After 50 weddings with the R3's

Started Jun 20, 2022 | User reviews
noggin2k1
noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
After 50 weddings with the R3's
44

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

Bit of a backstory; I started my wedding career as a Canon boy, who then switched over to Sony (the pull of the mirrorless world was too strong for me). I finished up on the A9II's, with a few key complaints;

  • Build quality. I've first hand had my issues with Sony build quality (and slow repair times). I needed cameras that can take a bit more punishment in the real world.
  • Hotshoe. Sounds mega trivial, but flashes with plastic hotshoes - I didn't fancy needing to buy a new one / repair one every 3 weddings because they'd snapped.
  • Low light AF. It certainly wasn't bad, but I needed something that had a much better hit rate on a dimly lit dance floor.
  • Banding. Mechanical or electronic shutter - banding was always an issue. I didn't want to need to think about it - I just wanted the camera to make sure it wasn't prevalent.
  • Ergonomics. Totally personal, but the cameras were just that bit too small for my spade-like hands.
  • Saturation. I didn't want to need to sort out RAW colours SOOC before even starting on editing.

Along came the R5's, and I pulled the trigger almost imminently. They solved so so many of my headaches, and were the perfect camera for the season I used them in. As much as I loved them, I can remember saying "If Canon could just deliver these last few bits, they'd give me the perfect camera";

  • Lower MP's - I just didn't need 45MP for weddings
  • An electronic shutter that is useable 100% of the time
  • An integrated battery grip (I predominantly shoot portrait, and charging 8 batteries per wedding is a pain)

Alas, Canon obviously read my thoughts, and along came the R3. Rather than continuing to waffle, I thought I'd highlight some of my key thoughts;

Good (when upgrading from the R5's)

  • 1 battery lasts a whole wedding without having to think about being conservative and switching the cameras off
  • The electronic shutter implementation is utterly flawless. I've never since had any banding, and don't even need to think about settings/shutter speed for it
  • The AF can see in the dark. I'm yet to find any scenario where it's struggled to focus
  • I'm yet to hit the limit on dynamic range

Not so good

  • I find eyeAF doesn't really work for weddings. I imagine it's great for motorsport, but at a crowded wedding - it doesn't quite nail the focus in the places I'm looking for.

That's pretty much it. I've still got some work to do on sorting out my AF settings, but that's all on me. I really can't see what else I'd want from a camera, other than improved high ISO performance - but I've not seen anything that has a notable "real world" performance better than the R3, so "hopefully" that stops me spending on bodies for a few years.

Just an RF 24L and 35L now please Canon...

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Canon EOS R3
24 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Apr 14, 2021
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UrbaneHobbit
UrbaneHobbit Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
5

Terrific observations from experience, and then you delivered the photographic evidence!

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boldcolors Senior Member • Posts: 1,898
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

Bit of a backstory; I started my wedding career as a Canon boy, who then switched over to Sony (the pull of the mirrorless world was too strong for me). I finished up on the A9II's, with a few key complaints;

  • Build quality. I've first hand had my issues with Sony build quality (and slow repair times). I needed cameras that can take a bit more punishment in the real world.
  • Hotshoe. Sounds mega trivial, but flashes with plastic hotshoes - I didn't fancy needing to buy a new one / repair one every 3 weddings because they'd snapped.
  • Low light AF. It certainly wasn't bad, but I needed something that had a much better hit rate on a dimly lit dance floor.
  • Banding. Mechanical or electronic shutter - banding was always an issue. I didn't want to need to think about it - I just wanted the camera to make sure it wasn't prevalent.
  • Ergonomics. Totally personal, but the cameras were just that bit too small for my spade-like hands.
  • Saturation. I didn't want to need to sort out RAW colours SOOC before even starting on editing.

