R3: Share Tips, Setup and Issues Here

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,536
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Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
I'm starting this thread in hopes of sharing information and recommendations from other R3 users.

I am not one who learns in linear fashion, reading the manuals thoroughly and going from step A to step B to step C. I prefer to jump right in and start fiddling with things learning as I go. It's inefficient and extremely frustrating to organized left brain types, I know. But that's just the way my brain functions. It's one reason why I stick with a single brand of camera. I've learned where the cheese is and I don't want it moved.

I'm hoping that we can share some tips, voice some frustrations and enable everyone to learn a bit.

I've set up my R3 almost identically to the R5 (back button autofocus with "autofocus on" button selecting the beginning focus point using whatever selection method I've chosen (single point, expanded point, etc.) and then using the * (star) button to switch to all-points face or eye recognition.

I set the smart controller to -2 as I found with the 1dxIII it was too easy for me to inadvertently change the autofocus point when pressing autofocus on.

I found myself accidentally switching from stills to movies because I could not always tell the smart controller/AF-On from the movie record button by feel, so for now I just switched that button to reset the AF point to the center. What do others suggest?

How do you have your R3 configured? What do you like and more importantly, what areas are you finding frustrating?

I haven't done anything yet with eye-control autofocus. I'm interested in how others might be setting that up.

I have two basketball games and a wrestling match coming up in the next week. I'm anxious to test the R3 out in the field under pressure of needing to deliver. I'll try to offer a few observations after those events, especially in comparison to the 1Dx III.

My requests: Keep to the topic. Keep it humble. Be helpful. Don't lecture others.
 
May 11, 2014
5
6
So far I have mine set up pretty much the way I had my 1Dx mk III's set up. I am still experimenting with some of the other buttons to see what works best since this camera has a few more options than the mkIII.

Really like the camera a lot but have not had good success with the eye controlled focus one either body... I have blue eyes and wear glasses/contacts which is apparently two strikes against me in using eye controlled focus from what I've been reading. I'm pretty happy using the smart controller, so I didn't buy the R3 planning to do a lot of eye controlled focus.

I also turned the smart controller down to -1 and found that to be about right.

One thing of note is that one of my R3's died about a week after getting it. Full on died during a shoot and never turned back on. Switched batteries, removed lens and cards, etc. etc. and it stayed dead no matter what.

Sent it back to Canon and they replaced it straight away with a new one and apparently the dead camera got a free trip to Canon Japan. They never specified why it died but since they were replacing it with a new camera, I didn't really worry about it.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,393
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Unlike @unfocused, I prefer to determine all my settings, then input them, then tweak as needed. This is my starting place. The settings below are the base settings for C1, I typically shoot in one of the 3 custom modes with C1 set for static subjects, C2 for moving people and C3 for animals. All three are based on Fv, and set up with a fast lens (RF 28-70) set to f/2 so any lens I mount starts wide open, and Tv and ISO on Auto (so, basically Av mode). I have C mode toggle assigned to the M.Fn button for rapid switching, and the only other mode I have active is M.

Shooting
1: RAW, no JPG, full frame
2: ISO default, all else off
3: flickers off, speedlite control (attach ST-E10) group mode
4: AWB-W, sRGB, Neutral style, lens corrections on
5: NR both off
6: all disable
7: H, electronic shutter, release without card on
8: IS ON (have RF non-IS lens mounted), stills always, set up Q screen, touch shutter off, 2 s review, VF on, HS display off, 4 s meter
9: exposure+DoF, ovf sim off, screen info (1: default, 2: add e-level, 3: everything but e-level, 4: image only, 5: off, 6: off), VF info (1: default, 2: only e-level, 3: everything but e-level), vertical on, grid off, histogram RGB small, lens info (focus distance when focusing, focal length enable), vertical exp lvl off, flicker on, VF display format 1, display performance smooth, suppress low frame rate not checked

AF
1: one shot, 1-pt AF, subject tracking off, subject people, eye detect on, switching tracked subjects at initial (0)
2: case 1 (change for C#)
3: focus priority, preview AF off, stop focus search, AF assist on
4: limit areas to spot, single, exp around, fz1, select w/ main dial, no orientation
5: peaking on, high, red; guide off
6: FTM on, LEMF on-magnify, ring rotation normal and speed

Playback
3: mag actual size, from AF point, maintain position on
4: switch enable, rate button mic only, memo high quality
5: playback display (2: rib histogram, 4-10 disabled), blinkies off, AF point enable, grid off

