Everything I Love About the Canon EOS R5 That Has Nothing To Do With Video
I am one of the fortunate few, who woke up bright and early on July 9th, pounded 2 cups of coffee and waited impatiently for the Canon EOS R5 live stream to begin. Like a woodpecker jacked up on red bull I ferociously hammered away, refreshing the B&H Photo and Adorama Camera pre-order pages waiting for the opportunity to place my order for this amazing 45 megapixel mirrorless camera.
From the very first information leaks about the R5, it was all about the video capabilities and very little about potential benefits for still photographers. In fact, up until the final moments before the official launch we didn't even have resolution confirmation. No official word on dynamic range. Everything hyped up the insane video capabilities and left the rest of us to wonder. I bet Canon would rethink this approach if they had the chance to do it all again.
Despite this lack of information, I still pre-ordered the camera, confident that it would meet my needs. As a Canon shooter since 2010, I am knowledgable about what to expect and what I can count on, in an EOS professional camera system. Even now, with the camera in some of our hands, the internet can't seem to stop buzzing about the video system and its potential issues for overheating. Personally, I will never use the video system on this camera. For those of you who may be in the same boat as I am, let's talk about all the great things this camera has to offer, that have absolutely nothing to do with video.
1. It's A Canon.
I have always loved Canon professional level cameras. From their ergonomics, to weather sealing, the easy to use menu system and most of all, their color science. Having personally used cameras from Nikon, Sony and Fuji as well, I can say with absolute certainty that Canon color science simply can't be beat.
From a dependability standpoint, I have owned over 7 different Canon camera bodies and countless lenses over the years and have never had a single problem with one. No lemons, demons, or trips to Canon service. They just work. While there were things about the EOS R that drove me a bit crazy when I had a look at one, those issues all have been resolved with the R5. The thumbwheel has returned and the EVF playback delay is no more. It feels like a new version of all my favorite Canon bodies, all with a brand new and incredible image sensor.
2. RF Lenses Are Mind-blowing.
Yes, they are expensive. I know that cost of the RF mount and ability to adapt EF lenses with even better results than previous bodies will keep many using their EF lenses exclusively with this camera for some time. For those of you fortunate enough to make the leap to the RF lenses now will be blown away by the beauty, durability and image quality of these incredible glass monsters! For anyone interested in the kit that I ultimately settled on, here's what's in my bag.
- Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 L
- Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS
- Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS
- Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L
- Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
- Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L
- Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
- Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS
Along with the 2X teleconverter, and leaving the prime lenses at home, I can go for a hike and have coverage from 15mm all the way to 1000mm in just 4 lenses!
3. Dynamic Range
For a very long time now Canon has been the butt of jokes from fanboys of just about every other manufacturer due to its limited dynamic range. There is officially nothing left for them to say. The first measured results of the R5 sensor show that it has a slight dynamic range advantage over the Nikon D850, Nikon Z7, Sony A7R3 & A7R4 and comes incredibly close to medium format mirrorless cameras from Fuji like the GFX50 and GFX100. In real world use the dynamic range of the R5 is spectacular. I finally got to hang up my "I suffer from low dynamic range" baseball hat.
4. Incredibly Clean Image Files
While I loved my very well used Canon 5DSR, I was always bothered by the shadow noise and overall noise when shooting at higher ISO's. Even at ISO 800, if not exposed perfectly, the combined noise and lack of shadow detail made for real world challenges when creating image files for large print. The Sony A7R4, with considerably cleaner shadows, still had issues with noise. It simply seems to be a symptom of stuffing so many pixels onto a 35mm sensor. While I am certain future technology will address this, for now, it's too much of a good thing.
One of the first things I noticed shooting the R5 was how incredibly clean the image files are. ISO100 is the best I have ever seen. As you increase the ISO you will be equally amazed as 800, 1600 and 3200 are so clean I struggled to find any noise at all. Even some test shots I took at 6400 looked very good and this is already past the point where I will ever be pushing the sensitivity of this camera personally. I have no doubt that those who do will be able to clean the files up nicely at even higher ISOs.
As someone who produces hundreds of 60+ inch prints every year for collectors around the world, this is very good news. Resizing image files and increasing resolution for print is generally hindered only by lack of sharpness and noise. With the R5 and the sheer quality of the RF lenses, images created with this camera will be amazing!
5. 8 Stops of Stabilization?
As a landscape photographer, I almost always use a tripod. That being said, with the combined in-body stabilization of the R5 working in conjunction with IS lenses, Canon claims an incredible 8 stops of combined stabilization. What that means in the real world is that exposures of 1-2 seconds are possible....hand held! This has simply not been possible before and will certainly give many photographers the ability to create sharp detailed images where a tripod is not allowed or convenient.
6. Shutter Closure On Power Off
This is seriously a no brainer. The fact that my Sony A7R4 did not have this feature still has me scratching my head. I mean, you might as well open up your camera the first day and shake a bowlful of dirt on the sensor. This is how bad the dust bunnies were. I don't care who you are...NO ONE likes dust bunnies.
7. EF to RF Drop In Filters with the EF 11-24mm f/4
When you need to go wide....I mean REALLY wide, the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 is the lens to get you there. Unfortunately, due to it's bulbous front element, landscape photographers who can appreciate this lens were forced to use a filter system that looked like it could be used in a game of frisbee, to steal internet from your neighbors or to send message to distant planets.
Canon has solved this problem (as well as a few others) by offering 3 different EF to RF adapters, each allowing you to use the vast collection of EF lenses on the R5. there is one that strictly adapts the lenses, one that provides a control ring and one that takes drop in filters. This third adapter allows you to finally use lenses like the Canon 11-24mm f/4 with a circular polarizer or variable ND filter without covering the front of your lens with a dinner plate. This is truly a game changer for this lens and something I am personally excited very excited about.
8. Did I mention Canon Color Science?
I can't stress enough how happy I am to be back at club Canon. For those of you looking at long wait times for this camera, I empathize with the inability to have a new toy that you so desperately want. I hope Canon ramps up production and gets this camera into as many hands as possible In the coming months. For those of you reading this who expected me to address issues on overheating... you clicked the wrong link.
Here's some more of that beautiful Canon color in action..... see you all in the field!