Things Canon 5D Mark IV Users Might Not Realize About the EOS R5

Things Canon 5D Mark IV Users Might Not Realize About the EOS R5

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen or heard just about everything about the Canon EOS R5. However, even with the multitude of videos I've watched and articles I've read, I didn't realize a few things about the R5.

The R5's 45 megapixels, 5,940 user-selectable AF points, 12/20 fps, 8K video, eye AF, flip screen, and IBIS are just a handful of the many reasons to upgrade. Each of these features on its own might be a reason to upgrade for some users. Pack them all into one camera, and there's no doubt that this is a significant and worthy upgrade for Canon DSLR shooters.

A few of us held out and didn't jump into the Canon mirrorless cameras until the R5 came out. Once it did, we had to find one in stock to purchase. Here are a few of the things I discovered after using it for just a short time.

More Focus Zones and They're Movable! 

As much as I love my Canon 5D Mark IV, one of the things that always bothered me about it was the focus area's limitation. Of course, just about everyone knows that mirrorless cameras can move focus points across almost the entire sensor area. However, one thing that I did not realize when I saw the R5's new focus zones was that the wide focus zones could be moved up and down or left and right. The Canon 5D Mark IV's large focus zone just sat there in the middle of the screen.

The new wide and tall focus zones are a very nice addition made possible by the mirrorless platform, adding the capability to move the large zones around the screen. I can think of many wildlife and action sports photography scenarios where this would be very useful. The zones allow for full horizontal or vertical focusing while limiting the areas that may cause an undesired focus lock.

Large AF Zone Centered (default)

Large AF Zone moved to the bottom

Manual movement of the autofocus point is much faster than with the 5D Mark IV. It takes a little bit to get used to, but the addition of the ability to move the focus point by placing your thumb on the rear LCD is quite useful. If you prefer to use the joystick to move the autofocus point, there is a "sensitivity- AF pt select" option in AF menu 5. Changing this option will speed up or slow down the AF point movement, although there's not a dramatic difference between the three settings.

There's No Live View Button

Previously, when doing landscape photography, I would often use the live view button of the 5D Mark IV to switch between the viewfinder and the LCD screen. One of the reasons was partially due to my failing eyesight and the other to preview the scene. The Canon R5 can do the same, of course; however, there are a few extra button presses in the default configuration. Basically, you repeatedly press the info button to cycle between the LCD screen's five views.

You can customize which of these five screens are available by checking or unchecking the tick boxes on the "Screen info. settings" menu page. You can also select what information is displayed on screens 1 through 3 on the "Edit screen" pages of each screen.

You Don't Need To Shoot Through the Viewfinder for the Best Autofocus Performance

If you've shot with the Canon 5D Mark IV, you've probably noticed that autofocus performance in Live View mode is less than spectacular for moving subjects. With the R5, there's no difference between using the LCD screen and the viewfinder, as the focusing is always done with the sensor. 

As long as you can sufficiently hold the camera, feel free to use the LCD. Some portrait photographers actually prefer this method, as it allows them to work more efficiently with their models.

Combining the eye AF and the tilting LCD screen means holding the camera high over your head or in awkward positions is easy and accurate. This shooting method may really open up some great possibilities for some photographers. Using the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder may also use less battery power.

Miscellaneous Benefits

There's no path for light to sneak past the mirror assembly with mirrorless bodies, which means that you don't have to worry about light leaks with long exposures. However, I would note that I never had an issue with light leaks with my 5D Mark IV, so I never covered the viewfinder on long exposures.

Since there's no mirror, there's no "Mirror Lockup" mode on the R5. I always found this to be a real pain with the 5D Mark IV. It wasn't cumbersome to initiate, as I had that setting on a custom menu. It was remembering to turn it off that often made me miss a shot at a later time.

Without the pesky mirror, there is no need for Micro AF adjustments, which is such a relief since Canon cameras did not have an automatic mode for micro AF adjustments like Nikon DSLRs do. It's a real joy not to have to set up micro AF adjustment when purchasing, renting, or borrowing lenses.

Speaking of the shutter, the R5 is rated at 500,000 shutter actuations as compared to the 150,000 of the Canon 5D Mark IV. Although you've probably heard references to it in videos, you really can't appreciate how quiet the mechanical shutter is until you actually shoot with it. 

In the "it's about time" category, using the rear mode dial for ISO control is just splendid. You can also customize which dial controls what feature, which is quite useful with the addition of the Control Ring on the RF lenses and the Control Ring adapter.


The Canon R5 is an excellent upgrade for Canon 5D Mark IV shooters and even more so for photographers shooting older DSLRs. Although it does take a little bit of time to get used to the new button layout, once you do, you'll love this camera. The autofocus features alone have increased my keeper rate significantly. These are just a few of the things that I've noticed since having the R5. Do you have any things that you were surprised about? Let me know in the comments!

Mike Dixon's picture

Mike Dixon is a Muskegon Michigan based landscape and nature photographer who's passionate about anything photography or tech related.

Log in or register to post comments

Why are they trying to sell us something we don’t need, don’t want or perhaps like me, bought a couple 5DIV’s two years ago and am quite happy with them. I realize Canon wants to sell product but one size does not fit all.

The R5 is a much bigger upgrade to the 5D4 than the 5D4 is to the 5D2. And you did buy two of those.

