EOS R3 First Impressions

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
My first impressions of the Canon EOS R3

I am using Prograde Cobalt cards for CF Express and SD slots in the camera and using ES only.

Buffer Depth:

30 fps
: RAW to CFE only is ~130 to 150 shots depending on the ISO. Buffer clears exceptionally quickly so if you shoot in 2-3 sec burst there will be no issues. If writing RAW to CFE and JPG to SD buffer is essentially the same, but clearing the buffer takes about 4 sec. I did try RAW to both, but this takes much longer to clear the buffer due to the slower SD card. IMO RAW to both cards is not practical. This camera should have two CFE slots given the target audience and the price. With the current limitations, I plan to record to CFE slot and copy images to the SD as a backup. This is not ideal, but the best solution I can think of. With that said, glad the camera records full 14 bit RAWs at 30 fps speed that was one of the key reason for the purchase.

15 fps: RAW to CFE I was able to record 500+ images without hitting the buffer. This is good news because I can see myself using this mode most of the time. I did not test other configurations.

I have never owned a camera with identical cards slots, but for critical assignments I now understand why this is so important. I expect matched slots on a future R1 camera.

Eye Control AF:

I was able to get it to calibrate quite easily and I wear glasses and have hazel eye color. Honestly, I am still getting used to the system, but when I point the camera at a picture of two people I was able to switch between the two just by moving my eye. Seems to work, but will require extensive field testing.

Smart Controller:

This is amazing. Took me awhile to realize how to activate it in the menu system, but a great way to move focusing points. I doubt I will ever use a multi-controller for moving focusing points ever again. Note, I never owned a 1Dx Mk3 so this is my first camera with this feature. Love it.

Overall Ergonomics:

Reminds me a lot of my 1Dx Mk2 that I once owned. Better ergonomics that the R5, the smart controller on the vertical grip is located in a very natural location (i.e., where the thumb rest).

Other Random Thoughts:

1) Because I do not shoot movies, I really like that one can reconfigure the movie switch and movie record button in still modes to other functions. I really like being able to switch into silent mode with a flip of a switch.

2) The lighter weight of the camera is a godsend. I really hope when Canon designs the R1 that that keep the mass to a minimum. I realize that it might be a bit larger than the R3 to accommodate two CFE slots.


This weekend I hope to do some field testing with some native RF lenses, but weather is below 40 F so might be limited to birds on a feeder. I will keep you posted.
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,389
5,129
Thanks for sharing your impressions, I’m looking forward to getting mine tomorrow!
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
How I have my R3 buttons / dials / switches assigned on the R3:

I though it might be useful to share with other how I assigned buttons on the R3. This is just my preference and I only shoot stills.

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

Shutter button: default
Movie Shooting Button: Playback and zoom.
M-Fn: Switch to Custom shooting modes, which are 3, 15, 30 fps ES modes. I use this to quickly toggle between drive modes.
M-Fn2: Start/Stop Tracking
LCD Panel illumination: default
Mode: Mode
AF-On: AF Tracking On (default); originally set this to playback and zoom, but with gloves I found myself accidentally pressing the button to switched back to default.
Smart Controller: Direct AF point selection
AE Lock button: Eye detection
AF point button: AF point selection
DOF preview button: Set AF point to center
Lens Function Button: default
Set button: Eye control
Multi-controller: Direct AF point selection

Mail dial: Tv
Quick Control Dial 2: Av
Quick Control Dial 1: ISO
Control Ring: ISO

Switch from Movie to Stills: set to silent shutter switching

Lastly, Display Simulation is set to Exposure + DOF
 
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HenryL

EOS R3, R5
CR Pro
Apr 1, 2020
340
898
Thanks, John, for your initial take on the new camera. Sounds promising, like the info on your custom settings in particular. Apparently Fedex overestimated their abilities when they said they would deliver mine today rather than Monday...it's still sitting in Maryland since yesterday evening. Until then, I guess I'm living vicariously through you and the other folks who got theirs today. Looking forward to reading everyone's experiences over the weekend until it's my turn.

Enjoy!!!
 

LSXPhotog

Automotive, Motorsports, Commerical, & Real Estate
CR Pro
Apr 2, 2015
560
598
www.diossiphotography.com
My first impressions with the camera are great, however, I do have one annoyance. I'm still experiencing a viewfinder that goes black at the beginning of every burst I shoot...I kinda thought I was paying $6,000 for a camera that didn't do this. Oh well, tomorrow I go birding with it to see how I do and how it does - I'm not a bird photographer.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
A test photo from the EOS R3: Developed in DPP4 with minimal adjustments (some minor sharpening applied) and cropped to 5x4 aspect ratio using full height of the sensor.

1) Conditions: Very cloudy and cold (30 F).
2) f5.6, ISO6400, 1/1250sec


R3_Goose_5x4_crop.JPG
 

YuengLinger

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,581
2,046
USA
john1970, thank you so much for sharing your experiences to date! CR is lucky members such as yourself offer these "first impression" (and beyond) posts. Invaluable!
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
Update on Setting up Eye Control AF (works well for me):

Note: I wear eye glasses and have hazel color eyes.

After testing the camera this morning and then additional indoors I found what works better for me using the Eye Control AF:

1) Calibrate both horizontally and vertically four times each. This appears to work better than just calibration once each vertically and horizontally.

2) On the Pointer display settings set the sensitivity to +2. This seems to move the pointer the best for me.

3) I also went went Color: white, Display Size: small so the target was less distracting in the viewfinder.

I actually find it works quite well with these settings, but it will more time to default to this method for moving focusing points.
 