Communication
Network disable, GPS mode 2, logger off, bluetooth remote enable (and pair), then disable until needed

Set-up
1: rec separate to multiple, file #s continuous, file name custom user 1, autorotate on both, movie rotate enable
2: ntsc, help text small, beep on (default volumes)
3: defaults
4: Eye control off (pointer on, orange, small, bullseye), touch standard, MF lock default, shutter closed, clean at power off
5: C# see below, auto update off

Custom functions
1: 1/3-stop, restore auto, bracket cancel enable, default bracket sequence, 5 shots, safety shift off
2: same exp for new aperture off, lock meter all modes, restrict modes to M, C1-C3 (change after setting up C# modes in Fv), no metering mode restriction, no shutter/aperture restrictions, AEMA off, FEMA off, no shot limit, no drive more restrictions
4: normal directions, custom buttons and dials see below
5: movie/still switch set to silent shutter function, smart controller on, vertical controls on
6: crop info off, shutter lag shortened, audio compression on, default cancel selected, Av and shutter without lens off
7: retract automatically on, IPTC off

Custom buttons
shutter – metering start
movie – all auto (reset all in Fv)
mode – default
AF-ON – metering and AF start
smart controller – direct AF point selection
AE lock – move AF point, start by eye control
AF point select – eye detection AF
DoF preview – one shot <-> servo AF
L-Fn – Peaking
M-Fn – switch to custom shooting mode
M-Fn2 – default
Illumination – flash function settings
Set – default
Multicontroller – direct AF point selection

Custom dials
main – Av
QCD1 – Tv
QCD2 – EC
Control ring – ISO

My menu
Battery info
Format card
Anti-flicker
Display simulation
Grid display
Bluetooth remote

C1 – static subjects
Fv mode
Shoot7 drive L
AF1 one shot, spot AF, subject tracking off
AF2 case 1

C2 – moving people
Fv mode
Shoot2 1/250 s min shutter auto ISO
Shoot7 drive H
AF1 servo, 1-pt AF, subject tracking on, subject people, eye detect on, switching tracked subjects at initial
AF2 case 2
Custom2 shutter speed restricted to 1/60 and faster

C3 – animals
Fv mode
Shoot2 1/500 s min shutter auto ISO
Shoot7 drive H+
AF1 servo, 1-pt AF, subject tracking on, subject animals, eye detect on, switching tracked subjects at initial
AF2 case 2
Custom2 shutter speed restricted to 1/60 and faster
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
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I know I probably sound dumb but, I really respect people with enough logical brain to work all these functions and permutations out but my ability to keep track of different custom function sets and custom buttons is very limited. So much so that I never even mastered back button AF!

I wonder if the custom function sets could be stored anywhere so people could try them out? They are tiny files but not of the required attachment extension type.
 
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kaihp

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 19, 2012
1,052
205
The Most Ancient Kingdom of Denmark
I know I probably sound dumb but, I really respect people with enough logical brain to work all these functions and permutations out but my ability to keep track of different custom function sets and custom buttons is very limited. So much so that I never even mastered back button AF!

I wonder if the custom function sets could be stored anywhere so people could try them out? They are tiny files but not of the required attachment extension type.
My understanding is that when you save the setup to a card, it contains the Custom functions as well. I never looked deeply into this, though. Nor did I try to reverse-engineer the content of those setup files.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
10,631
5,981
My understanding is that when you save the setup to a card, it contains the Custom functions as well. I never looked deeply into this, though. Nor did I try to reverse-engineer the content of those setup files.
You used to be able to download the custom setup configuration files from SportsShooter.com for 1 series cameras as Sports Illustrated and a few others set up all their cameras as a starting point. And yes they store custom functions, that mis really the point of them.

There's nothing fancy about the file but it is a .csd extension and Canon Rumors doesn't support .csd files as attached files. You can save, send, move, store, etc etc the .csd. You can then load it onto any compatible camera (not necessarily the same model). No reverse engineering needed, I was just suggesting being able to share these personal .csd files here.
 

emailfortom

Full time sports shooter
CR Pro
Mar 17, 2014
28
13
East Coast US
I'm starting this thread in hopes of sharing information and recommendations from other R3 users.

