Canon EOS R5 Review – Is Overheating a Thing of the Past?

September 15th, 2020

The Canon EOS R5 is already shipping and unless you were on the moon, you might have heard about the overheating and recovery time between camera shutdowns. With its latest firmware update, Canon is showing commitment to battle this phenomenon, but is it enough or any good during a real production scenario? I took the EOS R5 and simulated a very simple documentary filming day. Read on if interested in my findings.

The Canon EOS R5 Conundrum

I find the Canon EOS R5 to be an interesting camera. On one hand, it is a filming tool that many would love to explore and work with, but at the same time, causes a certain fear and uncertainty especially when it comes to “overheating” and “recording times”. Two things are for sure. First, it is an amazing technical wonder. A camera that could easily be considered as a true “game changer filming device”.

Canon EOS R5 – A powerful camera, also for filmmakers, but with caveats. Image: CineD

Secondly, something went awfully wrong with debuting the camera. Originally, the overheating issue and more importantly, the recovery time in which the camera can become functional again were very disappointing, to say the least. This all situation caused a stir in our little swamp and in my opinion, the (at times emotional) conversation featuring that topic is going to fade only when users will get answers satisfying their logic. This is why we approached Canon with the request to learn more and find out how does the manufacturer sees and treats the current state. Was Canon deliberately limiting the EOS R5 from recording extended times? Especially in 8k RAW, can real damage be done to the sensor or inner camera parts by prolonging recording times? To find out, please head to our conversation with Katsuyuki Nagai-san, Product Management Director of Image Communication Business at Canon Europe.

In any case, this is the era of “discoveries” and as such, it took very little time for some adventure pioneers to come up with workarounds allowing longer recording times WITHOUT hacking the camera.

Canon EOS R5 – Overheating issue needs to be solved. Image Credit: CineD

Canon EOS R5 and Firmware 1.1.0 Update

Canon obviously understood there is an issue here and rushed to come up with a new firmware update promising longer recording time and shorter recovery between takes. Will it satisfy everyone? Certainly not. Is it a big improvement over the previous situation? Absolutely yes. After working with the camera equipped with the updated firmware, I can safely say that the Canon EOS R5 is slowly but surely shaping up to become an amazing working tool. (Please note that since I’ve conducted my test, Canon has released FW version 1.1.1. This version behaves the same when it comes to battling the overheating issue).

Canon EOS R5 With the supplied kit lens. Image Credit: CineD

Canon EOS R5 – Flexible Filming Tool for non Flexible Shooting Scenarios

Well, a bit of a bombastic title here which can serve as a conclusion for this review too, but please allow me to explain. While the camera is extremely flexible with choosing resolution/frame rates/codecs, the one thing that really needs to be taken into consideration is the subject of your filming. Not that we don’t do it anyway, but because of the nature of this camera and its ability to film in 8K RAW, this thing needs the extra attention because of the following reasons:

  • Overheating – The new firmware allows the camera to record 20 minutes in one go. The recovery time is 10 minutes and then you will be able to record for another 10 minutes. This “recording/pausing” dance can continue for rather a long time with different recording/pausing times on each circle. In reality, this is not so bad as it sounds since we are pausing recording anyway while filming and those recording times refers to a single long take. Two major issues were fixed with the latest firmware. First, the camera is not starting to clock and calculate the recording time right after being switched on. The second, the camera can now “sense” its surroundings and unlike before, an external fan, for example, can help in reducing heat if necessary.
  • CFexpress cards – Those produce heat too and affect the general inner camera temperature. In my testing, Angelbird CFexpress cards did best! It seems as if those are getting less warm than those I compared to (Sony’s Tough and SanDisk cards). The appearance of the overheating symbol was pushed back when filming with Angelbird CFexpress cards.
  • Cards capacity – We said it before and I will write it again. Filming in RAW (or Canon RAW for that matter) can bring advantages and flexibility during post production BUT the tradeoff is capturing very large video files while filming. I was equipped with four Angelbird CFexpress cards, 2TB, 1TB, 512GB, 256GB, and still had to pay the extra attention not to end up having full cards… So, if you plan shooting in 8K RAW, either bring a sufficient amount of cards or, use the camera downtime to copy your material. (Personally I prefer NOT to deal with copying/erasing cards while filming in order to avoid any mistakes but in this case when cards are still expensive, it can be the case). Oh, and if you decided to copy cards on location, do yourself a big favor and use USB-C SSDs for the task, otherwise you might find yourself sleeping in your filming location waiting for that task to be done.

Canon EOS R5 – In the Field

So yes, overheating is still there and needs to be taken into consideration. And yes, this red blinking overheating warning symbol is not for the faint hearted people out there, but all in all, this camera is a marvel. The dual pixel autofocus works tremendously well and when filming in at 8K you might find yourself using it more often than not. The In Body Stabilisation System (IBIS) works like a treat allowing the operator to stand/walk/follow a subject relatively freely.