Aug 19, 2021
2
4
I had the R3 out in the snow yesterday; even with gloves, all the controls are easy to use.

1) Eye control is a welcome addition but needs calibration at multiple angles and different lighting conditions
- Calibrate in direct light, blacklight, even with reflections.

2) I did notice some minor issues when focusing that my R5 didn't encounter.
- When shooting through the brush, it seemed to search excessively. This likely comes down to the different AF scenarios and needs to be tweaked.

3) Flexible Zone AF is great for acquiring fast-moving targets of different sizes.

4) Backlit buttons are nice for review, zoom, delete, but I wish they expanded to the rest of the camera.

IMG_7457.jpg
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,505
2,387
I wasn't in the market for this one but fair is fair, I've modified my signature.

Glad it's good.
 
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Horst

CR Pro
Sep 15, 2020
2
8
Lauffen am Neckar , Germany
My first test today was the autofocus performance while shooting one of our black twin cats in the quite dark living room at ISO 8000. I'm so impressed how fast and reliable the closest eye is recognized and tracked. The ShowFocusPoints Plugin in LR is not yet ready for R3 files but on camera the focus point is displayed exactly where it should be. This is impossible with my EOS R.
I also tried the HF anti flicker setting in electronic shutter mode and it also seems to work perfectly.

20211130-R3_first_impressions-0037.jpg
 

Alan B

1DX Mark III
Feb 2, 2021
44
88
Smart Controller:

This is amazing. Took me awhile to realize how to activate it in the menu system, but a great way to move focusing points. I doubt I will ever use a multi-controller for moving focusing points ever again. Note, I never owned a 1Dx Mk3 so this is my first camera with this feature. Love it.
The R3 sounds great

Just to let you know, on my 1DXIII I have the Multi Controller also activated(needs to be activated in the menu!) so when using the "Smart Controller" you can press the Multi Controller button inn, which then puts the red focus box back to the middle of the screen!. Which can sometimes be hard to do with the Smart Control. Oh and I love using the Smart Controller, which also works perfect wearing any type of gloves!
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,389
5,129
Just to let everyone know that I also received all the accessories that I ordered for the R3 including the AD-E1 adapter and ER-he eyecup. Both arrived from B&H and couple of days apart.
Thanks for the update. An ST-E10 is out for delivery by FedEx, and an AD-E1 is out for delivery by Amazon. I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t even powered on my R3 yet. I’ve blocked off some time next week to go through all the menus and configure everything.

The accessory that will take the longest is the RRS L-plate, which they indicated probably will not ship until the new year. The base plate from my 1D X is actually a reasonably good fit. There’s a gap in front that’s less than 0.2 mm. I’ll have to check the upright portion and see how that fits.
 

kaihp

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 19, 2012
1,052
205
The Most Ancient Kingdom of Denmark
The base plate from my 1D X is actually a reasonably good fit. There’s a gap in front that’s less than 0.2 mm. I’ll have to check the upright portion and see how that fits.
That's interesting. I have a Sirui baseplate for the 1DX, that I've seldomly used, so it could fit to the R3.
Given the change in height, I guess that the vertical fit is going to be a challenge.

I have an AD-E1 on order, and with my luck it will show up before the R3 :confused:
 

HenryL

EOS R3, R5
CR Pro
Apr 1, 2020
340
898
Just to let everyone know that I also received all the accessories that I ordered for the R3 including the AD-E1 adapter and ER-he eyecup. Both arrived from B&H and couple of days apart.
Got my ST-E10 and AD-E1 from B&H today as well. I didn't order the eye cup, I know it rotates but wasn't sure how convenient it would be when switching between portrait and landscape orientation. How do you like it? Also, it appears shaped for right eye shooters only - does it fit well for left eye use?
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
Got my ST-E10 and AD-E1 from B&H today as well. I didn't order the eye cup, I know it rotates but wasn't sure how convenient it would be when switching between portrait and landscape orientation. How do you like it? Also, it appears shaped for right eye shooters only - does it fit well for left eye use?
I just installed the eye cup this evening and am going to try it out tomorrow morning. It is actually quite large and it will not be as quick to change between portrait and landscape. I shoot with my right eye so I cannot comment on how it would fit for left eye users. For me it fits really well.

Expect more feedback later this weekend.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
455
576
Northeastern US
Some additional impressions from R3 use this weekend:

1) For me the eye control AF is becoming a bit of an annoyance at least with regards to wildlife photography. I personally find it just as easy to move the camera and recompose. I could see other applications where this is more useful, but for me it is nice to have but not essential feature.

2) I have tried using the Canon ER-he eyecup for eyeglass users. I do find the eyecup more comfortable than that standard eyecup, but for me it does appear to turn a bit too easily and I do find myself having to readjust it when in the field which can be a bit annoying.

3) This sensor has excellent high ISO noise performance. I have taken shots at ISO 10000 and am blown away by the lack of noise and clarity in the photo. Wow!

4) The ergonomics / weight are world-class.

5) Trying to photograph birds surround by many branches still could cause the camera to focus on the branches rather than the bird, but I need to try different focusing modes before reaching definitive conclusions. I was using Expanded AF Area Around, but need to test one of the flexible zone AF and see if it works better. Animal detection and eye AF is enabled.

6) Lastly, one time I accidentally forgot to put the CFE card in the camera and shot only to the SD (UHSII) card at 30 fps. Using it for wildlife with short burst (~1 sec) I never hit the buffer and was astonished. With that said, I always prefer to shot to the CFE card because they are faster and more robust to handle.

I will post some photos once DXO Photolabs 5 updates their software so it is compatible with R3 files.

Best,

John