Gordon Laing from CameraLabs gives his first reviews of the new Canon gear, including the EOS R3

Talys

Canon R5
CR Pro
Feb 16, 2017
2,107
406
Vancouver, BC
Well, indeed, and even if I love the country, I won't leave France to live in the US...
We french are used to be ranting anyway (and perhaps that's one of the reason we still have some good social things left here ;))...
You can always come to Canada, and have the best of both worlds. Quebec is primarily Francophone, with the rest of Canada being primarily English-speaking, we have good social services, pretty decent healthcare, and our camera prices are not too different from our southern friends :)

And when things are much cheaper in the US, many Canadian cities are a very short drive to an American one :D :D
 

candyman

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 27, 2011
2,214
59
www.flickr.com
He said, in some situations, and my experience mirrors that. Others of a more technical mind can explain it better than I can, but there are situations when the R5 seems to go wildly out of focus and is unable to locate a subject.

From what I have read, it has something to do with how the R5 acquires the initial focusing point vs. how a DSLR selects the initial area to focus. I've experienced it primarily with small birds in trees. With a DSLR, I see the bird, initiate autofocus and the camera gets me in the right vicinity, allowing me to quickly refine the focus by zeroing in on the bird. With an R5 I have had a number of experiences where I spot a bird, begin the autofocus and the camera selects a focus point that is far to the back or front of the bird and I have completely lost the bird, which flies off before I can find it again.
I can't make a comparison between R5 and 1DX II or III
But my R6 certainly has focus challenges in forest bird photography. Especially in sun/shade situations. The alternation of light and dark contrasts is quite a challenge. I adopted Arthur Morris's setup to quickly switch from Animal AF back to single point Af to get focus back. That doesn't always work either. My experience is that the R6 is more challenging than my 5D MK III. I'm still looking for the combination of settings to minimize it
 

canonmike

EOS R6
CR Pro
Jan 5, 2013
453
390
I can't make a comparison between R5 and 1DX II or III
But my R6 certainly has focus challenges in forest bird photography. Especially in sun/shade situations. The alternation of light and dark contrasts is quite a challenge. I adopted Arthur Morris's setup to quickly switch from Animal AF back to single point Af to get focus back. That doesn't always work either. My experience is that the R6 is more challenging than my 5D MK III. I'm still looking for the combination of settings to minimize it
I'm still looking for the combination of settings to minimize it
I agree with this comment about the R6 as I work to tweak the AF settings, struggling to figure out why it sometimes focuses outside the focus area I thought I had selected. There is a learning curve here as one tries to alternate between settings, looking for the perfect dual back button focus setting combo.
 
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Pierre Lagarde

Canon, Nikon and So on ...
Aug 4, 2020
56
78
France
www.deviantart.com
You can always come to Canada, and have the best of both worlds. Quebec is primarily Francophone, with the rest of Canada being primarily English-speaking, we have good social services, pretty decent healthcare, and our camera prices are not too different from our southern friends :)

And when things are much cheaper in the US, many Canadian cities are a very short drive to an American one :D :D
Well, another country I would like to visit indeed... but, makes me think... here, home, I don't need to drive... :D Even, I never owned any car and have very rarely driven one in fact...
Looks like I'm not (ready to be) adapted to life in north America (and probably in any other country)... :D
I'm better keep on paying taxes, it seems... :D
 
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Franklyok

EOS 90D
Oct 24, 2018
141
47
CanonAsia is claiming that R3 has "higher resolution performance" compared to 5DIV. Hard to believe. It is around 6 minutes mark.
ISO 50K as good as 200? I think AI is pulling details out of another dimention. IDK is this possible.
 

TinTin

EOS M50
Sep 18, 2019
36
59
Only when they've had competition forcing them to, though. When Canon put out their first R and FL cameras (and the Canonet fixed lens rangefinders) they were a big deal because they were undercutting everyone else by a huge margin, which as a company then-new to making camera bodies, they needed to be. By the time they progressed to the FD branding they were no longer the new kids on the block and Canon spiked their prices up despite many of the first FD bodies and lenses simply being FL products renamed. When Canon got auto exposure into a mass-produced consumer body they did so because by that point Nikon and Olympus had both caught up producing cheaper bodies and wider varieties of lenses to match Canon. When Canon started getting autofocus into the mass market they did so because Nikon, Pentax and Olympus had caught up to put autoexposure in every camera. When Canon made the first Rebel digital cameras they did it as cheaply and as quickly as possible, as word had gotten out Nikon had a design for a sub-$1000 digital camera and Canon simply didn't want to be beaten to market; the cameras themselves sucked, but Canon were at least driven.

