Canon EOS R5 Review – A powerful mirrorless camera with a high resolution

The Canon EOS R5 is a great camera for pros as well as anybody else who is seeking for a camera that is incredibly capable of handling practically any kind of photography, from studio portraits and landscapes to sports and action photography.

It is a 45-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera that can record video in 8K resolution, has an incredible Dual Pixel focusing system, and has outstanding ergonomics. It is the spiritual (and mirrorless) successor to Canon’s 5D-series DSLR cameras and has the ability to shoot 10-bit HDR stills and video for HDR presentation.

Even if it is not a flawless camera, we believe that it is an outstanding and very competitive addition to a market that is already saturated with capable high-resolution full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Key Features

  • 45MP full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS sensor
  • 8K video, with the choice of Raw, 10-bit 4:2:2, C-log, or HDR PQ compression.
  • Up to 4K/120p, or oversampled 4K up to 30p, whichever comes first.
  • 100 percent coverage Dual Pixel II autofocus technology with the ability to recognize both humans and animals, educated by machine learning.
  • bursts at 12 or 20 frames per second (mechanical or electronic shutter)
  • 5.76 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with a maximum refresh rate of 120 fps
  • articulating touchscreen measuring 3.2 inches and 2.1 million dots
  • photographs with a 10-bit HDR depth in the HEIF format
  • 1x CFexpress slot, 1x UHS-II SD slot
  • Claimed to have weather-sealing on par with the EOS 5D Mark IV
  • 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi, in addition to communication through Bluetooth and FTP
  • CIPA-rated for around 320 shots total (using EVF)

What’s New

There is a lot to go over in this article because this camera has a new sensor, a new autofocus system, new video functions, a new in-body stabilizer, and a whole lot more. Stay with us as we go into some of the specifics of the new technology included in the EOS R5.

Key takeaways

  • The brand-new 45-megapixel sensor has a wide dynamic range, excellent resolution, and faster readout speeds than some of Canon’s earlier sensors.
  • Hybrid stills/video shooters will find that 8K video recording and a multitude of additional modes are appealing features.
  • When used in conjunction with the appropriate lenses, the built-in image stabilizer is said to deliver an industry-leading 8 stops of stabilization.
  • The new focusing technology with full coverage appears to be really amazing.
  • Controls that have been thoughtfully designed and a decent amount of personalization should please the majority of users.

The sensor included in the EOS R5 is completely brand new, and it comes combined with a Digic X CPU that is linked to the technology found in the EOS-1D X Mark III. The resolution provided by the sensor is an impressive 45 million pixels, and in addition, the dynamic range has been increased.

Readout times and rolling shutter have also been reduced, which will be especially helpful for those who wish to take advantage of the quiet totally electronic shutter that the camera offers.

The combination of the sensor and the CPU enables burst speeds of up to 12 frames per second when using the mechanical shutter and up to 20 frames per second when utilizing the electronic shutter, all while maintaining full autoexposure and focusing capabilities.

Whether you choose to utilize the CFexpress card port or the UHS-II SD card slot, the camera is equipped with a buffer that is sufficiently deep to be of practical use. According to Canon, if you use the former, you will be able to shoot 180 Raw shots before the camera begins to slow down, however if you use the latter, you will still be able to capture 87 Raw photographs at the 12 fps rate. The camera saves images in the CR3 file format, which results in file sizes ranging from from 35 to 42 megabytes; however, switching to the C-Raw format will cut file sizes to about half of that.

The Dual Pixel Raw function, which was first introduced on the EOS 5D Mark IV, has been improved with this new camera. You can alter the backdrop clarity using the Dual Pixel sensor design (more on which we are waiting to learn), and there is also a function called “portrait relighting” that is comparable to some of the choices for relighting that are available on smartphones. It makes use of data from the face recognition system as well as some information on depth from the AF system, and once we have a full production unit, we will investigate it in further detail.

8K video capture

On the EOS R5, the only video format that supports shooting in Raw is DCI 8K video. This is an important point to keep in mind. All of the other resolutions come with the option to use All-I or IPB compression, and the 4K/120p mode is a specialized high frame-rate shooting mode.

You also have the option to shoot perfectly oversampled 4K footage with a Canon camera (instead of either pixel-binning or line-skipping), which produces extremely detailed results due to the fact that it is derived from the 8K output. However, the frame rate is limited to a maximum of 30 frames per second. Additionally, the camera is capable of recording in HDR PQ or Canon Log 10-bit 4:2:2 with any of the available video modes (more on this further down the page).

