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 undoubtedly the most impressive mirrorless camera that Canon has produced to this point. It is almost definitely the most excellent 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?

Not quite yet. The firmware upgrades for the Canon EOS R5 have been put through their paces. 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, even though it is an excellent stills camera and among the finest, that money can buy right now.

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Canon EOS R5 Design

The Canon EOS R5 isn’t going to revolutionize the way things are done in terms of their designs. However, this is not terrible 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, 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 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.

When you 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 importance 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.

Canon EOS R5 Features

On paper, the EOS R5 has the potential to be the most advanced hybrid mirrorless camera currently available on the market. It has a full-frame format and a high resolution, creating files with dimensions of 8,192 by 5,464 and a weight of around 60 megabytes on average.

That translates to a shooting rate of around 1.2 gigabytes per second when using the R5’s fastest continuous motor mode. To put it another way, you must ensure that you have additional storage space allotted for both your camera and your house.

Regarding storage, the R5 offers a professional-grade solution in the form of two card slots: one for conventional SD cards and one for CFexpress cards. This allows you to either increase the storage space available on your camera, shoot to two cards at once for real-time backup, or shoot raw data to one card and JPEGs to the other.

Canon EOS R5 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 move quickly forwards or backward within the picture. An equally noteworthy accomplishment is subject detection and tracking.

Canon EOS R5 Performance

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

When we used our SanDisk Extreme Pro card, we discovered that the buffer was cleared nearly as quickly as we could, allowing us to write several frames per second after we had shot 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.

Canon EOS R5 Video Quality

The quality of the video playback is also relatively high. 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 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 arrested at 50 frames per second, still in All-I and LOG. It is essential 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 of the device overheating.

Canon EOS R5 Image Quality

The R5 produces high-quality photographs, which is precisely 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 planning on making art prints might want to be a little more careful.

The R5 can shoot 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 even though the resulting images were grainy, there was no color shift to bother with, and information was abundant.

The fact that the EOS R5 is a fantastic 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 EOS R5’s Animal Eye AF performance.

Canon EOS R5 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
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
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
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
Storage typesCFexpress and SD (UHS-II) slots
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
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″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes

Canon EOS R5 Verdict

The EOS R5 is Canon’s greatest-ever stills camera and is a potent instrument for practically every form of photography you can think of. Even though this adaptability does not precisely extend to video, it is nevertheless an appealing hybrid choice, provided that its restrictions are considered. The price tag is the single most significant obstacle for most of us.

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