Canon EOS R7 vs R8 – The 10 Main Differences

The R8 is Canon’s new entry-level full frame camera. It takes a lot from the more expensive R6 II, but in a smaller package, designed for amateurs and enthusiasts. It has a competitive price, a price that actually puts it quite close to the EOS R7, one of Canon’s most popular mirrorless models at the moment.

The two products differ in many ways however. In this comparison article, I’ll guide you through the 10 most important things you need to know before deciding which to buy.

Before we begin, I’ll quickly mention two things the R7 and R8 have in common:

  • 0.39-in electronic viewfinder with 2.36M dots, 0.7x magnification and 120Hz refresh rate
  • 1.62M dot LCD monitor with touch sensitivity and vari-angle mechanism
R7 and R8 side by side

Other comparisons you might be interested in:

Canon R6 vs R8

Canon R8 vs R6 II

Canon R8 vs RP

Canon R6 vs R7

Ethics statement: this article is based on official information for the R8, my personal experience with the R6 II and R7. We were not asked to write anything about this product, nor were we provided any compensation of any kind. Within the article, there are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking one of these links, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

1. Sensor

Let’s begin with the heart of each model: the image sensor!

The R8 features a full frame sensor with 24.2MP, whereas the R7 incorporates a smaller APS-C sensor but with more resolution: 32.5MP. They both have a low pass filter and the same Digic X image processor.

graphic showing the difference in size between full frame and Canon's APS-C format

The ISO range is also different, as you can see from the table below:


Normal range

Extended range


100 – 102,400

50 – 204,800


100 – 32,000

100 – 51,200

The difference in quality is what you might have already guessed: the R8 has more dynamic range, and specifically it is capable of keeping noise more contained when opening the shadows with the RAW files in post. It also displays less noise at high ISO.

Additionally, both cameras can record 10-bit HEIF photos, and they include the Dual Pixel RAW mode that allows you to make micro adjustments to the focus point and the bokeh in post, using the Canon Photo Professional software.

2. Video

The two cameras can record in 4K up to 60p, but not with the same image processing.

The R8 oversamples from 6K (meaning it uses every available pixel) to deliver the best quality possible whatever frame rate you select.

The R7 applies the same method up to 30p, oversampling from a 7K area. If you want 50p or 60p however, it works with line-skipping, which decreases the quality of the footage (less crisp details). Another option is to use the 4K crop mode to record at 60p, but that translates into a severe 1.8x sensor crop, which alters the angle of view of your lens significantly.

4K crop on the Canon R7

In Full HD, the R8 can record up to 180p with the High Frame Rate mode, whereas the R7 stops at 120p.

Neither camera has a recording limitation in 4K up to 30p. The R7 kept going for 2 hours and 20 minutes in my test (20˚C room temperature). There is no limit in 4K 60p either, but the camera will stop earlier (around 60 minutes).

Canon R7 LCD screen showing 2 hours and 15 minutes of recording time.

Canon says the R8 should be able to record for two hours, although the battery will likely run out before you reach that duration, unless you use a power bank. At 4K 60p, the R8 has a 30 minute / clip limitation.

The two cameras have a number of settings in common, including:

  • 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording with C.Log3 and HDR PQ
  • Maximum bitrate of 340Mbps (IPB)
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 clean output via HDMI

3. Stabilisation

One major difference between these two cameras is the absence of in-body image stabilisation on the R8. With the full frame camera, you have to rely on RF lenses with optical stabilisation. Thankfully, many Canon mirrorless lenses have IS, so you won’t be left with nothing to work with.

The R7 includes 5-axis sensor stabilisation with a rating of 7 stops of compensation (it’s actually 8, but only with the expensive RF 50mm F1.2 that you’ll likely won’t buy for your APS-C camera).

Cutout showing the image stabilisation technology

No doubt, the R7 offers superior capabilities when it comes to taking photos with a slow shutter speed hand-held. I got good results at around 1s of exposure time.

Additionally, you can use Digital IS when recording video. It crops the sensor but can improve the performance a little by adding electronic stabilisation to the mix.

Sensor crop with Digital IS

Here, I admit I need to test the two cameras side by side to see which could be the better option. In terms of stability, I think the R7 can do a better job, as proven in my tests, but the absence of sensor shift on the R8 means you won’t get the warp distortions in the corner Canon is famous for (although to be fair it happens with most brands).