I am not one who learns in linear fashion, reading the manuals thoroughly and going from step A to step B to step C. I prefer to jump right in and start fiddling with things learning as I go. It's inefficient and extremely frustrating to organized left brain types, I know. But that's just the way my brain functions. It's one reason why I stick with a single brand of camera. I've learned where the cheese is and I don't want it moved.

I'm hoping that we can share some tips, voice some frustrations and enable everyone to learn a bit.

I've set up my R3 almost identically to the R5 (back button autofocus with "autofocus on" button selecting the beginning focus point using whatever selection method I've chosen (single point, expanded point, etc.) and then using the * (star) button to switch to all-points face or eye recognition.

I set the smart controller to -2 as I found with the 1dxIII it was too easy for me to inadvertently change the autofocus point when pressing autofocus on.

I found myself accidentally switching from stills to movies because I could not always tell the smart controller/AF-On from the movie record button by feel, so for now I just switched that button to reset the AF point to the center. What do others suggest?

How do you have your R3 configured? What do you like and more importantly, what areas are you finding frustrating?

I haven't done anything yet with eye-control autofocus. I'm interested in how others might be setting that up.

I have two basketball games and a wrestling match coming up in the next week. I'm anxious to test the R3 out in the field under pressure of needing to deliver. I'll try to offer a few observations after those events, especially in comparison to the 1Dx III.

My requests: Keep to the topic. Keep it humble. Be helpful. Don't lecture others.
I've had my R3 for a couple of weeks and just yesterday I used one of the front buttons to pull up "Cropping/aspect ration" so that i can shift to a 1.6 crop factor on the fly. I shoot sports and figure that I will use it very sparingly... but believe I will use it for the extra reach and then drop back into full frame mode. Example is when I'm shooting basketball and using a 70-200. If I try to capture a little bit of defence at the other end of the court... I feel the focus is quicker after jumping forward with a 1.6 crop. Just my opinion, and again something that might be nice to try and see if I'll keep it in my toolbox.
Happy holidays !
 
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unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,536
4,299
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
A few comments after one wrestling meet and one basketball game. Caveat that with more experience I may take back some of these comments.

No particular order to these comments.

At the basketball game I initially found it disconcerting that I couldn't hear the shutter (I have it set on the default electronic shutter setting which makes a slight but barely discernable noise). After a few minutes of shooting, I did get acclimated to the shutter sound. I personally prefer to have some sound as a feedback when I'm shooting.

I had no problem getting the little eye-control focus circles to follow where I was looking, even wearing glasses. But I have yet to figure out what to do with the function. I obviously need to read up on it and experiment more and hopefully some people better than I am will post some tutorials in the future. My experience was that while I could look at a player to direct the little circle to that player, when I hit the focus button, the focus point selected seemed to have no relation to where I was looking.

In contrast, eye detection worked very well. Like many sports photographers, I used to always use a single or expanded point in the center of the frame and seldom used the larger autofocus areas. That changed with the 1Dx III, which I found was very good at picking out a subject and in fact last year I started using the largest selection area on the 1DX III for basketball and had good success with that. (BTW, Peter Read Miller confirmed the same when he began using the 1DX III)

With the R3, it is even better, since it can actually select the subject's face or eyes. Unfortunately, when it misses focus, it tends to miss by a mile. But, when it finds the subject, it seems to mostly nail the focus.

Eye detection worked better with wrestling than with basketball, which is understandable since the subjects don't move as fast and they are closer. But, it was no slouch with basketball.

No problems with the buffer.

I didn't find the smart controller to be of much use, mostly because it is simply too hard (at least for me) to accurately follow the action and select the autofocus point before the action changes. To be fair, I've found this to be true with the R5 and R using thumb control as well. Works great for ordinary subjects (events, portraits, candids, landscape etc.) but my reflexes aren't fast enough and it's not responsive enough for sports in my opinion. In fairness, since eye detection worked so well, I didn't really try all that hard with the smart controller.

I am going to have to experiment more with the autofocus cases. My first impression is that selecting Case 2 (continue to track subjects) worked fairly well as I could select an initial subject and keep focus on them until I needed to change to a different competitor.

Overall I would say that the shooting experience is definitely different than the 1Dx series. Subtle differences in how autofocus works on mirrorless vs. DSLR. Not always better, but on the whole I would say usually better.

I found the shooting experience very similar to the R5. The best way I can put it is that if I compare the gap between the 1Dx and the 5D to the gap between the R3 and the R5, I find that gap is much much smaller between the two R models. That's not a bad thing. I can carry both bodies and switch between them pretty seamlessly, using each for what it does best without feeling compromised with either body.

