Mirrorless milestones: celebrating the Canon EOS R System so far

The EOS R System has existed only a few short years, but photographers and filmmakers are pushing the technology in exciting and unexpected ways. Here we showcase some of the pros' favourite shoots so far and the key kit developments that have made them possible.
An image, taken on a Canon EOS R6 Mark II, of a speed flyer splash landing in a lake, their reflection visible on the surface of the water.

The Canon EOS R System has enabled photographers such as Teddy Morellec to capture key moments which, in the past, would have been easy to miss. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 Mark II with a Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens at 33mm, 1/4000 sec, f/7.1 and ISO 640. © Teddy Morellec

The Canon EOS R System has grown exponentially since its launch in September 2018. What started out as a single mirrorless camera, plus a handful of RF lenses and mount adapters, now encompasses 13 bodies, 35 lenses and multiple accessories, and spans both full-frame and APS-C formats.

The development of the EOS R System has already reached some major milestones. Always at the cutting-edge of technology, it's seen the launch of the world's first 8K mirrorless hybrid camera, the EOS R5, broken new ground with AI-powered autofocus and enabled immersive content creation with the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE VR lens.

Even as next-generation products are launched, Canon continues to support photographers, filmmakers and content creators who use the EOS R System with major firmware updates. Innovative features that have been introduced this way include a custom high-speed continuous shooting option for the EOS R3 – which extends the RAW burst rate to a blistering 195fps – and the EOS R5's IBIS High Resolution function, which uses the camera's In-Body Image Stabilizer to produce a super-high-res image of approximately 400MP.

In the relatively short time since introducing our innovative mirrorless system it has already made some amazing things possible. Here, you can hear from some of the pros who are taking advantage of the technology to realise images that would have been hard or impossible to capture before, and explore the major breakthroughs of the EOS R System (so far).

Evolution of a game-changer

A graphic showing the beginning of a vertical timeline, with the text "9/2018" to the right and a photo of a bride in makeup to the left.


EOS R System launched

The launch of the EOS R and four RF lenses gave Canon Ambassadors the tools to elevate their imagery.

Canon's innovative EOS R System debuted in 2018. With its pioneering RF mount and full-frame mirrorless design, the 30.3MP EOS R camera introduced new photographic opportunities. At launch, it was supported by four dedicated RF lenses, plus three mount adapters that enabled photographers to experience the advanced performance of the EOS R with their existing EF and EF-S lenses. The four RF lenses were the RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM, the RF 50mm F1.2L USM, the RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM and the RF 28-70mm F2L USM.

The EOS R System was developed around the RF mount, a new-generation lens mount that allowed the rules of lens design to be reimagined. The large mount, short flange back and high-speed communication enabled a new breed of lenses that delivered higher quality and were faster than their EF equivalents – and unique primes and zooms that hadn't been possible before, such as the first standard zoom with a constant f/2 aperture. RF lenses could be more compact, have a higher optical performance or include new functions – and in some cases they did all three.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "8/2019" to the left and a photo of a man's head above water to the right.

3 x F/2.8 ZOOMS

Trinity RF lenses make their debut

Four women row a narrow boat along a wide river at dawn.

"I loved including the environment, then homing in for tighter shots" – Matthew Joseph

Photographing rowers with Canon's f/2.8 trinity RF zoom lenses

For decades, professional photographers have relied on Canon's trinity of professional EF mount f/2.8 zoom lenses to deliver outstanding results in tough conditions. But the launch of the trinity of ultra-wide, standard and telephoto RF zooms marked a new high-performance era.

Each of the RF Trinity optics took the classic professional workhorse lens qualities – L-series build, excellent image quality and a fast maximum aperture that's consistent throughout the zoom range – and elevated them.

The RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM is similar in size to the EF version, for example, but boasts 5-stops of image stabilisation, enhanced image quality and a lens control ring for improved handling. Likewise, the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM introduced an Image Stabilizer as well as faster, quieter autofocus and a wider view compared to its EF cousin.

