The Canon R3 vs R6 conversation is an interesting one for creators. While the Canon R3 is the current flagship for the mirrorless lineup, is it worth the upgrade from the Canon R6? In this article, we’ll discuss my real world experience as a hybrid shooter with the Canon R3 vs R6 to help you decide which camera is better for you!
Table of Contents
The Canon R3 Has a Bigger Body than the R6
We’ll start off by covering the most obvious difference, which is the design of these two cameras. The Canon R3 design mirrors that of Canon’s high end DSLR camera, the Canon 1DX. When you look at an image of the R3 and the 1DX, it’s hard to tell a difference between the two at a glance.
The body of the Canon R3 is much larger than the R6, but it’s not much heavier. With batteries and memory cards installed, the body of the Canon R6 comes in at about 1.5 lbs while the R3 comes in at 2.2 lbs. When holding the two camera bodies, I was shocked at how light the R3 body was, considering the additional size it brought to the table.
From my real world use of the Canon R3, I really enjoyed the hand space and grip provided by the bigger body. When you grip the Canon R3, it just feels right! The hand grip is nice and deep providing you with a solid handle on the camera. The Canon R6 on the other hand has a much smaller body, so I felt like I had to pay more attention to how I handled the camera.
Another great feature in the body design of the Canon R3 is the multiple shutter buttons and shutter speed dials. Whether you’re shooting in portrait or landscape, there’s always a shutter button and speed dial easily accessible. This makes shooting various angles quick and easy.
So when it comes to the handling of the Canon R3 vs R6, I’d say the R3 just has a much better feel to it. The grip is much more comfortable whether you have big or small hands. The R3’s grip just makes you want to take some pictures, it’s that good!
Canon R3 Has a Better Shooting Experience
I used the Canon R6 as my primary camera for almost a year and shooting with that camera was not bad at all. Once i got my settings tuned in and became familiar with button placement, the R6 was amazingly useful for me. When I switched to using the Canon R3 as my daily driver, a few features really stood out and made the experience much better than the R6.
Canon R3 Does Not Overheat
One of the main factors that lead me to pick up the Canon R3, was the overheating issues of the R5 and R6. Being a hybrid shooter, video is a big part of my daily work. When looking at the Canon R3 Vs R6, the fact that I could record unlimited 4K footage without any overheating on the R3 pretty much sealed the deal.
If video is a big part of your workflow, the Canon R3 will definitely give you peace of mind and also incredible quality. For me, I knew I could trust the Canon R3 to keep shooting without overheating in various environments. When I shot with the R6, I had to utilize an external recorder to bypass the overheating during video. Canon has recently made some improvements to the overheating via firmware updates, but I still wouldn’t trust it completely.
Canon R3 Eye Auto Focus is a Time Saver
The eye auto focus system in the Canon R3 is absolutely amazing! At first, I thought this was just a marketing gimmick but after getting my hands on the camera, I was blown away at how useful it was to me. When it comes to photography, I primarily shoot corporate events and motivational speakers. During the events, speakers can quickly move from the stage to walking into the audience.
When I was using the R6, this sudden shift in the speaker’s position would require me to quickly move my focus point with the joystick. This caused me to miss some cool action shots because of the extra seconds adjusting my focus point. It doesn’t seem like much, but in the moment, those seconds make a huge difference.
With the Canon R3 eye auto focus, instead of struggling to adjust my focus point, I just need to look at where I want to focus and the camera will move my focus point there. It is an incredible tool for people who photograph moving subjects. Once you’ve calibrated your eye with the EVF, moving the focus point by just looking at the subject makes shooting so much easier!
Canon LP-E19 Battery Life is Fantastic
For me, a huge part of the shooting experience is battery life. If a camera needs new batteries half way through every shoot, it can really slow you down and pull you out of the zone. Video tends to be more draining on a camera’s battery than photo. When you shoot both, it can be very taxing on your camera’s power supply.
The LP-E19 battery in the Canon R3 is an absolute Godsend. This battery can just go for hours! I’ve been able to shoot multiple 4+ hour events on one battery. When comparing the Canon R3 vs R6 battery life, the LP-E6 battery in the R6 is not at the same level. I would need multiple LP-E6 batteries for my R6 during the same 4 hour hybrid shoot.
Canon R3 Can Shoot 30 FPS RAW Images
The Canon R3 has some blazing fast shooting speeds. When shooting raw images with electronic shutter, you can get up to 30 fps at 24 megapixels! That is some fantastic speed for raw images. The shooting speed on the R3 allows you to easily capture action, movement and scenes that would have been impossible with slower cameras.
Pairing the R3’s shooting speed with Canon’s incredible autofocus, allows you to be able to nail some gorgeous images with ease. I use this speed to my advantage when photographing events or families with active kids. I can capture multiple images of the subject in action and choose my favorite one out of the batch.
Canon R3 vs R6 Storage Options
When it comes to the storage options, I have to say this is where the R6 has a leg up in my opinion. Both cameras come with dual card slots. The Canon R6 comes with two SD card slots, while the Canon R3 comes with one CF Express type B and one SD card slot. I personally have really enjoyed using the CF Express cards. Although they’re pretty expensive, the speeds with which they read and write is incredible.
Canon ruined the R3, by not implementing dual CF Express slots. Since the R3 has such massive firepower in terms of photo and video capability, a regular SD card is not capable of fully utilizing that potential. Instead of the SD slot, a second CF Express slot would allow users to increase that high speed storage capacity. I really enjoy the dual SD slots in the Canon R6, because you can utilize the fastest storage for the camera in both slots.
Canon R3 is $3500 More Than the Canon R6
For the majority of people, the Canon R3 vs R6 discussion comes down to price. Price is definitely a HUGE difference between these two cameras. The Canon R3 comes in at about $6000 while the Canon R6 comes in at about $2500. The price that you choose to pay for these cameras will be determined by your style of shooting and also what’s most important to you.
Who is the Canon R3 for?
The Canon R3 is a great camera for working professionals who need the best of the best. As the flagship camera for the mirrorless line, the R3 has phenomenal shooting speeds, image quality and recording options. If you need a rugged camera that you can lean on for any job or environment, then the Canon R3 vs R6 discussion ends with the R3 for you.
Who is the Canon R6 for?
If you’re a photographer who’s looking for an affordable upgrade into the mirrorless world, the R6 is a great option for you. This camera is incredibly strong when it comes to photography. I provides fantastic images, has great features for photo and some solid video capability.