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Canon EOS R7 prototype rumored to be in the wild ahead of 2021 launch

Canon EOS R7
(Image credit: Canon)

A new Canon RF-mount called the Canon EOS R7 is apparently being tested in the wild ahead of its 2021 launch – and it's expected to be the first of its kind to have an APS-C sensor.

According to the reliable Canon Rumors, two different sources have revealed that "an APS-C sensor equipped RF Mount camera is in the wild with a select group of photographers", with one of the sources claiming that the camera "looks nearly identical to the Canon EOS R6."

The Canon EOS R6 is one of the more recent additions to Canon's RF-mount lineup, which currently all have full-frame sensors. These tend to be found in larger, pro-friendly cameras, but it's long been rumored that an RF-mount camera with a smaller APS-C sensor could be in the works for sports shooters.

That camera, which Canon Rumors has tentatively labelled the Canon EOS R7, does now appear to be in the works. The site had previously claimed in October that an APS-C RF Mount camera would be arriving in the "second half of 2021," so it's certainly not imminent – but these fresh rumors do strongly suggest that a Canon EOS R7 is in the pipeline for next year.

Canon EOS R5

(Image credit: Canon)

Sensor direction

The Canon EOS R7 is a suitably possible name for the an APS-C RF Mount camera, because it would in many ways be a mirrorless equivalent of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (an APS-C DSLR).

The EOS R7 is, though, expected to be a much more rounded camera than that DSLR from 2017. In fact, Canon Rumors says it "expects specifications to be nearly identical" to the Canon EOS R6, a camera we described as "one of the best all-rounders you can get."

If that's true, we should expect to see at least 12fps burst shooting, in-body image stabilization and the ability to shoot 4K/60p video. In order to keep the price lower than the $2,499 / £2,499 / AU$4,499 commanded by the EOS R6, Canon may also include features like a lower resolution, 2.36-million dot viewfinder, but this is all just guesswork at this stage.

The big unknown is whether or not Canon will also release some dedicated RF-S lenses for a new APS-C RF Mount camera. Back during the heights of the DSLR in 2003, Canon followed up its EF lens range with a range of EF-S variants that were specifically designed for cameras with smaller, APS-C image sensors.

So far, though, it doesn't sound like Canon's going to do the same for spiritual successors like Canon EOS R7. In an earlier post, a Canon Rumors source said "there aren't any plans for RF lenses", but that there would be ones that suit both APS-C and full-frame cameras.

That would seem to make sense given that Canon already has the mirrorless EOS M system, headed by models like the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, which have APS-C sensors. But we'll have to wait for Canon to officially lay out its mirrorless cards in 2021 before we really know how an EOS R7 might compare to rivals like the Nikon Z50.

Mark Wilson

Mark is the Cameras Editor at TechRadar. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won the Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.