It was with the launch of the compact, lightweight RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM that the size advantages of the mirrorless RF mount were most evident, though. The all-purpose telephoto's new space-saving design, 5-stop Image Stabilizer and fastest-ever AF have made it an unrivalled choice for shooting stills and video handheld.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "7/2020" to the right and a photo of a man hanging off a cliff to the left.


First Canon EOS cameras with IBIS launched

A heron with a fish in its beak appears to skip along the surface of the water as it prepares to take flight. © Robert Marc Lehmann

© Robert Marc Lehmann – Canon Ambassador

If the EOS R showed the potential offered by the EOS R System technology, the Canon EOS R5 and the EOS R6 demonstrated some of the potent ways it could be used. They were the first Canon bodies to feature an In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) which can deliver up to 8-stops of stability with IS or non-IS lenses, and works collaboratively with lenses featuring optical IS.

They also marked the first time that autofocus programmed using deep-learning AI had been used in a Canon mirrorless camera. Originally developed for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the AF technology was more advanced in the EOS R5 and EOS R6, which were able to automatically track dogs, cats and birds as well as people.

As the world's first 8K mirrorless camera, the EOS R5 set a new benchmark for hybrid performance. Its cutting-edge sensor could output 45MP stills silently at 20fps as well as full-frame 12-bit 8K RAW video. The EOS R6 delivered near-identical performance but with a more prudent 20.1MP and 4K 60p video.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "1/2021" to the left and a close-up photo of a dragonfly to the right.


Debut of the world's first full-frame AF macro lens with 1.4x magnification

A close-up of a small crested gecko with bulging eyes and its tongue curled around the side of its face, taken with a Canon RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM lens.


The launch of the RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM

This professional close-up lens broke new ground for macro photography. Taking all the best features of its EF equivalent to the next level, the Canon RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM added Dual Nano USM focus motors for faster, smoother autofocus, plus an enhanced Hybrid Image Stabilizer that delivered up to 5-stops of stability.

The RF lens' maximum magnification was the big news, though. While the majority of macro lenses max out at 1x magnification, the RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM goes beyond life-size to render subjects 40% larger and reveal details that other macro lenses cannot without the use of additional accessories.

Further versatility was offered by the variable Spherical Aberration control ring. This enables creative control over the look of the bokeh in the foreground and background, while applying a sympathetic soft-focus effect to the subject. While other macro lenses are unforgiving when it comes to shooting portraits, the RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM gives you the optimum blend of sharpness and blur.

 A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "9/2021" to the right and a photo of a man photographing a rally car to the left.


Flagship full-frame mirrorless camera for action photographers

Canon's flagship full-frame camera raised the game for sports, wildlife and news photography. The Canon EOS R3 delivered a new level of performance and innovation, with state-of-the art stacked sensor technology enabling 6K RAW 60p video to be recorded internally, plus a continuous stills shooting speed of up to 30fps with full AF/AE tracking. A later firmware update would see a staggering 195fps high-speed burst option added to the camera.

The refined performance extended to a sportier deep-learning autofocus system. In addition to detecting people and animals, the EOS R3 introduced the ability to recognise and track motorsport vehicles. The camera also came equipped with Eye Control AF, enabling the user to focus on the subject by simply looking at it in the viewfinder.

The launch of the EOS R3 marked the debut of Canon's Multi-function shoe – a next-gen mount that replaced the conventional hotshoe on a camera. As well as being compatible with existing Speedlites and triggers, the Multi-function shoe is able to provide power and advanced communication for new accessories.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "10/2021" to the left and a photo of a man performing a high kick to the right.

Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE

Innovative virtual reality lens launched

The high-resolution 8K sensor technology developed for the EOS R5 and the EOS R5 C has unlocked a host of creative opportunities for photographers and filmmakers – including the ability to produce immersive content. With the launch of the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE and the Canon EOS VR System, professional content creators were able to acquire a full input to output solution for generating stereoscopic 180° VR experiences.

