Canon has worked hard to catch up to the rest of the crowd when it comes to mirrorless cameras. The brand’s first ever full-frame mirrorless was the EOS R and this was followed in February 2019 by the RP, a more affordable version that still offers impressive features. Photographers considering the EOS RP may also be interested in the Canon 90D – Canon’s top of the range APS-C crop sensor camera that was released in August 2019 as is not only the spiritual successor to the 80D DSLR, but also picked up where Canon’s insanely popular 7D Mark II camera, too. So, DSLR or mirrorless? Let’s drill down into the specification sheets and take a look so we can help you decide which camera is right for your photography.
One – Body design
There are obviously some huge differences between the two cameras thanks to the design of their mounts. The APS-C 90D uses Canon’s tried and tested EF-mount, which enables the 90D to use both EF and EF-S lenses, of which there are a huge number available from Canon and third-party manufacturers like Tamron and Sigma. The EOS RP however uses Canon’s newer RF mount and although at present there are fewer lenses available, this selection is improving all the time. What’s more. RP users can still use EF optics via an adaptor. Despite the 90D being lightweight for a DSLR (tipping the scales at just 701g), the RP is the lighter and more compact option at just 485g. Both cameras offer weather sealing, which may be of interest to landscape photographers who will encounter bad weather when out in the field.
Two – Resolution
Despite the EOS RP featuring a full-frame sensor, it’s the APS-C crop sensor 90D that actually serves up the higher resolution. The 33-megapixel 90D offers a maximum file size of 6960 x 4640 pixels, while the 26-megapixel full-frame EOS RP offers 6240×4160 pixels, meaning that while the 90D is higher, both cameras are still capable of making A3 prints and enabling photographers to crop in on frames without overly compromising on image quality. It’s worth noting as well that both cameras use the same powerful DIGIC 8 processor engine.
Three – Viewfinders and LCDs
Obviously, it goes without saying there will be a difference between the two cameras when it comes to viewfinders. While DSLR 90D features a traditional Optical Viewfinder, the mirrorless EOS RP features a 2360k dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). Both models feature a touch-sensitive 1040k dot 3-inch LCD with a vari-angle design, which is useful for setting up awkward low/high compositions and for filming Vlog-style video.
Four – Video
Talking of video, both cameras offer the ability to capture ultra high-quality 4K footage, but there is a difference as where the EOS RP tops out at a 4K 25p frame rate, the 90D can shoot 4K 30p. Both cameras can shoot Full HD footage at 60p, but the 90D comes out ahead again by offering a Full HD high frame rate (120p) mode that enables photographers to create epic slow motion sequences. Both the 90D DSLR and the mirrorless EOS RP offer ports for both external headphones and microphones, enabling enhanced audio to be both captured and monitored.
Five – Battery life
DSLRs typically offer superior battery life over mirrorless cameras and this is indeed the case between the 90D and EOS RP. While the 90D is good for 1300 shots on a single charge and uses the same battery as many other Canon cameras, including the 7D Mark II and 5D Mark IV, which may of interest to photographers who already use Canon bodies and want to add the 90D to their set-up. Meanwhile, the EOS RP offers up to 250 shots on a single charge, although the RP can be charged up on the go via a powerbank.
Six – Burst speeds
If you shoot a lot of wildlife or sports photography, you’re likely to be interested in the burst rate speeds of any potential new camera. The EOS RP serves up a maximum burst rate of five frames per second, which is decent enough for everyday photography but falls short for those who regularly shoot action. However, the Canon 90D serves up 10 frames per second, making it ideal for sports and wildlife photography, especially when you factor in the 1.6x crop factor that increases the effective focal length of lenses – for example, a 70-300mm lens becomes a 112-480mm optic.
Seven – Focus points
When Canon’s mirrorless cameras were released, there was one specification that people had to read twice because while the 90D can offer a decent 45-point AF system, the EOS RP serves up 4779 AF points. Both cameras include face-detection technology, which will make a portrait photographer’s life easier and both models also feature Canon’s acclaimed Dual-Pixel AF technology so photographers won’t be let down when trying to lock focus onto a subject.
Eight – ISO range
A wide ISO range ensures photographers can keep shooting in low light conditions so it’s good to hear both cameras offer a high ISO ceiling – however, there is a difference between the two. The 90D DSLR features a native ISO of 100-25600, which can be expanded to ISO 51200, however the EOS RP offers a wider range – with a native ISO of 100-40000 that can be expanded to 102400 – enabling photographers to shoot in virtual darkness.
9 – Additional features
While both cameras share a number of features, such as the LCD display and menu interface, there’s a number of additional features that differ between the two models. For example, the 90D offers a built-in pop up flash, which is missing from the EOS RP. While both cameras record stills and video to a single SD card, the position is different with the 90D featuring the more traditional side slot and RP users accessing the slot via the bottom of the camera where the battery compartment sits. Lastly. The 90D features the faster maximum shutter speed (1/8000sec vs the RP’s 1/4000sec).