Canon EOS R5 Review

Canon EOS R5

This review page will be updated when my preordered Canon EOS R5 camera bodies arrive (expected to ship July 30th), but for now, here are my expectations for this camera model.

This decision was a no-brainer: I preordered two Canon EOS R5 cameras the moment preorders were taken. With the EOS R5, Canon's extremely-feature-laden, high-performance 5-series has arrived in the R-series mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) lineup. Since the introduction of the 5D Mark III back in 2012, Canon EOS 5-series models have been my primary cameras, and with what I know about the R5 and the RF lens lineup, I do not expect my 5-series choice to change anytime soon.

Was the EOS R5 the most anticipated Canon camera ever? Rudy Winston of Canon USA thinks so. "A fusion of design excellence, processing power, and performance we haven't seen before. Certainly not in a mirrorless camera."

Let's dive right in with a look at the very impressive R5 features list:

Summary of Canon EOS R5 Features

  • New 45 Megapixel Full-Frame Canon CMOS Imaging Sensor with High-Speed Read-Out; Incredible Image Quality and Dynamic Range Promised
  • DIGIC X Image Processor
  • Stills: ISO 100-51200, Expandable down to 50, up to 102400
  • Movies: ISO 100-25600, Expandable to 51200
  • Hi Speed Continuous Shooting at up to 12 fps with Mechanical Shutter and 20 fps with Electronic (Silent) Shutter
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1,053 AF Areas Covering Approx. 100% of the Frame, 5,940 Manually Selectable Covering Approx. 90% x 100% of the Frame (f/22 Capable)
  • Subject Tracking People (Eye, Head, and Face) and Animals (Eye, Head, and Body for Cats, Dogs, and Birds) using Deep Learning Technology1
  • AF Working Range of EV -6.0 to 20
  • 8K RAW, 8K DCI/UHD to 30 fps, 4K DCI/UHD to 120 fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 with Canon Log or HDR PQ, Internal Recording in All Formats, with AF
  • In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) Provides up to 8-Stops of Shake Correction
  • Dual Card Slots for CFexpress (Type B) and UHS-II SD Memory Cards
  • Built-in 0.5" 5.76 Million Dots OLED Electronic Viewfinder with 120 fps Refresh Rate2
  • 3" Vari-Angle LCD Touchscreen and Top LCD
  • 2.4/5Ghz Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Technology
  • 500,000 Actuation Shutter Durability Rating
  • Enhanced Operating Controls
  • Optional Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip, Canon WFT-R10A
  • Impressive Durability
  • RF Lens Mount, Compatible with EF/EF-S/TS-E/MP-E Lenses with Adapter

1Effectiveness varies depending on the subject. In some cases, dogs, cats or birds may not be detected, while some animals other than dogs, cats or birds may be detected.

2Display may be grainier.

The last bullet mentions the lens mount. While the lens mount for an interchangeable lens camera may seem a basic necessity, this one is worth mentioning. Our About Canon RF Lenses and the RF Mount page goes into an in-depth discussion, but the basics are that the RF lens mount retains the large 54mm inner diameter advantage of the EF mount (for reference, the Nikon Z mount has a similar 55mm diameter, the Nikon F-mount is only 44mm, and the Sony E mount is 46.1mm), keeping the rigidity, durability, strength, and ultra-wide aperture support the large-diameter mount provides while reducing the flange back distance (distance from the back of the lens' mount to the imaging sensor) from 44mm to 20mm.

The RF mount design supports optical designs that are potentially smaller than possible with the EF mount and often include large-diameter rear-positioned elements that can feature reduced angle of light rays in the image circle periphery and bending light to a lesser degree can lead to improved image quality including better-corrected aberrations. The larger rear-element design of RF lenses also lends to a comfortable shape and weight balance. Improved camera-lens communication also increases performance, including instant feedback for enhanced in-lens image stabilization.

The lens makes a huge difference in the overall performance of the camera, and Canon's RF lenses have proven very impressive, reason alone to buy into the Canon EOS R-series cameras.

Canon EOS R5 Body

Sensor and Image Quality

Canon's marketing hyped the coming R5 through a series of development announcements, including an additional R5 details reveal and another R5 details reveal. Not revealed was the specification that still photographers were craving — what was the image resolution of the EOS R5's new CMOS imaging sensor? At that time, a conjecture was that based on 8k DCI being 8,192 pixels wide with a 3:2 aspect ratio placing the vertical pixel dimension at 5,461 pixels, the R5's minimum possible resolution should be 44.7 megapixels. That number held solid, with the R5's new Canon Dual Pixel CMOS imaging sensor resolution spec rounding off at an even 45 megapixels.

ModelFOVCFSensorPixel SizePixels/MegapixelsViewfinderDLA*
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.6µm5472 x 364820.1 .76x100%f/10.6
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm4.14µm8688 x 579250.6 .71x100%f/6.7
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm5.36µm6720 x 448030.4 .71x100%f/8.6
Canon EOS 6D Mark II1.0x35.9 x 24.0mm5.75µm6240 x 416026.2 .71x98%f/9.3
Canon EOS 7D Mark II1.6x22.4 x 15.0mm4.1µm5472 x 364820.2 1.0x100%f/6.6
Canon EOS 90D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.20µm6960 x 464032.5 .95x100%f/5.2
Canon EOS 77D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.2 .82x95%f/6.0
Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.1 .82x95%f/6.0
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.1 .87x95%f/6.0
Canon EOS R51.0x36.0 x 24.0mm4.39µm8192 x 546445.0 .76x100%f/7.1
Canon EOS R61.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.56µm5472 x 364820.1 .76x100%f/10.6
Canon EOS R1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm5.36µm6720 x 448030.3 .71x100%f/8.6
Canon EOS RP1.0x35.9 x 24.0mm5.75µm6240 x 416026.2 .70x100%f/9.3
Canon EOS M51.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.2 100%f/6.0
Canon EOS M6 Mark II1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.20µm6960 x 464032.5 opt100%f/5.2
Nikon Z 71.0x35.9 x 23.9mm4.35µm8256 x 550445.7.80x100%f/7.0
Nikon Z 61.0x35.9 x 23.9mm5.98µm6000 x 400024.5.80x100%f/9.6
Sony a7R IV1.0x35.7 x 23.8mm3.8µm9504 x 633661.0.78x100%f/6.1
Sony a7R III1.0x35.9 x 24.0mm4.5µm7952 x 530442.4.78x100%f/7.2
Sony a91.0x35.6 x 23.8mm5.9µm6000 x 400024.2 .78x100%f/9.6
Sony a7 III1.0x35.6 x 23.8mm5.9µm6000 x 400024.2.78x100%f/9.6
* Learn more about DLA (Diffraction Limited Aperture)
View the full Canon EOS R5 specifications to compare additional cameras.

There is a significant resolution disparity across Canon's EOS full-frame camera line-up. This difference was made especially apparent in the R5 and R6 announcement, with 45 MP and 20 MP cameras introduced side-by-side. Does everyone need 45-megapixel resolution? No, but from an image quality perspective, I can't think of a negative reason for having too many pixels. All other aspects remaining equal, more is better, and it takes no more effort to press the shutter release on an ultra-high resolution camera than on a low-resolution camera.

