By Logan Wood
Canon introduced their line of APS-C mirrorless cameras with the R10 and R7. While both cameras share many similarities, they have their differences too. In this video, we walk through some of the biggest differences for underwater photographers and videographers. From button tactility to video resolution, find out exactly which system is best for you.
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Overall I would say that the R7 has a more "pro" body while the R10 feels more entry-level. This isn’t an indication of build quality as both cameras feel really solid in the hands.
One interesting physical difference between the two is the tactility of the buttons, how they feel to use. When pressing on the buttons of the R10 you’re going to feel a solid resistance, you’ll know when you’ve made contact. However, the R7 doesn’t have this resistance, the buttons seem to follow through to the end. This actually makes the most difference on your shutter button. Without the resistance of firmly pressing on the shutter, you reduce camera shake at the point of taking a picture. It’s a small difference but a very thoughtful feature.
The R7 also has a switch to toggle between photo and video so if you’re a hybrid shooter you’ll be able to save separate settings between the two modes.
Another notable difference is the resolution of the back touchscreen. The R10’s screen is 1.04-million dot while the R7’s screen is 1.6-million-dot resolution. That doesn’t seem like much but on the R10 I found that my photos seemed blurry when reviewing them on the camera. This does not effect the final image, but if you like to review your images underwater while diving to check focus, this might be something to think about.
The Canon R10 has a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor and the R7 has a 33 megapixel APS-C sensor. While it's nice to have more megapixels you’re not going to see a huge difference in picture quality due to megapixels. Often times, most of your quality is coming from your lighting and lens choice. However, you’ll find a bit more flexibility in post when cropping if you’re using the R7. Both sensors are more than capable of producing quality results for sharing your work online, as well as creating clear prints.
Another point to mention is that low-light performance goes down when megapixels go up. You’re going to see more noise at high ISOs on the R7, but it’s not too noticeable between 24 and 33 megapixels. Usually it becomes a bigger deal with very high megapixel cameras.
For us underwater photographers, viewfinder magnification can be a big deal. The R10 has a magnification of .95 while the R7 has a magnification of 1.15. This means that when looking through the viewfinder you’re going to be seeing a bit more of the world through the R7. If you’re used to shooting on our 45 degree viewfinder attachment, this is important to know.
Flash Sync Speed
If you’re using strobes you’ll see a difference in the flash sync speed. The R10 is 1/200 and the R7 is 1/250. The faster sync speed will not only allow you to capture action faster, but underwater you’ll be able to get the deep, rich blue background that always look great.
Whether you're shooting photos or video autofocus is important, especially underwater. Both cameras actually feature the same autofocus system with 651 focus points. Today autofocus on cameras are pretty good, especially at this price point.
Contrary to the autofocus system, In Body Image stabilization, or IBIS, on these two cameras are very different.
The R10 features no IBIS outside of Canon’s digital image stabilization, which requires cropping into your image. This is most important when shooting video, so you might want to pick up a lens with image stabilization built in. Canon labels those lenses “IS."
The Canon R7 does feature 6 stops of image stabilization with up to 8 stops when used with an IS lens. And that’s all without crop. You’ll find much more useable footage with the R7 with this feature alone.
Video is a strong point with these two cameras. Both feature video resolution and quality that is rare at this price point. But it’s also where you’re going to see big differences for underwater use. Both can record up to 4K/60 frames per second and produce nice results. Perfectly suitable for sharing videos with others or entry-level video production. The biggest difference in video is how these two cameras record 4K/60.
The R7 is able to record using the full width of its sensor, which is great for getting wide shots and is honestly very impressive compared to some other, more “pro” cameras that can’t do this.
The R10 on the other hand, you’re going to have to punch in about 65% of your image. This not only narrows your field of view but is also going to impact your overall image quality.
The R10 and R7 can both shoot in 10-bit color but, again, have their differences. Out-of-the-box the R10 is going to shoot 8-bit, standard footage. You can go into the menu and turn on HDR recording which will give you a 10-bit video file. However, this is specifically intended for use with HDR TVs and monitors.
The R7 has the ability to shoot 4:2:2 10-bit footage in CLOG-3. Which is going to give you a washed out image that can be color graded to get the most dynamic range out of the the sensor.
If you want normal color and don’t intend on grading your footage, just stick to 8-bit standard footage on either of the cameras. Another important note is that the R7 can record HD 120 frames per second, but without sound.
For underwater use, where 60 frames per second is pretty standard and color grading can be so important, I think the R7 is the clear winner when it comes to video performance.
Battery life is a bit different of each of the cameras too. The R10 is rated for 450 shots on a LP-E17 battery. The R7 is rated for 660 shots on a LP-E6NH, the most common battery used on canon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras. While the R7 out performs the R10, we’ve never had a problem with the battery on R10 during a standard dive.
Pricing and Housing
Pricing is another big difference between these two systems. As of the recording of this video the R10 alone is $879. However, we sell an R10 and housing bundle for $2,395 that comes with the camera, 18-45mm lens, housing, dome port, focus gear. Everything that you need to take it underwater right out of the box.
The Canon R7 standalone is going to cost $1499 with our housing being $1195. This is not a bundle and you’ll still need to purchase your dome and port extensions separately.
So for the R10 underwater system you’re paying $2395 and for the R7 underwater system you’re looking at $2694 plus the cost of lenses, dome, and extensions.
Overall, you’re looking at a serious difference in cost of entry for these two systems.
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I hope that some of the specs I’ve mentioned help you make a decision that’s right for you. If you’re needing any help figuring out what you need to take your camera underwater please email us at email@example.com
Logan Wood is a published photographer, cinematographer, and Producer at Ikelite. Stemming from a great appreciation for the outdoors and living an active lifestyle, his work focuses on capturing and sharing the natural world through the latest technologies. When not in the studio, Logan can be found cruising on his bike, going to concerts, and researching where to go next. You can see more of his work at loganwood.net and on Instagram @jlowood