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Thoughts about the Canon EOS R5, the R6 and what these new cameras could mean for filmmakers and video professionals.

Well, that was certainly a couple of eventful weeks. Canon has finally officially launched its new EOS R5 camera (as well as the EOS R6 with stripped-down specifications and price). And as someone who has mainly learned about digital filmmaking and video production with Canon cameras like 5D and 7D, I am – like many others – very interested in these new offers.

To be fair, as exciting as the 8K RAW R5 seems to be, there are many reasons for concern. While starting with Canon cameras, I obviously experimented with many other cameras and brands as I developed my personal taste and style.

Canon has also been doing a little bit lately as they were initially unwilling to adapt to mirrorless technology through their old DSLR lines. Therefore, their first attempt to become mirrorless with the EOS R was received with less than ecstatic reviews.

A slightly improved (but lower) EOS RP has been released to address some concerns. Ultimately, however, this long-awaited EOS R5 is said to be Canon's triumphant return to relevance. Should filmmakers take care of this at this point? Let's dive in

The early reviews

Without a Canon R5 in our hands, many of us are watching closely how the first reviews of the R5 begin. As you can see in Peter McKinnon's video review above, there are already a few reviews of these hand-picked by Canon to try out this new offering.

Many of these early reviews praise Canon for finally making many of the coveted updates that hindered the EOS R – things like body image stabilization, better autofocus, and of course (finally) two card slots. . If you are just one person with technical data, you can find the complete technical data for the R5 here:

  • 45 megapixel full-screen CMOS sensor
  • 8K RAW up to 30fps
  • 4K up to 120 fps
  • 10-bit 4: 2: 2 with Canon Log or HDR PQ
  • DIGIC X image processor
  • 8K RAW / 4K 120P
  • Image stabilization in the body
  • Untrimmed and trimmed shooting modes
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF
  • Two card slots
  • Vari-Angle LCD touchscreen
  • 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Price: $ 3,899

While many in the industry are actually impressed with the camera on paper, some of these early practical reviews give an insight into how the camera is actually handled during filming and specifically for film requirements. We also get some early reports of possible issues like overheating, focus tracking, and how well the R5 is handling high ISO movies.

8K video looks legitimate

Before we go into any issues, we need to talk about 8K RAW recording, because apparently that's what everyone wants. Correct? Even in the middle of a global pandemic, camera manufacturers are continuing their arms race to advance their digital technologies and achieve the highest possible number of pixels. It is very exciting for filmmakers when we dream of the new possibilities that these latest cameras can offer. But it is also frustrating for those who have already made their investments or feel like they are out of competition (and pixelated) if they don't have the latest and greatest equipment and high-end editing workflow features.

8K is the new tent mast for the moment, but at that speed it might not take very long. However, it looks legitimate after Canon's early demos. Unlike the problems with harvesting the EOS R for 4K, the R5 8K shoots without harvesting. You can see the 8K in the video above from YouTuber itchban.

Are there any problems with overheating?

One of the earliest – and perhaps biggest – problems with these new cameras (more specifically for the high-end R5) is the problem of overheating. As you can see in Armando Ferreira's video above, this topic seems to separate Canon fans and Canon critics strongly. Some say that this is a normal problem for any high-functioning camera, but it has no cinema price. Others call it a make-or-break problem that affects the filmmaker's needs. The biggest problem reported is an approximate recording time of 20 minutes when recording 8K and an approximate recording time of 30 minutes when recording 4K oversampling. In response, Canon has already made a statement:

The EOS R5, one of the newest additions to Canon's mirrorless full-frame camera, offers first-class auto focus with high-resolution video recording options and a high frame rate with maximum width of the full-frame sensor at high bit rates. This combination of features can inevitably generate significant heat, which limits the recording time.

Canon has taken several steps to address the overheating potential, including:

  • A magnesium alloy was used in the body to dissipate the heat from the internal components
  • An overheat control function to reduce heat generation when the camera is in standby mode

Regarding installing a fan: The decision not to install a fan in the body was made to maintain the EOS R5's compact size, lightweight design, and weather resistance.

Before the start of the recording, the EOS R5 and EOS R6 display an estimate of the recordable time based on the current camera temperature and the set recording mode.

You can read the full, unprocessed explanation at PetaPixel.

Looking at the EOS R6

Most filmmakers tend to focus their attention on the more powerful EOS R5, but we could be better served by looking at the EOS R6. While the R6 obviously doesn't offer 8K RAW recording and a new 45 megapixel sensor, it's still a solid offering with 4K up to 60 fps (without the hassle of harvesting the EOS R), 1080p to 120 fps for slow motion, updated Features like dual card slots and more.

  • 20 megapixel full-screen CMOS sensor
  • 4K up to 60 fps
  • 1080p to 120fps
  • 10-bit 4: 2: 2 with Canon Log or HDR PQ
  • DIGIC X image processor
  • Image stabilization in the body (8-step correction)
  • ISO range from 100-102400; Expandable to 204800.
  • Two UHS-II SD card slots
  • Built-in 0.5 ”3.69 million point OLED EVF (with 120 fps refresh rate)
  • 3-inch, 1.62 million dot, variable angle LCD touchscreen
  • 2.4 GHz built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Weather, drip and dust sealing
  • Price: $ 2,499

I would bet that while the R5 could take sales leadership straight away, the R6 will be a much more realistic – and maybe better – option for those looking for a first video camera and for hobbyists looking for a new hybrid camera for their weekend projects

Personal considerations

I personally think this is exciting news for Canon. I was a big fan of the 5D and used a 7D for large and small shots for over five years. They have shown that they can produce quality products that are very durable and well designed. Hopefully the EOS R is nothing more than a little stumble since it corrected the course with this new R5.

However, if you don't necessarily need 8K RAW footage right away, I wouldn't recommend hurrying to get your order. In terms of price, the R5 is best compared to Panasonic's Lumix DC-S1H has proven to be very popular, although it "only" offers 6K (while offering almost the same bells and whistles as the R5).

With the news from Blackmagics URSA, which can hold 12K, and the expected late summer release of the Sony a7S II, I would certainly be excited to see how the industry will develop. I would also limit my next camera purchase to something that meets the needs of my upcoming projects, rather than chasing the latest breakthroughs in pixel recording.

You can find more camera news and industry insights in the following articles.

Cover picture about Canon.


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