The Canon EOS M mirrorless system may be dead, but one of its cameras is being dug up and reincarnated into a new model for the ongoing EOS R series. The EOS R100 is the latest of Canon’s APS-C system cameras. It features a 24.1-megapixel sensor, eye-tracking dual pixel autofocus and a very compact size for $479.99 body only, launching in July. It also sells for $599.99 in a kit with the RF-S 18–45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens or $829.99 in a kit of two zooms with the same slow speed lens plus an RF-S 55–210mm f/5 -7.1 IS STM telephoto. Launching alongside the R100 is a $299.99 Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens that’s compatible with crop or full-frame cameras and only slightly larger than a body cap.
You cannot touch this [Canon]!
On paper, the R100 is almost a dead ringer for the, well, dead Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It has the same sensor, Digic 8 processor, 2.36 million dot OLED EVF and cropped 4K video as that swan song from the EOS M system. But there are also some important things missing from that camera – things you normally expect each modern camera, frankly – like a hinged screen, in-body image stabilization, webcam streaming, or touch controls. That’s right, touch the three-inch LCD screen on the back of the R100 all you want, but it won’t do anything.
This certainly scrapes the bottom of the barrel for budget system cameras and looks a bit meager compared to the more capable EOS R50 which sits above $679.99. But to be fair, the 2.5 year old M50 Mark II that the R100 is based on had a starting price of almost $800 (perhaps indicating why that system is dead), and for about that much money you can get this new model in a kit with two lenses. I’m not going to say these are good lenses or worth the money, but there’s something naively charming about Canon trying to relive the glory days of its Canon Rebel DSLRs – a time when an entry-level DSLR was a good investment for anyone who wants to get into photography or just want to take decent pictures of family or important life events.
But while this camera gives me a hint of nostalgia for the days when I sold whatever the current rebel of the moment was to parents-to-be and college graduates, the world of cameras is a very different place now. Sure, this sub-$500 camera has an autofocus system that far surpasses anything on the market of its era, but sacrificing a hinged screen and many other features on the table is probably a deal-breaker for someone trying content to make. Today.
Perhaps the EOS R100 can thrive on its aggressive price alone, hoping to tie beginners into a growing RF lens ecosystem that keeps them upgrading within the Canon family. But users may not like what they see price-wise when they hit the line because, in addition to entry-level user behavior changing over the years, mid-range to top-end cameras and lenses have only become more niche and more expensive.