Canon's innovative dual-lens design enabled two fisheye images to be recorded side-by-side on a single full-frame sensor. This made it simpler to set up and shoot stereoscopic images, effectively removing any issues of lens alignment and image synchronisation, and saving time in post-production.

VR workflows have been further streamlined with the addition of the EOS VR Utility software and the EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro, enabling Canon's circular fisheye footage and stills to be converted into equirectangular images for VR playback and further editing.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "1/2022" to the right and a photo of a man holding a ukulele to the left.


Canon's first video-first hybrid camera

Taking the successful blueprint of the Canon EOS R5, the Canon EOS R5 C delivered a video-first design focused on the needs of filmmakers and videographers. The smallest Cinema EOS camera fused the core features of the EOS R5, including the full-frame sensor, RF mount, 8K video and 45MP stills, with an extensive array of video recording formats and professional filmmaking tools. It was also the first camera to feature a dual interface which could be changed from EOS to Cinema EOS at the flip of a switch.

A new active cooling fan lifted the limit on long-duration 8K recording, for example, while Waveform Monitor, False Colour, Timecode and the ability to record in three Cinema RAW Light formats ensured that the EOS R5 C could be seamlessly integrated into an existing cinema camera setup.

The EOS R5 C has already proved indispensable on a range of productions, whether as a main camera, as a B-cam or rigged to a drone for epic 8K aerials. Its unique combination of compact size, high-res capture and Cinema EOS controls makes it ready for anything.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "5/2022" to the left and a photo of a lynx to the right.

EOS R7 & EOS R10

First EOS R System APS-C cameras and lenses released

The launch of the Canon EOS R7, the EOS R10 and the RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lenses marked a milestone in the history of the EOS R System. The first APS-C cameras and lenses to feature the RF mount demonstrated the decisive advantages that came from combining EOS R technology with the APS-C sensor format: smaller, lighter cameras and lenses that offered uncompromising performance.

The 32.5MP EOS R7 built on the legacy of the semi-professional EOS 7D series of DSLRs, with ultra-fast 30fps continuous shooting, intuitive controls and exceptional image quality. New design features, including a combined AF point selector and rear control wheel, allowed users to react more instinctively when shooting handheld. The camera also inherited Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology with deep learning AI and subject recognition from the flagship EOS R3 and EOS R5, plus it boasted an In-Body Image Stabilizer for shake-free images while shooting handheld.

For photographers and content creators looking for an even more portable option, the EOS R10 provided a rewarding blend of features. It too can automatically recognise people, animals and vehicles, and keep them sharply focused, and can reach a top shooting speed of 23fps. Paired with the RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, it offered the perfect package for content creators looking to travel light, while having versatile and dynamic kit.

A graphic showing a vertical timeline, with the text "11/2022" to the right and a photo of a person's legs in a van with mountains in the distance to the left

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

40fps burst shooting is unleashed

Shot from below, an image taken on a Canon EOS R6 Mark II of a mountain biker silhouetted against a clear blue sky as they leap from a jump surrounded by trees.

"Being able to shoot the sequence at 40fps gave me more choice for picking the best moment later" – Teddy Morellec

Hitting new heights with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Building on the Canon EOS R6's sensational high-speed, consummate low-light performance and outstanding image quality, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II delivers faster continuous shooting, more intelligent autofocus and advanced video capabilities.

With its 20fps shooting speed, the EOS R6 was no slouch, but the EOS R6 Mark II is able to hit an explosive 40fps with its electronic shutter. A 30fps RAW Burst mode with Pre-release enables you to capture the decisive moment even before you've pressed the shutter button.

Autofocus speeds are 80% faster than on the original EOS R6, and more precise, too, thanks to the next generation of deep-learning AI autofocus. The EOS R6 Mark II is able to detect and track more subjects than before, including aircraft, trains and horses.

Adding to this high-performance hybrid's versatility are professional video features that you'd expect to find on a Cinema EOS camera. Highlights include the ability to record 6K ProRes RAW to an external recorder, false colour warnings that provide an easy-to-see indication of exposure, and a heat efficient design for longer shoots.


