It’s happening: Canon is finally answering our calls for cheaper mirrorless cameras

Canon’s recent launch of the mid-range EOS R7 and EOS R10 was great news for those of us who can’t afford to splash out on full-frame flagships – and it seems the camera giant could be following them up with another temptingly affordable model.

The reliable Canon Rumors has claimed that “Canon’s next RF-mount camera is in the field” and will be announced “before November 2022”. Like Canon’s two most recent releases, the camera will apparently be another APS-C model and “will be a small form-factor vlogger” camera that will likely compete with the new Nikon Z30. This means it could also be the long-rumored Canon EOS R100.

Cameras with APS-C sensors are generally much more affordable than their full-frame equivalents. So the launch of a third such RF-mount camera – following the Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10 – would confirm a big shift in Canon’s strategy. And also a very welcome one in today’s tough financial climate.

The Canon EOS R7 next to the two RF-S lenses the camera giant has announced (so far) (Image credit: Canon)

Even if you’re not in the market for a vlogging camera, the arrival of another APS-C model would be a good sign for affordable Canon cameras. As our Canon EOS R7 review explains, one of the few issues with the camera is its lack of native lenses. Right now, there are just two RF-S lenses, an 18-150mm and 18-45mm.

The launch of an APS-C vlogging model would, you’d hope, signal that Canon is planning to develop more of these lenses, particularly some affordable wide-angle primes that’d pair nicely with its rumored Nikon Z30 rival.

But there are also no guarantees. The recent arrival of the first RF-mount cameras with APS-C sensors has echoes the Canon EOS M series, which landed almost exactly ten years ago. 

Back in 2012, we had high hopes that Canon would develop a small, compact mirrorless system that’d be ideal for amateur photographers. What happened over the next decade? Canon launched more cameras for the EOS M series than it did lenses, with the system receiving just eight lenses in total.

Small price to pay

An affordable camera system for photographers and vloggers doesn’t need dozens of exotic lenses – after all, the whole point is that it’s relatively cheap and simple. It’s also true that some full-frame RF lenses, like the Canon RF 600mm f/11 and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM, will pair very nicely with Canon’s APS-C cameras.

But today’s rumors about another Canon APS-C mirrorless camera have got all us feeling optimistic again that the camera giant will build a small, affordable system that could fulfill the EOS M series’ earlier potential. In the current financial climate, that’s arguably a must for both Canon and camera fans.

Canon’s new small-sensor RF-mount cameras have one other slight hurdle to overcome. Because the RF mount’s flange distance – the gap between the lens and sensor – is slightly larger than the one in the EOS M series (20mm, compared to 18mm) they’ll probably never quite be as charmingly compact as that now seemingly defunct range.

Canon’s rumored vlogging camera will hopefully be a little more compact than the EOS R10 (left) and EOS R7 (right). (Image credit: Canon)

Still, according to Canon Rumors , the rumored vlogging camera “will be close to the Canon EOS M6 Mark II in design”, which is promising. The EOS M6 Mark II remains one of the best travel cameras you can buy, albeit one that suffers from the same issue as the EOS R7 and EOS R10 – a lack of native lenses.

The camera will also apparently use “a different kind of vari-angle LCD screen”, that might flip over the camera rather than round to the side. A Canon EOS R100, if that’s what it’s ultimately called, would give Canon license to be a bit more playful and innovative with its designs than its more serious full-frame cameras.

Canon may not have the resources or fanbase that it had at the dawn of the EOS M series in 2012. But it is now laser-focused on mirrorless cameras and one camera mount. Even if mirrorless cameras will never be quite as affordable as the best beginner DSLRs, let’s hope the EOS R series will indeed starting to offer as many options for amateur photographers as it does for pro ones.

By Mark Wilson

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