That said, there are some negative aspects to ultra-high image resolution. More specifically, higher resolution magnifies things you don't want to see, including:

  1. Lens aberrations (high-quality lenses will make the best use of the resolution available, and the Canon RF lenses are R5-ready)
  2. Subject motion (an increased pixel density means that details will cross over individual pixels at a higher rate of speed, meaning that a slightly faster shutter speed will be required to avoid increased blur at the pixel level)
  3. Shortcomings in your technique including camera shake (you will need slightly faster shutter speeds for sharp handheld images — image stabilization and use of a tripod becoming more necessary)
  4. Focusing errors are magnified
  5. Environmental issues such as heat waves are magnified
  6. Diffraction

The details of diffraction do not need to be understood. Still, all photographers should be aware that, as the aperture opening decreases (higher f/number), images become less sharp at the pixel level beyond the approximate aperture we refer to as the Diffraction Limited Aperture ("DLA", included in the table above). As resolution increases, that point of visible degradation occurs at a wider aperture, slightly negating the higher resolution advantage. While you will want to use apertures narrower than the DLA at times, the decision to do so should happen with the understanding that pixel-level sharpness becomes a compromise. Those wishing to retain maximum sharpness in their ultra-high resolution, very deep DOF images may decide that tilt-shift lenses and focus stacking techniques are especially attractive.

I've mentioned "pixel-level" very frequently here. I want to emphasize that, when the final output size matches that from lower resolution imaging sensors, the entire list of magnification issues just presented are negated, and oversampling with downsizing to a lower resolution has benefits.

Large file sizes require large amounts of storage, cause increased file transfer/load times, and require increased computing cycles. Buying higher capacity memory cards and drives and getting a faster computer, if necessary, are all good ways to mitigate the drawbacks of larger file sizes.

The advantages of the increased detail captured by a higher resolution imaging sensor abound and include the ability to output at a larger size or to crop while retaining high resolution. I often find myself using the entire image dimensions to frame the final composition I am seeking, attempting to have the most detail for viewing or printing large. While this strategy is usually a good one, sometimes that tight framing gets me in trouble, such as when I clip wingtips, need a bleed edge for printing, or need to format the image to a non-3:2 ratio such as for an 8x10 print. Having significant resolution available provides the freedom to frame subjects slightly looser, better accommodating such needs with high resolution not being sacrificed by moderate cropping. Birders especially will love that ultra-high pixel density imaging sensors effectively increase the "reach" of all lenses. With this much resolution, there is often the potential to crop a variety of final compositions from a single image.

I've become addicted to the 5Ds R image quality and have made that camera my standard model since it was released about five years prior. While Canon's EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R retain a higher pixel count than the R5, the R5 falls not far behind those models, and the R5's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology alone gives it a substantial advantage over these two DSLR models.

The R5 gets a Canon DIGIC X Processor. That sounds great, but translating the name and roman numeral into a real world benefit is not so easy to conceptualize. One of the big features of the R5 is its overall fast speed, with the DIGIC X processor playing a key role, aiding dramatically in AF performance and also driving big image quality improvements. For example, Canon has stated that the imaging processor readout speed is significantly faster, reducing rolling shutter effects. Also, dynamic range is said to be about 1-stop higher than the EOS R and 5D IV and at least equal to the best camera available.

We'll share the Canon EOS R5 resolution test results when the camera hits the lab, but for now, simulate the R5 vs. R6 45 MP vs. 20 MP resolution comparison using the Nikon Z7 vs. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III results.

When photographing still images, the R5 has ISO 100-51200 available in 1/3-stop increments with expandability down to 50 and up to ISO 102400 (ISO 100-25600 in 1/3-stop increments, expandable to 51200 when recording movies)

In regards to the results from the R5, we were told to expect incredible image quality and dynamic range. Note that this camera includes a low pass filter and does not have cancellation specified. Also note that a camera's highest ISO settings have historically been of little use to me, and expected is that the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) will be very low at ISO 102400.

As first seen in the 1D X Mark III, the R5 supports HDR PQ HEIF 10-bit recording. Your first question is likely, "What is HDR PQ?" HDR PQ (Perceptual Quantization) is a new gamma curve based on the characteristics of human eyesight. It supports HDR recording at ITU-R BT.2100 standard (PQ).

Your next question is likely "What is HEIF?" HEIF stands for "High Efficiency Image File Format," a standard created by the MPEG group. As with JPEG, HEIF is a file format used to store image data after the image development process is complete. While JPEG files use an 8-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 lossy compression scheme, HEIF uses a 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 HEVC compression algorithm (also lossy), complying with the ITU-R BT.2100 HDR standard. HEIF provides up to 4x more precision in image data gradation and a wider color range than sRGB and Adobe RGB can store. HEIF files are containers, able to store multiple images (typically compressed with a codec such as HEVC (H.265)) along with image derivations (cropping, rotation), media streams (timed text, audio), depth information, image sequences (like a burst of images, supports animation), image data (EXIF), and more. Huge is that, thanks in part to computing power improvements, HEIF files are compressed to a significantly smaller size than JPEG files, about 50% smaller at similar quality levels. Along with all of the other benefits, Apple migrating to HEIF from JPEG means we can expect this standard to take hold in the industry.

Per Canon, "HEIF files are intended to be viewed on HDR-compliant displays and monitors."

The Activate HVEC codec option is available in the DPP help menu, and once selected, the Canon HEVC Activator is downloaded (serial number required). Once that app was installed, DPP understood the .HIF file format and the HDR PQ images look remarkably good (including those captured in RAW format). I was not planning to share the results of this testing, and the scene is of low photogenic quality with unstable lighting, but ... I thought the camera's performance warranted sharing with you. The following are downsized screen captures (at review time, Photoshop cannot open .HIF files). Look closely at the outdoor brightness while the indoor blacks retain detail (that detail is more obvious in the full-size images) as illustrated by the 1D X III.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III HDR PQ

HTP refers to the Highlight Tone Priority feature that has long been included in EOS models.

As first seen in the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and again in the EOS R, the EOS R5 includes Dual Pixel RAW technology. The Canon Dual Pixel RAW page covers this in more depth. With each half of a pixel capturing data, it still seems that this technology holds additional promise.

Canon EOS cameras produce great color, and I would be highly disappointed if that changed in the R5. Getting the proper color balance is one of my personal-biggest post-processing challenges, and Canon's color science makes me look good in this regard.

In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)

For the first time in a Canon interchangeable lens camera, 5-axis IBIS arrives in the EOS R5 and R6. While other camera brands have long included this feature in some of their camera models, Canon makes an impact out of the gate with the up-to eight stops of shake correction this full-frame system provides. Canon noted was that the large image circle provided by RF mount aids in this image stabilization system's capabilities.

For a very long time, a high percentage of Canon lenses have included in-lens optical image stabilization, and Canon had indicated that the in-lens stabilization is superior in performance compared to in-camera correction. That is especially the case at the telephoto end of the focal length spectrum, but on the wide-angle end, in-camera stabilization can be quite effective. In-lens IS cannot account for rotation movement.

What is better than one or the other? Both.

