Canon R5: Is the Electronic Shutter Usable for Action Photography

The R5 is an incredible camera, but there are still some question marks. One, for example, is how useful the electronic shutter really is, in difficult scenarios like bird photography or sport.

The electronic shutter mode for the Canon EOS R5 has an impressive spec sheet with 20 fps, all while being damn near silent. The question is, does that create the rolling shutter effect?

The rolling shutter effect is most commonly associated with video, where the shutter opening and closing causes the bending of otherwise straight lines in the scene due to the pace of movement. With the R5 shooting at 20 fps in electronic shutter mode, the rolling shutter effect is likely to be experienced in some scenarios in fast-paced photography, such as wildlife or sports. As expert bird photographer, Jan Wegener, shows in this video, it can happen, but it's not common.

The downsides for electronic shutter are laid out by Wegener throughout the video, and they struck me as being more to do with just how quick 20 fps really is. The camera's buffer is filled very quickly, not to mention the amount of card space it consumes in such little time being almost too much unless you're shooting something you really want to capture every movement of.

Will use the electronic shutter for fast moving subjects, or will you stick to mechanical?

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Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Its not the Sony A9 with stacked sensor!

Test of rolling shutter with seagulls is meaningless. Seagulls don't fly too fast (especially if one is panning) and beat their wings fairly slowly. So one wouldn't expect to see much rolling shutter. The tests using drone propeller blades is a fairer test. Likewise sports photos of someone swinging a racket or bat, etc.

Though I don’t have an R5 I would assume the Sony A9 still has the best electronic shutter
The classic test would be a golf swing
I wonder if the R6 would fair better