On 9 July 2020, Canon officially released the EOS R5, which had been the subject of much anticipation ever since its development announcement. In this article, we explore the key features of the camera, which boasts the highest still shooting and video specifications in EOS history.

Reimagining the EOS 5D series

When the EOS 5D went on sale in 2005, it was the first camera priced accessibly for advanced users to be equipped with a 35mm full-frame sensor, which had until then been available only on a select few professional camera models. It was an epoch-making camera that introduced not only the stunning image quality characteristic of a full-frame image sensor but also the concept of Picture Style, which has now become a staple camera feature. From then on, the EOS 5D series became one of the most popular DSLR lines, with the number “5” becoming synonymous with reliability.

15 years on, Canon is adding a new ‘5’ camera to that distinguished lineup. The new mirrorless EOS R5 marries the EOS concepts of “speed, convenience, and high image quality” with the large mount diameter, short flange focal distance, and high-speed data transmission of the RF mount to achieve revolutionary specifications in both still imaging and video.  

EOS R5: 7 notable features

1. High image quality: New 45-megapixel CMOS image sensor + DIGIC X
2. Speed: up to 20 fps high-speed continuous shooting
3. Video: Capable of 8K RAW, oversampled 4K
4. In-Body IS: Up to 8 stops’ equivalent image stabilisation
5. AF: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Animal Detection AF
6. Cloud compatibility: Full support for image.canon
7. Reliability: Excellent operability and durability 


#1: High image quality—New 45-megapixel CMOS image sensor + DIGIC X

Canon has developed a new full-frame CMOS image sensor with approximately 45 megapixels, tailored for the EOS R system. The new image sensor’s high speed and high image resolving performance make it a dynamic duo with the new DIGIC X image processor, which boasts powerful speed and excellent precision. They are complemented by the outstanding image quality made possible by the characteristics of the RF mount system. Together, these three essential features equip the EOS R5 with the best imaging prowess in EOS history.

EOS R5/ RF85mm f/1.2L USM/ FL: 85mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.2, 1/100 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Manual

In this crop from the above image, you can practically count each individual strand of hair in the model’s eyebrow, which reflects the camera’s high pixel count. But it is the realism of the image that shows the camera’s true depictive capability—it’s almost as though you were looking at her with your own eyes, face to face.  

A newly developed image sensor
The new image sensor, designed and manufactured by Canon, is capable of high-speed data readout contributes to the faster burst shooting speed and improved AF capabilities of the EOS R5. It also makes 8K video possible.
DIGIC X image processing engine
The powerful processing power of DIGIC X increases continuous shooting speed and noise reduction capability, realizing a native ISO speed of up to ISO 51,200 even with a pixel count of approximately 45 megapixels.

Other notable new imaging features:
- New ‘Portrait relighting’ feature in DPRAW: Allows users to adjust the direction and intensity of lighting after the shoot.
- New ‘Face lighting compensation’ function in the Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) during RAW post-processing.
- Support for 10-bit HDR PQ HEIF format recording. (Learn more about this in HDR PQ HEIF: Breaking Through the Limits of JPEG)

#2: Speed—Up to 20 fps high-speed continuous shooting

High-resolution, high pixel count cameras usually have a slower continuous shooting speed, partly because of the speed of data readout from the image sensor. The EOS R5 has overcome this on its newly developed image sensor, which is capable of high-speed data readout that complements the swift, powerful DIGIC X image processor. This dynamic duo makes it possible to capture images as large as approximately 45 megapixels at continuous shooting speeds of up to 20 frames per second (fps) with AF/AE tracking.

EOS R5/ RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM/ FL: 35mm/ Manual exposure (f/7.1, 1/4000 sec)/ ISO 250/ WB: Auto  

The EOS R5 has three continuous shooting modes
- High-speed continuous shooting + (H+)
- High-speed continuous shooting (H)
- Low-speed continuous shooting (L)

It also has three shutter modes to choose from:
- Mechanical shutter
- Electronic first-curtain shutter
- Electronic shutter

As the actual continuous shooting speed depends on a variety of factors, such as the remaining battery power, the drive mode icon in the EVF/Live View display changes colour to indicate the actual maximum continuous shooting speed possible.

Drive mode icon colours
A mode: Green
B mode: White
C mode: Blinking in white

*The actual continuous shooting speed with mechanical shutter/electronic first-curtain shutter depends on various factors such as battery type/remaining charge, temperature, built-in Wi-Fi (‘On’ or ‘Off’), flicker reduction, shutter speed, aperture value, type of lens, etc. For more information, please refer to the user manual.

