The Canon EOS R3 is here: 8 new things we’ve learned about the mirrorless camera

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Five months after its first announcement, the Canon EOS R3 has finally been given a full official launch — and now we know the missing pieces in the Pro Camera’s spec sheet. (Want to read our first impressions? Get our hands on Canon EOS R3 Review)

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The EOS R3 is the most powerful mirrorless camera Canon has ever made, and it sits in between the smaller Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS 1D X Mark III DSLRs – although it is actually the mirrorless successor of the latter.

So what new things have we learned? We already knew that the EOS R3 was going to have a new stacked CMOS sensor and would be able to machine gun RAW photos with full AF/AE tracking at 30fps.


Canon previously revealed in a June ‘development announcement’ that the EOS R3 will feature new vehicle-tracking autofocus, an artistic touchscreen, eight stops of in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and the ability to shoot oversampled 4K video.

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But this full announcement gives us some important details, including its sensor’s 24.1MP resolution, to help us gauge just how advanced this action-focused camera is — and how Canon’s mirrorless technology stacks up next to its Sony rivals. is happening.

1. Has a 24.1MP Stacked Sensor

As we suspected some internet spies grabbed EXIF ​​data from some EOS R3 photos at the Olympics, Canon’s new mirrorless camera features a 24.1MP resolution stacked sensor.

That resolution might look a bit pathetic compared to the 50MP Sony A1, but the EOS R3 is primarily a sports and wildlife camera – and it’s higher-resolution than the 20.1MP Canon EOS 1D X Mark III, which pro snappers delight at. – Happiness trusts. last eighteen months.

The most interesting thing about the sensor is that it is Canon’s first ‘stacked’ chip. This design, pioneered by Sony cameras such as the Sony A9 II, supports higher data read-out speeds than standard BSI (backside-illuminated) sensors, which allow for both continuous shooting and less ‘rolling shutter’ in video. brings benefits to.

It’s this stacked sensor that powers the EOS R3’s claimed 30fps shooting speed, but its lightning-fast maximum shutter speed of 1/64000 second. Canon has also confirmed that the EOS R3’s electronic shutter can be synced with an external flash (up to 1/250th of a second).

2. It can shoot 6K raw video internally

Canon had revealed surprisingly little about the EOS R3’s video powers to date. It certainly wasn’t down to any sheepishness on Canon’s part – the EOS R3 is shaping up to be a professional powerhouse of a video camera.

We already knew it would shoot oversampled 4K video and support Canon Log 3, a profile that gives color graders a boost of dynamic range and editing flexibility. But now Canon has revealed that the EOS R3 can shoot 6K/60p Raw video internally – a rare skill in mirrorless cameras – with the option to capture in its CRM (Cinema Raw Light) format.

The Cinema Raw Lite format comes from Canon’s Cinema cameras and is an easy way to help reduce the monstrous file size of Raw video footage without sacrificing any noticeable image quality or grading headroom.

Perhaps more useful for sports shooters, though, will be the 4K/120p slo-mo mode, and the EOS R3 has the obvious ability to counter the overheating issues that plagued the Canon EOS R5 in its early days. Canon says you can record up to six hours of standard frame-rate video at once, or 1.5 hours of 120p video (assuming you have enough memory card space and battery life left).

3. You need EOS R5. same viewfinder

One of the most important camera features for pro sports photographers is the viewfinder. Back in January 2020, Canon told us that the reason for making the 1D X Mark III as a DSLR rather than a mirrorless camera was due to the insurmountable issue of viewfinder lag with the EVF. As Canon told us, mirrorless “can never be as fast as a DSLR,” because optical viewfinders operate at the speed of light.

Given that the Canon EOS R3 isn’t technically a replacement for the 1D X Mark III, it could still be so. But it’s still a bit of a surprise that the EOS R3 hasn’t outgrown Canon’s viewfinder any further — like the Canon EOS R5, it has a 5.76 million dot EVF with 0.76x magnification and a maximum refresh rate of 120fps.

It’s not an average viewfinder by any means – in our Canon EOS R5 review, we described it as “brilliant and practically indistinguishable from the optical ones found in DSLRs.” But it’s still levels below the 9.44 million-dot, quad-XGA OLED viewfinder on the Sony A1, which has a refresh rate of 240fps. Refresh rates determine how smooth motion appears in the viewfinder, so it’s an important tip for shooting action.

The Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3 are very different cameras, but both have a big focus on sports and wildlife photography – and Sony is still ahead on EVF technology. In fact, last year a Canon EOS R5 teardown appeared to show that its viewfinder is made by Sony – which probably explains why Canon wasn’t able to include the Sony A1-rivaling one on the EOS R3. .

4. But the EOS R3 has a very high-resolution rear screen

In reversing the position of the viewfinder, the Canon EOS R3 easily outpaces the Sony A1 when it comes to the rear screen.

We already knew that the R3’s screen would be a fully articulating display, which is ideal for video shooters. But Canon has now confirmed that the screen has a very impressive 4.15 million dot resolution.

That’s almost twice the resolution of the Canon EOS R5’s rear display and significantly higher-resolution than the Sony A1’s pretty pathetic 1.44 million dot monitor, which only tilts up or down.

For most professionals, the camera’s viewfinder is arguably more important than the built-in screen (especially as videographers add a large external monitor). But the quality of the EOS R3’s rear display is certainly a big bonus for reviewing your images and navigating menus with ease.

5. Multi-function shoe brings new accessories

Canon has added a counterpart to Sony’s Multi Interface Shoe, called the Multi Function Shoe, on top of the EOS R3 – and today it reveals some of the accessories you can use with it.

Both of these next-gen mounts allow for high-speed, two-way data transfer between cameras and compatible accessories. And the first new companions to the EOS R3 are a directional stereo microphone (DM-E1D) and Speedlite transmitter (ST-E10). Both of these draw power from the camera instead of needing to charge them separately, and the ST-E10 allows you to remotely control multiple radio speedlight flashes.

One small downside to this new multi-function shoe is that it doesn’t create a completely weather-proof seal – so you’ll need the optional multi-function shoe adapter (AD-E1) accessory if you want to install full weather-proofing is required.

Still, it will be possible to mount other accessories on top of that adapter, including the Smartphone Link AD-P1 (coming in 2022), which lets you mount an iOS or Android phone on top of the camera and fire images via the new will allow installation. MFT App.

6. Its burst shooting Sony A1. is a match for

Continuous shooting speed depends on many factors, from ambient light to the lens you’re using, so we have to take the theoretical maximum speed with a pinch of salt. But on paper, the Canon EOS R3 is definitely a match for the Sony A1 when it comes to outright speed and buffer depth.

The EOS R3 can hit a maximum burst speed of 30fps with full AE/AF tracking when shooting 14-bit raw files, an impressive skill that’s undoubtedly unlocked by that new stacked sensor.

Canon has now also revealed that its buffer can sustain it for 540 JPEGs or 150 raw files, which should serve as 18 seconds or five seconds of shooting, respectively. The Sony A1’s figures are similar here, with the flagship capable of absorbing around 400 JPEGs or 238 raw files, but that’s something we’ll need to test in the wild and there’s no indication yet that the EOS R3’s buffer How soon will it clear?

The interesting thing about the Canon EOS R3 is that its mechanical shutter can ‘only’ manage a top burst shooting speed of 12fps. It’s similar to the Canon EOS R5, but lower than the Canon 1D X Mark III’s 20 fps limit – which suggests that Canon thinks professionals will be able to rely on that electronic shutter during the shooting action.

7. Eye Control AF Mode is a bit of a gimmick

Canon has explained a bit more about the workings of its intriguing Eye Control AF system, which moves the autofocus point to where you’re looking in the viewfinder. And it looks like some limitations would make it quite exclusive, and possibly even just a fun gimmick.

This new version of the ‘eye-controlled autofocus’ system we saw on the Canon EOS 3 SLR in the 1990s comes from Canon’s medical division and is powered by eight, low-power LEDs in the viewfinder. These help track your eye and overlay that information onto the camera’s sensor.

It’s designed to help you achieve focus faster, rather than tracking subjects around the frame. For example, on a race track you can use it to select a particular motorbike to lock focus, then press the shutter to initiate the camera’s focus tracking.

But Eye Control AF has some restrictions that may limit its usefulness in practice. One is that it will need to be re-calibrated for different scenes and lighting conditions. The second is that it may not work so well if you wear contact lenses or glasses. In other words, it might be on par with the EOS R3’s doomed Touch Bar that we saw on the Canon EOS R5 — but we’re eager to try it out as well.

8. It will cost less than Sony A1 and 1D X Mark III

Finally, we now have a fixed price for the Canon EOS R3 – it will have a body-only price of $5,999 / £5,879 (about AU$9,500) and will be available for purchase from the end of November.

It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s less than both the Sony A1 (which launched in January for $6,500 / £6,499 / AU$10,499) and the base version of the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III.

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