Canon EOS R3 evaluation: Revolutionary eye-control focus and velocity, for a worth


After Sony launched the A7 III method again in 2018, I questioned if Canon and Nikon might ever catch as much as its autofocus and different know-how. With the launch of the 24-megapixel EOS R3, nevertheless, it’s Canon that’s on the leading edge with its “eye management” AF that permits you to concentrate on a topic simply by taking a look at it.

The R3 can be Canon’s first digicam with a bottom illuminated, stacked sensor. That provides it burst taking pictures speeds in silent mode of as much as 30 fps with autofocus and auto-exposure enabled. Plus, it has high flight video specs with RAW seize at 6K as much as 60 fps.



  • Quick taking pictures speeds
  • Dependable autofocus
  • Good dealing with
  • No-compromise video
  • Revolutionary eye management AF


  • Excessive worth
  • Eye management AF restricted
  • Mediocre decision
  • Fiddly micro HDMI port

Right here’s the rub, although: For $6,000 it has comparatively low decision, whereas Canon’s personal 45-megapixel EOS R5 prices greater than $2,000 much less. So, who is that this digicam good for precisely? And is the attention management AF a helpful function, or only a toy? With some assist from my professional photographer pals, I spent a while with a closing manufacturing mannequin to search out out.

Physique and dealing with

Gallery: Canon EOS R3 mirrorless digicam evaluation | 23 Photographs

The very first thing you’ll discover on the R3 is the large digicam grip physique that makes it appear to be a DSLR and mirrorless digicam mashup. Very like the 1DX Mark III that impressed it, it has twin controls for each panorama and portrait taking pictures modes, together with an identical shutter button, dials and joystick.

Regardless of the large physique, the EOS R3 is comparatively gentle at 2.3 kilos together with a battery and reminiscence card. The 1DX Mark III, against this, suggestions the scales at 3.17 kilos, whereas the EOS R5 is 1.6 kilos.

As you’d hope for an enormous digicam, it has an enormous grip. That provides a sense of safety once you’re holding it, and it handles nice even with huge telephoto lenses like Canon’s RF 70-200mm f/2.8.

The R3 additionally packs loads of dials and buttons so as to function the digicam with out diving into the menus, for essentially the most half. The management format is just like the 1DX Mark III and makes use of the identical infrared management button. That allows you to set the main target level simply by sliding your thumb over it – sooner than a joystick, however simpler to activate inadvertently till you get used to it.

Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera reivew

Steve Dent/Engadget

A devoted button allows you to change simply between picture and video modes, whereas providing you with separate settings and menus for every mode. Nevertheless, it makes use of the identical previous Canon menus, which aren’t fairly as intuitive as on the newest fashions from Sony, Nikon and Panasonic. You’ll be able to management it in a wide range of methods, although, utilizing the dials, joystick or touchscreen. That makes it fast to get to a setting, as soon as you determine the place it’s.

The large 3.2-inch contact show has a crisp 4.15-million dot decision, almost double that of the R5. For scrolling via menus, shopping pictures and extra, it’s extraordinarily responsive – far more so than Sony’s A1 or another digicam I’ve tried for that matter. The show additionally flips out for low-angle taking pictures or vlogging, although the R3 is a bit heavy for the latter.

The 5.76-million dot OLED EVF is equally sharp and provides a easy 120 Hz refresh charge. It doesn’t stack up on paper to the 9.4-million dot, 240Hz EVF discovered on the A1, however I couldn’t see a lot distinction between them, to be sincere.

It makes use of the identical large LP-E19 battery from the 1DX Mark III that delivers as much as 620 photographs on a cost or about two and 1 / 4 hours of 4K 30p video taking pictures. Relying on the way you shoot, it’s possible you’ll simply have the ability to exceed these figures, nevertheless.

For storage, you get one quick CFexpress sort B and one SD UHS II slot. It’s good to have the SD possibility when you desire to shoot with these playing cards. Nevertheless, if you wish to again up the CFexpress card with SD, it’s going to gradual efficiency. Since that is principally a professional digicam, Canon ought to have provided twin slots for each like Sony does, or maybe two CFexpress slots.

Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera reivew

Steve Dent/Engadget

It has a brand new hotshoe interface that helps Speedlite and different flashes together with equipment like Tascam’s new XLR 4-channel microphone interface. That lastly matches what Sony and Panasonic have provided for years now.

