We did a session with the Canon R3 in San Francisco

We did a session with the Canon R3 in San Francisco 2

If you’re standing in front of the choice of the perfect camera body for wedding photography and considering the R6, R6II, R3, and you’re not sure what to choose, be sure to read this article.

We took the Canon R3 on a dream trip to California and did a session in San Francisco. 

The journey to the USA and driving through California has always been one of our biggest travel dreams! We had this feeling that this world shaped us a bit, growing up with movies and TV shows from the 90s. Our goal was to see what it’s really like!

We couldn’t imagine a dream trip without a camera that’s a leader among Canon cameras!

We chose the most advanced EOS R3. We’ve already worked with Canon Poland on many projects, but this one was supposed to be the biggest and most exciting so far. The task was to review the R3 camera in terms of photographic and cinematic capabilities.

If you want to see a cinematic review where San Francisco and the lovely couple Christine & Jarred are the main characters, be sure to check out our friend Michał’s channel; we’ve prepared a joint review under this link.

From a photographic point of view, we decided to make a certain comparison.

We looked at the Canon R3 from a different perspective, comparing it with our absolute favorite workhorse, the Canon R6.

This won’t be an easy comparison because we must immediately note that the R3 is a better construction than the R6 in every aspect, but as it often happens in life, the “best choice” isn’t always the best. 🙂

In this comparison, we’ll also refer to the latest Canon camera, the R6 II, which is in some ways very similar to its predecessor, and in some aspects, much better. If you’re interested in our opinion about the latest R6, be sure to check it out here -> Canon R6 vs R6 mark II.

If you’re facing the choice of the ideal camera body for wedding photography and considering the R6, R6II, R3, and you’re not sure what to choose, be sure to read this article.

We remind you that this will be a very subjective opinion; we won’t rely on the exact parameters of the mentioned cameras, but more on the joy of work and effectiveness in achieving our goals.

Ergonomics – what surprised us the most about the R3 is its weight and convenience. It was with us not only in San Francisco but throughout the 4-week trip. Although the camera looks big and heavy, it really isn’t. When you hold it for the first time, it makes a very positive impression and maintains it throughout the work. The buttons are large, comfortable, the displays have high resolution, and are therefore easy to read. People with large hands will definitely appreciate how comfortable it is to work with this equipment, not to mention the convenience in vertical framing. Similar functionality can be implemented for the R6 by adding a grip, but from what we observe, photographers rarely choose this for shooting.

AF and Burst Mode – we love motion in photos, it’s attractive when our couples run, walk, jump, relax, because then we get shots that look natural and free. In San Francisco, we envisioned such shots on the beach by the Pacific Ocean with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

When shooting the R3 in burst mode, we’re essentially creating a 30 frames per second film. Absolutely no moment escapes us, thanks to reliable and precise AF. In our opinion, this is the perfect camera for a sports photographer, and of course, if someone loves working in series, it will also be an ideal companion for wedding reportage.

AF modes, stability, precision are absolutely the best in the entire R system; it’s hard to find a worthy opponent for this camera, as it is unbeatable in our opinion. The Canon R6 also presents a high level and is, in our view, entirely sufficient for all the tasks facing wedding photographers. It’s worth noting that the latest R6 mark II has been improved in this regard compared to its predecessor. The speed of the electronic shutter has been increased two-fold from 20 fps to 40 fps, and the AF system has also been slightly improved. Of course, the R3 still outperforms the latest R6 mark II.

For simplification, it can be presented as follows: R6 < R6II < R3

Eye AF Control – this feature generated lively discussions among photographers before the R3’s premiere. We were curious how it works in practice. We had some trouble calibrating this feature to our eyes. Eventually, we succeeded, and it was quite impressive. The system works like this: where you’re looking, a circle appears, and you can focus on it. Personally, we couldn’t get used to this feature, but we imagine that some photographers might use this functionality in an amazing way. We recommend that everyone tries this feature for a moment and sees how far technology has come.

Color and Sensor – Canon cameras have been known for years for their excellent color reproduction. Straight out of the box, we get natural color that doesn’t require much work; everything looks as the eye sees it. We always pay great attention to the reproduction of skin tones, which is crucial during post-production, and if we have a good starting color, it significantly shortens the time we spend editing photos. Here, all cameras (R3, R6, R6II) perform exceptionally well, and it’s difficult to choose a winner in this aspect.

They are certainly distinguished by the size of the sensor, but not significantly. The R6 has a 20MP sensor, while the R3 and R6 mark II have 24MP.

The size of the sensor doesn’t play such a big role for us because our frames are already captured in our cameras, and we rarely crop them in later stages of work. However, for people who like to crop sections of photos, the 45MP sensor of the R5 will certainly be appealing.

It’s also worth noting the high sensor speed in the Canon R3, where we won’t experience the “rolling shutter” effect.

Display and Viewfinder – here, the situation is very similar to previous comparisons. The R3 has the highest resolution in both the display and the viewfinder. Working with this large viewfinder is a great pleasure; the image is vivid, refreshes instantly, and we quickly forget that we’re looking at an image displayed through the viewfinder.

We’ll suggest what to choose for wedding photography when:

I have a limited budget:

In this situation, it’s definitely worth buying the Canon R6; you need to hurry because within a few months, you’ll only find the new R6 mark II in stores. With the price of an R3, you can buy two R6 cameras, and for every professional wedding photographer, having two cameras during a reportage is a true must-have!

I want the best camera:

If budget isn’t a concern, then the only right choice will be the Canon R3. It’s the best camera Canon has produced in every aspect, and it will likely remain so for a long time. Rumors say that a new Canon R1 will appear, but it’s hard for us to imagine what features it will have, given how high the bar has been set by the R3.

I also shoot sports:

If sports photography is another field you specialize in, the best choice will indeed be the R3; its AF and burst mode will excel in the most challenging sports challenges.

I also make videos:

Here, the answer won’t be as straightforward; it’s certainly worth excluding the R6. The choice should be made between the R3, which offers many possibilities in the field of filmmaking, and the latest R6 mark II. It’s worth reading reviews from filmmakers on this topic and following their comparisons of the R3 and R6II.

In summary:

  • The R3 is currently the best camera available in the Canon system.
  • The R6 is the optimal choice for wedding photography.
  • The R6, R6II, and R3 have very similar sensor sizes and color reproduction.
  • The R3 and R6 mark II are the best choice if you take photos and shoot videos.
  • The R6 mark II is a camera that has received many small improvements, and these are what make it the next camera we’ll buy – and for the review of it, we invite you here.

R6 < R6II < R3 🙂

And now, we invite you to a session in San Francisco!”

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