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

Previous comments
Przemek Lodej's picture

You are correct I am no expert in shooting film. I do know though that you need a pretty beefy rig to start editing anything at and above 4K. You are also correct saying that 30 people are not representative of the larger scale consumer group. I am willing to bet however that 90 out of a 100 consumers couldn't tell a difference between Full HD, 2K or 4K sitting 10 feet away from the TV.
We are technology geeks here, so we do pay attention to the details regarding film making and photography, average consumer is clueless and will swallow every bit of marketing gibberish you throw at them like a hungry fish in a pond. I'd also say that majority of the world population doesn't give a hoot about whether they have a HD or 4K TV in their home. Majority of the world population isn't hung up on the newest technology like most of us. But that's besides the point.

I could upgrade to 5D MK IV, but I chose not to. Not enough significant changes from MK III to warrant the cost. Nobody forces me to use the video features on the R5 that is also true, however I do have to pay for them. It would be nice if Canon gave consumers an option to be able to configure the camera according to their needs, kind of like configuring a car with or without a technology package on higher or lower trim levels.

Robert Luebke's picture

Bro you have a 5dmiii. Cell phones beat that out. You do two weddings and you have $5000 to pay for your camera. I would never hire someone who says they are a pro and they use a 5dmiii. Make the move

Przemek Lodej's picture

First of all, who says I'm a pro? If you bothered to read my profile you'd see that I am an amateur. I don't shoot weddings. I hardly ever do paid shoots. I do portrait and travel photography, again strictly as a hobby.
"Bro", as you kindly referred to me, there are plenty of professional photographers who still use 5D MK III, because more often than not it's about lenses not camera. If you had any idea about camera gear, and specifically Canon gear, you would see the absurdity of you statement claiming that, as you eloquently put it, "cell phones beat that out". Any other interesting comments?

g coll's picture

"I would never hire someone who says they are a pro and they use a 5dmiii."

What absolute nonsense. 99% of clients do not care at all. Stop falling for youtube influencer marketing BS.

Also, the mk3 is still an excellent stills camera and more than suitable for professional work be it commercial, weddings, architecture, still life, you name it. How do I know? Because that is exactly what I do and my clients pay me to produce quality work. Not once have I been asked what model camera do I use.

You sound like someone new to photography and all you ever do is watch these youtube reviewers showcasing each and every new camera on the market. And then you fall for it believing you too need to own the latest model everytime it comes out. I would never hire this type of person as more than likely they don't have a clue what to do on a professional shoot with actual clients.

Seriously you compared a cell phone with a mkiii. Sums up your experience and knowledge right there. Time to get off the Peter Mckinnon bandwagon, kid.

ignacy matuszewski's picture

Show me a cell phone that can match image from 24L, 50L or 135L. Bro, i'm selling images from 1D4 and 1DSIII and nobody said a bad word about IQ, just because that good image is worth more than good quality. 5DIII was not a nice camera, i've shot 150-200K images with it and strongly prefer 1DS3 or 5D4 (huge improvements), but saying that it couldn't take pro pics is just bollocks.

Ellie Grace's picture

Yeah, let me just grab my 70-200 2.8 lens attachment for my phone camera.

Ricardo Leal's picture

I guess Canon is doing a good job with their communication/marketing, as people have been talking about this R5 camera all over the internet and the only thing they know is a list of video specs, which is not even complete... It´s amazing.

Mark Archuleta's picture

I really enjoyed this article. Well balanced and well written. The biggest point is the computer required to use these files. I think so many people aren’t taking this into consideration. It helps with AMD releasing their thread-ripper CPUs and Navi based graphics cards. But all that comes at a cost.

Sandy Chase's picture

I agree - they leapfrogged right over the really, really practical specs.

Jay Galvan's picture

Super-hot, rich girlfriend: Thank You, but No Thank You.

This is not a negative piece on Super-hot, rich girlfriends, nor am I complaining about whether having a Super-hot, rich girlfriend, is or isn't a good thing.

All I am saying is a good as a Super-hot, rich girlfriend is, most of us would never go for having a Super-hot, rich girlfriend.

