The Canon EOS R5: Thank You, but No Thank You

The Canon EOS R5: Thank You, but No Thank You

This is not a negative piece on Canon, nor am I complaining about what Canon is or isn't doing. Now that I have that out of the way, let's get realistic about Canon cameras for a moment. 

The Canon EOS R5. Seriously, I'm still trying to digest what Canon has announced because it sounds unbelievably good. The specs on this camera are so good, it's the kind of stuff I'd expect to see on the 1st of April on a rumor site. This is such a huge leap in technology, that if the released camera does everything that's been announced, it would be incredible for the industry. Honestly, I am so happy with Canon right now, I'm glad I stuck with them throughout the "cripple hammer" era. Canon is set to do something truly wonderful with the EOS R5 and I really can't wait to see how this pushes the whole industry forward. 

It's going to be tough for Canon's competitors to keep up, especially if they weren't expecting something like this. There are features in this camera that many high-end, dedicated cinema cameras don't offer. The EOS R5 is in a whole league of its own, far above anything else that's on the market right now. Despite this, I probably won't be buying it and I'm assuming neither will most of you. 

Overkill

Once again, this is brilliant stuff from Canon and I'm genuinely happy with what Canon is doing right now. I will gladly continue as one of its customers because I think they produce the best equipment for me. Nonetheless, the Canon EOS R5 is completely overkill and almost no one needs it. 

via GIPHY

Every time I hear 8K being mentioned, my brain moonwalks away like Nick Miller from New Girl. I honestly don't care about it and I probably won't be filming professionally in 8K, for at least the next decade. The majority of people still have 1080p displays let alone 8K. We still need to move comfortably onto 4K. The lack of 8K displays in the market mean that it's pretty pointless to publish content in 8K. Unless you have a specific requirement to shoot in 8K, which I doubt the majority of us have, then it's pretty pointless. 

The other problem with having this much resolution, is the fact that most computers that creatives have, can't even process or manage the files. We're talking huge, huge files here and not anything the standard graphics card and processor is going to be able to contend with. I doubt the RTX 2080 Ti could manage 8K video files, without significant slow down. This kind of resolution is a practical nightmare and I have no desire to spend money on buying that feature anytime soon. 

I appreciate that it can be used to produce better quality 4K video and it gives you the flexibility to crop; however, the downsides are far too many for these minor benefits to mean anything to me. 

Storage

The cost of storage has been going down year on year and many people talk about how cards and drives aren't as much as they used to be. This would be beneficial if new cameras continued with old media cards and drives. I understand that this is obviously not feasible and manufacturers quite rightly needed to use better faster storage options.

The point I'm making is that the argument of storage being cheaper now, is only true if you're still using older media devices. If you're still using UHS-I SD cards or even some slower CF cards, then yes, the price of those have become extremely reasonable. This isn't the case for storage options like XQD cards, CFexpress, and many UHS-II SD cards. These options are still relatively new, therefore they are currently, quite expensive in comparison. 

The other thing to remember is the fact that you now need much larger storage cards in order to shoot the same amount of content. For example, you wouldn't go out shooting with a 2GB SD card, if you're shooting with any current full frame camera system. In the same way, a 64GB card may not be sufficient if you're shooting 4K at 120p, or worse yet, 8K raw video. I assume that the minimum sized cards required now, would be about 256GB. This obviously means that the amount you're required to spend on storage hasn't gone down, it's probably gone up. 

From a practical standpoint, storage costs are as expensive as ever, we're just moving onto different media devices. These costs really add up and genuinely need to be considered. It's great looking at the spec sheet of a new camera and thinking how wonderful it is, but the practical aspects need to be considered too. 