Guia Besana

The shoot that marked a turning point
A model is lit with a red light and wrapped in vines.

"What is important for me is to be able to have the possibility to focus everywhere on the screen because 90% of my images are produced slowly on a tripod," says Guia. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/200, f/5 and ISO 640. © Guia Besana – Canon Ambassador

A close-up portrait of a model wearing a yellow outfit covered with flowers.

Guia says that another advantage of the EOS R System is the way it opens up the possibility to work with low light. "It makes things possible that you wouldn't have considered before because you knew the technology wouldn't have supported it," she says. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens at 1/200, f/2.8 and ISO 200. © Guia Besana – Canon Ambassador

A close-up portrait of a model looking up towards the camera and surrounded by flowers and foliage.

A Rummage of Flowers gave Guia the opportunity to use a 100mm macro lens for the first time. "Its quality was the trigger for me to always include some macro images in my work," she says. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/125, f/3.5 and ISO 200. © Guia Besana – Canon Ambassador

As one of the first photographers to shoot with the Canon EOS R, Guia Besana had to quickly get up to speed with the unfamiliar in more ways than one. "Up until that point I had been shooting reportage but I was starting to do more staged setups in my personal photography," she says. "I'd never used a studio before, so this shoot gave me the opportunity to try something new."

Guia says that the experience of shooting A Rummage of Flowers was a turning point for her. "If I'd been asked to shoot reportage with this camera, I probably wouldn't have pushed the new technology," she says. "Instead, being in a situation where I would typically use medium format showed me that I could achieve the image quality that I needed for my personal work using this small and easy-to-carry camera."

The idea behind the shoot, Guia explains, was to talk about women, their fragilities and their strengths. The resulting body of work combined models, flowers and vivid colours to captivating effect. Although she planned the ingredients for her images, Guia composed the pictures on the spot. "I was challenging myself as Canon was challenging me with a camera that I had never used before," she says. "The EOS R was on a tripod, which allowed me the time to consider the image and make any changes. I immediately saw that the autofocus technology was much better than I had been used to. I was able to touch any part of the screen to set the focus point, which was not possible before.

"The dedicated RF lenses are also very high quality," Guia adds. She primarily used the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM but also tried the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM via the Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. "When I downloaded the images, I immediately saw that the resolution and colours were amazing," she says. "This was a camera that could support large prints, and I knew that the quality of the files would be more than enough to replace medium format with the new mirrorless system."


Daniel Etter

Low light revelations
A portrait shot of a miner whose face is covered in black dust, taken on a Canon EOS R by Daniel Etter.

"This was just such a technically difficult shoot that it's hard to compare with anything else I've ever shot," says Daniel. The advanced technology of the EOS R System gave him an edge in the darkness though, including the bright electronic viewfinder that allowed him to see the image while supporting the camera in a natural position. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/30 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 400. © Daniel Etter – Canon Ambassador

A miner, whose face is covered in black dust, looks at the camera in a photo taken on a Canon EOS R by Daniel Etter.

"I spent three shifts below ground, so 24 hours in total," says Daniel. "Most of the time I was just sitting there because I couldn't see anything. I don't speak Romanian, so I couldn't really talk to the miners. But when they saw that I was down there working alongside them, I suppose they saw it as a sign of respect and they respected me in turn. Some of them still follow me online." Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/60 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 1250. © Daniel Etter – Canon Ambassador

"It wasn't an issue of having to shoot in low light – there was no light," says German documentarian Daniel Etter of one of the most technically demanding shoots he's ever been on. Photographing the men who work the Lupeni and Lonea coal mines in Romania's Jiu Valley saw him push the pioneering Canon EOS R to its limits in the unlit depths.

"Where the miners work is very far from the entrance," he recalls. "They call it the front and it's a 45-minute walk through passages that get ever smaller. Sometimes you have to crawl under conveyor belts and through the coal seams. It was pitch black and the only source of light was the miners' headlamps, and they were constantly on the move. This meant that it was extremely difficult to get anything in focus, as you were just waiting to get the light on the right spot. It's also obviously extremely dirty, with all of the coal dust getting onto the camera and into your eyes."

