From time to time you get an absolute microphone drop from a product launch – and the Canon EOS R5 feels like this moment to cameras.
I am a video director who runs a small production company (Belafonte if you are interested) and usually reject the hype about new video cameras to make my own (usually more reserved) judgments. But it is the first time in a long time that I am excited about a new camera.
The Canon EOS R5 is a game changer that can be used on paper more than for TV and film productions on a large budget. The combination of size and capabilities (especially 8K video) is unprecedented.
But it is also exaggerated for most people. For reasons that I will discuss, it would never be our primary camera, and there are many more suitable options for amateur videographers. Before we go into that, learn here why it̵
Magic 8 ball
The ‘5’ in the name of the EOS R5 feels like a cute little allusion to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II; The camera that started a thousand film careers and brought cinematic depth of field to the masses.
The EOS R5 is a similar milestone. It’s hard to know where to start with the headings, but the obvious one is the internal 8K raw recording. It’s a really big deal.
This resolution opens up many opportunities for filmmakers, not only in terms of the quality of your image, but also in terms of the flexibility you can have when shooting. It’s like having two cameras instead of one. Because if you are in a lower resolution, e.g. B. 4K, edit and deliver, you can crop the 8K footage without losing quality.
This means that you can create a second, narrower camera angle, which can be very helpful for editing single-camera interviews. The disadvantage – that you can only shoot in 8K for 20 minutes before overheating sets in – isn’t really a big disadvantage.
The only thing you need to record for more than 20 minutes is either a wedding or a presentation – and no one has to see the company’s general meeting projected onto the side of a building.
In addition to 8K resolution, you can also shoot 4K at 120 frames per second. Until now, this type of slow motion speed and resolution was only available for larger and more expensive cinema cameras.
It’s a great pro videographer tool that lets you create stunning images that brands and advertisers dream of. Imagine M&S food advertising playing at normal speed – profiterole sales would decrease.
Another important feature is the Canon version of In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). This works in conjunction with stabilized Canon lenses (as well as non-stabilized ones) and could theoretically mean that you can say goodbye to gimbals and take super-soft tracking shots with the camera in your own hands.
It’s hard to know for sure without having used the EOS R5 extensively, but the first examples I’ve seen look promising.
Remember, we’re also talking about a mostly still camera, and that’s not a problem in this department either. You get a resolution of 45 MP, continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second (with electronic shutter), dual-pixel autofocus, the list goes on.
Here you begin to see the value of the EOS R5. There are many social media content shooters that need to take both still pictures and videos, and for them this camera has to be at the top of their wish list.
The Canon EOS R5 is also used in high-end projects. It calls for larger budget, TV and film productions. With the confirmation of these specifications, it feels almost inevitable.
Of course, it will never replace a RED helium or an ARRI Alexa, but I’m sure there will be directors for photography (DOPs) and producers who will see it as a more capable B-Cam. Its compact size will be a great blessing in this arena – David Fincher will almost certainly screw it on all sorts of things.
Twist of eight
But let’s be clear – for most people, the Canon EOS R5 is almost certainly an exaggeration.
An amateur videographer doesn’t need 8K. In fact, 8K, as wonderful as it is, has a number of limitations. You need a very well specified post production setup to be able to view your beautiful 8K files without dropping frames.
It’s a completely different problem then to cut it and run multiple streams of it in Final Cut or Premiere Pro. And then there is storage and the simply colossal file sizes that 8K Raw generates.
Even in 2020, no one is delivering in 8K because there aren’t really realistic ways to see real 8K. I am sure you will be future-proof.
The missing limbs
My production company mainly creates online content for brands you have heard of and others you do not know. We also spend part of our time doing the things we want to do that nobody will pay us for. Our main camera is the Canon EOS C200 (below), an incredible camera – it does everything we need and more.
On paper, the EOS R5 looks like it outperforms the C200. It has twice the resolution, more impressive codecs, integrated stabilization, a 45 megapixel still camera and a 75% smaller housing. However, if you dig a little deeper, some remarkable features are missing that could harm many videographers like us.
There are no XLR connectors, no built-in NDs (Neutral Density Filters), no multiple assignable buttons, and no full-size HDMI and SDI outputs. Things like that mean that for some people it just can’t be a primary camera. And let’s face it, the price (3,899 USD / 4,199 GBP / 6,899 AU $, only for the body) is not cheap for everyone.
If you don’t need 8K (and we’ve already noticed that nobody really does at the moment), there are other cheaper options. The cameras Panasonic GH5 and Panasonic GH6, Sony Alpha A7R III and Sony A7S II (soon to be successors of the Sony A7S III) are cameras that are available at half the price. Or even less in some cases.
Ultimately, it’s a struggle between the pros and cons. Which functions are more important to you and which serve the type of work that you do better? For me, the Canon EOS R5 is very appealing given its technical specifications and price, but it would still be neglected in everyday work.
It might not be our main camera, but as a B camera and something that gives us options for certain projects, get in touch with me. It is currently the only mirrorless camera I would buy and I think it definitely deserves its label as a “game changer”.