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Canon EOS R3 rumor suggests it will have clever 'resolution trick'

Canon EOS R3
(Image credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS R3 was recently given a very basic development announcement, but some rumors have started to flesh out its potential features – which could apparently include a nifty "resolution trick".

The fresh speculation, inevitably supplied by the reliable Canon Rumors, has delivered a few potential details about the flagship sports camera's specs, with the most intriguing one being about its resolution.

Canon has already announced that the EOS R3's sensor will be a new stacked back-illuminated chip. But a Canon Rumors source has said that the camera will bring a "resolution trick", which could well be a Pixel Shift mode – or perhaps something more innovative that enables it to perform equally well as a high-res and low-res camera.

While the Canon EOS R3 has much in common with the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR, it is expected to be much higher-resolution than that 20MP camera. This could mean a 45MP resolution like the Canon EOS R5, or perhaps even higher – but it'll need to support the performance needs of pro sports photographers.  

Some further speculation from Canon Rumors suggests that the EOS R3 will also outshine all of Canon's current cameras in one area: autofocus. According to the site's source, the AF system will be the "next generation of DPAF", or Dual Pixel AF. Canon Rumors thinks this means "we will get quad-pixel AF in the Canon EOS R3" and, considering it will be Canon's flagship sports camera, that certainly seems likely.

Canon's official development announcement said the EOS R3 will be getting "next generation Dual Pixel CMOS AF" and a quad-pixel version of the autofocus system has been rumored for over two years, since a patent for it was filed in Japan.

Canon EOS R3

(Image credit: Canon)

Focus groups

Autofocus has become an increasingly important battleground for high-end cameras, with the competition between Canon and Sony in particular producing some incredible new toys for pro snappers.

We were mighty impressed with the Canon EOS R5's wildlife potential – in fact, our pro photographer called it "hands down, the absolute best autofocus system I have ever used". But the real-time autofocus seen on cameras like the Sony A1 is certainly up there with the latest Dual Pixel AF, so it's possible that Canon has decided to unleash a new, even more reliable version on the EOS R3.

Intriguingly, Canon also mentioned in its development announcement that it will be adding a new subject to its AF tracking on the Canon EOS R3. Given it already tracks humans, animals and birds, we're looking forward to finding out what this could be. Insects or fairies, perhaps?

Of course, all this talk about the Canon EOS R3 has pushed previous chatter about a possible Canon EOS R1 flagship into the background. Does this mean the latter is a non-starter? Not according to the Canon Rumors post, which says that an R1 is still definitely en route but "it's not coming soon". 

The EOS R3 is the announcement that was expected before the Tokyo Olympics, so it looks like we might have to wait until late 2021 at the earliest for the Canon EOS R1 and other rumored models like the Canon EOS R5c, which is expected to be a video-focused version of the Canon EOS R5. Still, by the sounds of it, the EOS R3 will have more than enough to keep us occupied until then.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is the Cameras Editor for TechRadar at Future. He writes and oversees reviews of the latest camera gear on TechRadar and looks after all the photography tutorials. Mark was previously Digital Editor (Cameras) at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine.