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Canon EOS R8 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.12
Reviewed May 10, 2023 at 09:57 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 10, 2023 at 09:57 am
Canon EOS R8 Picture
8.2
Travel Photography
8.6
Landscape Photography
7.7
Sport & Wildlife Photography
8.5
Vlogging
9.2
Studio Video
5.4
Action Video

The Canon EOS R8 is the entry-level model in Canon's full-frame mirrorless lineup, offering a more portable and affordable alternative to higher-end models like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. In that respect, it's very similar to the Canon EOS RP from 2019. It has a similarly cheap build and poor battery life but with an excellent sensor and significantly improved video capabilities that make this a great choice for photographers who want full-frame image and video quality without spending a fortune. 

Our Verdict

8.2 Travel Photography

The Canon R8 is great for travel photography. It's relatively lightweight and portable for a full-frame camera. Its sensor captures very high-quality images, and it has a very effective autofocus system. That said, battery life is disappointing, and its build quality is just decent, with no weather-sealing.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Lightweight and fairly portable.
  • Fantastic autofocus.
Cons
  • Poor battery life.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
8.6 Landscape Photography

The Canon R8 is excellent for landscape photography. It has a high-resolution full-frame sensor with amazing dynamic range and good noise handling for low-light situations. It's also very lightweight and relatively portable, which is good for hikes to remote locations. Unfortunately, it isn't the most well-built camera, and it has a poor battery life.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Lightweight and fairly portable.
  • Wide dynamic range.
Cons
  • Poor battery life.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
7.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Canon R8 is good for sports and wildlife photography. Though it doesn't have a fully mechanical shutter, it can shoot at a remarkably quick burst rate with its electronic shutter. However, the e-shutter can introduce unwanted artifacts, and its max shooting speed when using its electronic first-curtain shutter is somewhat slow. On the upside, its autofocus tracking is incredibly reliable, with different subject detection modes for animals, birds, or vehicles. The camera also has a fairly large buffer, especially if you prefer to shoot in JPEG, but if you do fill it up, it takes a little while to empty, which can slow you down.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Fantastic autofocus.
  • Quick burst shooting.
  • Fairly large photo buffer.
Cons
  • Poor battery life.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
  • No mechanical shutter.
8.5 Vlogging

The Canon R8 is great for vlogging, though it isn't the most portable option for on-the-go vlogs. It has a fully articulated screen that makes it easy to monitor yourself. It also captures excellent-quality video and supports Log recording for more advanced video shooters. Its autofocus system is also fantastic, ensuring you or your subjects stay in focus. That said, it has a poor battery life.

Pros
  • Lightweight and fairly portable.
  • Fantastic autofocus.
  • Fully articulated screen.
Cons
  • Poor battery life.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
9.2 Studio Video

The Canon R8 is excellent for studio video. It records oversampled 4k video, resulting in excellent overall video quality. On top of that, it supports 10-bit 4:2:2 recording internally with C-Log 3. However, it can't output RAW video. Battery life is also disappointing, and you can't record video while it's charging. On the upside, there's no recording time limit.

Pros
  • Internal 10-bit recording with C-Log 3.
  • Fantastic autofocus.
  • Amazing video quality.
Cons
  • Poor battery life.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
5.4 Action Video

The Canon R8 isn't meant for POV-style action video, but it's well-suited to recording action from the sidelines. Video quality is excellent and it has plenty of frame rate options, including 4k up to 60 fps without a crop. There's also a high frame rate mode that can record 1080p slow-motion video at up to 120 fps. That being said, the camera isn't the sturdiest, with no weather-sealing or waterproofing.

Pros
  • Fantastic autofocus.
  • Amazing video quality.
Cons
  • Not designed for action video mounts.
  • Poor battery life.
  • No weather-sealing or waterproofing.
  • Somewhat cheap-feeling build quality.
  • 8.2 Travel Photography
  • 8.6 Landscape Photography
  • 7.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 8.5 Vlogging
  • 9.2 Studio Video
  • 5.4 Action Video
  1. Updated May 10, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated May 04, 2023: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Canon R8 comes in one color: Black. You can see our unit's label here

You can buy the camera body on its own or bundled with a kit lens like the Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM. 

