Canon EOS R100: what we want to see

Canon EOS R100: what we want to see

Canon has just announced the new Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10, its first two cameras with RF-S mount and APS-C sensors. But there are already rumors that a Canon EOS R100 model is on the way with an even lower price than the EOS R10. And in these tough economic times, that could be very good news for amateur photographers.

According to the latest rumours, the EOS R100 will sit below the EOS R10 and become a new entry point for buyers who want an affordable mirrorless camera. In theory it could look like a Canon EOS M50 Mark II, but using RF family lenses instead of the now less exciting EF-M type.

The RF series of lenses were originally designed for full-frame cameras, but the newer RF-S lenses have now been designed specifically for those with APS-C sensors. Rumors suggest that more RF-S lenses are on the way, which would be good news for the EOS R100.

Japanese website Asobinet (opens in a new tab) predicts that the camera will arrive in the first half of 2023. While the site describes its source as "unreliable", generally reliable rumors from Canon (opens in a new tab) say "we think a camera body under the Canon EOS R10 is very likely." We've combined the latest speculation with our thoughts on what we'd like to see in what should be Canon's cheapest RF-mount camera.

Canon EOS R100 price and release date

There are no current pricing rumors for the EOS R100, but the Canon EOS R10 gives us a sneak peek to consider. This high-end camera costs $979 / £899 / AU$1,499 for the body only.

It seems possible that the Canon EOS R100 costs a similar amount with a kit lens (such as the new RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM below), or is priced at a few hundred dollars per cash register. less.

The lens next to the Canon EOS R10 camera

The Canon EOS R10 is available with the new RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens (above). (Photo credit: Canon)

Some suggest it could cost as little as €599, matching the current EOS M50 Mark II. It's the best case scenario, though, and we wouldn't be too surprised if the new model is a bit more expensive.

The job of the Canon EOS R100 is to modernize the EOS M50 Mark II a bit, address some of its glaring video weaknesses, and give more casual photographers a lens system that doesn't feel like a dead end. This is what we hope to see from the camera.

1. Design: Can the EOS R10 get smaller?

There are two obvious paths the Canon EOS R100 could take, and both have been mirrored by a couple of affordable Sony cameras.

Like the Sony A6100, Canon could produce a camera with all the usual hardware, like an electronic viewfinder, but with lower-end specs. Or it could ditch the thing more comprehensively to appeal specifically to content creators on a budget, like the Sony EV-Z10.

A simulated image of the alleged Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: future)

The latter would probably be more interesting. But the name Canon EOS R100 clearly suggests that it will be more of a classic and versatile APS-C camera like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

Inexpensive pro-style cameras are generally smaller and lighter than more expensive ones, but the ways to cut the EOS R10's mold design aren't immediately obvious. This camera has no official protection against water or dust, does not use an additional bulk IBIS system, and weighs 429g with battery and SD card. It's definitely not heavy. The large RF-S lens mount won't help either - the body can only get so small.

However, Canon could reduce the grip and potentially use a slotted EVF like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II. This would eliminate the clutter over other R-series models. And the EVF and non-EVF packages would allow Canon to lower the price of entry even further, though you can bet you'll pay more than the odds if you decide to buy it later. .

The lens mount on a Canon mirrorless camera

(Photo credit: Canon)

Using a lower quality helmet would also help reduce weight and slightly lower costs. We complained about the EOS M6 Mark II's build quality in our review, but if you need to get the Canon EOS R100 at the right price, the sacrifice might be worth it.

Canon may also choose to simplify the controls a bit, perhaps by removing the Canon EOS R10's shutter dial, because if the design is as compact as we'd expect, there will be little room on the grip for it.

2. EVF: 2,36 million points please

The best argument for an optional detachable viewfinder on the EOS R100 is that the EOS R10 has the lowest level of quality that provides a good experience. It has a 2,36 million dot EVF, equivalent to 1024 x 768 pixels.

A 1,44 million dot EVF is the next step up, which is equivalent to 800 x 600 pixels. While the Sony A6100 uses an EVF of this resolution, this camera was released in 2019, four years before the planned release of the R100. Times are changing and expectations are rising.

