Canon’s R7 and R10 Breathe Life into APS-C

Tips & Techniques

The past several years haven’t been kind to the 1.5x crop sensor camera. Other than Fuji, every major manufacturer of aps-c cameras has shifted their focus toward full frame. Canon’s most recent aps-c camera was their M50 Mark II in October 2020; Sony’s newest (late-2019) a6100 and a6600 have already been soft-discontinued; only Nikon has released something in the last year with the Zfc, which is broadly the same as 2019’s Z50 but with retro styling. So, fans of aps-c should be heartened to see Canon’s new announcement of the EOS R7 and EOS R10 – plus two crop-sensor lenses – for the EOS R mirrorless system.

Canon’s EOS R system is by far their most important line of cameras at the moment, but until now, all EOS R cameras have been full-frame. The R7 and R10 change the narrative and are Canon’s most important foray into aps-c mirrorless yet. (The previous Canon M System had several aps-c mirrorless cameras and sold fairly well, but those cameras stopped receiving much R&D once Canon started making the more flexible EOS R system.)

Today’s EOS R10 and EOS R7 will appeal to slightly different audiences. The EOS R10 is a 24 MP midrange camera retailing for $980, body only. The EOS R7 is a higher-speed, higher-resolution (33 MP) camera that Canon is targeting for advanced users, with a $1500 body-only price to boot. The two lenses announced are basic variable-aperture kit zooms: an 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS and an 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS.

Here are the most important specifications of the two cameras:

Canon EOS R10

Canon EOS R10 Front

  • Sensor size: 22.3 × 14.9 mm (aps-c)
  • Resolution, effective: 24.2 megapixels
  • In-body image stabilization: No
  • Autofocus points: 651
  • Frame rate: 23 FPS (electronic shutter), 15 FPS (mechanical shutter)
  • Buffer (Lossless Raw): 21 frames at 23 FPS; 29 frames at 15 FPS
  • Buffer (Lossy C-Raw): 43 frames at 23 FPS; 157 frames at 15 FPS
  • LCD type: Tilt-flip touchscreen
  • Max video specs: 3840 × 2160 (4K) at 60 FPS; 1080p at 120 FPS
  • Video compression: 10-Bit with 4:2:2 chroma sampling; H.265/MP4
  • Battery life, LCD: 430 photos
  • Battery life, EVF: 260 photos
  • Memory cards: 1× SD, UHS-II compatible
  • Weight w/ battery and card: 429 g (0.95 lbs)
  • Dimensions (W×H×D): 123 × 88 × 83 mm (4.8 × 3.5 × 3.3 in.)
  • Price: $979 (body only), $1099 (with 18-45mm kit), $1379 (with 18-150mm kit)

Canon EOS R7

Canon EOS R7 Front

  • Sensor size: 22.3 × 14.8 mm (aps-c)
  • Resolution, effective: 32.5 megapixels
  • In-body image stabilization: Yes, up to 8 stops when also using stabilized lens
  • Autofocus points: 651
  • Frame rate: 30 FPS (electronic shutter), 15 FPS (mechanical shutter)
  • Buffer (Lossless Raw): 42 frames at 30 FPS; 51 frames at 15 FPS
  • Buffer (Lossy C-Raw): 93 frames at 30 FPS; 187 frames at 15 FPS
  • LCD type: Tilt-flip touchscreen
  • Max video specs: 3840 × 2160 (4K) at 60 FPS; 1080p at 120 FPS
  • Video compression: 10-Bit with 4:2:2 chroma sampling; H.265/MP4
  • Battery life, LCD: 770 photos
  • Battery life, EVF: 500 photos
  • Memory cards: 2× SD, both UHS-II compatible
  • Weight w/ battery and card: 612 g (1.35 lbs)
  • Dimensions (W×H×D): 132 × 90 × 92 mm (5.2 × 3.6 × 3.6 in.)
  • Price: $1499 (body only), $1899 (with 18-150mm kit lens)

Summary

These are rather impressive specifications for aps-c cameras. Both cameras, but especially the EOS R7, could be considered good choices for even pro-level sports and wildlife photography depending on your needs (assuming their autofocus performance is sufficiently good). With a crop sensor, resolutions of 24 and 33 megapixels will allow you to put a lot of pixels on distant subjects, and the high frame rates of 23 and 30 FPS are enough for nearly any subject. Even the buffer performance of both cameras looks solid, especially if you use lossy instead of lossless compressed RAW.

It seems as though aps-c might be the next battleground in the mirrorless world. I’d be okay with that. Even today, crop-sensor cameras like the Nikon D500 and Olympus E-M1X are popular among wildlife photographers who need a high pixel density for their subjects. For context, a 24 megapixel aps-c camera has the pixel density of a 58 megapixel full-frame camera; meanwhile, a 33 megapixel aps-c has the pixel density of 79 megapixels on full-frame. So if you need maximum detail on something small or distant, crop sensors aren’t inherently at a disadvantage.

Combine that high pixel density with an impressive 23 or 30 FPS, a decent buffer, and a lower price ($1500 for the EOS R7 versus $2500 for the full-frame EOS R6) and you can see the appeal. These cameras will now be two of my top recommendations for aspiring sports/wildlife photographers on a budget, who can push their dollars much further with a crop-sensor body like this.

It begs the question of what Nikon, Sony, and Fuji will do in response. According to various rumors, Fuji is already working on a high-speed X-H2s, but the news is pretty quiet at the moment from Nikon and Sony. No doubt there are many potential Nikon and Sony shooters who don’t want to spend a small fortune on the Z9 or A1 and would be interested in a fast aps-c camera with high pixel density like this.

In short, Canon may have breathed new life into aps-c with this announcement and forced the other “big two” to revamp their incomplete aps-c lineups in response. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good year for aps-c mirrorless.

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