In addition, the camera is capable of shooting oversampled DCI 4K from an APS-C portion of the sensor that is 5.1K in resolution or UHD 4K from a subset of this that is 4.8K in resolution.

The Canon EOS R5 comes equipped with zebra warnings for exposure, focus peaking, and Canon’s focus guide tool, all of which are video-related capabilities. In addition, the EOS R5 has all of these features. A tiny HDMI output is also included, in addition to full 3.5mm ports for both headphones and microphones. If you just have SD cards available, you may record anything at any resolution up to and including 4K as long as the card is fast enough. If you want to encode at 8K resolution, you will want a CFexpress card for anything other than the most fundamental level of IPB encoding.

Internal stabilizers of the body

The Canon EOS R5 marks the introduction of the company’s first-ever in-body image stabilization technology, and with the ability to compensate for up to eight stops of motion, it appears to be a winner. Additionally, it makes some of the bigger lenses in the RF portfolio that do not have image stabilization appear immediately more enticing.

The Digic X processor in the camera collaborates with gyro sensors and processors in each lens to achieve the highest level of performance possible from the IBIS system. This is one of the primary reasons why the IBIS system is so successful. In a similar manner, the information collected by the sensors on the camera body is sent to the lens IS system, where it is processed. When compared to the throughput that the DSLR EF mount is capable of, the RF mount’s capacity for quicker throughput makes all of this feasible.

Autofocus

We’ve tested a variety of Canon cameras, and the focusing mechanism on the EOS R5 is the most cutting-edge we’ve seen on any of them. It is known as Dual Pixel AF II, and it provides phase-detection coverage that is completely 100 percent over the sensor (albeit this does depend on lenses to some degree). Additionally, it provides the same range of autofocus ‘cases’ as were available on the EOS-1D X Mark III.

In addition, it makes use of a technique known as deep learning to provide eye, head, and face tracking for people, as well as eye, head, and body tracking for animals such as dogs, cats, and birds.

Read on to find out how well a production model of the EOS R5 performed in our testing of its focusing capabilities, even though our previous experience with a pre-production model of the camera revealed that its autofocus tracking was rather good.

The camera was able to accurately follow an animal’s eye as well as a human eye (even when the human wore glasses), making it a very trustworthy tool. It is rather remarkable that the camera is able to detect and follow a human head even when the face of the person being photographed is entirely hidden. Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark III can also do this in live view.

When it comes to taking control of the autofocus mechanism on the EOS R5, there are a few additional conveniences that come into play as well. We now have an AF joystick that allows us to change the sensitivity, as well as a conveniently located (if somewhat diminutive) AF-ON button.

Even though we don’t have the touchpad-like AF Smart Controller that the 1D X III had, you may move the AF point around using the touchscreen as if it were a touchpad if you’d rather use it than the joystick. Despite the fact that, for some reason, Canon continues to believe that it is preferable to entirely deactivate the joystick out of the box, you will have to enable it yourself in the settings in order to make use of it.

HDR stills and video

The 1D X Mark III passed down to the EOS R5 the capability to produce 10-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) files for both still images and video. These make use of the capabilities of the most recent high dynamic range (HDR) displays and TVs to display a depiction of the actual world that is more accurate.

To put it another way, these 10-bit files give a larger tonal range than standard JPEGs on some monitors, which means that they may show you brighter brights and darker shadow tones.

In the sections of the evaluation devoted to picture quality and dynamic range, we focus greater attention on these particular aspects.

Body, controls and handling

The EOS R5 from Canon integrates the most user-friendly aspects of both the company’s mirrorless and DSLR cameras into a single, streamlined control layout. We believe that it will work well for the majority of users overall; nevertheless, there is a possibility that some users may be left longing for even more powerful customization choices.

Key takeaways

  • Outstanding ergonomics throughout the board, with three dials and direct AF controls
  • Supposedly weather-sealed to the same specifications as the Canon EOS 5D IV
  • A high-resolution viewfinder and LCD are both capable of operating at high refresh rates, which results in an amazing display quality; nevertheless, these high refresh rates significantly decrease battery life.
  • The new battery has a larger capacity while maintaining the same size and shape as the older Canon batteries.
  • The CFexpress and UHS-II SD card ports provide a balance of speed and compatibility, although some users may be frustrated by the fact that they are not compatible with one another.

Those who are used to Canon cameras will find the EOS R5 to have a familiar ergonomic design, while those who are more accustomed to other camera systems should find it to be quite comfortable and fully adjustable. It is a combination of the EOS R and the high-end DSLR cameras that the firm produces, and the resulting product functions rather admirably.