If you come across another variant, let us know, and we'll update our review. 

Compared To Other Cameras

With a powerful sensor and some excellent video capabilities for the money, the Canon R8 has a lot to offer for an entry-level full-frame camera. However, its relatively affordable price comes with some trade-offs in other areas, notably build quality, EVF resolution, and battery life. 

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras, the best full-frame mirrorless cameras, and the best mirrorless cameras for beginners

Canon EOS R7

The Canon EOS R7 and the Canon EOS R8 are both great cameras, but they're aimed at different users. The R7 is a higher-end APS-C camera that's better suited to sports and action photography. It's sturdier, has a mechanical shutter, and has a longer battery life. The R8, on the other hand, is an entry-level full-frame camera, so it offers better dynamic range and low-light capability. However, it doesn't feel as well-built and has a poor battery life.

Canon EOS R6

The Canon EOS R6 is a bit better than the Canon EOS R8. It's a higher-end model with better build quality and a much longer battery life. Though it has a slightly lower resolution sensor, image quality is roughly on par. It also has in-body image stabilization. That said, the R8 is more portable and uses a newer version of Canon's autofocus system. 

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is better overall than the Canon EOS R8, but they sit at different price points. Though they use the same sensor, the R6 Mark II has more to offer, with external RAW video output, a higher-resolution EVF, and in-body image stabilization. It's also weather-sealed, has a mechanical shutter option, and offers more physical controls and dials, along with dual SD card slots and a much better battery life. 

Canon EOS RP

The Canon EOS R8 is very similar to the Canon EOS RP in design and build quality. However, the R8 has a different sensor and new processor that give it an edge in image and video quality. It also has a better autofocus system, faster e-shutter burst shooting, better internal video recording capability, and more video frame rate options. 

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.6
Design
Portability
Height
3.5" (8.9 cm)
Width
5.2" (13.3 cm)
Depth
2.6" (6.6 cm)
Volume
47.6 inยณ (780.3 cmยณ)
Weight
1.04 lbs (0.47 kg)

The Canon R8 is very portable for a full-frame camera and very similar in size to the Canon EOS RP. It's super lightweight, with a thin body that's easy to carry around and won't cause much, if any, fatigue during long shooting days.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is decent but feels a bit underwhelming given the camera's price. It's made mostly of lightweight plastic and feels very similar in build quality to the Canon EOS RP. The body isn't weather-sealed, but overall, the camera feels pretty solid, despite its plasticky exterior.

Design
Body
Body Type
SLR-Style
Water Resistance
No
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
RF Mount
Built-In Flash
No
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s

While the R8 is modeled after the Canon EOS RP, it also has some design updates that follow in the footsteps of newer models like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. For example, there's now a dedicated movie mode switch, and the 'Lock' function has been integrated into the On/Off switch. You can see how the R6 II, the R8, and the RP (from left to right) compare from the front, the top, and the back.

The R8 also includes Canon's new multi-function shoe, which includes a 21-pin electronic interface that's supposed to offer more functionality with certain accessories.

There's no fully mechanical shutter on the R8. You can only choose between a fully electronic shutter or an electronic first-curtain shutter. The first-curtain shutter is good for reducing vibrations at slower shutter speeds, but it's worth noting that it can also introduce bokeh artifacts when shooting at wide-open apertures.

Design
In The Box

  • Canon EOS R8 camera body
  • Sensor cap
  • Hot shoe cover
  • Shoulder strap
  • 1x Canon LP-E17 battery
  • Battery charger
  • User manual and documentation

8.5
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

The ergonomics are excellent. It has a large textured grip that's well-suited to most hand sizes, providing ample room for your fingers to rest comfortably when using a moderate sized lens. If you need to, you can always buy the Canon EG-E1 extension grip, originally released for the RP, which attaches to the bottom of the camera and extends the grip a little for those with larger hands.

For the most part, the buttons are well-placed and accessible, making it easy to adjust settings as needed. However, the lack of a thumbstick on the back can make it tricky to adjust your autofocus point on the fly.

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.7

The EVF has a pretty standard 2.36 million-dot resolution, so you won't get the sharpest image but it's still decent. Unfortunately, the eyecup around the viewfinder is made of plastic and isn't especially comfortable.

