Reviewers are finally getting their hands on the EOS R5, the new mirrorless full frame flagship from Canon. The Canon R5 reviews are just beginning to come in (August 2020), following the release of production versions at the end of July.
We knew a lot of stuff about this camera and its sibling the Canon EOS R6 from the drip drip of information from sites like CanonRumours. Then there was the big Canon specification reveal earlier in the month, where the mind blowing features of this camera were fully revealed.
So what have we learnt from reviewers putting the R5 through its paces in real world situations?
Canon EOS R5 Does Not Catch Fire
When we reviewed the spec’ of the Canon EOS R vs R5 vs R6 we suspected that the much trailed 8K video could cause the camera to overheat, and surprise surprise it is true.
Well sort of.
There are endless vlogs out there discussing whether the R5 overheats when shooting 8K video.
Tony Northrup got heated about the issue in this video
However, it was followed by a disclaimer in this video, because it turns out that it was the CFexpress card that was to blame?
This article from canonwatch confirms there is no issue. Personally, I think it is irrelevant. The only time I would be likely to use 8K video, would be if I caught sight of a unicorn.
The video from Tony Northrop, however, does confirm that the quality of the 45MP sensor on the R5 blows the competition out of the water. Especially at low light and in terms of dynamic range.
Talking of water.
Weather Sealing: How Good is Good?
Weather sealing is too often taken for granted. We are told the weather sealing on the R5 is good, but how good? There should be a weather sealing standard. Then we could properly compare cameras and lenses.
However, this video from the excellent Chris Niccolls at DP Review describes that the weather sealing on the R5 is equivalent to the Canon EOS 5D IV. Now that is good. The 5D IV should represent the gold standard. I have friends who are landscape photographers who stand out in all weathers with their trusty 5D IV. I have yet to hear any complaints.
Of course, Chris has not tested the camera in a shower, but then it does cost over £4000.
Shoot 8K Video Stills
We thought it was theoretically possible to get decent still pictures from a burst of 8K video, but Digital Camera has proved that on the Canon EOS R5 it really works.
Not much has been said about the Frame Grab function. but on the R5 it is possible to flip through the 8K footage in camera. Highlight the frame required. Then select and produce a 35MP image.
Digital Camera was very impressed with the quality of the image. The downside is that it is a JPG, so there are not the opportunities to process shadows and highlights in post.
There are not yet any Canon R5 reviews that demonstrate this feature working. However, it is important because this could fundamentally change photography in the future.
Imagine a time when photographers use video stills rather than photographed stills. Imagine a time when an AI algorithm selects the video still on your behalf.
The R5: Balanced on a Gimbal
The in body stabilisation (IBIS) on the R5 has been tested and applauded by many reviewers. IBIS works with lens optical stabilisation to achieve 8 stops (Canon claim). Testers have found that although it may be difficult to achieve that exact spec’, the system works well. Down to 1/4 of a second they say.
To see how well. The gimbal comment came from this video from no life
Shoot Like a Wildlife Photographer
It goes without saying that the R5 autofocus has face and eye detection. Afterall that is available on the Canon EOS R (with the latest firmware upgrade).
Animal eye detection, however, is a whole new ball game. Canon has used Deep Learning to ‘train’ an algorithm how to recognise animal eyes,
“It’s been taught,” explains Mike Burnhill, technical support manager for Canon Europe. “You put it into a computer, it creates the algorithm that’s then loaded into the camera. So it’s different from AI – AI is a continual learning; deep learning is basically, it teaches itself, and gives you an end result that is then loaded into the camera.”
The result has been tested by Jared Polin at FroKnowsPhoto.
This amazing video demonstrates how the R5 can track and lock on to an animal eyeball It is truly incredible. I have seen a video with it working on fish!
This camera is a bridge between the mirror up traditional DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Canon obviously see their future as mirrorless. They will not want to continue to develop both systems.
The R5 will tick most boxes for most professionals, and Canon will want to see them beginning to make the transition. As professionals change, the enthusiast market will follow.
This is an important camera for Canon.