Canon R10 Review

Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras / Canon EOS i Hands-On Preview
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon EOS R10
Resolution: 24.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 32,000
Extended ISO: 100 - 51,200
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 sec
Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.5 x 3.3 in.
(123 x 88 x 83 mm)
Weight: 15.1 oz (429 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $980
Availability: TBD
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon R10 specifications

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Canon EOS R10 Hands-on Preview

Canon's new lightweight APS-C mirrorless camera packs big performance in a small package

by William Brawley | Posted 05/24/2022

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 324mm, f/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 200

Canon is expanding its growing EOS R-series of mirrorless cameras into new territory, introducing two new camera models featuring APS-C-sized sensors: a higher-end EOS R7 camera and this, a compact and light, intermediate-level EOS R10 model. Until now, the Canon EOS R series has comprised just full-frame cameras. Alongside these two new crop-sensor R-series cameras, Canon also introduces new "RF-S" crop-sensor lenses, with the RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM.

It is, however, interesting to see Canon debuting a new sensor size for its R series while offering yet another crop-sensor mirrorless camera system at the same time: the EOS M line, such as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II and M50 Mark II. However, despite introducing these new crop-sensor R-series cameras, Canon is adamant that these are not replacements for the M-series cameras. These new R-series cameras target a broad range of customers, from students, advanced amateurs, hobbyists and video creators. Canon's overarching goal is to maintain the #1 position for cameras and lenses in all formats.

With this compact and highly portable Canon EOS R10 model, in particular, Canon is targeting a similar user to their Canon M6 Mark II -- an intermediate-level photographer who wants a camera with lots of features and performance in a lightweight, portable and affordable package. The R10 features an all-new 24MP APS-C sensor, a DIGIC X image processor, and a highly-capable AF system with features inherited from EOS R3, all wrapped up in a camera body that's lighter than the tiny Rebel SL3 and with a body-only price point under $1000.

RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM: 105mm, f/4, 1/1000s, ISO 100, -0.3EV
Image by Jeremy Gray

We were given the opportunity to have some hands-on time with the new R10 and test it out with a variety of different subjects, including wildlife, sports and some portraiture. So, in addition to a full rundown of all the major new features and specs, I've included some initial impressions and handling notes into my First Impressions look at the new camera. Our full review of the Canon R10 will follow soon once we're able to get a review unit in-house, but in the meantime, you can get a sense of the camera's image quality performance by browsing through our initial set of Gallery Images.

Let's dive on in...

Key Features & Specs:

  • Compact and lightweight APS-C R-series mirrorless camera with DSLR-like styling and handling
  • All-new 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC X Image Processor
  • 651-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with same subject-detection and tracking technology as EOS R3
  • 15fps burst with mechanical shutter
  • 23fps burst with electronic shutter
  • 4K 30p UHD video from 6K oversampled full-width
  • Built-in flash
  • Single UHS-II SD card slot
  • Body-only weight of 429g (0.95 lbs.)
  • MSRP: $979.99 body-only ($1099 kit with RF-S 18-45mm; $1379 kit with RF-S 18-150mm)

Design & Handling: The EOS R10 is impressively compact and lightweight

When it comes to the Canon R10's design and handling, the first thing you notice when you pick up the camera is its impressively lightweight feel. Weighing in at just 429g body-only, the R10 is lighter than the EOS 77D DSLR and even the tiny Canon Rebel SL3. In fact, its physical size makes it similar, if not slightly smaller than the SL3, as well.

However, despite the compact and very lightweight design, the R10 still has a high-quality construction and a solid feel in the hand. When comparing the R10 and R7 side-by-side, however, you do notice some subtle differences in overall feel. The R10 still feels sturdy and solid, but the camera body feels mostly constructed out of plastic, whereas the R7 feels like it contains some metal in its body construction (full specs on the exact composition of both cameras' body material and chassis are not yet available). Further, unlike its EOS R7 sibling, the R10 is not considered dust- and moisture-resistant, unfortunately.

Even though the R10 is mostly plastic, I want to stress that it by no means feels "cheap" -- the fit and finish of the camera has the same high-quality construction I've come to expect from Canon cameras. The lightweight feel is, again, just quite surprising. The camera almost feels like there's nothing in it, in a way -- a solid but very lightweight camera.