9.6
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
929 cd/mยฒ
Advertised Resolution
1.62 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes

The R8 has a fully articulated screen. It has a higher resolution than the screen on the Canon EOS RP, providing a slightly sharper image. It also gets very bright, which is great for combatting glare on sunny days. It has full touch functionality as well, so you can use it to navigate the menus, select focus points, or as a touch shutter.

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Canon Camera Connect

The menu system is very intuitive and easy to navigate using either the touchscreen or the physical controls. The settings are clearly organized and user-friendly. There are also a lot of customization options to tailor the shooting experience to your preference and make it easier to access commonly used settings. There's also an extensive 'Help' function that provides explanations and additional information about certain settings and menu items when you press the 'Info' button.

not tested
Design
Built-In Lens
Maximum Aperture
No built-in lens
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Minimum Focal Length
N/A
Maximum Focal Length
N/A
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
N/A
Light Falloff
N/A
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.2 MP
Sensor Size
Full Frame
Processor
Digic X
Extended ISO Minimum
50
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
102,400
Tested Firmware
Ver. 1.0.0
5.3
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Canon LP-E17
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
No
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
290 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
65 min

The Canon R8 uses the same LP-E17 battery as the Canon EOS RP, which yields a relatively short battery life. It is CIPA-rated for 290 shots on a full charge when using the screen, which is slightly higher than the RP but still falls far short of cameras with larger batteries like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. When using the viewfinder, it's only rated for 150 shots, which is quite poor. That said, the camera does have power-saving settings. With power-saving enabled, the camera is rated for 370 shots using the screen and 220 shots using the viewfinder.

Video battery life is a more disappointing story. The camera lasts for just over an hour of continuous video recording in 4k at 30 fps. That's a fair bit shorter than the RP's video battery life. However, this camera does record uncropped oversampled 4k video, unlike the RP, so it makes sense that it drains the battery much quicker.

Photo General
6.0
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
3 fps
High Speed Continuous
6 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
40 fps
Raw Buffer Size
87 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
14 s

The Canon R8 has a remarkably fast max burst rate when using its electronic shutter, similar to the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. At max speed, you'll get approximately 40 fps burst shooting. However, in first-curtain shutter mode, the camera maxes out at 6 fps. Shooting in RAW, the camera's buffer fills up after just under 90 shots, which isn't bad but will fill up very quickly when shooting at the max burst rate. Once full, you also have to wait roughly 14 seconds for the buffer to clear before you can start shooting again, which is a fairly long delay, especially in situations where timing is critical. When shooting in JPEG, the buffer clears fast enough that you can effectively shoot indefinitely.

8.7
Photo General
Photo AF-C Tracking
Autofocus Tracking Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
76%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
100%

The Canon R8 uses the same autofocus system as the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, which does an excellent job of tracking moving subjects. It has various subject detection modes for animals and vehicles, on top of regular human face/eye detection. The tracking feature sticks to human subjects very well, even with trickier backgrounds or with faster movement. It's also a very intuitive autofocus system to use, with plenty of settings to fine-tune its performance to your needs. All in all, you should have a very high hit rate when letting the autofocus do its thing.

9.9
Photo General
Photo AF-C Center Point
Autofocus Center Point Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
99%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
100%

Using a single focus point, without tracking, the autofocus is quick and accurate. You should have no trouble focusing on your chosen subject, whether it's a static object or someone moving in a more predictable way.

9.0
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/5 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No

Though the R8 doesn't have in-body image stabilization, you can get very stable shots at very slow shutter speeds using an optically stabilized lens. That said, stabilization performance can vary depending on different factors, including the lens, focal length, and even how steady your hands are.

Photo Image Quality
8.9
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
11.1 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
9.7 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
7.9 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
7.3 f-stops

Dynamic range is excellent. Just like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, it can capture a very wide array of shadow and highlight detail. Even in more dim conditions, with more noise present, there's still a great amount of dynamic range.

8.8
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
2,022 LW/PH
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
2,453 LW/PH

Like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, the R8 is excellent at resolving fine detail, giving you a bit of leeway to crop your photos. However, this is mostly apparent when pixel-peeping.