Another challenge Daniel had to overcome was the limitations on the equipment he was allowed to carry. "The coal seams release methane, and there was a worry that if you take electronic equipment down there, the whole thing could potentially blow up," he says. "So they take your camera to a lab to check it. You're also limited in what equipment you can take into the mines. I don't normally use flash, but that was certainly a place where it would have made sense to bring a Speedlite."

In the end, Daniel didn't need to push the EOS R beyond ISO 12,800 as the headlamps of the miners proved to be relatively bright sources of illumination.

Following his experience of working with minimal mirrorless kit in tough conditions, Daniel says he continues to travel light. "Nowadays, all I have is a Canon EOS R5, a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens and a bunch of batteries, plus a backup body and lens," he says. "That covers everything, and the way that the autofocus has advanced means that I can focus more on the content than the technical aspects of photography."

JUL 2021, SEP 2022 & MAY 2023

Fabio Mirulla

Creativity unlocked, once in a lifetime shot captured
The head of a desk lamp appears to cover a woman's body as she gets ready for her wedding day, in a black and white photo taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Fabio Mirulla.

This image won the International Wedding Photographer of the Year grand prize in 2021. Fabio used his Canon EOS R5's Image Stabilizer and a high ISO to ensure there was no motion blur from camera shake. "When I started to process the picture I was shocked that there was no noise," he says. "The lamp was lit by a smaller lamp to give it some three dimensionality, and the bride was backlit by the window. The detail in the file was fantastic." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/30 sec, f/22 and ISO 8000. © Fabio Mirulla – Canon Ambassador

A bride and groom read their vows while wedding guests use cushions to cover their heads as rain falls and lightning strikes in the distance, in a black and white photo taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Fabio Mirulla.

"For this kind of picture you need to have a lot of luck and this was an incredible coincidence," says Fabio. "We were totally drenched by the end of the ceremony, but after an hour, it stopped raining and we finished the session in the sun." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens at 1/1000 sec, f/2 and ISO 160. © Fabio Mirulla – Canon Ambassador

Wedding guests celebrate as the shadows of the bride and groom are cast on the ceiling, in a black and white photo taken on a Canon EOS R6 by Fabio Mirulla.

To capture the bride and groom's shadows without killing the ambient light, Fabio gave his Canon Speedlite EL-1 to a second photographer and remotely set the flash to below 1/128 power. "Having the ability to set the power all the way down to 1/8192 if I need to on this flashgun has been a revelation," he says. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF 16mm F2.8L STM lens at 1/200 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 3200. © Fabio Mirulla – Canon Ambassador

Wedding photographer Fabio Mirulla has earned a reputation for using his Canon EOS R System cameras and lenses to capture the unexpected. "Sometimes wedding photographers have this idea that you can only shoot beautiful pictures in incredible locations, but that's totally wrong," he says.

Fabio's forced perspective image, which ingeniously combined an adjustable lamp and a bride getting ready for her big day, was named the Grand Winner in the 5th International Wedding Photographer of the Year 2021. "When I had this idea, I thought it was a good one, but people went crazy for it, and yet, it's just a normal situation, with a normal lamp in a normal house," he says. "I needed to use f/22 to achieve the necessary depth of field, and I had to set a very high ISO to get a usable shutter speed. But the Canon EOS R5's IBIS really saved the day."

The EOS R5's high burst rate made the difference to another of Fabio's favourite wedding shots, captured ahead of an approaching thunderstorm. "We started the outdoor ceremony and raindrops soon started to fall, so I set the camera to its high-speed setting and just kept the shutter button pressed down, because I knew we wouldn't be there for long," he says. "Sure enough, a few minutes later it was raining cats and dogs! I've shot maybe 400-500 weddings in my career and I've never seen rain like that."

