Canon EOS R5 Overview: The New Full-Body Champ


Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

MSRP $3,899.00

“Canon held nothing again to ship the full-frame digicam its followers craved.”


  • Wonderful, 45MP images
  • Spectacular 4K/8K video modes
  • Responsive subject-tracking AF
  • Good 5-axis picture stabilization
  • Wonderful construct high quality


  • Management structure could possibly be improved
  • Can overheat in video mode
  • Threat of banding at excessive ISO

It isn’t usually that we see a brand new digicam with as a lot promise and hype because the Canon EOS R5. After the comparatively modest reception to the unique EOS R, the R5 was Canon’s probability to show it will probably make a full-frame mirrorless digicam that doesn’t simply compete, however leads. The spec sheet reads like a gourmand menu, a meal assured to sate the urge for food of anybody who can afford it — and at $3,899 for the physique, or $4,999 with the RF 24-105mm f/4L lens (examined), that isn’t very many individuals.

However the EOS R5’s exclusivity isn’t an issue. It is a high-end digicam with a excessive value to match, and whereas it’s straightforward to argue that it squarely targets solely skilled clients, I don’t imagine that’s the total story. It is a branding digicam; it’s aspirational. It might not care concerning the fanatic or novice when it comes to direct gross sales, however it nonetheless serves to reply the query that such clients usually ask: “Who makes the most effective mirrorless digicam?” For the primary time, “Canon” is an appropriate reply.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

Even when the EOS R5 is out of your value vary, its standing as one of the vital highly effective and succesful mirrorless cameras may assist draw you to a lower-end Canon (maybe the EOS R6) as a substitute of going with a competing model. In that respect, it’s onerous to not see the R5 as a complete success.

However for the purchasers who’re truly going to purchase it, is the Canon EOS R5 worthy of the hype? Everybody within the picture tech sphere — myself included — has been waxing lyrical about this digicam lengthy earlier than we had our fingers on it. Now that it’s out within the wild, it’s possible you’ll need to handle your expectations — if solely barely. Whereas it might not be precisely what we have been offered, that is nonetheless a wonderful digicam.

A nonetheless digicam first

Canon targeted its early advertising on the EOS R5’s video chops, detailing the insane 8K RAW and 4K/120p options months earlier than we knew a lot about its nonetheless picture capabilities. This shifted folks’s expectations of what the R5 could be, and I can’t assist however really feel this was the incorrect method to hype it.

Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

Just like the overwhelming majority of hybrid mirrorless cameras, the R5 places nonetheless pictures first. Sure, it occurs to have an epic video mode connected to it, however I believe nonetheless photographers will discover extra to like than videographers. The R5 might be the most effective nonetheless digicam Canon has ever made, mirrorless or DSLR.

The purpose with the R5 was clearly to maintain tempo with the likes of the Sony A7R IV, Nikon Z 7, and Panasonic Lumix S1R. These are all high-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras, and whereas they every have succesful video modes, they clearly goal the nonetheless photographer.

The R5 might be the most effective nonetheless digicam Canon has ever made, mirrorless or DSLR.

If the R5 had initially been marketed as a nonetheless digicam, I believe the numerous complaints we’re now listening to about overheating in video mode wouldn’t have been so loud. However as a result of Canon emphasised video so strongly within the lead-up, reviewers are feeling a bit underwhelmed that the fact doesn’t match the promise.

Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

I’ll get to my very own expertise testing the video mode later, however for now, simply know that the R5 is a nonetheless digicam first, and as such, it has comparable limitations to different hybrid cameras in the case of video. You’ll be able to nonetheless use it for a lot of video functions, however begin pondering of it as a substitute to your cinema digicam and that’s the place issues are going to go dangerous.

Design and dealing with

The R5 will really feel at dwelling to anybody coming from a Canon DSLR, and I discovered it to be barely extra comfy to carry than a 5D Mark IV — regardless that it’s solely a fraction of a pound lighter. It has a really acquainted grip, the identical shutter button placement, and a lot of the controls are precisely the place you count on them.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

One key change is the transfer to a three-dial setup, which permits for direct ISO, shutter pace, and aperture management. That is along with the multi-function lens ring on RF lenses.

There may be additionally an autofocus joystick, and whereas that is often essential function for me, I don’t just like the R5’s. Its floor is just too sharp, making it uncomfortable, and it doesn’t present nice tactile suggestions. It’s additionally simply much less wanted, given how good the subject-tracking AF is, and the R5’s touchpad AF utilizing the LCD display works higher for single-point focusing, anyway.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

What Canon DSLR shooters will discover lacking is the AF/Drive button. Accessing autofocus and drive modes is a two-step course of that requires citing the fast menu. Happily, you may program both of those features to the lens ring or different buttons, however you’ll sacrifice the default performance of a button by doing so. I set AF mode to the lens ring and drive mode to the depth of discipline preview button (as a result of who makes use of that, anyway?), and located this to be a fairly good setup. Nonetheless, the R5 is a $3,900 digicam physique, so for Canon to scrimp on direct entry management is a little bit of a letdown.

In any other case, there may be little to complain about within the design division. The physique is weather-sealed and solidly constructed, if heavy for a mirrorless digicam at 1.62 kilos.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

The brand new digital viewfinder (EVF) has 5.76 million pixels, the identical because the Panasonic S sequence and Sony A7R IV. It’s a fantastic EVF, though the glass distorts the display considerably in order that the perimeters curve outward. It’s not an enormous downside, however I undoubtedly discovered it to be a bit distracting at instances.

Canon has additionally lastly adopted a contemporary media format by providing each SD UHS-II and CFexpress Kind B card slots, the latter of which is required for 8K video (and a few 4K modes). For any Nikon shooters occupied with testing the EOS R5, be aware that, not like the Nikon Z sequence, the Canon doesn’t help XQD playing cards in its CFexpress slot, so anybody with older XQD playing cards must ditch them earlier than shifting to the R5.

Pictures expertise

Other than the lens mount, the Canon EOS R5 is principally all new in comparison with the unique EOS R. It’s additionally the primary R-series digicam that feels prefer it was constructed from the bottom up with bespoke elements, beginning with the 45-megapixel full-frame sensor, which, not like all prior R-series cameras, has not beforehand been utilized in a Canon DSLR. Even the battery has been up to date, providing higher capability in the identical type issue because the longstanding LP-E6 (though battery life, at a CIPA ranking of simply 320 exposures, just isn’t a spotlight).

Canon EOS R5 lifestyle product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

What sells it, nevertheless, is the autofocus. The EOS R5 makes use of Twin Pixel Autofocus II, Canon’s newest on-chip phase-detection expertise that places 1,053 focus factors over all the body. It incorporates up to date face and eye-tracking for each folks and animals, and in my expertise, it really works exceptionally nicely.

I would go as far as to say Canon’s face monitoring is even higher than Sony’s — and that’s large.

In follow, I used to be blown away with how shortly the R5 would discover the topic inside the body in addition to how strongly it stayed glued to it. For photographing folks, this meant I may focus solely on framing with out worrying about choosing my focus level. Having not too long ago shot portraits with the Sony A7R IV, I would go as far as to say Canon’s face monitoring is even higher than Sony’s — and that’s large.

However what actually impressed me was the animal AF. When taking pictures birds in flight, the main target field immediately jumped to the hen’s head — not simply the hen, however truly its head. When photographing a canine, the AF continued to trace its physique even when its head and shoulders ducked down beneath a log. A wild rabbit let me creep up inside a few toes whereas it was consuming, and the R5 had no bother discovering its eye.

Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

If I’ve something to complain about, it’s that eye-detection doesn’t kick in till the topic is comparatively giant inside the body. Nonetheless, as face-detection alone will naturally be adequate for topics farther away, this in all probability isn’t a giant deal. Face-detection itself does appear to work at a higher distance than what I noticed within the Canon EOS RP, however there may be nonetheless some room for enchancment right here. Happily, when the digicam overpassed a face and reverted to plain AF, it often nonetheless discovered the proper topic — however this may depend upon the complexity of the scene and if there are different objects nearer to the digicam that might confuse it.

There may be one different subject with the AF. As I perceive it, DPAF focus factors usually are not cross-type, which means they’re delicate solely to traces in a single route. The R5 doesn’t look like delicate to horizontal traces in any respect, and flat-out refused to focus after I occurred to level it at a slatted closet door. Confused, I attempted once more, however regardless of what number of instances I pressed the shutter button, the R5 wouldn’t focus. As quickly as I rotated the digicam into portrait orientation — which means the slats have been now vertically oriented from the digicam’s perspective — it immediately snapped into focus. Different comparable topics — like closed window blinds — yielded the identical outcomes.

The dearth of cross-type AF factors is par for the course in on-chip phase-detection techniques (with Olympus being one notable exception), however contrast-detection usually takes over in different cameras when phase-detection just isn’t doable. Operating the identical check on my private Fujifilm X-T2, I discovered that it targeted, however solely after searching briefly — in portrait orientation, it targeted with out searching. This implies that, just like the EOS R5, the X-T2’s phase-detection struggles to detect horizontal traces, however it will probably depend on slower distinction detection in such a scenario, one thing the R5 appears unable to do.

I don’t know the way large of a problem this is perhaps in the actual world — I didn’t have any bother outdoors of my workplace. My total expertise with DPAF on the EOS R5 was very constructive. Nonetheless, it’s a bit regarding that every one it took to make AF fail utterly was a topic with none vertical traces. I’ve reached out to Canon for remark and can replace this overview after I hear again.

Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

The opposite all-new function the R5 introduces is 5-axis in-body picture stabilization (IBIS). Alongside the EOS R6, this represents Canon’s first try at sensor-shift stabilization, a function that was sorely lacking from the EOS R and RP. It really works with each stabilized and non-stabilized lenses, and may present as much as 8 stops of shake discount, in line with Canon.

Now, that’s a tough declare to definitively check since “stops” are a relative unit. In my testing, carried out with the stabilized RF 24-105mm f/4 lens, I used to be in a position to shoot as sluggish as 1/8 second with pixel-level sharpness about equal to what I achieved at 1/60 second. Nonetheless, at diminished decision, I felt comfy pushing that to a 1/2 second. Completely different lenses, in addition to your method and steadiness, might yield totally different outcomes, however I’ve a tough time believing Canon’s declare of 8 stops.

The factor is, I don’t actually care. Simply having IBIS is the important thing right here. With the ability to handhold a 2-second publicity, as Canon demonstrated, isn’t what most photographers care about. Getting sharp outcomes at extra sensible shutter speeds is what issues, and that’s what the R5 delivers.

Video expertise

The obvious query concerning the Canon EOS R5’s video mode is solely: Who’s it for? RAW 8K video — which consumes 2,600 megabits per second (that’s 325 megabytes per second) — is way past what the typical buyer wants. However past the hype and the unending recreation of one-upmanship, 8K is solely the consequence of demanding each a 45MP sensor and RAW video.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

The sensor was required to place the R5 in league with different high-resolution mirrorless cameras, however such a excessive pixel rely poses an issue for video. Sometimes, for 4K video, solely about 8MP is required with 12 megapixels feeling like a stable candy spot, and Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic all addressed this subject by making their lower-resolution cameras the extra video-focused fashions. However Canon clearly needed its flagship digicam to actually be the flagship, for each stills and video.

Then there’s the difficulty of RAW. By definition, RAW is unprocessed — so the digicam both has to output each particular person pixel, or it has to do one thing like cropping or line-skipping, which deactivates pixels and drastically reduces discipline of view or element, respectively. Well, the R5’s sensor is 8,192 pixels huge, precisely the decision for DCI 8K (which is a barely wider-than-usual side ratio of 17:9). So with one-to-one pixel output, the R5 can totally make the most of its sensor space for RAW 8K video — however can’t do RAW at different resolutions in any respect. It additionally signifies that in Extremely HD (16:9) modes, there’s a very slight crop. (Only for reference, Blackmagic Design obtained round this limitation in its Ursa Mini Professional 12K cinema digicam through the use of a novel sensor design purpose-built for RAW scaling, however different cameras don’t have this luxurious.)

We nonetheless haven’t answered the query of who wants this function. I beforehand wrote that 8K cameras are all however pointless, and taking pictures the R5 hasn’t modified my thoughts. I don’t personal a 4K show, not to mention an 8K show. The power to crop and reframe is sweet, however I’ve by no means wanted the acute vary that 8K affords. Then there’s the matter of storing and enhancing the gargantuan recordsdata.

So it’s secure to say that 8K, particularly in RAW, is one thing regular persons are unlikely to make use of. Skilled filmmakers are the one ones who might want it, and Canon even suggests the R5’s use as a “B” digicam working alongside higher-end cinema cameras.

However the R5 just isn’t prepared for that sort of manufacturing. I can echo the complaints of others across the internet in the case of overheating. You’ll be able to have all the nice high quality and options, however a digicam that even has an opportunity of shutting down on set is solely unacceptable in knowledgeable setting.

Canon EOS R5 product photo
Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

I haven’t even examined the 8K modes but as I’m nonetheless ready on a CFexpress card, however overheating is already an issue in some 4K modes. Taking pictures at 60 fps (the best framerate accessible with an SD card), the digicam made it by to the delicate restrict of 29 minutes 59 seconds. Nonetheless, the warmth warning indicator started flashing earlier than the clip ended. It remained on for almost 10 minutes after recording stopped. Even as soon as it turned off, my subsequent clip was restricted to simply 4 minutes earlier than the digicam shut down resulting from overheating.

To its credit score, Canon has been open about this — at the very least, for the reason that official announcement. The digicam itself additionally shows what number of minutes you may document on the present warmth stage, a quantity that slowly ticks up the longer you let the digicam settle down.

Nonetheless, the excellent information is that the digicam doesn’t look like warmth restricted at 4K/30 or 24 frames per second. Even when it prevented me from recording a brand new 4K/60 clip, switching to 30 fps instantly eliminated the warmth warning indicator and allowed me to document a full 29:59 clip.

