I always loved my Canon D1X for the way it locked on to birds in flight. The camera did its job and I had to make sure everything else was in sync to get the photo.
The Canon R3 appears to be meeting those same standards. My test today involved birds flying around a neighborhood lake so not the most dramatic species for photos. Good test subjects, though. Take a look.
In both instances, the R3 didn’t hesitate. It locked on to the bird and held focus while I tracked the subject with the camera. The focus confirmation stayed on the screen. The camera never lost focus or tried to hunt.
Very impressive so far. I’ll try smaller birds next.
Questions or comments please post below. Thanks for reading.
Day 2 with the Canon R3 and I went to a nearby lake to photograph birds in flight. Someone nearby was flying a drone so I took a picture of it. The drone flew over to me and hovered. Photo Opportunity!!
Shutter speeds range from 1/64000 to 30″ seconds on the R3. Life just got a lot more interesting.
After a long wait I finally got my Canon R3. I’ve used the Canon R5 and R6 for the past two years. Use the “search” feature here to read my reviews of those cameras.
The Canon R3 was advertised as a mirrorless equivalent to the Canon D1X. The D1 line and particularly the D1X have been my preferred camera for over 15 years.
This first review of the Canon R3 is with minimal set-up. I took the camera out of the box and set the following menu items: (1) date and time, (2) copyright, (3) Raw, (4) animal eye focus, (5) AF Servo AF Case 2, and (5) High speed release. That’s it! The bare minimum for this first test run.
The Canon R3 works like the Canon D1X! I feel that I finally have a D1X back in my hands but with all the bells-and-whistles of a mirrorless camera.
The Canon R3 is a big camera so it has a different feel in the hand. I’ll write about that in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.
I’ve been asked to compare noise between the R5 and R3. I’ll do that comparison in another post. Keep watch for that one.
The Canon R3 has Eye Control. This is a new feature where the camera uses my eye to determine where to focus in the frame. Can’t wait to explore that feature!
The Canon R3 looks and feels like a D1X
Minimal set-up is needed to get this camera up and running. Yea!!
Precise auto focus that allows us to photograph birds deep in the brush with Animal Eye activated.
Birds in flight are tracked on par with the D1X.
Exposure Simulation allows us to over or under exposure to get the picture right in the camera. This is expected in today’s mirrorless cameras.
Stay tuned as I work with the Canon R3.
Ask questions below or suggest items that you’d like to see tested. Thanks for reading!
We learn when we play. We know that from childhood. Kids play and figure out new things. Kids play a game of kickball in the street and learn management skills, communication skills, dexterity, and lots more.
So as a nature photographer, why would I play with colored lights? It’s fun and I might learn something.
There’s this thing in the world called Additive Color. When you shine a colored light on something, the color of the object is altered. You’ve seen this in a stadium watching our favorite band. The different colored spotlights coming from different directions create interesting effects. You’ve seen the same thing at a stage play or opera. Gels are put on the spots to change a scene from dawn to sunset.
We’re taught in grade school that when all the colors are added together we get white. Well, I tried coloring with all the crayons and never got white. That’s because crayons or paint have pigments and subtractive color happens. Mix a lot of colors of paint together and you eventually get black or maybe “yulk.” Pigment doesn’t work the same as light.
Project a blue beam of light over a red beam of light and we get magenta where there’s overlap. Project green beam of light over a red beam of light and we get yellow where there’s overlap. Project that same green beam of light over blue and we get cyan.
Notice that my example uses Red, Green, and Blue. That’s RGB color — one of the choices of a photograph’s color space. You know RGB color from your computer or the back of your camera.
Additive Color is used in portrait photography but not often in nature photography.
