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The RF-S, EF-S and EOS-M Quandry
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The RF-S, EF-S and EOS-M Quandry

This is a moderately difficult article for me to write, as many of you are aware; I’m a very happy EOS-M user and have been since the original EOS-M (we’ll ignore the absolute disaster of the EOS-M M3 though).

Canon has now come out with the R10 and the R7 and, two new RF-S lenses.

A lot of my previous commentary was based upon rumors and some of them were very solid and reliable that Canon was going to issue an APS-C camera with no cropped (RF-S) lenses.

That obviously turned out entirely wrong – for that, first, I apologize for missing the mark on so many things regarding Canon’s plans for APS-C.

The R7 and R10 are quite competitive in terms of the camera bodies alone if you simply look at the camera bodies. However, camera bodies exist within an ecosystem, and right now Canon has the worst APS-C ecosystem of any manufacturer.

Going Forward…

I would assume that the APS-C lens roadmap is “fairly” accurate, but I would expect that Canon will simply migrate EOS-M lenses over to RF-S in order of popularity for example;

  • RF-S 22mm F2.0 pancake
  • RF-S 32mm F1.4 STM
  • RF-S 11-22mm STM

Would be my top list of lenses that “need” to come out for the RF-S system.  Frankly, I wouldn’t even consider upgrading until at least 2 out of the 3 lenses listed above was available with one of them being the 11-22mm.  Secondly, we need to see Sigma and Viltrox come out with their APS-C lenses for the RF mount.

I would then want to see a professional kit zoom for the R7, so something like 16-45mm F2.8 that was also rumored. I would prefer a more standard 15-45mm but I certainly wouldn’t complain about 16mm at the wide end.

Canon would also need bodies to cover what EOS-M covers, which is the small and light cameras.  While the R10 is very close to the M50, the EOS-M lineup also has the M200 without an EVF. Removing the EVF will allow for a smaller camera and allow for a cheaper camera body.

If you have an EF-S System

If you are currently using EF-S then RF-S is certainly in your plans and you should probably be preordering now– as the R10 or R7 will immediately give you a greatly improved AF over any Canon crop DSLR.  If you are coming from a Rebel class camera, then the viewfinder as well will bring a whole new experience to your photography.  And you’ll be able to use your existing EF and EF-S lenses while Canon sorts out RF-S lenses.  The R10 is a serious upgrade from any Rebel including the newer super-rebels (77D,etc) while the R7 is a competent upgrade from the 90D and if you can handle the lower build quality, an upgrade over the 7D Mark II.  The R7 will provide far more pixels on target against the 7D Mark II as the R7 will have an inherent 1.26x pixel density increase.   Meaning coming from the 7D your lenses will have a 1.26x additional telephoto factor given the difference in pixel density.  This could be huge of you are solely using Canon’s EF telephotos.

If you have EOS-M

This is a much more difficult decision.  You cannot bring any of your lenses over, so essentially you are starting over from scratch unless you have a collection of EF-S lenses.

I personally see no reason to switch from EOS-M to R10 or R7.  It’s always all in the lenses folks.

If you are using EF-S glass on your EOS-M then you are a good candidate to switch to RF-S, but I suspect most of us have many if not all the EOS-M lenses, and it really doesn’t make much sense to switch.  There is absolutely no upgrade path.  Canon also hasn’t mentioned any sort of trade-in, or mount switch.  Sigma may offer a mount switch, but that would be sometime in the future if they decide to do so.

If you really want an R7 or an R10, then, for now, depending on your lenses, you’d be looking to purchase one of the RF-S kit lenses with the R10 or R7, and then augment your kit with EF-S lenses.  That becomes unwieldy fast if you are coming from EOS-M.  For me at least, this is a nonstarter.

Let’s face it, Craig finally got his wish – we can consider the EOS-M mount dead.  But unless you want to flip over to Fuji or Sony, right now Canon doesn’t have an answer for you.

The future

Canon has clearly decided to rip off the bandaid and finally release an APS-C system for the RF mount.  We saw this coming and commented on it even before the RF mount was officially released.  It was apparent that Canon was going to cause itself some problems going forward.

Canon EF APS-C cameras, lenses, and EOS-M cameras and lenses will continue to work just fine.  However, for any future acquisitions you should most likely consider that going forward, the only system that will receive any love, is the RF / RF-S system.  Canon will never come out and say that the systems are dead, that’s just not in Canon’s DNA.  However, over time, they will become far less competitive, and you’ll have fewer reasons to purchase either system over the RF/RF-S system until it becomes moot.

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