The R5 and R6 in-body image stabilization features coordinated control from the camera and lens. Gyro (angular velocity) and acceleration sensors in the lens and gyro (angular velocity), acceleration, and imaging (movement vector) sensors in the camera communicate via the lens CPU and DIGIC X processor to perfect the optical correction applied. Especially in the normal focal length range, the coordinated control is very effective. This system creates phenomenal performance specs, with most RF lenses introduced to date included in the jaw-dropping 8-stop rating category.

Not all lenses reach the 8-stop rating threshold. Here are some examples:

  • RF 70-200 f/2.8 — 7.5 stops
  • RF 15-35 f/2.8, 50 f/1.2, and 35 f/1.8 — 7 stops
  • RF 24-240 — 6.5 stops
  • RF 100-500 — 6 stops

Think about the impact that 8-stops or even 6-stops of shake correction can have on your images. The difference can be significant, for both stills and video.

Another image stabilization benefit that should not be overlooked is the aid in AF precision. The camera's AF system can produce better focus precision if it sees a stabilized image.

In-lens and in-body image stabilization are both on or both off. The IS switch on a lens featuring image stabilization controls the IBIS function. When using non-IS lenses, camera settings permit IBIS to be always on, similar to Mode 1 found on all Canon image-stabilized lenses or only on for the shot, similar to Mode 3 found on some Canon lenses. Adapted EF and EF-S lenses are supported, and IBIS adds a huge value to non-stablized lenses in a kit.

The extreme capabilities of this IBIS system are game-changing, requiring a new mindset for the photographer. The value of adding image stabilization to your current non-stabilized lenses (including EF models) is huge.

Canon EOS R5 Memory Card Door Open

File Size and Media

The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup with a moderately-high amount of detail taken with the referenced camera. The R5 numbers will be dropped into this table when our preordered cameras arrive.

Model / File Size in MB @ ISO:(MP)100200400800160032006400128002560051200102400204800409600
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III(20.1)24.725.225.426.026.927.828.930.331.933.735.936.338.4
Canon EOS 5Ds(50.6)64.765.766.969.272.576.681.688.1     
Canon EOS 5Ds R(50.6)65.266.467.669.873.077.281.988.4     
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV(30.4)38.839.139.640.441.643.545.548.051.455.159.8  
Canon EOS 6D Mark II(26.2)33.834.134.635.436.538.140.242.946.450.254.9  
Canon EOS 7D Mark II(20.2)25.525.926.727.728.930.632.735.137.941.0   
Canon EOS 90D(32.538.639.940.842.544.546.749.151.654.257.4   
Canon EOS 77D(24.0)30.631.232.133.334.937.039.642.447.051.1   
Canon EOS Rebel T8i(24.1)29.330.131.232.534.136.037.839.541.844.0   
Canon EOS Rebel SL3(24.1)29.630.531.632.934.436.238.240.042.745.3   
Canon EOS Rebel T7 (est)(24.0)30.631.232.133.334.937.039.642.447.051.1   
Canon EOS R5(45.0)             
Canon EOS R6 (est)(20.1)24.725.225.426.026.927.828.930.331.933.735.936.3 
Canon EOS R(30.4)35.836.637.638.740.041.843.345.748.049.6***** 
Canon EOS RP(26.2)30.731.332.032.834.035.537.139.041.543.445.8  
Canon EOS M5(24.2)33.834.735.737.139.041.344.746.552.8    
Canon EOS M6 Mark II(32.5)38.639.940.842.544.546.749.151.654.257.4   
Nikon Z 7(45.7)59.159.761.162.764.667.570.674.478.683.187.2  
Nikon Z 6(24.5)32.132.232.633.334.135.136.437.939.542.344.447.2 
Sony a7R IV(61.0)117.0117.0117.0117.0117.0117.0117.0117.082.082.082.0  
Sony a7R III(42.4)81.981.981.981.981.981.981.981.982.082.082.0  
Sony a7 III(24.2)47.147.147.147.147.147.147.147.147.147.247.247.2 
Sony a9(24.2)47.247.247.147.147.147.147.147.147.247.247.247.3 
RAW file sizes increase with 1. Resolution 2. Bit Depth (more is better/larger) 3. Detail (noise adds detail, so high ISO file sizes increase) 4. Lack of compression. Memory and disk are cheap – buy more.

For a Canon ISO 100 non-lossy-compressed RAW image, the file size can be estimated at 1.2MB per megapixel (a relatively compact size).

From a relative perspective, 45 MP images create large files, and capturing 45 MP images at up to 20 fps means a lot of data needs to write to memory cards fast. Even more daunting is moving 8K RAW video to a memory card.

As first seen in the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the Canon EOS R5 solves the data transfer bottleneck by using small, durable, pin-less CFexpress memory cards (type B only, XQD not supported). This memory card format is positioned to succeed CFast 2.0 and XQD 2.0 as the leading format for high-speed data transfer (theoretically up to 2GB/sec). CFexpress 1.0 cards have a maximum transfer speed of 1.97 GB/s vs. 600 MB/s for CFast 2.0 (utilized in the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II).

At R5 introduction, most photographers do not have CFexpress cards (or readers) in their inventory, and CFexpress cards are not inexpensive at this time. Increased capabilities brought by new technology sometimes have collateral costs.

The Canon EOS R5's second memory card slot is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, with support for the fast UHS-II standard included. I did not ask why the different formats were utilized, but I'll share some thoughts on this topic. First, SD memory cards are very small, relatively inexpensive, very popular, abundant in most kits, compatible with a large number of cameras and card readers, including my laptop's built-in reader, and welcomed to this camera by me. With the buffer specs provided, write speed (at least when using a high-speed memory card) is not going to be a problem for many uses. That said, to support the highest video-capture data transmission rate, and to provide an increased RAW buffer depth (HEIF and JPG SD card buffer depth remains unchanged and crazy-high already), the higher speed CFexpress format is required.

With dual card slots available, files can be written to both cards simultaneously (for redundancy, including for separate file formats) or sequentially (for increased capacity). Those requiring use of both slots will need to manage their workflow using the different memory card formats.

Buy numerous high capacity cards. Rotate the cards, avoiding re-use until the image files they contain are adequately backed up, including off-site.

Introduced with the Canon EOS M50 was the .CR3 RAW format, and the EOS R5 gets this feature. This RAW file format enables new features, including C-RAW, compressed RAW with lossy compression vs. the normally compressed RAW with non-lossy compression. Instead of the not-full-featured small and medium RAW formats Canon formerly offered, C-RAW provides full RAW file support along with an approximately 40% file size reduction over Canon's already efficient RAW file format size. The math adds up quickly, significantly impacting both memory card and hard disk storage capacity requirements as well as data transfer times. With the M50 review, what started as a quick evaluation of this new feature became a sizable project. Check out the article: Should I Use Canon's C-RAW Image File Format? for more information.

Frame Rate, Buffer Depth, Shutter

I'm excited and cringing at the same time. The Canon EOS R5 can capture up to 12 fps with the mechanical shutter. If 12 fps is still not fast enough, select the full electronic shutter to enable completely silent shooting at up to 20 fps with full autofocus and autoexposure functionality. Sometimes the difference between an average image and a great one is separated by milliseconds, and I'm excited that this camera delivers 45 MP images with the speed necessary to catch the perfect peak action moment. Daunting will be selecting the best images from a shoot involving significant use of the 12 or 20 fps capability.

