This new full-frame mirrorless camera is a true hybrid, bridging the gap between Canon’s Cinema EOS and EOS Technology.
The line between photography and cinema just disappeared completely.
Camera technology has evolved in leaps and bounds in the past few years. RED popularized 8K recording, and many camera manufacturers quickly followed suit with budget-friendly options. Mirrorless cameras quickly started to take over, and then Canon killed off its flagship DSLR camera to push evolution.
However, the line between photography and video has remained distinct, even if it was a little blurry. While powerful DSLR and mirrorless cameras could shoot high-quality video, they were still centered around photography, leaving dedicated cinema cameras to do what they do best.
Well, not today. With the new 8K-capable Canon EOS R5 C, that blurry line has finally been erased.
The new offering from Canon isn’t the first hybrid camera—we all should remember the Sigma FP with its dedicated options for both photographers and cinematographers. But Canon has taken a huge step in creating a camera that is both ergonomically distinct and feature-rich for both user bases.
Canon EOS R5 C Specs and Features
Externally, it seems that Canon cut no corners when developing this piece of gear. Users will see the familiar body shape of the Canon R5 combined with Canon’s C70, which was released in 2020.
A dedicated switch on top of the camera switches between photo and video mode. This changes the internal function, menu system, readouts, and even operating system, setting them up for either photography or cinematography use. According to Canon, the feature set and functionality will be almost identical to the R5 when in photo mode.
For those dying to know the specs, here’s a list to keep things organized.
Canon EOS R5 C Specs
- 45 megapixel CMOS Full Frame sensor w/ 3:2 aspect ratio
- Compatible with Dual Pixel CMOS AF (First EOS C to have Eye Detection)
- Non-detachable Low Pass Filter
- Mechanical and Electronic Shutter
- RF Mount and adaptable to EF Line and to PL Mount with anamorphic support
- Active Cooling System for unlimited recording time using Canon approved media
- True Video Scopes - WFM, False Color, and Aspect Ratio Markers
- Image Formats: JPEG, HEIF, RAW (CR3, 14-bit RAW format), C-RAW (Canon original);
- Movies: ALL-I, IPB, RAW
- Full Frame 8K (8192x4320) video recording up to 60P in 12-bit Cinema RAW Light
- Super35 5.9K (5952x3140) video recording up to 60P in 12-bit Cinema RAW Light
- Super16 2.9K (2976x1570) video recording up to 120P in 12-bit Cinema RAW Light
- Full Frame 4K video recording up to 120P in 4:2:2 10-bit XF-AVC and 60P in MP4
- Full Range from 1 to 120 FPS for over and undercranking
- Support for simultaneous recording of any combination of RAW/C-RAW and JPEG/HEIF
- Support for CFexpress and SD Cards
- Canon Log 3, HLG/PQ, and Standard EOS C Offerings
- HDMI Micro Type D RAW output up to 8K 30P with Atomos Ninja V+
- Dedicated DIN 1.0/2.3 Timecode Port
- No IBIS
- Optical IS support with RF and EF lenses equipped with Image Stabilization
- OLED color electronic viewfinder w/ approx. 5.76 million dots resolution
- Supports the Canon 5.2mm Dual Fish Eye Lens
- Multi-Function Shoe Compatible with EOS R5 accessories
- Built-in Wifi
- Runs on LP-E6N and LP-E6 batteries
- Normal ISO range 100–51200 (in 1/3- or 1-stop increments)
- Expanded ISO range (L: equivalent to ISO 50, H: 102400)
- Shipping March 2022
- Approximate Price: $4,499.00
If you think that’s a long list, there is a lot more to this camera. Simple things like a tally light and a flip-out screen are also included.
The multi-function shoe supports Tascam XLR Adapter CA-XLR2d-C Microphone Adapter and provides phantom power if you’re missing the AA batteries the Tascam needs. There’s also compatibility with Canon’s Speedlite flashes, meaning you can take this cinema camera and feel completely at home in the world of photography. The R5 C also weighs 1.7lbs for the body only, making it a solid solution for gimbal and drone operators.
From the feature set alone, it looks like this camera checks all the boxes for photographers and cinematographers alike. But the myriad of features aside, the Canon EOS R5 C is going to hit the ground running with a few issues under its belt.
Are they bad? Not really. Will these issues stop you from buying the camera? Let’s keep on reading.
Canon EOS R5 C Issues
If you’re worried about this camera overheating or limiting recording times, you’re in the clear. With an active cooling system, any issues the previous 8K Canon cameras had are gone.
But power is going to be an issue with this camera, especially if you are using the older LP-E6 batteries. The 7.2 volts just isn’t enough to run everything the R5 C has to offer if you’re maxing out all the settings.
Canon states that when recording in Cinema RAW light or in high frame rates, there will be instances where the little batteries won’t have enough oomph to power the lens mount.
What does this mean? Well, if you’re adapting EF glass or using the native RF lenses with internal focusing motors and IRIS control, you won’t be able to do either. No power, no focus, and aperture control.
However, there are third-party solutions, and Canon does offer its own power bricks. But this seems like a counterproductive bandaid. Adding more gear to this small piece of kit goes against its lightweight design concept. You can always use manual lenses or use a recording option that isn’t so taxing. But you’ll be missing out on Canon’s robust autofocus features. You can use the newer LP-E6N and you won't have any issues, but operators hoping to use batteries they already own are out of luck.
There’s also no internal body image stabilization or IBIS. This is mostly due to the camera's small footprint, but users who depend on it might find this to be a deal-breaker. Sure, you can get lenses with built-in stabilization, but then you need to worry about the power issue.
Also, if you’re planning on using CFexpress 2.0 cards, Canon has only approved the ProGrade Digital 650GB. This issue either limits your recording options or the weight of your wallet. At $729.99 a pop, the ProGrade CFexpress card is a hefty investment.
Finally, due to the timecode port design of the R5 C body, some cables may be difficult to remove once attached. Canon specifically mentioned that cables from Blackmagic Design may get stuck. They recommend using cables from Canare that have longer DIN 1.0/2.3 sleeves. They’re not that expensive, but if you already have Blackmagic cables, it’s a small inconvenience that needs to be mentioned.
Even if all of these issues hit you all at once, it’ll only be a small hurdle to overcome. But they are still annoying obstacles right out the gate, and for a camera trying to change things, it’s a rocky start.
Who Is the Canon EOS R5 C For?
Honestly, probably for everyone. If the feature set from this camera lives up to the hype, Canon has created a camera that can do everything. Narrative work? Sure thing. Studio photography? Yup. Pop that thing onto a gimbal or drone and you’re off to the races. Literally, if you shoot motorsport content. The R5 C will even feel right at home in corporate, sports, and documentary work. Both in photo and video mode.
You can even vlog on it. If that seems silly, wait until you see people vlogging on a RED Komodo.
Canon did put the red C badge on the R5 C, which makes this camera part of its cinema line. But with such a rich feature set for photography, is it really a cinema camera? Is there a difference anymore?
No. Not really. The Canon EOS R5 C lives comfortably in both worlds.
But does it excel in both? We’ll have to find out when we get our hands on it.
If you’re a hybrid shooter and looking for an upgrade, then the R5 C will definitely be on your shortlist. But users should test the camera out or wait for our review on the full production model before committing this piece of gear to their rigorous workflows.
Whatever the R5 C means to users, it’s clear that cameras aren’t for one dedicated task anymore.
Check-in on today’s price for the Canon EOS R5 C here!