top of page

What about the CANON EOS R5?

1st thoughts and hands-on

I finally got my hands on the EOSR5 (a few weeks ago) and didn’t release my thoughts on the camera earlier because you probably have watched hundreds of other reviews on it already. So I didn’t need to rush into this one...I got the camera, used it on a couple of jobs, and here we are weeks later!

I had the RF 28-70mm f2 but only for 72h and the combo RF 50mm f1.2 and RF 85mm 1.2 DS separately for a longer period of time. The idea was to use the R5 like I would use any other camera. I used it as my main body and had the canon 1DX3 as a backup. The following are my first thoughts about the ergonomics, general build, feel of the camera, and performances in relation of course to the type of work that I do and to what I expect from a camera these days.

If you are interested in the video capabilities of this camera, sorry… I won’t talk about this here or just briefly… in fact I filmed the talking head of my video with the 1DX3, so no video footage here from the R5. If you are patient enough, there will be a few videos made with the camera (fully or partially) on my other channel and of course in a blog post here.

The first things I wanted to test, was the eye, and face autofocus... Plus the 12 mechanical fps! I did use the 2 lenses wide open quite a bit, something that I do not usually do.

CANON EOS R5 & RF85mm f/1.2 DS 1/250sec at f/1.2 ISO 50

CANON EOS R5 & RF50mm f/1.2 1/800sec at f/1.2 ISO 50

First, the ability to focus anywhere is really something I enjoy in these new mirrorless cameras. The autofocus of the R5 is amazing. It can easily be an action camera, although I didn’t have the opportunity here to push it to its limits. It’s great in almost every situation. In extreme lowlight situations, it performs decently but I wouldn’t rely on it 100%. I am a little bit biased when it comes to the overall ergonomics and form factor. I’ve used Canon cameras for years, my first DSLR was the 550D (T2i) so I quickly felt at home. I hated the touch bar on the EOSR and was missing the joystick so I am so happy they put it back on this one.

45 mp is plenty enough, for 90% of the photography I do, the rest is for special personal projects or specific client needs, and for that, I found that the Fujifilm GFX100 is the right choice for me. I’ve been shooting less motion, less movement the past months because of the limitations of the autofocus system of the GFX line. I have to admit that the difference here is night and day. I said it earlier, this could be used as a sports camera the 12fps, and the amazing servo mode.

CANON EOS R5 & RF50mm f/1.2 1/800sec at f/6.3 ISO 640

CANON EOS R5 & EF24-70mm f/2.8 (EF to RF adapter) Broncolor SirosL (800ws) 24mm - 1/200sec at f/3.2 ISO 320

CANON EOS R5 & EF24-70mm f/2.8 (EF to RF adapter) Broncolor SirosL (800ws) 24mm - 1/160sec at f/3.2 ISO 320

I also found it great for the work I do with flowing drapes and fabrics because it allows me to have multiple shots of the fabric and find the perfect shape with just a few bursts. Last but not least, I have to talk about these new RF Canon glasses… They are amazing. They are built to last, quick and responsive, and they deliver outstanding images with details and sharpness from corner to corner even at wide apertures.

CANON EOS R5 & EF24-70mm f/2.8 (EF to RF adapter) Broncolor SirosL (800ws) 24mm - 1/200sec at f/2.8 ISO 400

CANON EOS R5 & RF28-70mm f/2 Broncolor SirosL (800ws) 28mm - 1/160sec at f/2 ISO 320

So let’s sum this up, I really enjoyed and salute the performance of the Autofocus, eye autofocus, and tracking, photography-wise, it is a great camera. I almost have nothing bad to say about it, at least nothing bad worth mentioning. Unless maybe the price… This is supposed to be the Mirrorless equivalent of the 5D series. And CANON has been raising the prices for each new release. This is what basically stopped me from preordering this camera. This and the terrible marketing at launch. The R5 claimed itself as an amazing tool for Hybrid shooters and even a revolutionary tool for filmmakers. It is not… I’ve tried to make videos for my channel and I managed to only make 2 of them. I usually do one long take that will be around 15 to 35 minutes long. With the R5 we are limited to 29minutes of recording, and if you film yourself with its best 4K (4K fine or 4K HQ) the camera will overheat and you will only be able to film in basic 4k afterward.

If you are a filmmaker a videographer or a hybrid shooter, the moment you turn on this camera the overheating countdown starts for you. And depending on where you are shooting, the ambient temperature, the amount of footage you are capturing both stills and 4K HQ, you will rapidly find yourself worrying about whether or not you will still be able to capture your images. You will film beautiful images with this camera, but you can only rely on it as a B or a C camera.

Unless you need high frame rates and the autofocus in these high frame rates the 1DX3 is a better choice. So now I am still weighing the pros and cons of this camera. If this camera in Europe was sold for 4K euros or less, I would probably already have it in my hands. Don't get me wrong, it’s a great camera and personally, it would save me from learning a new system all over again. Let’s wait a few months… who knows, the price might drop after Christmas, and Canon will solve the delivery problems they are facing right now and they might add new options in future updates.

If you are not much into video, then this camera might be perfect for you. Otherwise, try to get your hands on it and test it for yourself.

What are your thoughts? Did you get yours, did you test it? Let us know in the comments below.


bottom of page