Today, maximum frame rate determination is complicated by many variables. Note that the 12 fps number is from High-speed Continuous "+" Shooting mode vs. no "+". There are downsides to the plus mode experience, including RAW images being recorded at 13-bit (vs. 14-bit), and likely viewfinder blackout will become hindering to some uses. The non-plus mode reaches up to 8 fps. Many other factors affect the maximum continuous frame rate.

ModelFPSMax JPGMax RAWShutter LagVF Blackout
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III16/20>1000>100029-55msn/a
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV7.0Full1758ms86ms
Canon EOS 7D Mark II10.01303155ms100ms
Canon EOS 90D10.0/11.057/5824/2559ms96ms
Canon EOS R512/2035087/18050msn/a
Canon EOS R612/201,000+240 n/a
Canon EOS R2.2-810034/4750msn/a
Canon EOS RP4Full50/Full55msn/a
Canon EOS M57/92617 n/a
Canon EOS M6 Mark II14/30542353msn/a
Nikon Z 78/92518/23n/an/a
Nikon Z 69/12n/an/an/an/a
Sony a7R IV10.06868n/an/a
Sony a7 III10.040163  
Sony a920.0362241  
View the full Canon EOS R5 specifications to compare additional cameras.

The EOS R5 is rated to continuously capture up to 350 JPG images before pausing when using a CFexpress or UHS-II SD card (190 with a UHS-I SD card). RAW capture drops the numbers to 180 for CFexpress and 87 for UHS-II SD. Using the full electronic shutter high-speed continuous shooting mode drops those number significantly, to 83 when using a CFexpress card. Overall, this continuous frame capture numbers are very good.

Canon's cameras routinely deliver the rated frame rate, and tests often show the buffer capacity rating being exceeded.

With an approximately 50ms shutter lag (approximately 81ms using the mechanical shutter), the R5 is responsive, and also fast is the 1/8000 fastest shutter speed. X-sync is 1/200 with the full mechanical shutter and 1/250 when using the first curtain electronic shutter (flash is not available in full electronic shutter mode).

Historically, photography has had an audible aspect, more specifically, the mirror locking up and the shutter opening and closing create sound. Without a mirror assembly, the shutter (and perhaps the lens aperture) is the only remaining source of sound when photographing with mirrorless cameras.

With the full electronic shutter selected, this camera does not make any sound while capturing images. Complete silence is a hard sound to share on a website, so I'll trust that you can understand this camera's ability to be stealthy. The ability to shoot in complete silence is of great value, ideal for use during quiet events such as weddings, when skittish wildlife are the subjects, and any time movies are simultaneously being recorded with audio. Selecting the full electronic shutter has both advantages and disadvantages.

Let's start with the positives. At the top of the list is that the full electronic shutter enables the fast 20 fps drive mode. With no mechanical shutter being used, there are no moving parts, shutter failure is highly unlikely, there is no shutter vibration to be concerned with, and again, the camera can be operated in absolute silence, full stealth mode.

With no sound or other haptic feedback, knowing precisely when the image is being captured can be problematic, and adding a "beep" is counter to the goal of the silent shutter. Canon handles this issue nicely with a white frame appearing in the viewfinder the instant the image is being captured. I was surprised by how effectively this solution works on the R.

Long exposure noise reduction, multiple exposure, HDR mode, anti-flicker shooting and flash (minimally) are not compatible with the EOS R's silent shutter.

Additional downsides of an electronic shutter are related to the current-technology line-by-line reading of the imaging sensor. Fast side-to-side subject or camera movement can result in an angular-shifted image with vertically straight lines becoming noticeably slanted (with the camera in horizontal orientation). Understand that the second curtain of a mechanical shutter chasing the first curtain can produce the same effect but the difference between mechanical shutter (with electronic first curtain shutter) and electronic shutter performance in this regard has historically been quite big. Promised is that the fast read-out speed of the R5's imaging sensor promises to reduce this issue.

Certain light pulsing can influence electronic shutter-captured results, potentially creating banding. Also, defocused highlight bokeh circles can become clipped or truncated when using an electronic shutter.

Note that the mechanical shutter sound of the R5 is reported to be quieter and softer than the EOS R shutter. Of course, silent is the quietest possible, and this camera has that mode.

Electronic shutter* * Cannot be used in conjunction with the following functions: flash photography, HDR shooting, multiple exposures, Multi Shot Noise Reduction, AEB, HDR PQ, anti-flicker shooting, Dual Pixel RAW shooting, Digital Lens Optimizer [High]. * A shutter release sound is not generated. However, note that the sounds other than the shutter release sound (aperture, focusing lens drive sound/electronic sound, etc.) may be generated. * In electronic shutter shooting under conditions such as flash firing by other cameras or with fluorescent lighting or other flickering light sources, a strip of light or banding due to the brightness difference may be recorded in the image. -->

Autofocus

"Astonishing Autofocus and Subject Detection" is what Canon is promising in the R5. "The best AF ever put into a camera" is what I recall hearing said by Canon.

"The EOS R5 [and R6] brings subject detection to a new level – Utilizing Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology, the EOS R5 [and R6] will be capable of making Ultra-High-Speed Autofocus calculations to match its immensely powerful High-Speed Shooting capability of 20 fps. Subject detection adopted from the Live View AF tracking system in the EOS-1D X Mark III brings Face, Head and even Eye tracking when People detection is set, providing ease and accuracy when capturing stills or video. Detection of Animals will also be possible for the first time in a Canon camera, effectively tracking the whole body, face, or eye of cats, dogs, or birds [and likely other animals] for speed and precision." [Canon USA]

As I said in the EOS R review, image quality matters, and it is easy to show/see differences on a website in this regard, but the speed and precision of a camera's autofocus system is an incredibly important factor in maximizing image quality. A misfocused image will likely be deleted immediately, and any focus lock lag can mean a moment missed. The EOS R5's Dual Pixel CMOS AF II AF system, with 1,053 AF Areas covering approx. 100% of the frame, an insane up to 5,940 individually selectable AF points covering approx. 90% x 100% of the frame, and f/22 max aperture lens combination autofocusing capability (with moderately reduced coverage), promises to be one of its most impressive features.

If the eye is not in focus, the image will probably be trashed. The Eye AF feature of the EOS R works impressively well, keeping eyes stay in focus with significant effort on the photographer's part. I'm especially excited by the adition of animal tracking.

The EOS R AF system's EV -6 to 18 working range was extremely impressive, and the R5's AF system slightly surpasses it with an EV -6 to 20 rating. How dark is -6 EV? Extremely dark. With the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens mounted on the EOS R and the central AF point selected and placed over a bit of contrast, this combo focuses in environments too dark for me to walk around obstacles in, even with the built-in AF assist light blocked. Also interesting is that this camera will focus on bright stars in a moderately-dark night sky. Located on the right side of the camera, typically clearing hands holding the camera (notable because another camera model I reviewed has a left-side AF assist lamp that shines directly into my hand in normal shooting position), is a bright LED focus assist lamp that extends AF capabilities into total darkness. A lens hood can partially block this light, and sometimes hood removal may be optimal, depending on the focus point selected and the amount of reflected assist light available for the selected point.

