Today’s Review is about the newly introduced Canon EOS R7. Since the very first announcement of Canon’s RF mount mirrorless range, photographers have been waiting for a camera with an APS-C sensor. Perhaps a little more time has passed than we could have imagined, but still, in May 2022 the world saw two mirrorless crop cameras with RF-S mount R10 and R7 at once. Now we can say with confidence that the fate of the EOS M line is a foregone conclusion. Today we review the top mirrorless APS-C camera Canon EOS R7.
The Canon EOS R7 review consists of three parts. Earlier, a live broadcast took place, in which we tested the camera live in detail and answered the questions of the audience. This publication contains a compressed video review, as well as a text part with camera technical research and links to sources.
Canon EOS R7 Key Features
The Canon EOS R7 has received a classic design in relation to the trends of the mirrorless RF line. However, there are still some interesting features. Firstly, it’s a three-position Off/On/Video switch – we saw a similar solution in the EOS R5C camera, and it’s really convenient.
Secondly, the multi-selector “moved” higher and is now combined with a joystick – many were worried that it was easy to hurt during operation, but this is not so, everything is in order. Thirdly, and this is perhaps a minus, the top panel has lost the second control disk – now the control of the exposure couple is not so convenient.
The camera is equipped with a 22.2 x 14.8 mm APS-C sensor (1.6x crop) with a resolution of 32.5 MP. A similar sensor was installed in the EOS 90D and EOS M6 II, but, according to the manufacturer, the matrix is not the same – maybe this is so, maybe just marketing. Unlike its predecessors, the new product has a matrix stabilizer, which, I must say, is very effective (more on this below in the tests).
The latest generation Digic X processor is responsible for processing information. The ISO range is 100-32000 with an extension of up to 51200, unfortunately, the lower value cannot be reduced. For video mode, the maximum ISO value is limited to 12800.
EOS R7 received a modern autofocus Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, 100% of the frame is covered with 5915 points, which are divided into 651 AutoZone. There is recognition of faces, eyes, animals, cars, and motorcycles.
The performance of continuous shooting is impressive. With a mechanical shutter, the speed can reach up to 15 frames per second, and with an electronic shutter, up to 30 frames. During continuous shooting, autofocus and autoexposure work. The maximum speed depends on the shooting conditions, including the speed of the memory card – in our case, we worked with a Delkin Devices Black UHS-II 256GB card. The shutter speed range is 30s-1/8000, with an electronic shutter of 30s-1/16000. Synchronization up to 1/250s with mechanical shutter and up to 1/320s with electronic first curtain.
The rotating display has a diagonal of 2.95″ and a resolution of 1.62 megapixels, and the viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 megapixels with a refresh rate of up to 120fps, depending on the shooting conditions. There are no outstanding indicators here, everything is standard for cameras in this price segment.
Interfaces: USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (without power support during operation, battery charging in the camera is guaranteed with a USB adapter PD-E1), Micro HDMI, headphone output, microphone input, sync cable, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth. Also, the camera is equipped with two SD slots with support for a high-speed UHS-II interface.
Canon EOS R7 Review
Let’s start with the dynamic range. For technical testing of the matrix, we use the Datacolor SpyderCheckr 24 color scale. Let’s analyze the capabilities of the matrix in the highlights:
When restoring an overexposed picture with one step, the matrix copes perfectly.
When two steps are restored from the highlights, a loss in semitones is observed. Such corrections should be resorted to only in extreme cases.
The restoration of three steps in the highlights gives a significant distortion of colors.
In the shadows, the situation is more optimistic:
One step in the shadows does not give any changes in the picture, there are no noises, and the color rendition does not suffer.
Two steps already show minor noises that are absolutely uncritical.
Three stops give a larger noise, which the automatic noise reduction can easily handle. Detailing is not affected.
When pulling out the four stupefactions, a noticeable color noise appears, which contributes to both detail and color reproduction.
Five steps significantly affect color reproduction, and the grain of noise becomes very large. Such adjustments to color images are best avoided; when shooting in B/W, this is not so critical.
Summing it all up, we can say that the EOS R7 has a headroom of about one and a half stops in the highlights, and 3-4 stops in the shadows. The results are expected and, unfortunately, there are no global changes compared to the EOS 90D and EOS M6 II. In general, this is a sufficient supply, which gives good opportunities for a post in professional work.
