Canon has announced the development of a new professional-focused mirrorless camera called the EOS R3, which will sit between the R5 and the 1DX series. Built for speed, it will feature the first full-frame backside-illuminated CMOS sensor developed by Canon.
When it arrives, the R3 is promised to be an “outstanding complement” to the two super-telephoto zooms also announced today for the RF mount: the RF400mm f/2.8 L IS USM and RF600mm f/4 L IS USM. Canon promises that it will “usher in a new category to the EOS R system” and that it will place great emphasis on “superb autofocus performance and speed, with fast-moving subjects.”
The camera, which features what is considered to be a professionally-oriented built in-battery grip found on Canon’s 1-series DSLRs, is being designed to meet “reliability and durability demands of professionals even when working in challenging conditions.”
The development of the Canon EOS R3 and the launch of the new RF lenses are the latest testament to the company’s commitment to professional still and video image and content creators. When the camera becomes available, it will pair well with each of the new RF lenses announced today. Canon is excited to share this news today, and we look forward to seeing the images captured with the new RF lenses and upcoming EOS R3.
-Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
As noted, the EOS R3 will feature Canon’s first-ever full-frame backside-illuminated sensor that it designed in-house and that the company promises will provide substantially faster readout speeds during still-imaging recording. Additionally, faster readout speeds mean less rolling shutter distortion when the camera is capturing images with the electronic shutter, which Canon says the R3 will be able to do at up to 30 frames per second with full-time Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus active and auto exposure.
Canon does stipulate that continuous shooting speed may decrease depending on the lens used and in different shooting conditions, however.
Speaking of autofocus, the R3 will use the autofocus technologies found in both the R5 and R6, including Canon’s body and eye-detection, but boosted to work even better during action-type shooting thanks to Deep Learning technology. In addition, Canon says that the EOS R3’s subject detection AF will offer new recognizable subjects for its AF system, which it says will bolster its focusing capabilities during challenging shooting conditions.
Canon also says that the electronic viewfinder (EVF) will feature the ability to select the initial area for AF tracking simply by looking at the viewfinder. Called Eye Control AF, it can combine with Servo AF to focus and track moving subjects at a specific location in the frame simply by measuring where your eye is looking at any given time. While the feature won’t always work with certain sunglasses, mirror sunglasses, hard contact lenses, or bifocal eyeglass lenses, the concept will allow the camera to see what you’re looking at and actively adjust autofocus to prioritize what you are seeing and work in tandem with your vision.
If that feature sounds familiar, it’s because this is not the first camera into which Canon has implemented autofocus control that tracks the photographer’s eye. Originally launched in 1998, the similarly-named Canon EOS-3 was a high-end SLR that pioneered a few innovative features including Eye Control Focus, now rebranded Eye Control AF in the R3. For fans of Canon cameras dating back to the late 90s, seeing the company reintroduce a once-loved camera line is particularly exciting.
The Canon EOS R3 will feature a brand-new, single-piece camera body with an integrated vertical grip section, weather and dust resistance equivalent to the 1-series DSLRs, and work with a new iOS and Android Mobile File Transfer application that Canon will launch along with the camera.
Canon did not make any note of the expected resolution of the new backside-illuminated sensor, the expected release date, nor the price, but says that more information on the camera will be made available when it officially launches.