One Lucky US Photographer Has a Canon R3 (But He’s Not Talking)

Photo of Canon R3 with Jeff Cable

The Canon EOS R3 is one of the most anticipated cameras of the year but aside from a few select details, not much is known about this forthcoming, full-frame mirrorless model. At least one lucky professional photographer, however, has been testing a pre-production version of the R3 and wrote a brief blog post about it, calling the camera “distinctly Canon.”

“After much silence I am now allowed to tell you that I DO have a pre-production of the Canon R3 camera in my hands and I am hoping to use an R3 (along with the R5 and R6) in Tokyo later this month,” wrote Jeff Cable, a California-based photographer for the US Olympic team, in his blog post

“There are all kinds of new features (that have yet to be disclosed to the public), but the camera is distinctly Canon, which makes it easy to pick up and start shooting with. It is like upgrading from a familiar car to a new model with all the buttons and dials where we expect them, but with more horse power and better handling.”

(UPDATE: You can see a photo Cable captured with the Canon R3 at the Tokyo Olympics here.)

We reached out to Cable, who we interviewed for a DPP story in April about the best photo gear for event photography, to learn more about his experiences with the R3 but he declined to comment beyond what he had written in the post.

“That is about all I can say at this time,” Cable wrote in his post. “Sorry for being such a tease!”

While he would not confirm he would be shooting the Tokyo Olympics with the R3, it’s safe to say the camera, which can fire off up to 30 frames per second in Raw mode, is well suited for capturing sports. Other previously announced Canon R3 features that could come in handy include Eye Control AF (autofocus), which lets you set the focus point in the viewfinder just by looking at it.  

The Canon EOS R3 also features an upgraded AF system employing Deep Learning that has improved tracking capabilities along with better face-, eye-, head- and body-detection. The R3’s AF system will also be able to recognize, lock in on and track fast moving vehicles including cars and motorcycles.

While motorsports aren’t part of the Summer Olympics, this AF feature could be used to photograph BMX Freestyle and skateboarding, two events that are new to the Tokyo Olympics. Just announced restrictions, however, which prevent fan attendance at the Tokyo Games, means that few people will be able to see these events in person, making photographic coverage of the Olympics even more critical.

Whether that comes from photographers like Cable using Canon R3s remains to be seen. Canon has not announced resolution for the R3 nor pricing or availability. You can see what else we do know about the R3, so far, in our previous stories here and here.

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