The Canon EOS R100 is the camera that everyone has been waiting for since the first launch of the R system. That is, there were professional cameras, 8K cameras, camcorders, but in fact, many people wanted an affordable entry-level camera. Something simple enough that families can capture their cherished shots as easily as they would with a smartphone, yet advanced enough to allow for creative growth as skills develop.
And that’s exactly what the Canon R100 is. The camera is simple enough for a beginner to capture great images in automatic mode. But it reveals its real benefits when you switch it to semi-automatic and manual modes to start getting creative in ways that just aren’t possible on a phone. In the Canon EOS R100 review, we will find out what the new camera is capable of.
Canon R100 – Overview
The Canon EOS R100 is incredibly similar in size, shape and layout to the Canon R50 (which sits between the Canon EOS R100 and the more advanced Canon R10 in the product hierarchy). It’s a very compact camera, even by mirrorless standards, complemented by a range of suitably sized compact lenses, including the Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM lens released alongside the R100.
The camera is most portable and effective when paired with these lightweight prime lenses, as well as the bundled Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens. The controls are simple and reasonably placed. The ON/OFF switch is tied to the mode dial on the right side of the camera. This allows you to quickly turn on the camera with one hand so you never miss a moment.
A retractable flash is built into the top of the camera body, allowing you to shoot at nightfall or indoors with poor lighting. And on top of the flash is a hot shoe that lets you attach accessories like flashes or vlogger mics if you want to get creative. There are only two real reservations about the handling of the Canon R100.
First, the rear LCD screen does not have any touch functionality. While this has been pretty standard for entry-level cameras in the past, the R100 is supposed to be marketed to people who take pictures with their smartphones and are used to touching the screen to take a picture or change menu settings.
Secondly, when adjusting the exposure control dial during shooting, the mode dial is sometimes touched due to the compactness of the camera. It’s far from a huge problem, but it’s worth keeping in mind. As a final note, the R100 has an older 5-pin hot shoe, rather than the more sophisticated multi-functional shoe found on the R50 and all of Canon’s other recent mirrorless cameras.
Claiming to be one of the best cameras for beginners, the EOS R100 forgoes many advanced camera features in favor of streamlined simplicity. Designed for those who are new to cameras, those who primarily shoot with their phones, the R100 boasts a guided user interface with user-friendly and useful menus that make it easy to get the camera to do what you want it to do.
No need to worry if you’re unfamiliar with the camera’s settings, as the menu offers descriptions of the various modes, and even on-screen examples of what you can expect, making it easy to start shooting right away. Features such as Creative Assist allow you to adjust contrast, brightness, and background blur without having to go into the finer details of the settings.
And when you feel ready to start working in semi-automatic (or even manual) mode, the exposure control dial provides precise control at a moment’s notice. The 24.1-megapixel APS-C image sensor is an optimized version of the one used in the Canon M50 II (with which the R100 has quite a lot in common overall).
The camera retains a lot of data and detail in your shots, allowing you to achieve a shallow depth of field. And if you’re shooting distant subjects like wildlife or sports, the sensor’s 1.6x crop factor will increase the focal length of your lenses for greater reach. Despite its relative simplicity, the R100’s Dual Pixel autofocus remains incredibly reliable.
This is the same hybrid AF system (3975 points) used in professional DSLRs such as the Canon 90D , so its reliability is known to everyone. Although the camera is designed primarily for photography, the R100 shoots both FullHD and 4K video. And most importantly, it can do this in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
However, it should be noted that 4K causes an additional crop factor (1.55x) on top of the existing APS-C crop (1.6x). This means that your shots will look very “zoomed in”, so you’ll need to use an ultra-wide angle lens like the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM to keep the wide field of view.
When it comes to the images that the Canon R100 produces, the quality is hard to fault. Whether you’re shooting in auto, semi-auto, or full manual, it just takes a great shot. Automatic modes behave almost the same as on a smartphone. Optimum settings are selected to provide a well-exposed image with minimal camera shake.
