Canon has officially unveiled the EOS R3, their highest quality mirrorless camera to date. This latest addition to the EOS lineup is positioned between the EOS 1DX III and the EOS R5, and is aimed at professional sports and news photographers; basically, anyone shooting action.
Central to the Canon EOS R3’s speed and performance is a brand new 24.1MP full-frame, back-illuminated, stacked CMOS sensor. Developed by Canon, this is the first EOS camera to include a sensor of this type. Coupled with the Digic X processor from the EOS 1DX III and EOS R5, this combination of sensor and processor will provide super-fast readout, impressive AF processing performance, and explosive shutter speeds.
Delivers 30fps RAW Shooting Speed
In electronic shutter mode, the Canon EOS R3 will deliver up to 30fps continuous raw with full AF and AE tracking. Of course, with speed like that it begs the question, what about rolling shutter? It’s safe to say the combination of stacked sensor and Digic X processor will go a long way to mitigating image warping. The mechanical shutter isn’t lazy either, offering a tidy 12fps.
Usually a disaster, or just plain impossible, the electronic shutter mode will support speedlite shooting. Although not the first camera to offer this, it’s still a relatively new advancement and will be new to EOS cameras. Imagine the light show when shooting 30fps at 1/180 with a flash!
Advanced AF Technology with 100% Coverage
Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF will offer 100% coverage of the focus area which is made of 1,053 automatically selected AF zones. When using the multi-controller (AF joystick), there are up to 4779 user-selectable AF point positions available.
With that much AF coverage, you’ll be glad to know that the EOS R3 also includes an optical smart controller first seen in the EOS 1DX III. It’s essentially a touchpad built into the AF-ON button that allows photographers to quickly adjust the AF point by moving their thumb across the button.
The Canon EOS R3 builds on the already impressive subject-tracking capabilities of the EOS R5 to include cars and motorcycles. Given Canon is an industry leader in deep learning AF tracking algorithms, one can expect the motorsport AF will work extremely well.
Improved Eye Control AF Technology
Perhaps the most interesting AF update is the inclusion of Eye Control AF technology. Unique to Canon, this allows photographers to select and change the focus point using their eye through the viewfinder.
This is not a new concept; Canon first included Eye Control AF in a select few of their film cameras throughout the 1990’s. The feature received mixed reviews and never made the jump across to digital cameras - until now. You will likely have to spend a bit of time getting it calibrated and Canon notes that certain factors and individual eye characteristics may make it unusable. However, with loads of tech advancements since its initial inception, it will be really interesting to see how this new/old feature performs.
Between the touch LCD, multi-controller, smart controller, and Eye Control AF, photographers will have more options than ever when it comes to selecting focus and can therefore choose what works best for them.
Superb Quality & Stability Even in Low Light
Similar to what we have seen in the EOS R5, Canon promises up to 8-stops of image stabilisation when the in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) is paired with the optical IS found in some RF-mount lenses. Excellent news for photographers who regularly shoot at longer focal lengths or handheld in low light like sports events or concert photography.
Filmmakers will be happy to know that the EOS R3 will capture oversampled 4K 120p, offering very detailed footage with low noise. Additionally, it will record 6K 60p RAW internally to a CFexpress card and includes light RAW for more manageable file sizes. The EOS R3 will also support Canon Log 3 for greater dynamic range and colour grading possibilities. The advanced subject-tracking AF available in stills mode will also be accessible when filming.
Robust Design, Lighter Body
Bodywise, the R3 is set to continue in the footsteps of the 1DX line on robust weather sealing, but at a fraction of the size and weight. Weighing in at only 1015g (including battery and CFexpress cards) versus 1440g for the EOS 1DX III; that’s an immense weight reduction any photographer will appreciate.
Breaking from the 1DX pro-body tradition of fixed LCD, the R3 will come with a fully articulating, 3.2" LCD touch screen with approximately 4.15 million dots. Some may argue that this will make the R3 more vulnerable to breakage in high-demand situations, but we think it’s a welcome addition and believe the increase in shooting flexibility will outweigh the minimal risk of damage. In terms of electronic viewfinder (EVF), it has 5.76 million dots of resolution and a refresh rate of 120fps, ideal for blackout-free burst shooting and subject tracking.
New to the Canon EOS R3, is an advanced accessory shoe which according to Canon will have the ability to transmit power and data. Depending on the bandwidth it can handle, this has the potential to open up an exciting range of new accessories.
The body will be powered by the LP-E19 battery from the 1DX III, which is fantastic as that battery pack is no slouch when it comes to capacity. With regards to memory, there are dual card slots (1x CFexpress Type B, 1x SD UHS-II) for recording multiple formats, including RAW, JPEG, and HEIF.
Clearly built to meet the demands of professionals and advanced enthusiasts, the EOS R3 looks to be a formidable hybrid system for capturing high-speed action stills and video.
What do you think of the Canon EOS R3?
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