Canon Reviews

DXOMark concludes that the Canon EOS R3 is the ‘best low light performer’

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The always polarizing DXOMark has released their sensor score for the Canon EOS R3, and it’s the highest for any Canon camera in their database with a score of 96. While this may be Canon’s highest sensor score ever, it’s still behind offerings from Panasonic, Sony and Nikon, but very slightly.

DXOMark did call the Canon EOS R3 the best low light performer in their full-frame sensor database, something Canon hasn’t been at the top of for quite some time.

From DXOMark

While we’ll have to wait and see what form a possible top-of-the-range EOS R1 takes, the Canon EOS R3 is certainly a compelling contender for its intended market. Not only does it have excellent dynamic range at key low, mid and high sensitivities, it has the best low light performance of any full-frame camera in our database. This makes the Canon EOS R3 a very attractive option for Canon EOS-1DX Mark III users transitioning over to Canon’s mirrorless RF system and it’s a solid option for any photographers new to the Canon brand. Read the full review

DBounce

Canon Eos R3
May 3, 2016
433
468
I can personally confirm that the R3 is quite good in low light. So much so that I sold my Sony A7S3. The Sony gets noisy from 1600 ISO, so you need to jump up to 12,800 to hit the high base gain. However, doing so adds unwanted softness because it’s not a “true” dual gain system. The R3 has a much more progressive response as the ISO level increases.

The R3 is surprising good and my favorite Canon camera to date. Size is perfect. Neither too large or too small.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
For me, the real news here is that DxO has the R3 in hand, which hopefully means the R3 + lens modules for PhotoLab will be coming soon.
That is my hope as well. This past weekend I photographed some ducks at ISO 10000 and was surprised at the detail and lack of noise in the RAW image in DPP4.
 
Jan 4, 2021
3
24
If those numbers are real/relevant, the R3 has the DR of D850, Medium Format Hasselblad X1D, and Pentax 645; and, as mentioned, the best low light score for any FF sensor to date.
And btw it shoots 30 fps lossless raws with best AF system(according to testers), plus animal af in video, plus big battery, and it's cheaper than 'you know who'.
But somehow 6000x4000 is a deal-breaker.
...
If the camera only had a clown face recognition... imagine the hit rate...
 

tron

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
5,005
1,371
The R5 has the dynamic range of D850 too and it's 45Mpixel.

I do have both but I use them in different situations.

Actually R5 is underused until now but I have verified that it is easily (DXO) cleaned up to high iso (I have tested 10000) and it's superb for shooting at low light using IBIS + IS (I have tested mostly RF 24-70 2.8L IS)

I have shot once a low light scene with my D850 and 500PF (my only lens) I was amazed by IQ. OK, I was using tripod and low ISO but it seemed to me that I got the resolution of 5DsR with the low light IQ of 5DMkIV combined in a single camera!

I would get more Nikon lenses but I have a complete Canon system and I love Canon lenses... And now IBIS with R5 gives even more advantages...
 
Last edited:

DBounce

Canon Eos R3
May 3, 2016
433
468
If those numbers are real/relevant, the R3 has the DR of D850, Medium Format Hasselblad X1D, and Pentax 645; and, as mentioned, the best low light score for any FF sensor to date.
And btw it shoots 30 fps lossless raws with best AF system(according to testers), plus animal af in video, plus big battery, and it's cheaper than 'you know who'.
But somehow 6000x4000 is a deal-breaker.
...
If the camera only had a clown face recognition... imagine the hit rate...
For most the MP count is largely psychological. I recall reading that the R3’s sensor produces detail closer to 30MP. And IMO this is true. The images have sufficient detail for most shooter. Unless you are someone that relies heavily on extreme crops. Personally, I almost always frame accordingly and almost never crop, but on the rare occasions that I do, it’s usually only minimal… But YMMV.

I went from the 45MP R5 to the 12.1MP Sony A7S3 and lived to talk about it. The R3 should suffice.
 

tiggy@mac.com

R5
CR Pro
Jan 20, 2014
735
647
Thetford, VT
www.camnostic.com
I shot the R3 in low light yesterday evening and found that it's about a stop better than the R5. I'm not talking about per-pixel apples and oranges, but versus the R5 downsampled to 24 megapixels. It still shot about a stop better. I don't know if it's from the sensor or also partly from some extra noise cooking going on, but whatever they're doing, it's working pretty well.

