Canon announces the EOS R100 sub-$500 entry-level mirrorless camera

May 24, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon announces the EOS R100 sub-$500 entry-level mirrorless camera

May 24, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Nikon might not see value in transitioning the D3x00 DSLR series over to mirrorless, blaming smartphones, but it seems they don’t speak for everybody. Canon sure sounds like they want to target that market with today’s announcement of the Canon EOS R100 (buy here). It’s an entry-level APS-C RF mount camera with a price tag that puts it well and truly in the beginner market.

Despite Nikon’s suggestion that smartphone users want more from their entry-level cameras these days (with a higher price tag), Canon doesn’t appear to share the sentiment. The new Canon EOS R100 entry-level camera is targeted directly at newer photographers and usurps the EF-S DSLRs and EF-M mirrorless cameras that came before it. Sort of.

YouTube video

Canon EOS R100 – Designed for beginners

Canon says that the EOS R100 is “designed for new, first-time mirrorless camera or existing interchangeable camera users who previously enjoyed EOS Rebel or EOS M cameras”. And some of its specs are geared towards this. It’s clear, though, that it’s a photography-first camera and really isn’t targeted towards video shooters or vloggers, with cropped 4K video at only 24fps and 1080p video at 60fps.

Personally, I think anybody who’s previously owned an EOS Rebel or EOS M camera is going to be quite disappointed with the EOS R100. For somebody who’s never picked up a camera before and doesn’t expect things like the stabilisation and a touchscreen interface available on smartphones, it might be ok.

A cut-down EOS M50 Mark II in an RF mount body

From looking at the specs, the new Canon EOS R100 appears to essentially be a cut-down EOS M50 Mark II (buy here) in an RF mount body. And while Canon says they’ve still not given up on the EOS M mirrorless system, that line looks like it’s becoming less and less genuine as time passes. The EOS R50 (buy here) looked like a step up from the EOS M50 Mark II, and it was, but it wasn’t destined to become the new entry-level mirrorless body.

That fate has been left to the EOS R100. Whereas the EOS R50 was a step up from the EOS M50 Mark II, the EOS R100 is a step down. It does share some similarities, though. It contains the same 24-megapixel sensor, the same Digic 8 processor, the same 2.36m-dot OLED EVF, and it has the same cropped 4K video mode that put many people off buying into the original EOS M50, as well as its Mark II successor.

So what’s missing?

One of the most obvious missing features from the EOS R100 that the EOS M50 Mark II has is the lack of a flippy-out articulating LCD. This means that Canon doesn’t intend this camera for use by vloggers – a very specific market that the EOS M50 Mark II targeted. The screen that it also has is not a touchscreen display. So, there’s no tap to focus or navigating through menus without hitting physical dials and buttons.

Another big feature that’s missing – which was also missing in the EOS M50 Mark II – is IBIS. The Canon EOS R100 contains no stabilisation whatsoever, which means you’re relying solely on stabilised lenses if you want any form of stabilisation when shooting handheld.

In fact, it’s actually lacking a lot of the features that many entry-level users expect these days. Without the articulating LCD, IBIS and touchscreen interface it feels like it’s about a decade too late.

Maybe Nikon has a point, after all.

What does it have?

Well, it’s got that 24-megapixel sensor, plenty enough resolution for the needs of just about any beginner. It has full-width 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second – although, that’s not much to brag about these days – and cropped 4K video. It has autofocus with eye and face detection, but I don’t expect it’ll be anywhere near as advanced as the rest of Canon’s range – there’s no mention of “AI” or car, bike, animal, etc. tracking AF in the press release.

It does mention that you can use your old EF lenses with the use of the various EF to RF lens adapters Canon makes. And, of course, it’s compatible with all of the RF and RF-S lenses on the market. It also has Bluetooth and WiFi for when you want to use it with the smartphone app. Outside of that, there’s not really anything all that special.

The Specs

Sensor24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS
Lens MountCanon RF
Max resolution24.2-megapixels
File formatRAW, JPG, HEIF
Bit-depth14-Bit
ISO 100-12,800 (ext 100-25,600)
StabilisationNone
Continuous shootingUp to 6.5fps (electronic shutter)
4K VideoCropped 4K UHD- 3840 x 2160, 23.98 / 25 fps, IPB (Standard), AAC
HD VideoFull HD – 1920 x 1080, 59.94 / 50 / 29.97 / 25 / 23.98 fps, IPB (Standard), AAC
Focus typeDual Pixel CMOS AF System
Contrast detection method is used during 4K Movie Servo AF
AF Points143
Viewfinder2.36m-dot EVF
LCD3.0″ 1.04m-dot Fixed LCD (no touchscreen)
Card slotsSingle UHS-I SD
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 (Type-C), Micro HDMI
Dimensions116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm
WeightApprox. 356g (body only)
Launch price$479 (body only)

Price and Availability

The Canon EOS R100 is available to pre-order now for $479, body only. You can get it in a kit with the RF 18-45mm f/4-5-6.3 IS STM lens, available to pre-order now for $599. It’s also available in a dual lens kit, including the RF 18-45mm f/4-5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM lenses, which is available to pre-order now for $829. Between the price an features, the R100 made it to our best Canon cameras guide.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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