This year, Canon has finally released some affordable mirrorless cameras, like the impressive Canon EOS R10 – and new rumors suggest it will soon release an even cheaper model called the EOS R100. But this camera’s leaked specs point to an underwhelming derivative fill model rather than a much-needed reinvention of the budget camera.
Canon Rumors (opens in new tab) qualified its EOS R100 leak with the warning that it comes from an “unknown source”, so it’s certainly not confirmed specs. But given Canon’s recent history and the feature sets of its other APS-C cameras, they seem very plausible – and that’s not necessarily great news.
Rumors suggest the camera will be a bit like a lame Canon EOS R10 without an electronic viewfinder. That might make it a spiritual successor to the Canon EOS M6 Mark II, which uses Canon’s old (and apparently forgotten) EOS M mount.
If that’s the case, we’d expect Canon to have a few extra tricks up its sleeve – because on paper, the Canon EOS R100 looks like a very safe and somewhat backward answer to the Nikon Z30 and Sony ZV-E10. The R100 will apparently bring the EOS R10’s 24.2MP APS-C sensor and Digic X processor, along with 12fps burst shooting and 4K/30p video. All right, but not exactly setting a new agenda in a world of powerful smartphones.
In these financially challenging times, it seems perverse to deride a camera for being ‘too cheap’. And it’s still early days for the EOS R100 rumors, so it can certainly still surprise us. But these days, affordable cameras also need to strike a balance between being attractive enough to justify their existence – and leaks so far suggest the EOS R100 could only aim to do the bare minimum to achieve that.
Granted, that should mean a tempting price tag that’s in the ballpark of the Nikon Z30 ($707/£699, body only). And Canon has a chance to undermine its rival’s strange decision to include a 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR kit lens with the Z30, which isn’t wide enough for the vlog target audience.
Canon needs an ultra-wide-angle RF-S lens for its new APS-C cameras like the RF-S 11-55mm f/4-4.5 IS STM, and the EOS R100 could be the perfect time to launch it. Given that the EOS R100 is expected to lack in-body image stabilization, this would provide enough room for the crop that electronic stabilization brings, while allowing you to comfortably hold the camera at arm’s length.
But the EOS R100 will need more innovation than that if it wants to truly outperform its rivals (including phones like the Apple iPhone 14 Pro), rather than just ticking the affordable box in Canon’s lineup.
raising the bar
Times have changed since the Canon EOS M6 Mark II arrived in September 2019, and affordable mirrorless cameras need to be much more capable of stills and, in particular, video.
That’s why the Canon EOS R10 now tops our guide to the best cameras for beginners. At $979 / £899 / AU$1,499 it’s a lot more expensive than Canon’s old entry-level DSLRs. But the inclusion of features like 4K/60p video (albeit at a 1.56x crop) and powerful autofocus means it justifies this price and is an upgrade from the best camera phones.
It’s possible the Canon EOS R100 could achieve the same thing, but rumors so far suggest it could fall on the wrong side of that line. A lower-powered Canon EOS R10 with weaker video skills and continuous shooting speeds would be a harder sell (at least to non-Canon fans), particularly with just two native RF-S lenses to back it up.
There is a glimmer of light in Canon Rumors’ claim that “new accessories will be released with the camera”, which suggests that some innovation is possible. And who knows, maybe Canon is planning a new interface, an edge-to-edge big screen, a revamped app, and sleeker live streaming powers for its next camera.
Recent history and this new leak of Canon rumors suggest otherwise, but entry-level mirrorless cameras must now reinvent themselves to beat the increasingly capable hybrid powerhouses already in our pockets.