Canon Ambassador, documentary filmmaker and 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year winner Joel Santos says adopting the lighter Canon EOS R System with RF lenses has made a big difference to his work. "I had invested a lot of money in EF lenses, and the design of the EF lenses released in the past few years has really been superb. But there are two reasons why I switched to the Canon EOS R: better performance and the unique qualities of the RF lenses. The biggest improvements for me are in Image Stabilization, control of chromatic aberration, sharpness, micro contrast, colour rendering, and – of course – the added features I didn't have before."
Joel adds: "My main concern when travelling – especially with airline restrictions – is how to reduce weight and bulk without compromising performance or a goal I need to accomplish. On a trip to cover the Voodoo Festival in Benin, for example, I could only take my main lenses – a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, a Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM and a Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM. But the fact that these lenses are so compact meant I could have two bodies with lenses mounted inside my bag, ready to go.
"The Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM is a game-changing lens for me. I see it as a pack of f/2 primes – a 28mm, a 35mm, a 50mm and a 70mm – in a single zoom. If you add up the weight of all these separate prime lenses, and the time you'd spend swapping between them – not to mention the money you'd have to spend – you can see what a practical option it is. It's about a third lighter than the equivalent EF lens. It's very short when it's retracted, so it's very practical for packing, plus it attracts less attention when you are walking around, which is important for my style of photography.
"I was shooting a documentary in Niger during a sandstorm, so I couldn't risk swapping lenses – and one lens did it all. I ended up doing all my photography and video work almost exclusively on the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM. For me, this lens alone justifies swapping to the new system."