THE BOTTOM LINE
The Canon EOS R3 is loaded with high-tech options, together with an autofocus system you manage together with your eyes; however, it nonetheless nails the entire fundamentals, making it a great digital camera for sports activities and wildlife execs.
- Intelligent autofocus with excellent topic recognition
- 14-bit Raw imaging at as much as 30fps
- Giant HDR viewfinder with OVF simulation
- Helps CFexpress and UHS-II SD memory
- Ample wired and wi-fi connectivity choices
- Sized-down gripped physique handles fantastically
- 6K60 Raw and 4K120 video modes
- Eye Management focus is not magical
- Finicky USB-C charging assist
CANON EOS R3 SPECS
|Dimensions||5.6 by 5.9 by 3.4 inches|
|Sensor Resolution||24 MP|
|Sensor Type||Stacked CMOS|
|Lens Mount||Canon RF|
|Memory Card Slots||2|
|Memory Card Format||SDXC (UHS-II), CFexpress (Type B)|
|Battery Type||Canon LP-E19|
|Display Size||3.2 inches|
|Display Resolution||4 million dots|
|EVF Resolution||5.8 million dots|
|Connectivity||PC Sync, Remote (Canon N3), Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45), USB-C, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, Microphone (3.5mm), Headphone (3.5mm)|
|Maximum Waterproof Depth||0 feet|
|HDMI Output||4:2:2 10-bit|
The Canon EOS R3 ($5,999, physique solely) is a severe full-frame camera constructed for probably the most demanding forms of images, reminiscent of professional sports activities, unique wildlife, reportage, and occasions. Its 24MP stacked picture sensor focuses quicker than normal chips and is right for freezing fleeting moments of motion. Its headline-grabbing function, an autofocus system you may need management by transferring your eyes, is not fairly magical; however, it works properly. Most significantly, the R3 handles like a dream and is sturdy sufficient to climate all types of environments. It earns each of our TechX awards due to its groundbreaking HDR viewfinder that reveals the world extra like an optical one, in addition to our Editors’ Selection award for its top-notch efficiency.
Advantages of a Stacked Sensor
The EOS R3 is one in all a handful of full-frame cameras out there at present that use stacked picture sensors. Most of these chips put reminiscence and sensors collectively for faster readout. It allows the R3 to focus and take photographs at 30fps utilizing a completely digital shutter (about twice as quickly because of the fastest mechanical shutter fashions) with no interruption within the viewfinder.
Cameras with extra widespread BSI CMOS sensors, just like the Canon EOS R6 and R5, depending on mechanical shutters to freeze fast-moving motion. The R3’s faster readout can freeze topics in movement with a completely digital, silent seize methodology, so you do not have to fret about rolling shutter distortion when photographing sports activities, birds in flight, or different speedy motions. Canon additionally features a mechanical focal airplane shutter within the R3—to date, the Nikon Z 9 is simply a stacked mannequin to drop the automatic possibility solely.
Stacked sensors aren’t a brand new idea—the Sony a9, a 2017 launch, launched the tech to the buyer market, and its successor, the a9 II, additionally options the identical kind of sensor. The sensor within the EOS R3 is Canon’s first crack at a stacked chip, and it matches the 24MP decision of the cameras within the a9 lineup. One distinction is that the R3’s sensor is constructed around Canon’s Twin Pixel AF part detection system, an autofocus methodology that works other than Sony’s masked focus pixel strategy.
Regardless of the entirely different strategy, neither underlying expertise reveals a bonus in the actual world—each approach has netted cameras with world-class focus methods. ALTHOUGH, the R3’s autofocus is a little more mature than what you discover in the a9 II. It could acknowledge different forms of animals, together with birds and various kinds of motorsport autos. Sony has added these options in its latest stacked mannequin, the 50MP a1, and Nikon consists of equally sensible topic recognition within the 45MP Z 9, its first stacked sensor digital camera.
The EOS R3’s sensor has fewer pixels than these opponents—in case you want greater than 24MP, you may look to the EOS R5 as a substitute or look ahead to Canon to launch a high-resolution stacked mannequin. It hasn’t detailed any plans to take action; however, we anticipate that such a launch is simply a matter of time.
