Weekly News Roundup: Canon’s Flagship EOS R3 and Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4

Editor’s note: With this article I inaugurate a new section on the website, a weekly news round-up featuring the most interesting announcements of the week. It’s a way for me to keep the website active at a time when I am unable to publish more reviews and comparisons for reasons I won’t bother you with. But fear not, I intend to get back on track soon. Enjoy!

This week’s round-up of news includes Canon’s new flagship mirrorless camera, a new wide-angle lens for Fujifilm users, as well as a couple of manual focus lenses that have been made available for more camera systems.

Canon EOS R3: development announced

A few weeks after Nikon announced the development of its flagship Z9, Canon has shared official information about the upcoming R3.

canon eos r3 front view with sensor cap off

As is common with development announcements, Canon didn’t share a lot of specifications, but there are some interesting things to mention.

  • Sensor: the R3 will have a brand new chip with a BSI / stacked structure
  • Speed: the camera will capture images up to 30fps with the electronic shutter (currently the R5 and R6 do a maximum of 20fps)
  • Autofocus: a new version of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF will be able to track the eyes, head and body of a subject. In addition to human and animals, there will be a new type of subject added in the AF Tracking options, but we don’t know what type yet. (Cars or bikes perhaps?) Canon also mentioned a new Eye Control function that will allow you to engage focus when bringing the camera to your eye. This is something that Canon first introduced with the EOS 5 film camera in 1992.

Like the Z9, the R3 design includes a built-in vertical grip. But what is more interesting is that both upcoming models will have a stacked sensor. Although the chips won’t be the same (Canon makes its own), it looks like both companies are following in Sony and the A9/A1 series’ footsteps. Should we expect a blackout-free live view experience? I hope so!

nikon z9 front view with 24-70mm 2.8 attached

Additional read:

Although Nikon released less information about the Z9, it mentioned one thing that Canon did not, and that is 8K video, but I think it is plausible to expect such a feature on the R3 as well.

Alongside the R3 development, Canon has also unveiled three new RF lenses:

  • RF 600mm F4 L IS USM
  • RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM

The first two are obviously linked to the R3 and aim at professional photographers already accustomed to this type of gear. Their optical design is based on the EF mark III versions (DSLR lenses) and they feature a double power drive method to ensure maximum AF performance. As you can imagine, the price tag is high ($12k and $13k respectively).

canon rf 400mm 2.8 without lens hood, 3/4 view
RF 400mm f2.8

Other characteristics of the RF 400mm and 600mm include:

  • 5.5 stop Optical Stabilization
  • 9-blade circular aperture
  • 17 elements in 13 groups
  • Fluorite and Super UD glass, ASC and Super Spectra coating
  • various controls on the barrel (switches, buttons and rings)
  • Weather sealing
  • 2.89kg (400mm) and 3.09kg (600mm)

The 100mm is the first true macro lens for the RF series, and has an interesting ratio of 1.4:1 which is higher than the usual 1:1 you find on this type of lens. It also features a Spherical Aberration Control ring to vary the appearance of the bokeh in the background and/or foreground. The retail price will start from $1400.

canon rf 100mm macro top view, without lens hood

Other characteristics of the RF 100mm 2.8 Macro are:

  • 5 stops Optical Stabilization (8-stops when combined with the R5 or R6 IBIS)
  • Dual Nano USM AF (with no focus breathing according to Canon)
  • 9-blade circular aperture
  • 17 elements in 13 groups
  • Min. focus distance: 26cm
  • Weather sealed
  • 730g

Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4

The 18mm 1.4 is a fast wide angle lens (27mm equivalent) and the first 1.4 prime from the brand to feature both weather resistance and a linear motor (Fuji claims a 0.04s locking speed with the X-T4). It weighs 370g and will be sold for $1000.

fuji 18mm 1.4 attached to the X-Pro3, top view

Other characteristics of the XF 18mm 1.4 are:

  • 15 elements in 9 groups (with 3 aspherical and 1 ED glass)
  • 9-blade circular aperture
  • Max. magnification 0.15x
  • Filter size Ø62mm
  • Aperture ring

Fujifilm offers now 19 prime lenses for the X series. This is the second 18mm lens after the f2 version that was launched with the original X-Pro1 nine years ago. The older lens has no weather sealing, a slower AF motor but is smaller and of course less expensive. I hope Fujifilm will release a mark II version of that lens one day (and one of the 35mm 1.4 too!).

x-pro1 camera with strap and 18mm f2 lens attached (with lens hood)
The X-Pro1 with 18mm f2

Fujirumors has got you covered if you’re looking for written and video reviews of the new lens, and the talented Jonas Rask has a beautiful set of sample images on his website.

Manual focus lenses

Two manual focus lenses are now availble for more camera systems (source Dpreview).

  • The Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f0.95 can be found for micro four thirds (in addition to Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X and Sony E mounts). Originally, the lens was designed for APS-C sensors. On a m4/3 camera, the equivalent field of view is 70mm. It should be found for around $600.
  • The TTArtisan 21mm f1.5, first released for Leica M cameras, is now available for Nikon Z and Sony E too. It has an affordable price of $250 and weighs less than 500g.

About The Author

Mathieu Gasquet

Photo of author

Mathieu Gasquet is the co-owner and editor of Mirrorless Comparison, as well as the man behind all the camera tests. Mathieu has been a professional photographer for over 15 years. Before specializing in camera reviews, he worked as an event photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin, and as a videomaker for renowned Italian agencies, which allowed him to collaborate with important names such as Fiat, Sky Italia, Maserati, and more. Mathieu also studied cinema in France and obtained a degree in cinematography at the A.R.F.I.S. school in Lyon.

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