Canon EOS R5 Review

This is a review guide covering the Canon EOS R5.

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

Let’s dive in.

In a hurry? Here’s the quick summary

Canon EOS R5

If you are looking for a full-frame Canon mirrorless the EOS R5 is a great camera to go for. There is very little that the R5 cannot do.

It should make landscape photographers happy, it should also make wildlife and sports photographers happy.

And finally, if you are into 4K video shooting you would be reasonably happy with the video options available. The only thing is the price tag.

This is one of the most expensive full-frame camera systems in the market and that means unless you are a professional the price tag will push it beyond your reach.

Pros and Cons Canon EOS R5

Pros
  • 45-MP Dual-Pixel CMOS sensor.
  • DIGIC X image processor
  • 8K 30 RAW and 4K 120 10-Bit internal video
  • 12 fps continuous shutter speed with the mechanical shutter
  • 20 fps continuous shooting speed with the electronic shutter
  • 5-axis sensor-shift type IBIS for super-steady stills and videos
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1053 AF points covers 100% of the frame
  • 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD
  • Advanced subject tracking with Deep Learning, excellent for human and animal tracking
Cons
  • Generates a lot of heat when shooting 8K and oversampled 4K videos
  • Price makes it beyond the reach of beginner and amateur photographers

Canon EOS R5 Specs

I have detailed the stills and video performance of the Canon EOS R5 below under the respective segments. In this segment, I shall be discussing the other major specs.

Autofocusing

First up is the autofocusing functionality of the camera. The R5 features the best autofocusing mechanism that we have seen so far on a Canon mirrorless.

That is if we don’t consider the upcoming EOS R3. We can only expect that the EOS R3 would be better.

The EOS R5’s autofocusing mechanism covers 100% of the frame. On top of that, you get advanced eye-tracking that can detect human and animal eyes as well as track both human and animal subjects equally well.

Canon states that the autofocusing mechanism is machine learning-driven. That means it is one of the most advanced tracking systems that you may have come across.

Canon EOS R5
Example image using Canon EOS R5

EVF

Mirrorless camera systems don’t have a reflex mirror inside them. Instead, an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) transmits the same image that the sensor sees.

The EVF on the R5 is a 0.5-inch unit with a resolution of 5.76-m dots. It has a refresh rate of 120 fps.

Rear LCD Screen

The 3.2-inch rear LCD screen is the one that you are likely going to use at times to compose your photos as well as to review what you’ve shot.

This LCD touchscreen is a vari-angle design allowing you to shoot from both low and high angles as well as from around the corners or when holding the camera at waist height.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Example image using Canon EOS R5

IBIS

The R5 incorporates a 5-axis sensor-shift type in-built image stabilization (IBIS) system that can compensate for any hand movements and give up to up to an incredible eight stops of image shake correction.

As a majority of users would be using the camera hand-held the 5-axis eight stops of image stabilization will come in handy, especially when shooting in low light and when using slow shutter speeds.

If you are using any of Canon’s legacy lenses, including EF lenses, this sensor-shift image stabilization system will work in tandem with any lens-based optical image stabilization systems as well.

The system will also work with all RF lenses.

Canon EOS R5 Design

The Canon EOS R5 is a typical Canon design.

It incorporates a familiar layout of buttons and dials. The absence of a flipping mirror inside the camera means the camera body is slimmer and less bulky than a DSLR.

Flip it around and it is the familiar Canon design.

The joystick now forms a standard camera control across many makes and is very convenient when you need to switch AF points in a hurry.

Canon EOS R5
Example image using Canon EOS R5

The only notable difference is that a traditional full-frame DSLR body will have buttons on the left side at the back of the camera.

The EOS R5 has a flipping LCD touch screen at the back and that is the reason why the left area has no buttons at all.

Last but not least weather sealing is considered to be at par with that of the EOS 5D Mark IV.

We know that the 5D Mark IV is well sealed and therefore can expect that the EOS R5 will also be able to withstand the vagaries of nature well.

Canon EOS R5 Image Quality

If you only ever wanted high-quality JPEGs, then the EOS R5 is a joy to work with. It churns high-quality, sharp, detailed JPEGs delivered straight out of the camera with beautiful colors.

You can share them right away. You won’t even need to edit the RAW files if you are a casual shooter.

But then very few casual shooters will buy the EOS R5 and that warrants a discussion of the RAW capabilities of the camera.

A high-resolution sensor like the one on the EOS R5 is susceptible to moiré and false colors if there is no AA filter.

Probably that is why the engineers at Canon decided to give it one. Moiré is still present though.

The low light capabilities of the EOS R5 are more than acceptable. Traditionally, high-resolution sensors tend to suffer from noise and lack of dynamic range when the ISO number is pushed.

But with the EOS R5, seems to handle high ISO pretty well.

One discussion that is necessary to do before I conclude this segment is about ISO invariance. A lot of photographers buying cameras these days want to know if their camera is ISO invariant.

On the EOS R5, the images shot at ISO 100 and pushed +5 stops or higher do seem to appear quite the same as the images shot at ISO 3200 and above.

Noisy, to say the least. There is, however, some noticeable amount of color noise in the ‘pushed’ images.

Also, the images lose out a lot of detail which impacts the overall quality. I can safely say that the EOS R5 is not an ISO invariant camera.

Canon EOS R5
Example image using Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 Video Quality

The R5 can captures 12-Bit 8K footages at a frame rate of 30p. The footages are incredibly detailed.

However, the file sizes are very high which can be a problem unless you are packing a lot of memory cards. Alternatively, if you choose you can shoot in the HQ 4K mode.

This mode creates from the oversampled 8K frames and needlessly to say retain a lot of detail in it as well.

There is a downside though and that is both in 8K and 4K oversampled modes the camera produces a lot of heat.

You can avoid that by resorting to shooting at 4K UHD or full-HD but in the bargain will lose out on a lot of detail.

The R5 shoots 10-Bit 4:2:2 8K footages at 120fps along with Canon Log. It is possible to use an external recorder and do a clean output at 60fps.

Speaking of heat, the R5 does suffer from this issue quite a bit. The specifications state that you can record 29 mins and 59 seconds of video recording.

But that will vary based on the mode and quality. In 8K mode, the amount of heat generated by the camera will produce around 20 mins of recording before the camera gets too hot.

However, there are some workarounds namely using a lower resolution video setting like normal 4K (and not oversampled) or even full HD. Alternatively, you can use an external recorder connected via HDMI cable.

The R5 features Canon’s dual-pixel CMOS autofocusing in all of the shooting modes.

Canon EOS R5 Overall Performance

The video mode on the Canon EOS R5 is a bit overrated.

It lacks some important aspects such as Zebra Highlights warning and Focus Assist which would have made this a much more formidable camera for shooting videos.

Then there is the heating issue. Even in the 8K modes heating issues make it a problem to use over a considerable amount of time.

When it comes to stills we are more than happy. The high resolution captures a lot of detail and the JPEGs out of the camera are of excellent quality.

By and large, I am also impressed with the autofocusing features of the camera.

Handling is always a subjective thing and some users may not find the R5 to be an easy yield camera. others who are familiar with Canon systems will find everything falls into place.

Concluding Remarks

We hope you enjoyed this review guide on the Canon EOS R5.

Consider everything we’ve reviewed as to whether this is the right camera for you!

Also, check out the full list of best lenses for Canon EOS R5.

Have fun, good luck, and keep photographing!

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