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Products >> All Products The Reign Continues with EOS R3- Part

EOS R3 vs EOS R5: Which One Should I Choose?

2021-12-10
8
2.84 k
In this article:

With the release of the EOS R3, users have an even wider range of EOS R system cameras to choose from. Some features such as camera shake correction through the In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS) and advanced subject detection capabilities based in deep learning technology are shared by all second-generation EOS R system camera, but each camera model has its own character—and that’s how we end up torn between which camera to buy! In this article, we explore the differences between the EOS R3 and the EOS R5, updated with the latest firmware version 1.5.0.

1. Size and weight: What the numbers don’t say
2. Still image quality and imaging possibilities
3. High ISO speed performance
4. Mechanical shutter
5. Electronic shutter performance
6. AF performance
7. Image stabilisation
8. Video capabilities
In conclusion: Faster speed or higher resolution?

 

1. Size and weight: Consider what the numbers don’t say

At first sight, the EOS R5 is visibly smaller than the EOS R3. It is also lighter:


EOS R3:
- Dimensions: approx. 150.0×142.6×97.2mm (W×H×D)
- Weight: approx. 1015g (including battery and memory cards)


EOS R5:
- Dimensions: approx. 138.5×97.5×88.0mm (W×H×D)
- Weight: approx. 738g (including battery and memory cards)


Note #1: Vertical grip

However, one thing that is not immediately obvious from these numbers is that the EOS R3 comes with a built-in vertical grip. The EOS R5 also has an optional battery grip accessory, the Battery Grip BG-R10 (sold separately).

Let’s look at how the EOS R3 and EOS R5 compare when the Battery Grip BG-R10 is attached to the EOS R5.

 

The two cameras now don’t differ that much in terms of size and weight. In fact, the EOS R3 is now over 100g lighter!


Note #2: Battery duration

While the EOS R3 unexpectedly “wins” in terms of weight when we factor in the grips, you also want to consider the battery capacity. The EOS R3’s LP-E19 battery pack has a capacity of 2700mAh, whereas that of the EOS R5’s LP-E6NH is 2130mAh. However, Battery Grip BG-R10 takes two batteries, providing the EOS R5 with a total of 4260mAh when attached.


How about the balance between grip and the camera body?

In terms of balance, there isn’t that much difference. While the vertical grip is designed as part of the EOS R3 and therefore naturally build to provide the best balance with it, the Battery Grip BG-R10 also provides rather good balance with the EOS R5 even though it is an additional accessory.

 

2. Still image quality and imaging possibilities


Megapixel resolution

In terms of pixel count resolution, the EOS R5 has almost twice the number of megapixels of the EOS R3. The optimum resolution on many social media platforms is around 2000 pixels on the long end, which means that the 45 megapixels (8192×5464) on the EOS R5 allows you to crop the image by as much as 75% without visible deterioration when posted on social media. And if you intend to print your images, 45 megapixels is more than sufficient for achieving A2 format prints at 350 dpi, not to mention large format commercial prints.

On the other hand, the average user hardly prints larger than A3. The 24.1 megapixels (6000×4000) on the EOS R3 is sufficient for A3 printing. So unless you intend to crop your images very heavily, or need the extra flexibility to crop, the EOS R3’s pixel resolution should be enough.


Imaging features: Differences in HDR and DPRAW

The EOS R3 and EOS R5 share many of the same functions that aid creative imaging: Multiple exposures, interval timer, focus bracketing, and so on. However, they do have to major differences in their HDR shooting and DPRAW features.


HDR shooting mode

Both the EOS R3 and the EOS R5 have a HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, which takes three consecutive exposure bracketed shots and automatically merges them in-camera to produce one image with a wider dynamic range. Both also support recording in HDR PQ HEIF format, which supports a wider dynamic range in a file format that doesn’t need to be post-processed see the effects.

However, the EOS R3 is able to take all three bracketed shots within a shorter time frame: as fast as 0.02 seconds in electronic shutter mode. This reduces the chances that the composition will shift due to hand movement or camera shake during handheld shooting.

On the EOS R3, you can also choose to shoot the exposure bracketed shots in HDR PQ format, which further extends the dynamic range of the final image. The EOS R5 only supports bracketing with JPEG and RAW files.


DPRAW

On the other hand, the EOS R3 does not support Dual Pixel RAW (DPRAW) shooting, which retains extra parallax information from the dual photodiodes of the Dual Pixel CMOS image sensor. This information enables additional pixel level adjustments in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software, such as Image Microadjustment, Bokeh Shift, and Ghosting Reduction. It also supports post-processing functions on the EOS R5, such as Portrait Relighting, where you can change the lighting direction and intensity in portraits after you have shot them, and Background Clarity, which lets you adjust the clarity of the background.

 

3. High ISO speed performance

EOS R3
EOS R5
Native ISO 102,400
Expanded ISO 204,800
Low light AF limit: EV -7.5
Native ISO 51,200
Expanded ISO 102,400
Low light AF limit: EV -6

The EOS R3 has about 1 exposure stops’ stronger high ISO speed performance. This is due to mainly two factors:
1. The EOS R3 has fewer pixels than the EOS R5, which means that the pixels (light receptors) are bigger.
2. The newly developed back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensor improves light gathering capabilities.


The autofocus (AF) also works in darker conditions on the EOS R3, which has as lower low light AF limit of EV -7.5.

 

Shot on the EOS R3 at ISO 6400

“But ISO 102,400 is rather extreme, and I don’t see myself shooting in such conditions, so does it matter?” you may wonder. The answer is, it does. A native ISO speed that goes one stop higher suggests that the image quality at middle ISO speeds such as ISO 6400 will be better by around one stop’s equivalent. This frees you up to use faster shutter speeds or narrower aperture settings in low light without concern about graininess, expanding creative possibilities.

 

4. Mechanical shutter

On both the EOS R3 and the EOS R5, the maximum continuous shooting speed possible with the mechanical shutter is the same: 12 fps. The mechanical shutter units on both camera models also have equivalent durability: both have passed a shutter durability test for up to 500,000 cycles.

 

5. Electronic shutter performance

The electronic shutter on the EOS R3 is capable of continuous shooting at up to 30 fps—around 1.5 times faster than the maximum 20 fps on the EOS R5. This isn’t just because of the faster sensor readout made possible by the smaller pixel count: The new back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensor itself is also capable of reading signals faster.

The faster sensor readout on the EOS R3 also significantly reduces rolling shutter distortion, increasing the usability of images shot with high-speed burst on the electronic shutter. In addition, it also makes a shutter speed of as fast as 1/64,000 second possible, expanding the range of fleeting moments that you can capture.

Also thanks to the faster sensor readout, the EOS R3 supports flash photography in electronic shutter mode, which wasn’t possible on the EOS R5. Freezing fast action with finer control over the light, or firing a flash without distracting shutter sounds that affect audio recordings—if that’s what you need, the EOS R3 can provide.


A moment from a golf bunker shot, captured at 1/64,000 second on the EOS R3. The extremely fast shutter speed has frozen the particles of sand flying up from the ground.

Also see:
Shutter Modes & Continuous Shooting Modes: When to Use Which?

 

6. AF performance

Both the EOS R3 and the EOS R5 feature the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system. They are also equipped with the EOS iTR AF X system, which draws from deep learning technology to perform advanced subject recognition and tracking. Both have dense AF position coverage and the number of AF positions don’t differ by much. The AF area is also the same: approximately 100% of the image in fully automatic subject detection mode, and approximately 100% × 90% of the image during manual selection.


Comparison of basic AF specifications

EOS R3
EOS R5
1053 AF frame zones
4779 AF positions
1053 AF frame zones
5940 AF positions


Improvements with EOS R5 firmware version 1.5.0

Updating the EOS R5 to firmware version 1.5.0 improves the camera’s subject detection capabilities, which elevate the camera’s responsiveness for a greater variety of sports. The improvements include:
- Vehicle Detection AF, which detects cars and motorcycles
- Enhanced head detection for winter sports: Identifies even for skiers and snowboarders wearing gear such as helmets and goggles
- More precise subject detection and tracking for complex movements such as those in gymnastics, through the use of detection of body parts during moments where the subject’s face and head cannot be detected.


The firmware update also improves Eye Detection AF precision, so that focus remains on the subject’s face even if much of it is covered by a mask or hair. Altogether, these improvements endow the EOS R5 with subject detection capabilities on par with the EOS R3.


Comparison of subject detection capabilities

Subject
EOS R3
EOS R5 (with Firmware Ver. 1.5.0)
People
Eyes/ Face/ Head/ Body
Eyes/ Face/ Head/ Body
Dogs, cats, birds
Eyes/ Face/ Body
Eyes/ Face/ Body
Vehicles
(Cars, motorcycles)
Vehicle body/Helmet
Vehicle body/Helmet


Eye Control AF

While the firmware update to the EOS R5 brings its AF performance closer to those of the EOS R3, the EOS R3 holds one advantage in AF operability: Eye Control AF. Eye Control AF uses sensors in the viewfinder to read the photographer’s line of sight, so that the AF point can be moved accordingly.

The combination of advanced, deep learning-based subject detection and Eye Control AF makes the EOS R3 “smarter” than the EOS R5—a point to consider if you prefer to leave the focusing to the camera.

 

7. Image stabilisation

EOS R3
EOS R5
- In-Body IS: Up to 8 stops
- Coordinated Control IS
(when combined with Optical IS)
- In-Body IS: Up to 8 stops
- Coordinated Control IS
(when combined with Optical IS)

Both the EOS R3 and the EOS R5 are equipped with the 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS), so they don’t differ much in terms of image stabilisation capabilities. When a lens with a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer (Optical IS) is attached, both cameras support Coordinated Control IS, where In-Body IS and Optical IS coordinate to achieve up to 8 stops’ image stabilisation effect. Both cameras are also capable of achieving up to 8 stops’ image stabilisation through In-Body IS alone with certain RF lenses without Optical IS.

