Review: Canon EOS R3 by The Digital Picture

DBounce

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May 3, 2016
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There are caveats on lens choice and camera settings that preclude achieving 30 fps. With no details on those parameters, it’s premature to draw that conclusion.
All the details are given in the video description. The lens is a manual lens. No AF to slow anything down. Camera was set to shoot Raw only. It wouldn’t be the first time that a manufacturer overstated the performance of a product.
 

neuroanatomist

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All the details are given in the video description. The lens is a manual lens. No AF to slow anything down. Camera was set to shoot Raw only. It wouldn’t be the first time that a manufacturer overstated the performance of a product.
All the details? Ok, tell me…what was the shutter speed used? Was flicker reduction enabled?

Looks more like someone trying to stir the pot and increase view counts. Gullibility helps with that.

Or just someone who failed to RTFM, as I said before. I don’t shoot video on ILCs, but someone demonstrating use of an anamorphic lens clearly does. My rudimentary knowledge of videography suggests that someone aiming for 30 fps video footage would set the shutter speed to 1/60 s. That’s too slow to achieve 30 fps on the R3.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone jumped to an erroneous conclusion based on flawed information.
 
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Joules

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All the details are given in the video description. The lens is a manual lens. No AF to slow anything down. Camera was set to shoot Raw only. It wouldn’t be the first time that a manufacturer overstated the performance of a product.
On top of anti flicker setting, which is not in the description, does the video mention the battery level?

In any case, using the subjective speedup of a video to derive the actual FPS is really weird and not a particularly objective. Just take a sequence of images, and divide amount of pictures in the sequence by the difference in timestamps between the first and last image of the sequence.
 

kaihp

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The purpose of Bryan using some of the R5 autofocus content was to articulate the difference between modern Canon mirrorless to DSLR, and he does preface it by saying "Here is a sample showing that benefit, along with a bit of discussion from the R5 review. Know that the R3 is considerably more advanced – I'll share some of those advancements after this reversion." I have no issues with what he did here, and he does expand more on the differences between the R5 and R3 afterwards.

I guess it's different strokes for different folks then. I get it why he does it that way, but I prefer to have a single review page that only review of the particular camera. With his current inter-mixing, you need to be very careful about when he's talking about this camera and when he's talking about another (older) camera. For the focus system, he could have linked to the particular paragraph in the R5 review instead. each review contains a massive amount of information, some of which may not be too relevant for me at the time of reading (or rereading).

It is ironic you mention trustworthiness, to me, he is the most trustworthy online reviewer for Canon and Sony. He doesn't clickbait, he doesn't hype ("Canon lied! I'm switching! End of Canon!") or goes with the trendy-but-out-of-context stupidity like dynamic range doom/overheating doom/<insert latest Canon doom here>. His reviews are thorough, measured when possible, contextual, and ultimately the most informative of any reviewer out there. TDP should be considered one of the most valuable review resources available.
Yes, it's ironic. I agree that TDP should be considered one of the most valuable review sites out there. But that statement, and my statement that "To me, this is starting to detract from the trustworthiness of the individual reviews." isn't necessarily contradictory. You can be at a very high level, and yet decline. Maybe not enough to be a problem right now, but maybe in the future.
 

CanonFanBoy

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The choices available right now are fantastic. The cameras get more and more exotic. The lenses too.

So, does this lend credence to the idea some have had about the R-1 being a high megapixel studio camera?
 

GMCPhotographics

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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.

Edit: Bryan has now updated the above paragraph to:
There's a few differences in battery power and AF processing power. But the AF sensor and general hard ware is the same.
The 1D Series battery packs run at a higher voltage than the 5D & R5 series cameras. This allows the bigger telephoto lenses (I use a 400mm f2.8 myself) to move their large focussing elements a bit quicker. This makes the AF feel snappier and more reactive. The 1D series also gets a dedicated AF processor Digic chip. This doesn't do much except help with predictive algorithms. Put the two camera next to each other and the only time the 1 Series' AF capability is better (ignoring the battery advantage) is where AI focus is enabled and all points engaged. The 1D series tracks smoother and keeps the lock through the 10-15 fps. Where as the 5D series processor only has to track through a much lower frame rate. If you use AI focus with a 9 point zone or a single point AI then there is very little difference between the AF capabilities.
I've shot Irish Sea Birds like gannets, puffins, razorbills and guillemots in a range of different lighting conditions and situations, in flight & landing and i mostly use a 5D3 with a very high success rate. Easily comparable to the results that my 1D series fellow photographers were getting.
So yes I would label the 1D series' AF as slightly better in some modes. But this doesn't often translate into better photos. There's not much the 1DX/I/II/III can do AF wise that the old 5D3 can't. It's only obvious limitation is the frame rate and for many it's already enough. Maybe not for the pray and sprayers!
 

docsmith

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The choices available right now are fantastic. The cameras get more and more exotic. The lenses too.