The 24 megapixel aspect is, surprisingly, not much of an issue for anything that isn't reach-limited. It really does shoot above its megapixel weight. The comment from some days ago that it's about the sharpness/detail equivalent of the 5D4's 30 MP is probably exactly right. But at this point - despite loving the R3 - I don't plan on keeping it because the things I shoot typically *are* reach-limited, so the R5 is going to be better for me.

My average published shot is perhaps 35 percent of the frame, and typically winds up 300 dpi. To give perspective, with the R3, if you shot in landscape orientation something you wanted to be on the cover of a magazine, you'd be able to crop only 1/8th of the height of the image before you sank below 300 pixels per inch. And, yes, you can get good cover shots with 4 megapixels, yada yada, but if you brought a 4 megapixel sensor to this knife fight, you'd get gunned down most times by someone else. I had the same decision back when I had the A9 Mark II (24mp) and the A7r Mark IV (61MP). I found eventually that I kept using the A7r4 whenever I went to shoot wildlife, even though it was really the remit of the A9; and it was just for the resolution. Been there before. But I do recognize my use case isn't normal.

As an aside, I see a lot of people assuming the R1 will be a higher resolution sensor, but that actually doesn't conform to any Canon precedent. I expect the R1 will be a really cool camera with a sensor that will - as it has for the last decade, without fail - disappoint those wishing for resolution similar to that found in competing cameras. I'm hoping, instead, that we'll see an R5 Mark II in two years (yes, it'll be that long) that adopts much of the R3 tech and even more resolution.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
Mallard Duck at f8, 1/2000 sec at ISO 10000 with R3, RF 400 mm f2.8 with 2x TC

Mallard_10K_5x4_crop.JPG
 

bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
483
582
USA
I shot the R3 in low light yesterday evening and found that it's about a stop better than the R5. I'm not talking about per-pixel apples and oranges, but versus the R5 downsampled to 24 megapixels. It still shot about a stop better. I don't know if it's from the sensor or also partly from some extra noise cooking going on, but whatever they're doing, it's working pretty well.

The 24 megapixel aspect is, surprisingly, not much of an issue for anything that isn't reach-limited. It really does shoot above its megapixel weight. The comment from some days ago that it's about the sharpness/detail equivalent of the 5D4's 30 MP is probably exactly right. But at this point - despite loving the R3 - I don't plan on keeping it because the things I shoot typically *are* reach-limited, so the R5 is going to be better for me.

My average published shot is perhaps 35 percent of the frame, and typically winds up 300 dpi. To give perspective, with the R3, if you shot in landscape orientation something you wanted to be on the cover of a magazine, you'd be able to crop only 1/8th of the height of the image before you sank below 300 pixels per inch. And, yes, you can get good cover shots with 4 megapixels, yada yada, but if you brought a 4 megapixel sensor to this knife fight, you'd get gunned down most times by someone else. I had the same decision back when I had the A9 Mark II (24mp) and the A7r Mark IV (61MP). I found eventually that I kept using the A7r4 whenever I went to shoot wildlife, even though it was really the remit of the A9; and it was just for the resolution. Been there before. But I do recognize my use case isn't normal.

As an aside, I see a lot of people assuming the R1 will be a higher resolution sensor, but that actually doesn't conform to any Canon precedent. I expect the R1 will be a really cool camera with a sensor that will - as it has for the last decade, without fail - disappoint those wishing for resolution similar to that found in competing cameras. I'm hoping, instead, that we'll see an R5 Mark II in two years (yes, it'll be that long) that adopts much of the R3 tech and even more resolution.
I've heard a lot of predictions the R1 will be 60-80MP. I definitely think those folks will be disappointed. To get a camera with the speed and feature set of a 1 series moving that amount of data is certainly possible. But I think most of the target market doesn't want or need that resolution and with current battery technology the power consumption could still be an issue. That resolution will be saved for a 5 or 6 series body I suspect.

For the R1 I don't think we'll see much more than 50MP max. I could see a few scenarios: 1) 50mp-ish stacked sensor to double the R3 2) 36-38MP sensor which is just enough to give 8k video and far enough away from the R3 to make sense or 3) The same or similar resolution to R3 but with additional features.

With the R3 at 24 and already blazingly fast, I doubt we'll see a resolution there or lower. Even with QPAF and global shutter, I don't know if that would be enough differentiation. Especially since I think they want to price this thing at $8-10k USD. (I'm hoping the competitive pressure prevents them from doing that anyway, but Canon doesn't seem to care usually). So I don't know how likely option 3 is.

All just guesses, but I do enjoy the speculation.

