Canon R3 can now remember people’s faces

Canon has released a new firmware update for its Canon EOS R3 full-frame mirrorless camera. Firmware update version 1.4.0 incorporates a range of enhancements, including the ability to pre-register people’s faces with the camera.

Register people

According to the release note for firmware 1.4.0, the update adds a “Register people priority” option to the EOS R3’s menu. You can pre-register peoples’ faces with the camera using the new feature. The R3 will then track these faces with priority over other subjects when they are detected. This also means the camera will automatically focus on your chosen subject in a group or crowd situation. However, Canon hasn’t said how many faces can be pre-registered with your R3.

Limitations

Canon’s release notes do set some limitations of the new face pre-registration feature. It seems that the feature may not operate if faces are too small to detect. The detection can also fail if your subject is in profile, turned at an angle or partially hidden. Finally, Canon says the new feature might not detect your pre-registered faces in scenes where the subject is moving or due to certain shooting environments.

Other new features

As well as some fixes, firmware update 1.4.0 adds Panning Assist to the OS R3. This feature means that when a compatible lens is used for panning shots, image stabilization and subject blur correction are applied during the exposure. The upgrade also adds a “Save/load comm. settings on card” option. This means you can now transfer your Network Settings between cameras of the same model. In addition, there are improvements to the R3’s auto white balance setting and support for Speedlite EL-5 flash. Finally, the update adds a Protect Images During FTP Transfer option to the camera menu so that images transferred via FTP can now be automatically protected.

What we think

Firmware update 1.4.0 adds some great new features to the Canon EOS R3. The ability to pre-register peoples’ faces so that the camera will recognize them later has so many uses. A sports photographer could use it to pick out their subject in a group. Similarly, having the camera effectively look for your subject in a crowd for event coverage or wedding photography could be a huge help. Given the limitations set out by Canon, it’s clearly still a work in progress to some extent. But hopefully, the feature will get more reliable over future iterations and updates. The update is free and includes some fixes, so if you own an EOS R3, you should update now.

Pricing and availability

The firmware version 1.4.0 update for the EOS R3 full-frame mirrorless camera is available to download from the Canon website now.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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