Canon has unveiled its cheapest R-series camera yet, the $480 EOS R100 that's similar to the old EOS M50 II with a new mount. It's "designed for new, first-time mirrorless camera or existing interchangeable camera users who previously enjoyed EOS Rebel or EOS M cameras," the company said. For that price, though, it's missing some key features that you'd expect on a modern mirrorless camera.
The EOS R100 has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, and and offers slowish 6.5 fps burst speeds and Dual Pixel AF with face and eye detection. To frame your subjects, it offers a basic but respectable 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder.
The 1.04 million dot rear LCD display is where Canon really cut corners to make that price point, though. It doesn't even tilt, let alone articulate, and is a non-touch screen. That means you'll need to set the focus point using the D-Pad and navigate menu choices via the buttons. The EOS M50 II, by contrast, had a fully articulating touch display for $120 more at launch.
Like the M50 II, you can shoot 4K video at up to 24 fps, though it has a significant crop and you only get contrast-detect autofocus at 4K. 1080p can be shot at up to 60fps and does use the Dual Pixel AF system. Canon didn't specify the crop, but it's a significant 1.5X on the M50 II.
Other features include support for a single SD-UHS I memory card, microphone and HDMI micro inputs, Bluetooth/WiFi and a tiny 356 gram (12.56 oz) weight.
As Canon mentions, the main advantage compared to a smartphone is the ability to use multiple lenses. To wit, the company also unveiled a new pancake lens, the full-frame $300 RF28mm f/2.8 that should be great for tourism and street photography. If fixed to the R100, the latter would still be lighter than most mirrorless cameras at about 480 grams.
The R100 is as basic as it gets, but if you're looking for a new mirrorless camera, it's the cheapest one by far at $480 (arriving in July 2023). What's more, you can get it in a kit with the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for $600, still cheaper than the EOS R50, or $829 with that lens and the RF-S55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM. Neither has stellar quality, but would give beginners a solid range of focal lengths plus the R100 for less than the price of most camera bodies. That being said, if you can afford $200 more, Canon's EOS R50 is a much better choice.