Together with the EOS R7 Canon released the entry-level EOS R10 mirrorless camera. Although I didn’t expect that camera to be special, it turned out to be a surprisingly capable camera. If you want to step into the Canon EOS mirrorless world, you can’t go wrong with this little gem.
To be honest, I had high hopes when I got the opportunity to test the Canon EOS R7. Although I didn’t have much time with this APS-C camera, I found it to be too expensive for the enthusiastic beginner on one side, and equipped with too many beginner options for the more serious amateur photographers on the other side. You can read my findings in the review here on Fstoppers.
Based on my findings with the EOS R7 I didn’t expect too much from the Canon EOS R10, being an entry-level mirrorless APS-C camera. But when I used the camera for a few days it started to grow on me. I turned out to be a very capable camera with options that you would expect only on the higher-end Canon cameras.
A Little Camera
The Canon EOS R10 has the typical appearance of a Canon mirrorless camera, but it’s amazingly small. I had to look it up and indeed, the size is similar to the EOS M50 II, except for the grip which makes it a bit easier to hold. Nevertheless, the small size might be an issue for a photographer with big hands.
Keep in mind, there is no option to attach an additional grip. But I think the EOS R10 isn’t a camera that is supposed to be big. It is small for a reason and I think the target audience will appreciate the size and weight. I know I did.
If you're a Canon user, you will find the most important buttons at familiar positions on the camera body. There is a dial for the PASM settings, with additional options like two custom settings, movie setting, and creative settings. Two rotation wheels allow for the basic exposure settings, one can be used with the index finger, the other with the thumb. The main switch can be found at that thumb wheel also.
The other buttons on top of the camera are a movie button, lock button, and the well-known M-Fn button that offers direct access to five settings that you can choose yourself, although within limits. A DOF button is found next to the lens mount. Just like the EOS R7, it also has the new AF/MF switch.
On the back, you will find a 3-inch fully articulating LCD screen with 1.04 million dots. It has full touchscreen functionality and can be used to operate the camera in every possible way. The OLED EVF has a resolution of 2.36 million dots and a maximum refresh rate of 120 fps.
There is an AF-ON button on the back, next to a joystick and the other standard buttons. A dial is missing, but you have a four-way button that gives direct access to the drive mode, ISO, and flash. No surprises there. The number of buttons may feel a bit limited, but since the camera is small, there isn't much extra room to spare. Remember, the LCD screen is a touch screen and the number of settings that are directly accessible by using the touch screen are plenty.
Battery, Ports, and Memory Slot
The Canon EOS R10 accepts the small LP-E17 battery, which was to be expected from such a small camera. The capacity will allow a rated 450 images with the LCD screen, or just 290 with the EVF. So take a few spare batteries with you when shooting a whole day long.
Next to the battery compartment, you will find one single UHS-II SD slot. It’s advised to use the V90 SDXC cards if you want to record film in 4K HDR PQ, but it can be also a good choice for photography when you want to use the high-speed capacity of the camera. A fast card will allow the buffer to clear much faster.
The camera has a micro HDMI connector, USB-C, a remote, and a microphone connector. The headphone plug is missing. But the EOS R10 does have the multi-functional hot shoe. As said, there is no connection for a battery grip.
The Menu System
As to be expected from an entry-level camera, the menu addresses the JPEG photographer. It offers a lot of guidance for camera settings, and in what situations these can be used. It’s similar to the menu I encountered in the EOS R7, but for this camera, it feels much more functional.
If you’re a JPEG photographer and you want to play with different possibilities without the need for sophisticated editing software, the Canon EOS R10 won’t let you down. If you are already familiar with the more complex settings, just turn the modus explanation off, and dial in your own settings.
Autofocus, Pre-Shooting, and Speed
The one thing that surprised me the most was the autofocus capabilities. Although the camera can be considered entry-level, the possibilities of the autofocus system are truly professional. It offers many similar options and customization as the Canon EOS R3. It’s even more flexible compared to the EOS R5 and EOS R6.
The camera can detect eyes, heads, and bodies of people and animals, the latter not limited to cats and dogs. Birds and a lot of other kinds of animals can also be detected. I found the AF tracking to be reliable, with autofocus points across 100% of the frame. Tracking works in every available AF mode and its sensitivity ranges from -4 EV up to 20 EV.