Some people need two cameras, not to be constantly switching lenses. And for those people ease to switch focal lengths is more important than a new AF tracking or any feature you may be judging better on the R5. Actually he may dislike the R5 EVF and prefer the 5D4 OVF instead.

So no matter how "big" is this upgrade to you, it may not suit him.

As a Freelance Photographer, I need two cameras and prefer two of the same.

I'm with ya Tony. I'm currently battling my wife using an 80D vs her R6. It's not that an unequal of a fight at all. I do like the R6 better but in the real world DSLRs are just fine. For high megapixels I just grab my 5DsR.

I think you mean that YOU don't need.

When he said "we" and "us" that didn't include "you" and "others", just included them. Didn't you notice? He didn't say "nobody" or "everyone"

Believe me he is far from being alone. Ask Fuji if medium format is profitable right now.

Just because you don't want or need those features doesn't mean there aren't people who do. I for one am looking to upgrade from a 5D MKII and some of the features he highlighted I had not heard of, and could also be useful to me.

I was skeptical too, but R5 blows MkIV out of the water in every possible aspect. Haven't touched my MkIV since I upgraded.
Once you go mirrorless, you will never come back 😂

One of the many things I've been delighted with is the cRAW file format. My main camera before the R5 was a 5DSR and the massive RAW files it created were slow to write to the memory card and took up a lot of storage on my NAS drive. I get roughly twice as many files on a memory card with the new file format. So far I've not experienced any quality issues with these images.

That said, one of the things I miss most from the 5D4 is the built in GPS - with the R5 I have to sync my phone.. also I find the R5 is easier to carry on my hand (I have smaller hands) and the built in IS helps heaps

Sync your phone? Can you do that with the EOS R?

For me it's simple. I prefere the OVF and dislike the R5 EVF. The sensor/screen is still inferior to the dynamic range of the human eye and missing out on all the shadow details is a no deal for me.
And on a more personal note, why would I want to watch a screen when I can't watch the real world instead? 🙂

As I write this, there are 14 comments. Not one mentions a thing about image quality. Everyone only speaks of operational upgrades. Going from a 5D “whatever” to a R5 is not an upgrade. It is a “throw away” and “repurchase”. I have 2 5DSRs which deliver incredibly high resolution images along with “L” lenses that cost me a fortune over the last 7 years. There is no way that I am going to ditch that fine quality equipment for the sake of technology.

I haven't used the 5DSR, however, the R5 does provide much better image quality over my 5D4. Not only in just resolution, but in the aspect that the vastly improved autofocus, focus points/area, high FPS, and eye-tracking. I simply get many more keeper shots with wildlife. There are many more features like focus stacking and viewfinder grid that make things easier.

However, I do see your point. If you already have a 50mp 5DSR, you might find the upgrade a little mediocre if you don't use those new features.

Honestly, there is an article on the R6 or R5 every week pretty much. May be it's time to move on to something else.

Have any suggestions?

Anything else...

How about a long video on how to find and change the batteries on a Deardorff V8 camera?

And here we, are March 1st, barely 6 days later and we have 2 new articles on the 5D in one single day...

It's always annoying that the general tone seems to be newer cameras are best and people should switch or 'move on'. If a professional photographer is more than happy with a bunch of older DSLR's than selling up and paying out to jump onto the mirrorless bandwagon, that's their own personal choice and no one else's.

Saying that, I own an A7III but constantly see articles and comments implying how 'long in the tooth' (in so many words) the A7III is as if we should be always upgrading every two years or so.

I do agree that often people have the mindset that you "need" the latest and greatest camera. I've often said, "use the tool that best works for you" and that still stands. However, this camera is quite a significant jump for many (not all) 5D4 users. Eye AF is a game-changer for wildlife and portrait shooters. Focus stacking, likewise for macro photographers. High FPS for sports. High resolution may be just what some others need or desire. As with any upgrade, it's up to the user to determine if they "need" it.

How significant a jump any camera is still boils down to the individuals needs/wants though. There are still some not willing to part with their OVF, for example or may just feel buying secondhand DSLR’s makes better financial sense. Technically the R5 wipes the floor with the 5DIV but that doesn’t mean it’s a must have purchase for everyone and articles presenting it like it is are quite irritating.

A question you cannot answer is when will they replace the R6, making it more like the R5, and then what will happen to the R6, which I am happy with, but not all that thrilled? I love the lenses, just love them.

looking for the crystal ball that Canon looks at.... anyone?? :D

12/20 fps sounds great! However and a very big however that not many people talk about is that as soon as the battery gets down to 70% and below the fps drop significantly and the AF goes down the drain.

Also remember the rolling shutter skew for anything moving quickly when using electronic shutter.

Whoopy do. Big nothing article.

Coming from a 5D and a 5D MkIII I can tell you that none of those bodies fully covered the spectrum of photography I was interested in: sports (baseball and basketball), landscapes and portraits. To effectively do all three, I'd have needed more than one body or something way out of the realm of affordability (for me anyway). Cue up a drum roll for the R5! The technological improvements make portraiture much easier by being able to track the face and eyes. I can capture the exact moment when that pitch meets the bat with frame rate not even conceivable with my aforementioned bodies. AND I can keep all my EF lenses!! I'm diggin this R5!

Thanx for the tips!