An AF joystick, an AF-On button that is conveniently located, and the ability to utilize the touchscreen as a touchpad to shift your AF point while keeping your eye on the finder are some of the features that make the EOS R5 appealing to a variety of users.

Because of this, the R5 and R6 are the two RF-mount cameras that are the simplest to take control of in terms of focusing. However, in our testing, we discovered that the joystick worked well enough and quickly enough that we did not consider it necessary to make use of the touchpad’s automatic aiming feature at any point.

When you move between shooting stills and videos, the EOS R5 will remember each individual video and still photography preset chosen.

There are visible gaskets surrounding suspected sites of moisture or dust ingress in the EOS R5, which is consistent with Canon’s assertion that the camera is sealed to the same degree as an EOS 5D Mark IV. However, no official numbers are provided.

We found the grip to be comfortable, and although keeping the same number of control points as a typical high-end DSLR, the camera is noticeably smaller and lighter than that type of camera.

The mode button that was on the top of the EOS R has been moved to the top of this camera as well. If you press this button, you will have access to all of the camera’s modes for shooting still images, and if you press the ‘INFO’ button, you will have access to all of the camera’s modes for shooting moving images (and the camera remembers each set of settings if you find yourself switching back and forth).

The EOS R5 transforms into a four-dial camera when a control-dial equipped RF lens is mounted to it. This enables users to have direct control over the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation settings. Because of this, adjusting the settings and adjusting to the new circumstances in front of you may be done extremely quickly.

“Flexible Priority” mode, abbreviated as Fv

The ‘Flexible Priority’ (Fv) exposure setting, which made its debut on the first-generation EOS R, has been included into the R5. It functions similarly to the Program mode, but it also allows you to manually set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO values by moving the appropriate dials. The manually set value will then be used. You may also tell the camera to take care of the ISO while you focus on the other two factors, such as the aperture and the shutter speed.

A single hit of the delete button will reset the currently active parameter to its default value of auto, and holding it down will reset all of the parameters to their default values. Although it may take some time to get used to, it may eliminate the need for you to move between different exposure modes for the most of the time.

In Fv mode, the camera is locked into 1/focal length shutter speeds unless you manually change your shutter speed or ISO. If you like to bias your Auto ISO shutter speeds faster or slower, unfortunately, the camera will only honor that if you are in one of the other PASM modes; if you are in Fv mode, the camera will not honor your preference unless you are in one of the other PASM modes.

Viewfinder and LCD

In order to remain competitive, Canon equipped the EOS R5 with screens that are both big and high-resolution. A 0.76x magnification may be seen through the viewfinder’s OLED display, which has 5.76 million dots. Even while the magnification is slightly lower than that of other choices, it is still sufficiently large that Canon provides the option to significantly reduce the size of the image if you discover that its 23mm eyepoint does not exactly allow you to see to the corners of the frame.

The LCD found on the back of the device is a fully articulating 3.2-inch panel that has 2.1 million dots. It is a beautiful technique to frame your photographs; however, you may find that you need to increase the brightness if you are attempting to utilize it during the daytime.

Those who are accustomed to using optical viewfinders will notice an improvement in the appearance of the electronic viewfinder if they set it to 120 frames per second.

The R5 comes with an option in the settings that allows you to run both screens at lower FPS in order to preserve battery life or at greater FPS in order to get a more fluid perspective of the environment. This equates to either 60 or 120 frames per second for the electronic viewfinder (EVF); we discovered that 60 fps appears excellent to our eyes, but 120fps will surely seem prettier to people who are still accustomed to the optical viewfinders of DSLRs.

In a thoughtful move, Canon has also included choices in the menu for determining how the eye sensor will behave below the viewfinder. You have the option of configuring it such that the eye sensor is deactivated if the screen is folded out. This ensures that the sensor will not be accidently engaged when you are shooting from the hip.

On the other hand, if you regularly check critical focus when recording video, for instance, you may make sure that it is always activated on your camera. You also have the option, while shooting still images, to configure image review to solely utilize the back display. This will prevent it from interfering with your viewfinder shooting.

Menus and personalized settings

The menus of the EOS R5 adhere to the same organizational standard that Canon has refined over the course of many years. Although they have naturally become more crowded as more complex cameras have been introduced, Canon has made an effort to keep them a bit simpler by restricting access to video settings only when the camera is being used to shoot video and restricting access to stills settings only when the camera is being used to shoot stills.

