Canon Issues Statement Regarding Overheating Concerns With EOS R5 and R6 Cameras

Canon Issues Statement Regarding Overheating Concerns With EOS R5 and R6 Cameras

Concerns over overheating in the EOS R5 and R6 cameras recently emerged. Canon issued a statement to clarify any concerns and explain why design decisions were made as they pertain to the issue.

In the statement, Canon said that the R5's combination of high resolution, high video frame rate, high bit rate, and usage of the full width of the sensor all create a lot of heat. In order to combat this, the company used a magnesium alloy body to help dissipate internally generated heat, along with an "overheat control" function for reducing any heat generation while the camera is in standby mode. In addition to these features, the company also clarified that they decided not to install a fan in the R5 because it would have increased its size and weight and compromised its weather resistance. 

The R5 and R6 both contain a rather useful feature that will display the estimated time the camera can record for based on the mode in use and the camera's temperature. The company has also published estimated recording and recovery times for the R5 at an environmental temperate of 73°F (23°C), which you can see below:

The cameras will also warn users as they approach dangerous heat levels. R6 users can expect 29:59 of recording time in 5.1K oversampled 4K 60p mode in the same environment and 40 minutes of 4K at 30p. 
Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Would you buy this laptop?
'Users are allowed to use their high end laptop depending on what they compute for a maximum time of %insert some minutes, not hours% minutes. After this period you have to wait for %insert the same minutes divided by 2% minutes doing nothing. Then you can use your extremely expensive gear for additional %insert the same minutes divided by around 4% minutes.'

I love my Canon camera but this statement of them is irritating.

That's the current state of high end laptops though. The CPUs (and sometimes GPUs) run hot enough relative to the cooling capabilities of the chassis that if you run them hard enough, they will inevitably throttle.

Ummm, there is a HUGE difference between "throttle" and "shutdown", the Canon R5 will actually SHUT DOWN on you if it overheats, a laptop will simply slow down but continue to operate!

EDIT: Why are people down voting this comment?? Nothing I said is incorrect... Guess it’s the fanboys that are butt hurt their $5k piece of gear get’s hotter than a 200W LED bulb...

How do you suggest that Canon "slow down" their 8K recording? Would you prefer it drop to 12 FPS or 1080P?

I’m not suggesting they slow down anything...

I am going to suggest however, that they should not be like Samsung and throw in a bullet-point spec sheet item, use it as their chief driver for marketing the product, and then failing to deliver on it in a meaningful and honest way.

In the real world, the time limitation is going to impact a dozen people in any meaningful way. There will be thousands who are pleased to have the ability to shoot 8K when necessary. This is a win-win. None of my professional videographer friends are concerned about the time limit, they're excited about the ability to shoot 8K when necessary, and buying 1TB CFexpress cards like they're candy.

"In the real world, the time limitation is going to impact a dozen people in any meaningful way"

Nope, wrong... The video recording time limits on the R5 are superseded by even more restrictive thermal limits of the camera, and remember, the limits Canon specifics in their "media alert" (what sort of crap product requires an alert even before it's launched?!) are "ideal conditions", which normally implies room temperature at most.

Try taking this camera outside in any sort of summer heat or sunlight and get even a fraction of the estimated allowable record times, and I'll bet my bottom dollar you'll be lucky if you get 1/4 of the time-limit recordings, at best. And at that limit, your videographer friends are going to be screaming to get their money back.

So by Canon not adding a fan they went with severely crippled recording times/waiting times. Most people I have worked with aren’t filming short films/feature films because there’s precious little money to be made making films, for small startup video companies. It’s live event videos, documentaries and interviews. As soon as the camera shuts down because of heat, there’s no knowing how long you will have to wait to get it back to full usability, except that it will severely hamper your workflow. Being able to record a days filming is vital so any camera that can do that reliably (always with backup cameras on a pro shoot) wins over a bleeding edge spec camera with major heat issues.

As far as I can tell, the camera does just fine at the lower quality levels people are commonly using now with hybrid cameras. 8K is dessert in a 2020 hybrid, not an entree. People who need a whole day at 8K need a dedicate cine camera, not a hybrid.

Fans need holes and are also additional moving parts. Inserting a fan would compromise weather resistance and increase points of failure--a step backward for more people than lengthy 8k shooting time would compensate for.

Problem is, a fan would interfere with weather sealing and weather sealing causes problems for heat distribution. Hybrid cameras are trying to incorporate high end features that compromise each other and it never quite works without problems. Also the R5 4K has heat problems limiting recording too, not just 8K. If you have to use this camera at a lower resolution to eliminate (or reduce) the heat issues, then I see no real benefit to this camera. I may as well save some money, buy a GH5 and just deal with its 2x crop.

I think panasonic have a fan system that is still weather sealed. It's like another body layer just for heat distribution.

Correct. The fan is sealed, and the heatsink is part of the body. Not difficult to create weather sealed fans, as ALL cars have had them for well over half a century now.

Only low quality 4K and 1080p prevent overheating. Oversampled video (the standard quality for today) overheats, and 4K60/120 overheats. So you're getting bare bones 1080p at best, and bare bones 4K at worst. Zero reason to buy the camera for that.

I'm not sure what users expect them to do. It's physics. They want something that does a ton of work in a small package but they don't want it to overheat and they expect the battery to last forever. You don't get both. If they put other cooling measures in place the battery wouldn't be big enough. If the specs don't meet your needs, get a cinema camera. If you're doing nothing but shooting 8K for longer than 20 minutes at a time, is this really the camera you would choose even if it ran longer?

People complained Canon didn't push the envelop and now they're complaining they have. Smacks of self entitlement, if they want to shoot video get a video recorder or work in the 20-30 min increments, and what's the average take of a video? I can't remember exactly but around 10-15min?

It's also on the screen what the camera is projected to be able to do. It's not like Sony which hid it until the camera was in public hands, so whilst I'm not giving Canon a pass at least they've been far more upfront about potential issues and that's what they are potential and no doubt we'll see tons of click bait videos now showing how 'bad' the Canon works without giving them the credit they deserve for putting so much tech into such a small package.

I suspect there's more than a few Sony Trolls that's upset they're no longer king of the castle and throwing a tantrum that's creating a storm in a teacup over this. Albeit, I'm going to hire an R5 when it's released to make my own judgement and compare against reviews. Sadly I no longer trust review sites for getting to the truth about a camera.

Canon's big push was 8K when the camera was teased. Nothing about it being crippled. There are plenty of people that need longer than 20min recording. And don't forget, overheating occurs in plain old 4K modes, too. Only the lowest quality 4K is safe, which means there's zero reason to buy this camera over something that shoots higher quality/fps 4K for a much longer/unlimited duration. Entitlement has no part in it. People just want Canon to be competitive with the rest of the industry for once.

The main issue for me is cost. I simply cannot afford a cine camera. I am prepared to accept the compromises that come with hybrid cameras and I do feel the quest for high end specs (way beyond practical use anyway) means there will be some fairly severe compromises in such small cameras. Btw, it’s not that the R5 only records for 20 minutes, in ideal conditions let’s not forget but that it needs a cooling off period that would simply be too impractical for a lot of situations. Also in less than ideal conditions there’s no telling (yet) how long you can record for before it shuts off. Same goes for 4K, apparently.

Perfect for winter photography!

I guess it's semantics, but I don't equate 'photography' with overheating. I do equate videography with overheating.'s perfect for 4 season photography, not so much 8K video.

We'll see what happens out in the real world once people in warmer climates test the camera...

The stills specs are where I'm focused primarily. So, for my purposes, this is a nonissue.

Not sure what people are expecting more from a still camera? Yes you will reach limits if you turn it into something else that requires to make it perform possibly 100s of time harder and heat is clearly a factor right now.
Not sure I get what Canon's priority was here, 8K or hope for a massive number of photographers to switch from Dslr to mirror less? Looks like by trying too hard, both are kind of back firing on them. In 30 years, I have never see that much confusion coming from Canon.

Yeah. If I'm not mistake, the R5 is Canon's only 8K 24x36mm camera. 8K in 24x36 is cutting edge video technology. In a still camera, that's a bonus, not a problem, even with a 30-minute run time limitation.

Really isn't a bonus if it's not an option you use but are forced to purchase.

It's 20 min. Then you have to wait 10 min to record another 3 min. That's just Canon slapping their customers in the face.

