April 14, 2021
Viltrox v Canon
How a little known company can help the transition from Canon DSLR to Mirrorless
Canon was a little slow in launching a decent full-frame mirrorless camera. The EOS R, launched in 2018, was the first Canon camera to use the RF lens mount. However, Canon realised that existing users wouldn’t want to ditch all their old lenses and buy new ones at the same time as shelling out for a new camera body. The EF-EOS R mount adapter meant that the existing EF and EF-S system lenses could attach to the new camera. In July 2020, Canon turned the mirrorless market on its head with the R5 and R6 models’ launch. Massive demand for these cameras has left Canon unable to satisfy the need for the RF lens mount, leaving users with a camera body that they couldn’t attach their lenses. Thankfully a company called Viltrox has come up with a cheaper solution.
What’s the solution?
Very quickly after the launch of the R5 and R6, quite a few third-party mounts appeared. They allowed EF lenses to be mounted, but they didn’t provide auto-focus capabilities in haste to get to market. Unless you knew where to look, hidden away was a company called Viltrox who had launched an adapter that mirrored everything the Canon version does but at half the price.
I was fortunate enough to have bought the Canon version when I first purchased the original Canon EOS R. Unable to buy additional Canon adapters after getting the R5 and R6, I bought a Viltrox version with some trepidation. However, after six months of using the adapters, I have been pleasantly surprised. There’s only been one occasion when the adapter didn’t make good contact with the camera, which was quickly fixed by removing the lens and putting it back. Other than that, it has been error-free.
The Canon adapter retails at £119 and is currently out of stock on all the major retailer sites. The Viltrox version is available on Amazon for £49, and if you are a Prime customer, then you’ll have it in your hands tomorrow! If you want to switch to mirrorless and already have a Canon DSLR, this is the route to go.
It gets better
As I researched this blog, I found that Viltrox hasn’t stopped innovating. Canon also offers an RF adapter with a Control Ring attached. The Control Ring was introduced onto RF lenses and allows it to be assigned to either change the shutter speed, aperture, ISO or Exposure Compensation value. The Canon adapter with the control ring built-in is £239, and even at this price is also out of stock until mid-May on retailer sites.
By contrast, Viltrox now offers the EF-R2 Auto Focus Lens Adapter Mount with Customized Control Ring at £93. That is over 40% of the Canon price and again provides the same functionality. I haven’t tried out the R2 adapter as the functions that I would love to see on a control ring and yet available. It would be great to be able to change the metering mode by turning a control ring. If Canon updates the firmware to make this available, then I’ll be in line to upgrade.
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About the author
As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions as well as being featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com