Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Set to Mark Some “Firsts”

April 21, 2021

By Theano Nikitas

Updated 9/17/21: While the announcement of the Canon EOS R3 has stirred up plenty of excitement through the photography community and resulted in a rush of orders for the new camera, Canon Japan announced on September 16 that there is a stock shortage of the camera.

“We have received more orders than expected… and it will take some time before delivery,” the company stated on its website. We thank you for your many orders and apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers. Thank you kindly look forward for your understanding”. 

Canon recently confirmed a rumor that it is developing a new, high-speed full-frame mirrorless pro camera, the Canon EOS R3. At the same time, Canon announced three new RF lenses: the Canon RF100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM, RF400mm f/2.8 L IS USM and RF600mm f/4 L IS USM.

Canon didn’t release a lot of details about the R3 but its development alone was enough to pique our interest. In combination with the new lenses, we imagine the EOS R3 is going to be particularly popular among sports photographers, photojournalists and wildlife photographers.

[Read: Venus Optics Lens Launch—Laowa 65mm & 11mm for Nikon Z and Canon RF Systems]

Don’t be fooled by the numerical system behind the RF series: the lower number indicates a higher end model. In fact, Canon positions the R3 between the EOS R5 ($3,900) and the company’s flagship DSLR, the EOS-1DX Mark III ($6,500). We’ll have to wait and see if that’s indicative of the R3’s price.

What we do know is that Canon has put the emphasis on performance while developing the R3. It’s built around a Canon-developed, full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with a back-illuminated design—a first for EOS cameras.

This new sensor, according to Canon, will provide “substantially” faster read-out speeds for still images. That translates to blazing continuous shooting of up to 30 frames per second. Equally important is the ability of the R3 to achieve this shooting speed with full Dual Pixel AF and auto exposure. Although 30 fps requires the use of the electronic shutter, Canon promises less rolling shutter thanks to the new sensor’s design.

[Read: Review—Canon EOS R6 for Sports Photography]

In addition to the Dual Pixel AF that Canon is known for, the EOS R3 has a few other notable AF features and improvements including a new type of subject recognition AF, which makes it easier and more efficient to match up a selection with your main subject. Another interesting and exciting development (depending on how well it works) is the EOS R3’s Eye Control AF2. Just look into the electronic viewfinder at the starting focus point of your choice and let the camera’s tracking AF take care of the rest. Not surprisingly, there are a few caveats that may thwart this technology including, but not limited to users wearing bifocal glasses, certain sunglasses or hard contacts. Still, this is pretty cool stuff.

[Read: Canon EOS R5—The Test Results Are In]

Expect a newly designed body for the EOS R3. It’s hard to tell from the press image just how big (or small) the R3 is. What we do know is that it’s a one-piece design that includes a vertical grip. Is that increase in the Canon EOS R3’s size and weight a deal-breaker for those who want to get away from DSLR-like bodies? That’s another question that will have to wait for the formal announcement—whenever that will be.

What we do know is that the Canon EOS R3 will be as weather-resistant and as rugged as the EOS-1D X Mark III, so it will be able to withstand the rigors of photographers who shoot in challenging conditions.

Head here to sign up for EOS R3 alerts and learn more about the new RF lenses.