The Rumored R6

As mentioned above, most people, including myself do not need 8k in any form right now. What many of us do want or need from Canon, is a full frame camera that offers 4K at 60p using the full width of the sensor and with dual pixel autofocus. This is probably the most valuable feature that most creatives want from Canon. Of course there are options available on the market that offer that feature, but it's just not a Canon. Those options don't have DPAF, or the color profile, or native-ish support for EF lenses or whatever reason that keeps you from moving away from Canon. There are plenty of reasons many of us continue shooting with Canon and they're strong enough reasons to wait for a feasible option.

For this reason, I think that the rumored EOS R6 would be a better option in comparison to the R5, in terms of value. The rumors suggest that this camera will offer 4K at 60p and that's more than enough for most people. It doesn't make sense to spend so much more for the R5 when the R6 could offer everything most of us need. Once again, this is not just the cost of the actual camera but also the running costs of such a system. 

I'm interested to see what Canon has in store for us with the R6 because chances are that camera will be a far better fit for most of us. 

Final Thoughts

Once again, this is not an article complaining about what Canon has or hasn't done. I'm not at all suggesting that Canon shouldn't have produced the EOS R5. This is instead an article to discuss the reality of owning such a camera and why another option from Canon, may be a better fit.

If anything, I'm celebrating and applauding what Canon is doing by producing the EOS R5. I'm thankful that they've done this because of how it impacts the industry. The EOS R5 will more than likely, become a landmark camera that people will look back at for years to come. The issue, is that the R5 is well ahead of its time and most of us neither require it, nor are prepared for it. I think Canon may produce an option that's better suited for most of us with the EOS R6. This camera is probably going to be the one that sells the most, and the one I'll likely get for myself. 

For those of you with deep pockets and brave souls that purchase the EOS R5, please ensure you post all of your content; so that the rest of us can enviously (and hypocritically) proclaim, how no one needs the quality you produce. 

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186 Comments

Previous comments
Dave Haynie's picture

The only way this camera is even possible is that Canon has created a wholly improved sensor technology. The problem was fundamental -- Canon used older chip technology for their sensors. That made them slower, hotter, and noisier than Sony's. Canon may have also had a deficiency in image processing compared to Sony.

But everything they're talking about here only works if they've fixed these problems.

Les Sucettes's picture

That would be amazing... and if that’s the case that should be the actual news... Canon fixing its sensor could make me switch to Canon from Nikon / Fuji. Sony always felt like a toy. With the caveat that they also need to move their technical lenses to the R system and that Fuji GFX or Nikon doesn’t do it first or better.

Deleted Account's picture

I simply don't need such a thing. My current gear is more than enough.

Kevin Daniels's picture

Honestly 6K 60p would be the perfect sweet-spot for me. 4K delivery with the ability to shoot a little slow-mo and crop in would be incredible

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

I am not a Canon guy, but heck. Already guys complaining about the next to be released Canon new MILC, and it is already not good enough for more or less loud internet guys...

Really, I can join the band and already tell you how maervellous next SONY Alpha release will be, but how much next Nikon Z8 or Z9 will be an expensive shame ?
How bad Nikkor Z lenses are because they do not already have released a 70-800 f/1.4 aperture and it don't weight less than 199g in a smartphone sized barrel ?

As Canon is releasing a 8K video capable photocamera, it is overkill. Not so new storage CFE card are too expensive but faster and more reliable than beloved old and slow SDcard, all that is bad news ? really ?

Really hope you are near end of your life to be so bitter. Worst part is that author is trying to tell us he is not complaining whereas he did only spit a complain about a device that is still not available and surely he already have far better usage of far better features with an older body... Something is really going wrong there !

Usman Dawood's picture

I don’t think I came across bitter at all. In fact I applaud and thank Canon in the article, multiple times.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

* "Nonetheless, the Canon EOS R5 is completely overkill and almost no one needs it. "
* "Every time I hear 8K being mentioned, my brain moonwalks away like Nick Miller from New Girl. I honestly don't care about it"
* "This isn't the case for storage options like XQD cards, CFexpress, and many UHS-II SD cards. These options are still relatively new, therefore they are currently, quite expensive in comparison. "

No, you just say it is all overkill and you, and almost everybody else too, don't need it, like all theses really too expensive storage XQD/CFE cards because they are not SDcards.
But you are pleased other guys will shell money on it on have to showcase why they poured so much money on it as a cheaper (maybe) R6 not even announced will better suit your "needs".