Now, last but not least. Many years ago I did the mistake of trying to adapt “big ENG camera shooting style” when working with DSLR cameras (meaning, building it to sit on the shoulder and on the way have plenty of accessories to go along with it). Those days I’m into the bare minimum, enjoying the freedom and intimacy those wonderful small yet capable filming mirrorless cameras bring to the filming set. And in this regard (compactness), not only that the EOS R5 feels the same, it is also taking it one step farther by allowing internal RAW recording without the need for an external device. Certainly, something to consider when traveling or wanting to be modest with equipment yet capable of producing high end images…

About the Video Above

I would like to thank Annamaria Kowalsky for participating in this video. She is a talented musician and artist operating from Vienna Austria. You can listen to some of her original scores by clicking here or explore her art by visiting her website. The above video was shot on Canon EOS R5 in 8K/25p DCI RAW. C-log, ISO settings: 400 (Native) to 4000. All handheld but the main interview and the slider shots. I mostly used autofocus on this piece. Color LUT by Lutify.me. Music taken with permission from epidemicsound.

Canon EOS R5 – Lots of resolutions and frame rates to choose from. Image credit: CineD

Conclusion

Almost two years to the date I took the then new Canon EOS R on a trip in India to film an Indian wedding. Fast forward for today, and the EOS R5 did a very long way since the introduction of the “R line”. Perfect it is not. Remarkable, yes it is. If you know ahead what you are filming, then this camera can prove to be a very useful tool. So now the question is “how can Canon make it even better?” Well, the answer is simple. Please don’t limit its capabilities. Those who need or like to shoot with bigger cameras will still be there to purchase Canon’s cinema line. But for filmmakers like me who endorse working with smaller tools, this might be the perfect solution. As already announced by Canon, the next EOS R5 firmware will bring the choice of selecting RAW data rate and I can only presume that filming in a lower data rate will allow longer recording times and this can certainly be an elegant way to enhance the camera functionality.

Man at work filming in 8K RAW with the Canon EOOS R5. Image credit: Annamaria Kowalsky

What do you think about the Canon EOS R5? Do you own one and did you have the chance of working with it? Besides overheating, did you encounter any other issues when filming with it? Please share with us your findings in the below comment section.

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Rapha Moraes
Rapha Moraes
Member
Today

Hi! Congratulations on the video and all the information. I am from Brazil and I work with music videos and documentaries. Today I work with a mini ursa pro 4.6k g1.
And I’m looking for a smaller camera, but with high quality that offers me this “joy” when recording, with more lightness and dynamics.
And the R5 draws my attention in many ways but mainly for its definition and color.
One fear that I have is in relation to its Dynamic range.
I am afraid to realize that the camera can give me results below what I expect in that sense.
So I am in doubt if I buy it or expect future releases like the supposed Sony 8k to come or something.
Could you give me feedback on how you feel about R5 regarding these aspects? Comparing it with sony a7siii and s1h? Thank you!

Liran H
Liran H
Member
3 days ago

Hi Johnnie and thank you again for this review.

As a hybrid freelancer, I was really looking forward to the R5.
On last December I was hesitating between purchasing Panasonic’s S1 (and compromise on AF) or a Sony A73 (an ageing camera), but when I learned that Canon will come up with a game changer, I told to myself that it’s worth waiting for.

Fast forward to October 2020, after reading and watching countless reviews like this, I couldn’t find the one review that will five that shred of confidence to invest in the R5, and feel ok with it.
Every single review had a disclosure about how great this camera could be “if..”.

Since the the covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the whole industry, I feel no urgency to purchase something that I am not confident with.
But on the same time, it is time that could be invested with learning how to make the best of the camera which is another point to think about.

What I take from this review is, like from many others is: “if you lower your expectation, you might be able to enjoy the amazing features that this camera beholds”.

At price tag of 4.5k€ not including new cards, batteries and a ef-rf adaptor/invest in rf glass, the overall investment is too expensive for still shooters who pay for the new video upgrades but on the same time, it is not reliable to hybrid/video centric shooters.

It will be enraging to learn in a year or so about a Mark ii that will fix the over heating problem and the value of this camera will drop faster than the stock market in February.

Almost one year later, I still don’t know where to put my money.
From a hybrid shooter point of view, who wants to stay in full-frame, all this year’s cameras are compromised in this way.

