Canon’s new 8K-shooting EOS R5 is the most powerful mirrorless camera yet

A new full-frame sensor is related to the one found in the flagship 1D X Mark III DSLR.Canon

Canon entered the mirrorless camera game relatively late, especially when it comes to more advanced models meant for professionals or even high-end amateurs. Companies like Fujifilm with its X-series and Sony with its full-frame A-series had years of head-start by the time Canon announced its first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R in 2018.

Today, however Canon has announced its new EOS R5 and EOS R6 mirrorless cameras, which represent a giant leap into the world of professional and advanced enthusiast shooting. The R5 is essentially the mirrorless 5D for which many shooters have been waiting on—and speculating about—for years.

The R5 is now the company’s mirrorless flagship and, at least on paper, it’s one of the most powerful options you can buy. Canon built-in a 45-megapixel sensor that’s related to the chip found inside its pro-grade 1D X Mark III DSLR and paired it with its most powerful image processor. All that processing firepower lets it crank out full-res images at up to 20 fps when you skip the mechanical shutter to take moving pieces out of the equation.

Unlike the original 2018 EOS R, the R5 promises weather-sealing on-par with the tank-like 5D Mark IV DSLR. The R5 also has a pair of memory card slots, including one UHS-II SD and one for CF Express. Many pros prefer a pair of memory cards recording in unison in case one fails or to have a low-res preview image in addition to a full-res raw file recorded to separate cards.

The electronic viewfinder refreshes at 120 fps with a 5.76 million dot resolution for smooth, high-res previews. The DualPixel AF recognizes both human and animal faces so it can track them as you move—this is one of the main advantages mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs, and Canon promises to do it better than any of its previous models.

The video modes are beastly as well. You can shoot 8K raw video at 30 fps or 4K at up to 120 fps. Those are serious numbers for a camera that’s technically made for consumers. With specs like that, you’d typically expect to use a true cinema camera with a cooling fan built in to manage all the heat. Those high-resolution modes provide the motivation for the CF Express slot since those memory cards can write fast enough to handle the absurd amounts of data involved with capturing 8K raw footage.

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