Fine. I am then perfectly too silly to understand your point, but you don't seem to understand your own point of view either.

Really hope the next SONY Alpha7 will not have such a datasheet, as it is seems really too overkill for pro videographers on youtube and internet...
It reminds me the obious comment from Bill Gates about the 640k memory, but here it does more look like an excuse to write a really stranger article about a not even available new camera

Seriously boys, here you write that R5 is too much for you and certainly too much for everbody else.
But strangely, many guys like you are always seeking for the best thing, that better features, ready to shell out tons of money changing their whole system for a silly feature, but now a big feature list from Canon is too much...

Others write that nikon f/1.8 lenses are not good enough because they are not 1.2 or 1.4, others write that thing is not enough that and this other thing is too much blablabla...

Sorry, but all theses are only silly complains. But of course, I am not a writer from this website, so I can only be wrong.

Usman Dawood's picture

You're not wrong for liking something and of course you're welcome to disagree with me on any of the points I make. That doesn't make me me right and you wrong, in any way. I feel bad that I even have to point that out.

I should mention though that the tone of the article is not one that is complaining. I get that it's not the shortest article but did you get time to read the whole thing please?

Yin Ze's picture

i'm already disappointed with the possible specs of the 1dx4. I long for the days of the D1 and wish my batteries still worked on that camera. All I needed back then was a 64mb card.

Matt Williams's picture

Man, you took all the wrong points from this article and inserted a few of your own that aren't there.

Noting that CFE cards are expensive is, um, just true. Noting that 8K is overkill for many, especially raw, and will eat up storage like it's nothing is, um, true.

Presumably you read the title of the article before reading. It's an accurate title for everything that follows, which is why the R5 is not for him, and probably not for many.

Rayann Elzein's picture

That whole 8K rant is useless. The author obviously did not get the point that people use 8K for reframing/cropping in post. Besides, he also probably never heard of proxies. The camera is not even out yet, and we're already seeing all these frustrated "reviewers" ranting about what is wrong with it. Go back play with your perfect Sony and stop wasting bandwidth just for the sake of keeping your names above the rest.

Usman Dawood's picture

I use Canon for my actual work.

I feel like you missed the tone here though.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Give your opinion when the camera is actually out, then maybe I'll get the tone. Now you're just trying to stay on top of the headlines just for the sake of it. Yes I know, that's how the internet works, but it doesn't mean I can't complain about it.

Usman Dawood's picture

We have a good deal of information already to make intelligent assumptions.

The tone is quite clear in the article. check out the final thoughts section if you don’t have time to read the whole thing.

Alex Herbert's picture

Read articles on the camera when it is actually out, and you can avoid being so upset by words on a screen :)

Lawrence S's picture

Are only photoblog websites not allowed to discuss the specs of an unreleased camera or does it also apply to everyone else? Better start handing out notes to people in the streets, camp at camera stores and post your complaint in every forum on every website in every country.

Rayann Elzein's picture

He can discuss all the specs he wants, of course, that's not my point though. However, writing a negative piece about a camera that's not been released, that's quite problematic now, isn't it? And the fact that HE doesn't need it because of his lack of knowledge of the film industry doesn't mean that it's a bad move from Canon. I'm open for discussions, absolutely, but not when they turned into click-bait titles.

