Canon EOS R7 with APS-C sensor coming in 2021 – but no RF-S lenses?

Is an APS-C Canon EOS R coming in 2021?

UPDATE: A Canon EOS R with an APS-C sensor – potentially the Canon EOS R7 – will be released in the second half of 2021, but Canon has no plans to release any dedicated RF-S lenses. 

That's according to the latest report on the long-rumored crop sensor EOS R, which states that the new camera will be the smallest R-system body ever and will be focused on sports shooting. This suggests that it could be the spiritual successor to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, so our money is on it being the Canon EOS R7. 

• Read more: Best Canon camera

"After months upon months of speculation, I have finally confirmed that an APS-C RF mount camera is coming, and it’s planned to be launched in the 2nd half of 2021," says the story by Canon Rumors. "As for anything product-wise during the pandemic, these announcements are a moving target.

"My source has confirmed that it will be the smallest EOS R system camera, but will pack a punch for both sports shooters and videographers. I will note that “smallest” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be all that much smaller than the EOS RP. The same source also said that there aren’t any plans for RF-S lenses, but that there will be lenses that will suit both the APS-C and full-frame shooter."

This stands in contrast to Nikon, which has already released a pair of DX (APS-C) lenses to accompany its crop sensor Nikon Z50, with plans for more. Reading between the lines, this could be Canon's attempt to distinguish the APS-C EOS R series from the existing EOS M bodies and lenses. 

At the same time, with lackluster products like the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, the EOS M line might have a tough time if something like the R7 does make it to market…

Could the new APS-C EOS R – likely the Canon EOS R7 – be the replacement for the aging 7D Mark II?

ORIGINAL STORY (02 September): Rumors are starting to heat up once more that a Canon EOS R featuring an APS-C sensor will be released, with a reported launch window of the second half of 2021.

Ever since the launch of the original Canon EOS R back in 2018, there was chatter that an APS-C version would eventually see the light of day. And while that talk gave way to hype about the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, the focus has returned to an APS-C model now that both full-frame cameras have launched. 

At this stage, the rumor mill only alludes to the camera's existence; it is too early for any speculation on specifications. However, the limited information available suggests that this will be a higher tier product rather than a low-spec system. 

"I was told that it was not going to be an entry-level product, but a higher margin camera built around speed and a smaller footprint than the EOS R5 and EOS R6," says the report on Canon Rumors. 

"The APS-C RF mount camera was initially slated to be announced in early 2021, but has been pushed back to the second half of 2021."

What we appear to be looking at, then, is a different tack to the one Nikon took with the Nikon Z50, its own APS-C mirrorless camera that was geared towards lower end use. Rather, Canon seems to want to squeeze the power of its full-frame cameras into a smaller form factor.

So where, then, does this leave Canon's existing APS-C mirrorless system? The company enjoys massive sales success with cameras like the Canon EOS M50, and we've literally just seen purported specs leaked for the new M-series flagship, the Canon EOS M7

Could it be that what has been reported as the M7 – with its 32MP sensor, 4K 60fps, 1080p 120fps, IBIS, dual SD card slots and CLog – isn't actually an EOS M body at all, but is actually the new EOS R camera that features an APS-C sensor? 

More as we have it…

Read more: 

Canon EOS R5 review
Canon EOS R6 review
Canon EOS R5 vs R6: what's the difference and which is right for you?

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.