Utilizing the dials is by far and away the quickest way to browse the menus (rear dial does tabs, front dial pages within tabs, rear jog dial up and down options in that page). However, if you would rather, the entire menu is touch sensitive and extremely responsive to your presses. If there is an item that you regularly use but that is buried, you always have the option to add it to the editable tab labeled “My Menu.”

There is also a Q menu that is displayed on the screen, which allows you access to settings while you are taking stills or video, however the options it shows are dependent on the exposure mode. We are disappointed that it is not entirely configurable like the products offered by certain other vendors.

Even though Canon has expanded the amount of user-assignable functions that may be associated with customized buttons, which is a step in the right direction, the feature set is still not as complete as we would like it to be. And despite the fact that you are able to personalize a number of different banks of focusing settings with the push of a few of buttons, competing camera options from Sony and Nikon provide you more versatility. However, it’s possible that Canon is banking on the fact that the focusing mechanism will be reliable enough that users won’t find themselves needing to switch AF settings all that frequently.

Auto ISO

The manner in which Canon’s Auto ISO operates is just what we hope to see on a camera of this era. You have the option of setting higher and lower limitations for the ISO value, as well as a minimum shutter speed before the ISO value is increased, or you may pick ‘Auto’ to have it tied to the focal length you’re shooting at. It also has upper and lower limits for the shutter speed (especially handy for zooms).

You may change the default Auto setting, which uses a shutter speed of 1/Focal Length, to maintain shutter speeds that are either faster or slower (for example, 1/100 of a second or 1/25 of a second at 50mm).

Even when shooting in manual exposure mode, you can still use auto ISO if you want to tell the camera what shutter speed and aperture you want to use and then let it decide how much the ISO should be increased or decreased to achieve the desired level of overall brightness (although, in a way, this is similar to the Flexible Priority shooting mode). While shooting videos, you are unable to set a threshold for the shutter speed, but you are still able to set an upper and lower limit for the ISO.

Energy storage and batteries

Both the R5 and the R6 cameras take advantage of an innovative new battery known as the LP-E6NH. Although it has the same form factor as the earlier LP-E6N, it has a capacity that is increased to 16Wh from 14Wh, which is a slight improvement.

The camera comes with its own charger, but it can also be charged over USB using a high-current charger like Canon’s PD-E1 or a USB-C laptop charger (although we’ve found that the majority of standard phone chargers won’t work). The camera is also capable of being powered by a connected USB device.

If you currently use Canon products, the EOS R5 is compatible with Canon’s older LP-E6N and even older LP-E6 batteries; however, using these batteries may result in a shorter battery life for the camera, and the older of those types will not support USB charging.

If you retain the LCD and EVF refresh rates at their default settings, the camera is rated to take 490 or 320 photos according to CIPA, depending on which mode you choose. The increased refresh rates are stunning to look at, but at 320 CIPA-rated pictures for the LCD and 220 CIPA-rated images for the electronic viewfinder (EVF), the battery life is drastically reduced.

For the sake of perspective, we do not anticipate any problems with you being able to go through an entire day of committed shooting if you choose the lower refresh rates; but, if you prefer the higher ones, we would recommend carrying an extra battery. In addition, if you only use the camera seldom, it is not uncommon to find values here that are twice as high as those provided by CIPA.

The Canon EOS R5 is designed to work with a pair of vertical battery grips, the BG-R10 being one of the options. This will remove the existing battery from the camera, but it accommodates two LP-E6NH batteries, which will quadruple the total battery life of the camera.

In addition, there is the WFT-R10a, which was developed especially for the R5 and provides ethernet connectivity for the purpose of facilitating the quick transfer of photographs even as they are being captured.

The Canon EOS R5 includes a CFExpress card port as well as a UHS-II SD card slot as standard equipment. If you wish to record raw or All-I encoded 8K video footage, the only choice you have is to use a CFExpress card, which is also significantly quicker. If you’re using an SD card that’s fast enough, though, you probably won’t notice much of a delay unless you’re writing extended bursts of Raw and JPEG files solely to the card. In that case, you might.

Image quality

The most important lessons are that a high resolution sensor produces a great deal of detail in Raw format and has noise performance that is comparable at higher ISO levels.

Default JPEG settings give good detail at low ISO levels

JPEGs with a higher ISO display a little less detail than those of their competitors, but they also have lower noise levels.