The fiddly micro-HDMI port shouldn’t be ultimate for video shooters, and it’s an odd determination contemplating Canon had house with the R3’s huge physique. It additionally comes with USB-C for knowledge transfers and in-camera charging, although you’ll want one other optionally available accent if you wish to energy the digicam externally whilst you shoot.

Now, let’s speak about Canon’s new eye management function. It’s solely actually helpful when you calibrate it, however fortunately that’s straightforward to do – you simply stare at 5 dots. You would possibly must calibrate it a number of occasions relying on whether or not you’re sporting glasses and contacts, and even for various environments. Fortunately, it can save you as much as six completely different settings.

As soon as it was calibrated, I might choose an object to concentrate on simply by taking a look at it. Even when the attention management circle wasn’t fairly on a topic, the autofocus would normally choose it if it was shut. From there, the face, eye or topic monitoring would kick in as wanted to trace the topic.

It labored even in difficult environments with a number of topics or motion, although it turns off when you hit the main target button and begin taking pictures. It labored high quality for me, however didn’t operate in any respect for my photographer buddy with gentle blue eyes and an astigmatism. So when you’re within the function, it’s possible you’ll need to try it out earlier than making a purchase order, because the performance appears to rely in your eye colour and different elements.


Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera review

Steve Dent/Engadget

In the beginning, the EOS R3 is a velocity demon. That begins with the shutter, which fits all the way in which as much as 1/64,000th of a second in digital mode, sooner than another client digicam. It additionally helps a few of the quickest bursts we’ve seen, as much as 30 fps in silent mode or 12 fps with the mechanical shutter. Not like some latest Sony fashions, you get these full speeds with uncompressed and never simply lossy RAW recordsdata.

You’ll be able to take a variety of photographs in these modes, too. At 30 fps with the digital shutter, you’ll be able to shoot 150 photographs to an SD UHS II or CFexpress card earlier than the buffer fills, in response to Canon. Nevertheless, I used to be in a position to shoot many greater than that with a quick CFexpress card, with only a slight discount in taking pictures speeds after the 150 body mark. It’ll deal with 1,000 RAW uncompressed pictures or extra with the mechanical shutter earlier than stopping.

The Twin Pixel autofocus can sustain with these speeds too, so I had only a few pictures that weren’t sharp. Face and eye detection is quick and fluid for folks, although a bit much less dependable for animals or birds. The EOS R has a automotive monitoring function that’s primarily designed for race vehicles, and sadly I didn’t have entry to a Bugatti Chiron throughout testing.

Capturing sports activities is that this digicam’s forte, and at an indoor soccer recreation with first rate lighting, Samuel, the professional photographer I used to be working with, had only some out-of-focus photographs. It didn’t carry out fairly in addition to the A1 did for birds, nevertheless it was nonetheless higher than most cameras I’ve tried. General, the EOS R3 has a really highly effective AF system that places Canon proper up there with Sony.

The IBIS system can ship 8 stops of shake discount with supported lenses, greater than any rival digicam. That allowed me to get sharp photographs handheld at low shutter speeds when taking pictures in low gentle. And due to the sensor’s quick readout speeds, rolling shutter is nicely managed and solely noticeable on fast-moving topics or fast pans.

Picture High quality

Gallery: Canon EOS R3 digicam pattern photographs | 43 Photographs

The EOS R3 could also be Canon’s greatest mirrorless digicam but for picture high quality, notably with regards to dynamic vary. The brand new 24-megapixel sensor provides at the very least a cease extra dynamic vary than the EOS R5, providing you with extra room for adjustment with RAW photographs. JPEGs additionally look nice straight out of the digicam, with sharpness and noise discount nicely balanced.

Canon’s colour science remains to be the perfect on the market, delivering stellar colour accuracy and pure pores and skin tones. As standard with Canon, it has a slight bias towards heat tones.

The R3 actually shines in low gentle, too. Noise is sort of non-existent as much as ISO 3200, with hardly any noticeable drop in dynamic vary. It stays nicely managed as much as ISO 12,800, and pictures are usable at ISO 25,600 and even increased when you expose them completely.

The most important draw back is the lowish 24-megapixel decision. With the 45-megapixel EOS R5 or 50-megapixel Sony A1, you’ll be able to shoot birds or wildlife at an extended distance and nonetheless have room to crop in. The R3 is way extra restricted if you wish to retain element.


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