Supported AF methods are Face+Tracking AF, Spot AF, 1-point AF, Expand AF Area (Above, below, left and right/Around), Zone AF, and Large Zone AF (Vertical, Horizontal). Subject detection priority is available in Face+Tracking, Zone AF, or Large Zone AF (vertical/horizontal).

Most review-time current sensor-based AF does not provide cross-sensitive AF point technology. I await that clarification but note that the R5 will struggle to focus on perfectly-horizontally-oriented lines of contrast alone without a new capability. I don't often encounter this issue with the EOS R.

With AF calculations being made directly on the imaging sensor (vs. on a separate sensor in a DSLR), AF calibration becomes a greatly-reduced issue, and EOS R5 AF accuracy should be excellent, very reliably focusing precisely shot after shot. With imaging sensor-based AF, this camera can be expected to focus consistently accurately with third-party lenses.

Using the imaging sensor for AF also enables new features such as precise eye and subject tracking.

With so many focus points available and active, moving between individual focus points can become a challenge (lots of button pressing or holding). Some early EOS R complaints lamented the absence of a joystick, typically useful for easily moving the AF point. The joystick has arrived on the R5, and very positive is that it is a very responsive 8-way type controller.

A fantastic focus point selection feature introduced on the EOS M5 was the tap, touch and drag AF touchscreen interface.

Canon EOS R Touch and Drag AF

To select an AF point or AF area position, simply tap the touch screen, or when using the EVF, touch and drag the AF point/area as desired. This interface quickly surpassed my joystick-based AF point selection speed, and it is especially well-suited for rapidly changing sides of the frame such as needed when an animal turns its head the other direction. With such a huge number of AF points to choose from, tap and touch and drag AF point selection allows very precise AF point/area positioning. I typically drag the AF point selection while composing an image, maintaining the point on my subject as I adjust framing.

Canon EOS R Focus Peaking

The focus peaking manual focusing aid is available. The Dual Pixel Focus Guide illustrated below can also assist in obtaining ideal manual focus.

Canon EOS R Dual Pixel Focus Guide

With RF-mount lenses utilizing electronic focus only, a variable adjustment rate manual focus ring can be implemented. Turn the focus ring quickly, and focus distances change very fast. Turn the ring slowly and very precise focusing becomes available. Implemented properly, the variable rate manual focusing can be nice to use, but most often I find the difference in rotation rates to be too similar and the variable speed becomes a frustration, making rocking the ring into precise focus a challenge. With the EOS R5, a menu option permits the variable rate feature to be disabled, linking the focus ring sensitivity directly to the degree of rotation.

Movies

Ultra-impressive is the Canon EOS R5's video capture capabilities, including up-to 8K RAW. Why 8K? Why not was the answer. The technology was available, and therefore, Canon utilized it. Also intriguing is the 4K HQ mode utilizing oversampled 8K video.

8K/4K/Full HD: AVC/H.265 variable (average) bit rate
Audio: Linear PCM 4K/ Full HD: MPEG4 AVC/H.264 variable (average) bit rate
Audio: Linear PCM 8K RAW: 12bit CRM Audio: Linear PCM
8K DCI (17:9) 8192 x 4320 (29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps) RAW, intra or inter frame
8K UHD (16:9) 7680 x 4320 (29.97, 25, , 23.98 fps) intra or inter frame
4K DCI (17:9) 4096 x 2160 (119.9, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps) intra or inter frame
4K UHD (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (119.9, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98 fps) intra or inter frame
Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98 fps) intra or inter frame
Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080 HDR (29.97, 25 fps) inter frame
Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25) light inter frame

Canon Log, featuring low contrast and saturation optimal for grading, is available. Notable is the 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording.

A very high resolution 35.4 MP JPEG still image frame grab can be taken from an 8K DCI movie. While the quality of this image will not be quite as high as a still frame captured at the same resolution, shooting 35.4 MP images at 30 fps is quite impressive and useful. The resolution drops slightly to 33.2 MP at 8K UHD. Illuminating the dramatic difference between 8K and 4K is the 8.8 MP JPEG still image size made from 4K DCI movies frame grab (8.3 from 4K UHD movies).

The extreme bandwidth of 8K RAW video requires internal writing (only) to a fast CFexpress card. This level of processing power is unprecedented in a Canon camera. However, processing power equates to heat, and heat becomes an issue in a non-cooled compact camera body.

At room temperature, the R5 can record at 8K for approximately 20 minutes before high temperature shutdown occurs. A warning is first issued, and the camera takes measures such as reducing the EVF or LCD display quality to extend the record time. At 4K 60p, video can be recorded for 25 minutes until heat shutdown, and the usual firm 29:59 limit remains (press the button again to immediately restart recording).

Made possible by the fast processor and imaging sensor, less rolling shutter is promised for the R5 movies, including at 8K, than previous EOS cameras.

A very useful feature is that the R5 can simulatenously write movies to a memory card and to the HDMI port.

The R5 can record timelapse movies.

Assiting in manual focusing, along with the Dual Pixel Focusing Guides, are focus peaking and zebras indicators.

The R5's full technical movie specifications are extensive, consuming 5 pages in Canon USA's specifications PDF. I'll share the full details below.

Canon EOS R5 Video Shooting Specifications 1

Canon EOS R5 Video Shooting Specifications 2

Canon EOS R5 Video Shooting Specifications 3

Canon EOS R5 Video Shooting Specifications 4

Canon EOS R5 Video Shooting Specifications 5

Keeping all of the R5's available settings organized and easy to adjust is a new, very logical, movie menu that also shows available record time.

Exposure/Metering System

On paper, the EOS R5's metering system appears similar to the EOS R's high-performing metering system, featuring 384 zones (24x16).

The R5's metering range specification is EV -3 – 20 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100), far-surpassing any EOS camera before the R (EV 0-20).

EOS R5 metering modes include Evaluative metering (AF point-linked), Partial metering (approx. 5.8% of the area at the center of the screen), Spot metering (approx. 2.9% of the area at the center of the screen), and Center-weighted average metering. Exposure compensation is +/-3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments.

Viewfinder and LCD

It is a mirrorless camera and therefore lacks a TTL (Through the Lens) optical viewfinder. Our Comparing Electronic Viewfinders to Optical Viewfinders page discusses advantages and disadvantages of each design, but the EOS R5 has two very high-performing LCDs.

The EOS R5's large, built-in 0.5" OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) EVF features an incredible approximately 5.76 million dots. That dot count is up from 3.69 million in the EOS R. The Sony a7R IV's EVF dot count is also 5.76 million, and the difference between this EVF and the Sony a7R III's 3.69 million dot EVF (same as EOS R) is very noticeable. Expect the same distinction with the EOS R5 — expect this EVF to be very impressive.

The R5 EVF features a 100% view, and it should be impressively bright with high contrast and great color. Video feed lag, with the 120 fps refresh rate, should be a non-issue for most uses.