Raw

The EOS R5 has a resolution of 45 megapixels, making it the highest-resolution Canon camera we’ve seen in quite some time. This places it directly in competition with several other cameras that are quite good. Everywhere you turn, there are reams of information to take in. There is an AA filter built into the EOS R5, and while it still exhibits a significant amount of moiré in this area, it does so somewhat less than the competition in other areas.

As ISO values increase, it appears that the EOS R5 can continue to perform admirably up to ISO 12800. When you go up to ISO 25600, it starts to fall behind the Nikon, but it’s still a hair ahead of the Panasonic. It is quite unlikely that we will even bother getting any higher than that.

JPEG

Moving on to JPEG, the default sharpening parameters of the EOS R5 look like they do an excellent job, and the resulting files have a lot of fine detail while still being pretty crisp. It appears to be employing a finer radius sharpening than any of the other options available, and it remarkably retains even the most minute of details.

It is difficult to find issue with the color response, but this is mainly true of the other rivals as well. When set to higher ISO numbers, the Canon reduces grain more effectively than the other alternatives, despite the fact that some features begin to become less distinct.

However, there is not a whole lot that differentiates this specific throng from the others, with the Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic appearing to have a touch more apparent detail than the others, which is likely just owing to the increased grain. At higher ISO numbers, the Canon also does a fantastic job of minimizing color dispersion while maintaining the image’s saturation.

Shutter modes

On the following page, we will discuss the quality differences that exist between the mechanical and fully electronic shutter modes. However, it is important to note that there is a third mode, known as the electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS), that can help ensure sharp results when shooting at slower shutter speeds.

Unfortunately, there is no automatic option to switch to full mechanical shutter mode at faster shutter speeds when EFCS won’t provide you with any benefit; however, what matters is that EFCS can make your bokeh look downright unpleasant at those higher shutter speeds, so remember to switch to the full mechanical shutter yourself if you plan on shooting with a fast aperture lens in bright light.

Autofocus performance

The autofocus system that comes standard with the Canon EOS R5 is the most recent one that the firm has to offer. This indicates that autofocus points cover one hundred percent of the frame, in addition to providing body, face, eye, and animal tracking that is informed by machine learning.

It could have been expected that the 45-megapixel sensor would be rather punishing of focus failures, but it turns out that you probably won’t have very many of those kinds of problems.

Key takeaways

  • The focusing mechanism on the EOS R5 is easily one of the best we’ve used.
  • It is remarkable that you are able to recognize human heads, faces, and eyes.
  • The ability to recognize and track animals is quite strong.

Subject tracking and eye recognition are so perfectly integrated that you will barely ever need to switch to any of the other modes on this Canon. If you haven’t tried subject tracking on a Canon before, you should try it on this model.

System overview

Users who have followed the development of Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus over the years on the company’s mirrorless and DSLR models will find the most recent iteration of the system to be generally familiar despite the inclusion of a few novel focusing choices within it. Your options basically consist of varying widths of the autofocus area or a mode that combines face detection and tracking.

If you discover that you only utilize a few of these sections, you have the option to turn some of them on or off. You may change them in the Q menu, assign a button to bring them up, or assign a button to a “registered AF mode,” which will alter the mode while you are holding down that button. Alternatively, you can assign a button to bring up the menu of available lenses.

It is a convenient method to operate if, for example, you wish to go from tracking to Spot AF, which will give you incredibly precise results on subjects that are not moving.

Detection of the face, the eye, and the animal

The R5’s subject recognition has also been developed using machine learning, just as that of the EOS R6. In a nutshell, this denotes that it possesses algorithms that are able to recognize patterns in a scene in order to locate the faces and eyes of humans and some animals.

It is possible to instruct the camera to give priority to either humans or animals, but in our testing, we found that setting the camera to “no priority” provided the best results when photographing any kind of subject.

There is also a variety of autofocus (AF) “cases,” which have been borrowed from Canon’s other high-end cameras, that you may modify to inform the camera how it should expect the subject to move towards the camera, as well as around the frame. These AF “cases” are available in the EOS-1D X Mark II.

We often kept the camera in Case 1, as this setting performed admirably over a very broad range of subject matter. If you want to fine-tune how quickly the camera refocuses on a new subject (for example, if another player comes between you and the player you’ve been focusing on during a sporting event), Case 4 may get you better results. This is especially true if you want to fine-tune how quickly the camera refocuses on a new subject.

The ability to fire in rapid succession and responsiveness

The EOS R5 is highly snappy, which is apt given its status as the top mirrorless camera for Canon at the moment. This overall responsiveness extends into quick burst speeds, which may reach up to 12 frames per second (fps) with the mechanical shutter and up to 20 frames per second (fps) with the electronic shutter.

