Canon EOS R100: what we want to see

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

According to the latest rumors, 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 rather than the now less exciting EF-M type.

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

The Japanese site Asobinet (opens in a new tab) predicts the camera will arrive in the first half of 2023. While the site describes its source as “unreliable”, the generally reliable source Canon Rumors (opens in a new tab) said “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 from 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 body-only.

It seems possible that the Canon EOS R100 could cost a similar amount with a kit lens (like the new RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM below), or be priced a few hundred dollars for the box only. 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 be as low 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 Canon EOS R100’s job is to modernize the EOS M50 Mark II a bit, address a few of its glaring video weaknesses and give more casual photographers a lens system that doesn’t feel like a dead end. Here’s what we hope to see from the camera.

1. Design: Can the EOS R10 get any smaller?

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

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

A simulated image of the rumored Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: future)

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

Lower-cost pro-style cameras are generally smaller and lighter than more expensive ones, but ways to cut the mold of the EOS R10’s design aren’t immediately obvious. This camera doesn’t have official water or dust proofing, it doesn’t use a bulk add-on IBIS system, and it 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 mass on top of other R-series models. And bundles with and without EVF would allow Canon to further reduce the price of entry – although 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 hull would also help reduce weight and cut costs slightly. We complained about the build quality of the EOS M6 Mark II in our review, but if it’s necessary 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 dial from the shutter – because if the design is as compact as we’d hope there will be little room in the grip for it .

2. EVF: 2.36 million points, please

The best argument for a detachable and optional viewfinder in the EOS R100 is that the EOS R10 has about 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 step below, 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 ahead of the R100’s planned release. Times are changing and expectations are rising.

The Sony A6100 camera viewfinder

Cameras like the Sony A6100 (above) place the viewfinder in the upper left corner, to reduce camera height and provide a rangefinder-style look. (Photo credit: Sony)

An ideal result for the Canon EOS R100, however, could be rangefinder-style EVF placement, where it sits to one side of the camera, rather than in its centre.

This would give the camera the sleeker shape of the EOS M6 Mark II, without completely getting rid of the EVF or downgrading it to a clumsy ‘optional extra’ that sits in the hotshoe. However, this is not typical Canon styling and begs the question of whether there would be room to fit it on camera, when available body space is already reduced by the larger RF lens mount.

We initially thought the cost might also be prohibitive – a 2.39 million dot EVF at $599? But then we remembered that the EOS M50 Mark II had that same resolution at the same price. The cut needed here will be the magnification, which means the EVF’s image is going to look relatively small compared to that of 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 stills of comparable quality to that of this camera.

It also means the camera will have a very similar autofocus system, as the focus points are right there 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 4,503 when selecting single-point AF positions manually.

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

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

Given that the Canon EOS R100 is also likely to have the Digic X processor, there’s little reason for it to miss the EOS R10’s eye, face, body, vehicle and animal tracking. .

Of course, Canon might choose to leave out some of the secondary object recognition modes in order to create a clearer delineation between the R10 and R100.

4. Performance and buffer: is 14fps realistic?

The only current suggestion regarding the performance of the Canon EOD R100, according to leaks published by Asobinet (opens in a new tab), is that it will shoot up to 14 fps. That would be much faster than the FujiFilm X-T200’s 8fps and noticeably faster than the Sony A6100’s 11fps.

Still, those speeds are a bit slower than the 15fps (mechanical shutter) and 23fps (electronic shutter) speeds of the Canon EOS R10 – so not entirely unrealistic.

A simulated image of the rumored Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: future)

It’s also unlikely that 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 dumps data.

You’ll probably be able to shoot for a few seconds at most when shooting raw files, or a handful when capturing JPEGs, but that should still 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 around 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 offering 4K/60p, but the Canon EOS R100 seems unlikely to be the camera to take that leap.

What we want to see is 4K/30p and 4K/24p without cropping, which means the footage is upsampled 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 at 4K. As much as anything else, it’s about consistency of experience. The user shouldn’t have to spend time wondering why AF performance suddenly deteriorates when starting to shoot 4K video.

The Canon EOS R100 will not be a content creator-focused camera, however. Canon’s upgraded EOS R10 model doesn’t have a flat Log shooting mode, so the R100 is unlikely to have one. And it may lack this camera’s HDR PQ mode, which shoots in YCbCr4:2:2 10-bit color.

However, much of the R100’s intended audience is going to be stunned by terms like Log and 4:2:2. Its job is to be easy to use and affordable, and in elevating 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.