Canon EOS R5 Review

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Canon EOS R5 Review

Since we published our initial evaluation of the Canon EOS R5 in August 2020, during which time we proclaimed it to be “Canon’s finest ever stills camera,” a lot has transpired in the realm of cameras.

This assertion is still accurate, and the EOS R5 is, without a doubt, the most impressive mirrorless camera that Canon has produced to this point. It is almost definitely the greatest Canon camera that is currently available on the market as well.

But now that the Sony A7S III and the Sony A1 have been released, and Canon has responded by releasing firmware upgrades for the EOS R5 and announcing the Canon EOS R3, is it now on the edge of being eclipsed by its competitors?

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Not quite yet. The firmware upgrades for the Canon EOS R5 have been put through their paces, and while they do not fundamentally alter the camera’s personality, they do make the camera better and smooth off its rough edges. The judgment on this camera’s video capabilities is a little more complicated, despite the fact that it is an excellent stills camera and among the finest, that money can buy right now.

To summarise, if recording video is your top priority, you should put the Canon EOS R5 through its paces in settings that are as similar as possible to the workflow you use in the real world. If you do so, you could discover that it is still one of the greatest video cameras that money can buy. If you want to record lengthy, prolonged takes, you could be better off with the Sony A7S III. However, if you think of the Canon EOS R5 as a stills camera that you’ll rarely use to shoot high-quality video, you won’t likely ever have issues with the camera overheating.

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The screen that can be articulated for the Canon EOS R5

However, the Canon EOS R5 has very few drawbacks for photographers who primarily work with still images. This is a camera that is just as at home (and capable) of recording breaking news stories at night as it is in professionally lit studios thanks to the combination of a next-generation autofocus technology, superb picture quality, and quick continuous shooting at 12fps/20fps.

The autofocus of the EOS R5 is deserving of special recognition. Its subject identification and tracking capabilities are equally as outstanding as its eye-detection capabilities, which are very accurate and sticky. If you routinely engage in wildlife photography, as we did, you will find that the animal detection feature is nothing short of mind-blowing and a significant selling point on its own. If you do not regularly engage in wildlife photography, however, you will not find this feature very useful.

What about the lifespan of the battery? This is an evident limitation, particularly if you are transitioning from a conventional DSLR. However, we were able to pull off around four hours of very intense shooting while utilizing the EVF. This implies that during a typical shot, you will run through two or perhaps three batteries during the span of a single day. It is not nearly the obstacle that it initially looks to be due to the fact that spares are simple to come by and reasonably inexpensive, as well as backward compatibility with the earlier LP-E6N battery.

If you are a high-volume, high-speed filmmaker, the heat restrictions of the EOS R5 may feel like a burden to you. But as we were filming our documentary for half a day in a number of different formats, we did not see any alerts about the camera being too hot.

A recent firmware upgrade included the Canon Log 3 (or C-Log 3) format to the camera, which will assist its footage in fitting into cinematic processes. The video footage was very crisp and adaptable for color grading. It is also possible to produce relatively smooth photos without the use of a gimbal thanks to the combination of stabilized RF-mount lenses and in-camera image stabilization (IBIS) technology.

Canon EOS R5 Animal Eye AF in action

The Canon EOS R5 delivers a lot of tiny pleasures, which is exactly what you’d anticipate at this price. At least to our naked eyes, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is superior to the optical viewfinders that are included in DSLRs and are virtually indistinguishable from them. In addition, its resistance to the elements is on par with that of the 5D series, but the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III is somewhat more robust in this regard.

With the EOS R5, Canon has pulled out all the stops, which is understandable given the stakes. It came to the mirrorless camera party quite late, and the competition at the professional level is already extremely tough. However, it is Canon’s greatest camera for stills photographers, and it is a hybrid choice that is more than adequate for people who want to blend stills shooting with some video shooting as well.

