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A few days with the CANON R3 (Part II)

My First thoughts on CANON's current flagship camera!

This is a follow up of my thoughts on the CANON R3. It took me sometime to make this part II because I struggled to get my hands on the camera again. We will only talk about the video capabilities of the camera, for the photography part, you can head to part I !

I've been looking for a "hybrid" camera for years now. One that will both satisfy me in video and photography. The Canon R5 was a great camera, and was close to being the perfect camera for me. But after a while, I ended up using it less, switched to Fujifilm for my photography, and for video I only used it when I didn't have the choice.

I am looking for a camera that has great video features, but that also has the speed that I miss in my Fujifilm GFX100s for photography. 8k is a bit too much, espescially in RAW. Although the resolution is great for a lot of applications, these files just eat too much space. These are the specs I was interested in:

  • 6K DCI (17:9) in 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps RAW 12bit

  • 4K DCI (17:9) in 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps intra or inter frame / light inter frame 4:2:2 10bit

  • 4K UHD (16:9) in 119.9, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98 fps intra or inter frame

  • 4:2:2 10bit

  • Movie Servo AF: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Eye/Face Detection and Tracking AF (people, animals and vehicles)

The only thing missing after a quick dive in the menus is Canon Log 2! The R5 is not known for its dynamic range, but, if you know what you are doing, you can great images from it. I met Eva Maureille downtown to film a few improvised clips, here is the 1st one Made entirely with the Canon R3:

You have to keep in mind that this is a photography camera first, some compromises will have to be made. You don't have all the professional audio connections, no SDI out and you will have to deal with the fragile micro HDMI out port.

For more demanding video work, this camera may not be the best choice. Like many other mirrorless cameras, you will have to rig it up to make it useable in a more professional environment. I really enjoy the fact that you get 6K raw internally though, and a really efficient autofocus system in video. For quick solo gimbal work, the Canon R3 performs really well.

6K is just perfect for me! I said it earlier, the R5 and its 8k RAW is too much. I need a resolution that goes beyond 4K, because I sometimes film at weird angles and heights. So I need a light camera that has great autofocus and that will deliver an image I will be able to crop heavily if needed and that I can match with any "A" camera I am using. The Canon R3 is a great time saver when you don't have a 1st AC and need to use a light setup on a gimbal.

All the clips with Eva were shot on the Canon R3 paired with the DJI RS2.

If you are a hybrid shooter, if you are specialized in sports photography, or shooting fast-moving subjects, and sometimes need a camera that delivers great images in video… Then the Canon R3 might be it.

Here is a short dance film made with both the Canon R3 (my main camera) and the Canon R5. We shot in 6K and 8K RAW light. I only used a few clips from the R5 at the beginning, the rest was entirely filmed with the R3.

The lenses we used that day were the RF 15-35mm f2.8 and the RF24-70mm f2.8 lenses, and I can confirm they are great for video. Lens breathing is noticeable in some shots, but I knew this from the start as they are photography lenses.

Strangely, I am definitely turning the page with Canon cameras. My partner is currently getting rid of the R5, and I am only considering renting the R3 for specific tasks and jobs in the future as it blends well with certain cameras like the MAVO edge cinema line. I do not blame the CANON R3 for anything, it’s a great camera, and I wish the accuracy and speed of the autofocus in both photography videos would slowly make their way into my Fujifilm gear. But I had to make a decision, and there are other elements that motivated this decision… and you know what, for the hundredth time and without surprise, it is a decision that is linked to the nature of our upcoming projects.

Don’t take it personally Canon users, this is not the end. I will probably have Canon gear in my hands again in the future. Are you a Hybrid shooter? If yes, what camera are you using that satisfies you in photography and videography? Let us know.


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