Hands on: Canon EOS R5 review

The Canon EOS R5 is the most anticipated camera in a decade. Does the 8K, 45MP beast live up to the hype against its competitors?

So far, so amazing. While we’d like to place the Canon EOS R5 through a full battery of lab tests and long-term usage, we’re overwhelmingly impressed by what we’ve seen thus far . It’s getting to be an excessive amount of camera for many people, but if you would like near-medium format muscle then its 45MP stills packs a strong punch, while serious videographers are going to be awed by both its 8K and 4K capabilities. the sport really is being changed.

The Canon EOS R5 is finally here after months of waiting and masterful teases by the – there’s no other word for it – exceptionally canny manufacturer.

No camera in recent memory has received or, dare we are saying it, deserved this amount of hype. The Canon EOS R5 may be a powerhouse performer in every possible respect; its 8K video outclasses many of the simplest cinema cameras, its shooting speed puts it on par with the simplest cameras for sport, its 45MP sensor outmuscles about a couple of of the simplest mirrorless cameras, and its 8-stop in-body image stabilization is that the new IBIS champion.

In short, the R5 has all the ingredients to be the simplest Canon camera we’ve ever seen – and we’ve already had the prospect to travel hands-on with it. Here are our first impressions… can it possibly live up to the big hype?


Sensor: 45MP full-frame CMOS 36 x 24mm
Image processor: Digic X
AF points: 5,940 Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
ISO range: 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-102,400)
Stabilization: 5-axis, up to 8 stops
Max image size: 8,192 x 5,464px
Metering zones: 384
Video: 8K DCI or UHD at 30p, 24p / 4K DCI or UHD at 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p / 1080p (FullHD) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED EVF, 5,690k dots, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification, 120fps refresh rate
Memory card: 1x CFexpress type B, 1x UHS-II SD/SDHC/SDXC
LCD: 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2,100k dots.
Max burst: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic shutter
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5Ghz and 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), micro HDMI (type D), microphone, headphone, N3 remote, flash sync, gigabit ethernet (via WFT-R10 grip)
Size: 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm
Weight: 650g body only (738g with card and battery)


Such are the lofty specs of the Canon EOS R5 that virtually every feature may be a key feature. Obviously the headline attraction here is that the remarkable video capability. The R5 can capture full-width (uncropped) raw 8K video using the whole readout of the 35mm sensor – and it does so internally at up to 29.97fps in 4:2:2 12-bit Canon Log or HDR PQ (both H.265) in both UHD and DCI.

Its 4K capture is equally as ferocious, recording at up to 119.88fps (in an equivalent 4:2:2 Canon Log or HDR PQ, in UHD or DCI) with external HDMI recording up at up to 59.94fps. However, the R5 is far quite just a video behemoth.

Since the 8K DCI video features a resolution of 8,192 x 4,320, the camera features a Frame Grab function that permits you to require high-resolution 35.4MP stills (as either JPEGs or HEIF files) from your footage – which is 5.1MP greater resolution than the Canon EOS R.

All of this is often because of the fresh 45MP image sensor, which Canon claims makes the R5 “the highest resolution EOS camera ever” – supposedly resolving even greater detail than the 50.6MP Canon EOS 5DS / R. this is often because of the new low-pass filter design, which was introduced within the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Traditional low-pass filters (employed to urge obviate moiré) employ dual-layer, four-point subsampling and introduce a layer of softness to pictures . Canon’s new tech features quad-layer, 16-point subsampling and combines it with a normal distribution technique to deliver sharpness rivalling the 5DS / R. Our lab results for the 1D X Mark III didn’t quite bear this out, so we’ll got to put the R5 through a full raft of tests.

The flagship 1D X has served as donor for much of the tech within the EOS R5. The AI-powered Deep Learning AF system has been transplanted, enabling the new camera to perform spookily accurate eye, face and head tracking. However, the R5 features a trick that even the Mark III doesn’t have; it’s also capable of Animal AF which will track the eyes, faces and bodies of dogs, cats and birds – including birds on the wing .

Underpinning the autofocus is that the fresh Dual Pixel CMOS AF II – the newest generation of Canon’s much-lauded AF system. And better of all, of these autofocus technologies are available in stills also as all video resolutions and frame-rates – with a staggering 5,940 AF points for photography and 4,500 for filming.

