Canon EOS R3 digital camera

Canon EOS R3 Review

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The Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera is designed for pros looking for speed and durability in their next camera. In terms of performance, after my hands-on experience, I strongly felt that Canon’s one of the most potent mirrorless cameras to date, yet it’s officially positioned between the 1Dx Mark III and the EOS R5.

Canon EOS R3 Review

For high-speed reading and decreased rolling shutter, the R3 utilizes Canon’s first stacked BSI sensor, capable of a maximum of 30fps with AF and AE tracking.

In addition, the R3’s Dual Pixel AF technology will work in light levels as low as -7EV, making it capable of focusing on a wide range of subjects, including automobiles and motorcycles.

Moreover, the R3 is Canon’s brutal mirrorless camera to date, sharing the 1Dx Mark III’s dust and water resistance level, in addition to its extended battery back and novel Smart Controller. Like Nikon’s Z-9, the R3 is expected to include a built-in portrait grip, although its total size will be less than that of the 1Dx III.

Features of Canon EOS R3:

The R3 includes Canon’s first stacked backside illumination sensor and Canon’s other recent full-frame cameras. Canon has chosen 24.1 Megapixels, which was previously only used by Sony in their first stacked full-frame sensor three years ago.

Canon EOS R3 digital camera sensor

On the other hand, Canon’s sensor is 50% quicker than the A9’s, allowing for burst shooting at up to 30 frames per second with both focusing and exposure. This means the R3 can equal the Sony Alpha 1’s peak speed, even though it captures half as many pixels in each frame.

Camera’s Body

The EOS R3 includes a built-in grip for vertical shooting, like every Canon EOS 1D model. This device comes with two controls on the rear and front. The design is somewhat similar to the predecessor, but the bottom LCD screen has been removed from some notable changes in the build.

With the Smart Controller on the AF-ON button, the left-hand side of the top plate contains a few buttons identical to the EOS 1D models. Overall in physical build, the Canon EOS R5 has a lot in common with the Nikon’s D5100.

The 4.12 million dots on the vast 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen are currently the highest resolution. In addition, a significant feature makes it simple to move the screen from its closed position, even with gloves on, even when the camera is in landscape mode.

The whole and fast access menus may be operated directly from the touchscreen. You may use it to move the AF point to a specific location. Considering how commonplace touchscreen technology is in Canon cameras of the present day, this is no surprise.

Image Quality

With a stacked CMOS Dual Pixel sensor of 24 megapixels, the Canon EOS R3 can take high-quality photos. In most cases, this resolution is more than adequate for most purposes. Moreover, it allows for an excellent signal-noise ratio, which results in high ISO performance.

Canon EOS R3 ISO

Compared to other recent “competing” mirrorless cameras — such as the Nikon above Z9 and Sony A1 — the Canon EOS R3 is a bit of an anomaly regarding pure image resolution, despite its premium pricing.

EOS R3’s sensor has a lower megapixel count than its EOS 1D X-series cousins, the Z9 and A1, which feature high-resolution sensors. The Canon 1D X Mark III has a sensor with a resolution of 20MP, which is relatively low for a full-frame camera today.

The EOS R3 has a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, a modest improvement over the EOS R2. Despite the price of a current full-frame camera, that resolution is still somewhat fair.

The R3 delivers excellent low-light capability, extraordinary speed, and performance, as well as lightweight and manageable file sizes, in exchange for giving up some fine-detail powers.

Like the 1D X III, the EOS R3 primarily targets sports and photojournalism photographers as its primary target market. The capacity to edit and send large numbers of photographs fast and a camera’s speed and dependability take precedence over the resolution of the images captured.

Canon R3’s 24-megapixel sensor produces excellent photographs at low and high ISOs. However, in wildlife photography, if you’re planning on photographing birds or other animals, the lower resolution will put you at a disadvantage when compared to cameras with more excellent solutions.

High ISO

Despite having a low resolution (and hence larger individual pixels), the R3’s big full-frame sensor is a great performer in low-light settings and can typically handle higher ISO sensitivities exceptionally well.

For JPEG photographs taken at high ISO, in-camera image processing and default “Standard” noise reduction perform an excellent job of reducing the worst of the noise while maintaining the fine details.

But looking closely, you can see the noise reduction at work, and it is clear that the NR processing is smoothing out and removing some information when comparing the JPEGs to the RAW files.

Editing and processing your RAW files preserves and maintains fine detail better than any other method. An up-close examination of high ISO raw data reveals a pleasingly smooth appearance of noise.

The EOS R3 is the camera of choice for sports photography. Speed and getting photographs out to wire agencies and photo editors is the primary goal. The R3’s ability to produce high-quality JPEG photos at high ISOs with well-controlled noise is a vital workflow element and does not disappoint.

Video capabilities

Canon EOS R3 sports, action, and wildlife photography also has several video features. For the ordinary user, there are more than enough options. It has a resolution of up to 120p in full HD and 4K. It’s possible to shoot in both raw and C-Log3 formats.

Superlative Autofocusing

The Canon EOS R3’s autofocus technology has a lot to offer. With this, you may choose a human, an animal, or a vehicle as your subject. When you select an object, the system knows to look for it in the frame, but if it isn’t there, it will immediately go to one of the other topics.

