Atomos has officially announced they will support 4K/60p 10bit 4:2:2 externally in either ProRes or DNx from the Canon EOS R5 and R6 mirrorless cameras.
Supported monitor/recorders include Atomos Ninja V, Shogun 7 and Sumo19 HDR. The HDMI output on EOS R5 and R6 is limited to 4K/59.94p and will not output a raw signal, so any hope of getting ProRes RAW, at least at this stage, remains squashed.
Still, 10-bit 422 Apple ProRes or Avid DNx is a solid intermediate codec for editing, and will be useful in bypassing the Long GOP IPB compression on the EOS R6.
In addition, Canon EOS R5 users, who want to save a bit of card space on CFexpress, can record externally to a more efficient SSD on the Ninja V/Shogun or Sumo recorder.
Problematic Physical Connection – HDMI Micro
However, the biggest downside with external monitoring and recording remains the flimsy HDMI micro output, which is no fault of Atomos of course. Canon, in all their collective wisdom, have somehow decided that putting a micro HDMI port on a camera that costs $4,000 USD in 2020 is somehow a good idea.
Maybe it was the usual excuse of lack of physical space, or maybe they wanted to save a buck or two, but the reality is that you will need a cage with the EOS R5 if you want to use an external monitor/recorder. The problem with this is that a metal housing around the EOS R5 body will only exacerbate the overheating issues that are bound to plague this camera…
There is no perfect camera, but the EOS R5, despite all its impressive specs, has a few kinks such as the horrendous Micro HDMI output, which are problematic. Nevertheless this will probably not affect most users.
Most photographers and general youtube-type creators will simply just use the flip-out screen, which is a great feature. However, for those that want a more robust codec for editing and a better monitoring experience, the reality will be far from perfect.
EOS R6 + Atomos is the way to go!
The good news for EOS R6 users is that with the Atomos recorders, the codec issue is solved, so it makes more sense for them to use an external recorder. The EOS R6 is supposedly free of heating problems (this remains to be tested), so even with a cage, an external monitor shouldn’t be problematic.
Atomos also say that users will not need a firmware update for their recorders, as EOS R5/R6 support comes already included. Great news from Atomos indeed, who’ve been working with Canon on adding immediate ProRes/DNX 10bit support.
Now all you need is an R5 or R6, and those are likely to ship end of July and August respectively.
Catch-up with all the EOS R5 and R6 launch presentations and check out some footage from the EOS R5 in this post here.