Year in Review 2023: Canon Cameras and Lenses

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Year in Review 2023: Canon Cameras and Lenses

Canon is a brand that has always drawn attention, interest, and intrigue with its new releases, and, in 2023, the company didn’t disappoint—especially on the lens front. With an admirable range and number of new products this past year, it seems that Canon is building up to something big and bold in the future. The cameras were mainly focused on creating a solid foundation for entry-level and mid-level shooters, and the lenses span the gamut between compact kit lenses and fully fledged professional super-telephotos. Let’s take a closer look at all things Canon from 2023.

Cameras

Canon’s first release of the year was a pair of camera bodies: the EOS R8 and the EOS R50. These cameras are relatively similar in many ways but are distinguished by sensor size, with the R8 having a full-frame sensor, and an APS-C sensor in the R50. The R8 stands out as a new benchmark for what an entry-level full-frame can be; it’s a very well-rounded hybrid model at a great value. It was named in our Top Mirrorless Cameras of 2023 as an ideal transitional camera, especially for “those jumping up to full-frame from APS-C or maybe those moving from a DSLR to a mirrorless system.” The R50 shares a similar ethos with the R8 in that it’s an all-arounder camera built for those looking for a solid feature set in a compact design and at a very attractive price. Both cameras are going to be perfect options for the burgeoning content creator, too.

EOS R8
EOS R8

Announced a bit later in the year, the EOS R100 is similar to the R50, but with a trimmer feature set and fewer bells and whistles; namely, it loses the touchscreen and vari-angle LCD. Some of the other specs are toned down, including AF performance, top shooting speed, and video performance, all in the name of a more affordable, beginner-oriented model that’s a great first step into mirrorless cameras.

EOS R100
EOS R100

The final camera from Canon in 2023 isn’t even a mirrorless camera at all—the PowerShot V10 is the brand’s first effort at making a vlogging-specific compact camera. Announced in May, this sleek little camera is very clearly pointed at content creators and livestreamers, thanks to its built-in kickstand, emphasis on recording specs, and attention to detail in terms of connectivity.

PowerShot V10
PowerShot V10

Lenses

It was a busy year for lens announcements from Canon, with eight total new lenses for its RF-mount mirrorless system. Two of these lenses are dedicated to Canon’s APS-C-format cameras: the RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM and the RF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM zooms. The 55-210mm is the go-to compact telephoto zoom, offering an 88-336mm equivalent focal length range, along with IS for stable handheld use. The wider of the two options, the 10-18mm is a 16-29mm-equivalent ultra-wide zoom also fit with IS and a sleek, lightweight design.

RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM
RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM

Moving up to the full-frame releases, and coinciding with the EOS R8 announcement, Canon introduced a unique take on a kit zoom: the RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM. With shorter reach than conventional kit lenses, this wide-to-normal zoom prioritizes a small build to complement the sleek size of a camera like the R8. The other Canon lens of the year that emphasized a small stature is the RF 28mm f/2.8 STM. A pancake-style wide-angle prime, this all-around wide is a great lens for travel and everyday photography.

RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Canon announced one of the super-telephoto options of the year: the RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM. This lens has immense reach, but the relatively slow maximum aperture range keeps the weight down to 4.5 lb and overall length at around 12", making it a surprisingly portable lens for its telephoto versatility. This should be a lens in many wildlife and birding hobbyist’s bags.

RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM
RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM

Regarding the L Series releases of the year, Canon launched three new zooms within this top tier of optics, including an ultra-wide zoom, a souped-up standard zoom, and a fresh take on a fast telephoto zoom. Widest first: in October, Canon debuted the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM lens, which is now the widest RF lens available and the RF evolution of the popular EF 11-24mm f/4L SLR lens. Despite going wider than the 11-24mm predecessor, this RF 10-20mm manages to be 1.3 lb lighter. It’s the new go-to lens for architecture, interior, and cityscape shooters.

RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM
RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM

Next is the RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens, which is a wholly fresh take on what a standard zoom can be. Introduced alongside the 200-800mm and 10-18mm lenses, this 24-105mm brings a handful of unique things to the table. First, it’s an f/2.8. Typically, the 24-105mm zoom range is associated with an f/4 maximum aperture, so opening up that extra stop avoids the need to choose between a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 24-105mm f/4, making this lens the best of both worlds. Second, this will be the first lens in Canon’s system to be compatible with the PZ-E2B and PZ-E2 Power Zoom Adapters that will enable easier zoom movement adjustments on single-person productions; this is a lens that will find its place on set for many professional jobs, so having these tools for an easier workflow makes a big difference. And, finally, the lens has all the optical, AF, and IS assets Canon has to make it the star everyday optic in many shooters’ kits.

RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z
RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z

Finally, Canon also announced the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, the big white L Series lens of 2023. This lens feels more like a 70-200mm f/2.8 on steroids, and the jump to a 100-300mm range, while maintaining a bright f/2.8 aperture, is unprecedented and makes it a very exciting choice for indoor sports, high-end event coverage and journalism, and even some closer-range wildlife shooting. It’s a dynamic zoom that takes the speed and nimbleness of a prime lens but then adds the essential versatility of a zoom; definitely look to see this lens on the sidelines of many upcoming sporting venues, fashion shows, and other big events.

RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM
RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM

What are your thoughts on Canon’s releases for 2023? Which was your favorite camera or lens? And what are you hoping to see next year from Canon? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.

1 Comment

I have recently jumped from DSLR to mirrorless (my 10 year old DSLR died, so it was time!).  I am still trying to get my head around some of the differences and the potentials of mirrorless.  (relying on an adaptor for the most part, although I have the 24-105 f/4).  . I am hoping for some more f/2.8 or even faster primes for 2024.