The Canon EOS R3 incorporates an eye-controlled AF mechanism like the original Canon EOS 3. However, Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology makes it feasible to use this capability far more accurately than was before possible.

More than expected, the technology operates as intended. When calibrating the device to your eye, it will recognize where you are looking in the viewfinder. The camera will focus on that spot if you press the AF button.

Canon EOS R3 settings

You won’t activate the AF system if you glance at your topic. You’re still in charge of turning on the AF. On the other hand, the eye-controlled AF will make adjusting the AF point to the desired location much more accessible.

The eye calibration has up to six memory banks. The SET button activates or deactivates the eye-controlled system in the conventional configuration.

Any prior EOS model’s ability to customize the AF system is unmatched in flexibility. Almost every button on the Canon EOS R3 can be customized, but you’ll have to wade through two additional AF settings levels if you want to attach the AF function to a button.

If you have more than one AF button, you may utilize each button to activate the AF in its unique method.

To get the AF point in the appropriate spot, there are a variety of strategies to do so. Eye-controlled autofocus (AF) is the first one. A joystick is a second option, and swiping across the touchscreen is a third.

As with the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III, the Smart Controller on the AF-ON button is an additional option on the Canon EOS R3. Using your thumb over the button to shift the AF point is possible because of the tiny infrared sensor.

Eye Control AF

The EOS R3’s “Eye Control AF” function allows you to control the AF point by simply staring at where you want it to go while using the viewfinder. When Canon was still making EOS film SLR cameras like the EOS 3, it employed a similar Eye Control AF system.

There were some glitches in the early version, but it’s apparent that times have changed and technology has advanced because Eye Control AF works so well on the EOS R3 in this example.

If you want the Eye Control AF function to be as exact as possible, you will need to perform some initial calibration by having the camera record where and how your eyes move. Detailed instructions are provided in the settings for calibrating Eye Control AF, and the system may be used for horizontal and vertical photography.

As per Canon’s recommendations, it can and should be done numerous times and in varied lighting conditions (i.e., outdoors, inside) to increase the R3 Eye Control AF accuracy.

Multiple calibration profiles for various conditions, such as when wearing contacts or spectacles, can be stored in the camera. Only a few minutes are required for the calibration procedure to be completed.

Canon EOS R3’s Speed

The Canon EOS R3’s mechanical shutter allows for 12 frames per second. However, the camera will shoot significantly quicker when using the electronic shutter. It can shoot up to 30 frames per second without any blackout in the electronic viewfinder.

Without limit, the camera may write files to the memory card at 12 frames per second. The camera can capture up to 100 frames in raw and JPEG formats, each burst at 30 frames per second.

Canon EOS R3 dual card

Switching to JPEG or 10-bit HEIF may improve the number of shots taken in one burst if you need to shoot at this pace for a lengthy period. But, as you might expect, card speed also matters, be it CF-Express Type B or UHS-II SD cards.

Canon EOS R3 key specifications:

  • Camera Sensor: full-frame 24.1MP stacked BSI Dual Pixel CMOS sensor (Canon developed)
  • Image Processor: DIGIC X Image Processor
  • ISO Range: 100-102400 (Expandable: Low ISO 50 to High ISO 204800)
  • Shooting capabilities: 30fps burst shooting with the electronic shutter; 12fps with mech. shutter
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Deep Learning-based eye- and body-detection AF, recognizable subjects with Subject-detection AF (Vehicle Subject Recognition for cars and motorcycles), Low-light AF down to -7.5EV
  • IBIS: p to 8 stops of combined IS (Optical + IBIS)
  • Video shooting capabilities: 6K 60p RAW video, 4K 120p 10-bit with Canon Log 3
  • Body Design: with integrated vertical grip & 1D X-level weather-sealing
  • Screen: New 5.76M-dot OLED EVF with “Eye Control AF” functionality, fully articulated touchscreen LCD
  • Connectivity: Built-in Wired LAN and 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Flash: supported with electronic shutter
  • Dual Memory Cards: 1 CFExpress, 1 UHS-II SD


  • The new sensor unlocks the great speed
  • 14-bit Raw imaging at up to 30fps
  • intelligent autofocus with outstanding subject identification
  • Bigger HDR viewfinder with OVF simulation
  • Dual memory cards (CFexpress and UHS-II SD memory) are supported.
  • 6K60 Raw and 4K120 video modes are available.
  • Impressive video performance


  • Large for a mirrorless camera
  • No EVF improvement from EOS R5
  • To low-res for some snappers
  • Shutter speed is still limited to 30 seconds before switching to BULB
  • Accessible functions for custom buttons are somewhat limited


When it comes to sports and wildlife photography, there’s no better camera than Canon’s EOS R3. The cutting-edge technology hidden under its vintage design includes a new stacked sensor, high-speed focusing, and shooting in 6K video.

Compared to the Sony A1 and the Nikon Z9, the EOS R3 has a lower-resolution sensor, and the A1 does top it in several areas, such as the EVF.

The EOS R3, on the other hand, is the only camera to successfully combine the best of both worlds: conventional DSLR appeal with the latest in mirrorless technology.

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