Canon announced the EOS R7 back in May and we shared some of our early hands-on impressions of this APS-C sensor-based mirrorless camera then courtesy of Jeremy Gray, who is also an editor at Imaging Resource, Digital Photo’s sister site. Now Gray is back with his full review of the Canon R7, and he’s got some nice things to say about this compact enthusiast camera, which is the spiritual successor to Canon’s 7D Mark II and 90D DSLRs.
“At $1,500, the Canon EOS R7 represents one of the best values in the EOS R ecosystem,” Gray writes. “The APS-C image sensor, which has the same resolution as some prior Canon sensors, is newly developed. Although it’s not clear precisely what’s new, the resulting image quality is impressive. The camera captures sharp, detailed images with great color at low ISO settings. Despite the smaller APS-C image sensor, performance remains impressive even as you increase ISO. You can easily shoot at ISO 3200 and even ISO 6400 and get excellent results.”
While the Canon R7 is a significant step down from Canon’s pricey premium full-frame mirrorless cameras such as the EOS R5 and R3, the R7’s smaller APS-C sensor does have some advantages. In particular, the 1.6x crop factor can help when photographing wildlife, such as birds, because it allows you to get closer to your subjects with long lenses.
In Gray’s review he tested the R7 with the Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens, which became a 160-800mm telephoto zoom because of that crop factor. We’ve included a few wildlife photos he shot with the camera to give you an idea of its image quality. Click on the web photo to open the full resolution test image.
What he liked most about the Canon R7 include its rugged design, impressive image quality, good high ISO performance and reliable autofocus including its useful subject detection AF modes.
“[The R7] has an AF system like the one found in Canon’s flagship EOS R3 full-frame camera, complete with AI-powered subject detection autofocus,” Gray writes. “The R7 has fewer autofocus points, no surprise given the smaller sensor, and the AF isn’t quite as fast or reliable as the R3’s, but it’s still very good, and the AF points cover practically the entire image sensor. Of all the advantages the R7 offers over its DSLR predecessors, the impressive autofocus system is among the best.”
On the downside, he found the camera’s electronic viewfinder (EVF) to be “middling” and its fully articulating rear display to be “a bit cumbersome.” There are also currently very few APS-C (RF-S) lenses in the Canon EOS R ecosystem that you can use with the R7.
Overall, though, Gray gives the Canon R7 a big thumbs up, especially if you want a compact and affordable interchangeable lens camera you can use to photograph wildlife.
“As a big fan of wildlife photography, the Canon EOS R7 is nearly the perfect camera for me,” he writes. “The APS-C crop factor makes long lenses even more useful while not making a sizable tradeoff regarding image quality and high ISO performance. Further, the R7’s sophisticated autofocus system is very good, even when tracking moving subjects throughout the entire image area. When you add in in-body image stabilization, you end up with a versatile camera that makes capturing good images in challenging situations easy and enjoyable.”