The Canon R3 Can Now Remember Specific Faces and Focus On Them


Canon has released a firmware update that improves the intelligence of the EOS R3 camera. Namely, it is now able to “remember” faces so they can be preferentially detected and tracked.

While there are a set of updates that the R3 is receiving via firmware version 1.4.0, perhaps the most exciting is the ability to program specific faces into the camera’s memory. Canon’s release notes don’t say how many faces the camera can be programmed to remember at a time, but it can be “pre-registered” with specific people so the camera will prioritize them in groups.

While it sounds like an absolute godsend for wedding photographers who want to keep certain members of the family or the bride and groom in focus regardless of the situation, Canon does stipulate that the feature isn’t foolproof.

“The effect may not be obtained depending on the shooting environment and scenes where the subject is moving, such as when the face is small, when the face is slanted/side profile, when part of the face is hidden, or when the subject is moving,” the company says.

Still, if it works when a selected person when they are among a large group, photographers will have a much easier time nailing the shot even when a desired subject is surrounded by other people.

The update adds several other features to the camera, including compatibility with the EL-5 Speedlite, the ability to load communications settings to a card and transfer them to other EOS R3 cameras, and the ability to automatically protect images that are being transferred by FTP — Canon says this last note makes it possible to determine whether or not the image has been FTP-transferred.

Canon has also added what it calls Panning Assist to the R3, which when combined with a “compatible lens” allows camera shake correction and subject blur correction to both be performed during an exposure. The company says it has also reduced the amount of time the camera’s system takes to reflect white balance changes in the viewfinder when auto white balance is in use.

The EOS R3 firmware version 1.4.0 is available immediately and can be downloaded from Canon’s website.