ISO Test of Canon EOS R7
Let’s start with a synthetic sensor test and compare the performance with the latest APS-C cameras that we tested earlier.
Over the entire ISO range, the EOS R7 performs worse than the Nikon Z50 and Fujifilm X-T4. And if up to 1600-3200, the real picture will practically not differ, then higher ISOs from opponents will be noticeably cleaner.
For fun, let’s compare full-frame cameras with similar resolution matrices. We also decided to include the EOS R camera in this comparison, since we do not have more modern Canon cameras with the corresponding synthetic test.
As expected, our hero also loses in this comparison. The leaders remain Z6 II and A7 IV.
Now let’s analyze the real crinkle at the main ISO values. As in the previous test, we will use the SpyderCheckr scale. All files were converted via RawDigger to disable all sorts of built-in adjustments.
At ISO400 you can notice the first small monotonous noise. ISO800 already produces color noise, which is noticeable in the bright areas of the frame. With each new value, the grain becomes coarser, ISO3200 can be called the limit value for large-format printing. Further, the noise affects the detail, while the color rendition suffers slightly.
ISO12800 can be considered the limit value above which you should not rise when working with a color photograph.
According to CIPA measurements, the effectiveness of matrix stabilization can reach 8 stops, when shooting with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM. It is important to note that the matrix stabilizer works in conjunction with the optical stabilizer in the lens. When used with the RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM (which we tested with), CIPA promises the user up to 7 stops of efficiency. Let’s check:
The efficiency of the combination of matrix and optical stabilization is simply impressive. In our tests, we were able to get almost the same 7 steps. Moreover, if you look at the resulting graph, then almost 3.5 steps give a 100% result!
When testing the camera, we used Samyang autofocus lenses via an EF-RF adapter, it turned out that the matrix stabilizer does not work with third-party lenses. Also, when working with branded lenses with optical stabilizers, there is no way to separately disable the operation of the optical or matrix stabilizer.
So, the R7 can write 4K H265 10bit 4.2.2 C-Log 3 or HDR PQ at up to 340Mbps to a memory card. At the same time, the duration of the video is theoretically unlimited (the maximum duration is up to 6 hours), however, the limitation may occur due to overheating of the camera. Since we didn’t have the camera for long, we didn’t have time to test this aspect.
With C-Log 3 or HDR disabled, PQ records standard 4K H265 8bit 60fps video at up to 230Mbps. Any video format is written from the entire area of the matrix without crop.
In addition to matrix stabilization, digital stabilization is available to the operator, which does its job quite successfully, but this greatly affects image quality. In the video below, the shot was taken with a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens, which is equivalent to 135mm, and this is far from an easy task for shooting handheld.
In 4K 30fps mode, downscaling from 7K occurs, resulting in a better picture than when shooting 4K 60 fps with skipping lines. The bitrate in this mode reaches 170 Mbps when the C-Log 3 or HDR PQ option is enabled, or up to 120 Mbps when it is turned off. This mode has a limitation on the duration of one clip of 30 minutes.
It is possible to record 4K 60fps 1 to 1, resulting in a 1.81x crop on top of the existing 1.6x. This feature will be especially useful when shooting macro.
The maximum frame rate of 120fps is achieved at Full HD resolution. It is important to note that autofocus works fully in this mode, videos are recorded without sound, and the duration is limited to 30 minutes.
Canon EOS R7 Photo Gallery
Canon EOS R7 is currently one of the most functional cameras with an APS-C matrix. However, the impression is spoiled by the assortment of RF-S lenses – there are only two of them, and these are far from the lenses that should be used in professional work. In this review, we tested the camera mainly with Samyang 14/2.8 and 85/1.4 lenses, and I would like to note that even with third-party lenses through the EF-RF adapter, autofocus worked perfectly. Perhaps one of the main advantages of the EOS R7 is autofocus, which works quickly and accurately in both photos and videos.
Unfortunately, when working with third-party lenses, the matrix stub does not work, and this is frustrating since the stabilizer here is simply incredible. With such efficiency, we met, perhaps, only in one camera, this is the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50s II.
Of course, I would like to see some breakthroughs in dynamic range and image quality when working at high ISOs, but the reality turned out to be more prosaic. In this regard, the R7 is inferior to even less professional cameras from other manufacturers. However, if you are considering the R7 to replace the 90D or choosing between our hero and the 90D/M6 II, then the choice is obvious – the Canon EOS R7 is a more modern and functional camera that fully meets professional needs.