#3: Video—Capable of 8K RAW, oversampled 4K

The EOS R5 can shoot RAW video in 8K 30p/25p (NTSC/PAL) in DCI resolution (8192 × 4320 pixels) internally with a CFexpress card, which is capable of high-speed writing. Subject tracking via Dual Pixel CMOS AF is available regardless of the resolution and frame rate. Each 8K video frame can be extracted as a 35.4-megapixel still image, which gives the video mode a function equivalent to ultra-high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second.

The still images extracted from 8K RAW video data can be post-processed in Digital Photo Professional just like a normal RAW image. That is effectively equivalent to RAW continuous shooting at 30 fps!

8K video: Key resolutions and recording formats
- MP4 H.264/HEVC (YCbCr 4:2:0/ 8-bit/ BT.709)
- MP4 H.264/HEVC HDR PQ (YCbCr 4:2:2/ 10-bit/ BT.2020)
- MP4 H.264/HEVC Canon-Log (YCbCr 4:2:2/ 10-bit/ BT.709 or BT.2020)
- RAW (12-bit)- DCI only
Cropless 8K DCI: NTSC 29.97/24.00/23.98 fps, PAL 25.00/24.00 fps (ALL-I/IPB)
Cropless 8K UHD: NTSC 29.97/23.98 fps, PAL 25.00 fps (ALL-I/IPB)

Other than 8K RAW and the regular 8K/4K video in DCI format, widely used in the cinema industry, the EOS R5 can also record 8K and 4K video in UHD format, which is used in the broadcasting industry. This makes it an all-rounder capable of creating footage for all types of genres. In addition, it also lets you record in Canon Log and HDR PQ, which support the recent increasing demand for HDR video production.

The detail captured in 8K allows you to shoot oversampled cropless 4K movies, where 4K images are generated from 8K RGB data, resulting in higher-quality footage that looks more refined and contains less moire, false colours and image noise. In post-production, 8K also allows for more possibilities for 4K or Full HD production, such as cropping your frames without losing any resolution, which makes it easier to create a digital pan or zoom.  

Recording area of image sensor

1: 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) No Crop

2: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) No Crop

3: 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) Cropped

4: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) Cropped

4K video: Key resolutions and recording formats

- MP4 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (YCbCr 4:2:0/ 8-bit/ BT.709)
- MP4 H.264/HEVC HDR PQ (YCbCr 4:2:2/ 10-bit/ BT.2020)
- MP4 H.264/HEVC Canon-Log (YCbCr 4:2:2/ 10-bit/ BT.709 or BT.2020)
Cropless/cropped 4K DCI: NTSC 59.94/29.97/24.00/23.98 fps, PAL 50.00/25.00/24.00 fps (ALL-I/IPB)
Cropless/cropped 4K UHD: NTSC 59.94/29.97/23.98 fps, PAL 50.00/25.00 fps (ALL-I/IPB)

Other key video features
- High frame rate recording: 4K (DCI/UHD) 120p/100p (NTSC/PAL)
- Time lapse movies: 8K, 4K, Full HD
- Zebra display  

#4: In-Body IS—Up to 8 stops’ equivalent image stabilisation

The EOS R5 and the EOS R6 are the first EOS cameras to be equipped with an In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS). The system detects the level of blurring from camera shake using information from the image sensor, gyro sensor, and acceleration sensor in the camera, and then shifts the image sensor accordingly to compensate for camera shake on 5 axes: horizontal, vertical, roll, yaw, and pitch. This 5-axis image stabilisation is effective even when using RF or EF lenses with no built-in Optical IS.A: DIGIC X
B: IS unit
C: Lens microprocessor
D: Gyro sensor (lens)
E: Imaging sensor
F: Gyro sensor (camera)
G: Acceleration sensor

When a lens with Optical IS is attached, the processing power of DIGIC X enables the EOS R5 to execute coordinated control IS, which coordinates the In-Body IS and Optical IS mechanisms to achieve an even greater image stabilisation effect. This lets you achieve sharp images even when shooting as much as up to 8 shutter speed stops’ slower*.

* With a compatible lens. Subject to shooting conditions. Firmware update may be required.

Also see: How are Image Stabilisation Stops Determined?  

500mm @ 0.5 seconds, IS off

500mm @ 0.5 seconds, IS on


The large-diameter RF mount prevents the light fall-off that happens when the image sensor is shifted during image stabilisation, maintaining the image quality.

