Camera test

I was able to field test the new Canon EOS R7 for night photography

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Canon EOS R7 camera yesterday, thanks to Canon España Ambassadors Paco Farero and Iván Sanchez. This is Canon’s first offering of a cropped-sensor APS-C mirrorless camera, and I was eager to test it out and see what it looked like.

Now first, some caveats. I had the camera in the field for only a few hours. I only took stills, so I couldn’t try the component video. This is not an in-depth review, these are just my first impressions. And these are quite supportive, I have to admit.

Look and feel

The camera is very similar in design to most of Canon’s other mirrorless cameras. The surface coating has a nice matt black effect, pleasant to the touch and quite smooth as well. It’s very similar to the EOS R in terms of size and weight, although perhaps slightly more ergonomic with some added curves.

Compared to the Canon EOS 7D, of which it’s supposed to be a mirrorless version, the R7 is small and compact and fits comfortably in small hands. The 7D is literally built like a tank, not this camera.

The back is a minimalist design similar to Canon’s other mirrorless cameras, with plenty of options accessible via digital menu controls on the swiveling screen. It’s something I’ve become quite comfortable with on mirrorless cameras, and most functions are easy to find and simple to manipulate, via the touchscreen.

The rear dials are slightly improved over the R6. There’s an additional dial at the top that you can use to easily change the aperture with a joystick to move the focus point. It also has two memory card slots.

Performance

Yongnuo 35mm f/2 lens.

Overall, the performance of this camera was excellent. In fact, it looked exactly like my Canon EOS R and produced nearly identical images minus the crop factor. I don’t think there’s a single feature the R has that the R7 doesn’t. That’s saying a lot for the R7 because in general I love shooting with the R, it takes fantastic images. The only noticeable difference from what I can see is the size of the sensor. The R7 even has a slightly higher megapixel count at 32.5mp.

The HDR bracketing was quick and produced very satisfying results. Focusing was quick, even with a cheap Yongnuo 35mm f/2 lens. With the native Canon lenses, focusing was perfect and lightning fast.

HDR bracketing mode, +2 stops. Edited in LR.

The camera also performed exceptionally well in low light. At high ISO I could see a very small amount of noise, but nothing major. Again, certainly not much different from R.

Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM @15mm. f 2.8, ISO 3200, 25 sec. Edited in LR.

Conclusion

After years of shooting mostly with full-frame cameras, I had forgotten how much I love shooting with a crop sensor. It might sound weird, but for anyone looking to shoot wildlife or sports, this camera would be a great option. Provided you don’t mind an APS-C sensor that is.

I was using it for night sky photography, not something this camera is exactly intended for. However, it handled the settings very well, as you can see. It seems to be quite adaptable to different styles of photography and does well in less easy lighting conditions such as shooting in the sun and at sunset.

As with all digital cameras, a certain amount of post-processing was required to get the best out of the images, but contrast and color gamut were also good and RAW and Jpeg images straight out of the camera provided an excellent starting point.

The R7 is much cheaper than the R6 and R5. Despite that, it looks like a really solid little mirrorless camera that’ll give you more options than you’ll likely ever need.

The Canon EOS R7 is currently selling for $1,499.00.