With 12 to 30 fps burst speeds and impressive autofocus, the Canon R3 is my favorite mirrorless camera for wildlife and sports. But, the latest Canon R3 firmware update makes the mirrorless flagship even faster. Fast enough, in fact, to take photos at up to 195 fps.
Now, 195 fps will make your hard drive cry. You might also cry a little yourself when you realize how many photos you have to cull. But, this custom high-speed burst mode is limited to 50 shots. So you can only take photos for about a quarter of a second. Despite those limitations, the increased speeds come in handy for a handful of scenarios.
I tried out the new high-speed burst options, as well as the in-camera depth composting added with the Canon R3 firmware 1.21. If you’re interested in buying the R3, check them out at Adorama. Here’s what I found, added to our full Canon R3 review:
New firmware brings 195 fps and in-camera depth composite
Firmware update 1.21 adds a long list of new features to the R3. For photographers, the biggest change is the ability to set a custom high-speed continuous at up to 195 fps. This will exhaust your hard drive and waste hours and hours culling photos. The R3 was already plenty fast for sports and wildlife. But, there are a few cases where that 195 fps burst will be able to capture things other cameras can’t, or at least that are very hard to capture with slower cameras. Photographing water droplets or a balloon popping is where the 195 fps is going to come in handy.
By default, this setting is disabled; after updating the firmware, you have to go into the menu and enable it. Then, you can select the custom high-speed continuous, choose what speed to shoot at, and choose how many photos to shoot. I also manually set my focus point. The R3’s autofocus is great, but at 60 AF calculations per second, it’s not made for those extreme bursts. The custom continuous bursts also require choosing the number of photos to take, between 2 and 50. Then, I had some fun photographing water droplets:
The other big change for still photos is in-camera depth composting. The R3 could already do in-camera focus bracketing. With Depth composing on, the R3 will now stack those photos in-camera, saving on editing time. You’ll get a JPEG only of the composite, but the camera still saves the RAW files if you need to manually stack and edit later.
This mode does require a tripod. The depth composting is a little picky — the R3 insulted me more than once, telling me that the photo I was trying to shoot was too flat and monochrome. Reducing the number of frames to shoot corrected the issue and I was able to capture this in camera at f4: