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A Travel Photographer's First Impressions of the EOS R8

Looking for a compact full frame camera for travel? Cam Stables, New Zealand travel photographer and content creator, gives his first impressions on the Canon EOS R8. We were blown away by Cam’s amazing travel photography so we thought we would give him the opportunity to get his hands on our EOS R8 full frame camera, a full-frame mirrorless camera, great for travelling. Read Cam’s thoughts as he puts the camera to the test during his adventures, capturing some stunning shots around New Zealand.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

All my life I have been around cameras in some way shape or form, but it wasn’t until I started travelling in my early 20’s, that I developed a passion for telling stories through photography. I wanted a way to express the wonder of discovering new cultures, scenery, and the enchantment of adventure through visual art forms.

Whether it’s catching a sunrise high up in the snowy mountains or patrolling busy street markets capturing small details and expressive faces, I love the challenge of translating a moment into a single frame and conveying the emotions that I felt through my images.

Image of Cam Stables using the EOS R8

The more I’ve shared my stories across Instagram, the more I’ve managed to connect with other artists and creatives that also have the same passion for travel as I do. The opportunity to share my images and stories with so many supportive individuals make it more rewarding to pursue further improvement in my craft.

I originally spent several years as a camera operator, then later as a video editor before pursuing photography full time - so I have never been a stranger to the video world, but as my interest in creating more expansive stories has grown, I recently found a lot more enjoyment in video storytelling to share my adventures.

This has led me to search for gear that balances high quality stills performance, with strong video specs, without adding significant weight or cost.

What do you look for in a camera to create both video and still content on?

When I’m travelling, form factor is a super important aspect of whatever camera I’m using. I’ll be carrying my camera in my backpack all day, sometimes for weeks on end, so I need to keep my kit as light as possible. The EOS R8 is a compact, lightweight camera, so doesn’t take up too much room. This makes shooting so much easier allowing me to capture more moments, that I might otherwise miss if I’m lugging around a more cumbersome piece of equipment.

Image of mountains by Cam Stables

What were your initial impressions of the EOS R8?

After having my hands on the Canon EOS R8 for the past couple of weeks, it’s safe to say I'm highly impressed with the camera. It reminded me a lot of my first mirrorless model, the EOS RP, except it packs a lot more of the features that initially led me to upgrade to my current model (EOS R). A 24.2mp sensor, 40FPS continuous shooting (30FPS RAW) as well as solid low light performance, all packed into a 461g body.

The EOS R8’s low light performance stuck out as a solid improvement. I managed to get out under the stars several times over the last week, capturing some low light landscapes, the milky way and even an Aurora Australis display down in the South Island of New Zealand. I usually shy away from pushing the ISO too high during these scenarios but ended up shooting images upward of 2500 without losing any detail.

Image of the horizon by Cam Stables

Image of the starry night sky by Cam Stables using the EOS R8

The more I dive into the realm of video storytelling and filmmaking, the more important it is that my camera has solid video specs. Fortunately, the EOS R8 shoots up to 4K60fps oversampled from 6K, meaning the footage coming straight out of the camera is top notch.

Another interesting feature is the 3-5 second pre shooting mode, which allows an extra few seconds of recorded footage before even pushing the record button, perfect for catching those fleeting moments that you might potentially miss. This is definitely not something to take for granted, as travel can often be a high paced and hectic experience, and it’s easy to miss key moments. Having that extra few seconds of recording is a valuable tool when catching essential action and dialogue.

Flicking between modes is also a breeze, due to the EOS R8‘s dedicated photo/video switch on the top of the camera, making it even easier to quickly flick over a catch the moment you’re after.

What lenses are your go-to for travel photography?

I typically spend most of my time shooting with the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, which has a versatile focal length. Combining that with the EOS R8 camera’s small size, it makes for the perfect all-in-one travel kit for any type of adventure. Otherwise, I often use a little RF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime for street portraits or lifestyle shots, which keeps the overall kit size incredibly small, while still delivering stellar results.

Image of Cam Stables using the EOS R8 to photograph mountains

In your opinion who do you think the EOS R8 is the perfect camera for?

Whether you’re looking to get into travel photography, or you’re already a budding adventure storyteller looking to upgrade your kit, then the EOS R8 is a fantastic option. It’s going to provide you with all the tools you need to refine your photographs and focus on mastering your storytelling, without adding unnecessary weight and bulk to your kit.

See how the EOS R8 measures up to the EOS R6 Mark II: 

Cam Stables is a NZ photographer and content creator showcasing his travel adventures. Check out his work here: