The Canon EOS R3 has been spotted in the wild for the first time at the Tokyo Olympics – and some of the full-frame sports camera's early images appear to have revealed its sensor's resolution.
According to Canon Rumors, some EXIF data from the camera (which reveals details about the settings used to take a photo) has revealed that the image sizes are 6000x4000 pixels, which suggests the EOS R3 has a 24MP sensor.
This potentially fills in a crucial detail that Canon left out of its EOS R3 'development announcement' back in April. We knew its sensor would be a new Canon-developed stacked BSI CMOS sensor, but it now looks like it'll be 24MP rather than some of the higher-resolution chips that were rumored previously.
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The Canon EOS R3 has been given its first public test-run at the Tokyo Olympics, with the Team USA photographer Jeff Cable revealing that he's one of the lucky few to have been given the camera at the event – and it appears that the EXIF data (below) has come from some of his early shots.
This data doesn't necessarily confirm that Canon's sports camera will definitely have a 24MP sensor – it's possible that the photographer was taking those particular shots in a lower-resolution format for workflow reasons.
But this does seem unlikely and a 24MP sensor would fit the EOS R3's positioning, which Canon has previously said is "between the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras".
The Canon EOS R5 has a 45MP sensor, while the EOS-1D X Mark III has a lower-resolution 20MP chip, as this tends to be favored by sports photographers who need to shoot quickly and not overwhelm their workflow with unnecessarily high-resolution shots. Also, Canon has revealed that the R3 will shoot oversampled 4K or raw video footage, which suggests is sensor will be below the 33.2MP needed to shoot 8K.
Analysis: An early glimpse of the EOS R3's sporting talents
There had been rumors prior to the Tokyo Olympics that the Canon EOS R3 could be making its first public appearance at the Games – and that's proven to be the case.
Jeff Cable, who has photographed the last six Olympic Games for Team USA, revealed on his personal blog that he has a Canon EOS R3 and has been using it to take shots of various events, along with the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6.
He wrote that the above water polo shot "is one of my favorite shots of the practice, utilizing the super fast burst rate of the new camera to capture Ashleigh Johnson in the peak of action". Canon has confirmed that the EOS R3 will offer 30fps burst shooting, but hasn't yet revealed what restrictions might be placed on that maximum speed.
So what else have we learned about the camera? Jeff Cable has been understandably vague about specific details, but he said: "There are all kinds of new features (that have yet to be disclosed to the public), but the camera is distinctly Canon, which makes it easy to pick up and start shooting with."
"It is like upgrading from a familiar car to a new model with all the buttons and dials where we expect them, but with more horse power and better handling," he added. Considering the Canon EOS R3 is effectively the mirrorless successor to the Canon 1D X Mark III DSLR, that certainly makes sense – and we're looking forward to getting one in our hands and seeing how it compares to the incoming Nikon Z9.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.