Whether or not the 24 megapixels resolution sits well with you, the R3 appears to be readying for release, with an LP-E19 battery-powered Canon camera popping up on Taiwan’s registry for electronics that communicate wirelessly. The R3 is powered by the LP-E19, and is just finishing up its obligatory pre-release tease at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Registrations typically precede actual releases by just a few weeks. Canon R3 registrations have not yet popped up in Russia or Indonesia, places where cameras are often seen relatively early.
Canon’s USA PR department promoted just one item in six weeks’ time (yesterday’s announcement of new Explorers of Light, which may wind up also being R3-release related), which is an unprecedented period of silence for the normally release-happy crowd. We assume they haven’t all been kidnapped, but are instead spying on Olympics sports ‘togs who might otherwise mistakenly release a picture that containing EXIF data revealing non-optimal camera specs.
Perhaps, more likely, they’re doing two things:
1) They’re going through product training on the R3, which includes some completely new technologies about which press and influencers are going to have lots of questions; and
2) They’re busy managing influencer relationships, something harder to do during a pandemic. In the past, Canon could flatter them by flying the lot of them to a Pacific island. Rather than playing zone with the group, Canon is going to have to play man-to-man, making sure strange opinions aren’t developed due to a misunderstanding of how the pupil-directed autofocus point selection works. For Canon, aside from its first digital camera releases, this is perhaps product most likely to be misunderstood, mis-reviewed and most influenced by high-touch personal communication with press.
The camera promises to bring some very respectable features and specs. In addition to coming in a gripped size compatible with hands of humans who don’t happen to be Anglo-Saxon males, the beast does the following:
– Shoots 30 frames per second
– Features a back-illuminated stacked sensor that will imply little rolling shutter and probably better dynamic range
– Allows the shooter to avoid thinking about the four variables needed to select the focus point at the current moment, and rely instead simply on the camera watching where the shooter is looking
– Shoots 4k HQ internally without overheating
Questions to which we do not yet know the answers:
– Is it really just 24 megapixels? No, Really?
– Will the 30 minute recording limit be lifted? This last question may be more optimistically considered if indeed the camera’s design purpose was to suit wedding photographers.
– To whom is this going to sell? Sure, action photographers will like it, but they’re not by themselves a sizable market. Wedding ‘togs will likely take to it, as it appears the weakest links in the specs don’t affect them much. Female pros who previously considered the 1D series may well like this quite a lot more. Humans are dimorphic: they come in two very different size/shape patterns determined by gender. But Canon designed the 1D series two decades ago in a way that in good part excluded half of them, and the R3 could well fix that problem. This is a sensitive area of marketing and public relations, as presumptions about gender and preferences are fraught. The PR department might be in for a ride with the fact that Canon Japan controls product development without a great deal of input from other regions while maintaining a gender culture that could be considered out of step with many of them.