Background (Skip ahead if you’re not interested)– I’m a “mentor” to a photography group with some really advanced photographers. There are four “mentors” and we give the photographers assignments at the beginning of the year. That’s 12 total assignments for the year. My January 2022 assignment was “Additive Color.” I didn’t give any explanation or help. Just two words. One of the photographers, James Woody, created a photograph for the assignment of red, green, and blue lights pointing at a crystal ball. You might know that I love crystal ball photography so I had to try my hand at recreating James’s photo.
Thanks to James Woody for the inspiration for these photos. Visit James’ website to get some inspiration of your own. www.jrwoodyphotography.com
In Costa Rica, I think you mentioned something about “camera insurance”. Can you please let me know if I should and where I should get insurance for my camera gear?
I’m a member of North American Nature Photography Association. That organization offers equipment insurance through Rand Insurance. The people at Rand are super easy to work with. I’ve really liked my dealings with them. I filed a claim once and had my replacement money in a couple of days. The folks at Rand knew exactly what lens I was talking about and no need to explain its value.
NANPA also offers travel insurance and health insurance. Lots of other member benefits including vendor discounts, field trips, webinars, online meetings, and much more. Being part of the organization is well worth your investment.
One of my participants, Mark Doing, on the November photo tour to Costa Rica asked if I’d like to use his Canon RF 800mm f/11 lens. This is a relatively new lens in the Canon RF line-up so I jumped at the chance.
Above shows an image taken with the Canon RF 800mm lens. Notice the detail in the shadows and the sharpness around the bird’s eye.
Above is a comparison of an image photographed at the same time with the higher priced Canon RF 100-500mm lens. Notice the detail in the shadows and the sharpness around the bird’s eye.
Canon advertises this lens as its “first compact and lightweight 800mm super telephoto lens in the RF lineup.” The lens has image stabilization that provides up “to 4 stops of shake correction” for nice hand-held images. The lens also takes the RF 1.4x teleconverter. That would be 1120mm!
The lens does not focus close like the RF 100-500mm. It only focuses to 19.69ft, which is pretty far away.
The lens is 13.85-inches long with the lens hood. Yet, it only weighs 2.77-pounds. Cost $899.
As a comparison, the RF 100-500mm lens focuses to 3.94-feet, extends to 11.71-inches, and weighs 3-pounds. Cost $2799.
I’d love to work with this lens for a longer time. My short experience with it, though, tells me that this is a quality lens. The price is nice, too.
Bokeh between the Canon RF 800mm and the Canon RF 100-500mm? Look below. Pretty sweet with both lenses.
Have you used the Canon RF 800mm? Opinion and comments below would be nice. Thanks for reading.
Years ago I remember my friend Nolan Braud telling me that updating the camera’s firmware was not as easy as it seemed. Nolan wrote instructions and it still wasn’t easy.
Today I updated my firmware and remembered Nolan’s words. Yep! It’s still not easy. Here are some instructions that might help.
Go to your camera’s website and navigate to the firmware page. Canon lists firmware on the page for each piece of equipment. Click “download” when you find the firmware. Then open your computer’s download site and double-click on the firmware package to open it.
Glitch #1 — I found the .afu file would not copy to a CFExpress card. The .afu file copies without any problem to a SD card.
Glitch #2 — the card needs to be formatted for your camera. It doesn’t matter if there are pictures on the card. The card doesn’t need to be empty.
Instructions from Canon say to update firmware for the camera with no lens on the camera body. I put a body cap on the camera body during this process.
Instructions from Canon say to update the firmware for the LENS with the lens attached. That’s what’s showing in the illustrations for this post.
Was it easy to update your firmware? Problems or tricky situations with other camera brands? Post below. I’d love to hear from you.
October 2022 gave us the annual grande-sized upgrade to our Adobe products. When I logged on to my Adobe Cloud and clicked the Update tab on the left, I saw that my Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, and Lightroom all had updates.
The annual updates are historically big. Adobe sends the little stuff throughout the year and then WHAM! we get hit with the big stuff in October.
