Canon EOS R10 First Impressions: Better Than a Rebel

Make no mistake, the Canon EOS R7 will steal the spotlight for today’s announcements from Canon. But the Canon EOS R10 is no slouch. This camera is designed for people who want something better than their smartphones. Those people are also budget conscious and most likely won’t understand many of the controls. To boot, they’ll also want something smaller and lighter. The Canon EOS R10 fits those needs according to Canon. But I’m not totally sure about that.

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Editor’s Note: All images in this first impressions review were shot on an all-expenses-paid press trip with Canon. We had less than 48 hours total with the camera, and of that time, there were maybe less than 24 hours that we had to actually use it. The Phobographer’s editors are trained to resist temptation in the industry, and we genuinely don’t let things like this affect our coverage. The opinions in this report are our own. The Canon EOS R10 is shaping up to be an excellent camera. But, we’ve long returned our units back to Canon, and this is not our full review which is still yet to come.

When briefed on the Canon EOS R10, I had a few people in mind. My dad, who I regularly talk with about the cameras I’m testing, was in my head. I’m part of a Facebook group about food where I do meetups and introduce people to new cuisines. Those folks come from various socio-economic backgrounds and often ask me about photography and cameras. Then I also considered the rest of my family and the people I know who are very happy with what their phone does for them.

Even though I didn’t spend a lot of time with the Canon EOS R10, I could tell this camera would probably not be for all those folks I mentioned. I think it’s instead just going to be Canon’s sales driver for the holidays. But I only tested it out for a little while, so I could be wrong.

Tech Specs

  • 24.2MP APS-C sensor with a 1.6x crop factor(brand new)
  • 15 fos and electronic at 23
  • AF system has r3’s af
  • Built-in flash
  • EF-M camera style battery
  • Rebel style body
  • Less than a pound with battery and card. That also means that there is no weather-resistance
  • $979.99 body only
  • Same AF as the R7 and R3. But it won’t be as fast because this isn’t a BSI sensor.
  • The shutter doesn’t come down when powered off
  • USB-C
  • In-camera panoramic shot (jpeg)
  • Depth compositing
  • Panning mode
  • HDR backlight control

Ergonomics

The Canon EOS R10 is a tiny camera overall. It’s said to be around the size of the much older Canon SL series of DSLRs. But, it’s far more capable.

Here’s a top view of the Canon EOS R10. There’s the mode dial, exposure controls, on/off switch, and the record button. Plus, Canon kept the M-fn button there for you. In reality, it translates to the camera being simple to use if you know what you’re doing.

Here’s the back of the Canon EOS R10. It’s thoughtfully laid out. Many controls are on the back D-pad, and the camera has a joystick.

Here’s a look at the ports on the Canon EOS R10. They’re standard fare. Note that also this camera isn’t weather-resistant.

The rear LCD screen flips out if you need to shoot in a weird position.

Build Quality

One of the reasons I didn’t spend much time with the Canon EOS R10 is that it feels cheap. By most other reviewers’ standards, it might feel good. But I’m steadfast in my belief that every single camera on the market today should have weather resistance. Canon will say things like, “We can’t meet the price point then.” Generally speaking, brands like to say this and then drive the price down massively for sales in an attempt to move a ton of product. Remember what Sony did a few years ago with the a6000 when they made it for only a few hundred bucks, and people bought it up? The same thing will apply here.

But I digress.

Overall, the Canon EOS R10 feels well balanced with the new RF-S lenses. But that’s pretty much about it. Years ago, photographers would buy Rebel cameras and put high-end L-lenses on them until they saved up to buy a new camera. With the R10, pretty much everything else will feel unbalanced if it’s higher end.

A point I made to Canon is that with the 100-400mm lens attached, the combo felt very lightweight. I thought this could be what amateurs might want to photograph sports games. But as I saw, the performance just isn’t there.

Ease of Use

The Canon EOS R10 does a solid job of putting all the controls you need right in your hands. Unlike the R7, the R10 doesn’t have the back dial stacked with the joystick. Instead, it’s laid out a bit more like the EOS R with a D-pad. But if you want the back dial, you’ll need to look up top. The buttons give you all the control you’ll need to shoot photos. And, like Canon’s other cameras, the menu system is straightforward to navigate, if not very deep.

The viewfinder does a great job not giving any sort of jello effect, but it felt different when viewing and shooting using the LCD screen. I didn’t get to use this as much as I’d like, but we’ll see more in our full review. Luckily, I didn’t see any issues with the rolling shutter using the electronic shutter option.

Canon also has this HDR PQ feature that creates an HDR photo for monitors and screens that are sometimes called “Dolby Vision.” I sent it to my iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2021 edition. Overall, I wasn’t impressed. And I’m also not sure I understand why Canon decided to bury this in the menus instead of making it a scene mode. We were told about a few people in the scientific field who use this feature. I’m still trying to understand it, and I accept that I probably won’t.

Autofocus

Where the Canon EOS R10 really shines is with the autofocus. It’s similar to that of the R7. We encourage you to check out our coverage of that camera, as it may honestly be a better buy. It will perform better with Canon’s L-lenses than it will with the cheaper lenses they offer. This, again, makes me wonder who will buy this camera. Can it shoot sports? Yes, in outdoor settings and with good lighting it’s quite excellent. The autofocus will suffer a bit for indoor sports using Canon’s cheaper lenses.

Still though, we’ve got more tests to do.

Image Quality

Editor’s Note: Our images are JPEGs right out of the camera as the RAW files can’t be edited in Capture One yet. Canon sent us a beta copy of DPP, but we don’t think anyone will actually use that program.

Where it matters most for lots of folks will be with image quality. The Canon EOS R10 does a great job in this department with the JPEGs we shot. In fact, we’re not sure people will shoot RAW with this camera. But we’ll figure that out when we get closer to reviewing it.

Extra Image Samples

First Impressions

I’m sure not the target audience for the Canon EOS R10. But, I’m not sure who exactly is. I can’t see Canon buying sponsorships for the Yankees and selling lots of these. In the pandemic, people blew their money on much higher-end products. I’ve still got a ton of questions about it I need to answer in my head.



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