Conclusion

What we like What we don't
  • Outstanding overall image quality
  • Comfortable ergonomics
  • Impressive autofocus performance with little setup necessary
  • Deep video feature set
  • Great overall video quality
  • High-resolution viewfinder and fully articulating rear screen
  • Very fast sensor readout for video and electronic shutter modes
  • Excellent in-body stabilization
  • Fast burst shooting rates
  • Dual card slots: CFExpress, UHS-II SD
  • In-camera USB charging but a dedicated charger is still included
  • Excellent HDRTV-ready video and photo modes
  • Heat buildup is an issue for users that need the best video quality
  • Electronic shutter and 20 fps bursts will lessen your dynamic range somewhat
  • Non-optional noise reduction applied to Raw files
  • Autofocus set-up can be complicated if you need the absolute best results
  • Customization options are a bit limited against competing cameras

The Canon EOS R5 is one of the best cameras on the market, so long as you have the cash and desire this level of image quality and performance. It's fast, has an excellent autofocus system, offers high resolution, excellent video quality with plentiful video features, and you take control over it with finely honed ergonomics.

So who wouldn't want one? Well, hybrid shooters that depend on a single camera to do lots of photo and video shooting for their work will need to weigh the outstanding video quality against the reality of overheating concerns.

Canon's addressed some of this through firmware updates, but still, just using the camera to any degree will chip away at the available time you're able to use the camera's highest-quality 8K and 4K video modes before it shuts down on you. If you drop to lesser quality (but still competitive) 4K or Full HD modes, you don't have much to worry about heat-wise (or shut-down wise), but there's no longer much video quality benefit over the competition.

The EOS R5 can adapt to just about any type of photography you can think of. Even photography in the time of Covid, where you're not allowed many places.
ISO 100 | 1/ 60 sec | F16 | Canon RF 24-105mm F4L @ 24mm

It's also worth being aware that, while the silent electronic shutter is one of the faster we've seen and enables 20fps bursts, you do risk exposure 'banding' under some artificial lighting and lose a little dynamic range in the process. On the other hand, sports shooters may be shooting at such high ISO values that the dip in DR is moot anyway. If you use the mechanical shutter for sports and action, you should know that the top 12fps rate only shows you a slideshow of the last image taken; you may want to drop to 8fps to get a live feed between images to make it easier to follow the action.

The Canon EOS R5 gets out of your way and lets you accomplish what you need to

But there's little else to really complain about. As a true photographers' workhorse, the Canon EOS R5 gets out of your way and lets you accomplish what you need to. That could include photographing sports, action, portraits in the studio, fast-fleeting family moments, and so on, and your images will most-likely be accurately focused at 45 megapixels.

Now, the matter comes to the award. As a staff we were a bit torn on this one, though of course, whatever we assign doesn't change the camera's capabilities. But we could all agree that, frankly, Canon shot itself in the foot with the early teasers of this camera. No consumer wants to purchase a product on the promise of a headline feature (8K) and find themselves limited by a side effect of said feature (overheating).

The images the EOS R5 produces, including out-of-camera JPEGs, are rich and full of detail.
ISO 200| 1/125 sec | F11 | Canon RF 35mm 35mm F1.8 STM

But let's say 8K and therefore perfectly oversampled 4K recording were simply omitted from this camera; I think we would still find it to be the most well-rounded high-resolution mirrorless camera on the market, though by an admittedly slimmer margin. The reality that you do, in fact, have access to such additional features like Raw 8K capture can be seen as an added bonus, so long as you understand the well-documented limitations and are able to work around them as your photographic and videographic situations allow.

In the end, is the EOS R5 the true mirrorless successor to the EOS 5D series of DSLR cameras? Yes. Absolutely. It's not necessarily the default choice of today's high-end mirrorless market, but if that's a market you find yourself in, this camera is absolutely worth a close look.


What we think about the Canon EOS R5


Richard Butler
Technical Editor

It’s fair to say I’ve had mixed experiences with the EOS R5. I really enjoyed shooting wildlife with it, paired with the 800mm F11. I was able to set it up to quickly access the settings I wanted, and the results were beyond my expectations. But on that same occasion I found myself hitting the heat limits when I wanted to grab some short video clips: a reminder that the hot-button issue of overheating that I’d been testing previously wasn’t just an abstract concern, but something a stills/video shooter is likely to encounter. That undermines its appeal for me, no matter how spectacular the oversampled 4K footage is.


Barney Britton
Senior Editor

The Canon EOS R5 might be the most versatile camera I've ever used. Offering blazing speed in stills mode (with an AF system that can more than keep up) and an impressive video spec, there’s not much that the R5 can’t do. In use, the R5 is a highly capable tool for stills photographers, and a very good (but not perfect) video camera. Overheating concerns put a cap on its usefulness for professional video work, but most photographers and multimedia shooters will be more than satisfied.


Compared to...

There's no denying that the Sony a7R IV is cheaper at the time of this writing, and offers more resolution than the EOS R5, more customization, better battery life and is not insignificantly smaller and lighter. But the Canon holds its own with a competitive JPEG engine, faster possible burst speeds, more video capture tools, a much more refined touchscreen interface and ergonomics that we find more comfortable. In real-world shooting, we've also found the Canon's in-body stabilizer to be a bit more competent, and Canon's strides in autofocus have closed the gap with Sony's impressive tracking in most respects.

That takes us to the Nikon Z7 (and by some extension, the Z7 II, though we've not yet fully tested one). Ergonomically, there's not much between them; subjectively, some of us find the Nikon's grip better, others prefer the Canon's. Both offer a 'some but not quite enough' approach for customization options, and both have lovely displays and great interfaces. The Nikon's video feature set is less competitive and its autofocus implementation is a little clunkier than the Canon's, but it almost certainly won't overheat on you. For sports and action, we'd lean towards the EOS R5, but for those subjects moving rather less erratically, they're both capable options.

And now, the Panasonic S1R. The S1R is an unquestionably larger and heavier camera, but we love its grip and control scheme. The EOS R5 bests the Panasonic's image quality in Raw at higher ISO values in particular, but we love the JPEGs from both options. The Panasonic has stronger customization options and some will prefer its dual-hinge display design (though admittedly others will prefer the Canon's side-hinged design just as much). In the end, the EOS R5 comes out on top for us because its autofocus system and burst speeds make it a more competent camera for sports and action overall, though the S1R does turn in a really solid hit rate, albeit at a more pedestrian 6fps maximum burst speed.


Canon EOS R5 scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Canon EOS R5
Category: Semi-professional Full Frame Camera
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Canon EOS R5 is well-suited for just about any type of photographer, whether you shoot portraits, events, weddings, sports, family gatherings, and more. We've felt a bit let down by Canon's promises of the camera's outright video capability, but for most users, it's still a great option for getting good-quality video clips of almost anything you point it at. Power users that need the best video quality all the time won't be a good fit, but otherwise the EOS R5 is a fantastic option for almost anyone looking for a quality full-frame high-resolution mirrorless camera.
Good for
Landscape, event, portrait, and wedding photographers, as well as sports photographers that can benefit from the camera's fast burst rate in its electronic shutter mode.
Not so good for
Dedicated video users wanting the best video quality will be hampered by overheating; hybrid photo/video shooters that split their time but still need top-quality video.
91%
Overall score