Technology

Canon’s $5,999 EOS R3 focuses by tracking your eye


Canon confirmed plans for its highest-end mirrorless camera yet back in April, but that was just a notice of development — now the company is ready to announce its specs in full. As expected, the EOS R3 will sit right at the top of the company’s still fairly new EOS R range of full-frame mirrorless cameras, above last year’s R5 and R6.

The 24-megapixel stacked BSI sensor is lower resolution than the 45-megapixel R5’s, but the R3 is all about high speed, fast AF performance, and low light capability. Canon says it can shoot at up to 30fps with the electronic shutter and 12fps with the mechanical shutter, and the maximum native ISO is 102,400. As for video, the R3 can shoot 6K at 60fps and uncropped 10-bit 4K at 120fps in the Canon Log 3 profile.

The R3 makes use of deep learning technology to improve eye and body detection and autofocus, according to Canon, and photographers can select an initial AF point with eye tracking just by looking at an area of the 5.76-million-dot electronic viewfinder. The R3 has 1,053 AF points in total, though Canon isn’t saying quite how granular the eye-input system gets.

YouTube’s CVP channel provides a good demonstration of the new eye controlled AF point selection, noting that it uses low-powered IR LEDs inside the viewfinder to scan where the eyes are looking. It calls the tech “hit and miss” for different users, that makes focusing “pretty simple” when it does work.

As previously revealed, the R3 looks quite similar to the EOS-1D X Mark III, which essentially occupies the same place in Canon’s DSLR lineup. It uses a one-piece magnesium alloy design with a built-in vertical grip, and Canon says it has equivalent weather and dust resistance to the EOS-1D DSLRs. The body has wired LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C built-in, as well as one CFexpress card slot and one UHS-II SD card slot. There’s also a vari-angle 3.2-inch LCD screen.

The EOS R3 will be available in November for $5,999,99. Canon is also introducing two new relatively affordable lenses for the EOS R system: a $299.99 16mm f/2.8 compact ultrawide prime and a $649.99 100-400mm f/5.6-8 telephoto zoom. Both of those will go on sale at some point next month.

Update September 14th, 6:20AM ET: Added video demonstration of eye controlled AF point selection.



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