Canon EOS R7 review: hands-on first look
May 24, 2022
Canon EOS R7
Price as Reviewed:£1,350.00 (body only)
Andy Westlake examines Canon’s high-end APS-C format RF-mount mirrorless camera, which boasts a 32.5MP sensor and 30fps shooting
Canon EOS R7 at a glance:
- £1350 body-only; £1700 with RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom
- 32.5MP APS-C sensor
- ISO 100-51,200
- 30 fps shooting
- 4K 60p video
- 2.36m-dot EVF
- 3in, 1.62m-dot vari-angle LCD
In a long-expected move, Canon has announced two new mirrorless cameras that employ the APS-C sensor format, but use the same RF lens mount at its full-frame models. This means they’re not part of the EOS M system that Canon has used for APS-C mirrorless until now, and can’t use EF-M lenses.
Of the two, the EOS R7 is the more advanced, boasting a higher resolution sensor, faster shooting, a larger viewfinder and in-body image stabilisation. As the numbering suggests, Canon sees it as a successor to the EOS 7D Mark II APS-C DSLR, which means it’s one of the most ambitious APS-C mirrorless cameras yet made, going head-to-head with the likes of the Fujifilm X-T4 and Sony A6600.
Canon EOS R7: Features
Canon has built the EOS R7 around an updated version of the 32.5MP sensor from the EOS 90D DSLR and mirrorless EOS M6 Mark II. In concert with the Digic X processor, this offers a standard ISO range of 100-32,000 that’s extendable to ISO 51,200. The R7 can shoot at 15 frames per second using the mechanical shutter – half as fast again as the EOS 90D – or 30 fps using the silent electronic shutter.
Autofocus employs Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, with each pixel split into two to enable on-sensor phase detection. There are 651 selectable focus points covering the entire image area, which are claimed to work in extremely low light equating to -5EV. The EOS R7 also inherits the intelligent subject detection and tracking system from the flagship EOS R3, which is capable of recognising humans, animals or vehicles.
In terms of video, 4K 30p recording is available that’s oversampled from 7K, in 4:2:2 10-bit colour and with no 30-minute time limit . There’s also a 1.8x 4K crop mode that can go up to 60fps, Full HD recording at up to 120fps, and a 4K time-lapse option. Vertical recording is supported, for social media use.
Microphone and headphone sockets are built-in, with Canon Log 3 also onboard for easier post-processing. A switch on top selects between stills and video modes, with separate settings retained for each. Canon has also used the same new hot shoe as on the EOS R3, which includes a digital audio interface and can supply power to connected devices.
Canon EOS R7 key features:
- Handling: The compact body boasts a large, comfortable handgrip and a good array of physical controls
- In-body Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body stabilisation is on board, promising up to 8 stops of shake suppression, along with automatic horizon correction (which has been only previously been available on Pentax cameras)
- Dual card slots: Canon has included dual UHS-II SD card slots, allowing you to back up files to both while shooting
- Lenses: You can fit RF and RF-S lenses directly, and EF and EF-S DSLR lenses via the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. However, EF-M lenses can’t be used
Canon EOS R7: Build and Handling
Canon has squeezed this rich feature set into a body that’s smaller and lighter than the EOS 850D DSLR, yet still boasts a large, comfortable handgrip and a good array of external controls. It employs two electronic dials for changing exposure settings, with the rear dial unusually placed around the focus area selection joystick. My initial impression is that this arrangement works well enough, although it’s not obviously better than the horizontal rear dial on other EOS R bodies.
Canon has kept the top plate uncluttered, with the mode dial and power switch joined by movie, IS and Fn buttons; the latter gives quick access to a range of secondary settings. On the front, a switch around the depth-of-field preview button selects between auto and manual focus, which is handy given that many of Canon’s more affordable RF lenses lack AF/MF switches, including the new RF-S optics.
For viewing, you get a 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3in, 1.62m-dot vari-angle touchscreen. Power is provided by Canon’s familiar LP-E6N battery, which promises 500 shots per charge using the viewfinder, and 770 with the LCD. Canon is promising a similar level of weather sealing to the EOS 90D, but disappointingly, neither of the RF-S lenses are similarly protected.
Two new RF-S lenses
Canon has also introduced two new RF-mount lenses designed for the APS-C format. Firstly, the RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM is a compact, collapsible design that offers a 29-72mm equivalent zoom range. It will be sold in a kit with the EOS R10, or on its own for £320. Meanwhile the RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM will cost £520 and offers a 29-240mm equivalent range. Both lenses include optical stabilisation and stepper motors for autofocus.
It has to be said that these lenses are the most disappointing part of Canon’s APS-C RF announcement. The 18-45mm may be small and light, but its focal-length range and aperture is uninspiring to say the least, especially as the firm offers an equally compact 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 in EF-M mount. The 18-150mm looks like it should be a nice travel lens, and could make a fine match with the EOS R10. But like the 18-45mm, its 29mm equivalent wide end looks out of touch in a world where competing cameras come equipped with 24mm equivalent zooms, especially as there’s no RF-S ultrawide zoom.
Neither lens really comes close to matching the ambition of the EOS R7, so let’s hope Canon comes up with some more interesting RF-S offerings soon. For EOS R7 owners to really get the most from the camera, I’d like to see something along the lines of 15-50mm f/2.8 and 15-80mm f/4 zooms, with weather sealing and premium optics. It would also make sense for Canon to make RF-mount versions of its EF-M lenses, which could give it a shortcut to a nice APS-C line-up.
Canon EOS R7: Hands-on first impressions
From our short time hands-on with the EOS R7, it looks set to be an exciting camera. Not only does it out-spec any of Canon’s APS-C DSLRs, let alone its older EOS M-series mirrorless models, it does so in a lightweight body that handles very nicely, despite its small size.
The EOS R7 is due to hit the shops in June, for £1350 body-only or £1700 with RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom. We’re really looking forward to getting our hands on it for a full review.
Canon EOS R7: Full Specifications
- Sensor: 32.5MP Dual Pixel CMOS, 22.3 x 14.8mm
- Output size: 6960 x 4640
- Focal length magnification : 1.6x
- Lens mount : Canon RF
- Shutter speeds: 30-1/8000 sec mechanical; 30-1/16000 sec electronic
- Sensitivity : ISO 100-32,000 (ISO 51,200 extended)
- Exposure modes : PASM, B, Fv, 3x Custom, Scene, Auto
- Metering: Evaluative, partial, spot, centre-weighted
- Exposure compensation: +/3EV in 0.3EV steps
- Continuous shooting : 15fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (electronic shutter)
- Screen : 3in, 1.62m-dot Vari-angle touchscreen
- Viewfinder : 2.36m-dot LED, 0.72x equiv magnification
- AF points: 651
- Video: 4K 30p; 4K 60p (1.8x crop); Full HD 120p
- External microphone : 3.5mm stereo
- Memory card : Dual UHS-II SD
- Power : LP-E6N rechargeable Li-ion
- Battery life: 770 shots (LCD), 500 shots (EVF)
- Dimensions : 132 x 90.4 x 91.7 mm
- Weight : 612g with battery and card