Jeff Cable talks about what it’s like to shoot with the Canon EOS R3 as a pro

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
246
502
I’m not sure there’s really a trade-off between performance and resolution. The performance is high, the resolution is lower but that was a declarative choice by Canon since the R5 clearly shows at least 30 MP was possible at 30 fps.

Regardless, 24 MP is not enough for you. What did you do before there were 24 MP cameras?
No, as Sony has shown with its 50MP a1, we can have both. Hopefully, Nikon will follow soon, and Canon in the next couple of years.

As for your second question, it's hard to remember. I've had at least 36MP since 2012 in the Nikon D800 cameras. Before that 21MP (Canon 5DII) was my body, but I wasn't doing birding then. I didn't really get serious about birding until I started working with the 42MP Sony a7r III and 45.7MP D850.

Did Photographers take incredible wildlife images with 20MP-and-less cameras? Absolutely, and I admire their work. Perhaps I could have become skilled enough to produce similar results without high-resolution cameras, but given the choice, I'd rather stick with the high-resolution cameras. And since they exist--and soon (hopefully), all three of the big camera producers will have high-resolution bodies with BSI stacked sensors--it's good to know that I don't have to choose between resolution and the best performance.
 

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
246
502
Waiting for R5C with eye AF and new improved flash hot shoe.

Price between R5 and R3…
I really want the stacked sensor and faster EVF. However, I fear those features are reserved--at least for the foreseeable future--for the R3 and above cameras.

Of course, I hope I'm wrong.
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
442
532
Northeastern US
I'm not so sure about that. If you read Jeff Cable's take, he said he chose to take R5s with him on his wildlife trip to Africa, not the R3.

When the resolution of the R3 came out, there were a lot of wildlife and bird photographers on this forum complaining. My response was simple, Canon views the R5 as their wildlife and bird photography body and the R3 as their sports body. Of course, either one can be used for the other purpose, but there will be compromises.

The other day, just to experiment I shot a soccer game 1/2 with the 1DxIII and 1/2 with the R5. I got about the same number of keepers with each camera but with the R5 I was constantly running into buffer problems and missed some key shots. I've never had buffer problems shooting birds with the R5 (different use cases require different bodies).

Bottom line, I expect the R5 to still be better for overall for wildlife and birds and the R3 to be better for sports. Which is what Cable concluded.
I believe that Jeff Cable had to return the R3 to Canon at the conclusion of the Olympics. The R3 was not available for his future wildlife trip to Africa so he obviously took the R5.
 

Andy Westwood

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 10, 2016
173
282
UK
I am no Jeff Cable, and I wouldn’t even pretend to have to skill and ability that he has. However, I did manage to get my hands-on an R3 at the Photography Show in Birmingham on Monday. As a regular past 1D shooter I have to say what a pleasure to hold the R3 was.

The R3 is much lighter than the current 1D series which is noticeable, and it did feel grippier than the previous full-bodied cameras as for the rest I’ll leave that for the experts to chat about, just my minuscule first impression of the R3 body.
 

tbgtomcom

Canon R5 & R6
Aug 24, 2021
23
37
I do not get why he shot RAW at all.
There could not have been very much RAW image support at the time.
That doesn't mean there never will be, and he can process those raw images at a later date if he chooses. Always nice to have the raw copy for any number of reasons in the future.
 
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David - Sydney

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Dec 7, 2014
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The other day, just to experiment I shot a soccer game 1/2 with the 1DxIII and 1/2 with the R5. I got about the same number of keepers with each camera but with the R5 I was constantly running into buffer problems and missed some key shots. I've never had buffer problems shooting birds with the R5 (different use cases require different bodies).
Page 901 of the advanced user guide shows that the buffer depth for Raw vs cRaw is 180 vs 260 for the CFe card. If dual recording to USD-II card then the Raw vs cRaw depth is 87 vs 260 so a big difference. HEIF large is 280 shots for both CFe and USH-II so not a significant increase over cRaw. The depth is singificantly decreased if shooting Raw + large jpeg to both cards.

