FAQ: Canon’s EOS R5 and R6 Mirrorless Cameras07/24/2020
In early July 2020, Canon announced a pair of EOS R-series cameras that should prove to be true game changers in the world of mirrorless cameras. The new cameras are the Canon EOS R5 and R6. Both are full-frame cameras—the R5 features a 45MP sensor, the R6 features a 20MP sensor—and have amazing stills and video. The following is everything else you need to know about these exciting new cameras.
Also, at the top of this page is a replay of our Live Q&A with Canon Technical Expert Rudy Winston. You'll find some questions have an accompanying timestamp; in these cases, you can actually click through the video above and find where this particular subject was addressed during the event.
- The Cameras—Canon's EOS R5 and R6
- Camera Sensors
- Still Imaging
- Viewing Systems
- Exposure Control
- 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
- EF Lens Compatibility
- Memory Cards
- Battery Life
What are the differences between the Canon EOS R5 and R6 camera bodies?
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The clearest and most direct difference between the two is the sensor: the R5 has the higher resolution 45MP sensor while the R6 has a more modest 20MP sensor. And, though they closely resemble one another, there are a number of differences between the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 in regard to their construction materials. The R5 is made predominantly of magnesium alloy and is comparable to the Canon EOS 5D IV in terms of weatherproofing and construction quality.
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The body of the R6 features a higher percentage of reinforced polycarbonate materials and fewer metal alloy components. The top plate of the R5 features a settings display whereas the R6 has a mode dial. (Video Time Code – 16:50 / 2:32:58) The R5 also has a full-size N3 remote release socket on its front plate and PC sync port on the side, along with 3.5mm headphone and 3.5mm mic ports. (Video Time Code – 02:04:52) The R6 also features 3.5mm headphone and 3.5mm mic ports but lacks the N3 remote and PC sync ports.
Both cameras feature four main control dials and a joystick on the back of the camera for quick AF-point selection and menu navigation. (Video Time Code – 16:35 / 2:32:58)
What about shape, size, and weight? How do the R5 and R6 differ? (Video Time Code – 15:29)
Canon's EOS R5 and R6 are similar in size and weight and they share a similar form factor. The R5 weighs 1.62 lb versus the 1.5 lb of the R6, and dimensionally they are very similar, but the shape of the R5 is slightly more angular compared to the R6. The R5 also features better weather sealing compared to the R6.
In terms of construction and performance, if you had to compare the R5 and R6 to any of the existing Canon DSLRs, how would they stack up?
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In terms of construction and performance, the EOS R5 is comparable to Canon EOS 5D-series cameras while the EOS R6 is comparable to Canon EOS 6D-series cameras.
Does either camera feature a built-in flash?
No, but both cameras are compatible with Canon eTTL Speedlites and other compatible on- and off-camera flash systems.
Who are the target audiences for the R5 and R6?
The R5 is a "Class 5" EOS camera, which is aimed at professionals, including portrait and wedding photographers, cinematographers, editorial shooters, and others requiring high resolution and maximum camera performance. (Video Time Code – 18:00 / 2:32:58) The R6 is aimed at photographers, vloggers, YouTubers, and other visual content producers who require high performance but do not necessarily require high pixel counts.
Is either camera GPS enabled? (Video Time Code – 42:06)
Are grips available for Canon's EOS R5 or R6?
Both cameras are compatible with the BG-R10 Battery Grip, which makes handling a bit easier, especially for vertical shooting, and gives you space for two batteries to permit longer shooting times.
Alternatively, the R5 can be also used with Canon's WFT-R10A Wireless File Transmitter, which does double duty by serving as a network workflow asset. The WFT-R10A battery grip features vertically oriented control dials and a joystick for shooting in portrait mode. It's built to the same weather-proofing standards as the R5 and enables you to transfer image files using either wired or wireless LAN connections with FTPS, FTP, and SFTP support. The WFT-R10A also accepts two LP-E6/LP-E6NH batteries—one to power the camera and one to power the grip.
Can you use Canon EF and EF-S lenses on the new R-series cameras without any performance issues? (Video Time Code – 18:57)
Yes. EF and EF-S lenses can be adapted for use on the R5, R6, and other R-series cameras.
