When Canon released the EOS R5 and EOS R6, they made it clear right away that both cameras were thermally limited when shooting 8K (R5) or oversampled 4K (both) video. But what does this mean for real world use? DPReview has now tested both cameras, and their conclusion is unfortunate for Canon fans who hoped that overheating concerns were made up or overblown.
The report was published by DPReview Technical Editor Richard Butler earlier this morning, and the headline sums it up well: “cameras work as promised – but that’s not enough.”
DPReview’s benchmark testing and real-world experience with the cameras—which were used to shoot the DPReview TV episodes for the R6 and R5—both showed that Canon was being honest about when and how these cameras would overheat. Nobody has been lying or covering anything up. The problem is that you don’t need to be running the camera continuously to hit those limits… even in stand-by, and even when taking photos, your camera is slowly heating up.
“The clock is essentially running from the moment you turn the camera on,” writes Butler. “Not only does this make R5 a poor fit for many professional video shoots, it also means that you can’t depend on the cameras when shooting video alongside stills at, say, a wedding, which is a situation that the EOS R5 clearly is intended for.”
This played out for DPRTV‘s Jordan Drake in real life. When shooting their EOS R6 review above on the R5, he avoided taking certain spontaneous shots, always had to keep the countdown timer in mind, and spent a lot of mental energy rationing the over-sampled 4K HQ footage and especially 4K/120p, which “really chews up your remaining shooting minutes.”
When shooting their EOS R5 review with the EOS R6, the recording limits are a bit more lenient, but the recovery time was significantly worse. At one point, Drake was left in an air conditioned car “babysitting a hot R6” while his talent was out testing the EOS R5.
We’ve seen similar reports from photographers in the field. A user on Canon Rumors‘ described his experience shooting only stills at a Motorcross event. According to him, the camera overheated even without shooting any video (emphasis added).
[You get] 19 min from a cold body with no foreplay, [if] you take a pic or two and fiddle in the menus that time begins to drop. I got to use an R5 today out at a Motocross event and well it turned off from only doing photos. This was using the EF to RF adapter and a 200mm f2. This was used for over a time period of 2.5-3 hrs and it was 86 degrees out.
Online outrage and recall rumors aside, the story here seems to be one of feature-overreach. Canon stacked their spec sheet with some very impressive numbers, and it’s come back to bite them by creating real issues in real world use that the camera is meant for. That doesn’t mean the camera is unusable or even “critically flawed,” but does means that you should think hard about whether or not the EOS R5 (and even the EOS R6) will suit your professional workflow.
To read DPReview’s full report and see the results of their standardized overheating test, click here.