camera play

In Digital, Landscapes
Scroll this

I’ve been using the Canon 5D Mark II for my personal and professional photography for years. It originally belonged to my husband (who “borrows” it from time to time), and it’s a workhorse. I mostly shoot with my two prime lenses – the 35 and the 85 – and haven’t felt much desire to upgrade because the quality I get from it is still consistent and beautiful, and hey… while I’ve been building my business, spending money on a new camera body when what I was using was perfectly fine was not a top priority.

But with the past year of career pivots and work-from-home and reinvention, it has started to feel like it was time to think about something newer and fresher. So recently, when I went to my local camera shop to rent a zoom lens for a shoot, my partner-in-crime (i.e. husband) and I decided to also rent a camera body. Just for fun. We ended up getting the EOS R – one of Canon’s mirrorless cameras (I’m a big fan of mirrorless – my first two much-loved cameras were mirrorless). The R is not brand spankin’ new – it was first released in 2018, but that’s 10 years younger than my beloved 5D Mark II, and it would give us an insight into the newer Canon mirrorless cameras that we both have had our eye on.

We headed off to the beach (our usual playground for photography) with both cameras so we could play and compare. First off, when you’ve been shooting with the same camera for a long time, anything new feels like a wondrous and confusing thing. We kept setting the ISO wrong (rookie mistake), we didn’t realize that the rear display was a touchscreen and kept throwing off the focus and the settings when the tips of our noses poked the screen and created bewildering results.

But oh, it was fun. For one thing, it was FAST. And LIGHT. (The 5D, bless it, is weighty.) For another, it was so QUIET. When you’ve been shooting with a 13 year old camera body that is, I just have to say it, kind of loud and clunky, the whisper of the shutter with the EOS R was a delight.

We didn’t try anything too wild or crazy – it was our usual weekend outing centered pretty much around our dog and trying to keep our boots dry when sneaker waves caught us unaware.

Later on, my husband and I took both cameras for a walk in the headlands, and shot comparison photos with both cameras to make sure we weren’t losing any quality.

Have we ordered a new camera body yet? Nope! We are slow and methodical in both our research and making decisions, and we’re always looking for a good deal. But the time has come… unless we catch wind of some completely new camera to us… it’s looking like we’ll splurge on the Canon EOS R6 – a newer version of the R that we rented. Hopefully I’ll have figured out the touch screen by then.

(This is not an official review, just an opinion of a fun day with a new tool/toy.)



  1. Kim, Thanks so much for this unofficial review – much more fun to read than an overly technical official review. You’ve given me a great idea – to rent a camera before I buy. Like you I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark ii and I’m thinking of an upgrade. Love the views here and the honest conversation. I’m taking my time, too. No rush decisions, but something to consider.

    • Thank you, Donna! And definitely rent! It’s a risk free way to play without a huge investment. Let me know what you end up with!

  2. Fun day! And what a great idea to rent before buying. I’ve done that with lenses, but never a camera body. Now you make me want to go play ?

  3. The new R is the camera I’m looking into too! But I’m scared about mirrorless! Any advice?

    • Maite, I’ll DM you… but there’s no downside to mirrorless for me (my first two cameras were mirrorless Panasonics and I *loved* them). They’re lighter to use, and the Canon R bodies can use all your existing Canon lenses with a small adapter if you don’t want to upgrade to the newer lenses right away.

  4. I wish I could have joined you both on this walk. It looks like so much fun!
    And best of luck with the camera.

Comments are closed.