Along came the R5's, and I pulled the trigger almost imminently. They solved so so many of my headaches, and were the perfect camera for the season I used them in. As much as I loved them, I can remember saying "If Canon could just deliver these last few bits, they'd give me the perfect camera";

  • Lower MP's - I just didn't need 45MP for weddings
  • An electronic shutter that is useable 100% of the time
  • An integrated battery grip (I predominantly shoot portrait, and charging 8 batteries per wedding is a pain)

Alas, Canon obviously read my thoughts, and along came the R3. Rather than continuing to waffle, I thought I'd highlight some of my key thoughts;

Good (when upgrading from the R5's)

  • 1 battery lasts a whole wedding without having to think about being conservative and switching the cameras off
  • The electronic shutter implementation is utterly flawless. I've never since had any banding, and don't even need to think about settings/shutter speed for it
  • The AF can see in the dark. I'm yet to find any scenario where it's struggled to focus
  • I'm yet to hit the limit on dynamic range

Not so good

  • I find eyeAF doesn't really work for weddings. I imagine it's great for motorsport, but at a crowded wedding - it doesn't quite nail the focus in the places I'm looking for.

That's pretty much it. I've still got some work to do on sorting out my AF settings, but that's all on me. I really can't see what else I'd want from a camera, other than improved high ISO performance - but I've not seen anything that has a notable "real world" performance better than the R3, so "hopefully" that stops me spending on bodies for a few years.

Just an RF 24L and 35L now please Canon...

Thanks for your thoughts and nice images! I bet the couple liked them.

Just out of curiosity, when you mention "Saturation" as a con for the Sony. Do you mean the files were too saturated or too muted?

Also, how is the R3 in terms of color rendition using the regular Canon profiles and lenses?

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
2

boldcolors wrote:

Just out of curiosity, when you mention "Saturation" as a con for the Sony. Do you mean the files were too saturated or too muted?

Also, how is the R3 in terms of color rendition using the regular Canon profiles and lenses?

I've always found Sony RAW's far too over saturated - the main culprit being the oranges. I'm a bit of a stickler for skin tones, so I found myself really having to bring the saturation down, and sorting out the HSL for oranges on Sony files, before editing even started.

I've found Adobe Standard in LR to be a perfect base with Canon RAW's.

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Steve Balcombe Forum Pro • Posts: 15,826
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
3

Great to read a genuinely 'real world' review, thanks for taking the trouble to post it.

noggin2k1 wrote:

Not so good

  • I find eyeAF doesn't really work for weddings. I imagine it's great for motorsport, but at a crowded wedding - it doesn't quite nail the focus in the places I'm looking for.

If that's the only complaint, I'd say you have the perfect camera!

Sebastian1x Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge of the R3 from … 50 - weddings, wow! Can you elaborate a bit more regarding your comment or wish for better high ISO-performance? I thought the R3 would be an improvement in that regards compared to R5.

Sebastian

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

Steve Balcombe wrote:

Great to read a genuinely 'real world' review, thanks for taking the trouble to post it.

noggin2k1 wrote:

Not so good

  • I find eyeAF doesn't really work for weddings. I imagine it's great for motorsport, but at a crowded wedding - it doesn't quite nail the focus in the places I'm looking for.

If that's the only complaint, I'd say you have the perfect camera!

Yep, it's about as perfect as it gets. I just wouldn't want a wedding photographer to upgrade from R5's to R3's thinking the eyeAF will change their world, as I imagine it'll be better suited to other forms of photography.

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
2

Sebastian1x wrote:

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge of the R3 from … 50 - weddings, wow! Can you elaborate a bit more regarding your comment or wish for better high ISO-performance? I thought the R3 would be an improvement in that regards compared to R5.

Sebastian

I think the R3 may be a very marginal improvement over the R5, but nothing particularly noticeable.

I'm not afraid of a bit of noise at high ISO, it's more so the degradation of colours. It's by no means a criticism of the R3, as it's very comparable to the best cameras on the market in this area - more of a "in the coming years if I change my R3's or a R3 II is released, it's the area I'd want to see improvements in to make me change cameras".

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gimp_dad Senior Member • Posts: 2,875
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

I love the shots you shared!  Thanks for your helpful review.

I'm curious about what doesn't work for you regarding eyeAF.  I am definitely not a wedding photographer but have done them from time to time pro bono when requested by those who otherwise wouldn't have a photographer at all.  Starting with the R5, I found using eye AF helpful but always have used it with an initial focus point such that I am selecting the person to focus on from the beginning and then framing the way I want the scene while continuing the half-press to maintain the focus on the subject in question.  Both the R5 and R3 seem to do a great job of sticking to the original subject when used this way.  Most of my experience with this is with events that are not weddings but it seemed to work with weddings as well.