Now jump forward to the last few years of DSLRs and all the drive totally went aweay, much like the start of the FD branding. Canon absolutely did become "conservative", though I feel a better term would be "complacent". Canon coasted for a long time on the fact they had the largest distribution, thus the largest market share by default, and from about 2010 onward every new product Canon put out was very incremental in updates over the previous versions and it became an open secret that they were intentionally making the lower- and mid-range cameras less capable than was possible so they would have less pressure to push the high-end gear further.

We're seeing innovation and effort from Canon again now only because there's competition once again. They've finally acknowledged Sony as a competitor, so as much as they've dragged their feet about it, Canon and Nikon have both reluctantly moved to mirrorless and are having to try harder. But just because competition has forced their hand does not mean they are in any way leading the charge. Canon has spent the last decade+ trying to coast as lazily as possible, and that should not be forgotten just because they've now revived some of their 1960s rangefinder designs in digital form, or because someone on YouTube picked up a previous oddity. RF is good so far, but it wouldn't exist at all if Canon had had their way. If Sony hadn't pushed mirrorless so hard, we'd still only be seeing EF products from Canon. Canon are, on their own, lazy and greedy; they only try when someone else forces them to.


Which is why it's meaningless and not a "review". A "review" requires experience; reading the spec sheet out loud is not a "review".


If someone wants that they can get it in a quarter of the time by going to the manufacturer's own website. Again, it's not a "review". At most it's a walkthrough, and even that is being generous considering he continues to roll these videos out before it's physically possible for him to have actually inspected any of the results in any meaningful way and most of his dialogue is just repeating Canon's own PR.

Saying "there's nothing to do so it's okay he's doing nothing but presenting it like something" isn't the justification you think it is.
And yes, this does go for every other outlet and channel that rushes to dump out similarly vapid "reviews", too. Gordon certainly isn't the only offender and it should not be taken as a criticism only of himself. The majority of the media industry around new product releases is terrible in this fashion.

This, of course, is one interpretation of (recent) history, and it's one that's often put forward, almost as if it is the only possible account of events -- you could even say that those who propose it have themselves become "lazy" or "complacent" that it's the "true" account of the historical position.

However, I want to propose an alternative explanation which does not posit that Sony somehow "forced" Canon and Nikon into mirrorless technology. I suggest, rather, that Canon and Nikon did not enter the "professional" mirrorless market until they did because they did not consider the technology to be satisfactory for a "professional" product. (It follows that, despite this, Sony was prepared to do so, and in fact, it could be argued that Sony was "forced" to do so because of the dominance of Canon and Nikon in the DSLR sphere -- Sony had to find a niche.)

In support of this view, I put forward your own comments in post #78, where, at length, you argue that DSLR autofocussing "will remain better for tracking subjects in complicated 3D situations with a lot of depth in the frame". So, even today, by your own reckoning, some 3 years after Nikon and Canon entered the full frame mirrorless market, the technology still has some shortcomings compared to DSLR.

A similar point was made recently in a video by Tony Northrup, in which he claims that, at an estimated 20% of the share, Sony had "won" the Olympics 2020 professional usage. In 2016, he stated, Sony had 0%:

That's really changed because in the last few years have been the mirrorless revolution. Mirrorless has been around for a long time, but mirrorless had never even approached the professional sports angle just because of limitations of technology, specifically auto-focus capabilities with the big telephoto lenses -- it didn't work or the lenses simply didn't exist, but times have changed and what we're seeing in the 2020 Olympics which, of course, are happening in 2021, is that Canon is losing a big part of the share. They're still the dominant force: when I look around I see the big Canon lenses and what I usually do is I look for the colour on the strap... What I see is Canon is roughly 60% and Nikon and Sony seem pretty much tied [20% each].
So, Tony Northrup is saying that, in 2016, mirrorless didn't "cut-it" at this level. By 2021, things had changed.

Nikon and Canon both entered the full frame mirrorless market toward the end of 2018, which can be seen as the time by which the technology had reached a level where they could offer products they were willing to put in the hands of full frame shooters. (According to your point, perhaps they did so too soon, but there may have been a degree of market pressure in that, had they left it much later, they would have ceded the game to Sony, so, maybe there is an element of being "forced", but this is not the prime factor.) And, it could be argued that, their doing so has, in fact, pushed Sony, which itself has had to up its game to hold on to as much of the market as it can. (Tony Northrup's figures are 37% for Sony, 33% Canon, so Sony has dropped from 100% since 2018, whereas Canon has risen from 0% of the full frame mirrorless market.)
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
192
A very interesting comment. However, I can't help thinking of Arash Hazeghi who specialises in photographing raptors in flight and has switched from Canon (1Dx2) to Nikon (D5) to Sony (A1, A9)- he is very demanding of AF performance so I am trying to square this with your comments about the limitations of how MILC AF works.

The birds I specifically go out to photograph most frequently—not counting snapping the back garden, I mean busting out the big gear to very purposefully locate a particular bird—are peregrine falcons. Literally the single fastest animals on the planet. I'm lucky that they frequently nest here, so they're almost always available when I have a new body or lens to test out. It's rare to look for one and not find one, and about 50% of the time you catch them in full hunting stoop, which usually clocks somewhere north of 200mph. Second to that what I go after (bird-wise) are various owls, unsurprisingly in shaded woodland, which though much slower subjects are the much more complex, lower-contrast subjects for a camera to recognise.
If someone has found a combination that works for them, great, good for them, they can keep using it. For me, I'm trying these things against literally the fastest animal in the world and some of the best-camouflaged in low light. I'm not going to claim I have the very hardest tasks in the world—I'm not having to camp out in a rainforest for a month to catch a glimpse of the arse-end of a bird of paradise, certainly—but the camera's autofocus abilities are being pushed to their absolute limits, and in these situations so far the top-end SLRs are consistently doing better than the top mirrorless, and technology simply does not improve fast enough for this R3 to have not only made up that gap but exceeded it. Mirrorless will get there one day, but right now, a 1D X III or D6 has that edge when things are at their hardest.

Which is not something anybody should be surprised at, or defending. SLR autofocus tech has been around in every camera for over thirty years, and in some systems for about forty; mirrorless autofocus has only really existed for about half that time, and high-speed tracking is even newer. It should not be a contentious point that the younger tech isn't as fully developed in the most extreme use cases. (See also: the build quality of most mirrorless bodies and lenses, battery life, heat routing, etc.) Nobody should be expecting a brand new system to outright, hands-down surpass the previous one which has had many decades longer to be optimised.

I also am not convinced by that comment . The 1DXIII focusing while good is still limited at times. I’d expect the R3 to be better than the 1DXIII at locking on to moving objects.

The R3 might be, but it is very unlikely (as I said, tech simply does not improve that much that quickly, as anyone who's watched the industry for more than a couple of years knows), and, more to the point, the comment you're referring back to was, as stated at the very start of it, talking about the R5 and R6, not the R3.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
192
This, [rest cut for space]
I don't have the time to go through line-by-line after having written the last one above, and frankly I have very little patience for this sort of bizarre, anti-consumer championing of an allegedly righteous company who just want to give everyone the very best products possible (sidestepping that they've hiked prices well beyond inflation, held back functionality on some products for decades, etc), and I'm just going to answer you with this: I used to have close ties to people in Canon. I first came to this site because, at the time, I was one of the sources CR cited for some industry leaks. I've had similar relationships with Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon and Leica; it's not hard to find outlets covering those brands, as well as generalist outlets like PetaPixel and DCW, who have sourced me over the years. I am more of an outside spectator now as various people have moved to different positions and I myself am in a very different situation than I was at the time, but when I say Canon and Nikon were dragging their feet and only put in the effort when competition forced them to, I mean it and you can rely on that. When RF and Z were first being planned out I was one of the people getting that information out to these sites. It's not an "interpretation" of history; I was actually there, actually talking to Canon and Nikon staff directly involved, actually working on getting the news out.

