Reviews |Canon EOS R100 Hands-on Review

Canon EOS R100 Hands-on Review

Canon EOS R100

Our Verdict

It’s great to see that Canon is supporting new photographers by introducing entry-level cameras, however, the lack of a touchscreen may come as a jolt for smartphone users upgrading to the R100. Yes, they will get better image quality, but they will have to get used to using physical buttons and dials too.

It would also be nice if the screen could be tilted or swivelled to give a good view from a range of angles, but it’s fixed. However, the R100’s role is to be even simpler and more affordable than the R50 above it in Canon’s range – and on first look it seems to deliver that.

What is the Canon EOS R100?

The Canon EOS R100 is an APS-C format mirrorless camera that accepts lenses with the Canon RF-S or RF mount. It’s the 14th camera in Canon’s R-series and it sits below the Canon EOS R50 as the company’s most entry-level interchangeable lens camera.

Canon is aiming the R100 at people who want better image quality than they get from a phone. As such, it’s small and light, and designed to be easy to use, but surprisingly, doesn’t have a touch-screen.


Inside the Canon EOS R100 is a 24.1MP APS-C format sensor that supports Dual Pixel CMOS AF (autofocus) to deliver phase-detection focusing when shooting stills or video. That’s the same sensor that’s in the Canon M50 Mark II, but according to Canon, it’s been optimised for the R100.

The sensor is paired with Canon’s Digic 8 processing engine which was introduced with the Canon M50 in February 2018. In the R100, this sensor and processor combination enables the native sensitivity setting to go up to ISO 12,800.

While shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure modes are present, the Canon R100 also has program, scene, Auto+, Creative Filter and Creative Assist modes for inexperienced photographers who may need some help with getting the exposure or the appearance of their images as they’d like them.

Canon’s Hybrid Auto mode is also available to allow users to shoot short (2-4 second) clips of video with every still. These clips can then be combined to create a movie of the day.

When it’s set to continuous autofocusing, the Canon R100 has a maximum continuous shooting rate of 3.5 frames per second. If the focusing system is switched to Single AF, the rate jumps to 6.5 fps.

As you’d expect, the Canon R100 is capable of shooting 4K movies at up to 25p, however, there’s a 1.55x (64%) crop applied. That’s on top of the 1.6x crop that results from the sub-full-frame sensor. It means that the RF 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM, which is the widest Canon RF-S lens currently available, effectively becomes a 44.6-111.6mm lens.

Dropping the video resolution to Full HD increases the maximum frame rate to 120p, that’s useful for creating a slow-motion video of action.

Thanks to its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the Canon R100 can connect to smart devices running the Canon Camera Connect App. This app enables remote control over the camera as well as easy image transfer and sharing. It can also be used to update the camera’s firmware.

The camera also integrates with the cloud platform for storage, backup and sharing.

It’s interesting to note that in addition to a small pop-up flash, the R100 has a hot shoe to connect an external flash. However, this is the older 5-pin-type hotshoe rather than the newer Multi-function shoe.

Build and handling

At just 356g, the Canon EOS R100 is remarkably lightweight. It lacks the robust feel of metal-bodies cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T30 Mark II, but it’s nicely shaped with a comfortable grip that’s well-suited for use by those with medium-sized or small hands.

Canon has given the EOS R100 the same Guided User Interface (UI) and Mode Guide as we’ve seen before in its recent entry-level cameras. These are active by default, but if you prefer, the camera can be switched to work in the Advanced Mode which will be more familiar to photographers with cameras further up the Canon EOS line-up.

One surprise with the Canon EOS R100 is that its 1.04-million-dot screen isn’t touch-sensitive. That seems an odd move given that it’s supposed to appeal to smartphone users. It makes the camera that bit-less intuitive to use. Touchscreens are so common now that I found it impossible to resist tapping on the screen when I got my hand on an early sample of the R100 ahead of its announcement.

The screen is also fixed, so it can’t be flipped or tilted to give a better view when shooting above or below head height. This also seems rather dated, but like the lack of touch control, it helps to keep the price of the R100 down. If you want a vari-angle touchscreen you’ll have to spend a bit more and go for the Canon EOS R50 above the R100.

Above the main screen, there’s an electronic viewfinder. This is a 2.36-million-dot device with a refresh rate of 60fps. It gives a decent view of the scene and, although I haven’t been able to test it extensively, it seems to match the colour and exposure of the captured images.

Putting the disappointment about the lack of a touchscreen to one side, the Canon R100’s control arrangement is pretty straightforward. There’s a mode dial on the top plate with settings to select program (P), shutter priority (Tv), aperture priority (Av), Manual (M), video, Creative Filters, scene (SCN), Auto Hybrid or Auto+ (A+).

Between the mode dial and the shutter button, there’s a knurled control dial for adjusting settings, and near that, the video record button.

The back of the camera is uncluttered and features just 5 buttons in addition to the navigation pad and its central Q/Set button for accessing the Quick menu or confirming setting selections.


I’ve been able to shoot a few images with a pre-production sample of the Canon EOS R100, all within the confines of Canon’s UK headquarters, and I’m not permitted to do any in-depth analysis of them. However, noise appears to be controlled well at ISO 6400, the colour and white balance don’t hold any surprises and the metering system performed well.

The R100’s autofocus system also coped well with the low-light conditions of the meeting room, but I’ll be looking at this in more detail when a review sample becomes available.

Given that it has the same sensor and processing engine as the Canon M50 Mark II (and the original M50 before it), we can reasonably expect the Canon R100 to deliver a very similar performance. With the M50 Mark II, I found that its low-ISO Jpegs sometimes lack the detail of its raw files, so I’ll be checking this with the R100. As the R100 is an entry-level camera, its users are more likely to shoot Jpegs than they are raw files.

The M50 and M50 Mark II are capable of producing very attractive videos and they’ve proved popular with vloggers. The R100 should be able to produce similar quality video although its fixed screen is more limiting for composing shots.

Canon EOS R100 sample images

I was able to shoot a few images within the confines of an artificially-lit meeting room. They’re not intended to inspire, but they indicate that the R100 keep noise under control well.

Early verdict

The entry-level market used to be very important to camera manufacturers. Entry-level cameras are the most affordable and they used to sell in the biggest numbers. That made them a very competitive section of the market because manufacturers were vying to pull photographers into their system, setting them on a path to buying lenses and in the future, upgrading their cameras.

The arrival of mirrorless cameras has reduced brand and lens mount loyalty, and smartphones have decimated the bottom end of the camera market. All this means that high-end cameras have been the focus of development, and beginners often struggle to justify the cost of a camera to develop their fledgling hobby. So I’m pleased to see that Canon is investing in the entry-level market. However, it’s disappointing that Canon hasn’t given the R100 a touchscreen as I think many people upgrading from a smartphone will expect one. The fact the screen is fixed also limits the versatility of the camera, but then there’s always the Canon R50 above it in the range.