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Pre-Production R3 Preview Test

Rising Star

My pre-production EOS R3 arrived yesterday and I immediately snapped on a RF 600mm f/4L  IS USM lens for a supermodel portrait session.  With our model posed about 38 ft away across the street, head and shoulder framing was perfect. The R3 is able to maintain tight eye focus tracking at 54 fps and the new LP-E8NH SHP battery will power the camera at maximum frame rates for at least 1750 shots.  This number may be less if you use the accessory socket to power your tablet, cell phone, hand-warmers or to jump-start your car.  The sub-silent, noise-cancelling shutter reduced ambient noise by 6dB every time it fired. 


The 135.7 MP stacked and inverted cesium fluoride/titanium CMOS sensor worked well throughout its 2.5 to 4,194,304 ISO range with a 22 stop dynamic range.  Auto-focus did slow down a little at exposures of -13 EV and images were essentially noise-free down to -11 EV.  All images are encoded to the new CR4.51.2a RAW format, and Canon promises that software applications to allow images to actually be viewed and edited will be released sometime before or after November, 2027 (until then we’re asked to “just save the RAW files”).


Eye controlled focus was easy to learn to use, worked fine wearing glasses, but did take a lot of concentration to control the focus position with some subjects. Unfortunately, blinking confuses the camera’s artificial intelligence logic so the camera locks-up requiring a 90 second delay, and a battery-removal reset.


Although I’m not primarily a videographer, I did test the R3 at 16K HD 180 FPS and found the HD slo-mo quality impressive, and the video almost good enough for Tic-Tok clips.


Mechanically, the metallic super-cooled lithium body and new oxygenated magnesium lens mount flange were amazingly light weight with the camera weighing in at only 445 grams or about 2/3rds that of a R5.


The $1595 USD price which includes a Kobe-fed cow-leather case and carbon-fiber tripod with super conducting magnetically-suspended fluid head was a welcome reversal of recent Canon pricing.  However, the newly announced pricing of batteries at $2599 each and the special, R3 specific “smart” interface cable with unique, Canon patented optical connector  (required to export all images) at $4495 did seem a little steep.  Incidentally, Canon has announced that all microchip equipped lens shades will now be priced at $499 each, or can be leased for $179 each per year (first year only).


And then I woke up.

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