Review: Canon EOS R3 by The Digital Picture

Canon Rumors Guy

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Bryan at The-Digital-Picture has completed his review of the Canon EOS R3. Canon’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera which began shipping last week.
Bryan’s closing thoughts
With each new high-end camera iteration, it becomes more difficult to be happy with the newfound annoyances (additional steps or efforts required to get the same job done) of the older models, and the R3 brings out those inadequacies of the other models. The R3 has professional-grade build quality combined with arguably the best AF system ever placed in an interchangeable lens camera. The Eye Control AF, subject detection and tracking performance, Smart Controllers, and a myriad of other features give this camera a review-time advantage over all other models.
The performance of the Canon EOS R3 suggests flagship 1-series membership, and...

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EOS 4 Life

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I don't know why he would Multi-shot Noise Reduction in RAW.
The entire point of shooting in RAW is to do that type of thing ourselves
 

neuroanatomist

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I don't know why he would Multi-shot Noise Reduction in RAW.
The entire point of shooting in RAW is to do that type of thing ourselves
I believe the idea is a single RAW file with the MSNR applied, i.e the multiple shots combined into a single RAW file with lower noise. There are dedicated astrophotography postprocessing apps that do that sort of thing (not on RAW files, though), but I'm not aware of any standard RAW converters that allow combining RAW images to reduce noise. The concept is similar to long exposure NR, where the camera takes a dark frame after the shot and subtracts it from the primary image before writing the RAW file.

Note that there are a couple of workarounds to achieve the same ends. The way to get a RAW file is to use Canon's multiple exposure feature and set the exposure control method to Average – that lets you take up to 9 exposures to combine (which would give better NR than the 4 exposures of MSNR). Another is to simply take multiple, successive exposures and combine them in Photoshop (overlay them and adjust the opacity to equally weight them (i.e. opacity = 100/image number, so the bottom image is 100% opacity, the second is 50% opacity, the 3rd is 33%, 4th is 25%, etc.).
 
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kaihp

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I'm confused by this paragraph:
The R3 focuses extremely fast. I couldn't tell the AF speed difference between the R5 and the Canon EOS 5Ds R during side-by-side testing, and the R5's AF system can keep up with a fast-moving horse at close distances. The more advanced R3's AF system is suitable for nearly all pursuits.

Bryan starts saying the R3 focuses very fast, and then goes on rambling about the R5 vs the venerable 5DsR. Maybe this is a left-over from his R5 review?

Did I miss anything about the 5DsR being the uber-reference for fast focusing? Didn't the 5DsR have the same focus system as the 5D3? - the 1Dx focus system is vastly better than the 5D3 focus in my experience.

Edit: Bryan has now updated the above paragraph to:
The R3 focuses extremely fast. My perception is that the R3 focuses slightly faster than the already fast EOS R5 during side-by-side testing with the same lens. The R3's advanced AF system is suitable for nearly all pursuits.
 
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AlanF

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I believe the idea is a single RAW file with the MSNR applied, i.e the multiple shots combined into a single RAW file with lower noise. There are dedicated astrophotography postprocessing apps that do that sort of thing (not on RAW files, though), but I'm not aware of any standard RAW converters that allow combining RAW images to reduce noise. The concept is similar to long exposure NR, where the camera takes a dark frame after the shot and subtracts it from the primary image before writing the RAW file.

Note that there are a couple of workarounds to achieve the same ends. The way to get a RAW file is to use Canon's multiple exposure feature and set the exposure control method to Average – that lets you take up to 9 exposures to combine (which would give better NR than the 4 exposures of MSNR). Another is to simply take multiple, successive exposures and combine them in Photoshop (overlay them and adjust the opacity to equally weight them (i.e. opacity = 100/image number, so the bottom image is 100% opacity, the second is 50% opacity, the 3rd is 33%, 4th is 25%, etc.).
You can stack and align RAW files in PS and output the mean values in a variety of formats. I just checked it out on some iso25,600 RAW files and an output jpeg has reduced noise. It doesn't output to RAW but Topaz has a jpeg to RAW converter!
 

bbasiaga

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You can stack and align RAW files in PS and output the mean values in a variety of formats. I just checked it out on some iso25,600 RAW files and an output jpeg has reduced noise. It doesn't output to RAW but Topaz has a jpeg to RAW converter!
Deep Sky stacker also does this with RAWs, but you wouldn't want to use it on a terrestrial image. Or at least the few times I tried it did not go well.

_Brian
 

AlanF

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Deep Sky stacker also does this with RAWs, but you wouldn't want to use it on a terrestrial image. Or at least the few times I tried it did not go well.

_Brian
Stacking with PS is useful. It’s one way of doing focus stack using the blend option, for example.
 

neuroanatomist

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You can stack and align RAW files in PS and output the mean values in a variety of formats. I just checked it out on some iso25,600 RAW files and an output jpeg has reduced noise. It doesn't output to RAW but Topaz has a jpeg to RAW converter!
I didn’t know PS handled RAW files directly. When you open a RAW file, doesn’t it use ACR to process them into PS (after you select the images and click Open)?
 
