The EOS R5 Overheating Limits Might Be Completely Artificial and Could Be Fixed by a Firmware Update

The EOS R5 Overheating Limits Might Be Completely Artificial and Could Be Fixed by a Firmware Update

Recent news suggests that Canon is placing artificial limits on its EOS R5 camera that may lead to a lot of user frustration.  

The first few reports suggested that Canon had potentially implemented inadequate means of cooling on its EOS R5. Teardowns had shown that the main processing unit did not have its own thermal pad, which is odd, to say the least. There is also no thermal compound on the CPU, although, when a thermal paste was applied, it still had no impact on the camera's performance. This led many to assume that Canon was placing artificial limits on the camera; however, there was still the benefit of the doubt. 

Since then, Math Class on Baidu, has continued testing the R5, and has now found potentially undeniable evidence that Canon is placing artificial limits on the EOS R5. After recording in 8K for 20 minutes, the camera's internal temperature was at 64 degrees Celsius. The R5 shut down, as expected. Canon states that after the initial shutdown and waiting for the camera to cool, you can record for an additional three minutes. What Math Class has shown in posts is that when the camera cools down, if you remove the internal circular battery, you can reset the timer and record another full 20 minutes worth of 8K video. 

This could mean that the EOS R5 is not implementing shutdowns based on temperature and instead on a timer. Once the camera has been reset by removing the internal battery, the timer is reset too, hence the ability to record for another full 20 minutes. 

The most frustrating thing about this is that Canon has placed a drastic record limit on the second recording attempt. After the camera has cooled down from the first instance, there seems to be no reason for having a three-minute limit if you wish to continue filming. 

In my view, Canon really needs to provide a proper explanation about its overheating limits and if it is an artificial limit, a firmware update should be implemented to correct it. 

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40 Comments

John Xantoro's picture

Canon taking its cripple game to a whole new level.

Keith Davis's picture

Why would they do it? It makes no sense to me. Their upper end video equipment has a very limited clientele. Crippling the R5 to protect their video equipment would be a money losing proposition. If the camera were capable of unlimited 8k and 4K over sampled they would sell more cameras and make a lot more money. There must be a valid reason for the overheating shut downs.

Timothy Linn's picture

You're basing your argument on complete assumptions about the amount of revenue Canon receives in the two scenarios you propose instead of looking at the increasing amount of evidence that shutdowns are completely uncorrelated to actual internal temperatures. If the behavior was legit, wouldn't you expect the shutdowns to be related to how hot the camera actually was at the time of shutdown? Either Canon is lying to conceal a needless cripple or they've designed a thermal system that is wildly incompetent.

Oren Arieli's picture

Canon will have a tough time saving face while fixing this issue. They should straight-up admit they were at fault, apologize to all owners and offer them a credit or discount while addressing the fix. It will likely cost them less than the negative PR and decreased sales this would generate if left unanswered. I thought the Japanese phrase was "Fix the problem, not the blame". Let's see if that holds true.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I'm totally amazed to still see people purchase an overpriced still camera or an unusable 8k video camera. We are still talking about what Canon can do to fix the problem, that's just nuts. I personally think it's too late for this model to make changes. Will Canon come out with a Mk2 soon and fix the issues properly or wait to appease those who just spend $4k on a video system that is not usable?

Timothy Linn's picture

It is looking more and more like there may be no real problem to fix. It is simply an intentional cripple.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I have no clue if it is intentional or not. To me it seem to be a marketing fiasco, not engineering issue. More like engineering has had to deal with upper unqualified people with too much power who are too good to listen. Engineers don't give GO, they just deal with what they are told to do.

Wilder Berry's picture

"a video system that is not usable?".... This is certainly Canon's best camera I've ever used - especially for a hybrid shooter. So much so, that the 1DX mkiii hasn't been used at all since the R5 got here. The IBIS, AF and video modes all join together to make a fantastic video system. Part of the problem here is that people, who probably don't have the camera, spend too much time focusing on what they think it can't do.

This is an amazing camera. If it's not for you, the great thing is that we are spoiled with so many amazing choices now at a variety of price points. Go out and enjoy shooting rather than salivating about posting on supposed shortcomings!!