For these of us who shoot each mission in 4K/24p, and solely want larger framerates briefly for slow-motion, the EOS R5 is superior. And, in any case, a few of its competitors — just like the Nikon Z 7 — can’t shoot 4K/60 in any respect, not to mention 4K/120 just like the R5 can, and none of its competitors can shoot 8K.

However that shouldn’t utterly let Canon off the hook. After they introduced an 8K RAW digicam, all of us anticipated a digicam constructed for individuals who may use 8K RAW footage — specifically, skilled filmmakers. The EOS R5 falls wanting these expectations, however I take larger subject with how the digicam was initially marketed to generate these expectations than I do the digicam’s failure to reside as much as them.

Picture high quality

Canon made a higher-resolution sensor previously, the 50MP chip within the EOS 5DS sequence, however the EOS R5’s 45MP chip is a particular enchancment, particularly as you flip up the ISO. ISO vary is a powerful 100-51,200, expandable a cease additional to 102,400. Whereas these high few stops are of questionable usability, noise efficiency is in any other case excellent for the category.

ISO 12,800 “banding” in a darkish scene Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

However there was one subject: Whereas photographing the night time sky, I observed seen banding artifacts at ISOs above 3,200, which turned a serious distraction by 12,800. I didn’t discover banding in every other scene, together with in my indoor ISO check photographs. It appears to solely be seen in opposition to a darkish and uniform background.

As with the DPAF focusing error, I don’t know the way usually this may have an effect on photos in real-world use. The astrophotographers I do know typically favor wider apertures and slower shutter speeds to maxing out the ISO, however it’s one thing to concentrate on.

In any other case, the R5 delivered stunning outcomes. The RAW recordsdata are very versatile, and I even pushed an underexposed ISO 1600 shot by 3 stops with out a noticeable enhance in noise. It’s onerous to say with out evaluating cameras side-by-side, however this can be Canon’s finest sensor thus far. I believe it was held again barely by the RF 24-105mm f/4 lens, which simply wasn’t fairly sharp sufficient to resolve all these pixels, however I’d like to see what it will probably do with certainly one of Canon’s glorious RF primes.

I’ve by no means been a Canon fan, however the EOS R5 has made me a believer.

Video high quality can also be excellent. Once more, I haven’t examined 8K or the oversampled 4K Excessive-High quality mode, however normal 10-bit 4K in Canon Log is beautiful and grades very nicely. I actually am undecided why I might ever want Excessive-High quality mode. At 470 megabits per second (about 60 megabytes per second), there may be loads of knowledge within the all-intraframe (ALL-I) compression to ship nice colour and element.

General, the EOS R5 is definitely Canon’s finest hybrid digicam from a picture high quality perspective, and at the moment, nothing else in the marketplace matches its mixture of high-resolution stills and high-quality video.

Our take

I’ve to confess, I’ve by no means been a Canon fan, however the EOS R5 has made me a believer. Canon took every little thing it realized from the unique EOS R and carried out it within the R5. The extent of enchancment is astonishing, even when its highest-quality video modes are of restricted practicality.

The high-ISO banding, unusual AF habits on horizontal traces, and overheating points could also be issues to some, however these points received’t have an effect on most customers in most circumstances. The position and design of among the controls rubbed me the incorrect method (actually), however I’m positive I might adapt over time, and I undoubtedly admire the usability of the three-dial setup.

The price of entry is excessive, however for individuals who can afford it, the EOS R5 gives an extremely rewarding photographic expertise, and firmly establishes Canon as a frontrunner in mirrorless cameras. It might have taken a few years to get the recipe proper, however Canon has served up a dish value ready for.

Is there a greater various?

different choices, they exist solely within the sense that there are a lot cheaper alternate options, just like the Nikon Z 7 at simply $2,850 on the time of writing. The R5 has higher autofocus, higher-quality video, a higher-resolution EVF, and twin reminiscence card slots — however for a distinction of over $1,000, anybody not already firmly seated in camp Canon might need to think about the Z 7.

The Sony A7R IV is the opposite apparent comparability. At $3,200 on the time of writing, it doesn’t supply the financial savings of the Z 7, however its autofocus is neck-and-neck with the R5’s and it has an equally high-res EVF, twin SD card slots, and considerably higher battery life at a ranking of 520 photographs. The R5 has the sting in video and steady taking pictures pace, although.

How lengthy will it final?

This knowledgeable digicam constructed to carry as much as the calls for {of professional} photographers and may final for years. As a flagship mannequin, I wouldn’t count on a full substitute to the R5 for at the very least 2 years, and its function set is essentially the most future-proof of any digicam in the marketplace.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, if you’d like the most effective tech at the moment on show in pictures — and also you don’t thoughts paying for it. That is the digicam I all the time knew Canon may construct.

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