It was only days later, when reviewing the pictures on a computer, that Fabio realised he'd captured a bolt of lightning in one shot. "I've dreamed about this kind of picture for years!" he says. "The composition and positions of the bride and groom are perfect."

The unique range of RF lenses has also afforded Fabio new creative opportunities. He's embraced the sweeping views that the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens delivers to create striking party scenes, for example. "With a lens like that, you're not a photographer shooting the party from outside; you're in the middle of the scene," he says. "I get down low or hold the camera up high, and use the camera's Vari-angle screen to compose the shot."


Marina Cano

Magical, meaningful, forever memorable
A cougar mother and her two cubs sit amongst some bushes in a photo taken on a Canon EOS R3 by Marina Cano.

Marina took advantage of the EOS R3's high-speed electronic shutter to capture these shy animals. "The nice thing about the camera is that you can adjust the volume," she says. "I like to have it set to a very quiet level so that I am still able to hear it, but it didn't disturb the animals because they were so far away." Taken on a Canon EOS R3 with a Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens + Canon Extender EF 1.4x III at 840mm, 1/1000 sec, f/8 and ISO 2500. © Marina Cano – Canon Ambassador

Don't be fooled by the serene quality of Marina Cano's magical low-light shot of a cougar mother and her cubs; the conditions were tougher than they appear. At the moment the picture was taken, the wind was ferocious and the temperature near-freezing. "But it was one of those times where you are so focused on what you are doing that you don't feel anything," she says. "It's only later that you realise your fingers are numb with pain from the cold."

Marina captured the scene on a Canon EOS R3 during her first visit to Patagonia. It is now one of her favourites, an artful record of one of the most memorable encounters she's had in the wild. "I was hoping to be lucky and see maybe one or two cougars, but the first day we were exploring the terrain and witnessed something really unusual – 11 cougars in one area," she recalls. "These are normally solitary animals so it was an historic sighting. The people who work in the conservation programme there are experts in cougars, and they still don't have an explanation for that sighting."

Marina was tracking the predators on foot and took this eye-to-eye shot while lying on the ground some 18 metres from the animals. "I mainly photograph wildlife in Africa where you are always in a vehicle," she says. "But with cougars I didn't have the feeling of fear that you'd have if you were walking with lions – something I've never done, by the way."

A combination of camera features enabled her to realise her vision at speed. "One of the things I love about the EOS R System is being able to see the image in the viewfinder exactly as the camera sees it," she says. "I usually underexpose to create more drama, and I can see the effect precisely at the moment that I'm shooting.

"The autofocus is also amazing. When you're working with long lenses in low light, the speed and accuracy of focusing can be critical. But even here, the camera caught the eyes of the animals and was able to focus so fast. It enabled me to trust the camera so much."

JUNE 2023

Jonas Classon

One trip, new behaviour documented
Two razorbills mid-flight, clinging to each other's beaks with their wings outstretched, captured on a Canon EOS R3 by Jonas Classon.

Jonas shot this razorbills image handheld. "The lightweight design of the Canon RF 400mm F2.8L IS USM lens has been a game changer, and I now shoot handheld 95% of the time," he says. "The wind was so strong at this location though that I needed to take the lens hood off so I could hold the camera steady." Taken on a Canon EOS R3 with a Canon RF 400mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 1/1250 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 1600. © Jonas Classon – Canon Ambassador

A gannet soars across the sky with its wings outstretched as the sun's rays break through the dark clouds behind. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Jonas Classon.

"I'd studied how the wind was pushing the gannets upwards as they came over the cliff edge, so I was prepared for this fast movement which brought them pretty much to eye level," says Jonas. "It meant that I was able to anticipate the moment and quickly zoom out to capture the whole scene." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM lens at 100mm, 1/1000 sec, f/7.1 and ISO 400. © Jonas Classon – Canon Ambassador

When bird photographer Jonas Classon saw the image of two fighting razorbills appear on his Canon EOS R3's screen, he screamed. "I was so surprised because everything had happened so quickly," he says. "All I heard was the shutter sound from my camera, firing at 30fps as it tracked the birds spinning down towards the sea."