Given the general consensus that cRaw is very close to Raw quality then it seems to be a simple choice to use cRaw if you are hitting the buffer limits. If you are still hitting limits then the R5 is not the camera to use :)

Jeff Cable talked about this on Petapixel
https://petapixel.com/2020/09/05/canon-r5-and-r6-comparing-the-file-formats-raw-craw-jpeg-and-heif/
 
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Emyr Evans

EOS M50
Apr 22, 2021
40
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Page 901 of the advanced user guide shows that the buffer depth for Raw vs cRaw is 180 vs 260 for the CFe card. If dual recording to USD-II card then the Raw vs cRaw depth is 87 vs 260 so a big difference. HEIF large is 280 shots for both CFe and USH-II so not a significant increase over cRaw. The depth is singificantly decreased if shooting Raw + large jpeg to both cards.

Given the general consensus that cRaw is very close to Raw quality then it seems to be a simple choice to use cRaw if you are hitting the buffer limits. If you are still hitting limits then the R5 is not the camera to use :)

Jeff Cable talked about this on Petapixel
https://petapixel.com/2020/09/05/canon-r5-and-r6-comparing-the-file-formats-raw-craw-jpeg-and-heif/
And the R3's cRaw buffer (shooting to one card) is 420 at 30fps irrespective of which card you use... so 14 seconds worth of shooting.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
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I believe that Jeff Cable had to return the R3 to Canon at the conclusion of the Olympics. The R3 was not available for his future wildlife trip to Africa so he obviously took the R5.

This is what he said:

On the other hand, on a photography trip to Africa after the Olympics, I shot everything on a Canon R5, and it was great to capture wildlife with 45MP and crop where necessary. I shot photos of African fish eagles and did a lot of cropping on them, and even if you crop 30 percent of the image, it’s still a 10MB file with the R5. I also didn’t really need the R3’s 30fps in Africa.

I don't know if he had access to the R3 for the trip or not. Or, if he asked Canon to let him take it to Africa. But this sounded to me like he had a preference for the R5 on a wildlife focused trip.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,481
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This is what he said:



I don't know if he had access to the R3 for the trip or not. Or, if he asked Canon to let him take it to Africa. But this sounded to me like he had a preference for the R5 on a wildlife focused trip.
Or he was speaking completely hypothetically, and was just saying he'd have preferred the R5 even if given the option, which he wasn't.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
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I'm not so sure about that. If you read Jeff Cable's take, he said he chose to take R5s with him on his wildlife trip to Africa, not the R3.

When the resolution of the R3 came out, there were a lot of wildlife and bird photographers on this forum complaining. My response was simple, Canon views the R5 as their wildlife and bird photography body and the R3 as their sports body. Of course, either one can be used for the other purpose, but there will be compromises.

The other day, just to experiment I shot a soccer game 1/2 with the 1DxIII and 1/2 with the R5. I got about the same number of keepers with each camera but with the R5 I was constantly running into buffer problems and missed some key shots. I've never had buffer problems shooting birds with the R5 (different use cases require different bodies).

Bottom line, I expect the R5 to still be better for overall for wildlife and birds and the R3 to be better for sports. Which is what Cable concluded.
That's a reasonable conclusion, I think.

As for Africa, a lot depends on where and what you're shooting. For example, I took this in Rwanda years ago with a 4 MP superzoom P&S, it's uncropped and at a FF eq of ~250mm.

P1211069.JPG.jpg

But, many shots on the Serengeti were at the long end of the range (FF eq 380mm) and having more than 4 MP would have been nice. :)
 

DJPatte

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jul 10, 2020
15
5
Sweden
I’ve shot to one card since 1Ds and it has worked just fine (for me). What really really troubles me is his remarks on the eye focus as “too slow for sports” (my words). I want a MONSTER. Not a social event camera. This needs to be addressed.
 
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PerKr

EOS 90D
Jul 11, 2018
139
139
Sverige
it's telling that Jeff states that he brought his R5s with him with the intention to mainly use those but ended up not doing so in favor of the R3. And that he didn't do that much cropping compared to when shooting birds.

As for the eye-control... He stated he turned it off for some fast-paced sports because it wasn't as fast as his normal method. I guess the normal method would be fixed AF point or AF area as selecting an AF point/area in any other way is also not happening very quickly? At least that's my experience with other cameras. But he doesn't say a lot about eye-control really other than that, which is a shame, and it's only mentioned briefly along with eye-detect AF not being ideal when you can't see the eyes. Future reviews will tell for sure but for now I will trust the few video reviews I've seen which seem to indicate it working great for motorsport, running, soccer and so on.
 

