Canon EOS R5: First Look Review

Canon EOS R5 Review

Our Verdict

First impressions of the Canon EOS R5 are impressive. This is a refined version of the EOS R with souped-up specifications and a possible price tag to match.

There’s no doubt that the Canon EOS R5 is one of the most exciting cameras of the year and it not even been launched. Canon has been keeping excited fans, and us, informed with a steady stream of information, mainly to dismiss or confirm the specification rumours.

While we wait for the full specifications, an official price tag and of course release dates, we popped over to the Canon UK head office to take a look at the new full-frame mirrorless camera.

No amount of questioning was able to extract any further details from the Canon UK team, but we were able to take a look at the new camera.

Canon EOS R5 Review

Our contact with the camera was limited; as always, Canon is guarded about releasing too much info before the release of the product. But seeing it, if not getting to hold it, did reveal a lot about what we can expect.

First impressions are that this is a refined EOS R, with all the bits that people complained about on the R removed and replaced with far more traditional Canon dials and jog wheels.

The changes to the outward design compared with the EOS R might be slight, but then it’s really the inner workings that are creating the excitement. Although we can’t get to see what the camera is capable of image-wise, here’s a rundown of the exterior.

Body Design

Starting with the top of the camera, it is difficult to see a difference between the EOS R and EOS R5. The layout is pretty much identical: shutter button on top of the grip, a small function button, a jog wheel, LED illuminator, lock button, and combined mode and jogged dial at the back for your thumb.

Canon EOS R5 Review

To the left of the button layout, you have a familiar monochrome LCD that will display the mode and settings, to the left there’s the hot shoe and then on / off, a small speaker and the film plane marking.

Differences with the EOS R

The back of the camera is where you start to see the differences, although these are small. The EOS R’s touch bar is replaced with a small joystick which is probably far more comfortable to use.

The only other significant difference is the jog wheel with Set button. This reverts to the old style EOS style rather than the touchpad of the EOS R.

Aside from those two changes, the rest of the back again looks much the same, with AF Lock, AE Lock/FE lock, AF Point, Magnify, Quick Menu, Info play and bin.

Canon EOS R5 Review

Covering the more substantial part of the back of the camera is the fully articulated screen, then to the right of this, you have to rate and main menu buttons.

On the left side of the body, you have the mic, headphones, flash, USB Type-C (Probably) and HDMI. A rubber flap protects each of the ports.

On the right of the body is a secured door to the memory card slots, who knows how many and of what type, and on the base is a standard 1/4-inch thread and access to the battery.

Canon EOS R5 design is what the EOS R should have been

Looking carefully over the camera body, it’s very apparent that Canon has listened to its user base. It’s dialling back and reintroducing many of the tried and tested DSLR design features. The removal of the touch bar in place of a joystick and the same with the thumb dial on the back.

Otherwise, it looks like Canon has stuck in the most part with the EOS R design.

Canon EOS R5 Review

Canon vs Nikon vs Sony

It’s been an impressive few years with the transition from DSLR to mirrorless system cameras. Now that transition has for the most part bedded down and people are more familiar with the smaller systems, it’s interesting to see how the major manufacturers are stepping up to the pro-market.

After a few dubious initial attempts, Canon and Nikon are indeed back in the game, and it will be interesting to see what happens. People are already tired of Sony excessive lens pricing, which is stalling many photographers ability to expand on their kit and I know many photographers are waiting to make the leap back to their Canon or Nikon roots.

The Canon EOS R5 looks like a great camera, and as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, it could well be one another milestone model.

Canon EOS R5 Review

Initial impressions are good; if you’ve used the EOS R, then I expect the R5 will be much the same, just without the annoyance of that top bar.

I’m excited about getting to shoot with the Canon EOS R5 in the future, but I do have my reservations. In the past Canon has been very protective of its broadcast lines, restricting the DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. At the same time, Sony and Panasonic, which also operate in the broadcast arena, have been far freer.

Today’s photographers and videographers don’t necessarily need the XC15 or dedicated camcorder; they want a mirrorless camera that does it all, and that is where the Panasonic GH5s and Sony A7s have done so well.

Hopefully, Canon will take note and not put limits on the use of the Canon EOS 5R. Until we get the full final production version in our hands, we’ll keep you updated with the latest.

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