And the continuous shooting speed is additionally on par with the 1D X Mark III, because the R5 matches the flagship’s top speed of 20fps via the electronic shutter (and 12fps using the mechanical shutter). protected by dual card slots, including lightning-fast CFexpress support, this suggests that the R5 can stand toe-to-toe with sports cameras, video cameras and medium format cameras alike.

Most excitingly, for long-suffering Canon users, the EOS R5 features the company’s agonizingly overdue implementation of 5-axis in-body stabilization. The wait, however, has been worthwhile , as Canon is now officially the king of IBIS – the R5 (and the Canon EOS R6) boasts up to eight stops of CIPA-rated stabilization, counting on the lens.


In the hand, the EOS R5 seems like a rather beefier EOS R. It’s almost imperceptibly thicker (literally just 3.6mm), but it’s notably more heft, weighing about 70g more. the load is extremely evenly distributed, though, and therefore the body feels alright balanced – indeed, the additional mass makes it feel a far better match for a few of the notoriously larger RF lenses.

From the highest , the R5 is extremely almost like the EOS R and bears an equivalent top OLED screen and mode button within the rear control dial. It’s the rear where the differences start to return into play, and therefore the very first thing you’ll notice is that the love-it-or-loathe it M-Fn touchbar has been abolished; in its place may be a familiar joystick, with the AF-ON button assuming its more traditional position.

A control wheel has also replaced the individual D-pad buttons seen on the EOS R and Canon EOS RP, all of which makes the R5 feel far more like employing a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – fitting, as this is often a 5-series camera intended to take a seat alongside its DSLR counterpart.

Thankfully the camera retains the fully articulating touchscreen seen on the EOS R and RP, which is clearly important for recording video (as well as taking stills from elevated or low angles).

Being a 5-series camera, you’ll expect an equivalent robust weather sealing – though invariably, as long as the mirrorless model is daintier (and also features an articulating screen), it doesn’t feel as sturdy because the 5D. needless to say it’ll withstand some knocks, but unlike the DSLR you actually wouldn’t want to drop it or leave it within the hands of youngsters .

The R5 also features a fresh 2,130mAh battery, the LP-E6NH, which features 14% greater capacity than the LP-E6N that it replaces – and it’s backwards-compatible with any camera that accepts the LP-E6 family of batteries, so you’ll use it together with your other cameras also .


We weren’t ready to take any sample shots with the Canon EOS R5, but we took it for a fast spin and came away very impressed with what it’s capable of.

In operation, it really does feel much an equivalent as using an EOS R – the controls, menus and ‘feel’ of shooting are all virtually identical, so if you’re comfortable using the prevailing R system then this may be very familiar.

There’s a big and immediately noticeable improvement in autofocus performance. The AF on the R5 feels far more nimble, adaptable and reliable. The Deep Learning AF engine from the 1D X Mark III makes an enormous difference, with the attention , face and head detection proving even as reliable because it was on the flagship camera.

The tracking seems far better , too, with AF points feeling much ‘stickier’ and more faithful when the view is interrupted by obstacles or passers by. We found the autofocus system within the 1D X III to be the simplest we’ve ever used – and if anything, the AF within the EOS R5 is an additional cut above.

Finally having uncropped 4K video may be a revelation for a Canon camera, but the power to record all the high to 120fps while retaining full autofocus functions may be a revelation for nearly any camera system. However, it’s obviously the 8K video that the majority people are eyeing with suspicion and wondering what the catch is.

So… what’s the catch? thus far , there doesn’t appear to be one. While we didn’t have time to undertake it out for ourselves, Canon told us that in an off-the-cuff test the R5 could record over 19 minutes of continuous 8K footage before overheating forces it to pack up . At 16-17 minutes a warning is displayed, stating that the camera is beginning to overheat, then at 19:37 it closed down.

Clearly we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve run our own stress tests, but that’s incredible performance for a camera during this category – and means this is often an 8K system with legitimate practical use.


So far, so amazing. While we’d like to place the Canon EOS R5 through a full battery of lab tests and long-term usage, we’re overwhelmingly impressed by what we’ve seen thus far . It’s getting to be an excessive amount of camera for many people, but if you would like near-medium format muscle then its 45MP stills packs a strong punch, while serious videographers are going to be awed by both its 8K and 4K capabilities. the sport really is being changed.

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