The greatly-increased effectiveness of the new IS system makes it easier to capture sharp handheld shots in a wider variety of scenes, such as slow shutter shots in dim light or awkward angles where it’s hard to have a firm hold on the camera.

#5:AF— Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Animal Detection AF

The improved continuous shooting speed is accompanied by a leap in AF performance. Not only does Face + Tracking Priority AF now cover 100% of the image area, a new algorithm developed based on deep learning technology adds Animal Detection AF to the existing human eye detection capability. This means that the EOS R5 can accurately detect and track the eyes, face, and body of dogs, cats, and even birds.EOS R5/ RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM/ FL: 500mm/ Manual exposure (f/7.1, 1/4000 sec)/ ISO 800/ WB: Daylight

In the various AF auto area selection modes, such as the Expand AF area and Large Zone AF modes, AF coverage has also been increased to up to 90% × 100% (horizontally × vertically) of the image area, with up to 1053 automatically-selectable AF frame zones compared to just 143 zones on the EOS R. Users can also manually choose from up to 5,940 AF positions. The larger, denser AF coverage means more freedom to place subjects anywhere you want in your composition!

Other notable AF features
- Selectable Servo AF case settings for subject tracking similar to those on the EOS-1D X Mark III.

- Low light AF range of EV -6 to EV +20—improved focusing on bright subjects.

- Focus bracketing function

- Compatible with f/22 focusing  


AF even at f/22 Support for AF at f/22 means that when using the RF800mm f/11 IS STM with the Extender RF 2x attached, which increases the focal length to 1600mm at a maximum aperture of f/22, autofocusing is still possible over an area covering 40% × 60% (horizontal × vertical) of the image frame.

When shooting in dim lighting with an optical viewfinder (OVF), the viewfinder image would usually be too dark at f/22, but on the EOS R5, the EVF gain increases the display brightness, allowing you to compose your shot. And with exposure simulation in the EVF, you can now see the effects of your exposure settings and adjust the shutter speed or ISO speed where necessary.  

#6: Cloud compatibility—Full support for image.canon

In addition to built-in support for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, the EOS R5 also supports the faster, more reliable 5Ghz band (IEEE 802.11a/ac) and Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it not only capable of smartphone pairing, quicker file transfer, and remote shooting via the Camera Connect app like on existing EOS cameras, but also with fully compatible with image.canon, the new cloud-based platform based on the concept of the “connected camera” that Canon launched in April 2020.

With image.canon, all you will need to do is to register a Wi-Fi hotspot on the EOS R5 and you will be able to set the EOS R5 to automatically upload original quality and RAW image and video data to the cloud whenever you are connected. Once uploaded, the files can be accessed from any other device—you can even share them directly to social media via the image.canon smartphone app without having to download them first.

All original quality files will be stored for 30 days. In addition, you can designate up to 10GB of the files for free long-term storage.


#7: Reliability—Excellent operability and durability

High-definition 5.76 million dot OLED EVF with 119.88 fps display refresh rate
Higher definition with a faster display frame rate than on the EOS R, the EVF of the EOS R5 promises a display that looks more natural than before—almost like looking through an OVF.
The joystick-style Multi-controller, similar to the one on advanced EOS DSLR cameras, enables faster, better control during AF frame selection.


CFexpress card + SD card
The dual card slots support one CFexpress card, capable of high-speed transfer, and one SD memory card.
New, high-capacity battery
The new LP-E6NH battery is exactly the same size as the existing LP-E6N, but has a higher capacity—2130 mAh compared to the 1865 mAh on the LP-E6N. It also supports in-camera USB charging with the USB Power Adapter PD-E1 (sold separately).
Option to close/open shutter curtain when powered off
You can choose to have the shutter curtain close on power-off to prevent dust from entering the camera when changing the lens. The mechanical shutter has passed 500,000 cycle endurance testing, offering excellent shutter durability.
Durable magnesium alloy body with dust and drip resistant structure
The body of the EOS R5 is made from strong, heat-dissipating, lightweight magnesium alloy, with sealing to prevent dust and water droplets from penetrating the camera.

For key specifications, see:
EOS R5 (Body) - Specifications

Learn more about the EOS R5 in:
EOS R5: Reimagine Your World  


Sample images

EOS R5/ RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM/ FL: 300mm/ Manual exposure (f/7.1, 1/1600 sec)/ ISO 500/ WB: Daylight

EOS R5/ RF24-105mm f/4L IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/8, 2 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Daylight

EOS R5/ RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM/  FL: 128mm/ Manual exposure (f/8, 1/3200 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto/ HDR PQ HEIF mapped into JPEG