The EOS R5's EVF has a bright, 23mm-high eyepoint design, and the dioptric adjustment of -4 - +2 facilitates viewfinder use without glasses.

An EVF makes a configurably-vast amount of information available for display and also makes that information rotatable for when shooting vertically. A quality EVF makes viewing images easy, especially when zooming in for sharpness verification, especially in bright daylight, and especially for eyes that otherwise require corrective optics (if you don't need glasses now, you will need them at some point).

A common EVF issue is a short pause in the video feed when an image is captured. The R had a slight amount of that pause, just enough to make fast-moving side-to-side subject tracking a bit challenging. I'm anxious to test the R5 in this regard.

The EOS R5's other fully-featured LCD is the rear 3.15" (8.01cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 2,100K dot Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD. The Vari-angle feature of this LCD permits rotation of nearly 180° horizontally and 270° vertically, making hard-to-get shots and unique perspectives (including selfies) easy to capture. This feature has especially great appeal for vlogging. The image quality of this LCD should again be excellent, and with anti-smudge coating applied, it will easily wipe clean. Interesting for a model at this level is that anti-reflection coating has not been applied.

Note that the brightness of the EVF and LCD can even be separately adjusted. Canon's touchscreens makes changing camera settings easy, including via the always excellent menu structure and the handy "Q" button (showing the Quick Control screen).

Tour of the Canon EOS R5

We are next going to take a tour of the R5 referencing the functionality from a default settings point of view, but keep in mind that this camera is extremely customizable via the Custom Controls menu option. To compare the Canon EOS R5 with many other camera models, use the site's camera product image comparison tool. Opening that link in a separate tab or window will be helpful for following along with the product tour.

Canon EOS R5 Back

Back of the Camera

The Canon EOS standard location for the menu button has been on the top-left of the camera's back, and when two buttons were available in this location, the info button was the one to the right. Not this time. The EOS R had a single button (Menu) on the top-left. A second button was added to this position on the R5, defaulting to the rate function. I'm always up for positive changes, but I'm not so sure about this standard-breaking one. I don't use the Rate button very often, so my R5 Rate button may get reprogrammed to a different function (maybe the menu if possible). As the microphone graphic suggests, voice memos may be recorded.

Moving to the right, we find a large, slightly reconfigured (non-removeable) eyecup that extends nicely behind the LCD screen, along with the eye-detection sensor. The diopter control moved to the right side, where it is easier to access.

Moving farther to the right, we find the EOS R's innovative Multi-function Bar replaced by a joystick. Sometimes innovation is not an improvement or welcomed, and probably most will find more "joy" in the joystick.

The top-right three buttons, AF-ON, Exposure lock, and AF point selection, are once again featured, but they are now horizontally aligned, similar to Canon's other 5-series models, clearing space for the larger dual slot memory card door. The AF-ON button will be easier to reach in this location. The Info button and Playback buttons take their location cues from the EOS M5/M6 and EOS R, and a dedicated Trash button conveniently lands next to the Playback button. These buttons are flush with the back of the camera, requiring an intentional press to activate.

The EOS R's Set button was located in the center of a 4-way cross keys controller and also functioned as the "Q" Quick control button. That was not my favorite design, and the R5 gets a 5-series-like rear control dial surrounding the dedicated Set button, the latter made possible by the addition of a dedicated "Q" button just above. Another button addition is the magnify button. This button alone is an excellent improvement to the EOS R design. The Magnify, Info, and "Q" buttons are also flush with the back of the camera, requiring an intentional press to activate.

Canon EOS R5 Top

Top of the Camera

From a top perspective, the Canon EOS R5 is very similar to the EOS R. They are so close that I found a regional Canon website using the EOS R top view image for the R5. The viewfinder diopter control showing on the wrong side of the viewfinder was the revealing detail.

Moving from left to right, we next find the power dial as seen on the EOS R but improved with a small extended area creating a more switch-like control. The location of this dial does not facilitate powering on or off the camera without involving the second hand while holding it. However, the dial is not in the way during use, and it works fine.

Continuing to move to the right, we find the viewfinder bulge with, as mentioned before, plenty of nose relief being provided on the back and a standard flash hot shoe on top. Also, the RF lens mount shows itself prominently on the front.

Next to the right is the top LCD panel. Having camera settings instantly viewable from the top is a great feature for this type of camera (current Sony alpha cameras do not have this feature, current Nikon Z models do).

Toward the top of the right side are the shutter release and top dial, features very similar in function and orientation as Canon's other EOS DSLRs and MILCs. Between them is the M-Fn button. Pressing M-Fn enables the last-used function, ISO by default, to be changed using the Main (top-front) dial. You likely noticed that this camera does not have an ISO button, but by default, the M-Fn button easily handles this common task. Additionally, the touchscreen interface makes ISO easy to change, and configuring the lens control ring for ISO functionality is yet another option.

After pressing M-Fn, the Quick Control dial can be turned to enable other setting changes (ISO, drive mode, AF mode, white balance, and exposure compensation) via the Main dial.

The red Movie shooting button provides instant access to video recording. I prefer the top position of this button vs. the rear position design often used.

The button with the light bulb beside it looks familiar, right? In this implementation case, assuming the R5 shares the R's design, a short press of the button toggles the top LCD information display, and a longer press reverses the display from white on black to black on white, making it backlit and readable in the dark. The Lock button prevents settings changes as configured in the Tools menu Multi function lock option.

Where is the Mode dial? Gone from the top of the EOS R was the previously-ever-present dedicated mode dial, and it did not come back with the R5. However, pressing the mode button, a step similar to pressing the lock button in the center of many EOS mode dial implementations, enables the quick control dial's secondary function, making it become the mode dial. Thus, the same dial performs multiple functions, and the mode functionality is effectively very similar to other EOS cameras. Not having hardwired modes on a dial frees the camera's interface to enable touch selection of modes.

The EOS R5, as usual, has a fully automatic point-and-shoot mode. Complete beginners can open the box, charge and install the battery, insert a memory card, and select the green A+ fully-automatic Scene Intelligent Auto mode to have a camera ready to go, taking care of everything for point and shoot simplicity. This mode is simple from the user perspective, but it is far from simple from a technological standpoint as it uses powerful artificial intelligence algorithms to deliver excellent results in a wide range of situations.

Canon EOS R FV Mode

Fv, Flexible-priority AE mode appears to have become standard on the R-series.

Canon's always available P, Av, Tv, M, and Bulb modes are included along with three very useful custom modes. Pressing the Info button while viewing still shooting modes switches the camera to a range of movie mode options.

Canon EOS R5 Left Side

Side of the Camera

The right side of the camera provides memory card access, and the left side has the accessory ports. Provided are Hi-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 2), HDMI micro OUT terminal Type D (smaller than EOS R mini), External Microphone In / Line In (3.5mm diameter stereo mini jack), Headphone socket (3.5mm diameter stereo mini jack), and PC Sync Terminal.

Canon EOS R5, R6, R Front Comparison

Front of the Camera

The front of the R5 is modestly more feature-rich than the EOS R. Added is a function button that is sure to be programmable. Note the increased size of the top of the grip.