Jonas captured this magnificent mid-air moment during a visit to the UK's Bempton Cliffs, a high-rise coastal nature reserve that hums with bird life in spring and summer. "As soon as I saw the two birds were starting to lose their grip on the rocks, I quickly lifted my camera, held down the shutter and sprayed and prayed," he says. "The EOS R3's super-fast autofocus is a huge advantage for a bird photographer. There were only one or two seconds from when I first saw the behaviour to when I started shooting, but the camera simply nailed the focus.

"Out of the sequence of 80-100 images, there was one where everything came together. The wings were spread out perfectly and the background was dark blue sea instead of pale grey rock. That's thanks to the EOS R3's ability to capture these moments at such high speed, allowing me to really pick out that best image that tells the whole story.

"It enables me to push my limits as a photographer and to really be on the edge of my ability, and focus on the most important things – the birds' behaviour and everything going on around it."

Another of Jonas' highlights from the same trip is a shot of a cruising gannet. "We'd had five days of very cloudy weather and strong winds, but finally there was a sunrise that created this amazing light," he says. "I have seen this colourful phenomenon a few times but never with my camera in my hand – and especially not with a gannet flying beautifully over the ocean. I think in terms of the 'wow factor', it was one of the most memorable moments for me."

JULY 2023

Martin Bissig

Breaking away from the norm
A biker performs stunts on his bike in an underground nightclub decorated in neon lighting. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Martin Bissig.

Martin used his Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at its widest setting, which gives the colourful interior a cavernous quality that emphasises the reflections. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 15mm, 1/320 sec, f/3.5 and ISO 6400. © Martin Bissig – Canon Ambassador

A biker performs stunts on his bike in an underground nightclub decorated in neon lighting. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Martin Bissig.

In the initial round of shots, Tom was using his regular mountain bike. "It was Tom's idea to do a reshoot with his trail bike as he was able to perform more tricks on it to make the images appear more dynamic," says Martin. "I was already familiar with the location so we completed the session within 10-15 minutes." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 31mm, 1/800 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 8000. © Martin Bissig – Canon Ambassador

Action and sports photographer Martin Bissig travels the world to capture epic stories in stills and video for commercial and editorial clients. Expeditions and mountain biking are particular specialities, and where Martin's compact and lightweight EOS R System kit have made life on the road (and mountains) easier.

While you can't leave things to chance when planning an expedition, Martin recently seized the opportunity for an impromptu shoot with his Canon EOS R5 after discovering an inspiring location by chance.

"I was working alongside my friend [Mountain Bike & Trial rider] Tom Öhler on a mountain bike feature, and our location was a ski resort in Chongli, China," says Martin. "On that day, we decided to capture some street shots on the mountain bike. Unexpectedly, we stumbled upon an intriguing scene at our hotel. From the outside, it mirrored a European ski resort, but as we descended the escalator, we were greeted by the interior of what appeared to be a futuristic nightclub.

"As I began to take a few photographs, I was immediately taken aback by the avant-garde setup, which we hadn't anticipated. The lighting in the underground club was quite poor. However, shooting with the EOS R5 enabled me to confidently boost my ISO up to around 6400, even under these challenging conditions."

To make the most of the location, Martin stuck with one of his favourite lenses for shooting mountain biking: the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM. "It allowed me to capture not just the action but also the surrounding reflections on the floor and the lightbulbs on the ceiling," he says. "When I checked the images on the camera screen, I was instantly awestruck by the vivid colours, the reflection and the symmetry I had managed to capture. I immediately knew that these photos were quite different from my usual style.

"As an outdoor photographer, this indoor, spontaneous shot was something I had not planned for, but it surprisingly led me in an artistic direction that I do not typically venture into."

Whether you're shooting stills, video, or a combination of both, the Canon EOS R System provides the technical, optical and sensor performance that can take your work in a thrilling new direction. But this is just the start of the EOS R System story, with many more inspiring chapters to come.

Marcus Hawkins

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