So, does this lend credence to the idea some have had about the R-1 being a high megapixel studio camera?
In my mind, the main issue is if the R3 is a new line or a one-off placeholder as Canon refined its technology. Could be that they did not want to put the "1" series label on a camera until they had Quad pixel AF, or until they could have faster flash sync speeds, etc. If that is the case, the R3 will be out for a couple of years at a lower price point but the R1 will have similar MP but some other enhanced tech. But we will never see an R3 Mk II.

Or, the R3 lineup is the true heir apparent to the 1DX line, we do see an R3 II and the R1 becomes the spec monster many covet. Canon is great at targeting markets, so if they are both a new lineup, each will be focused on their own market.
 

Joules

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In my mind, the main issue is if the R3 is a new line or a one-off placeholder as Canon refined its technology. Could be that they did not want to put the "1" series label on a camera until they had Quad pixel AF, or until they could have faster flash sync speeds, etc. If that is the case, the R3 will be out for a couple of years at a lower price point but the R1 will have similar MP but some other enhanced tech. But we will never see an R3 Mk II.

Or, the R3 lineup is the true heir apparent to the 1DX line, we do see an R3 II and the R1 becomes the spec monster many covet. Canon is great at targeting markets, so if they are both a new lineup, each will be focused on their own market.
If the R3 were a one off release to buy time, I would have expected Canon to make this clearer.

It does not make sense to create the impression that people currently interested in a 1 series body can just wait for a small while for the R1 to come around, when in reality they are supposed to buy an R3 for the time being.

That just lowers sales of the R3 and creates potential for people to look closer at the Z9 once they become tired of waiting.
 

docsmith

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If the R3 were a one off release to buy time, I would have expected Canon to make this clearer.
....because Canon always clearly states their future plans?

I assume you are already aware, but if not, the EOS-3 was a one-off, at least I am not aware of a MkII.

Also, I do not think if the R3 is a one off in any way detracts from its abilities. Great camera. I am considering getting one myself and do not care if there is an R3 II or if the future successor is labeled an R1.

But, the point of my post, "does this lend credence...to the R1 being a high MP studio camera"...not necessarily.
 

Joules

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....because Canon always clearly states their future plans?
No. Because they want people transitioning to mirrorless to go with Canon. So if they wanted to target the same market as the Z9, A1, 1DX 3, etc, why not just release a camera that belongs to the 1 series in all but the name?

Why use a slow SD card slot, forcing users to chose between speed and redundancy?
Why leave out spot metering linked to AF point?
Why use the R5 12 FPS shutter, when the 1DX III 16 FPS one was an option?

To me, those are hints that Canon tried to reduce the cost of this body by explicitly not designing it as a flagship, nor as a temporary offering.

I just don't see how it makes sense to develop a completely new camera to make it seem like they have a competitor to the Z9, when the R1 is less than year away anyway. The resources spent working on the R3 could have been used to accelerate the R1 to some degree.

I can totally see the R3 being the only one of its kind if the post covid market doesn't work out the way Canon envisioned it. But I don't understand how it makes any sende to buy extra time for the R1, or refine its technology, as you put it.
 

john1970

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How do you set the R3 to remember the last ISO settings?

I have set different drive modes to the C1, C2, and C3 custom settings and am having issue with the camera resetting to base iso when it goes to sleep. I realize that there maybe nothing I can do to stop this occurrence, but was hoping that others might have insights.

Please advise and thank you.
 

docsmith

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No. Because they want people transitioning to mirrorless to go with Canon. So if they wanted to target the same market as the Z9, A1, 1DX 3, etc, why not just release a camera that belongs to the 1 series in all but the name?

Why use a slow SD card slot, forcing users to chose between speed and redundancy?
Why leave out spot metering linked to AF point?
Why use the R5 12 FPS shutter, when the 1DX III 16 FPS one was an option?

To me, those are hints that Canon tried to reduce the cost of this body by explicitly not designing it as a flagship, nor as a temporary offering.

I just don't see how it makes sense to develop a completely new camera to make it seem like they have a competitor to the Z9, when the R1 is less than year away anyway. The resources spent working on the R3 could have been used to accelerate the R1 to some degree.

