Canon EOS R3: the mirrorless R-series camera goes pro

Canon announces the development of a new R3 professional camera

Canon EOS R3
(Image credit: Canon)

Canon has today announced its development of the EOS R3, the latest and most advanced mirrorless camera in its R-series EOS range. It's possible that this sudden announcement is in response to the Nikon Z9 news last month, which also lacked final details. 

The EOS R3 will feature Canon’s first 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor alongside the DIGIC X processor, used in the flagship 1D X Mark 3, to provide high-speed shooting of up to 30 frames a second.

The R3’s autofocus will use dual pixel CMOS AF technology in addition to enhanced head and eye detection to allow high-performance subject tracking. It is also the first digital EOS camera to use eye control functionality, which allows the user to choose the focus point by looking at that area of the frame through the viewfinder. We last saw this is technology in the EOS 5 and EOS 3 film SLR cameras but it’s the first time we’ve seen it in a Canon digital camera.

The weatherproofing of the camera also comes straight from the flagship 1D X Mark 3, and the body features an integrated vertical grip for portrait shooting – a style usually limited to professional bodies.

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3 with RF24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens

(Image credit: Canon)

While details such as sensor resolution, ISO range, video modes and price still to be confirmed, there’s still much we don’t know about the R3. However, it’s clear that this is very much a professional camera, aimed at the sports and portrait market. With a mention of efforts to reduce rolling shutter, we can assume that the R3 will be capable of high-quality video – perhaps in line with the 8K video from the R5.

We suspect that there is at least one more R-series camera to come after the R3 – an R1 camera is still yet to appear, providing a true flagship for the R-series. But the R3 is likely to offer much of what the EOS 1D X mark 3 does – a fast shooting, pro-grade workhorse.

To date, Canon hasn’t released a digital EOS 3. Instead, the EOS 1D, which was more of a portrait camera, came in a 1Ds variation that was designed for fast sports photography. It could be that the EOS R3 will be the new sports photographer tool of choice. Canon has a history of bringing out new pro models in time for big sporting events and the timing of this release means it is likely that we will see models being used at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Our guess is for a July release for the EOS R3 and a price of around $5000 / £5000 / AU$8000.

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.