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Canon Unveils New Ultra-High Spec Mirrorless Camera, The EOS R5

After months of rumors and leaks, Canon has finally announced the EOS R5, a high-end mirrorless camera with some impressive specs. The headline numbers are 45 megapixels, 12 fps still frame shooting, and most impressively, 8K video.

It’s an unexpected jump for the traditionally (and infamously) conservative company. New camera releases are always slight improvements over the previous model. This is quite a leap. So much so that when the specs were first leaked, no one believed them.

Let’s take a closer look.


Though lenses play a huge part in the quality of an image, having a good sensor is vital. The new, full-frame, 45 megapixel CMOS sensor in the R5 is new for this camera. Like many other Canon cameras, it will have the company’s Dual Pixel autofocus. I have this on my 80D and it’s very fast, even during live view. This sensor will allow the capture of images up to 8192×5464.

Backing up the sensor itself is the latest version of Canon’s processing tech, called DIGIC. These combine to allow some impressively fast shooting numbers, including the aforementioned 12 fps still frame capture. That’s with the mechanical shutter. This goes up to 20 fps if what you’re shooting allows for use of an electronic shutter. The latter is, of course, silent.


Perhaps the most impressive of the R5’s headline features, and the one certainly going to cause the biggest stir, is the ability to shoot 8K video. Not just at 24 fps, but all the way out to a standard video rate of 29.97 (aka 30) fps. Interestingly, this can be either at the 8K TV resolution of 7680×4320, or at the digital cinema width of 8192×4320.

For some ultra-smooth slow motion, the R5 can record 4K video at 120 fps. Do most people need 8K video? Of course not, but the there are a lot of useful things to do with 8K video that go beyond the detail potential.

It’s not cropped either, meaning wide angles will be possible with the right lenses.

To keep file sizes somewhat manageable, it can encode with H.265 (HEVC).


It’s not a feature that will get the headlines, but one that’s very interesting to me, is in-body image stabilization. Most DSLRs, if they have any image stabilization, rely on the lens to do the heavy lifting. The R5 takes this a step further with 5-axis in-body IS. This is potentially huge. One you get used to image stabilized video, either with a GoPro or even smoother, with a 360 camera, it’s hard to go back to something like a DSLR for video on the go. Gimbals for phones have gotten very cheap, but they’re a lot more expensive for something heavy like a camera.

Canon claims that the combination of in-lens and in-body IS “can effectively compensate for camera shake with approximately 8 stops of stabilization.” So low light shots that wouldn’t work even with a fast lens, or when they require a fast shutter, could now be possible. Very interesting.


There’s also Wi-Fi, CF Express and SD card slots, OLED electronic viewfinder, people and animal autofocus tracking, 3.15-inch variable-angle touchscreen, dust and water sealing, and more.

Lens options are canon’s RF line, or EF or EF-S lenses with the right adapter.

The R5 isn’t cheap, with an MSRP of $3,900. That’s not outrageous when you consider the specs, and that this is intended for photography professionals (or at the very least, well-heeled amateurs). There’s also a kit paired with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $5,000.

If the R5 looks interesting to you, but is a bit out of your price range, they announced the R6 at the same time, which is similar but scales back in a few areas so it’s a lot less money.

The R5 should be available at the end of the month.

EOS R5: $3,900


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