I can totally see the R3 being the only one of its kind if the post covid market doesn't work out the way Canon envisioned it. But I don't understand how it makes any sende to buy extra time for the R1, or refine its technology, as you put it.
So, first off, let me say, I suspect you are correct and that Canon will both keep the R3 line and introduce an R1. But, I am not completely sold on that idea, Matter of fact I am probably 60/40 on it. Why? That would imply that there is a big enough market to support two "high end" camera body systems with integrated grips, etc. Ever since the 1DX, Canon has not done this. Nikon has not done this, and Sony is close with the A9 and A1. If Canon does keep both the R3 and introduce a R1, the A9/A1 is probably the closest allegory...but I've also wondered if the A9 is going to go away and be replaced by the A1.

So, to answer the questions you pose, I'll play a bit of Devil's advocate, but it isn't hard to see the otherside:
why not just release a camera that belongs to the 1 series in all but the name?
Because the 1DX III was released just the previous year and they wanted to give it a bit more time "as the flagship." Plus there may be tech Canon wanted to further develop before introducing it in an R1.

Why use a slow SD card slot, forcing users to chose between speed and redundancy?
Differentiate the R3 to the 1DX III, not just a future R1. Plus CFe was very new when Canon was likely making decisions...perhaps they were concerned about potential CFe card supply and didn't want to leave their cameras stranded.

Why leave out spot metering linked to AF point?
The 1DX III has a completely separate sensor and a separate processor for AF and metering. The R3 has to pull all that information off a single sensor. Could be the processing power/circuitry is not there yet.


Why use the R5 12 FPS shutter, when the 1DX III 16 FPS one was an option?
Canon has been clear that they think of the R3 as an electronic shutter first camera. I really wonder if the R1 will be shutterless. This could also be used as a reason for the R3 being a placeholder. A step to wean people off mechanical shutters. Why 12 FPS? Likely to save costs as it might be the same/similar shutter (or shutter tech) as the R5/R6. And, this is just something I marvel at, but think about the AF issues with the mechanical shutter when you AF on the sensor. You cannot AF while the shutter is closed! The R3 AFs 60 times/sec. How much is 12 fps a function of the actual shutter speed or a function of allowing time to AF with the sensor. The shutter is likely blazing fast. Also, the 1DX III is their current stated flagship, this is still a point in favor of it.

But I don't understand how it makes any sende to buy extra time for the R1, or refine its technology, as you put it.
So, basically, if they aren't going to continue with the R3, why not just take the exact same body that is the R3 and announce it as an R1? Part may be to give the 1DX III some space. But in terms of tech, think about your spot metering example, what if that really is a processing power limitation and somewhere in Canon there is a spec sheet that says "no 1 series camera shall exist without spot metering linked to an AF point" but yet, the processing power isn't there yet (think about it, the same circuitry that still gives us some rolling shutter is now also being used to AF/AE). Maybe they want flash sync speeds of 1/250th or something else. But, the flipside works here in my mind....if they had the tech they wanted for an R1 developed, why did they not release it first rather than the R3? Only reason I can think of is they wanted those that favor less MPs to know they'd have a mirrorless successor before introducing a large MP camera....but if the R1 tech is ready.....
 

neuroanatomist

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why not just release a camera that belongs to the 1 series in all but the name?
Because the 1DX III was released just the previous year and they wanted to give it a bit more time "as the flagship." Plus there may be tech Canon wanted to further develop before introducing it in an R1.
This is exactly what Canon stated. Quote from Go Tokura, Chief Executive of the Image Communication Business Operations at Canon:

"We still consider the EOS-1D X Mark III to be our flagship professional camera due to its extreme reliability and confidence it delivers in the hands of professionals. However, it is true that the EOS R3 exceeds the EOS-1D X Mark III in some specifications, to the extent which, by the conventional definition, you could consider it a flagship camera.

While the RF system is a major evolution of the EF system, we believe that in order to bestow an RF camera with the “1” model designation, we must achieve an even greater level of performance, and we continue to work towards reaching those high standards.
"

Why use a slow SD card slot, forcing users to chose between speed and redundancy?
Differentiate the R3 to the 1DX III, not just a future R1. Plus CFe was very new when Canon was likely making decisions...perhaps they were concerned about potential CFe card supply and didn't want to leave their cameras stranded.
Agree, but also keep in mind that a pair of identical card slots is still among the minority of 1-series bodies. The 1D X has dual CF, the 1D X III has dual CFe, but the 1D X II and the 1D/1Ds bodies had mixed card slots.

Why leave out spot metering linked to AF point?
The 1DX III has a completely separate sensor and a separate processor for AF and metering. The R3 has to pull all that information off a single sensor. Could be the processing power/circuitry is not there yet.
If the R3 can run a spot metering calculation from the center of the image sensor, it should also be able to run a spot metering calculation from a same-sized region somewhere else on the image sensor. IMO, this is a pure differentiation play. In the digital world, AF point-linked spot metering has been the province of the 1-series.

