Canon EOS R3 is reality: features and price of the new flagship

Canon EOS R3 è realtà: caratteristiche e prezzo della nuova ammiraglia thumbnail

Last year at Canon there was the definitive turning point for the mirrorless segment and today comes the icing on the cake: Canon EOS R3 it is a matter of fact. After, in fact, a continuous succession of spoilers, teasers, indiscretions and having just smelled it in Cortona during the Cortona On The Move festival, now we have touched it firsthand.

If 2020 was the year of the turning point, 2021 wants to be that of the definitive consecration. In the last 12 months, or a little more, we have seen EOS R5 and EOS R6 arrive but above all also a fair number of optics that have greatly expanded the lineup. To date, in fact, the Canon EOS R can offer everything a professional needs. It is no coincidence that in the last year the market share has reached 30%, thus going to worry more and more Sony leadership in this segment.

The entire Canon EOS R

Canon has done things in its own time, has calmly developed an efficient and complete system that today can satisfy the most diverse needs. EOS R3 represents the perfect combination of two worlds, the professional one made of EOS 1DX SLRs and the mirrorless one with EOS R5. Traditions of the highest level are combined with the most modern technologies, some of which are already appreciated on the EOS R5.

Canon itself, however, is keen to emphasize that the EOS R3 should not be seen as a camera that will replace any of the previous models, but only a connecting link. In the EOS 1DX user there is certainly someone looking for more lightness in the camera body, just to name one, while those coming from EOS R5 maybe need more speed and reactivity in operations. And, why not, with the EOS R3 Canon also hopes to stimulate the curiosity of users of other brands.

Canon EOS R3: at full speed

Designed to capture fast-moving scenes, Canon EOS R3 is the ideal mirrorless for sports photography, but not only. The heart is one 24.1 megapixel resolution stacked CMOS sensor, entirely designed and built by the company itself. It is the first that Canon produces in-house.

The strength of this camera is above all the speed of operations and focusing. Everything has been designed to offer the best user experience, even in the most complicated conditions. The new EOS R3 can count on a range of shutter speeds ranging from 30 seconds to 1 / 64,000 of a second also counting on a tracking AE e AF a 30fps nel formato RAW using the electronic shutter. You can also select 15fps and 3fps cadences.

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3

Speaking of speed, we are not limited only to the frequency of shots per second, but we must also open a nice parenthesis for theautofocus. The EOS R3 is able to lock onto a subject in just 0.03 seconds, a first for the EOS R range. Obviously, focusing operations are guided by the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which, using an improved deep learning algorithm, is able to recognize the eyes, body and face of human and animal subjects and in particular also detect the heads of people both in photos and videos. But above all, to underline the sporting spirit, there is a new case study for the AF recognition system: it is the vehicle tracking. In this way it will be possible to immortalize both cars and motorcycles with incredible precision, thanks also to the possibility of choosing whether to give priority to the vehicle or the driver’s helmet.

Canon EOS R3 Photo Shoot. Photograph by Vladimir Rys

Canon EOS R3 Photo Shoot. Photograph by Vladimir Rys

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Some examples of shots taken by Canon ambassador Vladimir Rys.

Added to this is a redefined standard for low-light focusing capabilities. With compatible lenses you can focus on subjects as low as -7.5EV. This is why the EOS R3 can also be the ideal choice for those who regularly work in low light conditions. Not only for the ability to read in the dark, but also for the 8 stops of stabilization that can be achieved with compatible optics. In addition, the sensitivity range extends from ISO 100 to 102,400, expandable up to 204,800.

Focus with the eyes

If that weren’t enough, Canon wanted to revive a technology from nearly 30 years ago. I’m talking about the mode Eye Control AF. If we often talk about the camera as an extension of the photographer’s arm, in this case we are really in front of theextension of the photographer’s eye.

For Eye Control AF there are a series of infrared sensors that read the movement of the photographer’s eye

I had the opportunity to do some first quick tests of how the system works and although the necessary calibration was not done in optimal conditions, the results are very interesting. In this way, especially when everything happens quickly in front of the photographer’s eyes, it will be the gaze that follows the action that directs the point of focus in an instant.

Tracking is also active with Eye Control AF. The round yellow indicator is that of the eye focus, which allows us to quickly switch from one subject to another within the scene.

Video functionality

If you are looking for a mirrorless that records up to 8K the EOS R3 is not what you are looking for. For that there is always the EOS R5. But this does not mean that the latest addition to Canon is not a mirrorless suitable for professional video. Indeed, it is possible make movies in 6K 60p RAW. 4K movies, on the other hand, are obtained through 6K resolution oversampling, ideal for dynamic, high-speed sports. You can get there instead fino a 120p in 4K for high resolution even in slow motion. Unlocked the recording limit of 29 minutes, with the EOS R3 you can record up to six hours of video at normal fps or up to 1.5 hours with high framerates.

Format also available RAW Light o MP4 in All-I, IPB o IPB Light for high-quality but significantly leaner workflows. In addition, the dual SD UHS-II and CFexpress memory card slots allow you to record at 6K internally and simultaneously to both cards in MP4.

There is also the Canon LOG 3 for 10bit internal recording, nor the 10-bit HDR PQ. Finally, it is important to note that all AF modes, including vehicle tracking, are also available in video mode.

Canon EOS R3: all other features

The electronic viewfinder onboard EOS R3 offers the same resolution as that of EOS R5, viz 5.76 million points. The viewing delay has been reduced, has no blackout and has a refresh rate of up to 120fps. The vision is of the highest quality, but, moreover, Canon has studied a dedicated function to meet the needs of photographers accustomed to optical vision. This is an assisted display mode that simulates an optical viewfinder view. I will test it in the field soon, because I am very curious.

The new EOS R3 also comes with a new multifunctional slide, also compatible with the most modern accessories. The shoe is compatible for example with the new directional microphone DM-E1D, but also for third-party accessories such as the TEAC Tascam CA-XLR2d-C XLR adapter. As the sled is new, an adapter was also presented to accept older accessories, a speedlite transmitter and an adapter to mount Android smartphones.

Speaking of smartphones, the Canon EOS R3 is compatible with the app Canon Connect App and with the new Mobile File Transfer App (coming soon). The new mirrorless has also been certified Apple MFI to be able to connect directly to an iPhone via cable. In this way you can update the firmware via the app and obviously GPS (GNSS) will also be available.

The dimensions of the body are almost identical to those of an R5 with vertical grip. The weight, however, is much lower.

Let’s close the circle with some information on the body. Lightweight and durable Canon EOS R3 is built to withstand external agents (dust and water) just like EOS-1D. And just like the reflex flagship it integrates a grip for vertical grip with the controls shown and which hides the same battery as the latest EOS-1Ds inside.

Canon EOS R3: availability and price

But when will we be able to see, try and maybe buy the new Canon EOS R3 mirrorless? It is soon said. It will only take a little patience, because the availability on the Italian market is given for the second half of November. The retail price is € 6,289.