Canon EOS R5C: Initial Thoughts & Review

A hybrid cinema camera based on the popular EOS R5
By UWPG Editors

Canon's EOS R5C combines the best of both worlds from the popular EOS R5 and the Canon C70 cinema camera, a true 'video first' mirrorless camera. The body of the Canon EOS R5C will be familiar to anybody who's used an R5 in the past. It's essentially the same but with an added fan for additional cooling. Admittedly, the fan does add quite a substantial amount of extra weight to the EOS R5C compared to the R5, adding about an inch in size from front to back. However, what you lose in portability, you gain in video capability. 

This camera is a true hybrid, showcased by the power dial that has three positions:

  • Off
  • Photo
  • Video

This isn't a stills camera with a token video mode; the Canon EOS R5C is a true hybrid that transforms into a cinema camera at the flick of a switch. 

Canon EOS R5C Underwater Housings 

Because the Canon EOS R5C is deeper at the back thanks to its cooling fan, the typical Canon EOS R5 housings aren't compatible with this newer model.

Key Features

  • Image Processor Type - DIGIC X
  • Full Frame 8K Sensor - Capture professional 8K, 30fps footage (60fps with external power supply)
  • 45 Megapixel Images - Shoot high-resolution 20fps (electronic) and 12fps (mechanical) images
  • Lens Mount - Canon RF mount (Compatible lenses: All RF lenses and EF lenses, including EF-S lenses/EF cinema lenses)
  • Long Duration Recording - Record 8K footage without limitations with a new active cooling system
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF - Reliable autofocus performance featuring Eye AF and EOS iTR AF X
  • Cinema RAW Light - Internally record professional 12-bit RAW footage up to 2.6Gbps
  • XF-AVC and MP4 - Options for 4:2:2 10-bit XF-AVC 810Mbps recording and HEVC 540Mbps
  • HDR Recording Formats - Produce high dynamic range content with Canon Log 3, PQ and HLG capture
  • Cinema EOS Functions - Waveform Monitor, False Colour, Timecode and more
  • Robust and Compact Design - Compact and lightweight (680g) body with dust and moisture resistance
  • ND Filter - No
  • Internal Recording Media - 1x CFexpress card (CFexpress 2.0 Type B), 1x SD card (SD/SDHC/SDXC) 
  • Video Mode Recording Format - Cinema RAW Light (CRM): 12-bit RAW | XF-AVC (MXF):4:2:2 10-bit (ALL-I or Long GOP) | HEVC (MP4): 4:2:2 10-bit / 4:2:0 10-bit | H.264 (MP4): 4:2:0 8-bit 
  • Photo Mode Recording Format - RAW | C-RAW | Dual Pixel RAW2 | HEIF3 | JPEG

Canon EOS R5C Stills Mode

While the Canon EOS R5C is aimed at videographers and cinematographers, it's important to remember that it's still a capable stills camera. When used in photo mode, the R5C essentially becomes an R5, an excellent camera that is currently our favourite for underwater photography. 

People familiar with the Canon EOS R5 will instantly feel at home using the R5C in photo mode; the menu and functionality of the camera are the same. But this changes completely when used in video mode. 

Canon EOS R5C Video Mode

When you put this camera into video mode, everything changes, including the menu and function of the physical buttons on the body itself. The menu gives you access to all of the settings that will help you get the most out of the R5C when using it as a cinema camera, and the display provides additional information too. There is a delay of a few seconds when switching from photo mode into video mode, but it's not something that most people will need to worry about. 

Overall, the Canon EOS R5C will become the go-to mirrorless camera for Canon shooters mainly interested in video functionality. It has most of the same cine features the Canon C70 has, including false color, LUTs, waveform monitor and more.

Build, Ergonomics & Battery Life

The R5C is modeled on the popular Canon EOS R5 body. It's effectively the same shape but with a fan for additional cooling mounted on the back, making it thicker and considerably bulkier. Despite this, the weight difference isn't as dramatic as you might first think. The R5 weighs 26.03oz (738g), whereas the R5C only weighs 1.13oz (32g) more coming in at 27.16oz (770g) in total. This is much less than the Canon C70 which has many of the same features as the R5C, coming in at a substancial 41.27oz (1,170g).

The R5C uses the tried and tested LP-E6 battery, but when used in cine mode, expect it to drain them pretty quickly thanks to the big new cooling fan, even more so when shooting in 8K. The standard Canon EOS R5 battery grip works with the R5C, so that is an option if adding even more bulk isn't an issue for you. You can also use an external power supply that gives you unlimited shooting without worrying about battery levels; it's also required to shoot in 8K RAW. 

Cooling Performance 

As you would expect from a camera with a fan as big as this one, overheating isn't an issue with this new model. You can continuously shoot in 8K 60fps, and the fan does an excellent job of controlling any heating issues that you'd expect to experience with other cameras. 

Image Stabilization

The R5C doesn't have in-body image stabilization. Instead, it relies on digital stabilization, which does a good job of reducing camera shake, but the trade-off is a 1.1x crop. You can, of course, use stabilized lenses, which, combined with digital stabilization, result in smooth footage when shooting handheld. 

Final Thoughts

Could the Canon EOS R5C be the perfect hybrid photo and video camera? For people looking for one package that does it all, then quite possibly. The clear separation between photo and video modes allows each to be perfectly optimized for what they're good at. 

At first, it does take some getting used to if you're familiar with the usual layout of Canon cameras because the interface when in video mode is so different. But having two clearly defined roles means you can focus on getting the most out of each. 

If you have any more questions about the Canon EOS R5C, please reach out to the team over at Bluewater Photo; they'll be happy to help. 


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