And as far as Tony Northrup goes, the guy is often right in a general sense (and it's a bit sad that so many punters now kneejerk rebel against anything he says just on principle), but his figures have always been a bit sketchy as he typically just extrapolates based on Google search term popularity, and in things like his video on the Olympics, yes he said Sony "won" the Olympics while simultaniously saying he counted more Canon cameras there (as you quoted) and his whole take boiled down to "a minority of shooters are convinced, therefore the entire industry has definitely switched", which obviously is a bizarre leap in logic. The man knows his stuff but by his own admittance in his podcasts, the nature of YouTube has meant he has to be more bombastic to keep engagement up. At best he's a well-informed critic, but he's never been on the inside of the industry and very little of what he says abou the industry on YouTube should be taken at face value. (His advice and expertise on actually shooting is a different matter; it is very odd to me that people still try to argue against his explanations of how depth of field works, for example, and he doesn't get enough recognition for the amount and quality of information he has made available to beginners.)
 
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rbielefeld

EOS 90D
Apr 22, 2015
163
365
Hi Ron,
I enjoy your videos and I'd very interested to see how the R3 compares to the R5 for bird photography.

I do wonder how the lower mp will work and if the R3 has an edge in lower light which makes up for this and whether it'll handle smaller apertures better with adding tele converters , etc.
Cheers
Noel
Hey, thanks so much. One of the things I am going to look at very closely is resolution in the real world of printing and viewing large. I want to really see if 45mp is that much better than 24mp for detail on birds. I print large when I do print, so I want to do some direct comparisons and hopefully find where these two cameras land. Now, if I just had a R3. End of November, I am hoping.
 
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aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
192
I know my 1Dx III performs better than my II did, probably due to the improved AA filter, so I believe it’s possible since the 5D IV has the older filter.
And the R can be a little sharper than the 5D4, as is the RP to the 6D2 and the R6 to the 1DXIII, albeit all with a fraction more noise and banding. When Canon moved from the final .cr2/.pf2 generation to .cr3/.pf3 (which includes going from 1D X II to III) they eased off on the antialiasing at the same time, and it does seem with the move to RF they've reduced the strength of the filtering once more. So yeah, the 24mp R3 might well be a little sharper than the 30mp 5D4, though whether it retains enough quality in other regards to actually make a difference, we won't know until software can handle the raws.

The thing I'm really keen to find out is the bit depth of files shot at maximum speed on the R3. The R5 drops down to 12bit when it's at full speed, and 12bit with high ISO and ES artifacting never gives you as nice a result as 14bit with a mechanical shutter. The R3 could well be sharper than the other cameras, but whether you can actually see that sharpness under the potential extra banding, noise, and crushed depth that may come from trying to get the ES to record at 30fps, is another question which can't yet be answered.
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,345
551
The birds I specifically go out to photograph most frequently—not counting snapping the back garden, I mean busting out the big gear to very purposefully locate a particular bird—are peregrine falcons. Literally the single fastest animals on the planet. I'm lucky that they frequently nest here, so they're almost always available when I have a new body or lens to test out. It's rare to look for one and not find one, and about 50% of the time you catch them in full hunting stoop, which usually clocks somewhere north of 200mph. Second to that what I go after (bird-wise) are various owls, unsurprisingly in shaded woodland, which though much slower subjects are the much more complex, lower-contrast subjects for a camera to recognise.
If someone has found a combination that works for them, great, good for them, they can keep using it. For me, I'm trying these things against literally the fastest animal in the world and some of the best-camouflaged in low light. I'm not going to claim I have the very hardest tasks in the world—I'm not having to camp out in a rainforest for a month to catch a glimpse of the arse-end of a bird of paradise, certainly—but the camera's autofocus abilities are being pushed to their absolute limits, and in these situations so far the top-end SLRs are consistently doing better than the top mirrorless, and technology simply does not improve fast enough for this R3 to have not only made up that gap but exceeded it. Mirrorless will get there one day, but right now, a 1D X III or D6 has that edge when things are at their hardest.

