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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

My first mirrorless camera - Canon EOS R3 review

Over three years after the announcement of the Canon EOS R camera, I have decided to buy my first mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS R3.  My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer, using Canon equipment for over 30 years. You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and this blog. 

Canon invited me to a special showing of the EOS R back in October 2018 but the camera's performance was underwhelming. I have held off buying a mirrorless camera until the technology has matured enough to give me performance at least comparable to my EOS-1D X Mark III body.

I have put the R3 through extreme, vigorous tests to separate hype from facts. Went to a few local parks, Central and Baja California, Grand Tetons National Park, Alaska, Europe, sub Arctic Canada, Japan and Africa for some real world wildlife testing. So far, I am impressed but not wowed. The EVF cannot match the OVF on the EOS-1D X Mark III for speed and accuracy but it provides real time exposure of the image before I take the shot. That is a distinct advantage of the EVF over the OVF. The Electronic Shutter performs slightly better than the Mechanical Shutter on the Mark III. The AF tracking, especially in Animal Mode is impressive in most cases but the Eye AF is over hyped and unimpressive. 

The R3 and RF 100-500mm lens combo and battery life performed well in cold climate (-20F) until the temperature got down to -60+F. The LP-E19 battery drained rapidly and stopped working in about half an hour. The AF tracking in Animal Mode cannot match the EOS-1D X Mark III's AF performance. Sometimes, it was confused by small branches, flowers and leaves when I tried to zero in on Hummingbirds.

The R3 camera feels very solid and comfortable in my hands. Practically indistinguishable from the EOS-1D X body. All my cameras have the same feature settings so I don't have to fumble around to locate the functions I use most often. I am a wildlife photographer, not a videographer so there will be no testing on video features of the R3. 

Coming from decades of DSLR use, I am prepared to give the new technology some time. I am beginning to get used to the EOS R3 and gaining more confidence with the camera. I still have a few more real world wildlife photo shoots to go on in the next few months. Stay in touch and check back often. The R3 mates well with the RF 100-500mm lens. Almost all the photos here were taken with the RF 100-500mm lens. The rest were shot with the EF 600mm f/4L IS III. I will use this new camera/lens setup and compare it to the EOS-1D X Mark III with EF 100-400mm II combo. They are currently my workhorse.   

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