Last edited 3 days ago by Liran H
Timothy Facey
Timothy Facey
Member
October 10th, 2020

Thanks for this. My question: During the shooting of this how much were you inconvenienced by the overheating issues? Did you have to stop and wait for the camera to cool down? I shoot this type and length of doc, have a canon ecosystem, and this camera seems ideal (Although I’d be shooting 4k hq) but my clients time is their money.

Raw Shooter
Raw Shooter
Member
September 22nd, 2020

This is not a review of the R5. This could have been shot on a phone. I think Johnnie has made peace with the R5 like Annamaria made peace with her father in the last year. Johnnie is excellent at telling a story about masterpieces of humanity. And he’s fortunate enough to know them. I like how he shows her with her camera. She’s one of us. I came here for the gear. Didn’t you? I came to see a review of an R5. I might buy one within a year depending on the pandemic and other factors. I like how he obliged to be her subject as she obliged to be his. A wonderful dance of humanity. I like reviews that show highlight roll off, dynamic range, recovery, resolution. Lots of concrete stuff side by side. I also like Johnnie’s stories. No paradox here. There is room to enjoy both.

Last edited 1 month ago by Raw Shooter
hardik patel
hardik patel
Member
September 22nd, 2020

Very Nice post
Thank you so much sharing this post
Moon Night sky

Patrick
Patrick
Guest
September 19th, 2020

Overheating is hardware issue. You can’t completely eradicate it with firmware updates. Sure you can lessen it to some extent, but it will never completely go away.

David
David
Guest
September 18th, 2020

Are the record times being limited on 4K internal rec? At 24p at the camera’s highest quality CODEC, or is this more of an 8K issue? I don’t see myself incorporating 8K into my workflow any time soon, but I would like to be able to use 4K without issues, and use 4K 120P every once in a while. Have you seen reports of issues with these?

Maria
Maria
Guest
September 17th, 2020

Johnnie, incredible well done. You are very talented storyteller but please don’t waste your time with camera “reviews”!

Michael Red
Michael Red
Member
September 16th, 2020

Thank you, Johnnie, for this piece. Great story about a fascinating artist. It’s good to see Canon is making efforts to make the R5 more reliable.
Have you had a chance to play with the R6 with the new firmware? You were very concerned with its performance as a video tool. Still, feel the same?
I wonder also if it will get C Log 3 like it’s bigger brother.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael Red
Mike
Mike
Guest
September 16th, 2020

Its worth pointing out, that the R5 works excellent with an Atomos recorder :)
Yes, you have to make a compromise since you lose the super small formfactor – but I think in productions where you actual need 4k HQ or 4k60 its certainly common to use a monitor to properly set up and judge the frame.

With the atomos you can record directly to SSDs with Prores and you get no overheat problems at all in 4k HQ and 4k60. The Camera may start blinking, but it doesnt turn off. You dont get 8k, but this is (at least for my work) pretty much overkill) It works incredible well with 4k :-)

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Mike
Mike
Guest
September 16th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Jeah, for me it was also a bummer – I was totaly prepared for short recording times since canon stated these number pretty exactly before release. But the fact that the “counter” startet to run even if you only set up the camera – THAT was a real let down. Fortunately the latest firmware allows for “heat saving” even when HDMI is connected, so I can set up the camera even with a monitor without loosing to much recording time.

I invested because of the R5 in an atomos and I must say I realy love that device. The brightness and contrast is excelent for judging the frame acurately and the recording feature pretty much saved the camera for me :-)

I guess it will still take a time until we get a full-frame camera with 4k60 in a small formfactor. Anyway these are exciting times.
And thanks for sharing your experience in your in-detail articles/Videos :-)

Jimmy Purtill
Jimmy Purtill
Member
September 18th, 2020
Reply to  Mike

How long have you recorded with it and the atomos in 4k in one go?

George Atanassov
Guest
September 16th, 2020

Bravo. Great story. Enjoyed watching.

csound
csound
Member
September 16th, 2020

Interesting story and great production and editing. No denying the 8K image quality and pleased to hear there’s some improvement with the heat issue.

visionrouge.net
visionrouge.net
Guest
September 16th, 2020

Thanks for finally talking about the overheat issue and not just side on Canon statement.
.
The overheat timer is a weird way to control temperature and unheard in any other device, in the entire 3C market.
.
Canon may be a pioneer in many levels but this idea of time versus real reading may have been a mistake.
It have to be addressed and explain by the brand.
.
With my hack that just let the camera think time is elapsed and give you back the ability to record, it’s clear thee is something not done right. This time shift only reset the time, not the heat sensor.

When the camera starts again after this little date game. It’s a normal start, with the power button.
So either there is no temperature reading, either sensors are fine with temperature.
.
This is where the problem is and Canon need to explain this. Saying it’s a conspiracy do not help them gaining back our trust.
Looking forward to the coming months and firmware update.