Who needs ALL those good-looking features? That is just overkill!

and the storage! Do you know how much space a Super-hot, rich girlfriend, needs, well more that you can afforded that's for sure!

:)

Usman Dawood's picture

You mean a super hot and extremely high maintenance (partner)

Robert Nurse's picture

Since I don't shoot video, and won't be for the foreseeable future, I'm still waiting to see what the R5 will do for me. The features I'm really interested in haven't been released. I enjoyed the article. But, it, like most on the R5, don't speak to my needs. So, I guess I'll have to wait until July to see if the R5 will be a smart upgrade.

Errick Jackson's picture

I hear all of this, but as much as I've complained in the past about Canon crippling their cameras, I would much rather they overdeliver with features I won't use than underdeliver under the guise of some faux sense of incapability.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Usman, I don't want to ruin your mood but before you have actually held the camera or seen any reviews, I wouldn't be too excited. I hope it will be as good as you hope but Canon have a nasty habit of always doing something with the crippling hammer.

Usman Dawood's picture

That's very true and you could be right. I hope that won't be the case this time because they've said a lot of positive things about what this camera can do.

ignacy matuszewski's picture

everyone does, just look at Sony - their shitty video codecs and lack of charger in the box :)

Bjarne Solvik's picture

I think pro video people should get a video camera so photographers can get a photo camera!
As a freebie add on video is fine, but for crying out load.
I think the price of this camera will reflect the fact it’s a pro video camera.
So it’s a video camera in a photo camera witch can take photos as well. Yep.

Rick Ohnsman's picture

How about a stills only camera with no video capability at all? Some of us don't shoot video. Ever. What I'd like is a mirrorless camera with standard EOS controls (Like every EOS camera from the first 30D through the 1D has had, not that crap they put on the EOS R) with a high megapixel count and good build quality. Heck a mirrorless version of the 5D Mk4 would be nice. Video? Could care less.

Usman Dawood's picture

I've heard a numb er of people request that. I'll see if I can ask that question to one of the major manufacturers and whether that's feasible based on demand.

Robert Luebke's picture

R6 will be your huckleberry, I'm assuming. Plus the 5Ds already has a 50mp sensor.

Robert Nurse's picture

I've been thinking this myself. Why not have two version: e.g., EOS R5 and R5-V for the video wonks. The stills version should be a few hundred dollars cheaper. ;)

Robert Luebke's picture

First, I totally disagree with overkill. 8k allows more edits before the footage starts to fall apart. 8k scaled to 4k is much better. Don't tell me my eyes can't see it because they can. Let's get this straight though this is a professional camera and if you want to do anything less than professional work then yeah you're right it's not for you. I can't wait to sell my 1dxmark ii and my 5dmiv and move into the future. People that say they're going to have storage problems? Go buy a new computer. It's 20/20. I9, 64gb of ram and a 2tb SSD to start. Again, that's if you're a professional and you make money with your camera. I guess you could take videos of birds and throw them on Facebook and yeah it would be overkill for that. I'll shoot everything but my slow mo in 8k and I'll be happy as a clam.
Second, I believe that Cannon has not introduced the cripple hammer yet. I believe it will only do 8k and 4k 120fps. I thought it was quite obvious in the announcement. It's the first thing I thought. It won't have any other video settings other than those and there will lie the cripple. Who knows what the Mega Pixles on the camera will be either. If they make another in the 30s mp camera I will be very disappointed.
Thanks

Usman Dawood's picture

Don't get me wrong, I know there are some out there that quite obviously need and want this camera and to them I say by all means.

I'm discussing this more in general and what most of us may want or need.

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco's picture

This whole article is like when you say "I don't mean to be rude" right before saying something rude lol

I for one am pumped about every aspect of the R5

Usman Dawood's picture

I apologise if it comes across like that. I'm applauding Canon for what they've done, I just think that maybe another Canon camera could be a better fit for many of us.

I don't think they would mind that.

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco's picture

If you can’t use that, you have other issues lol

Kirk Darling's picture

Complaining about the "cripple hammer" and "overkill" in the same article is inane.

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