Get a Grip
The R3 is Canon’s first mirrorless physique with a built-in vertical grip. Its silhouette is paying homage to a Canon 1D SLR, with the identical mild curved traces set Canon cameras aside from the different angular designs of Sony’s a9 and a1 sequence.
The R3 is not nearly as hefty as a digital camera, though it does have the optical viewfinder for an EVF. The R3 is available at 5.6 by 5.9 by 3. Four inches (HWD) weighs around 2.2 kilos with battery and a reminiscence card; that is a full pound lighter than Canon’s most up-to-date flagship SLR, the 1D X Mark III.
Indeed, the R3’s light-for-its-form construct went a protracted strategy to win this photographer over. I’ve by no means been a fan of our bodies with vertical grips—they’re typically extra digital camera than I wish to carry—however, the R3 feels simply nearly as good in my fingers because the slimmer R5 and balances a bit higher with the massive lenses I exploit for birding. If you choose an even bigger digital camera, the Nikon Z 9 can be extra according to the dimensions of conventional SLRs.
And do not confuse an extra cheap type for inferior building high quality. The EOS R3 is simply as rugged as a 1D, with reliable climate sealing and a magnesium alloy chassis. You may depend on a digital camera whenever you work in powerful circumstances.
Dealing with and Controls
The R3 has no scarcity of tactile controls—buttons, dials, and even touch-sensitive surfaces are at your fingertips. Many regulators are configurable, and the physique doubles up on some capabilities, providing you with a few alternative ways to carry out the identical motion. I see some redundancy as a constructive—in case you do not like utilizing the touch-sensitive AF-ON button to shift the realm of curiosity for focus; you may swap to an eight-way controller or allow the eye-controlled focus and simply have a look at your topic—extra on that in a bit.
Photographers used to a 1D X Mark III or EOS R5 (or a first-generation EOS R) must be accustomed to the Mode button. Two management dials, a monochrome info show, and the M-Fn management button is part of it on the highest plate. The shutter launch sits barely forward, at a snug angle atop the handgrip.
The shutter launch, M-Fn button, and the ahead management dial are mirrored on the backside of the grip so that they’re proper at your fingertips whenever you maintain the digital camera in portrait orientation. The corresponding rear controls—AF-ON, the eight-way focus management stick, publicity lock, and the main target space selector button—are in each position as correctly.
An On/Off swap, a flat rear command dial with a centered Set button, and the Q button to launch the quick-access on-screen menu are part of them. You additionally get the anticipated array of play, delete, and menu entry buttons. The R3 features a button to assign fast star scores to photographs, helpful in tagging your most OK shot in a sequence, together with a voice memo to connect notes to a picture, an actual profit for photojournalists sending work off to editors for publication. The playback and ranking controls, in addition to the highest info show, are backlit. The sunshine kicks in routinely in case you swap to playback mode, or you may toggle the lights manually through a button on the highest plate.
The on-screen Q menu dietary supplements the tactile controls and is navigable by contact utilizing the rear show. The LCD is of a vari-angle design that swings out to the aspect to view from an excessive, low, or selfie angle. The display itself could be very top quality—3.2 inches in measurement with greater than 4 million decision dots. You’ll be able to pump up the brightness to be used on sunny days, and it is simple to tilt it a bit if direct solar glare is a matter.
Canon hasn’t innovated with the display design as much as rival Nikon, although; we’re desperate to attempt the Z 9’s dual-hinge display and its extra attention-grabbing articulation. The R3’s swing-out display is weak when it is out to the aspect. We do like the choice to tuck the R3’s show display to face into the physique throughout use for a bit of additional safety, one thing that is not a possibility with the Z 9 or Sony a9 II.
The EOS R3’s digital viewfinder is without doubt one of the digital camera’s highlights. EVFs aren’t precisely new and have improved considerably over a decade-plus of mirrorless system growth; however, the modifications have been largely incremental. The final enormous leap was transferring to OLED tech over typically problematic LCD viewfinders.
OLED EVFs have gotten larger, sharper, and smoother (due to faster refresh charges); however, have not made an enormous leap ahead. The R3 modifications this narrative. Its viewfinder relies on OLED tech, but it provides a High Dynamic Range (HDR) coloration replica for an extra pure view of the world.