Lawrence S's picture

All other products in all other industries are discussed when specs are out in the public. Cars, CPU,s, .... everybody gives their opinion about it, negative and positive. The consequence about the specs, negative and positive. If Mercedes brings out a car that has 2000HP, don't you think somebody, someone, will point out that it is overkill for most people? And that the mileage will be ridiculous? Even when the car is still not on the road or finished? I don't understand why you make such a fuzz about it. The things he said that will impact your workflow and storage are correct and when he said most people won't need 8K, is undoubtedly also correct. And when he said something that was his own opinion of preference, he stated it accordingly.
I'm the first guy to hate on stupid clickbait articles, but this is ridiculous.

VINICIUS YUZO ZUCARELI's picture

I think the author was sensible in putting his worries.

Even working proxies I can't imagine how many gigs per second a 8k RAW video consumes.

All the equipment to work 8k RAW will probably cost in the tens of thousands. A beast computer machine, huge amounts of storage, several $1000 CF Express cards, etc.

Of course there are people who make use of this. But I feel like people willing to invest $20 to 30k in video gear are going to aim for Cinema cameras, not a hybrid cam.

Matt Williams's picture

Given what the 1DX III 5.5K RAW consumes in file space, 8K RAW will be... ungodly for most people.

This is why I have no interest in cameras like this, for video anyway. If I'm going to shoot raw video, I'll use a cinema camera with good compressed raw codecs and record to affordable external media and have the form and function of an actual cinema camera. But I pretty much hate using stills cameras for video all around, file size aside.

Steven Graham's picture

Guess I'll copy and paste my comment under here too.
"I just registered and made an account specifically to comment about how volatile and defensive the photography/videography community could be. People are downvoting and attacking you for claiming you're "complaining" about Canon's new release in a negative manner.

The tone of the article completely blew over the heads. I am apparently one of the few who agree that for the MAJORITY of users, the Canon R5 specs are overkill, yet it has fantastic capabilities for those who require 8K and it's a marvelous innovation that will set the standard for years to come.

For God's sakes people, he's not ranting. Personally I am a Sony user who has blown away by the R5 but will most likely be ordering the R6 as it's specs and lower price range will most likely fit all of MY needs, but OTHERS need the 8K for cropping, etc. Gear enthusiasts are the worst."

Dave Haynie's picture

I'm not even doing much serious video anymore, and my PC edits 4K AVC like butter. Chances are, you're shooting 8K for 4K and won't need a real 8K edit anyway. But if you do, proxies and intermediate CODECs solved this problem ages ago. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the first Sony E-Mount camera that delivers better than consumer-grade video.

Yin Ze's picture

Hi, if shooting in 8k is unbearable there is a hack Canon is providing for people like you: It's called 4k and 1080p mode.

Usman Dawood's picture

Lol that’s very true haha.

Rick Ohnsman's picture

I'll go one better...I won't shoot video at all. Don't now, don't plan on it in the future. I want to hear about the stills capabilities. Just wish I didn't have to pay for functions I'll never use.

Yin Ze's picture

Maybe they should make a special R5 for people just like you. Or just buy a 5d at a very good price.

g coll's picture

If you're only interested in stills then the 5DmkIV or the 5Ds will still be perfect for you for years to come. When those new R line cameras are released it surely will be a great time to buy a mkIV.

Rick Blanc's picture

Couldn't give a rats ass about video. But it looks like a great camera for those that do.

Kevin Loiselle's picture

Shooting RAW 1080 is a huge benefit and should be possible on UHS-II. I shoot with magic lantern raw on the 5D3 and the post process isn't terrible with today's computers, but to have a system that can do it natively would be amazing. I foresee a lot of people buying this as a C500 alternative with all the codecs it can shoot.

Adil Alsuhaim's picture

If you think it's an overkill, you're not the target customer. You don't have to use 8K, or the expensive media cards. You should think of the 8K as a "Look at what we can do" marketing, and if this is priced like the 5D Mark IV at introduction, they'll hit a home run with this one!

I am also more interested in what the rumored R6 would be, and interested in who their newer sensors would perform in low-light, dynamic range, and how their implementation of IBIS would fair against other companies.

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