Modding the Canon R5 Could Yield Longer Recording Times, But Likely Void Your Warranty

The great thing about the Canon R5 is that It can record in 8K. The unfortunate thing about the Canon R5 is that it records in 8K for only about 20 minutes.

But according to some recent research, a modification in the camera’s heat management architecture can not only increase that recording time but shorten the time it takes to recover after the camera shuts down from overheating.

The question, however, becomes: is it worth risking your camera warranty over it?

Originally, when the Canon R5 came out, the camera would shut down after 19 minutes of recording in 8K, and some 4K modes, due to the processor overheating. Users would be forced to wait up to two hours to let the camera cool down. And then, you’d only get another eight to 25 minutes before it would shut down again. This was due to Canon’s original timer chip, which would protect your camera processor from the excessive heat that is generated when recording in ultra-high definition.

How hot are we talking about?

About 85° C (185° F). That’s a tad toasty. The R5 has been designed, however, to divert that heat through two thermal pads and an aluminum heat sink. The problem is that the heat sink is under another board, so the heat can’t go anywhere. As such, the camera shuts down.

Users, however, complained that Canon was using an arbitrary timer to guard against overheating, rather than relying on actual thermal data to determine when the camera was reaching the danger zone. 

Canon issued a firmware update that measures the actual thermal load impacting the R5 processor and motherboard. The result? Users got another six minutes. But it also meant that they could shut down the camera when not in use and not be hampered by a cumulative timer chip.

Filter maker Kolari Vision has a modification of the R5 which promises to nearly double the recording time by positioning the camera’s heat sink behind the camera case, so it can radiate that heat out and away from delicate circuitry and into the air.

The result is longer recording times and shorter recovery times. As such, the camera can now record for about 44 minutes before shutting down, and then an additional 25 minutes after a five-minute cool-down period.

Kolari’s modification employs a thick, copper heat sink that’s been repositioned to be near the camera backside of the case. There, it wicks away the heat coming through the thermal pads and routes it out to the rear case. Kolari says that the design is completely internal and does not compromise the R5’s weather sealing in any way.

Kolari is offering the R5 modification service for $400, or you can buy a modified Canon R5 directly from them for $4,400. Kolari is also promising step-by-step DIY instructions later this year for those who like to tinker.

But if you don’t want to wait, DIY Perks on YouTube put out a modification of the R5 last November, which tries water cooling, before settling on a similar solution as the Kolari solution, but with an additional homemade fan from a laptop.

But be warned. These modifications, whether professionally done or through the DIY route, definitely will void the camera’s warranty.

Have you come up with any fixes? Leave them in the comments.     

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