I suggest you read Arash's comments on how the AF systems compare

and with SOny he says he is getting far more keepers of raptors, including peregrines in full stoop than he ever did with DSLRs:
In the comments he even rates the R5 higher than the 1Dxii

There is more to all this than the camera - not least the capability of the photographer and which 'feel' you prefer. And if you prefer using DSLR, then fine. But when you use that preference to support as a technological fact that MILC technology is limiting, it seems one of the best, most demanding people for BIF disagrees completely.
As a matter of interest - have you used the Sony set-up at all?
 

canonmike

EOS R6
CR Pro
Jan 5, 2013
453
390
Well, another country I would like to visit indeed... but, makes me think... here, home, I don't need to drive... :D Even, I never owned any car and have very rarely driven one in fact...
Looks like I'm not (ready to be) adapted to life in north America (and probably in any other country)... :D
I'm better keep on paying taxes, it seems... :D
Oh, Pierre, we North Americans so envy you Europeans' availability of mass transit, primarily found here in only the largest cities. We are so inexorably tied to our fast cars, at least this generation, you know, the gen that grew up in the 50's and 60's and can't get over their love affair with the likes of the bad ass, gas guzzling SS396 Supersport, the 409, the 429, the 427, the 454, the Cuda, the Hemi, the SS Chevelle the GTO, the _ _ _ _ _ fill in the blank. Whatever we were driving, we could foolishly beat you to the next gas station. Gas prices be damned. Hell gas was only 20, 30 and 50 cents a gallon at the time. We only began to seriously consider mass transit when the middle east choked our petrol supply lines in the early 70's and shocked us into reality. Oh, the good ole days, when burning up our fossil fuels at an unsustainable rate never interfered with my ambition to beat the car beside me to the next red light. Somewhere in there, we guys, at least, switched to our love affair with our pick up trucks. Now, the muscle cars are mostly, nothing but a memory, at least for some of us but we still don't really have effective, nationwide mass transit, unlike you. We only get practical when we are forced into it, it seems. Now, when an old Canon AE-1 would probably suffice, instead, I opt for the latest Big Boy's camera gear, the R5, the R6, the 1Dx, the R3, the A-1, the whatever, attached to the fastest glass I can afford, of course. Now, let me go ride my mountain bike, camera strapped to my back, hit the main drag and see if I can find an old muscle car to photograph. Oh, drats! It's raining. Another day, perhaps......
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
I guess everyone's recollection of history varies.

In my recollection, it was the introduction of the AE-1 that really set Canon on the road to world domination, since consumers no longer had to worry about proper exposure and could concentrate on focusing. Those who never used a manual camera cannot imagine what a game changer that was. Nikon was slow to adopt autoexposure and paid a price for that.

That's my recollection.
I remember these times very well as I too was starting out as a photographer. However I believe the Canon AE-1 was a huge success because it was cheap compared with cameras from the other mainstream brands (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta), that offered similar features. I don’t remember the F-1 being much cheaper than the Nikon F2 at the time though.
 

canonmike

EOS R6
CR Pro
Jan 5, 2013
453
390
I remember these times very well as I too was starting out as a photographer. However I believe the Canon AE-1 was a huge success because it was cheap compared with cameras from the other mainstream brands (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta), that offered similar features. I don’t remember the F-1 being much cheaper than the Nikon F2 at the time though.
I remember the AE-1 well and a very capable camera it was and if I go down memory lane for a moment, I believe it also set all time sales numbers records for Canon. I don't remember pricing, as I never owned one. I had been a long time Minolta user back then, only because my dad owned a couple of Minolta SRT 101's(???) and many of their lenses. So, I bought a few Minolta bodies, so we could share lenses. When Canon finally came out with the A2-e and new L lenses with their quiet and fast ultrasonic lenses, I was hooked and made the change to the Canon camp.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,695
11,725
I suggest you read Arash's comments on how the AF systems compare

and with SOny he says he is getting far more keepers of raptors, including peregrines in full stoop than he ever did with DSLRs:
In the comments he even rates the R5 higher than the 1Dxii

There is more to all this than the camera - not least the capability of the photographer and which 'feel' you prefer. And if you prefer using DSLR, then fine. But when you use that preference to support as a technological fact that MILC technology is limiting, it seems one of the best, most demanding people for BIF disagrees completely.
As a matter of interest - have you used the Sony set-up at all?
Arbitrage, who specialises in extreme birds in flight shots, regularly switches between systems and went from Canon DSLR to Nikon DSLR, then the Sony A9, Canon R5 and subsequently the A1. He has no tribal loyalty and gives unbaised comparisons. He rates the A1 as marginally the best BIF camera closely followed by the R5. Just look at his images on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/100907765@N08/