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Dynamic Range tests for the EOS R3
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Dynamic Range tests for the EOS R3

The EOS R3 has been shipping and in people's hands for a while now, and both DXO and PhotonstoPhotos have tested the dynamic range using their separate methodologies.

The R3 performs as well as any other camera out there using the photonstophotos methodology but it shows a curious "double step" with ISO gain at ISO 400 and ISO 1273 (2/3's of a stop above ISO 800 and 1/3 of a stop under ISO 1600)

This triple gain (base ISO, ISO 400, ISO 1600) allows the R3 to perform exceptionally well at low light.

How does it perform against the other stacked sensor sports cameras? With PhotonsToPhotos, against the A1, the R3 actually has a higher dynamic range at base ISO and a higher dynamic range from ISO 1600 onwards.  Very impressive results.  Granted the A1 has a higher resolution, however with stacked sensors resolution has a minimal impact on dynamic range.  

DXO's measurements are slightly different than photonstophotos, however, it still shows a curious triple gain at 400 and 1600.  The R3's base DR of 14.7EV ties it with the best performing full-frame camera in terms of base ISO dynamic range.  It also has the best "sports" score which is a combination of high ISO noise, dynamic range, and color depth of any full-frame camera, allowing DXO to give call it the best low light performer.  An overall score of 96 is just a shade under the top scores for full-frame cameras, which are the Nikon D850, Sony A7R III, and Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R all at 100.

In short, it's safe to assume that any fabrication advantage Sony had for the past 8 or so years is now officially over, as Canon has caught up in terms of dynamic range and sensor read speed.  It's an impressive jump for Canon, as they had to develop the manufacturing capability for backside-illuminated sensors and stacked sensors all in one generation.

It's a shame supply issues are keeping the EOS R3 out of photographer's hands we can only suggest that if you have not gotten on the waiting list, to get on it now.

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