Lens
Tested focal length
Optical IS (max)
Coordination Control IS (max)
RF35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM
35mm
5.0 stops
7.0 stops
RF85mm f/2 Macro IS STM
85mm
5.0 stops
8.0 stops
RF100mm f/2.8L Macro USM
100mm
5.0 stops
8.0 stops
RF14-35mm f/4L IS USM
35mm
5.5 stops
7.0 stops
RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM
35mm
5.0 stops
7.0 stops
RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM
70mm
5.0 stops
8.0 stops
RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
105mm
5.0 stops
8.0 stops
RF24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM
105mm
5.0 stops
8.0 stops
RF24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM
240mm
5.0 stops
6.5 stops
RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
200mm
5.0 stops
7.5 stops
RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM
200mm
5.0 stops
7.5 stops
RF100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM
400mm
5.5 stops
6.0 stops
RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM
500mm
5.0 stops
6.0 stops
RF50mm f/1.8 STM
50mm
No Optical IS
7.0 stops
RF50mm f/1.2L USM
50mm
No Optical IS
7.0 stops
RF28-70mm f/2L USM
70mm
No Optical IS
8.0 stops
RF85mm f/1.2L USM
85mm
No Optical IS
8.0 stops
RF85mm f/1.2L USM DS
85mm
No Optical IS
8.0 stops

 

8. Video capabilities

 
EOS R3
EOS R5
Maximum resolution
6K RAW 59.94/50.00fps
8K RAW 29.97P/25.00fps
High Frame Rate
4K UHD 119.88/100.00fps
FHD 119.88/100.00fps
4K UHD 119.88/100.00fps
FHD 119.88/100.00fps
HDR
Canon Log 3
HDR PQ
Canon Log
Canon Log 3
HDR PQ


8K vs 6K

The main difference in video capabilities between the EOS R5 and the EOS R3 is the maximum resolution: 8K (EOS R5) or 6K (EOS R3)? If 8K shooting is important to you, the EOS R5 is the obvious choice. However, in practice, many will find 4K sufficient if we are to consider current viewing and display environments.

The cameras have the same 4K video capabilities: up to 4K DCI 59.94/50.00 fps. The EOS R5 can oversample from 8K; the EOS R3 can oversample from 6K, but the difference in results isn’t huge. They also have basically the same High Frame Rate shooting capabilities.

The above diagram shows the difference in size between the different video resolutions. 8K provides a lot of detail, and also a lot of room for post-production flexibility if you intend to output in 4K. For example, you can crop or do digital transition effects such as zooming in and out, sliding, and panning just by post-processing the existing footage. In comparison, 6K doesn’t offer as much leeway.


Canon Log modes

For HDR video features, both cameras share the same ability to shoot video in HDR PQ mode. However, the EOS R3 supports only Canon Log 3, whereas the EOS R5 supports both Canon Log and Canon Log 3. 

Even so, Canon Log 3 retains the characteristics of Canon Log but with an increased dynamic range, so having it should be sufficient. 


Shooting duration

For long duration recording, the EOS R3 provides significantly more advantage. The EOS R5 has a shooting limit of 30 minutes, whereas the EOS R3 can shoot up to 6 hours of video continuously, and High Frame Rate videos of up to 1 hour 30 minutes. While the actual shooting time depends on the overheating situation, the EOS R3 is built to withstand longer shooting durations.


Timelapse videos

The EOS R5 has a Timelapse Movie mode that can generate 8K, 4K or Full HD timelapse videos in-camera. The EOS R3 does not, but it is equipped with an interval timer that allows you to carry out automatic interval shooting of still images. You can then stitch together to make a timelapse video during post-production. Having said so, the Timelapse Movie mode on the EOS R5 makes things convenient.

The new EOS Virtual Reality System

The RF5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye is a unique lens that features two 180° fisheye lenses, allowing you to easily create 180° 3D VR videos. It currently supports only the EOS R5. The ability to create 8K 180° 3D VR footage greatly streamlines the VR180 production workflow.

 

In conclusion: Faster speed or higher resolution?

Despite their similarities, the EOS R3 and EOS R5 have their own distinct abilities and features that outshine the other. If any of these are a must-have for you, the decision should be easy!


EOS R5…
- Can shoot higher resolution still images and videos due to its higher megapixel count, which provides more flexibility if you need to crop.
- Supports DPRAW, which allows you to make fine adjustments in post-processing in ways not possible without DPRAW information.

As such, it is the better choice if post-processing and retouching is a significant part of your workflow.


EOS R3…
- Has the faster high-speed continuous shooting capabilities
- Supports an extremely fast shutter speed
- Has better high ISO speed capabilities.

This makes it a camera geared towards capturing moments. If your shooting style revolves around capturing decisive moments that occur right before your eyes, the fast EOS R3 will be a good choice.

 

Also see:
EOS R3 vs EOS-1D X Mark III: How to Decide?
EOS R5 vs EOS R6: 5 Key Differences to Note

 


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