The Canon EOS R5 isn’t the newest kid on the block now. Still, it is a pro-grade camera that many photographers still flutter their eyelashes at. I’ve had the EOS R5 in our hands for a while now and we’re ready to bring you our full review of this full-frame powerhouse of a camera.
- Incredible autofocus
- Class leading IBIS
- Great image quality
- Nice ergonomics
- Weather sealing
- Easy to use
- Forces you to buy CFexpress cards
- Battery life could be better
- It’s pricey
Canon EOS R5 — Technical specifications
All of the technical specifications have been taken from the product listing page on B&H photo:
- 45MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC X Image Processor
- 8K30 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video
- Sensor-Shift 5-Axis Image Stabilization
- 12 fps Mecanical shutter, 20 fps E. Shutter
- Mech shutter: Up to 12 fps at 45 MP for up to 180 Frames (Raw) / 350 Frames (JPEG)
- Electronic shutter: Up to 20 fps at 45 MP for up to 83 Frames (Raw) / 170 Frames (JPEG)
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1053 Points
- 0.5″ 5.76m-Dot OLED EVF
- 3.2″ Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
- CFexpress & SD UHS-II Memory Card Slots
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.43 x 3.84 x 3.46″ / 138 x 97.5 x 88 mm
- Weight 1.62 lb / 738 g (Body with Battery and Memory)
Canon EOS R5 — Ergonomics and build quality
Now, I know that one size doesn’t fit all and that everybody has different ideas on what makes a camera feel good. However, I have to say that Canon has knocked it out of the park here with the Canon EOS R5. This camera reminds me of the old Canon DLSRs. It just melts into your hand. While it’s not light at 1.62lbs, nor small, the camera feels great when in use.
The grip feels fantastic. It’s nice and deep and the contours allow you to get a good grip on the camera. I have large hands and my pinkie does not dangle off the bottom of the grip, nor do my fingers get squashed against lenses. The rear thumb rest feels just as nice. When holding the R5 you’ll find that almost all of the controls will fall within reach of your thumb. The rear jog dial is placed well and so is the joystick. The placement of all the major controls makes the EOS R5 incredibly intuitive.
The fully articulating 3-inch touchscreen takes up most of the camera’s rear. The top panel display is nice as well. You can see what your settings are here with a glance. Still, I do have a minor complaint. The on/off switch has been placed on the top left of the camera. The menu and image rate buttons are also on the left underneath the power toggle. A minor inconvenience, I know, I just prefer those controls on the right.
Connections and build quality
The R5 plays hot to a ton of connections. The left side of the R5 houses the USB-C and mini HDMI ports, mic and headphone input jacks, and a flash sync port. The right of the camera houses dual card slots (one SD UHS-II and one CFexpress B. There’s one programmable button on the front of the camera too.
The body is incredibly robust and features pro-level weather sealing. I have used this camera in downpours and it just keeps on ticking. The rubber covers over the ports are not the most substantial I’ve seen. However, they’re thick enough and they close tightly, which helps keep moisture out. Underneath the rubber texture that covers the body sits a magnesium alloy shell that will stand up to even the most demanding photographers. Some parts of the camera are made from tough polycarbonate plastics. Overall, the Canon EOS R5 feels great in the hand and is as solid as they come.
Canon EOS R5 — Ease of use
Thanks to the great control layout and some of the best camera menus in the business, the Canon EOS R5 is easy to pick up and use. The menus are touch-friendly and are laid out logically. You can quickly find what you’re looking for and can get back to shooting in no time. You might not think about menus much. Still, when it comes to getting to a setting or getting the camera set up the way you like, the Canon menu layout pays off in a big way.
A ton of tech will make your life easy
Most of the controls have a physical feature that makes them stand out (they’re either raised or recessed) from each other. Little touches like this go a long way to making the Canon EOS R5 easy to use. The mode dial makes it easy to select which mode you want to shoot in. The joystick feels great and offers nice tactile feedback. The three dials to control ISO, shutter speed and aperture make the R5 a delight to use.
Both the rear LCD and the EVF are impressive. The 5.76 million dot EVF is bright and clear, You can choose between different refresh rates to help with lag which is a nice touch, though it does impact battery life. The fully articulating rear LCD is also sharp and bright and remains easy to see in sunny conditions. The screen is also sensitive which makes it great to use for touch to focus.