However, switch the camera to one of the modes where you can exercise manual control, and you can really start experimenting with things like depth of field, panning, or blurring fast-moving images. Either way, thanks to the 24.1MP image sensor, you’ll get crisp images with rich colors and plenty of detail.
The only real limitation of an image sensor is its ISO range, which determines the camera’s sensitivity to light. The upper limit of ISO 12800 (expandable to ISO 25600) is fairly conservative. This means that graininess will appear much sooner if you shoot in low light and rely only on the ISO setting to expose images.
Autofocus is as reliable as we’ve come to expect from Canon’s Dual Pixel AF, especially with Face+ Tracking with eye detection. Unfortunately, Dual Pixel is not available when shooting 4K, and combined with the additional crop factor, makes 4K video less than optimal here. Though, admittedly, the Canon EOS R100 is not a video camera.
The problem with continuous shooting is buffer capacity, which severely limits the amount of time the camera can shoot at full speed before slowing down. The EOS R100 isn’t too bad, offering 97 JPEGs, but only at 6.5fps. The C-RAW format has a buffer value of 17 shots.
The EOS R100 features Dual Pixel autofocus when shooting in FullHD (1080p) up to 60p (for semi-slow motion). And if you drop the resolution down to 720p, you can shoot 120p footage (for full slow motion). In all modes, you can use Canon’s digital image stabilization to reduce camera shake in your footage.
There are also two little-known features of the R100 that we find useful: 4K frame capture, which allows you to extract a still frame from a 4K movie so that you can effectively capture decent quality photos from video. And also Hybrid Auto, which saves 2-4 seconds of video when you take a picture, and in the end it can make clips of your day.
Screen and viewfinder
Both the Canon R100 and the R50 use the same 0.39-inch 2.36M-dot EVF, which is quite acceptable for a camera in this price range, and the EOS R100 is up to par here. However, when you move to the back panel, everything changes. The R100 uses a fixed 3-inch 1,040,000-dot screen even without a tilt mechanism, which is almost unheard of for modern cameras.
Storage and nutrition
The R100 has one SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot that supports UHS I cards. They aren’t as fast as the higher standard UHS II, but a UHS I card will handle relatively simple video and burst shooting functions just fine. The Canon EOS R100 uses a rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E17. The number of shots is almost the same as the R50.
The camera has Micro-HDMI (output) and USB-C (USB 2.0) input / output ports. There is a 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input and a memory card slot. Of the wireless options – only WiFi.
EOS R100 price
At the moment (June 2023), the price of the Canon EOS R100 camera is $480 per body when pre-ordering online. A kit with an 18-45mm lens will cost $600, and with two lenses – 18-45mm and 55-210mm – $830. The start of sales will be announced later.
EOS R100 follows Canon’s familiar path of incorporating relatively old technology into a new, simple yet effective body. Cropped 4K video and its video focus limitations is one drawback, while the fixed screen is another. But the EOS R100 has a 24-megapixel sensor and a decent autofocus system, which is likely to be suitable for novice mirrorless camera users interested mainly in photography.
Canon EOS R100 Specifications:
|6000 x 4000
|APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
|100 … 12800
|100 … 25600
|Digital on video
|Optics and focus
|Phase detection / contrast
|Number of focus points
|-4 … +20EV
|Screen / viewfinder
|Fixed, 1040000 dots
|3″ (7.5 cm)
|Color LCD TFT display
|Electronic, OLED 0.39″
|-3 … +1
|C-RAW, JPEG, RAW
|sRGB and Adobe RGB
|Up to 6.5 fps
|Electronic 1st curtain, mechanical 2nd curtain
|1/4000 … 30 sec
|±3 (in 1/3 EV increments)
|-2 … 20EV
|Video shooting features
|MP4: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, Audio: AAC
|4K 30p, Full HD 60p, HD 120p up to 60Mbps
|JPEG 8.3 MP from 4K UHD video
|Max. sync speed
|+/- 2 EV in steps of 1/3 EV
|Data storage and interface
|One slot for SD / SDHC / SDXC
|Built-in Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz
|Nutrition, dimensions and weight
|LP-E17 7.2 V, 1040 mAh, 340 shots
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm
|Weight with battery and card