Canon EOS R7 review


Canon’s EOS R7 is without a doubt a powerful mirrorless camera that confidently handles a wealth of subjects and situations, whether used for action and wildlife, or as a solid all-rounder for anyone who doesn’t feel the need or have the budget to build a full-frame system.

Highlights include an excellent autofocus system, fast burst shooting albeit with some caveats, decent built-in stabilisation, and potentially detailed images from the 32 Megapixel sensor. At first glance it appears to be the 7D Mark II successor many have been waiting for, and while Canon doesn’t describe it as such, there’s surely no coincidence in the model number.


But the R7 is far from a slam-dunk, especially for 7D II owners or anyone hoping to use it as a high-performance wildlife camera without breaking the bank or their backs. 

The most obvious downside for action shooters is a modest buffer coupled with SD memory only, in turn limiting the top speed of 30fps to bursts of just one or two seconds, followed by several seconds to fully clear the buffer afterwards.

You may also rule-out the electronic shutter in some situations due to pronounced skewing from rolling shutter, and if you like using longer lenses, you’ll curse Canon for inexplicably not offering an optional battery grip for the R7.

Meanwhile the 2.36 million dot viewfinder panel is a little coarse for a model Canon describes as their ultimate APS-C camera.

Revealingly all these downsides are addressed by Fujifilm, who’s X-H2 and S sport deeper buffers, faster card slots, higher resolution viewfinders, optional battery grips, and in the case of the S version, a stacked sensor which greatly reduces skewing effects, in turn making its electronic shutter more practical.

But the X-H2 costs roughly 50% more, while the S adds roughly a grand to the price of the R7, so the question becomes how much do you want to spend? 

The R7 is also far from a no-brainer for 7D II owners who may gain higher resolution, faster bursts and broader AF, not to mention far better video, but miss out on the arguably superior ergonomics of that model from the top screen and rear wheel, to the reassuring heft and optional grip.

If you’re an action shooter who wants to stay with Canon, maybe due to an existing investment in big lenses, it is possible to work around some of the R7’s issues. For example reducing the file size and burst speed to extend the buffer. But I do feel the most demanding wildlife photographers will be eyeing Fujifilm’s models with interest as well as weighing up full-frame alternatives.

Meanwhile those who simply want a higher-end camera with a cropped APS-C sensor may rarely if ever bump-up against the R7’s limitations and find it an altogether satisfying camera to shoot with. 

For these people, my only concern regards lenses, as with only two RF-S zooms and no roadmap at the time I made this review, R7 owners will find themselves investing in unnecessarily large and expensive RF lenses designed for full-frame, or adapting older EF and EF-S models originally meant for DSLRs. It’s certainly not helped by the absence of third party lenses in the RF mount.

I’m also concerned by Canon’s history with APS-C lenses, releasing plenty of standard zooms, but only a handful of premium models for the old EF-S mount and arguably only one aspirational lens for EF-M. Will we see any high-end RF-S lenses designed to exploit the smaller sensor, or will cameras like the R7 be aimed as gateways to full-frame.

So while the R7 is a camera I can recommend for the money, do think carefully about whether the limitations will genuinely impact you in practice, and crucially what lenses you’ll be pairing it with should you go forward.

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Canon EOS R7


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