Lab – Canon EOS R7: Responsive performance, but not without compromise

With its EOS R7, Canon intends to strike a blow by offering a highly responsive device that is able to compete with the best models for sports or wildlife. But it does not come without some compromises.

The Canon EOS R7 does not look like much, but once turned on, you quickly realize the beast’s explosiveness. Inspired by its predecessor, the EOS 7D Mark II Reflector, this model is the best ally among wild or sports photographers swearing by the APS-C, with a revised 32.5 megapixel sensor and its Digic X processor. In this, it constitutes a serious rival to the Fujifilm X-T4, which despite its very different design plays a bit in the same category.

X-T4 vs EOS R7: Canon advantage

In this article on responsiveness, we also wanted to compare their performance in terms of development. The results, you will see, are quite similar, with both devices facing the same limitations.

During our measurements, we released the EOS R7 with its kitzoom, the latest RF-S 18-150 mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM. As for the X-T4, we tested it at the time with a higher than but older zoom, the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f / 2.8R LM WR.

As we can observe, the two devices deliver very similar performance, both in terms of start and day photos and in the order of shots. However, the Canon is almost twice as reactive at night, a shame as it was tested with a less luminous lens!

When we switch to burst mode, we see that both cameras again show excellent results. In mechanical shutter speed, the R7 is somewhat disappointing, not reaching the advertised 15 fps when the X-T4 slightly exceeds them. In electronic shutter, however, no problem. The X-T4 performs slightly better than the promised 20 fps (21.3 fps), but stays behind Canon at 30 fps. The X-T4 is also capable of hitting 30 fps in series, but it requires a significant 1.25x crop.

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Strong gusts of wind and frightening tracking

In all burst modes, autofocus tracking is fully functional. The R7 is really very efficient, it is quite impressive – for humans, as for animals or vehicles. Almost all items are hung without worry, with the older X-T4 remaining a good notch below.

This data is therefore more in line with those advertised on the technical data sheets. We are present with ultra-fast devices that are able to take a large number of pictures without giving way.

Beware of the effect of roller shutter

Canon highlights the camera’s capabilities for shooting wildlife and sports, especially thanks to these 30 fps with the electronic shutter. However, the successor to the 7D mark II is not fully equipped for sports or fast movements.

In fact, unlike cameras dedicated to sports photography such as the Canon EOS R3, Sony Alpha 1 (A1), Nikon Z9 or Fujifilm X-H2S, the R7 does not have a sensor. stacked. And in electronic shutter there is no solution to compensate for the effect of roller shutter when recording high-speed recordings with powerful bursts.

Electronic shutter

Mechanical shutter

When shooting movements that are too fast while wanting to take advantage of the 30 fps (or the electronic shutter), deformations will be visible on certain parts of the image, as we can observe in the previous illustration, with the spokes of bicycle wheels . This is a factor you need to consider before shoot golf or bike scenes, for example.

ONE buffer still too fair

Finally, the last compromise, the buffer memory. Like the X-T4, you can’t count on a big one buffer. In Jpeg + Raw mode, the Canon R7 only records between 70 and 80 files, that is, only about thirty images before it stops writing the images to the SD card (here two UHS-II standard slots). It is possible to double this capacity by selecting compressed raw, but there is still only a maximum of 2 seconds burst between each write on the card.

To compensate a bit, Canon has integrated a “pre-shoot” option. This saves the captured images in memory for 0.5 seconds before pressing the shutter button. A system comparable to what the Olympus / OM System already does with the “pro capture” mode.

A very responsive APS-C hybrid

Although reactive, the Canon EOS R7 cannot replace a camera that specializes in sports photography. Nevertheless, it remains formidable in terms of focus and offers very effective burst tracking.

To learn more about the Canon EOS R7, do not miss our full review, which will be available soon.

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