The Canon R5 is the latest and greatest of the high megapixel cameras with some pretty impressive features on both the stills and video fronts.
While Canon’s latest sensor looks to have caught up to the competition what about their video?
A lot of influencers and big review sites keep comparing the Canon R5 to other video cameras, but how does it stack up to other high megapixel cameras like the Sony A7rIV?
Let’s take a look.
If you’re a Canon fan, hopefully, this puts things into perspective for you for the new Canon R5. It’s a very impressive camera with some great modes that don’t overheat.
Canon R5 vs Sony A7rIV vs Panasonic S1R vs Nikon Z7 | A Video Comparison
Here is a comparison chart breaking down some of the video features and capabilities of the different high megapixel cameras.
|Feature||Canon R5||Sony A7rIV||Panasonic S1R||Nikon Z7|
|8k Full Readout||Yes (20 min heat)||No||No||No|
|4k HQ Sampled from 8.2k||Yes (30 min heat)||No||No||No|
|4k Pixel Binned||Yes (no heat limit)||Yes||No||No|
|4k Line Skipping (bad)||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|4k APS-C Crop Oversampled||Yes (no heat limit)||Yes (no heat limit)||Yes||Yes|
|4k 120p||Yes (15min heat limit)||No||No||No|
|10-bit Internal 4:2:2||Yes||No||No||No|
|10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI Out||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Record Limit||30min||Unlimited||15min (because of heat?)||30min|
*I don’t have any of these cameras and this is just based on specs I could find. Very little information is available on the non-overheating modes of the R5.
As you can see from the chart, the Canon R5 pretty much DESTROYS the competition in video features and capabilities. Not only does it offer all their same 4k modes without overheating, but it offers you more advanced modes if you’re willing to work with the heat limits.
This of course is obvious, and it’s nothing special for Canon. All these cameras will do this in another year or two with the next upgrade.
The Canon R5 is the newest camera of the bunch. Most likely the next Nikon Z7s will do a few things better than the R5, then the Panasonic S1r II will do a few things better than the Z7s, then the A7rV will do a few things better than the S1r II, then the Canon R5II will come out, and leapfrog all them once again.
Whoever puts out the newest camera usually has better features. They all basically have access to the same technology, to the same Silicon, the same Ram. I believe ARM processors? What’s different is how they tune that technology for their users.
Currently, for the photographer that only cares about having the highest-resolution sensor possible for stills, the Sony A7rIV is a really nice offering. But for the first time, we’re getting a high megapixel camera with the Canon R5 that is actually more suitable for hybrid shooting. If you want a Canon R5 without any limitations, you’ll likely have to wait for the Mark II which probably won’t come for another four years, knowing Canons release cycle. There is nothing Canon can do here to get better specs other than wait for newer faster processors that don’t have to work as hard to process a full 8k sensor readout.
So those that keep saying “Canon needs to improve their technology,” obviously don’t understand how computers work. Dell can’t put in a better processor than what Intel or AMD have available.
Where Canon Done Goofed
It’s always easy to look back and tell people what they did wrong and where they could have done better. “Canon is bad at marketing.” You’ll see. Are they? Or did they just underestimate how bad influencers can be? I guess that’s the same thing.
Canon coming out hot in their marketing material as an 8k camera got people’s imagination going way too wild and gave them way too high of expectations. Then once those expectations were destroyed, everyone was bummed out and they’re now unable to see the camera for what it is.
Canon’s mistake was to assume most influencers are actual photographers, they’re not, they are vloggers, most of the attention is on them, but they shoot a little photography here and there on the side. So any camera that doesn’t cater to people filming themselves for hours on end, is going to get very biased criticism.
It would have been nice had Canon launched the R5 with only the 4k modes that didn’t overheat, except for the 120p and the 60p. If they just had the regular 4k mode with pixel binning without overheating, then everyone would have compared it to the A7rIV instead of the A7sIII and it would have come across as a nice still camera with some decent video capabilities for when you’re in a pinch.
Then they could have later announced 8k, and 4k HQ capabilities coming soon via a firmware update. So everyone testing the camera would have had a great user experience. Then, Canon could be like, “ok, we are dropping a crazy bleeding edge high-performance firmware. But we’re warning you, it will overheat.”
I think if they would push the camera like that, everything would be going way better and nobody would complain about these experimental features. Because as you can see from the chart above, the Canon matches all the 4k modes as Sony, Panasonic and Nikon but still offers 10-bit internal recording with 4:2:2.
Nobody should seriously compare the R5 to an A7SIII because honestly, that’s dumb. It’s a high megapixel stills camera for landscape and studio photographers, but because they came out the gate with such competitive video features, everyone compared it to a video camera. When it let them down, the camera got flamed but just about every reviewer out there.
I’m assuming Canon was planning on having 8k to come at launch so it was ready to be used in the Olympics which were to be broadcasted in 8k in Japan. The 8k mode would have been great Broll beast for these short little bursts of action found in many of the Olympic sports, like the Javelin throw, Volleyball, High Dive etc.
I personally would love to have 8k RAW for product videography because then I could pull 12-bit stills with a great image. This is actually how I got my product shots for my Pergear 50mm review, they were pulled from the video. I can think of so many amazing uses for that 8k RAW video.
Canon R5 Bad At Marketing?
The people that keep saying Canon was bad at marketing are usually the ones that gave it the most disservice, maybe now they feel bad for blowing their reviews of such a great camera that now they want to pass the blame on to Canon. “It’s Canon’s fault that I suck at reviewing cameras.” – basically.
To be fair, Canon probably shouldn’t have pushed all these advanced features in the camera. Well, they didn’t actually. The rumor sites and the bloggers did. If you look at Canons marketing material the 8k video and 4k HQ are not the feature presentation. On their website of the Canon R5, video features are listed pretty far down the page.
Again, the only way they could have gotten around this 8k hype would have been to initially release it without those features. But I get it, this situation was unique, this camera was meant for the Olympics so they probably stuck to their release strategy and sports photographers would have absolutely loved this camera.
My Thoughts On The Canon R5 vs The Sony A7SIII
First off, the Sony A7sIII is too expensive for a 12MP camera. When It comes down to $2,500 I’ll be interested in it but right now Sony is doing a money grab.
Second, I will say that I think the Canon R5 is a better video camera than the Sony A7sIII is a stills camera.
Which one would I want? I’d take a Canon R5 any day at that price. But I shoot more photography than I shoot video, so there you go.
I would also probably buy a Canon R6 over an A7sIII. Again it comes down to the price and let’s face it, the Sony A7sIII is only 12MP and the R6 at 20MP can do a lot of the important things the A7sIII does, minus 4k120p.
I’m personally waiting for the Nikon Z6s which hopefully shoots 4k60p h.265 4:2:2 without overheating at 24p, with a price possibly around $2400. It would give me a lot of the 4k goodness of the A7sIII, without sacrificing stills capabilities.
In case you missed it, check out Gordon’s video here. Camera Labs is probably the best review site out there and Gordon is a beast! His work doesn’t get as much traffic as the hipster Youtube kids reviewing cameras so always try to support these people doing good work when you can.