The electronic shutter scans at a measured readout rate of 16.2 milliseconds, which is fast enough that you almost never have to worry about rolling shutter artifacts or slanted verticals. The only exceptions to this rule are when you are panning extremely quickly or photographing a subject that is moving extremely quickly.

Your absolute dynamic range will be restricted since the electronic shutter forces the camera into 12-bit readout mode in order to achieve this speed. This is something that can be seen on the page devoted to the dynamic range of this review.

The electronic shutter scans at a recorded readout rate of 16.2 milliseconds, which is quick enough that you almost never need to be concerned about rolling shutter.

It is important to note, however, that while shooting at 20 frames per second makes it simple to track moving subjects, shooting at 12 frames per second using the mechanical shutter only displays a slideshow of the most recent image captured in the viewfinder, which makes tracking moving subjects somewhat more difficult.

You can obtain a live-view between frames by lowering the frame rate to 8 fps (using the ‘H’ burst mode rather than the ‘H+’ mode) and turning on the option in the options that says ‘[Cont.H] High Speed Display.’

Autofocus performance

When testing the performance of the autofocus system, we begin by using a single, center AF point with a subject that is approaching in a line. This evaluates how well the camera can determine the distance between itself and the target that is coming closer and adjust its focus accordingly.

We put this through its paces by employing both the mechanical and electrical shutters on the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS lens throughout our testing. The EOS R5 achieved what is essentially equivalent to a hit rate of one hundred percent when shooting a single subject that was moving toward the camera.

The following exam is going to be significantly more difficult. We set the camera to its “Face + Tracking” mode in order to test its ability to recognize and track a chosen subject even while it moved in a manner that was unpredictable for the camera. In addition, we made sure that we kept the focus on the subject at all times. We made advantage of the ‘Case 1’ behavior that is normally employed.

Even at 20 frames per second, the EOS R5 delivers a really excellent performance, as can be seen below. There could be one or two photographs that are very little blurry here, but there is nothing that we would characterize as being useless.

It looked as though the camera performed somewhat better while utilizing the electronic shutter as opposed to the mechanical one; nonetheless, there were no photographs that we would consider to be unusably out of focus. That’s quite amazing accomplishment, considering it was done at 45 mph.

Video performance

There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on both praise and scorn for the EOS R5 and one of its most prominent features, specifically the capability to shoot 8K/30p video as well as its propensity to overheat while doing so. This is one of the headlining aspects of the camera.

However, despite the fact that heat dissipation will always be a concern that will restrict your overall record durations, the EOS R5 might still be an excellent choice for hybrid stills and video photographers as long as you are aware of the camera’s limits.

Check out the results of our comprehensive testing of these restrictions here. The fundamentals will still be discussed farther down.

Key takeaways

  • 8K video has an incredible amount of information, but recording times are restricted due to a number of different variables.
  • The choices that have non-oversampled 4K/24p or 4K/30p will not readily get too hot.
  • Powerful feature set, including recording in HDR PQ, C-Log, and 10-bit 4:2:2 in all modes
  • Excellent Dual Pixel AF in all modes
  • The DCI 8K option is the only one that supports raw video capture.
  • For 8K and 4K/120p, you’ll need a CFexpress card, although fast SD cards will do the trick for the other 4K settings.

Let’s take a look at 8K first, just for kicks, and you’ll see right away that… well, it simply looks like a high-megapixel still image. There is an excessive amount of detail in every single aspect of the setting. However, given that 8K files are as large as they are, what would happen if you switched to the ‘High Quality’ 4K setting? This would cause the camera to take the 8K footage that you are currently viewing and automatically downsample it for you.

The Canon EOS R5 easily produces the most visually impressive footage of its high-megapixel peers while operating in the HQ 4K mode. The reason for this is that the 4K is derived from flawlessly oversampled 8K video. As a result, you virtually receive the utmost amount of detail that can be conveyed by 4K.

In comparison to the Canon, all of the other alternatives appear either a little pixelated or a tiny bit blurry. However, high-quality 4K comes with its own set of challenges, such as the fact that it continues to cause the camera to produce a significant amount of heat due to the fact that it is still essentially shooting 8K.

So, let’s go back to the’regular’ 4K setting, and you’ll notice that the playing field quickly becomes more even. The footage is not in any way inferior to that of its competitors; yet, it is no longer remarkable.

You will not, thankfully, incur any additional quality costs while working with high-frame-rate 4K/120p footage. However, we feel compelled to acknowledge that the Canon’s Full HD output has left quite an impression on us.