Placing an N3 (the EOS R and R6 remote release port is E3) remote release port on the front is especially convenient for those of us using L-plates.

Size of the Camera

A hallmark of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is small size, and this feature alone is a reason to opt for such a camera.

When looking for an opportunity to save space in camera design, the grip, typically dimensionally protruding more than any other physical feature, is the easy target. However, if one spends much time with a camera in hand, grip ergonomics are critically important, and a too-small grip becomes, quite literally, a pain. While I love the compact size of Sony's current alpha MILCs, I've complained regularly about the grip being too small, even on the much-improved a7R IV design. My knuckles to press into the sides of all except the slimmest Sony FE lenses.

While designing the EOS R, Canon engineers performed extensive hand size research. The result, the grip on the EOS R, is an excellent solution, and the R5 grip appears to be at least very similar. Going from a 90D, a 5-series body, or similar to an EOS R seems natural. Especially with the thin dimensions of the R body, the grip provides plenty of depth for fingertips. The increased size of the top of the grip looks like a valuable improvement.

Your tripod may seem a bit shorter with an R-series camera on it.

ModelBody DimensionsCIPA Weight
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3"(158 x 167.6 x 82.6mm)50.8oz (1440g)
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0"(150.7 x 116.4 X 75.9mm)31.4 oz (890g)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1"(148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm)32.1 oz (910g)
Canon EOS 6D Mark II5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9"(144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8mm)27.0 oz (765g)
Canon EOS 90D5.5 x 4.1 x 3.0"(140.7 x 104.8 x 76.8mm)24.7 oz (701g)
Canon EOS 77D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)19.0 oz (540g)
Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0(131.0 x 102.6 x 76.2mm)18.2 oz (515g)
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7(122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm)15.8 oz (449g)
Canon EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1"(129.0 x 101.3 x 77.6mm)16.8 oz (475g)
Canon EOS R55.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"138.0 x 97.5 x 88.0mm26.0 oz (738g)
Canon EOS R65.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"138.0 x 97.5 x 88.4mm24.0 oz (680g)
Canon EOS R5.4 x 3.9 x 3.3"(135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm)23.4 oz (660g)
Canon EOS RP5.2 x 3.36 x 2.76"(132.5 x 85.3 x 70mm)17.3 oz (485g)
Canon EOS M54.6 x 3.5 x 2.4"(115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm)15.1 oz (427g)
Canon EOS M6 Mark II4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9"(119.6 x 70.0 x 49.2mm)14.4 oz (408g)
Nikon Z 75.3 x 4.0 x 2.7"(134.0 x 100.5 x 67.5mm)20.7 oz (585g)
Sony a7R IV5.2 x 3.9 x 3.2" (128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm)23.5 oz (665g)
View the full CAMERAFULLNAME specifications to compare additional cameras.

The EOS R5 and R6 remain essentially the same size and weight as the EOS R.

If dimensions are everything to you, the Sony MILC cameras or one of the EOS M series options might have a stronger appeal, but if you are going to be using the camera in hand a lot, the EOS R's grip is excellent. The Nikon Z 6/7 grip is also good, though I slightly prefer the EOS R grip.

Make the camera smaller, and the weight is typically reduced. While MILC weight reduction usually does not seem to be as great as the size reduction, the weight of the R is noticeably lower and a differentiator. If you are carrying a camera a lot, lighter camera weight can help keep your energy levels up, and creativity stays elevated with energy levels.

Consistent with Canon EOS designs are the rounded edges of this camera, making it very comfortable to handle and providing a modern, sleek appearance.

Canon EOS R5 Magnesium Alloy Frame

Ergonomics, Build Quality and Durability

All of Canon's EOS models are well-built, but the mid and upper-grade models are especially so. The EOS R5 has a magnesium alloy chassis, providing a rigid and protective yet lightweight structure for the camera. Expect all dials and buttons to have a quality feel with good haptic feedback.

Check out the R5's position in this chart:

ModelShutter Durability Rating
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III500,000
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R150,000
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV150,000
Canon EOS 6D Mark II100,000
Canon EOS 7D Mark II200,000
Canon EOS 90D120,000
Canon EOS R5500,000
Canon EOS R6300,000
Canon EOS R200,000
Canon EOS RP100,000
Nikon D850200,000
Nikon Z 7200,000
Nikon Z 6200,000
Sony a7R IV500,000
Sony a7R II500,000
View the full Canon EOS R5 specifications to compare additional cameras.

It doesn't get better than this: the R5's electronically controlled focal-plane shutter is rated to approximately 500,000 cycles.

Canon EOS R5 Weather Sealing

In regards to weather sealing, this is what Canon said about the EOS R5:

"The EOS R5 camera is designed for use in a variety of weather conditions. Sealing materials are used in critical areas like the buttons, terminal covers, the battery compartment and the card slot cover. Precise design and construction help to minimize accidental penetration of dust and moisture in the rest of the camera body. Combined with an RF lens, or any other weather-sealed EF/EF-S lens, the EOS R5 camera proves to be a reliable partner in virtually any climate." [Canon USA]

Canon EOS cameras have a wide range of weather sealing levels, and the above could describe a significant number of them. Discerning the individual model's level of sealing can be more challenging, and Canon indicated to us that the R5's weather sealing is comparable to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, which is designed for sustained exposure to mid-to-hard rain. That is the same reference made for the EOS R sealing, and a very positive one.

I have used the EOS R in saltwater spray, including on a sailboat, in the rain, and in snowstorms with no ill effects. Still, I recommend using a rain cover (for all cameras) when dust and moisture are expected, but when unplanned wetness happens, weather sealing can be a save-the-day/trip feature.

With an MILC camera's shutter always open for the use of the EVF (and no mirror in the optical path), there is concern about direct sunlight causing damage to the imaging sensor. Canon helps to address this issue with the R by closing the shutter (also helping to keep the sensor clean) and stopping down the lens aperture very tightly when the camera is powered off. When powered off, the R5 will stop down the aperture when using RF lenses.

Additional Features

Like many of Canon's recently released EOS models, the R5 has built-in Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz available) and Bluetooth (NFC and GPS are omitted). These technologies provide easy transfer of images (including FTP) and movies to compatible devices.

Smartphones and tablets connect using Canon's free Camera Connect app. In addition to transferring movies and still images, this app provides some remote camera control features and provides a live view display of the scene. I still need to check out the latest version of Camera Connect, but it previously left a lot of potential untapped, with the feature set being somewhat basic.

Utilizing this camera's Bluetooth capability is the Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote. Want to be part of your family picture? Or just don't want to deal with a remote release cord when using a tripod? You may want this accessory.

The R5 is able to use a smartphone for GPS tagging. If connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the coordinates are recorded at the time the image is captured. A downside is that your phone battery drains rapidly.

Note that the EOS R5 does not have a built-in flash. However, with a standard hot shoe available and an external flash control menu, the EOS R5 is fully compatible with Canon's extensive range of flashes.

The R5 features an intervalometer.

Canon LP-E6NH Battery Pack

Battery

New with the R5 and R6 is the high capacity Canon LP-E6NH Li-ion Battery Pack (2130mAh), 14% more powerful than the Canon LP-E6N (1865 mAh), utilized in a large number of previous EOS camera models, it is replacing. An increased capacity battery helps offset a downside of mirrorless cameras relative to DSLRs, the reduced number of shots available from the same battery capacity.

