Should I Get the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, or EOS R? An Extensive Comparison

Should I Get the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, or EOS R? An Extensive Comparison The Canon EOS R, shown at the bottom-left in the lead image, came first. The R was Canon's first full-frame MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera), and the start of the R-series. This model offered a relatively high resolution with a good feature set and solid performance at a reasonable price.
 
The Canon EOS RP, shown at the bottom-right, came next. A tiny model, the RP is positioned below the R and has a modestly lower resolution and noticeably lower price. The RP is an exceptional value.
 
This page exists because of the two models that came next, the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, respectively shown at the top-left and top-right. These are both exceptionally-high-performing cameras positioned (and priced) above the EOS R.
 
Here are the differences between the Canon EOS R6, R5, and R.
SpecificationsEOS R5EOS R6EOS R
  Canon EOS R5 Canon EOS R6 Canon EOS R6
Year Introduced202020202018
Megapixels45.020.130.4
Pixel Dimensions8192 x 54645472 x 36486720 x 4480
Pixel Size4.39µm6.56µm5.36µm
Diffraction-Limited Aperturef/7.1f/10.6f/8.6
ISO Sensitivity100-51200
to L:50, H1: 102400
100-102400
to L:50, H1: 204800
100-40000
to L:50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400
Image ProcessorDIGIC XDIGIC XDIGIC 8
Dual Pixel RAWYesNoYes
Sensor Stabilization5-Axis IBIS5-Axis IBISNo
Movies8K RAW movie to 30 fps
4K movie at up to 120 fps
4K time-lapse mode Canon Log 1 / HDR PQ 10bit 4:2:2 internal recording
All-I / IPB compression 10bit 4:2:2 uncompressed 4K 60p to external recorder
4K movie at up to 60 fps
4K time-lapse mode
Full HD movies at 120 fps
Canon Log 1 / HDR PQ
10bit 4:2:2 internal recording
IPB compression
4K movie (cropped) at 25/24 fps
Full HD movies at 60 fps
HD at 120 fps
Canon Log 1
10bit 4:2:2 uncompressed 4K to external recorder
Movie ModesA+, P, Tv, Av, M, C1, C2, C3A+, MA+, P, Tv, Av, M, C1, C2, C3
AF Points1,053 AF Areas covering approx. 100% of the frame
5,940 individually selectable AF points with 90% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage
1,053 AF Areas covering approx. 100% of the frame
6,072 individually selectable AF points with 90% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage
5,655 points with 88% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage
AF Working RangeEV -6 to 20EV -6.5 to 20EV -6 to 18
Subject DetectionBody, Face, Eye, AnimalBody, Face, Eye, AnimalFace, Eye
Focus BracketingYesYesNo
EVF0.5" (127mm) OLED color EVF, 5.76 Million dots0.5" (127mm) OLED color EVF, 3.69 Million dots0.5" (127mm) OLED color EVF, 3.69 Million dots
EVF FrameRate120 fps120 fps60 fps
LCD Type3.15" (8.01cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 2.10 million dots2.95" (7.50cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 1.62 million dots3.15" (8.01cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 2.10 million dots
HEIF, HDR PQYesYesNo
FPS12 fps with Servo AF
20 fps with Electronic Shutter, and Servo AF
12 fps with Servo AF
20 fps with Electronic Shutter, and Servo AF
8 fps fixed AF
5 fps with Servo AF
Continuous Frames350 JPEG, 180 RAW, or 260 CRAW1,000+ JPEG, 240 RAW, or 1,000+ CRAW100 JPEG, 47 RAW, 78 C-RAW
Shutter Lag50ms 55ms
Card Slots1x CFexpress
1x UHS-II SD
2x UHS-II SD1x UHS-II SD
Control DialsMain Dial
Quick Control Dial 1 w/ Mode Button
Quick Control Dial 2
AF Multi-controller (8-Way Joystick)
Top panel display
Front Function Button
Main Dial
Quick Control Dial 1 w/ Mode Button
Quick Control Dial 2
AF Multi-controller (8-Way Joystick)
Front Function Button
Multi-function Bar
Quick Control Dial
Cross-Keys
Top Panel Display
Dedicated Rate, Magnify, "Q" ButtonsYesYesNo
Power SwitchCircular w/LeverCircular w/LeverCircular
Sound MemoYesNoNo
Wireless Features5Ghz and 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Internal FTP
optional Wireless transmitter WFT-R10
2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Internal FTP
2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
FTP with WFT-E7 II Accessory
PC TerminalYesNovia BG-E22
Computer InterfaceUSB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.0
HDMIHDMI micro Type D
Simultaneous HDMI Out and Card Writing
HDMI micro Type D
HDMI Out or Card Writing
HDMI mini Type C
HDMI Out or Card Writing
RemoteN3 (Front)E3 (Side)E3 (Side)
Shutter Durability Rating500,000300,000200,000
Supplied BatteryLP-E6NHLP-E6NHLP-E6N
Battery Life (CIPA)LCD 490 shots
EVF 320 shots
LCD 510 shots
EVF 380 shots
370 shots
Grip Geometry2.7" (68.5mm) Thick
2.7" (68.5mm) Thick at Bottom
1.55" (39.3mm) Finger Shelf
2.7" (68.5mm) Thick
2.7" (68.5mm) Thick at Bottom
1.65" (41.8mm) Finger Shelf
2.59" (65.7mm) Thick
2.54" (64.5mm) at Bottom
1.40" (35.5mm) Finger Shelf
RattleNoticeable when Powered OffNoticeable when Powered OffNo
Dimensions Inches5.45 x 3.84 x 3.46"
(138 x 97.5 x 88.0mm)
5.45 x 3.84 x 3.48"
(138 x 97.5 x 88.4mm)
5.35 x 3.87 x 3.32"
(135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm)
CIPA Weight26.0 oz (738g)24.0 oz (680g)23.3 oz (660g)
List Price$3,899.00$2,499.00$1,799.00
 