Brian
 
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kaihp

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 19, 2012
1,054
206
The Most Ancient Kingdom of Denmark
For the R1 I don't think we'll see much more than 50MP max. I could see a few scenarios: 1) 50mp-ish stacked sensor to double the R3 2) 36-38MP sensor which is just enough to give 8k video
You'd need at least 39.3MP to make 8K video. A photo sensor is 3:2 ratio which means that you'll need at least (4*1920) * 2/3 * (4*1920) pixel = 39.321.600 pixels, even if you only utilize 33.177.600 of them for the 16:9 video format.
If you want 8192 on the long side, the number jumps to 44.7MP.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
I've heard a lot of predictions the R1 will be 60-80MP. I definitely think those folks will be disappointed. To get a camera with the speed and feature set of a 1 series moving that amount of data is certainly possible. But I think most of the target market doesn't want or need that resolution and with current battery technology the power consumption could still be an issue. That resolution will be saved for a 5 or 6 series body I suspect.

For the R1 I don't think we'll see much more than 50MP max. I could see a few scenarios: 1) 50mp-ish stacked sensor to double the R3 2) 36-38MP sensor which is just enough to give 8k video and far enough away from the R3 to make sense or 3) The same or similar resolution to R3 but with additional features.

With the R3 at 24 and already blazingly fast, I doubt we'll see a resolution there or lower. Even with QPAF and global shutter, I don't know if that would be enough differentiation. Especially since I think they want to price this thing at $8-10k USD. (I'm hoping the competitive pressure prevents them from doing that anyway, but Canon doesn't seem to care usually). So I don't know how likely option 3 is.

All just guesses, but I do enjoy the speculation.

Brian
All interesting speculation. They may do something in the 80 MP range and then have a pixel-binned setting at 20 MP. QPAF and a global shutter would be nice as well. At this stage, it is all speculation. There have been rumors that it would be a all in one camera so I am thinking some type of a high and low resolution setting with a single sensor is being developed.
 

AdamBotond

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 31, 2016
87
8
Mallard Duck at f8, 1/2000 sec at ISO 10000 with R3, RF 400 mm f2.8 with 2x TC

View attachment 201534
It looks good for the high ISO, but this is a tricky situation. When there is a LOT light available, high iso will not produce nearly as much noise as it does in low light situation. I expect the R3 to be a better performer in low light than the R6, although recent test suggest the the difference is marginal for most.
 

Finn

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 6, 2021
80
55
You'd need at least 39.3MP to make 8K video. A photo sensor is 3:2 ratio which means that you'll need at least (4*1920) * 2/3 * (4*1920) pixel = 39.321.600 pixels, even if you only utilize 33.177.600 of them for the 16:9 video format.
If you want 8192 on the long side, the number jumps to 44.7MP.
Exactly like the R5.
I think it’s save to assume the R1 will need to be 40MP+ to compete with the very excellent Z9 and A1.
Canon already had a 45MP sensor. They will most likely take the R5 sensor stack it, BSI, and perhaps something else to improve performance and throw it into a R1 body.
I’m more curious about Canons upcoming video sensors and their supposed DR claims. I would love a C70 FF camera with a DGO sensor and 14-15 stops dynamic range.
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
9,097
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As always, I wouldn't put all that much weight into DxO's low light score as it's really not useful the way it's defined.
To it into perspective, if it does mean anything the way it is defined by them, the R3 is 0.27 stops superior to the R6 and 0.42 stops to the R5 at the lowest light levels. And, for the overall score, DxO doesn't include the number of Mpx.

Screenshot 2021-12-05 at 19.02.40.png
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,400
5,161
And, for the overall score, DxO doesn't include the number of Mpx.
In fact they do, albeit indirectly. Their sensor scores are based on normalization to an 8 MP image, so the higher the MP of the sensor the greater the amount of downsampling it receives. Downsampling mathematically increases SNR, so higher MP sensors get a slight bump on the subscores and the overall score (which is derived from the subscores with a weighted black box formula).
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
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In fact they do, albeit indirectly. Their sensor scores are based on normalization to an 8 MP image, so the higher the MP of the sensor the greater the amount of downsampling it receives. Downsampling mathematically increases SNR, so higher MP sensors get a slight bump on the subscores and the overall score (which is derived from the subscores with a weighted black box formula).
I was referring to this in DxO's write up about the overall score: "However, the Sensor Overall Score does not show a camera’s resolution". https://www.dxomark.com/dxomark-camera-sensor-testing-protocol-and-scores/ In other words, their overall score is another one of those mystical numbers and the 90, 95 and 96 overall scores for the three cameras is meaningless to what we actually do with them in practice.
 
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