The LP-E6NH battery's form factor is great, featuring a significant amount of power in a compact size – several fit comfortably in my pocket. Especially great is that the entire series of batteries, including the original LP-E6 (1800 mAh) are forward and backward compatible, including their chargers.

That I have accumulated a large supply of these batteries is especially useful. I love the simplicity of being able to share the LP-E6-series batteries and chargers across my kit and also appreciate that I can take a single, small, direct-plug charger when traveling, even when I have multiple camera models along. That I am accumulating a large number of these chargers is also convenient for those times I need to quickly charge a large number of batteries (my family loves when I plug 6 of these into the kitchen receptacles).

The R5 supports in-camera LP-E6NH battery charging with the Canon USB Power Adapter PD-E1. The R5 can be AC-powered using the Canon AC Adapter AC-E6N plus Canon DC Coupler DR-E6. "The USB Power Adapter PD-E1 is not compatible with powering the camera." [Canon]

The CIPA battery life rating is approximately 490 shots (at 23°C) with the LCD approximately 320 shots (at 23°C) with the viewfinder. In real world shooting, the CIPA numbers are often far exceeded, and getting twice as many shots per charge would not be surprising. Using the higher viewfinder refresh rate will noticeably decrease the shots per charge. The LP-E6N provides about 1:20 of 8K record time or 2:20 at 1080P.

Remaining battery capacity (6-levels and % remaining) and recharge performance (3-levels) are indicated.

The LP-E6N should be a welcomed EOS improvement.

Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip

Dedicated Accessories

Optional for the R5 is the Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip. The battery grip accepts up to two batteries, effectively doubling the battery life in terms of shots per charge. At least as important for many is the vertical grip, including controls, this accessory provides, a substantial ergonomic advantage that makes vertical shooting much more comfortable. The downside to using the battery grip is the additional size and weight. However, the grip is easily removable, and the best option can be chosen for the current situation.

Also compatible with the R5 is the new Canon WFT-R10A Wireless File Transmitter, shown below.

Canon WFT-R10A Wireless File Transmitter

WFT-R10A features include:

  • High-performance Pro Workflow Support via Wired/Wireless LAN with Integrated Vertical Battery Grip.
  • Supports FTP, FTPS, and SFTP for Various Options of Encryption and Secure File Transfer.
  • EOS Utility and Network Setting Tool support.
  • Easy to use Interface to help Create Wireless Configurations of all Levels of Complexity.
  • Enhanced Linked Multi-Camera Shooting and Wireless Time Syncing.
  • Durable and Dust- and Water- Resistance.

Compared to the internal Wi-Fi feature, the WFT-R10A, like the 1D X Mark III's WFT, is a far more powerful wireless transmission device, able to reach over 450' (137m). With robust networking capabilities for instant image transfer, photographers covering events can move their images to their final destinations fast.

Lenses and Accessories — Which Lens Should I Get for the Canon EOS R5?

The lens matters, and the growing Canon RF Lens lineup is very impressive.

The EOS R5 is optionally available in a kit with the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens. This lens is an excellent-performing model that is the ideal general-purpose/standard zoom lens for a large percentage of photographers.

My choice for R5 standard zoom lens is the Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens. This lens yields some focal length range to the 24-105. However, with the f/2.8 aperture, this lens permits 2x as much light to reach the imaging sensor, and it can create a stronger background blur.

Those shooting in especially dark environments may find the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens to be their perfect standard zoom lens option. This lens is an ideal wedding and event lens, but its size and weight may push for a second lighter lens to be included in the kit.

Again, the Canon RF Lens lineup is very impressive, featuring many options for varied needs.

Via one of the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS Rs, ranging from relatively low to rather high-priced, Canon EF, TS-E, and MP-E lenses become compatible and perform as-native (with potential added benefits depending on the adapter model selected). EF-S lenses are also supported via the adapter, easing the transition from APS-C to full-frame for some. The EOS R5 will automatically use its crop mode when EF-S lenses are in use for a quality experience. Canon's EF-M lenses are not compatible with the RF mount, even with the adapter, and because of their shorter flange back distance, it is unlikely that we will see a Canon option to support this combination. Note that when using some third party manual focus lenses on the adapter (Rokinon/Samyang for example), the camera may not take a photo unless "Release shutter without lens" is enabled in the menu (one of the first reasons I've found to enable this menu option).

Then add, minimally, a telephoto zoom lens and a wide-angle zoom lens to your kit.

Canon EOS R5 Front Angle

Price

Not surprising is that the EOS R5 enters the market as the highest-priced Canon mirrorless interchangeable lens camera ever. That said, with the impressive features it makes available, this camera is still a very good value.

Wrap Up

Keeping a review of the incredibly-feature-laden Canon EOS R5 concise but complete will be a difficult balance to find, and this review is not a complete description of every feature available. Canon will publish an intimidatingly-huge, but well-designed owner's manual (a link to the manual will be provided at the beginning of this review) that highlights all of the features found on this camera, explaining their use. Read the manual, use the camera, repeat.

Owning a Canon product gives you access to Canon support, and the support provided by Canon's USA division is excellent (sorry, I have no experience with the other Canon divisions). When I call for support, I get an intelligent person who sincerely wants to help me with whatever my question or problem is (I challenge them sometimes). Canon repair service, though I seldom need it, is fast and reliable.

Alternatives

Is the EOS R5 the right camera for you? The answer to this question is going to be yes for a considerable volume of people.

For someone considering the EOS R5 purchase, the other current EOS models that should be considered include the EOS R6 and EOS R. Our Should I Get the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, or EOS R? An Extensive Comparison page dives into the detailed differences between these cameras.

Use the site's tools to create specific 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

Not all differences show up in the specifications, but the visual comparison tool can fill in many of the missing differences:

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 R5

Summary

It has been five years since Canon introduced a camera that I wanted in my kit more than the 5Ds R. Canon appears to have held nothing back from the incredibly feature-filled EOS R5. I'm betting the R5 is the camera I've been waiting for.

Canon has stated that initial quantities will be limited. Order yours right away!

Bringing you this site is my full-time job (typically 60-80 hours per week). Thus, I depend solely on the commissions received from you using the links on this site to make any purchase. I am grateful for your support! - Bryan

My Recommended Canon EOS R5 Retailers

Where you buy your gear matters. You expect to get what you ordered, and you want to pay a low price for it. The retailers I recommend below are the ones I trust for my purchases. Get your Canon EOS R5 now from:

B&H Photo
Adorama
Amazon.com
Canon USA (new)
eBay (Choose trustworthy sellers only)
(Using the links on this site to make any purchase provides support for this site)
Rent the Canon EOS R5
Do you need/want the Canon EOS R5 for only a short period of time? Or, would you feel more comfortable buying after having a hands-on trial period? Consider renting. Renting is fast and easy. The rental companies I recommend below are excellent to work with. Schedule your rental now:
LensRentals.com
LensProToGo
(Using these links for your rental supports this site)
The Tip Jar
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