Why use the R5 12 FPS shutter, when the 1DX III 16 FPS one was an option?
Canon has been clear that they think of the R3 as an electronic shutter first camera. I really wonder if the R1 will be shutterless. This could also be used as a reason for the R3 being a placeholder. A step to wean people off mechanical shutters. Why 12 FPS? Likely to save costs as it might be the same/similar shutter (or shutter tech) as the R5/R6. And, this is just something I marvel at, but think about the AF issues with the mechanical shutter when you AF on the sensor. You cannot AF while the shutter is closed! The R3 AFs 60 times/sec. How much is 12 fps a function of the actual shutter speed or a function of allowing time to AF with the sensor. The shutter is likely blazing fast. Also, the 1DX III is their current stated flagship, this is still a point in favor of it.
Agree with this completely.

But I don't understand how it makes any sende to buy extra time for the R1, or refine its technology, as you put it.
So, basically, if they aren't going to continue with the R3, why not just take the exact same body that is the R3 and announce it as an R1? Part may be to give the 1DX III some space. But in terms of tech, think about your spot metering example, what if that really is a processing power limitation and somewhere in Canon there is a spec sheet that says "no 1 series camera shall exist without spot metering linked to an AF point" but yet, the processing power isn't there yet (think about it, the same circuitry that still gives us some rolling shutter is now also being used to AF/AE). Maybe they want flash sync speeds of 1/250th or something else. But, the flipside works here in my mind....if they had the tech they wanted for an R1 developed, why did they not release it first rather than the R3? Only reason I can think of is they wanted those that favor less MPs to know they'd have a mirrorless successor before introducing a large MP camera....but if the R1 tech is ready.....
Personally, I think it may be as simple as AF orientation – Canon has multiple patents on cross-type AF for mirrorless (DPAF in rows of orthogonal orientations, QPAF), and one of them is going to show up in the R1. They knew they'd need top-shelf MILC before it would be ready for prime time, so we have the R3.
 
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CanonFanBoy

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If the R3 were a one off release to buy time, I would have expected Canon to make this clearer.

It does not make sense to create the impression that people currently interested in a 1 series body can just wait for a small while for the R1 to come around, when in reality they are supposed to buy an R3 for the time being.

That just lowers sales of the R3 and creates potential for people to look closer at the Z9 once they become tired of waiting.
What's in a name? Don't people tend to buy what fits? Does anyone really mind that it's called an R3 instead of R1? I mean, they bought for specs, right?
 

TravelerNick

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I just don't see how it makes sense to develop a completely new camera to make it seem like they have a competitor to the Z9, when the R1 is less

The Z9 didn't exist when they started the R3 development. Or even the A1. More importantly neither did the new sensor or any of the other new features in the R3.

The R3 looks to have been a fairly safe option for Canon. If they had tried to swing for the fences and wiffed well that's not good in the segment the R1 is targetting.
 

jeffa4444

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It will be interesting to see the sales comparison of the R3 to the R5 and tell if the resolution is a deciding factor for new camera purchasers or if they are willing to give away resolution to get the new features on the R3?
The context only really matters as to how the final image will be displayed. Most images are now viewed electronically so you could argue every picture is oversampled to fit in an electronic container. If your a heavy cropper then 45MP clearly counts but if your not its debatable.
The decision to buy an R3 will be very different to an R5 or the R6 (Ive a number of wedding photographer friends that bought both the R5 and R6 and the R6 is their primary camera not the R5). The R3 is clearly aimed at professional photographers who are mainly into sports, action and wildlife photography its not really a general purpose camera although it could be used as one. The R5 straddles two camps professionals in a multitude of areas and prosumer amateurs. The R6 also appeals to professionals (mainly it seems wedding photographers either as a main camera or second body) and to amateurs across the spectrum of abilities. Of course price comes into the decision and not just the camera but the lenses too.
 

jeffa4444

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Yes, annoyances like having a crappy SD slot wasting valuable storage space... wonder when that will get fixed? I'm not changing to the R system yet, I will wait to see what the R1 and/or R3 Mark II look like.
Ive seen as have you thousands of brilliant photographs shot using those crappy SD cards. Ive shot digitally for years and luckily never had an SD failure. I have had failures with CF cards and with high end Sony cards for professional video.
 

jeffa4444

EOS 5D Mark IV
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At the 2021 Professional Photographer of the Year competition just over 50% of the entries were shot on the 5D MKIV (second place) and the 5D MKIII (first place). Next in Canon line up was the EOS R around 8th and after that the 6D MKII. Obviously that will change in the 2022 competition as entries from both the R5 & R6 appear.
Nikon was second placed manufacturer with the D850 top and Sony third.
DSLRs are going to still be represented though not all pros change gear quickly.
 
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