Canon EOS R5 and R6 Now Available to Pre-Order

The EOS R5 is scheduled to ship July 30th, 2020.

Canon EOS R5 24-105
Images by Canon

It’s official – Canon has just launched the Canon EOS R5, which is now available to pre-order for $3,899 USD at B&H and other authorised dealers. 

The Canon EOS R5 is the fist mirrorless (or DSLR/hybrid-style) camera to record 8K/30fps RAW and 4K/120fps on-board. Just like it did with the Canon 5D Mark II back in 2008, Canon seeks to usher in a new era for hybrid mirrorless cameras. Time will tell whether they’ll succeed in this endeavour, but from the officially released specifications, they very well may already have. 

8K is also available in a compressed video recording up to 29.97 fps in 10bit 4:2:2 Canon Log (H.265) or 10bit 4:2:2 HDR PQ (H.265). In addition, the EOS R5 can also record 4K video internally up to 119.88 fps in 4:2:2 10-bit Canon Log (H.265)/4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265).

Uncropped 4K and 8K Full-Frame Video

Moreover, for those that want to utilise an external recorder, the Canon EOS R5 can output 4K up to 59.94 fps via HDMI. Do note that the HDMI output is a type D Micro, which can be extremely fragile. This is one of the big downsides of the EOS R5 in my opinion. 

When recording in 8K or 4K DCI the camera utilises the full sensor. In other words, the video recording in those modes is uncropped, and Dual Pixel CMOS AF II is available in all 8K and 4K recording modes. This is a huge benefit. 

On the other hand, Canon also launched the Canon EOS R6 which is more affordable at $2,499 body only. However, the EOS R6 does not offer any raw video recording or frame rates above 4K/60p.  

Check out the Canon launch presentations here.

Canon EOS R5
Images by Canon

For those that don’t have time to read the whole post, here’s the TL/DR summary of what you need to know about the Canon EOS R5.

Pre-order Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 on Amazon

Canon EOS R5 – What’s New – Features/Specs:

  • 45 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor
  • Digic X Image Processor (ported from the 1DX Mark III)
  • Dual Pixel AF II – with 100% coverage
    • works in 8K and all 4K resolutions
  • Human (Face, Head, Eye) AF, and Animal AF (Dogs, Cats, Birds)
  • 5-Axis IBIS – Canon’s first camera to have it!
    • up to 8 stops shake compensation with compatible RF lenses
    • up to 5 stops for lenses without IS
  • 8K RAW video up to 30fps (24/25p also available)
    • Both 8K DCI and 8K UHD
    • 8K can also be recorded in 10bit 4:2:2 H.265 ALL-I (intra) or IPB (inter-frame)
    • Canon Log or HDR PQ
    • No Crop in 8K
    • 20 mins limit at room temp (23 degrees)
    • Possible overheating issues
  • 4K/60p and 4K/120fps NO CROP in 10bit 4:2:2 internally
  • 4K/120fps has a limit of 5 minutes per shot!
  • RAW is Canon RAW (Not Canon Raw Lite)
    • similar to 1DX Mark III
    • 8K RAW data rates are insane – 2600Mb/s!!! 
  • RAW is only available in 8K resolutions
  • Canon LOG and 10bit 4:2:2 internal recording
  • HDR PQ
  • ALL-I and IPB compression
  • Dual Media Card Slots
    • 1 x CFexpress/1 x SD UHS-II
    • Records 8K RAW and high frame rate 4K onto CFExpress Card (1 x slot)
  • 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
  • Fully weather-sealed body design
  • Vari-angle (Articulating and Front-Facing) touchscreen
  • Built-in 0.5-inch OLED EVF
    • 5.76 million dots and a 120fps refresh rate
  • Canon LP-E6NH – new battery, 14% more powerful, but same size as previous gen
  • Canon EOS R5 Price and Availability:
  • EOS R6 Price and Availability: 
By Canon Australia

8K/30p RAW video in a Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

The big headline feature in the Canon EOS R5 is of course 8K Raw video up to 30fps (29.97fps). Frame rates such as 24p and 25p for those in PAL land are also available. At the moment, no other mirrorless, hybrid, or DSLR camera has this feature,  making the EOS R5 a one-of-a-kind. However, before you get too excited, be aware that you must record onto a CFExpress card (and there is around a 20 minute limitation). 

Heat dissipation also seems to be an issue in 8K (and also faster 4K frame rates). Since Canon engineers (and camera designers) have decided to use passive cooling instead of active *as in the case of the Panasonic S1H, which has a rather large vent to help keep it cool, the EOS R5 appears to need to cool down after 20 minutes of raw video. 

And, I need to stress here – I am not dissing the 8K raw video in the R5, quite the contrary; I actually do admire the engineering feat here – 8K/30p in a passively cooled camera not much bigger than the EOS R, is truly incredible. However, if you are considering purchasing the R5, you must be aware of this issue. 

Canon even mentions this in their official camera presentation manual as well as marketing materials. More on those later. 

New 45 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

The EOS R5 features a brand new 45 megapixel CMOS sensor with the DIGIC X processor from the 1DX Mark III. The upper ISO range tops out at 102,400. The EOS R6 on the other hand, has a significantly less megapixels at its disposal – at just 20 MP, but still retaining the full-frame sensor and also getting the new DPAF II with 100% coverage.

The 45 MP sensor should provide enough detail for stills capture from 8K video footage. Continuous shooting up to 12 fps with a mechanical shutter, or silent 20 fps with an electronic shutter is also supported.

Dual Pixel Autofocus II

The next generation autofocus system in the EOS R5 offers 1,053 selectable focusing points, and covers approx. 100% of the image frame. When recording a video, the Movie Servo AF mode ensures smooth and natural focusing when changing from different subjects or different distances within the scene. In addition, users can adjust AF tracking sensitivity,  speed, and Face Tracking priority.  

Here is a really neat and useful comparison video between the R5 and R6 prepared by Canon Australia:

In-Body Image Stabilization – IBIS

In another first for Canon, the EOS R6 and R5 cameras feature in-body image stabilization, or IBIS. The image sensor physically moves within the camera body allowing for up to 8 stops of shake compensation when combined with the optical stabilization on compatible RF lenses. 

This will be hugely helpful for anyone filming events or web content without a tripod. And from the limited released footage, it looks like Canon  have nailed IBIS on their first try. It is interesting to note that Canon have further simplified turning IBIS on or off.

Apparently, it turns itself on automatically when you attach an IS compatible lens, but you can’t turn it off from the menu with such a lens attached? You can learn more about the IBIS in the EOS R5 below:

4K and 8K Frame Rates and Data Rates

Well, seeing 12bit 8K raw and 10bit 4K slow-motion on a spec sheet is on thing, but the reality high-data rate recording can be intimidating. Those interested in purchasing the R5 and using it primarily in 8K and 4K/120fps recording should brace themselves for massive file sized. The data rate in 8K RAW is 2,600 Mbs, which equals to about 3 minutes on a 64GB CFexpress card.

However, there is some relief in the lower 1,300Mbs rate in 8K 10bit HEVC. The top-end 4K frame rates range between 470Mbs and 1880Mbs; these will eat up quite a lot of backup and media card space too. 

And sure enough, Canon are warning users of possible heating issues when using 4K/60 or above. Even to a point where they say that the camera will need to cool down and not function for a few minutes while doing so. This may be OK for Youtube videos, but for anything involving a crew or a set, this will be problematic. 

However, it is too early to judge performance as the camera has not even shipped yet. The EOS R6 on the other hand, is said to be free of overheating issues due to its more compressed IPB codec. The lack of the more robust 10bit ALL-I recording from the EOS R6 will be a deal-breaker for some, however the file sizes should be much more manageable. And there is that highly-desirable 4K/60p and dual SD card slots. 

The EOS R6 looks like the perfect camera for youtubers, and IG content creators, while the R5 will appeal to pro photographers and those looking for a solid B-cam when paired with a Canon C300 mark III or C500 II. 

Weather-Sealed Body and Wireless Connectivity

Proudly carrying the 5-series name, the EOS R5 is fully weather-sealed and also features the latest 5GHz (as well as 2.4Ghz) Wi-Fi connectivity.  These will be useful for quick file transfers to a mobile device.

In addition, the camera supports Bluetooth and is fully compatible with the new cloud platform for photo cloud storage.

Canon EOS R5 8k mirrorless camera full-frame

Has the EOS R5 Set a New Standard for High-End Hybrid Cameras?

Specs are not everything of course, its all about how the whole package enables you as a professional or enthusiast to capture the images or footage you need for any given purpose. 8K sounds great on paper, but in reality, it will require some very expensive cards and a lot of storage space. Not to mention computer processing power.

Delkin launches 2TB CFexpress cards – Read more here.

And in addition, there are still plenty of important factors we don’t know about such as rolling shutter and to what extent the overheating issues could hamper the EOS R5 performance in a more production-oriented environment. 

Undoubtedly, the Canon EOS R5 has big shoes to fill. Expectations are at an all time high, and especially today in these uncertain times with the competition (mainly Sony) asleep at the wheel, it seems like the right time for Canon to get back to its senses and regain the crown it lost to Sony years back. 

Canon EOS R5 with 24-105mm f4 IS RF lens
Canon EOS R5 with 24-105mm f4 IS RF lens / Images by Canon

Where is the Sony a7S III? How will Sony Respond to the EOS R5?

Sony has to respond quickly, and whatever they do, they really need to bring their A-game. Top brass at Sony has been teasing the upcoming a7S II successor for ages, but it’s been way too long, and many are tired of waiting. Present company included. I currently own a Sony a7 III and I am quite happy with it. 

Yes, there are quite a few things I dislike about it, but for the most part, it does the job. It gets me nice looking 4K out of the box, or in HGL/S-log2 with some work in post. But it is a previous generation camera – and worst of all – an 8bit 4:2:0 camera with no real benefit from recording externally (which is still limited to 8bit 422 regardless). 

The EOS R5 is something totally different – latest gen processors and 10bit native recording internally. Hell, it even has 8K RAW and 4K/120fps slow motion in 10bit? 

Is the A7s III is in trouble?

And while the a7 III will still remain a great bargain and probably the best value for money today when it comes to hybrid cameras, the a7s III (or whatever Sony calls the a7s II successor) will need to deliver in spades. Sony’s head honchos have said it multiple times – their goal is not only to meet, but also exceed expectations. And those are bold statements. 

On a personal level, given that their Sony FX9 pro camcorder cannot record RAW internally, makes me very sceptic about any form of RAW recording inside the a7s III. Externally to an Atomos Ninja or Shogun, maybe. But not internally. It will have 4K/60 – that’s a given, but will it have 4K/120fps? That’s the question. 

In my opinion Sony have to deliver a 4K/120fps capable full-frame mirrorless camera with a solid 10bit codec in order to be competitive. And one that most importantly does not overheat. Preferably at a price point of around $3000-3400 USD. 

The next few weeks should be exciting indeed. What are your thoughts on the EOS R5 and R6? Or are you more excited about the upcoming a7s III? Do let us know in the comments below. 

Learn more about the EOS R5 over at Canon here.

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