Canfan

EOS M6 Mark II
Jul 17, 2019
73
72
I’ve never been a fan of dual media types in a camera, but that’s just an annoyance more than a physical limitation. I seldom shoot any of my cameras RAW+JPEG to both cards, but if that’s something you commonly do, then I can understand why it would be an issue for you. Overall, I think it was a mistake to do that mainly because of the performance limitation it imposes as well as the market the camera is in. If you came from a 1DX, Mark II or Mark III….well now you have to buy SD cards! If you’re coming from a Mark III then you probably already have CFExpress. Either way, you have enough money to buy a $100 64GB card or $175 for a 128GB if you plan to shoot just photos. Or you can splurge on the higher capacities. Heck, I remember a free CFast card used to come with the 1DX Mark II when it came out! I never got my damn free reader!!! Haha

Canon and other brands should just make us rip off the bandaid here…only the new format - and here’s why: I have now run into several people shooting the D850 who never bought a CFExpress card and just shoot with their camera as a single card because the readers are “too expensive” or they don’t want to buy them because they have SD cards already. So there is something to be said about people moving from one generation of camera to the next not adopting or investing in new media. It’s likely that some R3s will meet the same fate,but I feel like that’s a totally different market.

Oh well, this doesn’t bother me personally but I understand it will others. I use the dual cars more for utility and file organization with photos on one and video on the other…but it really would make more sense for this camera to have 2 of the same. I’m sure Tony Northrop is pumped to insert some old, slow, corrupted SD card into that slot and then claim the camera is terrible when shooting to 2 cards. LOL
You make a good point here. Some people want SD and some people need Express. There a lots of different people with varying needs. Like express in great for video, and absolute speed when shooting RAW, SD works for RAW but better with JPEG only. So maybe he could of done RAW to express and Jpeg to sd card to improve speed.

As you stated not everyone has a express card reader and for pros who may quickly want to hand over their images to their editor an SD Card full of JPEGs is golden. Most computers and laptops still have an SD card reader built in. That's why it won't go away soon.

But going forward maybe Canon can come up with a 2 slots that can accept both, sort of like a dual function, either it can accommodate 2 express for the speed demons or those same slots could accept 2 SD cards for those people who do event or slower pace events and don't need express. Don't know if that doable but i'm sure canon engineers are talented enough to overcome that challenge. Makes more sense that offering 3 versions of those pro bodies like a R3S with dual express, and one with dual SD maybe more of a challenge.
 

YuengLinger

EOS R5
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Dec 20, 2012
3,547
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Great interview, and it raises my respect even higher for Jeff Cable. Straight talk, honest insights! Rare these days.

But, as Neuro pointed out, he didn't bring a ton of new info to the table. We've had a decade of various resolutions higher and lower than the R3 to decide for ourselves what our needs and preferences are. And no magic tech has appeared to make a second type of media as fast as the faster card in the other slot.

As for Eye Control AF, wouldn't it improve with firmware updates? If AI is involved, would Canon be gathering usage data that can be applied to the algorithms? I know that AF has been improving on the R5 since its release.

The R3 does seem great for closer action--and for that vanishing species, photojournalism. (Supplanted, largely, by anybody with any type of image-capturing device willing to share or sell what they've got. Smartphones are ubiquitous, newsrooms are broke, and printed news photos are...where?) I'm interested to see how the sensor works for low-light events and portrait work, if there is any new color science that improves Canon's already great skin-tone renderings. While the ergonomics of this and the 1D bodies don't work for me, eventually the new tech will make its way to smaller bodies, if history is our guide.
 

EricN

EOS 90D
Aug 10, 2021
134
229
maybe tha
I’ve shot to one card since 1Ds and it has worked just fine (for me). What really really troubles me is his remarks on the eye focus as “too slow for sports” (my words). I want a MONSTER. Not a social event camera. This needs to be addressed.
maybe that's partly why it's not "R1"
 
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Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
995
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I’ve shot to one card since 1Ds and it has worked just fine (for me). What really really troubles me is his remarks on the eye focus as “too slow for sports” (my words). I want a MONSTER. Not a social event camera. This needs to be addressed.

If the eye AF selection is too slow you go back to using the joystick or mouse nipple on the AF on button. It doesn't put you in any a worse position than any other camera if you don't use an optional AF selection feature.