Canon EOS R3 Review: Is it the Ultimate Camera for Photographers?

Written by Antonio Cala.

Last updated on March 16, 2024

Table of Contents

Are you considering purchasing a new camera that can deliver high-quality images and advanced features? We’ve been researching the Canon EOS R3, and it seems like an impressive option.

This mirrorless camera boasts a back-illuminated stacked 24.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and a DIGIC X image processor with an ISO range of 100-102400, expandable to 204800. It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of up to approximately 30 fps with electronic (silent) shutter and up to 12fps with mechanical shutter, making it an excellent choice for wildlife photography.

One of the most noteworthy features is the improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF points featuring vehicle detection as well as eye, face, head, and animal detection. Additionally, the Canon EOS R3 is the first EOS digital camera to feature Eye Control AF, making it easier to focus on your subject.

Let’s dive into the details.

For a complete analysis of wildlife cameras, make sure to check out the ultimate guide to wildlife photography cameras. 

Canon EOS R3 Overview

Canon EOS R3 Review

As photographers, we are always on the lookout for the perfect camera that can capture the perfect moment. The Canon EOS R3 is a camera that can do just that and more. With a back-illuminated stacked 24.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the image quality is simply stunning. The DIGIC X Image Processor ensures that the ISO range of 100-102400 is expandable to 204800, making it perfect for low light photography.

One of the most impressive features of the EOS R3 is its high-speed continuous shooting. With electronic (silent) shutter, it can shoot up to approx. 30 fps, and up to 12fps with Mechanical Shutter. This makes it perfect for capturing fast-moving animals.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF Points featuring Vehicle Detection as well as Eye, Face, Head, and Animal Detection is a game-changer. It ensures that the focus is always on the subject, no matter how fast they are moving.

The Eye Control AF is a unique feature that allows you to control the focus simply by looking at the subject. This is a feature that is not available on any other EOS digital camera.

Overall, the Canon EOS R3 is a photographer’s dream come true. It is packed with features that make it perfect for capturing stunning images and videos. It is a must-have for anyone who is serious about photography.

Key Features

When it comes to buying a camera, it’s important to consider the key features that make it stand out from the rest. Here are some of the standout features of the Canon EOS R3 that we think you’ll love:

High Image Quality with 24.1 MP Sensor

The Canon EOS R3 comes with a back-illuminated stacked 24.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that provides high-quality images with great detail and clarity. This sensor is designed to capture more light, resulting in better image quality even in low-light conditions.

DIGIC X Image Processor & ISO Range

The EOS R3 is equipped with a DIGIC X Image Processor that provides fast and accurate image processing. With an ISO range of 100-102400 (expandable to 204800), you can capture stunning images in any lighting condition. The high ISO range also helps to reduce noise in your images, resulting in sharper and clearer photos.

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Speedy Continuous Shooting

One of the standout features of the Canon EOS R3 is its high-speed continuous shooting capability. With the electronic (silent) shutter, you can capture up to approx. 30 fps and up to 12fps with Mechanical Shutter. This makes it perfect for capturing fast-moving action, such as wildlife photography.

Advanced Autofocus with Eye Control

The EOS R3 features an improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF points that includes Vehicle Detection as well as Eye, Face, Head, and Animal Detection. This advanced autofocus system ensures that your subject is always in focus, no matter how fast they are moving. Additionally, the EOS R3 is the first EOS Digital camera to feature Eye Control AF, which allows you to select your focus point simply by looking at it.

Overall, the Canon EOS R3 is a powerful camera that offers a range of advanced features that are sure to impress. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, this camera is definitely worth considering. With its high image quality, speedy continuous shooting, and advanced autofocus system, the EOS R3 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line camera.

Pros and Cons

When it comes to the Canon EOS R3, there are some pros and cons to consider before making a purchase. Here’s what we found:

Pros

  • High Image Quality: The back-illuminated stacked 24.1 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC X Image Processor produce stunning, high-quality images with excellent detail and color accuracy.
  • Fast Continuous Shooting: The EOS R3 can shoot up to 30 frames per second with the electronic (silent) shutter and up to 12 frames per second with the mechanical shutter, making it an excellent choice for action and sports photography.
  • Improved Autofocus: The Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF points featuring vehicle, eye, face, head, and animal detection is highly accurate and reliable, ensuring sharp focus on your subject every time.
  • Eye Control AF: The EOS R3 is the first EOS digital camera to feature Eye Control AF, allowing you to select your focus point simply by looking at it through the viewfinder.
  • Panning Assist: When enabled, Panning Assist uses subject tracking and optical image stabilization to detect and correct motion blur on the panned subject during exposure, resulting in more keepers at slower shutter speeds.
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Cons

  • Expensive: The Canon EOS R3 Body is a high-end camera with a premium price tag, making it out of reach for many photographers.
  • Limited Buttons and Levers: Some users may find the lack of several buttons and levers like those found on the 1Dx to be a disadvantage, particularly if they are used to those features.

User Reviews and Testimonials

Cameras often receive negative online reviews due to technical issues, poor customer service or defective models.