Review Canon EOS R5 Canon EOS R6 Canon EOS R
Purchase BUY BUY BUY
 
Canon EOS R-Series Top View


 
Again, the original EOS R is a great value, offering good performance and relatively high resolution for a modest price. The 2-years-newer R5 and R6 are significantly more advanced cameras and considerably faster in a number of regards.
 
One clear differentiator between these cameras is the resolution they provide. It takes no more effort to press the shutter release on a 45 MP camera than it does on a 20 MP camera, and all things equal, the higher resolution image is more desirable. Use the additional resolution to output large, to downsample to even higher quality, or to crop with potentially high resolution remaining.
 
Not as apparent in the chart are that the R5 and R6 image sensors are significantly faster with less rolling shutter effect, and improved dynamic range (exposure latitude). Here are some dynamic range comparisons:
 
Canon EOS R5 vs. Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R5 vs. Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R6 vs. Canon EOS R
 
The R6's larger pixel sites have a higher SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio), meaning less noise at the pixel level. However, for the comparison to be equal, the higher resolution images must be downsized to the R6 image's pixel dimensions, and with that action, oversampling advantages are realized. At equivalent final image sizes, the R5 and R6 noise levels are about the same.
 
The pixel-level noise performance is often reflected in the available ISO settings. The R6 has this advantage, and the R trails the R5. That said, you don't want to use any of these cameras (or those from any other manufacturer) at the highest ISO settings made available.
 
Another aspect that specs do not make clear is the relative sharpness of the images these cameras produce. The R produces softer images than many other Canon cameras when the images are processed using the same settings. Why? I've asked that question multiple times and have received no answers. However, that question has been resolved in the R5 and R6.
 
Here are some comparisons:
 
Canon EOS R5 vs. Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R5 vs. Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R6 vs. Canon EOS R
 
The R images sharpen nicely with a higher sharpness setting ("2" looks nice). Are the R's RAW images de-tuned slightly, providing more latitude for the photographer to dial in the result they want? Does the R have a stronger low pass filter? Or, is there some other cause for the softer results?
 
The advantage of "DIGIC X" is not as easy to comprehend as, say, the number of megapixels on the imaging sensor, but this processor's extreme speed makes complex in-camera calculations possible, with improved AF performance and image quality being two advantages. The DIGIC X processor in the R5 and R6 is significantly more powerful than the DIGIC 8 processor in the R.
 
The R6 does not feature Canon Dual Pixel RAW capture where two signals are captured for each pixel. Portrait Relighting is featured on the R5.
 
The IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) is a tremendous advantage held by the R5 and R6 models. These two cameras effectively upgrade all of the lenses in your kit, with better image quality being realized. IBIS is a huge advantage for video, decreasing the need for bulky and expensive gimbals in certain situations. With IBIS, the R5 and R6 have a noticeable rattle when powered off (don't worry about this).
 
The R5's 8K uncropped video capability (including RAW) is awesome, and the R6 enjoys a strong movie capability advantage over the R, including uncropped 4K vs. cropped 4K (1.75x). The R5 and R6 provide Dual Pixel CMOS AF II tracking with every resolution/framerate, but the R does not get AF tracking with high framerate (720p) capture. An R5 advantage is that it goes to 120 fps in 4K while the R6 has FHD 120 fps. The R5 does not have FHD 120 fps recording available.
 
The R6 has only two movie modes, and the R5 has an improved movie setting menu option.
 
All three of these cameras can autofocus in crazy-low light levels, but the R6 has a slight advantage. The R5 and R6 have some advantage over the R when focusing in very bright light levels.
 