Do both cameras contain full-frame sensors and, if so, are they the same imaging sensors? (Video Time Code – 43:52)
Both cameras feature full-frame CMOS sensors, though they are not the same sensors. The EOS R5 features a 45MP CMOS sensor. The EOS R6 features a 20MP CMOS sensor.
Do either of these cameras have anti-aliasing (AA) filters?
Yes. Canon's EOS R5 and R6 both employ anti-aliasing filters to reduce the possibility of recording moiré patterns when photographing fabric, textiles, and other subjects with repeat patterns.
What about APS-C? Can they be set to shoot in APS-C mode
Yes, both can be set to capture using a smaller APS-C (1.6x) area of the sensor; this will be automatically triggered if you're adapting EF-S lenses, too.
Is the 20MP sensor in the R6 the same as the 20MP sensor in Canon's EOS-1D X Mark III? (Video Time Code – 7:40 / 2:32:58)
No. The sensor in the R6 is based on the sensor in the 1D X Mark III, but it's not exactly the same sensor.
Do the R5 and R6 share a common image processor?
Yes. Both cameras feature Canon's latest DIGIC X image processor.
What types of files do the new cameras capture?
The R5 and R6 both record three file formats—JPEG, raw, and HEIF (High-Efficiency Image Format), which is a relatively new format that takes up less storage space on your memory cards compared to standard JPEGs, but isn't quite as well supported by editing programs just yet.
Can the R5 and R6 be set to simultaneously record different file types or different resolutions to each of the camera's card slots?
Yes, on all counts.
What are the aspect ratios choices with the new cameras?
Both cameras allow for capturing image files in 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, and 16:9 aspect ratios.
Is focus stacking an option with either the EOS R5 or R6?
Yes, though with a caveat. When set to Focus Stacking mode, both cameras automatically capture a series of stills at bracketed focus points. The resulting stills must be processed into the final focus-stacked image post-capture.
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What are the video formats of Canon's EOS R5 and R6? (Video Time Code – 2:30 / 2:32:58)
The EOS R5 supports DCI 8K 30 fps raw video recording internally, along with 4K recording up to 120 fps in 4:2:2 10-bit with Canon Log or HDR-PQ for in-camera HDR production.
The EOS R6 offers UHD 4K video recording up to 60 fps, along with Full HD at 120 fps for slow-motion playback. Both formats can be recorded internally at 4:2:2 10-bit and both Canon Log and HDR-PQ are supported.
Both cameras support external recording, via their HDMI ports, for clean 4K output at up to 60 fps. Also, it's worth noting that both cameras can make use of Dual Pixel CMOS AF II at all recording settings.
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Is the 8K footage from the EOS R5 cropped or uncropped? (Video Time Code – 03:59)
The footage is essentially uncropped in terms of width, and only cropped in height due to the 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor. The UHD has to come in a little bit, but the footage is essentially uncropped.
There's been some confusion concerning whether the R5 and R6 shoot at 24 fps? Do they? (Video Time Code – 4:14 / 2:32:58)
This is a misconception. The R5 and R6 can both capture video at 24 fps in Full HD and 4K.
When shooting video with the R5, is raw only available in 8K or is it also possible to shoot raw in 4K?
Unfortunately, not. You can shoot H.265 4K, but no raw.
Can you shoot video in Canon Log or Canon Raw with both the R5 and R6?
You can capture video with Canon Log, but only the R5 offers raw recording, and only when set to 8K resolution.
Do the R5 and R6 feature the same video shooting modes?
The R5 allows you to shoot video in a full range of exposure modes, including Shutter and Aperture control and Custom modes. The R6 only allows you to shoot video in Program and Manual mode, leaving you with Auto ISO and 1/8-stop increment aperture control as workaround tools for exposure control.
What are the specs for shooting slow motion video with the R5 and R6?
The R5 can record 4K up to 120 fps and Full HD up to 60p with Canon Log, HLG, and HDR-PQ. The R6 can record 4K up to 60 fps and Full HD up to 120p with Canon Log, HLG, and HDR-PQ.
Is it possible to record raw video to the CFexpress card while recording lower-res video to the SD card on the R5?
Yes. The R5 allows you to record 8K raw to the CFexpress card and 4K DCI to the SD card simultaneously.
