Last year, Canon pushed the limits of full-frame mirrorless cameras with the EOS R5. Now the company is releasing another pro-grade camera designed specifically for high-end sports and wildlife photographers: the new EOS R3.
Canon claims the $6,ooo (body only) ROS R3 is the company’s “most technologically advanced full-frame mirrorless camera” yet. And even though it doesn’t come with support for 8K video like you get on the EOS R5, the R3 features a number of upgraded features, especially for shooters who demand responsive performance in fast-paced settings.
Improvements start with the EOS R3's brand new 24.1-MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor, which Canon says is so good it delivers better resolution performance than the 30.4-MP sensor on the EOS 5D Mark IV. Combined with its Digic X processor, the R3 can capture bursts of 150 14-bit RAW photos at up to 30 fps with its electronic shutter (or 12 fps with the mechanical shutter), with the option to enable full silent shooting (no AF assist light, flash, or shutter sounds) with the touch of a single button.
The EOS R3 also boasts an impressive ISO range from ISO 100 to 102,400 (expandable up to ISO 204,800 for stills), along with the ability to support autofocus and tracking adjustments while shooting at up to 60 fps. Canon says the R3 even comes with improved auto white balance, including a new record and register white balance mode that makes it faster and easier to set a custom white balance based on your environment.
The EOS R3's AF performance has also gotten a big boost with 1,050 AF points scatted across the sensor and support for improved tracking, including a new vehicle tracking mode (along with upgraded eye, face, and body detection) to better capture professional autosports like F1, rally, and motocross.
But perhaps the most enticing change is that Canon is bringing over a newly updated version of its eye control (Eye input AF) that allows you to select a focus subject simply by looking at it using the R3's EVF. While Canon has included eye control AF on previous cameras going as far back as 1992, this is the first time Canon has included the feature on the EOS R line, which suggests that the feature might finally be ready for even the most demanding pro photogs.
Inside the R3's EVF, there’s a dedicated sensor that tracks where your eye is looking, and while Canon does admit that its eye AF feature might not work for all eyes and types of contact lenses, the company does provide a pretty in-depth calibration system that supports work with or without glasses.
The R3's 5.76-million dot EVF now features an OLED panel with support for 60HZ or 120Hz refresh rates, and the ability to switch between a classic live exposure view or an enhanced OVF simulation mode that supports a wider dynamic range. And as another helpful bonus, Canon has included an upgraded anti-flicker suppression feature that allows you to adjust the camera to avoid banding from nearby lights, with the ability to customize the anti-flicker reduction from 50Hz to 8192Hz.
As for video, while the EOS R5 will still be people’s camera of choice if they want 8K recording, the R3 still offers a wide range of capture modes including a 6K 60fps RAW mode, an uncropped 4K 10-bit 120fps setting, and more. And like other high-end EOS R cameras, the R3 offers 5-axis in-body image stabilization that supports up to eight stops of shake reduction (depending on the lens), similar to what you get on the EOS R5/R6.
Finally, as you’d expect from a pro-grade camera, the EOS R3 features a weatherproof magnesium alloy body with a built-in vertical grip. And despite being similar in size to the Canon 1DX Mark III, the EOS R3 is around 70% lighter, weighing in at just 1.81 pounds (body only).
So while the EOS R3 certainly ain’t cheap, it looks like the full-frame mirrorless replacement for the aging 1DX Mark III that a lot of high-end photographers have been waiting for. The R3 goes on sale sometime in November.