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privatebydesign

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I didn’t know PS handled RAW files directly. When you open a RAW file, doesn’t it use ACR to process them into PS (after you select the images and click Open)?
Direct from LR you can ‘open as layers‘ many RAW images in a single PS document. You can save the resulting file as a ‘RAW’ file formatted TIF.

I have been doing this for years to reduce noise and to create composite images.
 

jam05

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Direct from LR you can ‘open as layers‘ many RAW images in a single PS document. You can save the resulting file as a ‘RAW’ file formatted TIF.

I have been doing this for years to reduce noise and to create composite images.
PS uses it's ACR engine for the RAW images. LR was based on ACR but it's RAW processing is not the same RAW processing. To use ACR in LR one must select the Edit in command. However it defeats the whole purpose of using LR. ACR on its own is like eating store purchased Mac & cheese
 
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navastronia

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I'm confused by this paragraph:


Bryan starts saying the R3 focuses very fast, and then goes on rambling about the R5 vs the venerable 5DsR. Maybe this is a left-over from his R5 review?

Did I miss anything about the 5DsR being the uber-reference for fast focusing? Didn't the 5DsR have the same focus system as the 5D3? - the 1Dx focus system is vastly better than the 5D3 focus in my experience.
Yes, I think it's just a mistake. He must have meant to write R3 and he uses R5 in several instances.
 
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privatebydesign

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PS uses it's ACR engine for the RAW images. LR was based on ACR but it's RAW processing is not the same RAW processing. To use ACR in LR one must select the Edit in command. However it defeats the whole purpose of using LR. ACR on its own is like eating store purchased Mac & cheese
I don't really understand how any of that relates to my point, you can open any number of RAW files in PS as layers direct from LR. Obviously, if you actually use it!

You can then output the result as a TIF based RAW file and do whatever superior manipulations you'd like. Personally, after seeing so many PS experts do their magic there is very little I have seen those experts can't match or better so getting any result you desire is really more a matter of skill and knowledge. I learnt this long ago when a Canadian based PS retouching/finishing pro asked to retouch one of my images, the result was so far beyond anything I was then capable of.

1638237259267.png
 

unfocused

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PS uses it's ACR engine for the RAW images. LR was based on ACR but it's RAW processing is not the same RAW processing. To use ACR in LR one must select the Edit in command. However it defeats the whole purpose of using LR. ACR on its own is like eating store purchased Mac & cheese
What's your source for this or are you just making stuff up?

After a quick internet search I could find no reliable source that claimed that the Raw processing in ACR is any different than Lightroom. But, I found several good sources that said that it is the same Raw processing. The interfaces are different and Lightroom offers file management, but in terms of actually processing Raw images, I believe they are the same. I would also note that every time Adobe updates Lightroom with a new feature, they also add that feature to Camera Raw. The latest example being the masking tools that were recently added.

Please cite your source.
 

StandardLumen

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This is a very useful, thorough review. However, still no one has done what I am most interested to see, which is an image quality comparison between the R3 and R5 where the R3 images are scaled up to R5 size. In this review, it is stated that a better comparison would be to scale the R5 images down to R3 size, and depending on how you work that may be most relevant to you, but for me I really want to know just how much quality I would be losing with the R3 vs the R5 when making a large print of a cropped image.
 

privatebydesign

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This is a very useful, thorough review. However, still no one has done what I am most interested to see, which is an image quality comparison between the R3 and R5 where the R3 images are scaled up to R5 size. In this review, it is stated that a better comparison would be to scale the R5 images down to R3 size, and depending on how you work that may be most relevant to you, but for me I really want to know just how much quality I would be losing with the R3 vs the R5 when making a large print of a cropped image.
If I was you and that was the important part for me I’d download some of the readily available RAW files and test it yourself.

I’d use the super resolution function in PS, or something similar, but then the argument becomes you can do the same to an R5. Only you can decide what ‘enough’ is.

 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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What's your source for this or are you just making stuff up?

After a quick internet search I could find no reliable source that claimed that the Raw processing in ACR is any different than Lightroom. But, I found several good sources that said that it is the same Raw processing. The interfaces are different and Lightroom offers file management, but in terms of actually processing Raw images, I believe they are the same. I would also note that every time Adobe updates Lightroom with a new feature, they also add that feature to Camera Raw. The latest example being the masking tools that were recently added.

Please cite your source.
My understanding was the basic demosaicing, gamma curves and color handling were the same in both, but they did have minor differences in other functions. For years NR in LR sucked whereas ACR did a much more sympathetic job. But in more recent iterations and with enhanced controls and a more similar UI I’m not sure even those earlier detail changes are true. Indeed I put minor differences between the two programs as glitches, bugs, and ‘features’ now!