The newly released Canon EOS R7 is Canon’s most advanced crop sensor camera, affordable and with professional-level autofocus that rivals some of the class leaders — even Sony . It’s often billed as a wildlife-focused camera, although it can handle most types of photography. The device has a new 32.5MP sensor with a more modern processor, for stunning images even in low light conditions. This is a camera aimed primarily at enthusiasts but produces near-professional results and we thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it. It has in-body image stabilization, an unusual feature for an APS-C camera, and it offers up to seven stops of IBIS. Because of this and its affordability, we don’t think there’s much else like it in the APS-C world.
Paired with some of the best lenses for low-light photography, the Canon EOS R7 is possibly one of the best mirrorless cameras available, especially for the price.
Review of Canon EOS R7
Canon EOS R7: Design
- Small and light — great for traveling
- Fully articulated screen
- Dual SD card slots
The design of the Canon EOS R7 has caused mixed opinions among users as Canon has stayed away from the conventional body layout. The R7 has a D-pad instead of a control wheel, which means there are more programmable buttons, and they’ve also added an AF/MF switch on the front of the camera. There’s also a dedicated video option on the on/off button, which is absent on the R5 and R6.
One simple but great feature we love is that it has dual card slots, which is unusual for an APS-C camera. While we would have liked it if it were compatible with CFexpress or other faster memory cards, at this price, two SD card slots are more than acceptable. The R7 also has a fully articulating screen, which is great for vlogging, taking selfies, or being able to shoot from low positions or at unusual angles without having to struggle to see your composition.
Shooting speed: Up to 30FPS
ISO range: 100-32000, expandable to 51200
Weight: 1.17 lbs
Dimensions: approximately 5.20 x 3.56 x 3.61 inches.
Release date: June 2022
The EVF has 2.34M points, which is about the same as the Canon R10 and Sony A6600 – it’s perfectly fine, but a bit lacking considering there are cheaper full-frame cameras with higher resolution. The 3-inch LCD is clear and bright with touch capability and has a 1.62M-dot display. We wish there was another control dial on the body to allow manual users to independently control all three main settings, but this is a minor thing. The mode dial could also benefit from a lock to avoid accidentally changing modes while you’re shooting, although we had no problems with this when we tested it.
Overall, this is a very small and light camera that is very comfortable to hold and a pleasure to shoot. It’s much smaller than a DSLR so it’s ideal for travel. Although for some reason Canon decided not to make the R7 compatible with a battery grip, so if you have large hands the camera may feel a bit small for some users.
Canon EOS R7: Performance
- Accurate tracking of people, animals and vehicles
- Great in low light conditions
- Produces beautiful, sharp images
In short, the performance of this camera is amazing. It produces sharp images, beautiful colors and is a dream to take in photos. It’s simple to change your settings while out in the field using the center button, which brings up a quick menu where you can change shooting mode, focus mode, eye detection and more. again. While testing the camera, we barely had to go to the main menu system.
We were pleasantly surprised with the good autofocus and tracking on this camera. Not only does it have very accurate face and eye tracking for humans, but it also has animal and vehicle tracking. When we tested it on humans and animals, it easily tracked their eyes throughout the entire frame (outdoors and indoors) and switched to facial recognition when the subject wasn’t looking at the camera (which which you won’t find on Sony’s APS-C cameras).
When tracking the vehicle, the camera easily tracks the driver’s face or helmet. One area where it struggled was when photographing a bird, as we discovered when viewing the photo, it actually focused on the grass directly behind the bird instead of the bird itself. However, the lens we used was not a typical wildlife photography lens, even with the crop factor taken into account, so we decided we couldn’t zoom in all the way to track the bird exactly. Even so, the eye tracking capabilities of this $1500 camera are impressive.
Additionally, in-body image stabilization can work intelligently to correct minor in-camera composition issues. For example, its tilt function can automatically correct for flashing horizons in landscapes, and when taking panoramas, it counteracts the natural unevenness experienced when shooting handheld.
