Canon EOS RP hands on: first shoot with the full-frame mirrorless revealed

Canon EOS RP hands on: first shoot with the compact full-frame mirrorless camera
Photographer Gergo Kazsimer used the Canon EOS RP to capture spectacular South African sights in a variety of light conditions – even under starlight. © Fergus Kennedy

"For me, photography really goes with nature and hiking," says photographer Gergo Kazsimer. "I like to be outside, and once I'm there I like to save the moment and share the experience. It's also a way to express myself, because what I see and what I photograph is somehow about me too. It's about showing people the world through my eyes."

Gergo works as a fraud analyst for an online bank, based in Munich, Germany, but during weekends and holidays he loves getting out into the natural world with his camera. These trips, either solo or with friends, can be as short as a day or as long as a couple of weeks. His resulting pictures of landscapes and nature are popular: he has around 10,000 Instagram followers, has sold images through Getty Images, and one of his shots was used as a pre-installed iPhone wallpaper. His hobby is taking him to amazing places already.

His most recent journey was the trip of a lifetime to photograph the spectacular landscapes of South Africa's Western Cape province. It was his first visit to the country and he says the scenery was unlike anything he had encountered before. "It was amazing," he says. "It's not too much to say that it was one of the best experiences of my life."

A rhino with its horn missing.
The Canon EOS RP is a practical full-frame camera for people looking to step up to full-frame, and is particularly suited to travel and landscapes. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens at 200mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6 and ISO100. © Gergo Kazsimer
An African lion portrait.
The Canon EOS RP is Wi-Fi enabled so you can control the camera remotely and share images easily using the free Canon Camera Connect app. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens at 400mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6 and ISO400. © Gergo Kazsimer
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Gergo was not only exploring a new landscape for the first time, he was also one of the first photographers to try out the Canon EOS RP. This full-frame mirrorless camera has a 26.2-megapixel sensor and full-frame quality in a compact and lightweight body, making it ideally suited to travel and hiking. The compact addition to the Canon EOS R series, the camera includes a vari-angle touchscreen with up to 4,799 autofocus positions. "The biggest advantage of the camera for me is definitely touchscreen, it's really useful when it comes to my work," Gergo says.

Like the professional-level Canon EOS R, it can be used with the revolutionary RF lenses as well as existing EF and EF-S lenses via a choice of three adapters, without compromising optical performance. Gergo found it was easy to make the transition from his Canon EOS 6D and to use his existing lenses, as well as the RF lens range.

"When I first held the camera in my hand, it was a very nice feeling because it felt familiar to my other Canon cameras, thanks to the ergonomic design,” he says. “I have tried the EOS R, and the EOS RP is similar but smaller and more compact. It fits the hand well and is really easy to use. Even the menu system is 90% the same as the one I am used to using."

A bird in a tree silhouetted against an African sunset.
"I like to use a long lens to compress the scene and isolate details, but I also keep a close eye on the foreground,” says Gergo. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens at 400mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6 and ISO1600. © Gergo Kazsimer
The Avon Gorge and Bristol's Clifton Suspension Bridge at night.

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Starting out

Gergo, who was born in Hungary, says his passion for nature began at a young age, during frequent travels to different countries with his parents. "I was always looking for a nice spot we could stop by, like a lake or a mountain, where we could just hang out for a while," he remembers.

Gergo started taking photographs in 2009, when he bought a Canon EOS 500D. In the following years he became more serious about his hobby and began going on hikes with the aim of taking photos. As his skills developed, he realised he needed a camera upgrade.

He felt comfortable with Canon's intuitive menu and ergonomic design, so bought the full-frame, 20-megapixel EOS 6D shortly after it was released in 2014, and added full-frame lenses such as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. "I wanted a camera that was full-frame so it has more capabilities, let in more light, had a better quality sensor, produced better quality pictures and a higher number of megapixels."

He says taking photographs in the environments he most enjoys is a great way to escape from the pressures of his job. "During the week, I’m in front of a computer, looking at a screen all day. Then at weekends and on holidays I'm out in nature. I can just switch off and concentrate on something else. It's somewhere I can relax and be creative at the same time."

A bee in a pink flower.
Gergo finds nature photography is a great way to relieve stress. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/200 sec, f/8 and ISO800. © Gergo Kazsimer
A tall purple flower.
The landscapes and nature of South Africa varied dramatically on Gergo’s trip, from the greenery of Jonkershoek Nature Reserve to the dry and dusty Cederberg mountains. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens at 1/50 sec, f/11 and ISO100. © Gergo Kazsimer

Gergo specialises in travel, landscapes and nature photography, and most of his work is shot in Europe and Scandinavia. He says he is constantly learning and aims to keep improving his work. "Most people go out and take a nice picture of the scenery and that's it, but I'm always looking for something extra," he says.

"I like to use a long lens to compress the scene and isolate details, but I also keep a close eye on the foreground, so I can include something that catches the eye and gives depth to the picture.

“I always take the time to make sure everything's perfect when I shoot and process my photos."

A man changes lenses on a Canon EOS RP.
The Canon EOS RP features the groundbreaking RF mount, giving you access to RF lenses as well as EF and EF-S lenses, using a mount adapter. © Fergus Kennedy

South Africa and the Canon EOS RP

On this trip, Gergo travelled to locations in South Africa's Western Cape province. He photographed in countryside near the town of Stellenbosch and explored the lush valleys and mountains of the nearby Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. He also hiked through the Cederberg mountains nature reserve, located around 300km north of Cape Town.

