This Photographer Has a Canon R3 at the Tokyo Olympics

Photographer Jeff Cable has covered the last 7 Olympic Games for Team USA, so its no wonder that Cable is one of the few lucky photographers Canon has selected to test out the upcoming Canon R3 mirrorless camera. Cable is currently shooting with the camera at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Cable revealed on his blog earlier this month that he was given a pre-production R3 to test and that he was hoping to put the camera through its paces at the 2020 Olympics.

“There are all kinds of new features (that have yet to be disclosed to the public), but the camera is distinctly Canon, which makes it easy to pick up and start shooting with,” Cable writes. “It is like upgrading from a familiar car to a new model with all the buttons and dials where we expect them, but with more horsepower and better handling.”

Cable tells us that can’t say much about the camera due to the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) he signed with Canon, but he’s apparently still able to share little tidbits and sample photos here and there through his blog.

A couple of weeks ago, Cable shared a photo of the camera gear he would be bringing with him to the Games:

Four camera bodies can be seen in the photo: two Canon R5 cameras, a Canon R3, and a Canon 1D X Mark III (to serve as a backup camera in addition to the three mirrorless cameras).

Cable has been documenting every step of his Olympic journey this year in great detail, from arriving at the airport in Japan and the 20-hour quest to get to his hotel to arriving at the press center at the Games and getting settled in.

The Canon CPS help desk in the photographers’ work area.
The photographers’ work area.

Last week, as the Games were about to be underway, Cable took the Canon R3 out for some casual testing and shooting.

“I took the camera out last night after sunset to have some fun,” Cable writes. “I was just outside my hotel (since I have a 15 minute time limit due to quarantine), so I decided to try some motion pans as the cars went by in front of me.

“I saw this taxi coming by with the Olympic logo and fired off some shots. I had the camera set to ISO 800 at f/4 which gave me 1/20th of a second for my shutter speed. I moved the camera and Canon RF24-105mm lens at the exact same speed as the oncoming taxi and got this photo.”

Shot with the Canon R3.

Cable then visited the Olympic Park and photographed the USA Water Polo women’s team practicing.

Shot with the Canon R3.
“This is one of my favorite shots of the practice, utilizing the super fast burst rate of the new camera to capture Ashleigh Johnson in the peak of action,” Cable writes.

After photographing the Opening Ceremony, Cable has been hard at work covering the Games and sharing select photos and stories on his blog.

Cable at the Opening Ceremony at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Opening Ceremony

While Cable isn’t stating which photos were shot by which camera, it’s quite clear that at least some of them were shot with the R3. (The photos below may or may not have been captured with the R3.)

USA Water Polo Women vs Japan. “I used a couple different cameras (and yeah one might have been an R3) and tried using both the Canon 200-400mm lens and the newer Canon RF100-500mm lens,” Cable writes. Both worked really well.”
USA Water Polo Mens vs Japan. “I am really lucky to be shooting with these newer Canon mirrorless cameras with super fast frame rates. This allows me to capture more high-quality images than ever before. It was a split second where the water curled off of the ball right into the Olympic Rings,” Cable writes.
USA Basketball Mens vs France. “Which camera was I using? A really good one!” Cable writes.
USA Basketball Mens vs France. “I used the subject tracking on the camera which did an amazing job of locking focus on the athletes,” Cable writes.

Head on over to Cable’s blog if you’d like to follow along with his coverage of the Tokyo Olympics and his testing of the highly-anticipated but yet-to-be-announced Canon R3.

Image credits: Photographs by Jeff Cable and used with permission