8.8
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
SNR 18% At 1/8 Exposure Time (125 ms)
34.2dB
SNR 18% At 1/125 Exposure Time (8 ms)
29.4 dB
SNR 18% At 1/1000 Exposure Time (1 ms)
21.8dB
SNR 18% At 1/4000 Exposure Time (0.25 ms)
16.0dB

The camera is excellent at managing noise levels in low light. While noise is inevitable in low-light situations, the sensor keeps noise levels to a minimum when you have to bump the camera to high ISO settings.

Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No

Like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, you get oversampled 4k video recording. However, unlike that model, the R8 doesn't support external RAW video output.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
Yes
4k Video
9.5
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

The camera can capture 4k video at up to 60 fps without a crop, which is fantastic considering its price.

9.7
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
232 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
123 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:2
Bit Depth In 4k
10 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
N/A
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0

4k internal recording capability is excellent. The camera can record in 10-bit with the C-Log 3 profile, expanding your dynamic range in video and giving you more room to make color grading adjustments in post. There's also a handy 'View Assist' function for Log recording that applies a LUT when playing back videos in-camera to give you an idea of what the final product will look like.

There's no recording time limit, which is great for long-form recording. The camera also didn't overheat during our battery life test, though it did come very close to doing so. In warmer conditions, you're likely to experience some overheating when recording in 4k. It's also worth noting that this camera uses a smaller battery than the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, and its battery life is a lot shorter, meaning your effective recording time is more limited.

9.7
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
9.7
Face Tracking In 4k
9.5
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes

The autofocus is incredibly effective in video mode. In 4k, it can track and keep moving subjects in focus with little issue. You also have plenty of settings to fine-tune its performance. That includes, for example, the same setting found on the Canon EOS R6 Mark II that lets you set it to only focus on detected subjects, which helps to minimize shifting focus when a subject leaves the frame.

There's also an 'AF for close-up demos' focus mode that's available when using the camera for livestreaming or as a webcam via USB-C. Similar to the 'Product Showcase' feature found on Sony vlogging cameras like the Sony ZV-E10, it quickly switches focus to an object held up close in the frame. You can see that in action here.

8.8
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.5

Video quality is amazing overall. It looks fantastic in more controlled lighting conditions. The image is sharp and detailed. Videos also look great in low light, despite some noise. Shadow detail is preserved well and noise is minimal.

6.5
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
5.3ยฐ

Thankfully, rolling shutter is a lot better than the Canon EOS RP, with noticeably less skewing and distortion. That said, it still isn't great, especially with faster camera pans and movement.

Full HD Video
9.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

There's a high frame rate mode in FHD that lets you record slow-motion 1080p footage at up to 120 fps without sound. It's handy for incorporating super slow-mo shots into your videos. Otherwise, regular recording in 1080p is available at up to 60 fps.

9.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
30 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:2
Bit Depth In FHD
10 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
N/A

FHD internal recording capability is also amazing. Just as in 4k, you get internal 10-bit recording in C-Log 3. There's also no recording time limit, which is great for longer form content.

9.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
9.7
Face Tracking In FHD
9.5
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes

The autofocus is just as effective in 1080p as it is in 4k. It has different subject detection modes, including both face and eye detection. Its tracking feature does a fantastic job keeping moving subjects in focus, and it's very intuitive to use, with different settings to fine-tune AF performance.

8.3
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
8.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.5

1080p video quality is excellent, especially in brighter lighting conditions. It's still great in low light, too, though there's more noise and some loss of detail. Overall, though, it's impressively detailed and relatively sharp.

8.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.0ยฐ

There's much less rolling shutter effect in 1080p, which is great, though you'll still notice some wobbling and skewing with faster camera movements.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-II
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot

The Canon EOS R8 only has a single SD card slot, which is bad news for those who prefer to have a running backup while they shoot, but it's also expected at this price point. It's located in the battery compartment on the bottom of the camera, making it a little harder to switch out cards when using a tripod. However, depending on the size of your tripod head, mount, or gimbal, you may still be able to access the compartment.

9.5
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Connectivity options are great. There's a headphone jack, mic input, and Micro HDMI port to connect an external display, along with a USB-C port for charging and file transfer.