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Behind the scenes: Filming a TV Commercial Entirely on the EOS R


Have you ever shot a TV commercial with a full-frame mirrorless camera?

With the new EOS R, Canon’s first ever full-frame mirrorless camera, we wanted to find out if it was really as good as our engineers said it would be. So we gave it the ultimate challenge: Get photography professionals to shoot the entire EOS R TV commercial using ONLY the EOS R.

Watch our crew and the EOS R in action behind the scenes of the shoot for this epic EOS R TV commercial:

The result? A road-trip of epic proportions around the south coast of Australia. From grungy back alleys to rushing rivers and stunning mountain tops, the film was shot in 14 locations, over 5 days, with over 50 crew members. Best of all, we experienced the powerful features of the EOS R first-hand, and returned with a stunning film that brought to life the very things we loved about the EOS R camera. 

So is the EOS R really going to reimagine photography? Here are six things we learnt from our film director, Winfred Kwan, and on-set photographer, Kevin Yang. Watch the video at the end of this article to see what went on behind the scenes!

1. The EOS R is very reliable. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love it.

Winfred: "The EOS R is pretty durable. Especially when you’re shooting in harsh conditions. We’re going up mountains, we’re going onto snow, we're on terrain where there's a lot of dust. I think it's reliable for photographers out there who need a good camera that doesn't fail when you're out there."

The EOS R is built with a rigid yet lightweight magnesium alloy chassis, which enhances its durability and shields it from electromagnetic radiation and heat. It is also sealed in all the critical areas, making it dust- and drip-resistant. A built-in shutter curtain protects the CMOS sensor by automatically closing when the power is turned off, making the EOS R a camera that is built to last.

2. The autofocus is the real deal.

Kevin: "To be honest, the AF system of the EOS R is extremely fast and accurate. We’ve been shooting in some really tricky lighting conditions with very strong backlight. But so far, every single one of my shots has been very sharp. I’d say it’s great, really."

To capture sharp images, the EOS R’s Dual Sensing IS and Dual Pixel CMOS AF work in tandem to reduce blur from camera shakes. With an AF system covering up to 5,655 manually selectable AF positions and a focus area of approximately 88% horizontal and 100% vertical (when using RF lenses and select EF lenses), you can capture sharp images quickly and accurately no matter where your subject is located. 

3. It delivers in extreme low-light conditions.

Photo of night sky taken with EOS R in near pitch darkness

Kevin: "We’re in pitch black darkness but amazingly, the EOS R still manages to autofocus on the sky and stars. This is the first time a camera has been able to do this in such extreme darkness. It’s incredible, really."

Photo of a dark alley taken using the EOS R

Winfred: "We’re shooting a low-light scene in one of the alleys in Melbourne. There are neon lights everywhere and it’s really nice. This new capability of autofocusing in extreme low light – I think photographers are going to love it."

With the EOS R’s 20mm flange focal distance, the accompanying RF lens range is able to uncover new possibilities for nighttime shooting. Equipped with the RF 50mm lens at the widest aperture (f/1.2), the EOS R’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF is able to achieve spot-on focus even when operating in environments as dim as a light rating of EV-6. Even at high ISO speeds (up to ISO 40,000 for stills), DIGIC 8 ensures that your nighttime shots still turn out crisp.

4. It’s really well-designed.

Kevin: "The EOS R is very well-designed. Sleek and compact. And it feels very comfortable in your hands. And for photographers who are always on the move like me, the size and ergonomics – it’s really useful."

The EOS R makes EVF-only operation a breeze. With ergonomically-placed buttons and a natural grip, the EOS R is designed for the user’s comfort. Shooting information is also clearly displayed on the vivid OLED EVF display, so you never have to remove your eyes from the EVF when shooting. With the addition of a Multi-function bar and lens control ring, adjusting your camera settings while shooting has never been easier.

5. It will improve your shooting experience.

Kevin: "The EOS R is highly customisable. Photographers with their own user habits will find its new features very useful. I particularly like the Touch & Drag autofocus. That’s something I find really cool and useful."

The EOS R comes with features that allow you to customise the camera according to your needs. The new Multi-function bar on the EOS R can be set to adjust settings, browse photos or even check your manual focus by simply tapping or swiping. The Touch & Drag AF area can also be set to your desired focus area on the touchscreen, for more precise AF even during viewfinder shooting.

An acclaimed feature from the Cinema EOS range now available on the EOS R, Canon Log delivers detail-rich movies with excellent shadow and highlight details. Noise reduction can also be used when shooting 4K movies with the Canon Log, making the EOS R an outstanding camera for producing professional-looking videos. 

6. Our next-level RF lenses will make your shots more professional

Kevin: "There are four new RF lenses. Currently, I’m holding on to a 28-70 f/2. It’s a pretty solid and well-built lens, good range, very sharp throughout even at f/2. When shooting wide open, it gives you really nice bokeh and depth of field. The coolest thing about the new RF lenses is the new control ring feature, which you can actually customise to adjust according to your preferences – your aperture, your shutter speed. That’s really nifty and cool."

All Canon RF lenses offer extremely high-quality imaging performance throughout the entire image. Prime lenses can achieve a full open aperture of f/1.2 while zoom lenses can provide a constant f/2 brightness throughout its zoom range. The EOS R is also compatible with the EF/EF-S lens systems via three optional mount adapters, including one that features a customisable control ring and another that allows you to drop in a circular polarising or variable ND filter.

Additionally, each RF lens comes with a customisable control ring that can be used to adjust shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation and more.

Impressed by what the EOS R can do? Click here to find out more about the EOS R.