Beyond just the weight and size, the Canon R10 has excellent ergonomics for a small, compact DSLR-like mirrorless camera, as well as an ample array of physical controls that should please more advanced users. The handgrip isn't as deep or as full as that of the EOS R7, but it still fits nicely into my medium-sized hand. Combined with the nice contouring, the handgrip (and rear thumb grip area) gave me a comfortable and secure grip -- even when using longer lenses, such as the RF 100-500mm L-series lens.

In terms of controls and dials, starting from the top of the camera, the R10 has two main control dials; one for the forefinger and another on the rear-facing dial for your thumb. Users who might be more familiar with other intermediate-level Canon DSLRs, such as the 77D or 90D, for example, might be more used to a rear-facing control dial fully on the back of the camera rather than up at the top. However, the R10 proved to be simple and easy to operate nonetheless.

Elsewhere along the top, the camera features an M-Fn button right behind the shutter release button, a dedicated video recording button, and your standard PASM-style mode dial. There's also a simple on/off toggle switch to the right of the rear control dial.

Lastly, for the first time in an EOS R-series camera, the R10 has a built-in pop-up flash.

Moving down to the rear of the camera, the array of controls and buttons is fairly simplified and familiar. One new and rather rare addition to this class of Canon cameras is a multi-directional joystick-style control. Placed next to the EVF, this control gives you immediate access to AF point placement while shooting as well as another method of menu navigation besides the 4-way control on the rear. Next to the joystick control, there is a dedicated AF-On button, and off to the far edge, there are two more buttons, one for AE-Lock and another for focus point settings.

Elsewhere on the rear of the camera, there is a familiar 4-way directional button -- though without a usual scroll wheel surrounding it like on several other Canon camera of this class. The control can be used for menu navigation, and while shooting, you can quickly access several key settings, including ISO, drive mode and flash control. The downward button serves as the trash button for deleting images in Playback mode. The camera also features an Info button and, of course, a Playback button. The Menu button sits by itself up at the top left corner.

In terms of displays, the EOS R10 has both an EVF and a vari-angle LCD. Both the R10 and the R7 feature OLED EVFs with 1.04-million dots of resolution. The R10's EVF magnification is slightly smaller than of the R7's, at 0.95x compared to 1.15x. The LCD panel is a familiar vari-angle design with front-facing capabilities. The R10's LCD is a lower-resolution panel than the one inside the R7, featuring a 1.04-million dots of resolution compared to 1.62-million dots in the R7.

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 500mm, f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 1000

Image Quality: New 24.2-megapixel sensor delivers good early results

Powering the new EOS R10 is an all-new 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor paired to the latest DIGIC X image processor, which is the same processor used inside the powerful EOS R3. In terms of just the sensor itself, Canon makes several other crop-sensor cameras with a 24.2MP resolution, however, Canon stressed that the sensor used inside the R10 is completely new, and is said to offer good low-light and high ISO performance.

Despite different sensors, the R10 shares the same ISO range as the R7, offering a native range of ISO 100 up to ISO 32,000, plus an expandable high setting of ISO 51,200.

In addition to the usual RAW and RAW+JPEG image capture modes, the R10 also offers HDR shooting and HDR-PQ options for displaying higher dynamic range images on specialized HDR10-compatible devices, such as iPad Pros and the latest iPhones. You can also save higher-quality 10-bit HEIF images from RAW files. The R10 also supports in-camera panoramic mode, in-camera depth compositing, a panning mode and in-camera HDR Backlight Control.

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 500mm, f/7.1, 1/1000s, ISO 1250

I've only had a very brief time with the camera so far, so it's much too early to make any kind of final judgment on image quality performance, but from an initial impressions standpoint, the Canon R10 is capable of producing very pleasing images at a wide range of ISO levels. Much of the shooting done so far was in the daytime and often in bright, sunny conditions, so the ISOs were often quite low. At these lower sensitive, the R10 captures vibrant yet natural-looking stills with excellent fine detail and excellent colors that we've come to expect from Canon cameras. Colors are rich and vibrant without coming across as oversaturated, even straight out of the camera with default Picture Style settings. Resolving power is excellent for this sensor type, as well, with a sharp L-series telephoto helping to capture tons of crisp, fine feather and fur detail in the birds and other wildlife I photographed.

Low-light and high ISO shooting definitely need further testing, as I rarely found myself shooting anything above ISO 3200. However, at around these mid-range higher ISO settings, the R10 does well in capturing images with a good balance of fine detail and low noise.

