The Canon EOS R3 Will Be 24 Megapixels According To EXIF Data

Despite confirming a ton of specs, Canon has held back revealing the resolution of its forthcoming speed beast. However, EXIF data from images shot using a prototype R3 at the Olympics show that the camera has a 24-megapixel sensor.

It’s long been assumed that the R3 would have a comparatively low-resolution sensor given the speed at which Canon has said it will churn through images (30 frames per second using the electronic shutter). Over on the Canon Rumors forum, several users including Neale Smith pulled up the EXIF data from some of the shots produced on the R3 by photographer Jeff Cable at the Olympics and discovered original image dimensions listed as 6000 by 4000 pixels. This gives a sensor resolution of 24 megapixels.

Cable confirmed earlier this month that he would be shooting on a pre-production version of the R3 and has since posted a number of images from the Games.

Canon’s flagship DSLRs have always had sensors with relatively low resolutions which suits not only the rate at which images are shot, but also the speed at which they need to be delivered, often uploaded immediately and used by news and sports agencies within minutes. Higher resolutions are largely redundant. In addition, a lower resolution can bring a number of benefits such as an increased potential for autofocus performance to remain consistent when shooting at its fastest frame rates, and a bigger buffer.

It’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a chance that several R3 test bodies with different sensors are currently being tested and the industry awaits confirmation from Canon.

Mysteriously, TechRadar reported last week that rumors “strongly suggested” that the R3 would have 45 megapixels. It’s not clear where they sourced this information and so far no one else has suggested such a high resolution.

Were you hoping for 30 megapixels? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 Comments

Tony Northrup's picture

It frustrates buyers when a top-end model isn't the best in every way. The R3 will be the most expensive Canon mirrorless camera but it will capture less detailed pictures than the less expensive R5. Buyers are forced to choose between frame rate and megapixels, and whichever choice they make, they know they're giving up something. I suspect the R1 will provide a best-of-both-worlds approach (like the Sony a1). However, as long as throughput is a bottleneck, lower megapixels will always have the potential to yield higher frame rates.

Michael Krueger's picture

I might be mistaken but doesn't the lower MP count allow better ISO performance because the pixels are larger?

Christian Fiore's picture

Depends on the manufacturer. For Sony, generally no. When output at the same size, all five current resolutions Sony offers for FF (12, 24, 42, 50, 61) result in similar DR and high ISO, up till around 6400 or 12,800.

Canon dosen't seem to be using the same generation of tech in each of its current sensors, so each one performs differently. Generally, the higher the MP, the lower the IQ, even if downsized in post.

Stuart C's picture

It also doesn't help when Youtube gear channels are constantly pushing this fallacy that more more more, bigger bigger bigger is the only thing that is good enough.........oh wait.

David Pavlich's picture

This looks like a top choice for pro event shooters. You don't need high pixel counts for weddings, concerts, sports and so on. The pros want great focus, robust construction, great low light performance, all of which the R3 will provide AND have Canon's ergonomics.

The real world reviews are going to be fun considering the eye focus control. It's a great time to be a gizmo junkie!

Stig Nygaard's picture

Although I think 24mp is realistic and don't see anything wrong with it, I am not convinced of this "exif proof" ...

When I resize my photos in Photoshop those Exif-data are updated to the new image-dimension. Of course in this case the exif-data shows different dimensions than the image, so it is a very realistic assumption that the "exif-dimensions" originate from the camera. However, then it is interesting to read an older Jeff Cable's blog-post where he makes a wishlist for Canons future professional camera:

* User selectable image resolution
Many of the newer DSLR and mirrorless cameras are offering really high resolutions, in the 40MP to 70MP range. For most of my photography, I don't need or even want that type of resolution. But I would love to have the choice to shoot at various resolutions, depending on what I am capturing. I would love to have a camera that would let me shoot anywhere from 20MP to 50MP, and make it use selectable.
[ http://blog.jeffcable.com/2021/01/my-wish-list-for-next-canon.html ]

So if the camera indeed has such a function, maybe JC wouldn't choose highest resolution?

Andrew Montague's picture

This potential disappointment over the "low" number of MP in the R3 reminds me of car buyers who a upset when their car isn't posting the fastest top speed or quickest 0-60 times, despite them never ever pushing it to those limits.

This obsession with technicals always obscures the fact that these cameras will be used by talented photographers to capture stunning images that I, as a rank amateur, couldn't capture with a Sony A1 or Canon 1DXiii. I really wish we could move beyond this tech obsession but I guess it's here to stay...