Opinion on DPReview’s Canon EOS R5 overheating test in 4K

DPReview has released their Canon EOS R5 and R6 test of overheating, using the final production models. Technical editor Richard Butler remarks “Lack of dependability makes them a poor choice for much professional video work”.

There are areas of this test that I agree with, and other parts I don’t. But that’s ok, people can have differences of opinion and I’ll put my cards on the table about this now. Richard says the EOS R5 is not marketed at professionals interested in video:

“It should be noted that Canon did not design either the EOS R5 or R6 to be professional video tools, and nor does it market them as such. But based on our testing and real-world usage we would caution against using them as a substitute.”

However the official Canon USA web page for EOS R5 says in the first line:

“It’s an ideal choice for a large range of photographic and cinematographic environments from weddings, portraits, sports, journalism, landscape, cinematography and more.”

And B&H states in the product description:

“For the professional image-maker who needs resolution, speed, and video capabilities, there is the Canon EOS R5.

The Canon UK website:

“Professional mirrorless redefined”

“Whatever you shoot, however you shoot it, the EOS R5 will let you be creative in ways you simply couldn’t before. Capture…cinematic 12 bit 8K RAW video using the entire width of the camera’s sensor.”

So Canon summarises the marketing as: “Professional mirrorless camera, ideal for a large range of cinematographic environments”.

And the price says “$3899”

So to suggest that Canon isn’t marketing it as a professional video tool is a bit of a stretch in my view! Of the target customers Canon want to sell the EOS R5 to, it’s obvious that they will want high quality 4K and 8K for paid work – and that is what they thought they were getting.

I know several Cinema EOS camera owners (and I include myself in that) who were intending to use the EOS R5 as a second camera or a replacement to their Canon 1D C or 1D X Mark II, especially as the IBIS system makes it so appealing for handheld shots.

Onto the tests.

Says Richard: “Not only does this make R5 a poor fit for many professional video shoots, it also means that you can’t depend on the cameras when shooting video alongside stills at, say, a wedding, which is a situation that the EOS R5 clearly is intended for.”

The camera was powered on from cold at the start of the test, with a full battery and left to run for 30 minutes in 4K/30p HQ, followed by a 30 minute rest period (who shoots like this?!), then another clip which quit around the 24 min mark.

Unfortunately this is not how people shoot. A proper “real-world” test would have the camera turned on and idle in live view for up to 3-7 hours on a day’s shoot with no recovery time slots. A shoot can’t wait 30 mins at unplanned intervals for the camera to recover. There would also be a mix of photo shooting and menu use in the test. When I get my camera I am interested in a real world test that shoots video in smaller takes of up to 1 minute for a longer period, over say 1-2 hours. But let’s see the camera powered on for a long period and how much video is usable after 1 hour on 70% battery. If it’s only good for one 30 minute take at the start of the day then that’s of no use to me.

Overheating in photo mode

Indeed there are reports from EOS R5 users that suggest the camera overheats in stills mode during a longer 3 hour photo shoot. This is from the Canon Rumors forum:

“That’s 19 min from a cold body with no foreplay, you take a pic or two and fiddle in the menus that time begins to drop. I got to use an r5 today out at a Motocross event and well it turned off from only doing photos. This was using the ef to rf adapter and a 200mm f2. This was used for over a time period of 2.5-3 hrs and it was 86 degrees out. I’m glad that I didn’t buy it and needless to say my friend who did is pretty disappointed. I love 1d bodies”

So in my opinion the Canon and DPReview test data doesn’t tell the whole story of how defective this camera is.

My opinion still holds that Canon need urgently to do a product recall and release the camera in November after mitigating the problem as much as they can.

Anything less is not fair on customers and will damage the brand.

The overheating results are available at DPReview here.