Canon leverages the HDR show in two methods. You should utilize the R3 like some other mirrorless digital camera and see a preview of your picture, full of any coloration filters or results you allow. I particularly like working this manner for days after I’m in a monochrome mindset and wish instantaneously visible suggestions on my publicity. SLR holdouts are positive to search out this idea overseas. With an optical viewfinder (OVF) digital camera, you at all times see the world in actual coloration even when your digital camera is ready to a black-and-white mode, whereas your imaginative and prescient limits sharpness and dynamic vary, not a digital show panel.
The R3 reframes this using an OVF simulation mode. It will get nearer to the expertise of utilizing an optical finder by dropping distinction and disabling publicity preview. You see a correctly brilliant view of the world, even in case you’ve set your publicity to make silhouettes. A decreased distinction preview and impartial coloration steadiness reveal particulars in shadows and highlights that might be crunched and clipped in the usual scene preview mode.
It is extraordinarily straightforward to swap between the 2 modes, too—I opted to remap the M-Fn button to toggle between the 2—one thing I discovered helpful when photographing just a few gulls fishing for a morning meal in opposition to strongly backlit solar. It is a brutal scene for publicity; however, I used to be capable of the first dial in my advertising with the help of a publicity preview, after which swap to the OVF simulation, the viewer observes the fast-moving birds in a tricky lighting state of affairs. I might have a more durable time discovering the topic with a conventional EVF preview. The scene itself is hard to seize with an optical viewfinder digital camera—photographs into the solar aren’t straightforward on the eyes whenever you look through a pentaprism.
As for the panel itself, it reveals a natural element due to its 5.8-million-dot decision and 0.76x magnification; that measurement makes it seem simply as significant to your eye because of the OVF within the EOS-1D X Mark III. You’ll be able to push it to 120Hz to breed movement fluidly. It is excellent for photographing sports activities, motion, and different topics in action or using the 60Hz power-saving mode for much less demanding scenes.
The EOS R3 earns our TechX award due to its HDR viewfinder and OVF simulation mode. In case you’re desirous about studying extra about how the viewfinder works, try Rishi Sanyal’s deep technical dive at DPReview.
Energy and Connectivity
Canon uses the house properly and packs an enormous battery into the R3, the identical LP-E19 from the 1D X sequence. In-camera charging is a possibility so that you may refill through the USB-C port; however, Canon cameras are somewhat fussy about what adapters work. The R3 helps the Canon USB Energy Adapter PD-E1 formally; others are hit and miss.
I couldn’t cost the battery with my Apple MacBook Professional charger, one which tops off just about every different model of a mirrorless digital camera without concern. If your go-to charger would not work with the digital camera, finance an additional $139 for a PD-E1 or just use the dual-battery exterior charger that comes within the field.
The EOS R3 is on the power-hungry aspect, so its extra-large battery would not run so long as you would possibly anticipate. CIPA charges it for about 620 photographs in its default power-saving mode. Utilizing the 120Hz Clean viewfinder mode cuts that to about 440 photos, a 30% hit. That latter ranking is according to the Sony a9 II and Nikon Z 9. CIPA scores do not consider a steady drive, although—if you lean closely on the 12fps mechanical or 30fps digital shutter modes, you may know internet 1000’s of photographs with no drawback.
The digital camera provides ample wired and wi-fi connectivity choices. It has a 3-pin cable distant connection on its entrance, between the lens mount and vertical grip. The rest of its ports are on the left panel, with 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, Gigabit Ethernet, micro HDMI output, PC sync flash, and USB-C.
Bluetooth 5.0a LE and dual-band Wi-Fi is on board properly. The R3 pairs with the Canon camera connect app for Android and iOS gadgets. The app works for file transfers and allows you to use your cellphone as a remote viewfinder, complete with tap-to-focus and publicity controls. Cellular modifying assist is as anticipated—it is quick work to tag your five-star photographs from a sequence and Uncooked ship records data over to an iPad Professional to edit in Lightroom Cellular.
The R3 goes a bit additional than primary full-frame fashions with community assistance. It helps FTP switch through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, essential for photographers sending photographs to an editor when protecting dwell occasions.