Do you want to capture action? The Canon EOS R10 can shoot up to 15 frames per second with the mechanical shutter. For the electronic shutter, the speed is an amazing 23 frames per second. But you can expect a bit of a rolling shutter effect. The buffer holds up to 29 raw files or 460 JPEGs with 15 frames per second. This amount will drop to 21 raw files with 23 frames per second.
If 23 frames per second aren’t enough, the camera has a special raw burst mode that makes it possible to shoot up to 30 frames per second. Pre-shooting is also available. It will record half a second of images before you fully press the shutter.
The recorded images with raw burst mode are approximate 13 million pixels in resolution, instead of the regular 24 million pixels. This reduced resolution will allow a burst between 40 and 100 images, depending on the settings and the complexity of the scenery. The recorded frames have to be selected and extracted as a JPEG, HEIF, or raw file in-camera, or with the Canon software that comes with the camera.
What About Video?
Although I didn’t try to use the camera for video, I think it deserves to be mentioned nevertheless. If you dive into the possibilities you’ll discover it will record video in 4K with 30 frames per second from 6K oversampling footage. When the HDR PQ option is enabled, the Canon EOS R10 will record 10-bit 4:2:2.
All autofocus options are available in video mode, which makes it a very capable camera for recording video. There are other options available also, but I haven’t dived into these for this review. There is one small downside to it all, I think. The camera doesn’t have in-body image stabilization, which means you have to rely on either the stabilization on the lens or digital stabilization which adds a small extra crop.
A Lot of Fun Using the Camera
The possibilities of the Canon EOS R10 are surprisingly extensive, something I didn’t expect from this kind of camera. It may be plastic built, without weather sealing, but it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s well built and the buttons are of good quality. The ergonomics are as to be expected from a Canon EOS camera, although it might be too small for some.
Why did I grow so fond of this camera? Although it might sound a bit strange, it's the weight, the size, and how easy it is to use. I could just grab it and take it with me. Although this does apply to many cameras, the Canon EOS R10 somehow made it more fun. I only used the provided RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, which isn't the fastest lens available, but fits like a glove on this particular camera. If I had to choose though, I would rather have the RF-S 18-150mm, which may be a bit bigger, but also offers more reach.
Being such a simple camera, it never felt to be limited in any way. The autofocus and tracking work like a charm and it never let me down. The resulting images of the 24 MP CMOS sensor, which isn’t backside illuminated or stacked, by the way, look nice and crisp, even with a higher ISO setting. Just check the simple ISO and ISO invariance test I performed, below.
The 24 MP resolution is a sweet spot for this kind of cameras, I think. The APS-C offers a nice 1.6x crop, which makes this camera very suitable for wildlife and bird photography, or any other situation which could benefit from a longer focal length. Combine the camera with the excellent RF100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS STM lens and you end up with a field of view that is similar to 160-640mm on a full frame camera, without becoming a heavy and large setup. Add to that the autofocus capabilities and speed, and you have a real winner. I think this small little camera will become a very popular one.
What I Like
- Small, compact, and lightweight
- Sensor resolution
- Perfectly usable up to ISO 6,400 with a bit of noise reduction
- Autofocus capabilities with exceptional tracking for people, animals, and vehicles
- Eye-AF, face-AF, and head-AF for humans and a wide range of animals
- Continues shooting up to 23 fps in full resolution
- Raw burst modes up to 30 fps with pre-shooting
- Wide range of customization options
- Joystick and dedicated AF-ON button
- A lot of creative settings for the JPEG photographers
- Video with 4K 30fps, oversampling from 6K resolution
- 10-bit 4:2:2 video with HDR PQ enabled
- Full AF capabilities available for video
- Dedicated AF/MF switch
- Position of the main switch
- Fully articulated LCD screen with full touch screen capabilities
- Friendly price
What Could Be Improved
- Weather sealing
- Battery life
- Not suitable for photographers with big hands
- No headphone connection
- No possibility of remote flash triggering with built-in flash
- PASM dial cannot be locked
- No in-body image stabilization
Canon EOS R10 or the Canon EOS RP?
When looking at the price you may notice it’s quite similar to the Canon EOS RP. The latter is a full frame camera, something that seems to be the holy grail for many photographers. Should you consider the full frame EOS RP over the EOS R10 which has an APS-C sensor, or is the EOS R10 a wiser choice?
That choice is yours of course, but I would prefer the EOS R10 over the EOS RP for many reasons, of which the autofocus system is probably the most important. If you have to decide for yourself, just look at the specifications of both cameras and choose the one that ticks the most boxes for you.