Please check out our other articles as they come out in this series, and of course the article from yesterday about the #3 on our lists.
Craig’s #2: Canon EOS R8 Camera
Picking the runner-up was probably the hardest part (really not that hard) of making the list. Part of it was getting over personal bias and my love for the EOS R50, but I don’t think it was the best camera package released in 2023. That goes to the EOS R8 for me. Both of those cameras are obviously for different purposes and budgets.
The EOS R8 is essentially the follow-up to the EOS RP, which was a fine camera, albeit built from the EF era parts bin. The EOS R8 feels like an original EOS R camera. I felt it was good value at its $1499 launch price, but now you can get one for anywhere between $1000-$1200 regularly, which makes it an even better value.
Canon gave the EOS R8 all that was needed for it in my opinion to be the best value full-frame camera for photography on the market.
The one knock? I do wish it had a joystick, but there are always trade-offs in value segments.
I have been shooting with the EOS R8/RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM combo for about a month now and I am happy that it really doesn’t matter how much you spend, great results for general shooters are pretty much available across the board.
Richard’s #2: Canon RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM
I still remember when Canon announced the TS-E 17mm in 2009. Really up to that point, it was pretty much a running joke that Canon couldn’t make a half-decent ultra-wide lens for either love or money. It was so bad that there was a run on Canon EF to Nikon F adapters to use the now legendary Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8G because Canon had no answer to that lens.
Fast forward to today, and Canon has left that all in the dust, as they have flexed their optical design muscles in creating ultra-wide after ultra-wide that have been excellent performers, whether it be for the RF, EF-M, or the EF mount.
That brings me to this. Canon once again, goes “because we can…” in creating the widest full-frame constant aperture zoom lens to date. By all accounts, Canon left nothing on the table when it comes to performance, as we showed in our MTF analysis here.
This will be one of those halo lenses for some time to come, and if you want to go wide, there’s nothing out there that can match this lens.
I suspect this lens will be in short supply for most of its life – for starters, it’s really difficult even with automated manufacturing and assembly to do a lens like this consistently, so Canon will take their time in production and testing. Secondly, it’s a freaking 10-20mm lens on a full frame.
I had another pick in this slot, and while over breakfast, I thought about it and decided on the 10-20mm instead. My honorable #2 position item is the R50 camera body.
I picked this camera not because it was the best, but because it was the best in its price range and strategically important for Canon to come out with a competitive, cheap camera in the same vein as the M50.
For those that aren’t aware, the EOS-M M50 was an insanely popular camera for Canon and probably kept Canon’s camera market share in the high 40s for a few years. This is what the R50 should be for Canon. It’s surprisingly almost the same size as the M50 but with the bigger RF mount. The control layout also is nearly the same between the two cameras. That to me, indicates that Canon wants this camera to be the next M50. Strategically this is one of the best cameras that Canon did this year in my opinion, as it rounds out the lower end of the system with a capable camera that is competitive in the marketplace, but the Canon RF 10-20mm is just a little more awesome.
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