The EOS R3 works with external flashes utilizing its scorching shoe or short sightedcket—cameras of this kind do not embody in-body flashes as a rule. The R3 syncs as shortly as 1/180-second using its full digital shutter and at 1/250-second if you go for the mechanical shutter. It works as marketed, even with third-party wi-fi options like the Flashpoint Xplor 300 TTL.
Longtime Canon system house owners are adequately acquainted with its EF SLR lens sequence. The EOS R3 can use EF lenses through an adapter. Canon provides just a few completely different adapters, together with the essential EF-EOS R that I used to mount the EF 400mm F4 DO II IS USM. If you’re transferring over from a Canon SLR, you may deliver your lenses with you.
Canon can be constructing a brand new line of lenses unique to the EOS R system. The RF lens sequence is comparatively younger; however already has a complete set of professional-grade zooms, protecting vast angles to extreme telephoto, and a few high-end telephoto primes, the RF 400mm F2. Eight and RF 600mm F4.
Is Eye Management Focus the Actual Deal?
The EOS R3 marks the comeback of one in all Canon’s early improvements: eye-controlled autofocus. It loved a small spot within the lineup within the movie period, exhibiting up in shopper our bodies just like the EOS A2E (from 1992) and professional fashions just like the EOS 3. Early attempts have been rudimentary and inconsistent. I attempted to use eye management with 2004’s EOS Elan 7ne, and it merely by no means labored for me.
The attention-control implementation within the EOS R3 is many occasions, higher than Canon’s first efforts. The R3’s viewfinder initiatives infrared gentle into your eye, and by studying the reflections, you can decide the place you are trying. A calibration routine is required to get it to work. Still, it indeed’s relatively painless—the R3 prompts you to look immediately at some extent within the viewfinder and faucet the M-Fn button while doing so.
The method repeats several occasions to transfer to entirely different body areas. It is worthwhile to calibrate several occasions, in several lighting circumstances, and hold the digital camera in each panorama and portrait orientation for one of the best outcomes. The R3 has reminiscence for six-person profiles, and you may export any to a reminiscence card so that you may take your profile from digital camera to digital camera.
When Eye Management is turned on, a yellow dot bounces across the body, following the actions of your eye. If you interact autofocus, the digital camera seems to be for a topic close to the primary target level and locks on. It will get some assists from the R3’s stellar topic recognition—get the main target level near your topic, and the autofocus system takes you the remainder of the best way.
How properly does it work? It relies upon. Photographers with excellent eyesight are prone to have a bit higher luck than those with compromised imagination and prescient. My dominant eye is badly astigmatic, and I discovered that the system struggled to trace my dream and prescient if I attempted to look at the highest third of the body until I took care to carry the digital camera tight in opposition to my glasses. The central focus dot is somewhat shaky typically, even after several rounds of calibration.
The circumstances by which you are working additionally matter. I bumped into issues working within the early morning hours when the solar was over my shoulder. Canon warns that brilliant daylight hitting the viewfinder will intervene with the system, as will carrying colored contact lenses, bifocals, or sunshades. If your eye is just too shut or too far off from the viewfinder, you may also have issues. You get the thought: Eye Management focus is a function that comes with some caveats.
Although, you might discover it to be a great match in your work. Motorsport photographers can use it to swap focus between vehicles coming down a observe. It ought to lend itself properly to sports activities where the sector is not too crowded—baseball and soccer come to thought. For my topics, birds in branches and flight, I discovered it obtained in the best way most of the time, and I ended up turning it off.
Canon’s Finest Autofocus But
Canon hasn’t made the error of constructing the R3 round Eye Management, although. It is merely one in all several methods to set the realm of curiosity for focus, which is aided by excellent topic recognition and monitoring. The digital camera additionally features a contact floor on its AF-ON button, which works very similar to a trackpad to maneuver the energetic autofocus space across the body; an eight-way joystick does a similar job.
The R3’s Twin Pixel CMOS AF II system builds on class-leading topic recognition and monitors Canon launched with the EOS R5 and R6. It acknowledges and tracks topics successfully in its AI Servo steady drive mode, with specialized methods for photographing individuals, wildlife, and motorsports. The R3 leverages face and eye detection for pictures of individuals; locks onto the eyes of birds and mammals in its animal mode; and acknowledges race vehicles, motorbikes, and driver’s helmets in its car mode.