The EOS R's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, including eye and face detection, performs excellently, but the R5 and R6's Dual Pixel CMOS II AF system takes subject detection and tracking capabilities to another level, including animal tracking. The R5 and R6 AF systems handle challenging circumstances amazingly well.
 
The R5 and R6 have a focus bracketing feature missing on the R (this feature first arrived on the RP).
 
The R5's considerably higher resolution EVF is a significant advantage, as is its higher resolution rear LCD. The R5 and R6 have a much faster refresh rate available, helping you follow a moving subject. Especially notable is that the R5 and R6 have less EVF blackout, dramatically helping you track a moving subject. The diopter dial has moved to the right side of the viewfinder on the R5 and R6 where it is easier to access. The R5 and R6 have a modified eyecup shape (all are non-removable).
 
Also aiding in capturing a perfect action shot is the R5 and R6's extremely fast frame rates, rates that leave the R far behind.
 
For some, having dual memory card slots is a big advantage for the R5 and R6 over the R. Differentiating between the R5 and R6 is that one of the R5's slots is the faster CFexpress format. For those not needing the speed of CFexpress, the R6's dual card slots sharing the same UHS-II SD format could be an advantage.
 
The additional controls and buttons, including a joystick replacing the R's Multi-Function Bar and ISO adjustment instantly available on the top quick control dial, along with the revised power switch design on the R5 and R6 make these cameras easier to use than the R. The EOS R and R5 have top LCDs while the R6 does not. The R5 and R6's top-right three buttons on the back have a horizontal layout to provide space for the larger dual memory card slot door — especially the AF-ON button is easier to reach in the updated layout. The R5 and R6 have an additional configurable button (depth of field preview by default) on the front. If you need the sound memo feature or a PC terminal, the R5 is your only choice.
 
Canon EOS R-Series Front View


 
The R5 has the most advanced built-in Wi-Fi and also has the most advanced wireless file transmitter available. The R6 has more advanced built-in Wi-Fi than the R, but it does not have a wireless file transmitter option.
 
The R5 and R6 have faster USB ports than the R, and the R5 and R6 have HDMI micro Type D ports vs. the R's HDMI mini Type C port. The R5 has an N3-type remote release port vs. E3 in the R6 and R. The R5 has a more durable shutter, rated at 500,000 actuations vs. 300,000 and 200,000.
 
While the R5 and R6 arrive with a higher capacity battery, that battery is compatible with the EOS R and its charger, meaning this difference is easy to equalize. That 14% higher capacity battery helps the battery life ratings with the R5 and R6 showing big improvements (when using the LCD). Remember that experienced battery life is often twice the rated value, and far higher when capturing high-speed bursts of images. These three cameras are essentially the same size and weight.
 
The EOS R5 and R6 have an enhanced grip geometry, featuring a larger shelf above the fingers and a thicker grip base, both making the newer models noticeably easier to hold onto.
 
For a significant percentage of photographers, the primary decision factor between these cameras will be the price. A safe recommendation is to buy the highest-priced model you can afford. The EOS R is a bargain. The EOS R6 is a considerably faster and better camera, and the EOS R5 is the flagship model, unsurpassed in the Canon lineup. If your funds can take you to this level, the R5 is the camera you want.
 
Simplifying the R5 vs. R6 comparison:
 
R6 Advantages Over the R5

  • ISO 100-102400, Expandable to 204800 vs. ISO 100-51200, Expandable to 102400
  • Greater AF Working Range — EV -6.5 to 20 vs. EV -6.0 to 20
  • Slightly More Selectable AF Points — 6,072 vs. 5,940
  • FHD at 120 fps vs. 60 fps (the R5 has 120 fps 4K)
  • Lower Price

The R6 advantages list is a short one, and most advantages are very slight. However, the "Lower Price" bullet is a powerful one.
 
Did I miss any differences? Let me know! That the R5 has a "BE CAREFUL HOT" warning label inside the memory card door does not count. The R6 lock button being raised modestly might count a tiny amount.
 
Use the site's tools to create specific comparisons:
 
Specifications Comparisons
 
Canon EOS R5 Compared to the Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R5 Compared to the Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R5 Compared to the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R
Canon EOS R5 Compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
 
Canon EOS R6 Compared to the Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R6 Compared to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
 
Not all differences show up in the specifications, but the visual comparison tool can fill in many of the missing differences:
 
Visual Comparisons
 
Canon EOS R5 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R5 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R5 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R
Canon EOS R5 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
 
Canon EOS R6 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R6 Visual Comparison with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
 
Review Pages
 
Note that the R5 and R6 review pages continue to be updated with additional information.
 
Canon EOS R5 | Canon EOS R6 | Canon EOS R
 
Order Now
 
Canon EOS R5 | Canon EOS R6 | Canon EOS R
 
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Posted: 7/13/2020 8:14:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Posted to: Canon News    Category: Camera Gear Review News
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