Basically the R5 can be summed up like this:

It's a toaster oven with a lens attached.

And sadly, that joke is not far off from reality if you're going to be using this for shooting video. Seems if you're a stills shooter it'll be fine, but at $5399 CAD for the body??? There are FAR MORE CAPABLE and WELL ROUNDED offerings on the market from other brands, with better native lens selection I might add, that can do 4K recordings without overheating, or have active cooling systems and don't have this extra "feature" of acting as a hand warmer when you're shooting in the arctic circle, for MUCH LESS MONEY!

And I don't care how much of a Canon fanboy you are, you can't deny that everything I just said is 100% true.

While I don't think I will change brand, last night I thought about options, and if I have to wait for a R5MII to make a transition to mirror less, since I have great lenses and Dslr bodies right now, well that gives the competition a chance to show how they can compete. It's just crazy for me to even think like that, but apparently real!

What you said is true, but you've only pointed out the fact that people who really need 4K and 8K shooting ought to be buying those other cameras. In this camera, it's a side-gig, not a full-time occupation.

Side gig? Not really, I could make use of the 45 for stills for my income. I have spend more on cameras, but I don't see the value of 8k when I can shoot video on my other cameras and the quality is good enough for the couple times a year I do for non commercial use. Do they force the video industry to buy high end still cameras in order to purchase dedicated video equipment?

I am still totally amazed with the Canon R5 specifications. Too bad the world of CPUs is plagued with overheating problems. This camera is for doing serious films work with multiple takes and breaks in-between. If you plan on doing documentaries and interviews you best buy something else. I have never seen one camera that does everything. And if you do buy a Canon R5 you better have a "fast" computer when you're ready to edit.

They bit off more than they could chew with the specs on the cameras. What I don't understand is why this wasn't addressed while still testing in-house. Massive oversight.

Pre-release, everyone was concerned with how Canon would cripple the R5. Apparently they "crippled" it by making it weather-sealed.

Weather sealing has nothing to do with it. Air doesn't blow through non-sealed cameras. They're just vulnerable to water creeping in and the tiniest specks of dust. What's necessary in high spec'd cameras is cooling. Which Panasonic and Sony have added in their cameras that compete with the R5.

This is a camera aimed at event photographers or hybrid photographers. It is not a dedicated video camera.

If it was large and had fans and vents, might as well get a fine camera. And it would be useless for event coverage where you are a one man band. Would need a crew to provide cover from the weather. They already sell cine cameras.

You do realize that plenty of event shooters need more than 20 min of video, right? Wedding ceremonies can take an hour, of which the R5 could only record 28 min of between cooldown sessions. This is the exact camera NOT to get for events.

You do realize that I wrote photographer right? Even hybrid shooters, which this camera is, a hybrid.

If you want to do video you buy, guess what, a video camera! Problem solved!


I wonder if Canon did any sort of experiment removing the battery and replacing it with an AC adapter. This is something that is done routinely by astrophotographers. As a battery is used, it generates heat. Long exposure astro imaging generates a lot of heat noise, so part of the solution is to remove the battery and replace it with an AC adapter.

Not portable, but just a thought.

Or maybe something that could plug into a car's cigarette lighter.

Actually a great idea. Wondering if anyone has come up with the design of an outer battery that would attach on a hot shoe, just for practicability, and wire to an empty canister to place in camera. Canon could also sell an optional battery door with holes to dissipate the heat for those who are not as worried about the seal. Additionally cavities where batteries get inserted are also totally isolated from the rest of the camera for what I have noticed.

They should build the battery grip in a way that it acts as a heatsink.

So both photo and videographers can be satisfied.

That would break the weather sealing, though.

This camera is Canon's desperate attempt to stay current. They bought buzz...which may lead to big blowback. There are reasons the competition is not doing 8K. I would hope the sensor is much quieter than the past. If it is an amazing camera, the limited video resources may allow some super high quality video shorts. But I fear some loss of resolution as it has an AA filter as well. In the end, the functional uselessness of 8K will hurt them more than if they just advertised the 8K as a tease.

Meanwhile, we will not see unlimited 8K in a package that small until there are some breakthroughs in chip design, materials science, or cooling tech. Or...maybe never? Physics can be ruthless.