Eye-Control AF, 30 FPS, a BSI Sensor, and More

Canon has introduced the EOS R3, a full-frame, mirrorless “high-performance professional camera,” designed for sports and action photographers.

As Canon explains, “The camera will put great emphasis on superb AF performance and speed,” and will lie “squarely between the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras.”

In other words, while the EOS R3 will be Canon’s most powerful mirrorless model to date, don’t expect it to outcompete the EOS 1D X Mark III in every way. The EOS R3 won’t be a mirrorless 1D X replacement, and it likely isn’t a high-resolution action camera, either.

That said, the EOS R3 sounds pretty darn impressive. Here’s everything we know about this upcoming mirrorless powerhouse:

Canon EOS R3 specs

The EOS R3 will feature Canon’s own back-illuminated sensor. BSI technology packs key circuitry behind the sensor – rather than in front – to further expose photodiodes to light. This makes for enhanced high-ISO performance, and it also delivers superior dynamic range, a feature appreciated by photographers of all stripes.

The EOS R3 boasts a whopping 30 frames-per-second continuous shooting speed (using the electronic shutter, that is; Canon hasn’t released any information on continuous shooting via the mechanical shutter). And while many action photographers have resisted mirrorless technology, in part due to slow electronic shutter read-out speeds, Canon has made significant strides toward eliminating the problem; the company claims the R3 “provid[es] substantially faster read-out speeds during still-imaging recording,” and that the camera “is designed to produce less ‘rolling shutter’ distortion during electronic shutter operation.”

As for the AF system itself, brace yourself. The EOS R3 packs technology from the Canon EOS R5 and R6, both of which deliver lightning-fast AF performance. And the EOS R3 offers “even better performance during portrait and action-type shooting” thanks to Canon’s Deep Learning technology. If you’re a sports photographer, wildlife photographer, or photojournalist, the EOS R3 may soon be the camera to beat – even if Canon officially ranks it below the 1D X Mark III.

Build quality is on par with the 1D X Mark III series, and like the 1D X cameras, the EOS R3’s design sports an integrated vertical grip:

Canon EOS R3

Last but certainly not least, the Canon EOS R3 will debut a never-before-seen mirrorless feature: Eye-Control AF, which promises to set focus based on where your eye is looking.

Canon writes:

The electronic viewfinder of the EOS R3 will offer photographers the ability to select the initial area for AF tracking by simply looking directly at the viewfinder location where they want to begin AF. With Eye-Control AF and Servo AF activated, the camera will focus on and track moving subjects at that location in the frame.

Of course, we don’t yet know how well Eye-Control AF will work. Canon has implemented a similar feature in the past, with mixed results. But given Canon’s recent autofocus successes, I’m cautiously optimistic that Canon can offer a pro-level Eye-Control AF this time around.

Canon EOS R3 release date and price

The EOS R3 is still under development and has no official release date. The R3’s sports-focused marketing does hint at a pre-Olympics (i.e., June or early July) introduction, however.

The EOS R3’s price is also a mystery, though the camera’s position between the $3900 USD EOS R5 and the $6500 USD 1D X Mark III suggests a $4500 to $5500 price tag.

Final words

While we’re still missing plenty of information on the EOS R3, new tidbits will likely leak in the coming weeks and months.

So make sure to keep an eye out for the latest R3 news.

Now over to you:

What do you think of the Canon EOS R3? Are you impressed? Excited? Disappointed? How much do you think the camera will cost? Share your thoughts in the comments below!



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