Canon EOS R5 review

The Canon‘s EOS R5 is an excellent camera for professionals or anyone that’s looking for a supremely capable option for almost any type of photography, from sports and action to studio portraits and landscapes.

It’s a 45MP full-frame mirrorless camera that can shoot clips of 8K video, has impressive Dual Pixel autofocus and excellent ergonomics. It can also capture 10-bit HDR stills and video for HDR display and is the spiritual (and mirrorless) successor to Canon’s 5D-series DSLR cameras. It’s not a perfect camera, but we think it’s an excellent and highly competitive addition to an already crowded field of competent high-resolution full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Key specifications:

  • 45MP full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS sensor
  • 8K video, with option for Raw or 10-bit 4:2:2 C-log or HDR PQ
  • Up to 4K/120p, or oversampled 4K up to 30p
  • 100% coverage Dual Pixel II AF system with human and animal detection trained by machine learning
  • 12 fps / 20 fps bursts (mech. / elec. shutter)
  • 5.76M-dot OLED EVF with 120fps max refresh rate
  • 3.2″ 2.1M-dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • 10-bit HDR photos in HEIF format
  • 1x CFexpress slot, 1x UHS-II SD slot
  • Claimed weather-sealing to EOS 5D Mark IV levels
  • 2.4/5Ghz Wi-FI with Bluetooth and FTP connectivity
  • CIPA rated to around 320 shots (using EVF)

What’s New

With a new sensor, new AF system, new video features, a new in-body stabilizer and a whole lot more, there’s quite a bit to cover here. Follow along as we delve into some of the details of the EOS R5’s new tech.

Key takeaways:

  • All-new 45MP sensor gives good resolution and dynamic range, boosts readout speed over some previous Canon sensors
  • 8K video capture and a plethora of other modes will appeal to hybrid stills/video shooters
  • Built-in image stabilizer offers a market-leading claimed 8 stops of stabilization when paired with the right lenses
  • New 100%-coverage autofocus system looks impressive
  • Well thought-out controls and reasonable level of customization should satisfy most users

Body, controls and handling

Ergonomically, Canon’s EOS R5 combines the best parts of its mirrorless and DSLR cameras into one cohesive control scheme. We think it will work well for most users overall, though some may be left wanting for even more robust customization options.

Key takeaways:

  • Excellent overall ergonomics, with three dials and direct AF controls
  • Claimed weather-sealing to Canon EOS 5D IV standards
  • High-resolution viewfinder and LCD can run at high refresh rates for impressive display quality, but those high refresh rates reduce battery life noticeably
  • Updated battery is higher capacity, same form factor as older Canon batteries
  • CFexpress and UHS-II SD card slots offer a mix of speed and compatibility, though some users will dislike their mis-matched nature

Image Quality

Key takeaways:

  • High resolution sensor provides plenty of detail in Raw and offers competitive noise performance at higher ISO values
  • Default JPEG parameters produce excellent detail at low ISO values
  • Higher ISO JPEGs show a bit less detail than competitors, but with lower noise levels as well

JPEG

Moving over to JPEG, the EOS R5’s default sharpening parameters look good, and its files have a ton of fine detail while looking reasonably crisp. It looks to be using finer radius sharpening than any of the other offerings here, and holds onto even the tiniest details impressively well. Color response is hard to fault, but that’s largely true of the competitors here as well. At higher ISO values, the Canon tamps down on grain moreso than the other options, though some details start to go a bit mushy. But there’s really not a whole lot to separate this particular crowd, with the Nikon, Sony and Panasonic looking to have a bit more perceived detail that’s likely just due to the extra grain. The Canon is also doing a good job of preventing color spread while preserving saturation at higher ISO values.

Shutter modes

We’ll look at the difference in quality between the mechanical and fully electronic shutter modes on the following page, but it’s worth calling out that there’s a third, electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS) mode to help ensure sharp results at slower shutter speeds.

Unfortunately, there’s no automatic option to switch to full mechanical shutter mode at faster shutter speeds when EFCS won’t provide you any benefit; what matters though is that EFCS can make your bokeh look downright unpleasant at those higher shutter speeds, so if you’re planning on shooting a fast aperture lens in bright light, remember to switch to the full mechanical shutter yourself.

Canon’s EOS R5 video performance

Much digital ink has been spilt on both praise and disdain for the EOS R5 and one of its headline features, namely the ability to record 8K/30p video and its propensity to overheat while doing so. However, while heat dissipation will always be a problem that will limit your total record times, the EOS R5 could still be a good fit for hybrid stills and video shooters so long as you’re aware of its limitations.

Key takeaways:

  • 8K video is absurdly detailed, but recording times are limited by a variety of factors
  • The non-oversampled 4K/24p or 4K/30p options won’t overheat easily
  • Strong feature set, with HDR PQ, C-Log and 10-bit 4:2:2 recording in all modes
  • Excellent Dual Pixel AF in all modes
  • Raw video capture is only available in DCI 8K mode
  • CFexpress card required for 8K and 4K/120p; fast SD cards will work for other 4K modes.

Conclusion

The Canon’s EOS R5 is well-suited for just about any type of photographer, whether you shoot portraits, events, weddings, sports, family gatherings, and more. We’ve felt a bit let down by Canon’s promises of the camera’s outright video capability, but for most users, it’s still a great option for getting good-quality video clips of almost anything you point it at. Power users that need the best video quality all the time won’t be a good fit, but otherwise the EOS R5 is a fantastic option for almost anyone looking for a quality full-frame high-resolution mirrorless camera.

Original Blog: Dpreview.com (Carey Rose)

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