Last edited 1 month ago by visionrouge.net
Ilkka Nissilä
Ilkka Nissilä
Member
September 16th, 2020

There is nothing really to explain that people didn’t already know from their everyday lives. If it is +42 C outdoors, and you have an emergency and need to go out for 5 min to get to the grocery store to get some supplies, you can do that without overheating or feeling ill. But if you had to spend three hours outdoors in 42 C without breaks or water, you’d probably start feeling uncomfortable and maybe even feel sick. That’s overheating. And it is not a function of temperature alone but the length of the exposure to the heat times the temperature that is decisive as to whether you start getting symptoms. It’s the same with Canon’s overheat protection algorithm, it is trying to limit risks to the camera and its operator and it needs to monitor temperature and time to do that.

visionrouge.net
visionrouge.net
Guest
September 16th, 2020
Reply to  Ilkka Nissilä

In my everyday life, when I’m spending a hour in a fridge and take one picture per minute.
I do not overheat.
And worst, I still need to wait one hour to cool down… even in fridge, even without any video recorded…
.
We are living in a different reality, obviously.
In my world, I never, ever encounter a 3C device that have such limitation by time only.
.
Canon is so innovative to find a new way to do heat management in a way that no one did before.
No sensor reading, just usage time.
Great.

Ilkka Nissilä
Ilkka Nissilä
Member
September 16th, 2020

Upgrade to FW 1.1 or 1.1.1 and try that fridge recording again. It’s not the first time a company released buggy 1.0 software.

EOSHD
Guest
September 15th, 2020

Did you just describe the community as ‘a swamp’?

Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Guest
September 16th, 2020
Reply to  EOSHD

“the conversation featuring that topic is going to fade only when users will get answers satisfying their logic.”

Pffff. Good bye and good luck.

visionrouge.net
visionrouge.net
Guest
September 16th, 2020
Reply to  EOSHD

It’s a great mea cupla. Glad to hear it for once.
(If only Canon could do the same…)

Christopher Dobey
Member
September 15th, 2020

Very fair of CineD to revisit the R5! I didn’t have any overheating issues testing the camera at continuous RAW 8K24p until the entire 512GB card filled up : ) After viewing the 8K footage on a 6K display I’m completely sold! I would love to see the footage on a new +65″ 8K TV now.

On another note, is there any technical reason holding CineD back from still not doing a Dynamic Range Lab test on any RED camera? or perhaps legal reasons? I’m so curious to see how those +17 and +16.5 stop claims hold up in real life.

Totofilm Touskiboug
Totofilm Touskiboug
Guest
September 15th, 2020

Nice Work and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

R5 DR looks quite poor, isn’t it ? Especially in the shots in front of the windows, in the background of the interview in the kitchen or outside at 6:08 with not that bad light conditions…

Did you struggled to grade it or is there some room for getting it better ?

Thanks

csound
csound
Guest
September 16th, 2020

Using curves in an ACES workflow in DaVinci Resolve with 8k RAW footage from the R5 seems to work well and surprised at how well the highlights maintain detail and roll off nicely. With some footage using luts is the not the best method for achieving optimal results with available DR.

Last edited 1 month ago by csound
Totofilm Touskiboug
Totofilm Touskiboug
Guest
September 18th, 2020
Reply to  csound

Thanks. Good to know.

Totofilm Touskiboug
Totofilm Touskiboug
Guest
September 16th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Thanks for your answer Johnnie.
Just received mine today :)

Totofilm Touskiboug
Totofilm Touskiboug
Guest
September 18th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

It’s too early for interesting findings but just a warning : the Samyang AF 85mm Canon EF mount does not works properly on the R5. The camera “think” it is a stabilised lens and ask to turn on the stab. Of course as you can’t, the mechanical ibis is no more available in the menu and the soft one stays pending for the lens stab.

Last edited 1 month ago by Totofilm Touskiboug
Alec Kinnear
Alec Kinnear
Member
September 24th, 2020

I thought the same about the footage. The Panasonic S5 image had a wonderful filmic look that this R5 footage lacked (I’m neither a Panasonic nor a Canon shooter). I didn’t care for the documentary as well as some of the Japanese ones, and I’m unsure what Canon did for CineD to get such kind treatment after again deliberately putting out a terribly flawed video module.

Johnnie’s point about post-production not being his forté makes some sense but video quality remains a question mark for me. I don’t like the colours in anyone’s Sony A7S III footage so perhaps I’m just hard to please.

On the other hand, Annamaria Kowalsky’s music is EXTRAORDINARY as music. The technical quality of the recordings is equally astonishing. On a good sound system, listening to the compositions is like being enveloped in live sound.

Tom Kelly
Member
September 15th, 2020

Nice idea to re-visit the camera after the first review/test.

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