The viewfinder of the Sony A6100 camera

Cameras like the Sony A6100 (above) place the viewfinder in the upper left corner to reduce the height of the camera and give it a rangefinder look. (Photo credit: Sony)

However, an ideal result for the Canon EOS R100 might be the rangefinder-style placement of the EVF, where it sits to the side of the camera, rather than in the center.

This would give the camera the sleeker shape of the EOS M6 Mark II, without ditching the EVF entirely or demoting it to a clumsy "optional extra" sitting on the hot shoe. However, this is not typical Canon styling and raises the question of whether there would be room to fit it on camera, when the available body space is already reduced by the larger RF lens mount.

We initially thought the cost might be prohibitive as well: a 2,39 million point EVF at €599? But then we remember that the EOS M50 Mark II had the same resolution at the same price. The cut needed here will be magnification, which means the image from the EVF will look relatively small compared to that from a high-end camera.

3. Sensor and AF: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II

The Canon EOS R100 is likely to use the same sensor as the EOS R10, a 24MP APS-C sized chip. As such, it will take still images of comparable quality to this camera.

It also means that the camera will have a very similar autofocus system, as the focus points are right on the sensor. Canon calls this AF system Dual Pixel CMOS AF II. The Canon EOS R10 has 651 points when using standard autofocus, or 4503 when single-point AF positions are manually selected.

Some rowers seen through the viewfinder of a Canon EOS R10 camera

The Canon EOS R10 (above) offers some pretty advanced subject-tracking autofocus capabilities for its price. (Photo credit: Canon)

Since the Canon EOS R100 is also likely to have the Digic X processor, there's little reason for you to miss out on the EOS R10's eye, face, body, vehicle and animal tracking.

Of course Canon could choose to omit some of the secondary object recognition modes to create a clearer delineation between the R10 and R100.

4. Performance and buffering: is 14fps realistic?

The only current suggestion for the performance of the Canon EOD R100, based on leaks posted by Asobinet (opens in a new tab), is that it will shoot up to 14fps. That would be much faster than the FujiFilm X-T8's 200fps and noticeably faster than the Sony A11's 6100fps.

Still, those speeds are a bit slower than the Canon EOS R15's 23fps (mechanical shutter) and 10fps (electronic shutter) speeds, so it's not entirely unrealistic.

A simulated image of the alleged Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: future)

It's also unlikely you'll be able to take photos for too long before the Canon EOS R100's buffer fills up, after which the camera slows down as it downloads data.

You'll probably be able to shoot for a few seconds at most when capturing raw files, or a handful when capturing JPEGs, but that should be enough to take sharp photos of the family dog.

5. Video: full width 4K/30p

A leak from Asobinet suggests that the Canon R100 will be able to shoot 4K video at 30fps, but not 60fps.

This would match APS-C competitors for the same price. The FujiFilm X-T200 is limited to 4K/30p, while the video-focused Sony ZV-EV10 can only shoot at 24p and 30p. At some point, entry-level APS-C cameras will start to offer 4K/60p, but it seems unlikely that the Canon EOS R100 will be the camera to make that leap.

What we want to see is 4K/30p and 4K/24p uncropped, meaning the footage is sampled from 6K of data. There should also be solid electronic/software stabilization for those looking to shoot 1080/60p video.

Two hands holding Canon EOS R10 camera

(Photo credit: Canon)

We also want to be able to use PDAF (phase detection) autofocus in 4K. More than anything else, it's about consistency of experience. The user should not waste their time wondering why the AF performance suddenly deteriorates when they start shooting 4K video.

However, the Canon EOS R100 will not be a camera focused on the content creator. Canon's updated EOS R10 model doesn't have a flat log shooting mode, so it's unlikely the R100 will have one. And it may lack this camera's HDR PQ mode, which shoots in 4-bit YCbCr2:2:10 colour.

However, much of the R100's intended audience will be surprised by terms like Log and 4:2:2. Its job is to be easy to use and affordable, and by elevating the video capabilities above those of the EOS M50 Mark II, Canon should be able to make the EOS R100 a compelling option for those who want a budget mirrorless camera.