Any further comment about the issue?

MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 19,304
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

nice shooting!

I've done more than 20 before I retired - LLC, insurance, second shooter, OCF lighting, etc

carrying and moving all that gear around all day long was exhausting - and then having to backup 3500 images before going to sleep, and then having to cull and process - I don't miss it

your gear is great though I don't like the extra weight and bulk of grips - and sometimes less is more if less makes you feel better and can concentrate better

and I worried about gear theft if I didn't carry it all

best wishes to you

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Alastair Norcross
Alastair Norcross Forum Pro • Posts: 10,514
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

gimp_dad wrote:

I love the shots you shared! Thanks for your helpful review.

I'm curious about what doesn't work for you regarding eyeAF. I am definitely not a wedding photographer but have done them from time to time pro bono when requested by those who otherwise wouldn't have a photographer at all. Starting with the R5, I found using eye AF helpful but always have used it with an initial focus point such that I am selecting the person to focus on from the beginning and then framing the way I want the scene while continuing the half-press to maintain the focus on the subject in question. Both the R5 and R3 seem to do a great job of sticking to the original subject when used this way. Most of my experience with this is with events that are not weddings but it seemed to work with weddings as well.

Any further comment about the issue?

Maybe the OP was talking about eye-controlled AF?

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

Alastair Norcross wrote:

gimp_dad wrote:

I love the shots you shared! Thanks for your helpful review.

I'm curious about what doesn't work for you regarding eyeAF. I am definitely not a wedding photographer but have done them from time to time pro bono when requested by those who otherwise wouldn't have a photographer at all. Starting with the R5, I found using eye AF helpful but always have used it with an initial focus point such that I am selecting the person to focus on from the beginning and then framing the way I want the scene while continuing the half-press to maintain the focus on the subject in question. Both the R5 and R3 seem to do a great job of sticking to the original subject when used this way. Most of my experience with this is with events that are not weddings but it seemed to work with weddings as well.

Any further comment about the issue?

Maybe the OP was talking about eye-controlled AF?

Yep, my bad here - I'm talking about the eye controlled AF, where there is a sensor in the viewfinder that focusses on where you're looking. I find it gets close, but not quite spot on in a busy scene.

That being said, eyeAF is one of the AF settings I do need to change - I need to be able to toggle it on/off fast, as I'm not always looking for an eye.

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

nice shooting!

I've done more than 20 before I retired - LLC, insurance, second shooter, OCF lighting, etc

carrying and moving all that gear around all day long was exhausting - and then having to backup 3500 images before going to sleep, and then having to cull and process - I don't miss it

your gear is great though I don't like the extra weight and bulk of grips - and sometimes less is more if less makes you feel better and can concentrate better

and I worried about gear theft if I didn't carry it all

best wishes to you

Thanks!

I will say I'm big into improving efficiencies throughout my workflow. CFExpress cards, SSD's, and the new Mac Studio have saved me so so much time per wedding recently!

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
Sony a1 Sony a7 IV Fujifilm X100VI Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM +23 more
gimp_dad Senior Member • Posts: 2,875
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

noggin2k1 wrote:

Alastair Norcross wrote:

gimp_dad wrote:

I love the shots you shared! Thanks for your helpful review.

I'm curious about what doesn't work for you regarding eyeAF. I am definitely not a wedding photographer but have done them from time to time pro bono when requested by those who otherwise wouldn't have a photographer at all. Starting with the R5, I found using eye AF helpful but always have used it with an initial focus point such that I am selecting the person to focus on from the beginning and then framing the way I want the scene while continuing the half-press to maintain the focus on the subject in question. Both the R5 and R3 seem to do a great job of sticking to the original subject when used this way. Most of my experience with this is with events that are not weddings but it seemed to work with weddings as well.

Any further comment about the issue?

Maybe the OP was talking about eye-controlled AF?

Yep, my bad here - I'm talking about the eye controlled AF, where there is a sensor in the viewfinder that focusses on where you're looking. I find it gets close, but not quite spot on in a busy scene.

That being said, eyeAF is one of the AF settings I do need to change - I need to be able to toggle it on/off fast, as I'm not always looking for an eye.