Instead, the Sony A7S II is an option for professional filmmakers who are interested in purchasing a compact hybrid camera with a primary focus on 4K video recording. Check out our review of the Canon EOS R6 if you’re not a professional photographer of any type. However, even if you are in the same position as us and are unable to justify the price of the Canon EOS R5, it is still an interesting illustration of what occurs when Canon completely commits to mirrorless technology.

It was originally difficult to locate stock of the EOS R5, as demand exceeded supply for the first few months of the product’s existence; however, the EOS R5 is now readily accessible around the globe.

Design and Handling

  • 738 grams in weight when the lens is removed.
  • Replace the Touch Bar with a joystick on the rear of the apparatus
  • Impressive 5.76-million pixel EVF

The Canon EOS R5 isn’t going to revolutionize the way things are done in terms of their designs. However, this is not a terrible thing considering how user-friendly the Canon EOS R, on which it is substantially based, already is.

The EOS R5 is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor in terms of its width and height; however, its depth has been increased by an unknown three millimeters, and its weight has been increased by 70 grams.

The touch bar, which was a touch-sensitive strip on the top right of the camera, has been removed from the EOS R, which is a significant change. This may be a tribute to the camera’s lackluster reception. A hefty, knurled joystick that can be used to navigate focusing points and menus has been installed in its stead. This control is analogous to the one seen on Canon’s other high-end cameras.

The top display of the Canon EOS R5 for shooting information

When you first pick up the EOS R5, the first thing that will jump out at you is how light and airy it feels in your grasp. Its weight of 738g with a card and battery compares extremely favorably to the weight of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, which is 890g, and even more favorably to the 1.4kg curb weight of the tank-like Canon EOS 1D X Mark III, which is also a Canon camera.

The EOS R5 has a solid feel to it, and it has a deep grip that makes it simple and pleasant to handle. On the other hand, it is not just simple to carry around, but it also does not seem like it is a burden. It is believed that the R5’s weather resistance is up to the quality of Canon’s 5D series, and specialists will tell you that this implies the camera should be able to handle challenging weather conditions better than some shooters. In the majority of circumstances, we feel confident.

It is quite clear that Canon has a deft hand when it comes to the construction of cameras that are speedy and straightforward to operate. In addition to that four-way joystick, which makes navigating the menus or choosing the autofocus points a breeze, you also get a click-wheel on the back of the camera, as well as a dial behind the shutter button and a ring around the mode dial. All of these controls are conveniently located on the same side of the camera.

Keep in mind that RF-mount lenses also include a control ring, which makes it simple to place the EOS R5 in the perfect shooting position. If you’ve used one of Canon’s other cameras in the past, you won’t have much of a learning curve to deal with because the R5 is simple to get used to. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just getting started with photography for the first time, you’ll find the menus to be snappy, easy to use, and packed with strong features.

Your current shooting information is shown in the shape of a square on a display located on the upper right shoulder of the camera. This is an effective method for turning off the rear monitor in between photos, and the illumination of the secondary display may be manually toggled on and off. The touchscreen panel is also rather nice, coming in at a generous 3.15 inches in size and providing a quality of 2.1 megapixels. In addition to that, it has a variable angle, which is useful for filming.

However, oh heavens, there is the electronic viewfinder. Only the electronic viewfinder (EVF) found in the Sony A7S III and the Sony A1 has a higher resolution than this one right now, with 9.44 million pixels. Even while the viewfinder on the R5 only has 5.76 million pixels, in practice it was nearly impossible to tell it apart from the genuine optical viewfinders that are featured in conventional DSLR cameras.

Beautifully smooth and with an incredible amount of fine detail, it makes the normal bugbear of mirrorless cameras – being able to tell when an image with a slim depth of field is actually focused – a thing of the past. It is a thing of the past because it is beautifully smooth and has an incredible amount of fine detail. It is fairly simple to determine, and the fact that focus peaking is accessible even in the manual focus mode contributes to the R5’s overall user-friendliness.