The landscapes were spectacular, but the shoot wasn't without its challenges. "On the first day, there was a great sunset, and I was expecting the same in the following days, but it didn't happen," Gergo says. "The sky was just pure blue, with no clouds or attractive light. When this happens, I remove the sky as much as I can and concentrate more on the landscape itself.

"The landscape in Jonkershoek was really beautiful; everything was green and there weren’t many rocks in the mountains. I shot pictures throughout the day, even in harsh light. Then in Cederberg it was more desert-like and there were extraordinary rock formations in the wilderness, whose colours looked amazing when the sun was going down and the last light of the day was hitting them."

A red rock formation in South Africa.
To emphasise the vibrant colours of the blue skies and red rocks, Gergo tried using variable ND and circular polarising filters, which he slotted into the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens at 1/320 sec, f/11 and ISO200. © Gergo Kazsimer
The Milky Way and stars above rock formations in South Africa.
The Canon EOS RP’s EVF meant Gergo could see his compositions before firing the shutter even in near-darkness. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 15 secs, f/2.8 and ISO3200. © Gergo Kazsimer

"It was also a great location for shooting starscapes, so I also shot the Milky Way around midnight. Using the EVF [electronic viewfinder] was a great advantage, as I could see everything clearly, even in darkness, and I could check and adjust the exposure."

The Canon EOS RP’s low light features include accurate AF functionality down to -5EV* (a brightness between moonlight and starlight), an ISO range extending up to 40,000 (or 102,4000 in Expanded mode) and an EVF with 2.36 million dots that shows a true simulation of shots even in near-darkness.

Gergo found that the light weight of the Canon EOS RP – at just 485g including the battery and memory card – meant a welcome reduction in the amount he had to carry on a hike. The vari-angle touchscreen was also particularly useful for his work, allowing him to rotate it and see and operate controls through the screen whatever viewpoint he chose. The flexibility offered by the vari-angle screen enabled him to shoot from angles and viewpoints that he hadn't used before.

Even when using the EVF, Gergo could still use the touchscreen with his thumb to select a point of focus, which was fast and accurate using up to 4,799 focus positions.

"You can scroll with your thumb and select the focus point, which is such a useful feature. It's fast and I used it a lot. Even though it was a new feature, I was completely used to using it after a couple of attempts," says Gergo. "You can select your focus wherever you want it to be and this is something new to me. It was extremely accurate."

A man holds a Canon EOS RP by a stream.
Gergo took advantage of the Canon EOS RP’s vari-angle touchscreen and light weight to get low and close to nature as he travelled around South Africa. © Fergus Kennedy
A tree is in the foreground, a mountain behind.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF in the Canon EOS RP helped Gergo to focus accurately on all subjects. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with a Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens at 45mm, 1/1600 sec, f/4.0 and ISO200. © Gergo Kazsimer

Adding filters to the Canon EOS RP

The main lens he used on the shoot was the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM. "It's not a big lens and fits on the camera pretty nicely," Gergo says. "It's really sharp and I loved using it. I also used the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM when I needed a longer lens, especially for photographing wildlife. It's a little heavy, but it's a great quality lens and the range of focal lengths is just awesome."

Gergo also made use of the optional Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, which makes it possible to use filters without having to fit them to the front of the lens. He used both a variable ND filter and a circular polariser.

"You use a dial to change the strength of the effect, which was a feature I've never tried before," he explains. "Unlike some front-of-lens filters, it gives a good, even effect across the frame.

"It’s very handy to have something you can just slide into the lens. You can also save money because it's a smaller piece of glass than a front-of-lens filter, and it's easy to use."

Gergo Kazsimer takes a photo with the Canon EOS RP.
The Canon EOS RP system has 5-axis Image Stabilization, which helps eliminate the risk of camera shake when shooting handheld. © Fergus Kennedy

Gergo says his first experiences with the Canon EOS RP were extremely positive and he believes the portability of this full-frame mirrorless camera perfectly suits his landscape, travel and nature photography work.

Gergo is optimistic about his future. He plans to continue to enjoy his photography while combining it with his day job for now, but one day aims to make the leap to becoming a professional nature photographer. "The ambition to be a full-time photographer has always been there," he says.

"I like to take on a challenge, and in my career I have always moved from one country to another when a better opportunity has arisen. Maybe this will happen with my photography. I don't know yet. Just to concentrate on photography would be really awesome."

Written by David Clark

* During still photo shooting, f/1.2, Center AF point, One-Shot AF, at 23°C, ISO100

Gergo Kazsimer's kitbag

The key kit for travel adventures

Gergo Kazsimer’s photography kitbag with lenses, hiking kit and a Canon EOS RP.


Canon EOS RP

"The EOS RP is similar to the EOS R but smaller and more compact. It fits the hand well and is really easy to use. Even the menu system is 90% the same as the one I am used to using," says Gergo.


Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

A compact, high-performance 100-400mm zoom lens with a 4-stop Image Stabilizer and high-quality optics that deliver superb sharpness. "A great quality lens," Gergo says, "and the range of focal lengths is just awesome."

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