In comparison to the R5, I would say that the main difference is the buffer, followed closely by battery life.

Candidly, if I didn't shoot sports, I'm not sure I would find the R3 worth the premium cost and reduction in resolution from the R5. But, since I do shoot sports, it is definitely worth it.

Finally, one of the biggest advantages for me is consolidating everything into a single lens mount again. It has been extremely frustrating over the past year or so to have to carry around two sets of lenses and three bodies depending on what I might be shooting. To have everything fit in a single bag with room to spare and have that bag lighter than ever before is a real selling point to me. I've shipped almost all my EF equipment off for resale and even if I didn't recover a penny on any of it, I'd still consider it worthwhile.

A-Basketball_Y6A3515 copy-1-web.jpg
A-Basketball_Y6A3024-1-web.jpg
Wrestling__Y6A0920-1-web.jpg
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
9,088
12,770
Having the M.Fn set to C as neuro does is very useful as switching modes is a pain on the R3/5. If you set initially to M, you can then toggle C1, C2, C3 and M with a very convenient button. If you need to change the the drive mode on loss of the M.Fn, it‘s easily done via the Q button.
 

HenryL

EOS R3, R5
CR Pro
Apr 1, 2020
340
901
My experience was that while I could look at a player to direct the little circle to that player, when I hit the focus button, the focus point selected seemed to have no relation to where I was looking.
I, too, found at first that the camera seemed to randomly pick a subject away from where I was looking. I had AF-ON assigned to "Eye Detection AF". I changed it to "Moving AF point, start AF by eye ctrl" and now the camera locks where I'm looking. There are too other similar options that I'll have to check out, I don't see an obvious difference.
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
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I changed it to "Moving AF point, start AF by eye ctrl" and now the camera locks where I'm looking.
Exactly. I have that assigned to the AE Lock (*) button, so with Eye Control AF active I can either use the smart controller to select a subject and press it to lock focus, or I can use my eye to select a subject and press * to lock it.
 
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unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,536
4,299
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Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
I, too, found at first that the camera seemed to randomly pick a subject away from where I was looking. I had AF-ON assigned to "Eye Detection AF". I changed it to "Moving AF point, start AF by eye ctrl" and now the camera locks where I'm looking. There are too other similar options that I'll have to check out, I don't see an obvious difference.
Thanks. I'll give that a try.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,536
4,299
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
I gave @HenryL 's suggestion a try yesterday at a basketball game. It does seem to help. Basically, I found eye-control could get me close to the subject I was looking at and then when I hit the focus button it often would lock on to the correct subject (although there were plenty of times it locked onto the wrong player). I think it's a useful tool and a good way to get your autofocus in the vicinity of where you want to focus, but it's not magical.

My opinion, for what little it is worth, is that Canon was smart to release the R3 and not rush an R1 into production. I believe they want the R1 to be a mature product and the R3 can provide important feedback to get the R1 up to the 1 series standards.

Still, overall, I'm very pleased with the R3 and my decision to go all mirrorless. I feel like I haven't lost much from the 1Dx III and have gained a lot in other areas.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
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Very relevant video here of the full menu setup and choices of a very good bird in flight specialist.

It even has time stamps for the different menu sections.

 
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This is an awesome thread, and you guys are simply wonderful for sharing your knowledge and best practices! As some of you may know, I've been having a devil of a time trying to get my R3 to focus on a wide variety of things.

As it turns out, how we work with lines and contrast appears to matter a lot more in our R3s than I ever consciously noticed during my 1Dx years.

The following video was recently sent to me as an FYI to help with my focusing. Putting aside all the sensor talk on the pros and cons of different designs, the tip that Tony shares at the 2 minute and 20 second mark in his video is significantly helping me to attain focus. The tip to help with focusing: "just tilt the camera a little bit". That is most certainly something I never, ever, did with my 1Dx to put things into focus, but I now find myself needing to do it often with my R3.

Case in point, I just tried to photograph my diploma hanging on the wall. When my camera is horizontal, I simply cannot get my diploma to focus - using any number of focus activation techniques or button approaches. Yet, when I tipped my camera a bit, voila, it work. That's just nuts. Hope this helps you as much as it helped me.
Are you guys doing camera tilts in your work to focus things?
 
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