Autofocus

  • 5,940 AF zones
  • Detection of both animals and faces
  • One hundred per cent coverage for the horizontal autofocus

The autofocus on the Canon EOS R5 is so good that it’s almost incredible. Its eye detection is so accurate that it can lock onto human faces and maintain that hold even when the subjects are moving quickly forwards or backward within the picture. An equally noteworthy accomplishment is subject detection and tracking.

The new animal detection mode is so incredible that we couldn’t stop raving about it throughout our wildlife test; it enabled the R5 to identify and track the eyes and faces of non-human animals despite the challenging conditions.

The R5 incorporates an updated version of Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, which ensures that focusing is carried out directly on the sensor. This gives you the ability to manually select one of 5,940 different autofocus points that are spread throughout 100 percent of the horizontal dimension of the sensor and 90 per cent of the vertical dimension.

You have the ability to cut things in any way you see fit, including dividing the sensor into big autofocus zones, letting it choose completely on its own, or selecting teeny-tiny individual autofocus points by either sliding your thumb across the touchscreen panel or using the joystick. When you’ve settled on a zone, the R5’s autofocus will blow your mind and leave you speechless.

At the moment, animal recognition is only effective for canines, felines, and avian species; nevertheless, it is not completely oblivious to other kinds of animals. Even while we are excited to see where Canon takes this focusing technology in the future, we have to admit that they have gotten off to a very strong start with the EOS R5.

Performance

  • 12 frames per second (fps) mechanical shutter, 20 frames per second electronic shutter
  • batteries that are compatible with older technology
  • Modes of high-speed video capture

Because the R5 is equipped with a Digic X CPU, it is reasonable to anticipate high performance from it, and our testing confirmed that this was the case.

When we used our SanDisk Extreme Pro card, we discovered that the buffer was cleared nearly as quickly as we were able to shoot, allowing us to write several frames per second after we had done shooting a succession of raw files. When utilizing the mechanical shutter, the Canon EOS R5 can take 12 frames per second, but when using the electronic shutter, it can take up to 20.

We observed the very little indication of the jello effect, which might set the minds of purists who are worried about electronic shutters at ease. It was possible to detect a very small amount of distortion on frames that contained tall elements, but even with extremely fast subjects, frames shot with the electronic shutter were just as usable as those shot with the mechanical option. This was the case even when tall elements were included in the frame. Another advantage is that the electronic shutter has no audible clicks or other sounds when it is open or closed. Rejoice, wildlife photographers and photographers who photograph weddings!

The length of time a charge may be maintained also receives a resounding endorsement. On a single charge, we were able to get nearly four hours of fairly heavy shooting out of it (about 2,000 raw frames, all taken with the power-sucking electronic viewfinder). This is still a long way behind standard DSLRs, of course, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

During a shoot that is moderately demanding, we may expect to run through around two batteries in a day and, at the very most, three batteries. It is probable that many upgraders will already have a few extras of the LP-E6N battery because the R5 is backward-compatible with it. The LP-E6N battery was introduced with the EOS 7D in 2009.

Video Quality

The performance of the video is also quite high-quality. The Canon EOS R5 was put through its paces during a modest half-day documentary shoot (which you can read about up there), during which it recorded a little over 240 gigabytes worth of 4K video and a total of slightly more than 55 minutes.

Out of that total, approximately slightly under 38 minutes were captured in 4K, All-I, 25 frames per second, and 10-bit Canon LOG. The remaining footage (just a hair under 17 minutes) was captured at 50 frames per second, still in All-I, and in LOG. It is important to mention that the shot took place on the hottest day of the year, with the ambient temperature reaching an unpleasant 32 degrees throughout the day. We could not find any indications about the device overheating.

Canon claims that the R5 can shoot for up to 35 minutes at 50 or 60 frames per second before it overheats. Once it reaches that stage, it will recover at the rate of one shootable minute for every minute that it is allowed to cool down.

It is quite possible that you could use the R5 fairly intensively without ever seeing an overheating warning if you are shooting 24 or 25 frames per second films with a smattering of 60 frames per second for slow-motion clips. However, this is not ideal if you want to shoot a documentary in 4K at 60 frames per second. According to Canon, there is no heat constraint while shooting full-frame 4K video at 25 or 30 frames per second.