Oh that makes sense. I don't actually use eye controlled AF myself. I just love the smart controller and find it to be incredibly fast and easier to use as I don't want to necessarily point my iris at the subject (I know this sounds weird but framing requires one to be looking all over the scene in real time).

I am not much of a BBF user but I have the AF-on button set to do point AF as kind of a ripcord setting for when I'm in one of my normal eye AF modes and don't have time to switch modes another way. It's instantaneous of course.

Laci55
Laci55 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,978
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
1

Very nice assessment with beautiful pictures. It was a wonderful read! I just have this camera in 2 days but sure I love it already.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 19,304
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

noggin2k1 wrote:

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

nice shooting!

I've done more than 20 before I retired - LLC, insurance, second shooter, OCF lighting, etc

carrying and moving all that gear around all day long was exhausting - and then having to backup 3500 images before going to sleep, and then having to cull and process - I don't miss it

your gear is great though I don't like the extra weight and bulk of grips - and sometimes less is more if less makes you feel better and can concentrate better

and I worried about gear theft if I didn't carry it all

best wishes to you

Thanks!

I will say I'm big into improving efficiencies throughout my workflow. CFExpress cards, SSD's, and the new Mac Studio have saved me so so much time per wedding recently!

My biggest workflow tip for you

cull with

fasstone and the magnifier and tag within 1-3 seconds per pic

or photomechanic

then take into Lightroom for processing the keepers

this is how bball shooters meet their deadlines

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

nice shooting!

I've done more than 20 before I retired - LLC, insurance, second shooter, OCF lighting, etc

carrying and moving all that gear around all day long was exhausting - and then having to backup 3500 images before going to sleep, and then having to cull and process - I don't miss it

your gear is great though I don't like the extra weight and bulk of grips - and sometimes less is more if less makes you feel better and can concentrate better

and I worried about gear theft if I didn't carry it all

best wishes to you

Thanks!

I will say I'm big into improving efficiencies throughout my workflow. CFExpress cards, SSD's, and the new Mac Studio have saved me so so much time per wedding recently!

My biggest workflow tip for you

cull with

fasstone and the magnifier and tag within 1-3 seconds per pic

or photomechanic

then take into Lightroom for processing the keepers

this is how bball shooters meet their deadlines

Or outsource... 😉

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
Sony a1 Sony a7 IV Fujifilm X100VI Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM +23 more
MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 19,304
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

noggin2k1 wrote:

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

MAC wrote:

noggin2k1 wrote:

I thought it's probably time to share my thoughts!

nice shooting!

I've done more than 20 before I retired - LLC, insurance, second shooter, OCF lighting, etc

carrying and moving all that gear around all day long was exhausting - and then having to backup 3500 images before going to sleep, and then having to cull and process - I don't miss it

your gear is great though I don't like the extra weight and bulk of grips - and sometimes less is more if less makes you feel better and can concentrate better

and I worried about gear theft if I didn't carry it all

best wishes to you

Thanks!

I will say I'm big into improving efficiencies throughout my workflow. CFExpress cards, SSD's, and the new Mac Studio have saved me so so much time per wedding recently!

My biggest workflow tip for you

cull with

fasstone and the magnifier and tag within 1-3 seconds per pic

or photomechanic

then take into Lightroom for processing the keepers

this is how bball shooters meet their deadlines

Or outsource... 😉

agree -- which when deployed properly, is the best way to earn the most $/hour versus get bogged down

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RLight Veteran Member • Posts: 5,222
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's

Question, how's the color rendition compared to the R5? I've noted the samples I've seen to date presented online make the R3 appear more "clinical", think older Sony, dare I say. I gather part of this may be post-processing workflow as folks using C1 appear to have "warmer" shots than folks using LR (more clinical).

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noggin2k1
OP noggin2k1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,063
Re: After 50 weddings with the R3's
2

RLight wrote:

Question, how's the color rendition compared to the R5? I've noted the samples I've seen to date presented online make the R3 appear more "clinical", think older Sony, dare I say. I gather part of this may be post-processing workflow as folks using C1 appear to have "warmer" shots than folks using LR (more clinical).

I've not noticed any notable colour differences between the R3 and R5. If anything, they're certainly minor - and nothing like the over saturated colours from Sony days.

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
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