Review: Canon EOS R3 by The Digital Picture


Jan 27, 2020

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.
Personally, one reason I like Canon and stick with them is that they seem to be more concerned with getting the tech right - and not that concerned with rushing something out to "keep up" with the competition. Sony put a bitter taste in my mouth when I tried their A7 and realized that rushing out a camera that many called a "beta" version, meant you were getting an inferior product. It worked for them, they got a jump on all their competitors by putting out a FF mirrorless years ahead of Canon and Nikon. The A7 II was also a "beta" camera, in my opinion. After being burned twice, I said, "Sony...never again."

The R3 is clearly aimed at Sports and action professionals who need a large buffer, high FPS and a quick turn-around time. Pros who are already heavily invested in Canon. Pros who want a seamless transition when they pick up an old and then the new camera with similar button placement and menu options. That's who Canon cared about when this camera went into design probably as long as 3 years ago. So, the Z9 is and was irrelevant. Pros are not switching because a competitor has a shiny new product. Pros can wait a year or two or more until they need to replace their old camera.

To reiterate, it makes sense to buy extra time (or stick to your original schedule, more likely) if your goal is to put out a product that you think is the absolute top of the line. That may not make marketing sense in the short term, but it may pay off in the long run. I think Canon is always looking at the long term future.


Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
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.
If you read my post again you'll note that I'm not complaining about the cards, but the slow slots (ie, controllers that Canon puts on the SD slots of their cameras). The SD slot is the "backup" card slot on the R3. Unfortunately it slows the frame rate down and clogs the buffer on that and several other camera models. The storage medium does not affect (nor can it affect) the "brilliance" of the photographs or indeed anything at all about them--it is merely storage that holds a copy of the image.

Failure rates on cards are reported as fairly steady at 2-3% (when adjusted for storage size) regardless of the housing; the quantity of solid state memory is the primary functional input to the failure equation, not the housing structure (though manufacturing technology also plays a role). Buy quality cards and rotate your cards from time to time and you won't experience many failures. I haven't had an image lost on CF in over a decade.

A major reason I am not migrating to R yet is the SD slot on the R3, otherwise I would be merely waiting until the pipeline fills and the price drops a little. I'm not sure I want to pay for an R1 at $8500 either, so I might wait to see what an R3 Mark II looks like. It's only 5 years or so, and I'm good enough with the bodies I have that I can afford to wait it out for what I need. Heck, gently used 1DXiii's might get really cheap by then, allowing me to wait even longer.
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I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
That was a very good plug for the Z9 - it would have what he says he wants.
And a possible R1, however in the meantime he is keeping his R3 and very much sees a place for it in his 'toolkit'. He is also very open about the pros over the R5 and the cons.


Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
And a possible R1, however in the meantime he is keeping his R3 and very much sees a place for it in his 'toolkit'. He is also very open about the pros over the R5 and the cons.
I'd be happy with either of them - the pros of both so far outweigh their cons.