Canon’s new AI autofocus system will let the EOS R3 track race cars


Canon has revealed more specifications about its upcoming EOS R3, including several functions aimed squarely at professionals. The key feature is an AI autofocus system that will allow for “race car and motorbike” AF tracking. That will allow photographers who shoot motorsports to keep fast moving cars in focus when firing off bursts. Canon also said the EOS R3 will focus down to -7 EV, offering some of the lowest-light shooting capabilities we’ve seen on any mirrorless camera. 

The company didn’t yet tip the full-frame camera’s resolution, but reiterated that it will have a backside-illuminated stacked sensor and up to 30 fps RAW burst speeds. It did reveal that you’ll be able to flash sync using the electronic shutter with Canon Speedlite flashes, something that usually requires a mechanical shutter setting. It also noted that “the distortion of fast-moving subjects is virtually eliminated,” implying that it will offer fast readout speeds. 

Canon

On the video side, Canon said that the R3 will capture oversampled 4K or RAW video footage with CLog3 internally to a CFexpress card. That could mean that it won’t do 8K or other resolutions above 4K, which in turn suggests a sensor resolution below the company’s 45-megapixel EOS 5R — which makes sense for a pro sports camera. Canon added that “the same object recognition available to stills photographers is also available to videographers, so you can track moving objects around the frame.”

Other features it mentioned include SD and CFexpress card slots, the same LP-E19 battery that powers the 1DX Mark III, wired LAN and 5Ghz WiFi capability, and a vari-angle rear touchscreen — the first on any full-sized professional Canon camera. Another detail visible in the photo is a large eyecup to accommodate Canon’s eye-control AF system revealed earlier. 

We still don’t know the price, but it’s clear that this is designed for pro sports shooters who don’t mind paying $6,500 for a 1DX Mark III body and over $10,000 for a telephoto lens. Canon said it may provide more updates, but has yet to announce a launch date for the EOS R3

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