Canon R100 Preview

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Canon R100 Preview
Canon has introduced another APS-C camera with an R-Mount, the Canon EOS R100. As of June 2023, Canon now has four APS-C cameras with R-Mount in its lineup. The Canon EOS R100 is primarily aimed at photography beginners. To keep the camera's cost as low as possible, Canon has utilized many components from older cameras and omitted several features found in current R-System cameras. Whether the Canon EOS R100 is still suitable for nature photography will be discussed later. First, let's take a look at the technical specifications.

Specifications of the Canon R100

The Canon EOS R100 is an entry-level mirrorless camera with an R-Mount and an APS-C sensor. It features a 24.1-megapixel sensor similar to the one found in the EOS M50 (2020), producing image files with dimensions of 6000x4000 pixels. Autofocusing is done directly through the sensor using phase detection. The camera does not have an integrated image stabilizer.
The autofocus is capable of recognizing and tracking people and their eyes but does not include AF functionality for identifying other subjects like animals and their eyes. In the photo mode, the camera offers a maximum of 3,975 AF points, and in the video mode, there are up to 3,375 AF points available. The AF can be configured in various ways and works in ambient light conditions ranging from -2 to 20 LW (compared to the R50 with -4 to 20 LW). As far as I know, the camera does not have a focus bracketing function.
The camera features a burst mode that can capture up to 6.5 frames per second in single-AF mode. It can maintain this speed for 97 JPEGs, 6 RAWs, 17 C-RAWs, and 6 RAWs (+ L JPEG). In the Servo AF mode, the continuous shooting speed reduces to 3.5 frames per second. Image processing is handled by a DIGIC 8 processor, also found in the Canon EOS M50 II. The camera uses an electronically controlled focal planePicture Gallery shutter (rolling shutter), electronic 1st curtain, and mechanical 2nd curtain. It can achieve shutter speeds of up to 1/4000s and supports long exposures of up to 30 seconds, with even longer exposure times possible in bulb mode.
The ISO sensitivity can be adjusted between ISO 100 and 12,800, with an extended mode going up to ISO 25,600.
The Canon EOS R100 features a built-in electronic 0.39-inch OLED viewfinder (EVF) with a 0.95x magnification and a resolution of 2.36 megapixels. The viewfinder offers a diopter adjustment ranging from -3 to +1.
The camera's LCD screen is fixed (non-articulating) and lacks touch functionality. It has a resolution of 1,040,000 dots and provides 100% frame coverage.
Exposure metering is performed directly on the image sensor. Various metering modes are available, including multi-zone metering (384 zones, 24 x 16), center-weighted selective metering (approximately 5.8% of the live view area), center-weighted integral metering, and spot metering (about 2.9% of the live view area). Selective and spot metering are not available in movie mode. There is no spot metering in combination with the AF point.
The Canon EOS R100 includes a built-in flash with a guide number of 6 (ISO 100) and a sync speed of 1/200 seconds.
The camera has an SD card slot (UHS-I) for memory cards.
The dimensions of the Canon EOS R100 are approximately 116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8 mm, with a weight of around 356 g (excluding the battery and memory card).

AF Performance of the Canon R100

If I had written this assessment in 2019, I might have given a more positive evaluation of the autofocus system. However, for a camera released in 2023, I find the autofocus performance of the R100 somewhat lacking. I would have expected at least the capability to recognize common petsPicture Gallery like dogsPicture Gallery and catsPicture Gallery. Naturally, I can achieve accurate focus with a regular autofocus system, but it is much more difficult, especially when the subject is in motion, and the photographerMore Info wants to keep the subject's eye in focus.

