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