One standout feature in the Canon EOS R5 is the IBIS system. It’s incredible. Canon has somehow made an IBIS system for a full-frame camera that rivals micro four-thirds cameras. With certain Canon lenses, you can expect up to 8-stops of compensation. That’s mind-blowing. One-second handheld shots are no problem at all. You could do go longer with great technique too. It’s the best implementation of IBIS in any full-frame camera.
Buffer performance and battery life
You have nothing to worry about when it comes to the buffer on the Canon EOS R5. When using CFexpress cards you can rattle off 180 RAWs and 350 JPEGs. If you can’t nail the shot within those parameters, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
There are slots for one UHS-II card and one for CFexpress B. You’ll have to buy one of each type of card to utilize the dual slots. CFexpress cards are a lot more expensive than SD cards, so just keep this in mind.
Battery life is just OK on the Canon EOS R5. The battery is rated for 320 shots per charge. If you use the high refresh rate on the EVF this number drops to 220 shots. In real-world use, I managed to get 500 shots using the low-refresh rate before I started to worry about battery life. You could make it a day using this mode. If you want to use the higher refresh rate, you’re going to need to carry spare batteries.
Canon EOS R5 — Autofocus performance
Canon has come on in leaps and bounds since the introduction of the RF mount. Simply put, the Canon EOS R5 has the best autofocus system on the market. Period. The Canon EOS R5 is rapid and accurate in both good and low-light situations. The Dual Pixel AF II system just doesn’t miss.
You can use single point, wide modes, tracking, and so on and you’ll get the shot, guaranteed. Face and eye detection are both brilliant. Once it locks on, it doesn’t lose the subject. The same can be said about animal tracking and animal eye AF. Wildlife photographers will be overjoyed with the way the camera finds animals quickly and sticks like glue to animal eyes. It’s beyond impressive. Whether you’re shooting fast-paced sports, wildlife, portraits, your kids playing, it doesn’t matter, the Canon EOS R5 will not let you down.
Canon EOS R5 — Image quality
The Canon-designed 45-megapixel sensor and image processor deliver on all fronts. You’re going to get gorgeous Canon colors and more than enough dynamic range in your images. The RAW files are great to work with, the JPEGs are very nice and the high ISO performance is fantastic. Let’s break things down further.
A lot has been said about the lack of dynamic range that Canon sensors tend to offer. This has certainly been an issue in the past, however, the new 45-megapixel sensor from Canon delivers this time around. As you can see in the image above, In intentionally blew out the highlights to see how the files fared during processing. I was easily able to bring back a lot of detail in the highlights.
Shadow recovery is not a problem either. I underexposed for this test and was able to raise the shadows to bring back a lot of detail without introducing much noise at all. Dynamic range and how pliable the RAW files are should cause no concern.
The JPEGs that the Canon EOS R5 produces are great. You’re going to get those Canon colors we all know so well. Noise reduction isn’t over the top, and the image processor does a nice job controlling highlight and shadow recovery. If you want to just use JPEGs, the R5 will deliver files that will bring a smile to your face. You can share them to your phone quickly and get them online almost instantly.
High ISO performance
Don’t be worried about high ISO performance. The Canon EOS R5 performs well despite its megapixel count. You can comfortably shoot past ISO 6400 and still get very clean usable files. I would not hesitate to push this camera up to ISO 12800. Even at 25600, images still retain a ton of detail. Low light performance is incredibly impressive.
The Canon EOS R5 is a near perfect camera
The Canon EOS R5 is honestly one of the most complete mirrorless cameras on the market. Image quality is exceptional. The ergonomics are right up there with the very best. The control layout and the menu system are fantastic. The IBIS system and the Dual Pixel II autofocus system are the best in class.
The Canon EOS R5 is a classic SLR-style camera that’s built tough. It will be a workhorse camera for photographers for many years. However, just keep in mind the battery life. If you use the camera at its max settings, it will drink the juice like a thirsty V8. Still, you can make it through a full day if you’re careful. If you’re a photographer who needs a camera that will go to bat for you, and if you want access to some of the best mirrorless lenses around, the Canon EOS R5 would be a fine choice.
Canon EOS R5
The Canon EOS R5 is one of the best all-around cameras on the market for stills shooters. It’s robust and has great ergonomics. The 45-megapixel sensor captures lots of detail and provides plenty of dynamic range. The Autofocus system is the best on the market. It’s a little expensive, but you get what you pay for.