If you are primarily interested in still photography and do not require recording at 4K or 8K resolutions, the EOS R5 will provide you with the finest detail capture in 1080p out of all of these cameras.

When put to use – heat

This is the point at when the proverbial rubber hits the road. Therefore, the camera is capable of producing stunning footage with an extraordinary level of detail. Is this, however, the camera that you use if you’re a hybrid shooter—for example, if you take both stills and videos at weddings? But hold on a second there.

Our very own Jordan Drake from DPR TV has put forth a significant amount of effort to evaluate the capabilities of the EOS R5 in a range of settings. There is a lot of good, but there is also a lot of not-so-good, which isn’t helped by the fact that Canon hyped up the camera’s 8K capability in the months preceding up to the camera’s introduction. There is a lot of good, but there is also a lot of not-so-good.

Basically, regardless of how you use the camera, you will reduce the amount of time that you have available to record either 8K, 4K/120p, or 4K HQ video. This will happen regardless of which setting you use. If you start the camera from cold, you might be able to acquire a 20-minute film in 8K resolution, but if it becomes too hot, it has to cool down.

Even after 20 minutes of the camera being allowed to cool down, it could only record a further five minutes at 8K resolution. Because the 4K HQ footage is captured at an effective resolution of 8K, you may anticipate very similar performance there.

Because of this lack of dependability, it is difficult to recommend the EOS R5 to hybrid photographers who are serious to their craft.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that even taking still photographs or leaving the camera turned on while it is not being used will eat away at your record times. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to predict what will happen when you switch over to movie shooting. Because of this camera’s unpredictability, it is extremely difficult to suggest it to hybrid shooters who are committed to their craft and want the highest possible video quality.

In the event that you do not require the very finest video quality, the lower quality settings for both 4K and Full HD will let you to continue recording for as long as the battery or memory card allows. At the very least, in videos that are exactly 29 minutes and 59 seconds in length. Yes, the lower quality settings all still have that arbitrary cap on the amount of time you may play for.

Finally, if you use an external recorder like an Atomos Ninja V, you can circumvent virtually all of the overheating issues that are associated with the camera. However, doing so does diminish the camera’s appeal as an otherwise excellent run-and-gun video camera, and the resolution of the output is “limited” to 4K.

Autofocus, image stabilization, and rolling shutter are now being utilized.

To put it another way, the autofocus on the EOS R5 is just as remarkable when shooting video as it is when shooting stills. The camera has outstanding face and eye detect capabilities, and the tap-to-track AF feature works quite well. Switching the focus between different subjects is a straightforward process, and you may adjust the focus speed to suit your needs.

If you would rather not use a tripod for your movie, you may get exceptionally lovely and smooth hand-held footage by using the in-camera stabilizer, which also works with stabilized lenses that are compatible with the camera. If you’re walking, for instance, you’ll still see some jarring motions, but you also have the option to set two different degrees of digital stabilization, each of which adds a little cut and significantly degrades the clarity of the video.

The EOS R5 has practically no rolling shutter to speak of, and interestingly, the 8K/30p readout rate is theoretically fast enough to take 8K/60p video. However, given the heat concerns that are currently present, it is not unexpected that this option is not available to users.

This is a truly great result; but, in order for the sensor to achieve this, it must flip to a 12-bit readout, just like it does when the electronic shutter is used in still images. You won’t necessarily be losing anything from the 12-bit readout because the greatest files you’ll be taking on the EOS R5 (other than Raw 8K) are C-Log files that encode about 11 stops of dynamic range. This means that you can capture more detail in your images.

Other characteristics

The option to shoot in 8K Raw is obviously a standout feature, since it maintains the full dynamic range that the camera is capable of capturing. On the other hand, the file sizes are simply large, making them far more difficult to manipulate.

To put this into perspective, a newly formatted 128GB CFexpress card will let you to record little less than six minutes’ worth of Raw 8K footage. To create Raw video at a lesser resolution than 8K would need line skipping, which would be detrimental to the movie’s quality, and you cannot record any other resolution of Raw video because the sensor itself has an inherent capacity to record at that resolution.

There are also helpful manual focus assists and zebra warnings on the EOS R5, both of which are features that we adore and that, as a result, make us feel even more disappointed about the camera’s heat concerns.

Additionally, it is possible to record in internal 10-bit 4:2:2 format, with either the HDR PQ setting for viewing on HDR televisions or the Canon Log setting for grading in post-production. Both of these options are available. Specifically, the Canon Log footage is stunning to look at and quite straightforward to work with in either Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X.

