, stands out as an attractive option for those entering the full-frame mirrorless arena, offering good value for its price point.

Though it was later to the game, Canon has persisted and innovated its EOS R system each year, finding new gaps in the market and giving photographers more reason to ditch their DSLRs. The R8 looks set to push this even further.