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

Nate Reese's picture

yep, than you have possible overheating issues if they wont implement active cooling. It probably will be great camera for video makers but for those could go without those extra video featuresCanon hasnt release anything to repleace 5d mkIV .. better price, focused on photography ..

Usman Dawood's picture

I think Canon confirmed the R5 is the 5D replacement. The photo specs are still yet to be seen though so you have a point.

David Pavlich's picture

I mentioned this before; I can picture the execs at Canon looking at each other and saying, "it's time to show the world what this camera company is capable of." :-) The first hint was the 1DxIII.

Even though the big news is the video features, this is going to be a terrific stills camera. Now, where did I put that lottery ticket?

Reginald Walton's picture

Well, I would venture to say that "most of us" have way more features in our cameras than we actually need/use. But had the specs been anything less (and some are still complaining that it's not enough), there would have been articles on why Canon is continuing to hold back to protect the C-line cameras, etc. IJS we complain that these cameras don't have enough bells and whistles and these companies should put every feature known to man in them and keep them under $3,000. And then we complain about the menu systems being too complicated (Sony), but when you throw a ton of features in a camera, I would think you'd expect the menu system to not be a "one push of a button" to access everyone of those features. OK, I'm done ranting about others rants.

Eric Crudup's picture

8k is useful so that you can zoom in and not lose resolution on a 4k video. According to a video friend, for editing, everyone just uses proxies and no one is going to actually edit in 8k.

Storage space is a huge concern though.

Usman Dawood's picture

Great point, I think if premiere pro is improved that could work really well.

David Love's picture

"I think if premiere pro is improved" is wishful thinking. They want you to convert your video files to 720 to be able to work with them. 720! But don't worry, some new shiny selection tool or other bloat is on the way.

Usman Dawood's picture

Very wishful thinking haha.

Alex Herbert's picture

Maybe on a 10 year old laptop. I'm able to edit and play 4k ProRes or H.264 footage without any need to create proxies. Could very easily convert 8k to 4k ProRes and have the space to punch in on 4k footage, which people very often do now when shooting in 4k and rendering in 1080p. Why wouldn't you want the same freedom when rendering to 4k?

David Love's picture

I'm editing 6k footage in a 4k timeline and it drops frames all the time.

Alex Herbert's picture

Maybe it's time for a new computer, or some more RAM?

Emmanuel Moka-Moliki's picture

Just move to Davinci Resolve. I just made the switch a week ago and it's amazing. It actually takes advantage of more cores and uses the GPU well.

David Love's picture

I like Davinci but the node thing gets weird and it has crashed on me as well. Also I use After Effects so since I'm paying for it I might as well use it.

Alex Herbert's picture

I'm happy with what Adobe offers, I've not even considered switching. Plus I use After Effects as much as I use Premiere so another reason not to use Resolve. I hear it's better for colour grading, but I find Premiere good enough.

David Love's picture

32gb, gtx 1070 not good enough or should Adobe actually add GPU capability from this decade?

Alex Herbert's picture

Well if you know they don't use the GPU for playback rendering then you must need a better processor!

Yin Ze's picture

I shoot Sony and would love 4k120 or 8k for those times when I need to extract a photo from a video clip. I am increasingly shooting more 4k video clips and recently licensed several clips for a very good sum. I don't shoot long clips so storage isn't an issue. I would love to shoot raw video one day so i can have more control on the still image. the 1dx3 5.9 k external raw video looks like an amazing feature.

Joel Hazel's picture

I’m sure there are exceptions but would think most people who are serious about shooting video on any regular basis are going to be using an external recorder, of which storage is significantly cheaper. Just picked up a 1TB for $110 for my Ninja V. Heck of a lot cheaper than my 128GB Sony Tough Card. 🤦🏼‍♂️

Alex Herbert's picture

Good point, does the Ninja V record in 8k as in?

Joel Hazel's picture

I know it can record in 6k (or 5.9k) as they’re touting 12bit RAW recording with the Panasonic S1H but not sure about 8k. I’m sure even if it’s not feasible with current hardware, it’ll only be a matter of time.

David Flower's picture

I prefer shooting internal, it's more portable and no cables to fuss with. Is the media pricey? Yeah, but a set of cards is no more expensive than the set for batteries for the C300.

Joel Hazel's picture

Haha. Valid point. I hate messing with cables.

And didn’t NBC or someone use to do a “Fleecing of America” segment? That’s the current situation for the cost of both the media and the batteries. Ridiculous

Benoit Pigeon's picture

You haven't paid $1 per MB in the early days or used microdrives. This camera sounds great.

Usman Dawood's picture

No I don’t think I have haha. Imagine if that were still the price, oh man.

VINICIUS YUZO ZUCARELI's picture

Back in the day I bought a 256MB thumb drive for $50. Also had some 3 1/4" floppy drives that o funny remember the price, but probably more than a dollar per mb

Kirk Darling's picture

My first hard drive was the size of a brick, held 20 MEGAbytes, and cost $250. Happy days. I thought I'd never have to buy memory again. Then my next purchase was a modem, and I filled that hard drive within another month.

Dave Haynie's picture

I paid $250 for a "gigantic" 24MB CF card back in the early days of digital. Before that, $1200 for a "multimedia" 2.1GB SCSI drive. All of these things start out expensive, but drop in price pretty quickly. This will happen faster, finally, now that everyone has agreed on CFexpress for the high end, just as it did when SD won for the mainstream. And this probably won't change. Everyone pretty much skipped SD UHS-III, but they'll probably support SD Express, simply because it's using the same PCIe interfaces as CFexpress.

Les Sucettes's picture

Canon has great lenses, bad sensors. It reminds me of Apple where for decades they were bringing out new features and all you wanted is for the to FFF (Fix the Effing Finder) which eventually stood for all silly things that could be solved in a minute of programming.

As for the R line - I’ll look forward to when they finally adapt technical lenses to it

Usman Dawood's picture

Yes the sensors have been called out a few times but I think Canon has been doing a much better job in recent times.

The lenses are amazing though right.

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