Putting those rather exaggerated allegations about the Canon EOS R5 overheating to the side for a while, it is far more helpful – and entertaining – to have a look at the outcomes that the camera is capable of producing. The LOG files that we filmed in 4K were tremendously versatile when it came to the grading process, and the video quality was stunningly crisp.

It is also important to note that a recent firmware update, version 1.3.0, has brought the very useful Canon Log 3 (C-Log 3) format. This format allows you to achieve a wide dynamic range and means that it slots nicely into workflows that also include footage shot on Canon’s EOS Cinema cameras. Other cameras that can shoot in this format are Sony’s F55 and Sony F65. The update also provides a slow-motion recording option at 120 frames per second for Full HD, but unfortunately, the 30-minute recording restriction for video files is still in place.

Still, the combination of stabilized RF-mount lenses and in-camera IBIS guarantees that it is possible to make relatively smooth tracking images on the EOS R5 without the use of a gimbal. This is the case as long as the user treads gently enough. All of the RF-mount lenses that we carried, including the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM, and RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, had silent tracking autofocus. The EOS R5 might be a fantastic asset to any toolset for those who work alone on shoots or who are charged with capturing BTS (Behind the Scenes) or B-roll footage.

A word of caution: if you want to record 10-bit files, you will need to edit them using the appropriate software. Those who are still utilizing the free version of Resolve offered by BlackMagic will be required to upgrade. Premiere Pro, which is included in Adobe Creative Cloud, was utilized for both the editing and grading processes.

Image quality

The R5 produces high-quality photographs, which is exactly what you’d expect given its affordable pricing. Amazingly, up to roughly ISO 4000, you should have relatively few worries, which is the upper limit of the range. If you continue to push farther, you will see fine-grained speckling in your photographs. We believe journalistic photographers won’t mind it too much, but those who are planning on making art prints might want to be a little more careful.

The R5 is capable of shooting at ISOs as high as 102,400, making it ideal for photographers who are committed to capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments regardless of the light. We shot furiously up to an ISO of 51,200, and despite the fact that the resulting images were grainy, there was no color shift to bother with, and there was an abundance of information.

The fact that the EOS R5 is an amazing piece of photography equipment is further demonstrated by the fact that it is not only able to take pictures with reasonable shutter speeds even in low light, but it is also able to capture stunning, high-resolution shots under ideal lighting conditions. Check out our piece on a wildlife photographer’s trip to a bird hide for a more in-depth look at the performance of the EOS R5’s Animal Eye AF.

Final Verdict

The EOS R5 is Canon’s greatest ever stills camera, and it’s an immensely powerful instrument for practically every form of photography you can think of. Despite the fact that this adaptability does not exactly extend to video, it is nevertheless an appealing hybrid choice provided that its restrictions are taken into consideration. The price tag is the single most significant obstacle for the majority of us.

Canon EOS R5 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution8192 x 5464
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels45 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic X
ISOYes, 100-51200 (expands to 102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesWorks with lens-based IS systems for maximum shake reduction
CIPA image stabilization rating8 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points1053
Lens mountCanon RF
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.76×
Viewfinder resolution5,760,000
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±6 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
FormatMPEG-4, H.264, H.265
Modes8192 x 4320 @ 30p / 1,300 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM8192 x 4320 @ 24p / 1,300 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM8192 x 4320 @ 23.98p / 1,300 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM7680 x 4320 @ 30p / 1,300 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM7680 x 4320 @ 23.98p / 1,300 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM4096 x 2160 @ 120p / 1,880 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM4096 x 2160 @ 60p / 940 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM4096 x 2160 @ 30p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM4096 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 120p / 1,880 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 940 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 470 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesCFexpress and SD (UHS-II) slots
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac (dual-band) + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6NH lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)320
Weight (inc. batteries)738 g (1.63 lb / 26.03 oz)
Dimensions138 x 98 x 88 mm (5.43 x 3.84 x 3.46″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

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