Lastly, I want to briefly touch on rolling shutter, which is something I noticed in both the R10 and R7 when shooting with the electronic shutter. Although both the R10 and R7 use all-new Canon sensors, they are still more traditional sensor designs and are not stacked sensors as we see in the EOS R3. As such, the data read out speed is not as fast as what we see from the R3 and other stacked CMOS-based cameras. Although the R10 can shoot at up to a speedy 23fps with full AF with the electronic shutter, you can get rolling shutter effects when photographing fast-moving objects. You can see some examples of this in the volleyball photos Jeremy and I captured below:

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 100mm, f/5, 1/1600s, ISO 500, +0.3EV
Image by Jeremy Gray

RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM: 94mm, f/4.5, 1/1250s, ISO 100, -0.67EVs

Most of the time, however, it wasn't an issue. The ability to shoot with a completely silent camera is a big benefit, especially when photographing wildlife. However, you need to be aware of the potential tradeoffs.

Autofocus & Performance: EOS R3-like autofocus system is intelligent and reliable

One of the R10's hallmark features is its autofocus system, as it borrows many of the features and performance from the high-end EOS R3. In particular, it features the same impressive intelligent subject-detection and tracking features for face/head/eye/body-tracking for people, birds/animals and vehicles. Essentially, the camera has the same AI-based AF technology as the R3 camera. However, because the sensor here is not a stacked design, the overall AF speed is not going to be as fast as that of the R3.

In the field, the AF performance of the R10 still impressed. Photographing people and wildlife, the camera was quick to find and lock onto the face and eyes of my subjects. Focusing, in most situations, was both fast and precise. When photographing volleyball, there were a few instances where I was shooting people through the net, and while the camera was indicating that it was tracking the subject and focusing on the eye(s), I wound up having a few missed shots here and there, in which the camera focused on the net rather than the subject situated just behind it. However, I don't think this is a fault of this particular camera, as this is a difficult shooting situation for autofocus no matter the camera.

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 324mm, f/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 1000

The R10 features several versatile focus point modes, including spot AF, 1-point AF, expand AF area (above/below/left/right), expand AF area (around), flexible zone (1-3) and whole area AF.

In terms of performance, the R10 offers up to 15 frames per second continuous shooting when using the mechanical shutter and up to 23fps with the electronic shutter. The R10 is not the fastest camera around, but with both 15fps or up to 23fps, the camera is plenty fast for all but the most demanding sports, action and wildlife moments.

Video: 4K/30p and 1080/120p are on offer

For video, the R10 is rather well-specced for high-quality video recording, including 4K UHD video at up to 30p and Full HD video up to 120p. All 4K video is derived from full-width 6K oversampled data, and the camera offers unlimited continuous recording -- no 30-minute recording limit. However, although the camera can technically record video for an unlimited amount of time, you are limited by heat (and obviously card capacity). Canon states 60 minutes of continuous recording under typical shooting conditions before overheating could potentially impact recording time.

Other video features include support for vertical video recording and Movie Digital IS (since the camera itself does not have in-body image stabilization).

EF8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM: 10mm, f/8, 1/1600s, ISO 320

Battery, Ports & Connectivity

The Canon R10 uses the smaller LP-E17 rechargeable battery pack, which is the same battery used in several Canon models, such as the EOS RP, Canon M6 and several Rebel models.

In terms of ports and connectivity, the R10 features a single UHS-I SD card slot located next to the battery compartment, and then on the left side, there is a micro HDMI port, a USB-C port with charging capabilities, a 3.5mm microphone jack input and a remote port. Unlike the larger EOS R7, the R10 does not have a headphone jack.

The R10 is also MFi (Made For iPhone) compatible with Apple devices, meaning it supports direct image and video import when using a certified MFI cable. Simply connect the camera with an iPhone or iPad, open the Photos app and directly import photos without having to use an additional app.

The R10 also has wireless connectivity, with both built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, with support for remote control and wireless image transfers to a connected smart device.

RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM: 451mm, f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 800

Pricing & Availability: An affordable entry-point into the EOS R system

The Canon R10 will be sold in a body-only configuration for an MSRP of $979.99, or as two kit options. A kit with the RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM will retail for $1099.99, and a kit with the RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lens will have a retail price of $1379.99. Exactly availability is TBD.

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