Canon EOS R Low Light Photography

One of the features that stood out to me when looking at the EOS R was it’s low light capabilities. The 5D and 6D bodies are all great in low light – but the mirrorless technology gives this camera a couple things that DSLRs just don’t have – you view your image as it will appear when captured. Also, the light in your scene can be electronically magnified for focusing in very dim conditions. It’s similar to shooting in live view mode with the 5D Mark IV, but I believe the new technology makes focusing even better. Basically using the 5D Mark IV sensor, with an updated image processing chip (DIGIC 8) helps achieve a focusing sensitivity to EV -6. I wasn’t sure what that would really mean, but when you focus in low light, the sensor does a great job of magnifying the light (the viewfinder gets visibly brighter during low light focusing, and it works great.

I don’t have a ton of mirrorless experience – so maybe this is how they all work. I’m just not sure. What I am sure of though, is that I like the way it works. Because the viewfinder very closely simulates what your final exposure will look like, you know before you hit the shutter button if you will have a good capture or not. You can adjust your exposure – compensate or just change your manual settings – to get a good shot, but you see it before you shoot – instead of having to review your images to see how they look.

I was shooting some sunrise photos this morning (the featured image for this post) and the exposure was off slightly, but still ok. I took several shots in shutter priority before realizing my f-stop was off (blinking in the viewfinder). My images were still ok though – I was just shooting because I was anxious to capture an unusual sunrise (and it was 6am), and I just wasn’t paying attention. I think I could have gotten at least a few black images in my 5D Mark IV before I realized what I was doing. It’s just different than I’m used to with my DSLRs, but is fairly intuitive because you’re seeing what the final image will look like in the viewfinder before you shoot.

So, for low light photography, I think the EOS R significantly improves focusing ability, and improves my ability to capture an acceptable image because I actually see a close facsimile of what my capture will look like. Just another plus (or 2), in my mind, for the EOS R.