Canon R5 & R6 Are the Grails We’ve Waited For!

In the video above I discuss the new R5 & R6 releases from Canon. To me, both of these cameras offer all my needs wrapped up in one body, and at reasonable price points! First off, I’ve shot with Canon as my first foray into shooting. But around the time I was jumping into video shooting, 4K was becoming more apparent. It was still “bleeding edge” but something of a reality. The only cameras offering this was Sony at the time, and so I moved to the Sony ecosystem. Since then I’ve been a fully embedded Sony shooter, owning an a6000, a6300, a7s2, RX100mk3, RX100mk4, and I still use my Sony a7r3 as my main high MP photo camera and video B-cam. I own countless lenses from Sony and Sigma, and a swath of accessories. I’ve loved my time with Sony, but I’ve always wanted more. Having a weak IBIS system, an OK color science, only 4:2:0 8-bit, and no flip-screen, has left me with a hole in my camera needs. I ended up picking up a Canon EOS R because I was happy Canon was moving to mirrorless, and I wanted a camera with great usability and flip out screen. I quickly found myself using the EOS R as my main A camera. Of course, this camera has also come with its own limitations. Massive 4K crop and lack of IBIS being the main issues.

canon-r6But then the R5 was leaked. It seemed to pack everything I wanted in a camera. Canon’s excellent usability and body design, with top tier Sony-like specs and no crops. It sounded too good to be true. But when I heard about the Canon R6, I knew that would’ve been the camera for me. Fast forward till now, and both are announced. The R5’s headline features are 4k120p and 8k 30fps RAW. This is on top of the INSANE specs like oversampled 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 internal, a brand new insanely good IBIS, best in class AF, C-log, and the return to the joystick. The perfect camera with added specs to help push along the industry. All this under $4000. It does seem however, the R5 isn’t the “perfect camera”. Documents from Canon showing the camera’s top modes like the oversampled 4K, 4K120, and 8K all suffer from overheating. This has left a big stain on the legacy of this camera. As a Sony shooter, I’ve had enough of overheating. So this was some upsetting news.

from EOSHD / CVP

However, Canon did the best thing they done in years, and released the R6 with almost all the same specs – minus 4K120 and 8K. You still get 4K60fps, you still get the IBIS, you still get 10-bit 4:2:2 internal in all modes, there is no crop of course, you still get best in class AF, you still get the flipscreen, and you still get C-Log, you still get USB-C 3.1 gen 2  features like charging/powering/data transfer. All at almost half the price. Not too mention, it doesn’t utilize the insanely expensive Cfast Express storage format, and takes regular-old SD cards. Now, one of the biggest “cripples” of this camera was that all modes only had IPB recording modes. This limits the bitrate to a much more compressed state. While the difference between IPB and ALL-I is negligible, it does make a difference. But this newly revitalized Canon has recently come out to say they will be adding ALL-I to all modes in a firmware update! Incredible news! This means the only true sacrifice (for myself) is losing 4K120p. Which is a huge feature, but not one that I’m willing to trade reliability and double the price for. Not yet at least. Finally, this tweet by Gerald Undone sums up my feelings on the R6 perfectly.

The Canon R6 is a much better value for the money. Utilizing 4K60 Prores with an Atomos, eliminating any overheating issues, while also utilizing an oversampled sensor and using SSD’s / SD’s over CFExpress, make this camera truly one of the most versatile and impressive mirrorless hybrids we’ve seen to date. It’s been the camera I’ve been waiting for since the Sony A7S2. And speaking of Sony, the news coming from A7S3 sound really promising. These two companies back to competing neck and neck with eachother for the top spot has brought some excitement back into the ILC market, which we haven’t had in a long, long time. So I’m pumped to get my hands on the new R6, and I’ll be sure to post up my review once I’ve fully messed with the camera. Shipping says it won’t be here until September, so we have quite the wait.