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I got to field test the new Canon EOS R7 for night photography


I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Canon EOS R7 camera yesterday, thanks to Canon España ambassadors Paco Farero and Iván Sanchez. It’s Canon’s first offering of a cropped sensor APS-C mirrorless camera, and I was keen to test it out and see what it was like.

Now first, a few caveats. I had the camera in the field for only a couple of hours. I took only still shots so I wasn’t able to try out the video component. This isn’t an in-depth review, these are purely my initial first impressions. And those are pretty favourable, I must admit.

Look and feel

The camera is very similar in design to most of Canon’s other mirrorless cameras. The surface coating features a nice matte black effect, that feels good to the touch and looks quite slick as well. It’s very similar to the EOS R in terms of both size and weight, although perhaps slightly more ergonomically designed with a few more curves.

Compared with the Canon EOS 7D, which this is supposed to be a mirrorless version of, the R7 is small and compact and fits comfortably in smaller hands. The 7D is literally built like a tank, not so this camera.

The back is a similar minimalist design to Canon’s other mirrorless cameras, with many of the options being accessed via the digital menu controls on the swivel screen. This is something that I have become quite comfortable with on mirrorless cameras, and most of the functions are easy to find and simple to manipulate, via the touchscreen.

The back dials are upgraded slightly from the R6. There is an additional dial at the top which you can use to easily alter the aperture with a joystick for moving the focus point. It also has two memory card slots.

Performance

35mm f/2 Yongnuo lens.

Overall, the performance of this camera was excellent. In reality, it felt exactly like my Canon EOS R, and produced near identical images, minus the crop factor. I don’t think that there is a single function that the R has that the R7 doesn’t have. That’s saying quite a lot for the R7 because generally, I love shooting with the R, it takes fantastic images. The only discernable difference from what I can see is the sensor size. The R7 even has a slightly higher megapixel count at 32.5mp.

The HDR bracketing was fast and produced very pleasing results. Focusing was rapid, even with a cheap Yongnuo 35mm f/2 lens. With the native Canon lenses, it focussed flawlessly and was lightning fast.

HDR bracketing mode, +2 stops. Edited in LR.

The camera also performed exceptionally well in low light. At high ISO I could see a very small amount of noise, but nothing major. Again, certainly not much different from the R.

Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM @15mm. f 2.8, ISO 3200, 25 secs. Edited in LR.

Conclusion

After years of shooting mostly full-frame cameras, I had forgotten how much I actually enjoy shooting with a crop sensor. That might sound weird, but for anyone who wishes to shoot wildlife or sports, this camera would be a great option. Provided that you don’t mind an APS-C sensor that is.

I was using it for night sky photography, not something that this camera is exactly intended for. However, it coped with the parameters very well as you can see. It seems to be quite adaptable to different styles of photography and coped well with less easy light conditions such as shooting into the sun and sunset.

As with all digital cameras, a certain amount of post-processing was required to get the most out of the images, but contrast and colour range were as good and both the RAW and Jpeg images straight out of camera provided a great starting point.

The R7 is far cheaper than the R6 and R5. Despite that, it seems like a really solid little mirrorless camera that will give you more options than you are ever probably going to need.

The Canon EOS R7 is currently retailing at $1,499.00.





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