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. 

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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

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Usman Dawood's picture

Oh yea absolutely. I think we agree :-).

Alex Herbert's picture

This will NOT be priced like the 5D IV. I just don't see that happening.

Adil Alsuhaim's picture

I see your point, Alex, and maybe you're right. The R5 offers a lot! It's more than the Panasonic S1H ($3999). I think the R5 could be priced "reasonably" at $4500, but it could also be priced competitively at $3500. Canon just released the C300 Mark III for $10,999, which is a lot lower than C300 Mark II introduction price ($15,999), so I see a possibility of competitive pricing for the R5.

bert duarte's picture

I think what he's saying is, Sony should've done it first then canon. I mean don't get me wrong

Ben Harris's picture

My (uneducated) thoughts on the R5: People have been calling for Canon to release something game changing like the 5Dii for ever. And now they’ve got it.
I think the spec sheet shows a change in the Canon line up too. The 1D series has evolved into an entirely sports and performance focused line while the 5 series has become the more all round flagship.
I think this camera has appeal far beyond photographers to production houses, independent film makers, and news outlets (just like the 5Dii back when) And maybe Canon are aiming for that Netflix certification?

Finally, just because something can shoot in 8K, doesn’t mean you need to use it?

Usman Dawood's picture

You make some good points and I agree.

I will say that the point of the article was, maybe the R6 is a better fit. Save some money and get the lower specced model.

Ben Harris's picture

That is 100% my plan. Heck, the RP is still plenty for most hobbyists.

Bradley Occhipinti's picture

I think some people would rather have something to complain about than get everything they want and more, not saying that's the author just saying some people.

Chris Charles's picture

I like my turbo car. It will do 230km/hr. I have never driven it this fast, But I use a lot of the other aspects that are only found in a 230km/hr car.

Abner Deenright's picture

2018... Canon your not innovating
2020... Canon your over innovating
Can some of you make up your mind please?
Though it is funny to see how many people are fickle lol, slagging Sony off for not innovating now.

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

"Nonetheless, the Canon EOS R5 is completely overkill and almost no on needs it."

I don't like to go off on a negative rant But I call BullShit! Not just on that remark but the fact that you pretty much focused entirely on the 8K video is if that is the ONLY MODE the camera uses for video and that the only thing it does is shoot 8K video. I believe it shoots stills and lower resolution video. Yeah? Stills. Think people might buy it for that? And some people Might not even use the video features. Other than the Nikon Df, I don't think any manufacturer has produced a DSLR / Mirrorless camera in the past 10 or so years that doesn't shoot video. And Nikon was Slammed for no including video on the Df. Also, stills from 30 fps 8K might be useful..

Regardless of your praise of Canon in your opening remarks, it appears to me that you actually want an R5 but wrote this article to justify not getting one and to get a lot of comments. Success, I'm commenting. As for you courageously sticking with Canon during the "cripple hammer" years, I believe you have a couple of Sony bodies listed in your gear bag. Personally I don't care what you shoot. End product is what counts. I do like your work. But be honest about what you use if you are making a statement like that.

As for what I think about the R5, I think the price of the R5 and the world economy, at the moment and beyond, will determine how well it sells. As for my thoughts on Canon, It's about time they got it back together. If I wasn't invest in their system I might have moved to another brand by now. But that isn't cheap or practical for me and a lot of other people. Will I buy an R5? Probably not anyways soon. Even if it is as low as $3500 USD it's out of my budget and I just bought as EOS R in December 2019. The price was well discounted and it will serve my needs for a good while. Now should I hit the lottery or have a chunk of money to spare in the near future I might get one. The IBIS would be the primary draw for me.

Usman Dawood's picture

Oh yea I definitely want one, there’s no doubt about that. The issue is photography for me is a business so all costs need to be justified.

The EOS R5 isn’t great value for money for me and I assume many others (relative to requirements) because the EOS R6 will likely be a better fit.

I want one, I just don’t need one.

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

"The EOS R5 isn’t great value for money for me"

Well nobody can say that for sure until Canon puts a price on it. They have sure milked it for all it's worth with the teasers.

"I want one, I just don’t need one." Same here. ;-)

Lino Paul's picture

I love the eos r for its AF, log, and the adapter. and ease of use. Being n occasional video shooter I had a few other cameras before eos r ,but couldn't produce the same results with ease.
As an eos r fan. For me, yes this R5's is an overkill for video. But to replace my 5d3's for still use I might buy them possibly..

g coll's picture

Sounds like the R6 will be your ideal replacement for the 5D3.

Lawrence Huber's picture

This camera is a show piece to reestablish Canon dominance.
If you want 4K it has it.
I am very excited about this camera though I am more a stills person this might get me doing video.
This camera caught the competition flat footed.
Way to go Canon.

Juan Carlos Ayala's picture

If it lives up to expectations then the second-hand market is going to be awash with some good deals... :-)

Ben Harris's picture

I’m low key hoping for the same thing 🤞

Tom Sandlien's picture

Well. 8K30 would let you extract 33mb stills at a frame rate of 30/sec. Would be nice for sport and wildlife shooters wouldn't it?