The Canon EOS R3  is no exception and it receives its fair share of negative reviews. However, the great majority are from very happy customers.

Canon EOS R3 Online Reviews
Canon EOS R3 Online Reviews
Canon EOS R3 Online Reviews

Canon EOS R3 vs Competitors

The main competitors of the Canon EOS R3 are the Sony Alpha 1 and the Nikon Z9. Here’s how they all compare.

-
Sony Alpha 1
Canon R3
Nikon Z9

CAMERA

Sony Alpha 1

Canon EOS R3

Nikon Z9

SENSOR

Full Frame

Full Frame

Full Frame

PRICE

$$$

$$$

$$$

WEIGHT

1.61 lbs

1.81 lbs

2.95 lbs

MEGAPIXELS

50.1 MP

24.1 MP

45.7 MP

BURST RATE

Up to 30fps

Up to 30fps

Up to 120fps

AUTOFOCUS POINTS

759

1053

493

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

Conclusion

After thoroughly testing the Canon EOS R3, we can confidently say that it is an impressive mirrorless camera that delivers excellent performance. It is an ideal choice for professional photographers who demand speed, accuracy, and versatility. The camera’s autofocus system is lightning-fast and accurate, making it perfect for capturing fast-moving subjects. The sensor produces sharp and detailed images with minimal noise, even in low light conditions.

However, we noticed that the Canon EOS R3 lacks some of the features found in the 1Dx, such as vertical grip lock and several buttons and levers. 

Overall, if you are a professional photographer looking for a reliable and high-performing camera, the Canon EOS R3 is an excellent choice. Its fast autofocus, high-quality sensor, and versatility make it stand out in its class. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Canon EOS R3 cost?

The Canon EOS R3 is a high-end camera with a price tag to match. At the time of writing, the body-only option is listed at around $5,999 on Amazon. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this camera is aimed at professional photographers who require top-of-the-line features and performance.

What are the standout features of the Canon EOS R3?

The Canon EOS R3 is packed with features that make it stand out from the crowd. Some of the highlights include its back-illuminated stacked 24.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, DIGIC X image processor, and high-speed continuous shooting of up to 30 fps with the electronic shutter. Additionally, the camera boasts improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF points featuring vehicle detection as well as eye, face, head, and animal detection. It’s also the first EOS digital camera to feature Eye Control AF, which allows you to select your focus point simply by looking at it.

When was the Canon EOS R3 officially released?

The Canon EOS R3 was officially released on September 14, 2021. It has since been widely available for purchase, although it’s worth noting that demand for the camera is high and it may be difficult to find in stock.

Can you compare the Canon EOS R3 with the R5?

While the Canon EOS R3 and R5 share some similarities, they are different cameras aimed at different types of photographers. The R3 is a top-of-the-line professional camera with features like Eye Control AF, Registered Person Priority, and Panning Assist. The R5, on the other hand, is a more affordable option that still offers impressive performance and features like 8K video recording.

What should I expect in terms of video capabilities with the Canon EOS R3?

The Canon EOS R3 is a capable video camera, with the ability to shoot 6K RAW video at up to 60 fps, 4K video at up to 120 fps, and Full HD video at up to 240 fps. Additionally, the camera features Canon Log 3, HDR PQ, and HLG recording options, as well as a built-in headphone jack and microphone jack for audio recording.

Is the Canon EOS R3 suitable for professional photography?

Absolutely. The Canon EOS R3 is designed with professional photographers in mind and offers a wide range of features and capabilities that make it an excellent choice for those who demand the best performance from their equipment. From its high-speed continuous shooting to its advanced autofocus system, the R3 is a camera that can handle even the most demanding professional photography needs.

Other Models Reviewed

Other Camera Reviews

If you would like to read more about camera options for wildlife photography, make sure you check out our Master Guide to Wildlife Photography Cameras.

For even more specific options, you can check out our other reviews below:

 

Camera Type 

DSLR Cameras 

Mirrorless Cameras 

Compact Cameras 

Drones

 

Skill Level

Cameras for Beginners 

Intermediate-Level Cameras 

Pro Cameras

 

Budget

Cameras Under $1,000 

Cameras Under $2,000

 

Brand 

Sony Cameras 

Canon Cameras 

Nikon Cameras

 
 

Planned activitiy 

Cameras for Bird Photography

Cameras for Shooting Wildlife at Night

Travel-friendly Cameras

Cameras for Safaris

Canon EOS R3 Reviews Online

When doing your research, you might want to read what other publications have to say about the Canon EOS R3. 

Here are some of the most popular reviews from the web. 

Canon EOS R3 for wildlife photographyby pangolinphoto.com

Canon R3 for Bird and Wildlife Photographyby mirrorlesscomparison.com

About the Author

Born and raised in Southern Spain, Antonio quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight.

They visited 150+ countries, cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions. 

Today Antonio runs Adventure Fix with Amanda, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

Antonio Cala

Co-Founder of Adventure Fix

Canon EOS R3 Review
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