Canon’s case-based preset focus modes carry over from the 1D and 7D SLR sequences. Photographers can fine-tune the R3’s focus response to stay with erratically transferring topics, to offer precedence to issues coming into the body, or to react to subjects that change pace without warning. You’ll be able to set a selected use case within the menu or let the R3 routinely swap focus settings for you.
Autofocus protection is vast, reaching almost the whole thing of the picture sensor. Nook-to-corner focus means you do not have to fret about maintaining your topic underneath the central space of a body, so you’ve got obtained a bit extra freedom to compose photographs. Photographers who’ve already moved from a Canon SLR to an EOS R system are already acclimated to the expertise. Still, it indeed’s a breath of recent air for anybody transferring over from a 1D.
As for pace, the R3 is among the many fastest-firing cameras you should purchase. The digital shutter rattles off Uncooked, JPG, or HEIF photographs at a staggering 30fps prime pace, with publicity and focus checked for each picture. The readout is fast enough to freeze movement. It helps oddball shutter speeds assist sidestep flicker results created by the digital signage omnipresent in professional sports activities venues.
The stacked sensor comes into play right here, too—in case you choose to make use of the digital shutter, there is no interruption within the view when taking photographs. A refined white defines flash across the edges of the show to let you realize when the shutter fires.
The view is not reasonably as clean if you swap to the mechanical shutter for bursts. The viewfinder reveals a little bit of stuttering movement when working on the quickest 12fps seize charge (Hello+). Also, you see a momentary little bit of black throughout every publicity whenever you work at 8fps (Hello) or 3fps (Low) speeds. Right here, the continual drive expertise extra carefully matches different mirrorless cameras, most of which depend on mechanical shutters to freeze topics in movement.
Simply how lengthy the R3 retains going at a time depends upon your alternative of reminiscence card and file format. Put money into a great CFExpress (Sort B) reminiscence card for the quickest write speeds. I used a SanDisk CFE card rated for 1,400MBps write speeds. The R3 nets about 130 Uncooked, 190 C Uncooked, or 230 JPG photographs earlier than its seize buffer fill; however, a CFE card could be rapid (a few seconds).
I swapped the precise time fills SDXC UHS-II reminiscence card, rated for write speeds of 299MBps, to examine efficiency with that format. The R3 stored going for about the identical variety of photographs; however, buffer clears took considerably longer—45 seconds for Uncooked, 35 seconds for C Uncooked, and 25 seconds for JPGs.
Stabilized Full-Body Sensor
The EOS R3 is constructed around Canon’s first in-house stacked sensor, a 24MP full-frame chip-based primarily on Canon’s Twin Pixel AF focus tech. The sensor is mounted to a five-axis stabilization system, which works along with the lens-based IS included in lots of RF telephoto lenses. It is an anticipated function in a full-frame mirrorless digital camera; however, it arks one other benefit versus the EOS 1D X sequence.
The sensor helps a large ISO vary, protecting ISO 100-51200 as a part of its standard settings and as much as ISO 204800 in its prolonged vary. The stacked design nets faster readout than previous-generation BSI sensors and enjoys comparable excessive ISO functionality. It can save you photographs in 14-bit Uncooked, compressed C Uncooked, JPG, or HEIF codecs. I used C Uncooked+JPG and the digital shutter for the majority of testing.
JPGs have a crisp element, exhibit intense coloration, and present little noise through ISO 12800. The outstanding feature takes successful and crisp traces to present some smudging at ISO 25600 and 51200; however, photographs are pretty usable. Particulars are tender, and pictures show a lot of noise within the prolonged vary. The excessive ISO output is a few cease forward of what the 24MP Sony a9 II delivers and on par with the 20MP EOS-1D X Mark III.
Swapping to an Uncooked seize mode ramps down in-camera noise discount (so you may squeeze somewhat extra element from excessive ISO photographs) and opens up the power to regulate coloration and publicity utilizing a software program modifying suite—we use Adobe Lightroom Classic as the usual converter for all of our digital camera opinions.
