Putting the R5 into perspective

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Photomonkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,745
Re: Putting the R5 into perspective
2

David M. Anglin wrote:

Jonathan0007 wrote:

Various aspects of the R5 have already been discussed extensively in these forums over the past few days. While some of it has been positive or balanced, I have also noticed a significant degree of negativity as well (some warranted, some unwarranted). I wanted to share my thoughts regarding what the R5 is as well as what it isn’t.

1. The primary debate has been the reported overheating issues. While I agree that it is not ideal (who wouldn’t want unlimited 8K recording without having to worry about heat?), I feel like a little context is needed. Which other camera in this segment offers 8K video? If competing cameras did have it and were capable of recording without heat issues, the complaints would be understandable as it could be said that Canon had fallen behind their competitors, but this is not the case. Instead, it should be viewed as a bonus feature in addition to everything else it brings to the table. 10 or 20 minutes of 8K video is still better than no 8K at all. Let me repeat this: limited 8K is still better than no 8K.

2. There has also been concern regarding the 4K recording capabilities of the camera. Remember, the time constraints only apply when using the camera’s oversampling capabilities; when recording 4K video in modes where the camera is not forced to process the 8K data to provide higher quality 4K footage, the limits no longer apply. It all comes down to the type of video you are shooting: are you mostly recording short bursts (e.g. B roll) and want the highest quality possible? Use the former. Do you need longer recording times? Go with the latter. At least you have options in order to get the job done.

3. Going beyond specific recording modes, it could be said that most of the discussion thus far has revolved around the cameras video capabilities in general. I think we should all bear in mind that this a hybrid camera, not a dedicated video camera. This is still primarily a stills camera that also happens to have additional video features currently not available on competing devices. Which would you prefer: no 8K or oversampled 4K at all, or 8K and oversampled 4K with certain caveats? Would you prefer a camera that records longer 8K video but is not weather-sealed, or one that has the option to shoot in shorter bursts while still maintaining its resistance against the elements? It’s all a matter of compromises and I personally believe that Canon have done an excellent job for this particular category of camera. Now if this had been primarily a video camera, then I would be bashing Canon all day long. And before someone claims that they are paying for all these video features and should be able to enjoy them with no restrictions whatsoever, the R5 is coming in at a price point very similar to previous 5 series cameras (don’t forget that inflation is a real thing). If this had been priced at $5,000, then I would also be voicing concerns regarding the video limitations because an argument could be made that these features have indeed pushed the price up considerably, but this is simply not the case. Finally, I don’t know about everyone else, but I personally appreciate the fact that Canon is being upfront about these limitations. Essentially, they are making it pretty clear that it is not a matter of if, but when the overheating may occur. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse them of false advertising.

4. Moving on from the controversial issues, it’s only fair to look at everything the camera appears to do well. The AF performance appears to be a huge step up compared to the EOS R despite having a high-resolution sensor. It’s almost as if you are enjoying the benefits of both the Sony A7Riii and A9 in a single camera. There are quite a few Sony shooters who have purchased both devices in order to cover different shooting scenarios. That’s at least $5,000 worth of camera gear in addition to the inconvenience of having to go back and forth between two different cameras. Now you can carry one camera only without having to worry about what scenarios you may encounter. I would expect the R5 to be at least competitive with the above Sony cameras in terms of AF and image quality. Moreover, even though the camera does have an AA filter, the RF lenses end up being the great equalizers. I have an EOS R, but also rented a Nikon Z7 to see whether I should consider a switch or stick with Canon. I found out that while the AA filter-less Z7 does indeed offer greater cropping potential (45MP vs 30MP), when zooming in to the same 1:1 level permissible on the EOS R, the sharpness levels were identical to my eyes. Let’s not forget that the R5 has the potential to offer best-in-class stabilization. I have no doubt it will not offer a full 8-stop benefit, but I have noticed that the 5-stop claims for other cameras is exaggerated as well.

5. Moving on to the real drawbacks, one would be the battery life. Unlike the video issue, it is fair game to compare the R5’s battery life with the A7Riv’s. The fact that it does not offer comparable battery life means that Canon have fallen behind when it comes to battery technology. Another issue is the lens ecosystem, which isn’t as fleshed out as what we see on the E-mount side (not yet, at least).

On balance, the R5 is just a tool, with certain strengths and limitations, just like any other tool out there. It’s up to you whether you want to focus on the empty half or full half of the glass, and needs differ from one photographer/videographer to the next. In my personal opinion, this camera actually resembles a glass which is 90% full (at least for my personal needs and being realistic about what it should be able to do as well as what it can and can’t do versus the competition) and, as such, I have already placed an order. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and have fun shooting with whatever gear you have!

What planet are you from? Your comments were concise, logical and mature. Are you on the correct forum?

Seriously, I totally agree with all of your comments. I get tired of the constant "it should have costs....", Canon should "give me a dedicated still camera because it will cost less.....", "it should have done this because", "the 8k is worthless because I can only shoot for 20 minutes", "Canon will always find ways to limit the cameras", etc, etc. etc. It seems that a lot of these comments come from people who never share their weblink, gear list or any basis for their expertise in making this comment. As someone said earlier, we have a generation that has seen rapid technological advancement and always expects more, even though physics may the limitations. I think for the majority of users on DPReview the equipment can provide way more capability than their skills can exploit.

I know we have seen this before, the "issue" will generate a lot of traffic with outrage and disgust until people have the gear in hand realize it is not a big deal. The availability of 8k in a small, affordable package will probably provide another 5d II event that opens up worlds of creativity.

Everyone was trashing Canon for being behind and now they are bashing Canon for jumping ahead became it doesn't meet their definition of perfection. If it was so annoying, it would be funny.

Time would tell.

I just saw a video from Fro (yes, he is annoying at times) that I think is a great comment on the current discussions. I think it is worth a watch. www.froknowsphoto.com.

Holy Cow! Another one talking sense!

Maybe the fog of sensibility is descending on the commentariat of the web?

Nah.

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