Right after the Canon EOS R5 was released, I received one from Canon for a review. I liked the camera enough to make a gradual switch from the EOS 5D Mark IV. Now, after three years, I would like to share my long-term experience and the things that could or should be improved in the next iteration.
For me, the most important benefit from the Canon EOS R5 was the autofocus system. This was a giant leap forward from the system found in the EOS 5D Mark IV. It made photographing weddings and people a lot easier.
Since that time, I’ve used the two EOS R5 cameras intensively for a wide range of photography and for filming. I’ve used the camera to review new lenses, and I got a chance to compare it to the newer EOS models that were released over the years that followed.
Due to the direct comparison with the newer EOS models, the EOS R5 felt less special over time. Innovation goes fast nowadays, and lesser EOS models proved to be better in some ways. That doesn’t mean the EOS R5 isn't up to the task anymore, but it has become the old model mirrorless camera sooner than expected.
The differences are mainly on the inside, but there are also a couple of exterior differences. Of course, this is a logical evolution of camera models. Like the EOS R5 and EOS R6 were improved models compared to the EOS R and EOS RP, the newer mirrorless models were designed with knowledge of the upsides and downsides of the previous models, being the EOS R5 and EOS R6.
Don't get me wrong, I’m still happy with the Canon EOS R5, and the images it produces are great. The resolution is perhaps a bit too much for most situations, but I won’t complain there. The camera is convenient to hold, and I love the viewfinder and LCD screen. The menu is easy to use, and the touchscreen functionality works like a charm.
What Could or Should be Improved?
When it comes down to the design, there are a few things I don’t like that much. It’s not something that’s frustrating, but rather subject to improvement. At first, I loved the small LCD screen on the top, but I don’t use it as often as I expected. Sometimes, I glance at it, looking at the ISO or aperture, but that’s it. It turns out I do prefer a dial instead of the Mode button to choose the different exposure modes.
The LCD screen was responsible for the absence of the PSAM dial, although there is enough space on the left shoulder for that dial. It’s a pity Canon chose to use the left shoulder for the main power switch instead. Why not place the PSAM dial on that location?
I also miss a custom button on the front of the camera. It has a DOF button, but I rather have one extra or two, like on the EOS R3. Speaking of a DOF button, I would like to have an AF/MF switch with one of those buttons as well. It would be a great addition.
At the back of the camera is not a lot that needs to be improved for me. A sensor in the AF-ON button would be nice, just like the on the EOS R3 and EOS 1D X Mark III. If I could make a wish, an articulating screen like the one found on the Sony a7R V would be great, especially since I use an L-bracket.
If Canon would make these physical improvements for the mark II model, it would be another giant leap towards a real professional camera. But there is more. Better battery life is another wish, just like a full-size HDMI connector.
Improvements for Functionality and Menu Options
One thing that bothers me a lot, are the limitations of some menu options. A lot could be improved on the EOS R5 with a firmware update, and I hope Canon will decide to do so. But I think that’s wishful thinking. The latest upgrade gave a useless high-resolution mode, instead of an upgrade for the autofocus system and customization options.
User-defined autofocus areas, improved eye autofocus and tracking, more options for customization of buttons, and the extended dial functions. That would be a huge improvement and bring the EOS R5 up to date again.
Other options that will improve user experience are zebras for photography and false color overlay for movies, perhaps a completely dedicated menu for movies all together, like in the Canon EOS R5C. The recording limit removed would be a nice thing also.
This list of changes and improvements may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. These changes, on the outside as well as on the inside, would make a new mark II version of the EOS R5 stand out from all the other EOS cameras that are available. It would make the difference between the EOS R3 and EOS R5C smaller, but not too much.
I Wish for an Update for the Canon EOS R5
I love using my Canon EOS R5 a lot, even after three years of intensive use, even after using and reviewing a wide range of other cameras from Canon, as well as Nikon and Sony. I never felt any need for a complete switch to another brand, and there still isn’t any reason to do so. Modern cameras are becoming more similar after each new model. The differences are in the details.
If I could wish for a couple of extra functionalities for my Canon EOS R5, there are just two things that come to mind. First is the ability to use the Bulb timer together with the interval setting. The other one is a function that is called Live Bulb. It is a function that is currently limited to Olympus cameras. Wouldn’t it be great if this was added to the menu? I think it is much more valuable compared to crippled high-resolution option Canon offered us. Wouldn’t you agree?
What improvements would you like to have on the next Canon EOS R5, which is probably the Mark II model? Please share your wishes in the comments below, and let’s hope Canon pays attention.