14-bit Uncooked photographs present little-seen noise by way of ISO 400. An effective grain sample units in at ISO 800 and provides some texture to photographs (without detracting from element), an impact that holds regular by way of ISO 12800. Grain will get bigger and coarser by way of ISO 51200, and whereas it is pretty thick at ISO 102,400, the element nonetheless shines by way of. I might consider ISO 204800 an emergency setting for very dim gentle solely—picture high quality falls off considerably on the prime location; however, most photographers will not have to make use of it that usually.
In case you’re desirous about HDR imaging, you may reap the benefits of a few in-camera choices. The R3 has a single-shot HDR JPG seize mode, but it surely does take a few seconds to course of a photograph after you’ve got pressed the shutter. For extra instant outcomes, swap from JPG to HEIF seize. If you do, the R3 swaps to an HDR coloration house and captures photographs that are not too far off from what you see within the OVF simulation mode. The EOS R3 shares some artistic options with different R cameras, together with in-camera several exposures and the macro focus bracketing options launched within the EOS RP.
Sturdy Video Toolkit
The EOS R3 isn’t any slouch with regards to video. It helps inner 12-bit Uncooked recording at 6K decision and may file compressed 4K footage at as much as 60fps with sound or 120fps for slow-motion playback. The micro HDMI port outputs a clear 10-bit sign if you choose to use an Atomos Ninja V or comparable recording gadget.
For MP4 recording, there are just a few completely different compression choices, together with the All-I codec Canon recommends for simpler modifying—it nets the largest file sizes; however, it is not as taxing on Final Cut Pro. Data sizes, IPB, and IPB Gentle choices can be found for more minor records. You’ll be able to file in a typical coloration profile for primary modifying and ready-to-share 8-bit 4:2:Zero clips or swap to Canon’s flat Log3 shape for gradable 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling. The R3’s video high quality is top-notch—particulars are robust, and the stacked sensor does a great job suppressing ugly movement artifacts attributable to the rolling shutter impact. Stabilization is efficient, too. I attempted for some slow-motion footage utilizing an 800mm telephoto. I ended up with functional outcomes, although I might advocate using a tripod or video monopod when working with longer glass for one of the best outcomes.
The EOS R3 is extra appropriate for long-form recording than the EOS R5—overheating has been confirmed to be a nonissue with this digital camera so that you need not a child it on set. The exception is 4K120—in a room temperature test, the R3 shut down after about 10 minutes of slow-motion recording on the highest high quality.
The R3 Places It All Collectively
The picture trade has been making a slow march away from SLR expertise for the higher part of a decade. Early efforts lagged behind professional SLRs in viewfinder high quality, autofocus, and dealing with, however after years of growth and refinements, mirrorless cameras are not second-class residents. At this time, fanatic and professional mirrorless cameras run circles around SLRs regarding autofocus understanding, and most have more robust video options.
The Canon EOS R3 does somewhat greater than others to maneuver the needle ahead for mirrorless. As Canon’s first stacked sensor mirrorless digital camera, it excels by way of pace, and its autofocus system is excellent—topic recognition and monitoring are second to none. The HDR viewfinder goes additional than others and is a compelling argument for SLR holdouts to swap their 1D X.
Lifelong Canon execs should not have an excessive amount of bother migrating. Canon’s design language is constant, and plenty of capabilities fall underneath thumb in identical locations as they do with an SLR. The result’s a digital camera that, for probably the most half, stays out of the best way as you seize photographs.
The EOS R3 serves each execs who make a dwelling photographing quick motion and severe hobbyists properly. Its $6,000 value is on the excessive finish for full-frame, however proper in the pack’s course amongst equally successful cameras. Its 24MP sensor would not pack as many pixels as some—the 45MP Nikon Z 9 and 50MP Sony a1 are more robust choices if you’re after excessive pace and excessive decision—however, not everybody must file great photographs or crop aggressively. That makes the EOS R3 a more in-depth competitor to the Sony a9 II ($4,500). The R3 prices are more significant than the a9 II; however, it provides an extra successful autofocus system, slow-motion 4K, and incredible ergonomics, which incomes it our Editors’ Selection award.