4. Shutter Mode

There are a few things to digest here, so let’s begin with something basic.

The R8 can shoot up to 1/4000s with the normal shutter mode, or 1/16,000s with the electronic shutter. The R7 is faster by default (1,8000s), but shares the same maximum speed with the electronic shutter.

Now, ‘normal’ or ‘default’ are not precise terms to explain an extra difference between these two cameras: the type of shutter mechanism used.

Canon R7 without sensor cap

The R8 doesn’t have a full mechanical shutter, meaning it doesn’t have the front and rear curtains that cover and uncover the sensor when you take a picture (something that is found on most cameras). Only the rear curtain is present. The front curtain is activated electronically, hence the term electronic-first curtain shutter, or EFCS: that’s what the R8 uses, in addition to the full electronic shutter mode, where both curtains are activated electronically.

The R7, on the other hand, has full mechanical (two curtains), electronic-first (1 curtain) and full electronic shutter modes.

So what? Is this really important? Not necessarily, but it’s something worth keeping in mind.

The electronic shutter is great for many things (faster drive speed, silent mode) but there can be instances where you don’t want to deal with possible banding in your images (high-frequency of LED lights) or distortion caused by very fast camera movements. You may also want to use a flash, something that is disabled when the electronic shutter is engaged. That’s where the mechanical version becomes useful.

Canon R7 without sensor cap

The electronic-first curtain shutter mode of the R8 will cover most of the things the fully mechanical shutter of the R7 can do, including the use of flash, but there are two small limitations to be aware of:

  • the bokeh becomes less pleasant with shutter speeds faster than 1/500s
  • the exposure can be a bit uneven with shutter speeds of 1/4,000s

As you can see, these are very specific scenarios that hopefully are easy to avoid by simply keeping an eye on your shutter speed. But obviously, this is something R7 users don’t have to worry about if they stick with the mechanical shutter.

5. Continuous Shooting Speed

I mentioned in the previous chapter that the electronic shutter is useful for the continuous shooting speed, and that couldn’t more true for these two products.

The R8 can work up to 40fps, which is quite impressive for a full frame camera. Slower speeds of 20fps and 5fps are also available.

The R7 can shoot up to 30fps, or 15fps. The latter is also the maximum speed available when using the mechanical shutter. The R8, on the other hand, drops to 6fps when activating the electronic-first curtain shutter.

Red Kite flying and eating a piece of meat.
Canon EOS R7, ¹⁄₂₀₀₀ sec, ƒ / 7.1, ISO 2500
RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM at 300 mm

Don’t expect great buffer performance from either camera. My tests showed the R7 works at 30fps for about 2 seconds before slowing down when using RAW, or 4 seconds with JPGs. Based on the official specs, the R8 seems capable of 56 RAW or 120 JPGs at 40fps.

In both cases, you can increase the performance by choosing C.RAW, o the RAW Burst mode. The latter is useful to use in conjunction with the Pre-Release function, where the cameras save 15 frames before the shutter button is fully pressed. It’s a great tool to capture action that is difficult to predict. Be aware that with this mode, the cameras save all the frames into one special RAW file, that only the Canon software can open. Alternatively, you can extract the images in the camera itself.

Screenshot of the Canon R7 menu showing how to extract a single RAW file.

6. Autofocus

The R8 and R7 feature Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology and advanced algorithm to recognise and automatically follow different types of subject, including people, animals and vehicles.

Chaffinch on a branch with out of focus leaves in the background
Canon EOS R7, ¹⁄₂₀₀ sec, ƒ / 7.1, 640
RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM at 500 mm

The R8 has a more advanced version, which allows the camera to have a greater understanding of the human body, as well as recognise more species of animals and more types of vehicles.

Subject Det.










(helmet priority)

(helmet priority)

Another advantage of the R8 is the low light sensitivity, rated at -6.5EV whereas that of the R7 stops at -5EV (both measured at ISO 100 with a F1.2 lens).

7. Design

Despite housing a bigger sensor, the R8 is smaller and lighter than the R7. Both cameras offer a decent level of weather sealing, although it may not be as advanced as more premium Canon models such as the R6 series.

