Canon R3 Spec Drip Torture: What’s New

Jun 2, 2021 | Bodies, Canon, Discussion, Editorial

Canon Australia splashed a few more R3 specs into the public trough. Excluding observations gleaned from leaked back-of-camera photos from a few days ago, new items out today include: oversampled 4K video; Canon Log 3; internal RAW recording; the teased new tracking category will be vehicles; a new Sony-like hotshoe system that can convey both power and data; and a maximum of an additional half stop added onto IBIS.

Other improvements include autofocusing in slightly darker conditions; improved human head and pupil detection; and the use of strobes with electronic shutter. The camera will come with both CFexpress and SD card slots. This likely means CFexpress Type B cards (review of cards for R5 here), like those used with the R5.

Interestingly, one of the banner features of the camera – the re-introduction of controlling the focus point with your pupils – had some caveats noted in the Canon Japan announcement. It indicates that “line-of-sight input” won’t work for people wearing glasses that darken, hard contact lenses or bifocals. In a release, the footnotes included this language: “If you use eyeglasses with special coating such as sunglasses or mirror sunglasses, hard contact lenses, bifocal eyeglasses, individual differences such as eye size, eyelid thickness, eyelash length, etc., and the usage environment, the line of sight The input function may not be available.”

It appears deliberate that Canon is not mentioning the sensor resolution, but it did drop expectations-lowering hints. It indicated that the camera is made for “sports, wildlife and news photographers.” This market has been notable in eschewing high-megapixel cameras, although the wildlife subspecies has definitely split between the low-res likers and those who are reach-limited and have embraced the high-res sensors.

If Canon’s R3 stays at 24 megapixels, it will appeal to a limited market. If it gets between 30 megapixels (the old 5D Mark IV territory) and 36 megapixels, it might actually appeal to the average R5 owner currently wielding around 45 megapixels.

While longtime Canon watchers have long learned to expect hobbling, it seems less likely that Canon would position a future R1 camera as the high resolution body, inverting the traditional naming conventions.

Because Canon was roundly criticized for its R5 hype generation process – which began about a year ago – when the much-touted 8K shooting turned out to have significant time and heat limits, it might be shy about making 8K claims this time around, even if the sensor has enough resolution to film it.

After arguing internally, three contributors all came around to the likelihood that the sensor will be a disappointingly-small resolution, the clincher being the attempt to point to sports and news ‘togs as the primary market; a group with, well, odd tastes. If true, this would mean people considering the Sony A1 versus the Canon lineup would be comparing the Sony against different Canon bodies, depending on their primary uses. Reach-limited shooters, like most wildlife shooters, would likely favor the R5. Existing 1DX shooters and – particularly – wedding shooters, would likely be comparing the R3 versus the A1.

Heaven forbid Canon – especially Canon offices in countries known for masculinity-focused cultures – indicate the top-of-the-line camera isn’t focused on Marlboro Man photography. Using the R3 for ring shots and bridesmaids doesn’t quite have the same allure to people spending an extra $3,000 Australian to compensate for, um, something.

Some items released by Canon Australia were already known due to an earlier image leak. These include the presence of the smart controller and the use of the LP-E19 battery.

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