Short Hands on Experience with EOS R5, EOS R6 and new RF lenses

Born to Rule, the Canon EOS R5 is finally and officially announced, along with EOS R6 and new RF lenses, RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM and trio of RF-mount prime lenses. These are exciting times ahead for the photography industry (especially Canon photographers)! I had been using Canon’s range DSLR and mirrorless cameras, reviewing, writing and covering stories on Canon’s development over the years. Thanks to Canon Singapore, I was able to get a short hands on experience with EOS R5, EOS R6 and new RF lenses.

Before I proceed further, this is NOT a review article. This article are my insights, thoughts, views from my short hands on experience along with my Q&A session with Canon Singapore Marketing. This article would be more like a continuation, Part Two of an earlier article that I published, “The Canon Mirrorless Journey from EOS M to EOS R”. Although it is NOT a review article, it’s a bit lengthy in content.

Through my session with Canon Singapore Marketing, I had a better understanding on the new EOS R cameras and RF lenses. In a nutshell, the EOS Family Hierarchy looks like this

EOS 1DX 

EOS R5 

EOS 5D 

EOS R + EOS R6 

Now let me share my thoughts and views of my short hands on experience with EOS R5, EOS R6 and new RF lenses. 

EOS R5

This is the Canon full-frame mirrorless camera that photographers want and have been waiting for. Canon has listened to photographers and customers feedback, this camera now has dual media cards slot. The iconic and well liked joystick and wheel controls are back on the EOS R5. The body and layout is similar to the EOS R. 

A hybrid camera, best of both worlds, for stills photography and videography, 8K video with no cropping and 45 megapixels. That’s a powerful camera for photographers, videographers and content producers.

8K video recording overheating concern? 

An issue that has been nitpicked by some overseas photography websites, a point to take note but with a wrong approach and mentality by the websites, probably a clickbait to drive web traffic to their website.

I brought up this topic for discussion as I was doing some homework and research from overseas websites and YouTube channels that are talking about this particular topic. From my understanding, maximum recording time is 29min 59 sec.

You can find Movie Shooting Time (or Movie Recording Time) Limit inside the camera’s manual by Canon. Raise your hands, how many of you read the whole manual, whether in pdf format or physical copy? 

When the Canon EOS R5 camera manual is available, I would download and have a read.

Points to take note from a photographer/videographer practical perspective:

  • EOS R5 is a hybrid full-frame mirrorless camera that can do stills photography and videography. It’s not a standalone dedicated video camera recorder. 
  • If you are looking to shoot non-stop 4K video for a long continuous period of time, you need to look at camcorders instead.The Canon Cinema EOS Camcorders and Camcorders are calling out to you.
  • How often do you record video non-stop for 30 minutes and beyond? Unless you are mainly shooting conferences, major seminars presentation or live performances.
  • Even if you are into producing vlogs, YouTube videos, short filmmaking, how often do you and can you video for 30mins or more without a break or pause, to check, reshoot? 

Should I have updated information and details on this, I might update it here or in my review article down the road.

In-Body IS + lens IS = holy combo, that’s what it should be, Canon now leads the way 

The photography industry was talking/discussing a lot on internet and social media a few years back. While it may seem that Canon took a much longer time to implement In-Body Image Stabiliser (In-Body IS), they didn’t want to put it in for the sake of putting it in. 

Yes, Canon listen to the feedback on the ground, from photographers and customers. This probably took them a bit longer than launching their full-frame mirrorless camera, a In-Body IS that works with the lens IS, with a new algorithm through new DIGIC X, “talking, coordinating and controlling” both IS on lens and camera body to work in tandem together simultaneously. 

That’s the way it should be for cameras utilising In-Body IS and lens IS, Canon now leads the way. 

Combining the best of the best together

This EOS R5 brings some of the best of the EOS Series, EOS 5D Mark IV (for its stills + video) + EOS 5DS or EOS 5DS R (MF quality stills photography) + latest DIGIC X + new sensor + revolutionary RF technology + EOS R series camera body, all together into that EOS R5.

EOS R6

For photographers who are a fan of the EOS-1DX series, you can go for the Canon EOS R6, it’s a mini EOS-1DX Mark III since it has inherited much of its hardware and technical specifications into the EOS R6 body. 

If you do not need the 8K video functions and high 45 megapixels, the EOS R6 is very suitable and more affordable, you can still shoot in 4K and with 20 megapixels, you can get most photography jobs done without too much worries. EOS R5 and EOS R6 have similar design,  layout and functionalities. The top layout is similar to the Canon EOS RP layout. 

The EOS R6 would be highly suitable for those wanting and ready to move into full-frame mirrorless cameras, whether you are an existing EOS DSLR user, or migrating from other brands, upgrading from APS-C cameras to full-frame camera.

RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens

This focal length range lens hasn’t really caught my attention previously as my setup is towards the holy trinity setup and big prime lens. However, I have to say that this focal length of 100-500mm range is versatile, lightweight and ideal for wildlife photography, sports and events photography too. 

I would love to try this lens out for wildlife photography when the opportunity arises to review this lens.

RF Extender 1.4x and RF Extender 2x

I sense exciting times ahead for the RF mount lenses. When would the RF300mm f/2.8 or RF400mm f/2.8 be out in the market? 

RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM

We photographers and consumers need a mindset change that telephoto lenses must be at big apertures? Can telephoto lenses be lightweight, affordable and easy to use at f/11 aperture? The RF600mm and RF800mm are going to open up leisure (and maybe even commercial) photographers into owning telephoto lens.  

If you have the opportunity to try either one of the two telephoto lens, pair it with the RF Extender 2x and you would be able to see, feel and understand the power of Dual Pixel CMOS AF II in action, check out the AF at f/22. 

The materials used and built quality is pretty good for RF600mm and RF800mm lenses, considering that they are non L lenses. 

RF85mm f/2 IS STM

A popular focal length, the 85mm, ideal for portraits, can also be used as a macro lens as well. Affordable and lightweight. 

Final thoughts and views

Born to rule, a new era in the mirrorless camera segment, usability and durability, commitment to RF mount, EOS R full frame mirrorless. Excitement, Canon full-frame mirrorless is no longer playing catch up, it’s now leading the way.

Canon does listen to customers feedback and concerns, they are aware of the needs and wants of photographers. I still remember these two quotes that I wrote down, given by Canon Inc executives from my media sessions in 2016 at Canon EXPO Shanghai,

“We may look conservative but we know the trends” 

“We are not complacent”

Canon is and has always been committed to the mirrorless camera market, the messages were clear back then, even though there were no specific timeline nor indication of cameras to come. While Canon’s journey in full-frame mirrorless cameras, delivering the EOS R5 and EOS R6 to the market today in 2020, took a bit of a longer route and time, photographers now have a top range full-frame mirrorless EOS R5, accompanied by EOS R6, EOS R and EOS RP. Canon now has a range of different full-frame mirrorless cameras catering for most (if not all) photography genres.

The EOS R5 is highly suitable for production houses, commercial photographers, videographers, filmmakers, almost able to cover all genres of photography. A powerful hybrid camera for both stills photography and videography, the best of both worlds.

The price might be on the high side, yet given the power technical specifications, this is a worthy investment for the next 3-5 years, especially for those commercial photographers and production houses. 

What does the future holds for the EOS R and RF lenses family?

Canon has now set a high level benchmark for themselves and the full-frame mirrorless camera industry. Expectations would now be even higher. More RF lenses are on the pipeline, making the EOS R and RF mount series even more exciting in the very near future. 

An equivalent of the 1DX series EOS R? This would keep me very excited and interested.

On a personal/commercial photographer and videography/filmmaking approach

EOS R5, the hybrid camera for both commercial photography, videography and filmmaking. I always like the EOS 5D series and wanting to own a 5D Mark III or 5D Mark IV. The EOS R5 would be a great (almost perfect fit) as it covers both photography and videography. 

I have held back on getting a EOS 5D series as I am eagerly awaiting the next EOS R series camera even though I am using EOS RP and my trusted EOS-1DX Mark II. Now with the EOS R5 and R6, I have a good headache to plan, strategise and consider, how should I go about setting up my photography and videography combination, maybe it’s time to start my mini production house and digital marketing agency. 

The EOS R5 is the Canon full-frame professional mirrorless camera that many photographers are eagerly, anxiously or patiently waiting and wanting. It has finally arrived! Content creation and consumption of media is moving towards video in this current timeline and near future, the EOS R5 and R6 are going to be your trusted content creation gadgets.

I am most likely not buying the EOS R5 when it is officially out for sale in the market at the end of July 2020, as much as I would love to own this powerful packed (almost perfect) full-frame mirrorless camera, due to financial constraints and current economic downturn. However, I am looking at getting it some time down the road, maybe in 1 year’s time. The EOS R6 is good too, however my preference is the EOS R5. 

On the other hand, I do hope that I would be able to test and review the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6 and many more RF lenses that I would love to test and review, sharing with fellow photographers on Canon full-frame mirrorless photography through my Canon EOS RP Explorer Series Production. 

Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras journey has now transformed even further, setting a new standard for the full-frame mirrorless cameras industry. 

Born to Rule, the Canon EOS R5 has and will, leading the way for new full-frame mirrorless camera industry standards.

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