Benoit Pigeon's picture

The 45mp still is all I want and I have said it before, I don't see any problem with that part of the camera. I have plenty of cameras with video features that have never been started. That camera is rated 8k and 4k, so please do understand that I encourage you to shoot RAW 8k or even 4k all day. My feel is that you don't and totally under use the "amazing features".

Rayann Elzein's picture

It's not because the camera can do 8K that you MUST use it, what kind of comment is that?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I don't know where you saw that and honestly I don't care, but I certainly would expect to be able to use 8k when I want if it is advertised. I don't find using lower setting to avoid camera lockup an amazing thing, far from it. The big problem here is that you guys should purchase REAL video equipment instead of always asking and expecting more from hybrids.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

BTW, asking me to change brand and get rid of all my lenses because "we are spoiled with so many amazing choices now at a variety of price points" is totally absurd. Keep shooting 8k, and show us some samples on your profile... Oh wait, it's empty there too.

Wilder Berry's picture

You said "a video system that is not usable".... Your hyperbole, not mine.

I'm not buying this camera to shoot RAW 8K all day. If you are doing that, good luck.

I want a fantastic stills camera that can also shoot amazing video. I can shoot 4K internally all day with the non 4K HQ. With a little sharpening, nobody can tell the difference between that and the 4K HQ. I also choose to shoot 4K HQ with a Ninja if I use the R5 for video, because the storage is more cost effective than CF Express, the monitoring is better and you get Pro Res. I use the 8K in short bursts.

So yes - the video system is totally usable. Use the correct tool for the job. If the R5 doesn't have the correct feature set for you or you can't work around its limitations, then use the system that does.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Of course if you ignore it's top features, then it is usable. I didn't think this had to be mentioned to anyone here, but yeah you prove me wrong. Any way, in July I decided to skip this one and wait for a Mk2. I have no rush, others like you can pay Canon for the developments and fix the issues.

Wilder Berry's picture

I'm more than happy to give Canon my money for a fantastic camera, just as I'm happy to spend money on other brands' products and software that meet my needs. If they "fix the issues" that I'm not experiencing, then I'm sure I will be even happier. 8K isn't the "top" feature for me but I'm happy to use it when I need to.

Don't panic Monsieur Pigeon, I'm willing to bet that certain people will find a way to be unhappy with an R5 mkii.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Sure, first time I refuse to purchase a Canon in 28 years and you frame me as never happy. Honestly, I don't really think you even own an R5.

Wilder Berry's picture

It is your prerogative to refuse to purchase (IMO) the best camera that Canon have ever made.... That's your right, but I'm very happy to use mine and I'm sure thousands of other people will be too!!

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I have had many of Canon's best ever cameras and worked with digital backs that were also top of anything digital at the time. It's really nothing but a very ephemere feeling. Congrats on the purchase! At this point, for me it's a business decision and out of that camera all I would want is the 45mp for stills, but no real need to upgrade.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Finally a comment full of common sense. Thank you. I don't own the camera, nor planning to (I have the 1DX3 for the time being), but it's driving me nuts to see all those Youtube reviewers just time the overheating when they're not even using the camera to actually make a video...

Michael Laing's picture

Canon never lied about the 8k, when advertising the camera before release. They just didn't say it has a 20 minute limit and no company is going to start talking down a camera before release.

Whats more, anyone with any common sense, would know that the R5 was going to have a limit to the length of time it record 8k and 4k 60fps because 1. Canon don't want it to compete against their Cine line, 2. have a weather sealed camera which doesn't let the heat out as well as the Panasonic S1H.

The fact is in reality shooting 4k 30fps HQ you are not going to have any issues and most people are not going to shoot 4k 60fps HQ for long periods and if they are, they should be going for the cine line cameras because that is what they are designed for. 8k is only going to be used by a very small proportion of the owner and few will be able to tell the difference between 4k and 8k.

People need to remember when the Canon 5Dmk2 came out, it was capable of shooting around 9-11 minute 1080p before it over heated.

As for the price. I is £600 more expensive than the Nikon Z7 from 2018 and a much superior camera (and I say that as a Nikon user).

For the photographers I know buying the R5, £4100 is a drop in the ocean and it will last them for years and make them an awful lot of money.