Usman Dawood's picture

Great point actually. With a fast shutter speed and raw video, that could work pretty well I think.

Gregory Mills's picture

There are already lots of people shooting 8K video (even some YouTubers like Lines Tech Tips). They just don't shoot it on DSLRs, they shoot it on Red Weapon 8K camera that cost $100,000 and have big budgets. When Canon brought 1080p video to the 5D Mark II in 2012 it was revolutionary and changed film-making forever. It let the ordinary person produce Hollywood quality movies for the price of the high end DSLR. Now that Hollywood is moving to 8K, Canon is poised to do the same thing again. 8K is is not for 99% of you. It is for the 1% that wants to make their own film that can compete with big budget productions or big budget productions that need to put a small camera in tight spaces. Finally, a lot of people will by an 8K camera to use it as a 4K camera with really good slow motion options that are not available in other cameras.

Ben Harris's picture

5Dii was 2008, but your point stands. Apparently World’s Deadliest Catch used the 5Dii as throw away B cameras that could produce good enough footage to splice into the main cam footage.

ronnie yeoh's picture

I do use 4K for green screen work and special effects like rotoscoping or camera tracking. With 8K, even better for tracking accuracy and cleaner green screen extraction. 8K may not be for everyone but for special effects people like us, it's necessary. I read the comments of just using 8K for cropping. That isn't all it's good for. I shoot mostly 1080p and output the same. But for the kind of work I do, it's always 4K. I just hope Canon don't give us that slightly soft video image quality.

Ellie Grace's picture

The problem is that Canon doesn't have a camera for 99% of us yet and they're releasing a camera for the 1%.

Bob Hathaway's picture

I come from a different perspective and place financially. I am looking forward to this camera not for its video specs (even though I might shoot video from time to time with this new camera) but for it's stills capabilities. I have been waiting for a replacement for my long in the tooth 5D Mark III and 5 DSR primarily for wildlife shooting (animals and birds in flight). This camera ticks many of the boxes I have been hoping for.

First, it has higher resolution than 5D Mark III and IV and nears resolution of 5DSR. This allows for some post shot cropping to extend reach when shooting distant wildlife or BIF.

Second, it leverages new sensor technology which already handles higher ISO better than my older sensors and hopefully will even make improvements over Mark IV and R sensors. This helps in low light situations at dusk and dawn.

Third, it will have a vastly improved focusing system over my current cameras. This is the #1 reason I am excited about this camera. My BIF keeper rate is quite low with my 5DSR (not built for action, I know.) but I still use it because when it does click the resolution is quite stunning. You can see veins in eyes, every detail of fur or feather, etc. Also this focusing system will lock in on and track moving subjects significantly better than what I have today. Again, this will make my hobby/passion so much more fun when my keeper rate goes up in difficult situations from 10% or so to something significantly higher.

Fourth, FPS is a massive bump from what I have today. Again, paired with a significant improvement in focusing system this will make a huge difference in catching unique wing positions, activities, etc. with wildlife. More shots equals more activity to pick from.

Fifth, though I am not positive on all of these, I assume there will be significant improvement over what I have today in the areas of DR and ability to use extenders. I have 600MM f4 vII lens and neither of my cameras work well with the 1.4x extender and are unusable with the 2x extender. Bringing both of these into play in my set up will really extend my reach way beyond what I have today for still subjects and will help a lot with moving subjects.

All of the above will be true for other sports and action photographers that either want a second body for their 1DXMIII or are ready to switch to mirrorless for a lighter/cheaper setup with most of the same features. And you get more than 2X resolution!

I will be near the front of the line to purchase this camera when it comes out. Now onto the higher resolution mirrorless for my landscape work! More MPs, tilty-flippy screen, lighter, better DR!

Chris Hill's picture

The 2080 Ti will handle 8K footage pretty well. The concern is the combination of the 2080 Ti PLUS needing a high-end CPU... PLUS 64GB of RAM.... Now we're just so far outside the budget of most Creatives. But again, not everyone is going to buy this to shoot in 8K.

Przemek Lodej's picture

I'm in the same boat. I am a photographer. Not a film maker, not a video shooter. Strictly photographer. Even if I did shoot film no way would I ever need to shoot at 8K, or even at 4K. The marketing push for technology is ridiculous. None of my friends have a 4K TV, and that's roughly some 30 people. There is no media that delivers this fidelity. Streaming? Questionable. I wish Canon would give us a R5 without all of the insane video capabilities and lesser price. I'd love to upgrade my 5D MK III, but why would I spend $5000 on gear that would only be used to 50% of it's capabilities?

Rayann Elzein's picture

You don't know what you're talking about. People don't shoot 8K to broadcast in 8K. Mostly it's to allow the flexibility of reframing/cropping in post. And the fact that your 30 friends don't own a 4K TV is not really representative of the world population now, is it?

If you're strictly a photographer, there's nothing wrong with the 5D Mark III. Upgrade with a Mark IV if you want. Or a R5, which will for sure also have great stills qualities. Nobody forces you to use the video functions.

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