  • R7: 132.0 x 90.4 x 91.7mm, 612g
  • R8: 132.5 x 86.1 x 70mm, 461g

The two cameras also differ in terms of a few controls: for example, the R7 has one lever (top right) to turn the camera on, and switch to video mode. The R8 has separate photo/video lever on the left, and an on/off switch on the right that also comprises the lock function.

The location of the rear dial differs as well: on the R7, it is larger and positioned on the back panel rather than on top of the camera.

R7 rear dial with AF Joystick at the centre

This curious solution adopted by Canon sees the AF joystick placed inside that rear dial, a solution I personally didn’t like that much because I often find my finger touching the dial or the joystick inadvertently. But at least there is a joystick, something you won’t find on the R8.

Finally, the R7 has an AF/MF lever on the front.

8. Battery Life

The R7 has a larger battery, the LP-E6N, that consequentially promises better performance against the smaller LP-E17 included in the box with the R8.

The R7 has an official rating of 500 photos per charge (when using the EVF), or 770 photos when working with the rear monitor.

The R8 is rated at 220 frames with the EVF, and 370 pictures with the LCD.

Canon batteries

Note that these numbers were measured with the Power Saving mode. Also, the CIPA rating is always below what one can achieve in real life conditions.

Neither camera can benefit from an optional battery grip, but you can use the USB C port to charge the battery, or power the cameras while in operation (not that the battery won’t charge with the latter).

9. SD Cards

The R7 has two slots that accept UHS-II cards, and they have a dedicated compartment on the side of the camera, which is easier to access. Two cards mean you can double the capacity, back up one card to the other, or separate JPG and RAW files.

Dual card slots on the R7

The R8 has one slot only (UHS-II), which is located at the bottom in the battery compartment.

10. Price and Lenses

Depending on where you live, the price of these two cameras is pretty close, especially if we look at the US dollar.

The R7 is being sold at $1500, £1350 or €1500 for the body only.

The R8 has the same price in the U.S. ($1500) but is more expensive in Europe (£1700 / €1800), body only once again.

For each camera, you can add roughly $200 or $300 extra respectively for the kit lens (RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM for the R7, RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS for the R8). This is the perfect time to talk about lenses.

Hands holding the Canon R8 with RF 35mm 1.8 attached

Canon has so far produced three native APS-C lenses for the EOS R mount: 18-45mm, 18-150mm and the most recent 55-210mm. All of them have small and non-constant apertures. If you want anything else, either more telephoto reach, more wide-angle options or a faster aperture, you need to look at the full frame catalogue. Fortunately, there is a good range of fast primes available at a competitive price, as well as affordable super telephoto lenses. Anything beyond that will take you into L lens territory, and the price goes up depending on your needs.

All this to say that at the time of writing this article, Canon has developed more full frame lenses than APS-C lenses, which is fair given the first APS-C camera was unveiled not even a year ago. It will take more time to find a better balance between the two formats.

Canon R7 and two lenses

For now, the RF mount seems to remain exclusive to Canon, and not open to third party brands. So if you want more choice, you need to look at DSLR lenses (there is a lot for Canon’s EF mount, and the EOS R to EF adapter works really well), or manual focus lenses from Samyang and the like.

Other comparisons you might be interested in:

Canon R6 vs R8

Canon R8 vs R6 II

Canon R8 vs RP

Canon R6 vs R7


As you just read, there are a lot of things that separate these two cameras. Undoubtedly, the R8 gives you better image quality concerning dynamic range and high ISO, whereas the R7 with its 32MP and APS-C crop factor can be of interest for more specialised uses such as wildlife photography.

The R8 shares much of the technology found in the R6 II, which I just finished testing, and that makes me confident it is a camera that will excel in terms of autofocus, with difficult subjects such as birds in flight, as well as at events in low light. There is also an advantage with 4K video, especially at 60p in terms of quality.

The R7 has a more professional design, including the two card slots and the larger battery. The 5-axis stabilisation is also a nice plus that can be very helpful for photos. Be aware that the R7 has a slower sensor readout, which translates into more severe rolling shutter. That is especially true for video, and when working at 30fps with the electronic shutter. The R8 should perform much better in this regard.

Check the price of the Canon EOS R7 on:
Amazon | Amazon UK | B&H Photo | eBay

Check prices of the Canon R8 on
B&H Photo