Canon EOS R5 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
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
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
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
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Canon CR3)HEIF (10-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points1053
Lens mountCanon RF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
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
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleHigh-speed ContinuousLow-speed Continuous
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
Videography features
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
Storage typesCFexpress and SD (UHS-II) slots
Connectivity
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
Physical
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″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Final Verdict

If you have the money and you want this level of image quality and performance, the Canon EOS R5 is one of the greatest cameras you can buy right now. It is also one of the most expensive. It is quick, has a superb focusing system, provides high resolution, outstanding video quality, and a sufficient amount of video functions, and it has ergonomics that have been carefully refined so that you have complete control over it.

Who, therefore, wouldn’t want to have one? Well, hybrid photographers who rely on a single camera to conduct a lot of photo and video shooting for their profession will need to measure the exceptional video quality against the truth that there may be worries around overheating.

Even though this issue has been partially remedied by software upgrades released by Canon, the amount of time you have left to shoot video in the camera’s highest-quality 8K and 4K modes will continue to decrease whenever you use the camera in any capacity, regardless of how little you use it.

If you switch to a lower-quality (but still competitive) version of 4K or Full HD, you won’t have to worry as much about the heat (or about the device shutting down), but you won’t get much of an advantage in terms of video quality over other products on the market.

You should also be aware that, despite the fact that the silent electronic shutter is one of the fastest we’ve seen and enables bursts of 20 frames per second, there is a possibility of exposure “banding” when shooting in certain artificial lighting conditions, and as a result, you will lose some dynamic range.

On the other side, sports photographers may be using exposure settings that are so high that the reduction in dynamic range is irrelevant anyhow. You should be aware that the top 12fps rate only shows you a slideshow of the most recent image that was captured; you may want to drop the rate to 8fps to get a live feed between images to make it easier to follow the action. If you use the mechanical shutter for sports and action, you should know that the top 12fps rate only shows you a slideshow of the most recent image that was captured.

The Canon EOS R5 stays out of the way and allows you to get the job done without any obstructions.

But other than that, there isn’t much else to truly gripe about. The Canon EOS R5 is designed to be a genuine workhorse for photographers, allowing you to do what you need to get done without getting in the way.

This might involve capturing sports, action, portraits in the studio, ephemeral family moments, and so on, and the photographs that you capture will most likely be precisely focused at 45 megapixels.

The question of the reward will now be addressed. As a team, we were a little bit conflicted over this one, however regardless matter what we decide, the capabilities of the camera won’t be affected in any way. But I think we can all agree that, quite frankly, Canon put themselves in a bad position with the teaser images they released early on for this camera.

No buyer wants to buy a product on the promise of a headline feature (8K), only to find out after the purchase that they are restricted in some way as a result of that feature (overheating).

But let’s imagine that 8K recording and, thus, perfectly oversampled 4K recording were simply left out of this camera; I believe that we would still find it to be the most well-rounded high-resolution mirrorless camera available, although by a narrower margin.

The fact that you do, in fact, have access to extra tools like Raw 8K capture may be viewed as a positive, provided that you are aware of the limits that have been well-documented and are able to work around them as your photographic and videographic circumstances allow.

Is the Canon EOS R5 the genuine mirrorless successor to the Canon EOS 5D family of digital single-lens reflex cameras? Yes. Absolutely. Although it is not always the decision that is made by default in today’s high-end mirrorless market, this camera is well worth a serious study if you find yourself in that market.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Deep video feature set
    Great overall video quality
  • Outstanding overall image quality
  • Comfortable ergonomics
  • Impressive autofocus performance with little setup necessary
Need Improvement
  • The accumulation of heat is a problem for those who want the highest possible video quality.
  • Your dynamic range will be slightly reduced when you use electronic shutter and bursts of 20 fps.
  • Noise reduction that is implemented in a mandatory fashion to Raw files
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
The Canon EOS R5 is an excellent choice for virtually any kind of photographer, whether you specialize in taking pictures of portraits, events, weddings, sports, or gatherings of family and friends, among other things. We have been left feeling rather dissatisfied by Canon's claims regarding the camera's inherent video capacity; nonetheless, for the majority of users, it is still an excellent choice for capturing high-quality video clips of virtually everything you direct it at. The EOS R5 is not a suitable choice for power users who always want the highest video quality, but it is a terrific alternative for practically everyone who is searching for a superb full-frame high-resolution mirrorless camera.

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