It is currently the best photographic camera Canon make for portraits and for most people the video is going to be more than enough.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I have purchased and used much more expensive cameras including digital backs. Don't even try to teach me about the cost unless you have been the same path as me since the late 90's. No certainly not, photographers don't want to spend more $ than the stuff is worth. Use your brain a little and search what the average photographer makes a year and you'll realize how far off your comment is. May be your doctors and lawyers, but not the average photographer. I think you are getting affected by some youtube and social media syndrome that is not a representation of real world situations.
For me it's a business decision and I look at Canon as a supplier not a toy maker. I have no need for 8k and really no need for any video and paying for this failed ad on makes no business sense. Beside playing around, few people will ever need or use 8k, so that option doesn't make any sense to probably 95% or more of the R5 purchasers. But I see you seem to agree with that - "...for most people the video is going to be more than enough"

Michael Laing's picture

Well I am a professional photographer, member of the Master photographers Association (Current, MPA South East, Photographer of the Year) and I know a lot of photographers who do make a very decent amount of money. With family and new born portraiture, I know photographers who's average shoot is £800+, with around 10-20% costs. I know wedding photographers who are averaging between around £1500+ on 40-50 weddings a year (actually £1500 is on the low side). I could go on about other forms of photography but hopefully I have made my point.

They are business people, some are exceptional photographers other far better at business but all make a very good living from photography.

So please don't give me any superior bullshit, because you have been in the industry since the 90's and owned digital backs.

I agree totally that the R5 is a tool and not a toy, which will be used for 4-6 years, So when you take that into consideration, you are paying £1000 or less, which doesn't work out that expensive.

I agree, that photographers don't wast money on equipment, when they are professional (I am still using my Nikon D800 which has been my primary camera for the last 8 years). A very informal poll taken by the MPA earlier this year, showed that the most popular camera used by member was the 5Dmk4 but very close behind was the 5Dmk3 and the Nikon D810. The less money I can spend on equipment the better.

As for video. You may not have much use for it but many other have. One of the reasons the 5Dmk2 was so successful was because of video. It wasn't the first company to have video in a DSLR (that would be the Nikon D90) but the 5Dmk2 offered 1080p with a full frame sensor and excellent quality lenses at a relatively inexpensive price, when compared to cine lenses.

Canon has done its best to cripple video in their video cameras since the release of the C300 and have built quite a reputation for hamstringing (many call it the Canon cripple hammer), often by having extremely impractical bit rates for long term use. So anyone who knows anything about video and Canon, knows there would be a limitation.

Yes, 8k isn't going to be used by a huge amount of people and even 4k 60p 4.2.2 HQ generally has its limitations but the camera has a 45mp sensor, which means it can easily use 32mp to shoot 8k video, so why not add it?

You can shoot 4k 60fps at a lower quality internally for extended periods (apart from the 30 minute cutoff but then you can turn it on again) or you can shoot externally to a Atomos V, which shoots at 4k 60fps in a variety of modes and the camera doesn't shut off after 30 minutes.

So the R5 is exceptionally capable both in photography and video. It is the best all round mirrorless camera on the market. Yes, the Sony a7rIV has 60mp and the Sony a7sIII is great at video but neither come close to the R5 but then again, what do I know, I have only been around the photographic and video industry since the 1980's. I will just go back to watching youtube and social media because obviously that is all I know.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Okay, thanks keep your membership, I'm done.

Michael Laing's picture

Have a lovely life.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

It's been good, thanks.

Christian Fiore's picture

"Fixed" indicates an unexpected problem has occurred. That's not the case here, as it's almost a certainty that Canon added timers instead of thermal management, in an effort to prevent the R5 from being used as a serious video camera. Some people have even put their cameras in the fridge with the same results as room temperature testing, which all but proves the "overheating" shut off is time-based.

Tony Clark's picture

Because Canon didn't have the time to put the R5 through it's paces? If it's a software issue, shouldn't they have written it before release? You would think that Canon would have bypassed 8K video if it was so problematic.

Mike Ditz's picture

Didn't Sony have a similar issue and there was an update to the over heat temperature to raise it up a bit?

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Yes, but, in Canon's case, appears they have sabotaged their own camera. There's lots of speculation why they did it, but, fact is they did it.

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