Of course, when we tested this lens, it was cloudy every night so we couldn’t test the R7’s astrophotography capabilities, but we did go out before sunrise one morning. light to see how it performs during blue hour when there isn’t much light. We were shocked to see how beautiful these images were. It makes them look a lot brighter than they actually are, and even at around ISO 6000, noise is minimal. However, keep in mind that we are using this camera with a full-frame 28-70mm lens, which allows a tremendous amount of light to enter.
Canon EOS R7: Functions
- Continuous shooting mode is fast at up to 30FPS but clearing the buffer is slow
- There is no video recording limit
- 4K video resolution
Now comes the biggest flaw we can find in this camera: the buffer. In theory, the ability to film at up to 30FPS is impressive, but in practice it fills up the buffer very quickly and takes a long time to clear – and in practice, you’ll rarely need it. Use 30FPS. Even with the faster card, at 30FPS the camera is still receiving so much data that it still goes into buffer mode. This isn’t too much of a problem for many types of photography—astronomy, landscape, portraits, etc., but if you want to take advantage of vehicle tracking and motorsport photography, you can will have difficulty with buffering. Even switching to compressed RAW files doesn’t seem to speed up buffering much. We found that 15FPS in the first electronic shutter mode seemed to yield the most useful frame rate, and to be honest, 15FPS is more than enough for most types of photography.
The R7 would also be a good vlogging camera as it can shoot 4K video and you can get eye tracking and autofocus in the video – not to mention it has no recording limits and the footage is very good quality. The only problem is the lack of compact wide-angle lenses – and crop sensor lenses in general. And with a 1.6x crop, you can’t exactly put a full-frame lens on it for vlogging because then it would be even tighter. We’d love to see Canon launch some wide-angle lenses for their crop sensor line.
Should I buy the Canon EOS R7?
Looking at this camera alone — it would be hard to recommend against buying it as it has almost everything a full-frame camera has but at a lower price and in a smaller package. However, the main reason not to buy this camera is the limited number of APS-C (RF-S) lenses available. Currently, there are only two available (kit lens not included) — RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM. Obviously, you can put full-frame RF lenses on the R7 and they work very well (we used the RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM) but you’ll have to account for the 1.6x crop factor, This can be difficult for those wanting to do astrophotography as there may not be any wide enough focal lengths after the crop. Not to mention, full-frame lenses are a lot more expensive. That said, this could be a worthwhile option if you’re planning to move to full-frame in the future because then you won’t have to upgrade all your lenses.
Obviously, this isn’t the fault of the EOS R7 itself, and since Canon hasn’t produced a mirrorless camera with a cropped sensor in a long time, we’d expect this increase to be in line with the lens roadmap their. But it is something to consider if you are planning to buy this camera. Going forward, Canon needs to seriously up its game with compatible RF-S lenses to make this camera a more attractive option.
However, if you’re looking to photograph wildlife, putting a full-frame telephoto lens on this camera might benefit the crop factor — perhaps the RF 70-200mm F2.8 L is our USM. previously reviewed (check out our review of this lens here) or the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM. There are also no third-party lenses for this camera so far – you can use older EF lenses with an adapter, but eye tracking tends to get stuck when you do this.
If the Canon EOS R7 isn’t for you
If you’re looking to stick with Canon, the EOS R6 might be a great option to consider if you’re looking to do more astrophotography or low-light photography, as the R6 generally performs better in low light conditions. . There are fewer pixels in the R6’s 20MP sensor, but it is a full-frame sensor compared to the R7’s APS-C sensor. The R6 also has a wider ISO range of 100-25600 compared to the R7 at 100-12800. If you have the budget to upgrade and want to take astrophotography more seriously, the R6 may be a better choice.
If you want to use a crop sensor camera, the Fujifilm X-T4 can be a great alternative. It does a lot of what the R7 can do, and since the Fujifilm X-T5 was just released the X-T4 has dropped in price, making it the same price as the R7 (or cheaper on the used market use) and has more compatible lenses.
If we were to give it a try, Sony’s latest crop sensor would be the A6600, but we’d be hard-pressed to recommend it over the R7. So if you want to switch to Sony and have a bigger budget, we think the Sony A7 IV is definitely worth considering. Although not in the same class, the A7 IV has many of the same features as the R7 but has the added advantage of having more compatible lenses. The Sony also has a wider ISO range and shoots slightly better in low light.