Canon R5: Surpassing Expectations

Barely 2 years after Canon announced the EOS R series in 2018, they have made significant progress with their mirrorless format, launching more R models than their traditional DSLR. With the EOS R5, Canon has made another stunning milestone as the first consumer mirrorless camera to offer 8K video capture at 8192×4320 29.97fps. With a newly-developed 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor, it appears Canon is eager to prove that the EOS R5 can meet the grueling demands of professional projects, from large format commercial printing, landscape photography, to wildlife photography.

The EOS R5 has a magnesium alloy body that feels like a well-built premium DSLR with excellent ergonomics. It is dust and drip-proof to prevent casual moisture from entering the camera body. The electronic viewfinder, which replaces the optical view, has a higher resolution and improved refresh rate than the EOS R, making live images appear smoother to track moving objects. The vari-angle LCD monitor brings another level of shoot versatility, like selfies.

Using the latest DIGIC X image processor which was first introduced on the EOS-1DX Mark III, the EOS R5 can fire away up to 20 fps even with AF and AE tracking. The shutter snaps quietly as the live viewfinder relentlessly shows the captured shot one after another without missing a beat. The dual card slots accommodate one CFexpress card supporting high-speed transfer which lets you record 8K RAW movies without additional recording equipment, although recording times would be limited to several minutes. The other card slot supports legacy SD cards.

Handheld video recording appears very stable thanks to the 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer which works with all lenses, with gains up to 8-stops in shutter speed when used with OIS-equipped RF lenses. New AF points can easily be selected from the touchscreen LCD monitor during recording with tracking, and the 24-105mm kit lens offers silent focusing. The EOS R5 is also capable of recording up to 120fps in 4K resolution, allowing greater versatility in slowing down action sequences.

Canon has also expanded the wireless capability of the camera system by incorporating Wi-Fi support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, plus Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with your smartphone. With this setup, images can be backed up to the cloud as they are shot.

With the numerous dials and 5-way navigation dial, there are so many customisation options to fit your workflow. The touchscreen is very responsive and will accelerate your on-screen selection. When at times I forget the shortcut button or knobs to adjust a setting, the Q button helps by bringing out the commonly used icons on-screen.

Despite all the numerous benefits of mirrorless and the inevitable replacement of the single-lens reflex format, several limitations still exist: electronic viewfinder blackout occurs for long exposures as the camera takes a few seconds to process the shot, rendering the EVF with a bold “BUSY” text, and the battery consumption is faster than a traditional DSLR. And yes, there is no pop-up flash either.

We say

The EOS R5 propels Canon forward to be a contending mirrorless system, delighting existing Canon users and potential owners alike.

Rating 4.5 / 5

S$6,199 (body only)

First published in NXT Magazine September 2020, digital edition can be purchased at