When the ground-breaking Canon Digital Rebel (aka the EOS 300D) was launched back in 2003 for $999 ($999), it was a major milestone as the first digital SLR with kit lens for under a grand, paving the way for more affordable yet well-specced consumer digital cameras for would-be photo enthusiasts. Roll on to 2023, and the new entry-level Canon EOS R100 mirrorless could well have the same impact. It’s a basic, budget camera ideal for beginners.
At only $599 (or £669) RRP with the RF-S 18-45mm kit lens, the EOS R100 is competitively priced – especially compared to the next camera up the pecking order, the Canon EOS R50 with RF-S 18-45mm kit which is $200 more at $799/£899.
Also when we factor in that $999 in 2003 is worth over $2000 today, that puts another perspective on Digital Rebel vs R100 pricing. With $2000 in 2023 you could get a higher-spec, full-frame Canon EOS R8 mirrorless and RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens, and still have cash left for memory cards.
Of course, technology has also moved on massively since 2003. The breakthrough EOS 300D was an unbelievable-at-the-time 6.3MP APS-C DSLR, 2.5fps, 7 AF points, max ISO1600, and 1.8in LCD! Whereas the ‘basic’ R100 is a 24.1MP APS-C mirrorless - with 6.5fps, AF with 3975 positions, max ISO12800, hi-res 3in LCD, plus 4K video.
It’s also significantly smaller and nearly half the weight of the 300D – 116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm and 356g, compared to 142 x 99 x 72mm and 645g.
20 years is a long time in the world of digital camera technology, and especially EOS advancements, but it still warrants emphasizing that the specs of Canon’s basic budget R100 are incredibly impressive nonetheless when you look at them independently.
So what if the R100 has seemingly older-spec parts that Canon has piled up at their manufacturing plants. It’s the fact the R100 does have a no-frills fixed non-touchscreen LCD and simpler autofocus modes that keeps the R100 smaller and cheaper.
This all makes us predict the R100 is set to become the next best-selling EOS camera for Canon.
Check out our hands-on Canon EOS R100 review for our early verdict on this new camera