Gear Tech

Canon’s R3 will be a must-have camera for motorsport photographers

Action shooters rejoice as (almost) every important spec of flagship new mirrorless camera is announced…

We knew that the EOS R3 – Canon’s incoming flagship mirrorless model – was going to be more for action photography, but the brand has gone a step further by announcing and confirming a vast amount of key specifications that will have motorsport photographers in particular counting down the days until its official launch.

Some specs had already been confirmed, but now we know the EOS R3, which carries a square format body design to incorporate an integrated battery grip, will carry a very cool focusing feature. In fact, Canon says the EOS R3 will include; ‘Auto Focus (AF) tracking for motorsports including racing cars and motorbikes.’

Think of this feature as Face Detection for cars and bikes whizzing around the track and you can see why professional motorsport photographers will be desperate to get their hands on the camera. What’s more, this special AF tracking feature will combine with the EOS R3’s lightning fast burst rate of 30 frames per second meaning photographers should be able to capture split second moments.

The motorsport tracking wasn’t the only focusing specification that’s been confirmed, as Canon also lifted the lid on how the AF will perform in extremely low light conditions – in fact the EOS R3 will be able to lock onto subjects down to; ‘-7EV or lower’, making it also suitable for wildlife photographers who want to capture imagery after dusk.

What’s more, Canon also confirmed there will be Eye Control AF point selection and that at the heart of the full-frame mirrorless camera there’ll be a new Canon-developed back illuminated stacked CMOS sensor – although there was no mention of resolution.

It’s clear Canon are targeting working professionals or those who take their action photography very seriously and this is backed up by the weather-proofing of the camera with Canon confirming the EOS R3 will pack the same dust and water resistance as the legendary EOS-1D series.

Not all the new specifications confirmed by Canon were to do with still photography and videographers will be pleased to hear that the EOS R3 will; ‘record oversampled 4K, or users can record RAW footage internally. Canon Log 3 is also available to provide professionals with greater dynamic range and colour grading possibilities. Crucially, the same object recognition available to stills photographers is also available to videographers, so filmmakers can track fast-moving objects around the frame, keeping them in sharp focus.’

Other features confirmed by Canon include the use of a  high-capacity LP-E19 battery – the same as the one found in Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark III cameras and the presence of dual card slots, which will allow image files to be written to SD or CFexpress memory cards. All we need to find out now from Canon is the price and launch date.