Warning! Update when you have time to review the changes. I wouldn’t suggest you push the Update tab when you have a big photo deadline looming. Things you use everyday might get moved, renamed, or combined. Yet, we also get some great new tools.
Here are the big things I really like in the 2022 Update
Bridge has a Workflow tab at the top. You can save workflows that you do on a regular basis. For example, your camera club wants monthly submissions at a specific ppi and size on the longest side of the photo. You can now do that workflow once and save it as a preset. Learn how to build a workflow by clicking the Learn More tab at the bottom of the Workflow screen. Or click this Workflow Builder tutorial from Adobe.
Bridge users who’ve attended my classes might notice that Bridge looks a bit different the first time you open it. Don’t freak out! Click the “Workspace 1” tab at the top. That’s the workspace I helped you build and it’s still there.
Adobe Camera Raw has changes too! Double-click a RAW file in Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw opens automatically. (Readers learned how to do this in my classes and via my YouTube videos.)
Lightroom’s Develop Module and Adobe Camera Raw do the same things so I’ll introduce all the new features together.
Masking has combined the old adjustment brush, radial filter, and graduated filter.
The tools behind this tab are HUGE! You can now click Select Subject and the software creates a mask around the subject. It does a pretty good job, too. Hover your cursor over the subject and you’ll see sliders on the right. Now you can process just for the subject.
Click Select Sky and the sky is selected. Hover your cursor over the sky and sliders appear. Now you can process just the sky.
Play around and you’ll see that you can enlarge, shrink, or fine-tune the mask.
Luminance Range allows you to only select a luminance range. Color Range allows you to select just certain colors. Then you can adjust that color only. Anyone for a bit more yellow in autumn leaves? A bit more turquoise in a cormorant’s eye?
Want to only adjust the shadows to change their tone? Here’s your way to do it.
Lightroom Users! This is a game changer for you. You now have layers.
Layers Resisters! This is a way for you to start using layers without having to really know all the technicals of Photoshop layers.
Adobe offers a great tutorial when you click on the Masking icon the first time. Read the instructions — they are super simple — and learn how to use this great new too.
Photoshop has some great new tools, too.
The toolbar now has Object Selection Tool. Click the icon and then watch the little circular arrows at the top. When the arrows stop turning, you know the software has selected an object. Nudge the software along if nothing happens by clicking on one of the subjects in the photo.
Once an object is selected, click the Adjustments palette on the right. Choose one type of Adjustment and a layer mask appears. (If you don’t see either of these, click Windows and be sure Layer is checked.) Those of you who know layers will find yourself right at home at this stage.
Another new thing is called Harmonization. Sometimes when we work with different photos in layers, we get colors that don’t really go together. This is especially true when we’re working with Textures.
Harmonization to the Rescue!
Click Filters>Neural Filters>Harmonization. A new pop-out panel will appear. (Click the download button to download the filter the first time.)
Wait, wait, wait!!! The process bar at the bottom of the photo shows you the software is working.
Once Harmonization is finished working, you can use the sliders to fine tune the color harmony. Click OK and a new layer is created in your layer stack. Now you can go in the layer masks, use black or white brushes, and clean-up the image.
Landscape Mixer is another interesting Neural Filter. Open a landscape photo in Photoshop. Click Filter>Neural Filters>Landscape Mixer. The Landscape Mixer shows up. (Click the Download button to get the filter the first time.)
Notice you have sliders for Sunset, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I’ll move the Winter slider almost all the way to the right. Wait, wait, wait and watch the blue bar move slowly along its path.
The end product is Casa Grande in Big Bend National Park in the snow at twilight! The trees are green but that’s a minor problem. Notice that there are other option to choose from. I’ve given an extreme example but I can see how this tool might be useful to some photographers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief overview. Adobe has given us some nice new tools. The tutorials provided by Adobe are simple and easy to understand. Update your software when you have some time to play. We’ve got a lot of new toys tools.
Comments? Did I miss any new features that you like? Post below.