Canon EOS Ra Review: A Specialist Camera for Astrophotography

Canon EOS RA Image 1


Occasionally we are treated to a unique camera with a specific purpose – this is exactly what the Canon EOS Ra offers. This Canon DSLR camera is specifically created for astrophotography – those epic shots of the night sky with the Milky Way and stars glistening in beautiful colors. If you want to learn how to create effective astrophotography or want to get into this as a career, the Canon EOS Ra is a brilliant choice; it is one of the top devices available in this category.

In this Canon EOS Ra review, we analyze what makes this device suitable for astrophotography. Furthermore, we look at its features, design, and usability. Finally, we compare it with a similar camera from Nikon – enjoy!

Main Features

First, let’s look at the cameras basic features and why it is suitable for astrophotography. A common problem with this type of photography is the representation of colors and different particle rays. The Canon EOS Ra addresses this issue via the inclusion of an infrared filter placed in front of the sensor. This allows additional particle rays to be transmitted, and this allows a greater range of colors to be captured. The following are the basic specifications of this device:

  • Size: 135 x 98 x 84mm
  • Weight: 660g
  • Sensor: 30MP Dual Pixel CMOS  
  • Image Processor: DIGIC 8
  • Max FPS: 24FPS
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • Connectivity: WiFi / Bluetooth
  • Touchscreen: Yes

Aside from the infrared filter, the basic specs of this camera are fantastic. It utilizes the Canon DIGIC 8 processor, and offers 30MP image quality. Furthermore, you can record full 4K UHD quality at 24FPS.

Canon EOS RA Image 3


The Canon EOS Ra looks superb – it has a brilliant design that mirrors the standard DSLR design of Canon full-frame cameras. Firstly, it has the typical right-side handgrip with a tactile textured surface – this makes it comfortable to hold and use. Secondly, it features the standardized Canon button layout for DSLR devices including the top control dial, a scroll wheel, and a front-facing shutter.

In addition, this camera features a lens mount that can take RF, EF, and EF-S lenses. Furthermore, other astrophotography lenses can be attached using the EF-EOS-R mount adapter. The main downside is that to connect to a telescope, you must use a third-party adapter. Astrophotography cameras are often used in conjunction with telescopes so that you can easily track the part of the night sky you are looking at.

In terms of basic functionality, the camera operates as you would expect – it has a high-quality touchscreen and you can use either this or the dial controls to change camera settings. The reason this camera isn’t suitable for standard photography is because the IR filter is inside the camera – it’s not something that can be removed. Therefore, standard photos may have a reddish tint and strange colors.


The Canon EOS Ra is highly usable – it has essentially the same design and ergonomics as other Canon DSLR cameras. If you have any knowledge of using Canon DSLR devices, you should have no problem using this model. For all intents and purpose, it does not feature any additional controls or features – it’s the sensor and interior mechanics that make this device suitable for astrophotography.

Canon EOS RA Image 3

Canon EOS Ra vs. Nikon D810A

Now that you understand more about this device, it is important to see how it compares to other specialist models. Admittedly, there isn’t a huge choice of astrophotography cameras. However, once such competing device is the Nikon D810A.

The Nikon D810A offers a higher megapixel count at 36.3, but the basic image quality is virtually the same. Furthermore, both cameras offer specialized infrared filters that are placed in front of the sensor. In reality, there isn’t much difference between these two devices. They have similar features and are both capable of producing exceptional quality astrophotography. The following is a basic comparison table of the two devices:

  Canon EOS Ra Nikon D810A
Megapixel Count 30MP 36.3MP
Processor DIGIC 8 Expeed
Video Quality 4K UHD 4K UHD
Weight 666g 880g
Dimensions 135 x 98 x 84 146 x 123 x 81mm
Max ISO 40,000 51,200

As you can see, these devices are quite even – one of the main differences is that the Canon EOS Ra is slightly smaller and lighter – this makes it a bit easier to carry.

Should You Purchase the Canon EOS Ra?

Unless you want to create stunning astrophotography as part of your photography offering, there isn’t any reason to purchase this camera. It is marketed as a specialist device specifically for creating astrophotography. While the Canon EOS Ra is perfectly capable of creating standard photos, we advise that you could purchase a cheaper Canon mirrorless or full-frame device that hasn’t got the expensive Ra price tag.

If you do want to break into astrophotography, the Canon EOS Ra is a brilliant device and is certainly worth the investment. The IR filter placed in front of the sensor means that colors and different rays can be captured in their true form which gives your astro images a more realistic look.        

The Review

Canon EOS RA

The Canon EOS Ra is a specialty camera – if you do not intend to take night-sky and astrophotography, there is not much reason to purchase this device. Its main purpose is to create stunning astrophotography and it does this in excellent quality and clarity. This is one of the first devices of its kind and it performs its primary task to exemplary standards. The base image quality is exceptional; this is enhanced by the optimized infrared filter, and the capability of shooting at ISO 40,000. If you intend to create professional astrophotography, this is certainly one of the best devices available.


  • Specialized IR filter for realistic astro representation
  • Enhanced screen magnification to view fine details
  • Max ISO of 40,000 providing excellent flexibility


  • Hefty price tag
  • Specialist device


Review Breakdown





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