Hedgehog With a relatively calm animal like this hedgehog, it is perfectly possible to keep the eye in focus even without subject and eye recognition.

the absence of animal subject recognition in the Canon EOS R100's autofocus system can lead to a lower success rate in achieving well-focused images, even though the autofocus itself is generally accurate.
Additionally, the Canon EOS R100 features two autofocus modes: Servo AF (continuous autofocus), which continuously adjusts focus when the subject moves, and One Shot AF, which focuses once upon a half-pressed shutter button and maintains that focus position. Servo AF is preferred for capturing moving subjects, especially in wildlife photographyMore Info, while One Shot AF is suitable for stationary subjects, such as product or landscape photographyMore Info. I occasionally use One Shot AF with a kingfisherPicture Gallery, which may stay still on its perch for an extended period of time.
It's worth noting that the camera uses phase-detection autofocus for photos but switches to contrast-detection autofocus for video recording. The latter is slower and less reliable in comparison.

Image quality of the Canon EOS R100

The Canon EOS R100 uses the same 24-megapixel sensor as the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, and it also utilizes the DIGIC 8 processor. As a result, the image quality is expected to be nearly identical to that of the M50 Mark II, which was quite good, especially at lower ISO settings. However, at higher ISO settings, aggressive noise reduction in JPEG mode can cause a loss of fine details. Therefore, it's advisable to capture images in RAW format. By using modern image processing software like Topaz Denoise, DXO Pure Raw or using the Enhance function in Adobe PS or LR, you can achieve nearly noise-free and still detail-rich photos even at ISO 3200. Images taken at ISO 6400 are still usable. It is better to have a noisy image rather than a blurred image.
The camera offers an impressive high dynamic range of 11 stops at ISO 200, which is notably high for an APS-C camera.

Fokus bracketing and focus stacking with the Canon R100

With focus bracketing you can create images with extended depth of field. It involves taking multiple shots of the same subject with slightly shifted focus points and then combining them in-camera or on a computer to produce an image with greater depth of field. This technique is commonly used in macro photography, where it's challenging to achieve sufficient depth of field.
However, the Canon EOS R100 lacks a focus bracketing feature. While many new cameras offer focus bracketing capabilities, this particular camera does not include this function, which may be disappointing for photographersMore Info, especially those interested in macro photography or situations where extended depth of field is needed.

Body and handling of the Canon EOS R100

The menus on the Canon EOS R100 are well-organized and typical of Canon's style. However, one significant departure from the norm is the absence of a touchscreen on this camera. This means that users need to navigate the menus using physical buttons instead. The camera has unfortunately no quick access menu (Q-Menu) on the screen, which is a feature commonly found on other cameras. This is a significant drawback for me.
The fixed screen on the camera can limit its usability for macro photography, especially when capturing shots from awkward positions. The need to lie flat on the ground for low-angle shots is an inconvenience, particularly in outdoor settings where the ground might be damp or wet.
The continuous shooting speed of 3.5 frames per second when using the Servo AF mode is relatively slow. This can make it challenging to capture fast-moving subjects, and success may require good timing or a bit of luck to catch the perfect moment.
The camera is equipped with only the essential control buttons. In addition to the mode dial, there is only one additional dial for adjusting settings like aperture or shutter speed, depending on the shooting mode.
The body feels well built.


The EOS R100 is aimed at photography beginners entering Canon's EOS R system. It provides good image quality for an APS-C camera at low to moderate ISO values. The continuous shooting speed of 6.5 frames per second, which decreases to 3.5 frames per second in Servo AF mode, isn't impressive and significantly reduces the chance of capturing the right moment. Unfortunately, it lacks focus bracketing functionality for macro photographersMore Info, as well as a tilting or swiveling monitor and a touch screen. The camera has minimal control buttons. Even though I don't usually mention video features of mirrorless cameras, it's worth noting that the autofocus in video mode is noticeably slow.
Currently, the Canon EOS R100 is available in a kit with the 18-45mm lens for 698.90 EUR. While it's reasonably priced, as a nature photographerMore Info, you may quickly encounter the camera's limitations. If you're serious about getting into nature photography, I recommend taking a closer look at Canon cameras starting from the Canon EOS R10.

Article from 2023-11-08


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