Do the R5 and R6 have the same viewing systems?
Both cameras feature 0.76x-magnification OLED EVFs for eye-level viewing and rear LCDs, but the resolution of the EVFs and LCDs differ. The R5 features a 5.76m-dot OLED EVF and a 3.2" 2.1m-dot rear LCD. The R6 features a 3.68m-dot OLED EVF and a 3.0" 1.68m-dot rear LCD.
To better emulate an OVF-like viewing experience, both cameras can be set to run at 120Hz for more fluid rendering of motion.
Can the LCDs on the EOS R5 and EOS R6 be tilted?
Both cameras feature Free-Angle Tilting LCDs, which, in addition to front-facing viewing, can be easily adjusted for working from high and low shooting angles.
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Do the R5 and R6 share the same autofocus system? (Video Time Code – 5:42 / 2:32:58)
Yes. Both cameras feature Canon's newest Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system, which integrates dual photodiodes within each pixel that together vastly improve AF speed, accuracy, and subject tracking.
How many autofocus points does the new AF system feature and what's the extent of the AF sensor's field coverage? (Video Time Code – 02:15:16)
There are 1053 selectable focusing zones that between them enable nearly 100% field coverage vertically and horizontally for maximum focus control.
Is it true the new AF system recognizes birds and other animals?
Yes. The AF system in both cameras can recognize and lock focus onto the bodies of animals, specifically including birds. At closer ranges, the focus automatically transitions from body-AF to head and eye-AF for finer focus accuracy.
The AF system on the R5 and R6 both feature "EOS iTR AF X" technologies. What is that and what does it do?
EOS iTR AF X technologies are the basis of Canon's advanced AF systems. EOS iTR AF X incorporates advanced algorithms that analyze body types, face, and eye features, and use this data to track subjects while keeping them in sharp focus as they transverse the image field.
What is the AF sensitivity range under low light on the R5 and R6?
In stills mode, the R6 is rated to be accurate to light levels as low as -6.5 EV with an f/1.2 lens and -5 EV in video mode.
The R5 is rated down to -6 EV for stills and -4 EV for video when used with an f/1.2 lens.
Does the camera's touchscreen allow for touch-focus control? (Video Time Code – 01:26:31)
How about focus-bracketing? Do either of the new cameras support focus bracketing? (Video Time Code – 27:43)
The EOS R5 supports focus bracketing but the R6 does not.
What other features are new or improved in the camera's new AF system?
Deep Learning technology has been incorporated that vastly improves the AF system's ability to recognize the eyes, faces, and heads of not only people, but animals too! In the case of animals, the camera's AF system automatically switches from body-AF to eye-AF when the animal comes within a closer focusing range.
What are the sensitivity ranges of the EOS R5 and R6? (Video Time Code – 01:02:29)
Both cameras have a base of ISO 100. The R5 tops out at ISO 51200 and is expandable to ISO 102400. The ISO sensitivity of the R6 extends an additional stop to ISO 102400, and is expandable to ISO 204800.
What are the highest continuous frame rates when shooting stills with the R5 and R6? (Video Time Code – 5:50 / 2:32:58)
Both cameras can shoot up to 12 fps in mechanical shutter mode and up to 20 fps with the electronic shutter engaged. The difference between the cameras is that the R5 can buffer up to 180 raw files or 350 JPEGs with the mechanical shutter or 83 raw and 170 JPEG using the electronic shutter, while the R6, which produces smaller image files, can shoot up to 1000 JPEGs or 240 raw files at 12 fps with either a mechanical or electronic shutter. (Video Time Code – 02:07:53)
What are the shutter speed ranges for the R5 and R6? (Video Time Code – 02:03:57)
Both cameras have shutter speed ranges of 1/8000 to 30 seconds with a mechanical or electronic front curtain shutter, or 1/8000 to ½ second with an electronic shutter.
Can the R5 and R6 be set for interval recording?
Yes, both cameras can be set for interval recording.
Do the R5 and R6 feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and, if so, how many stops?
Canon's EOS R5 and R6 both contain 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization systems that compensate for up to 8 stops of camera shake when shooting handheld with select lenses.
What does "5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization" mean?
A 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system is a stabilization system that compensates for camera movement by micro-shifting the camera's image sensor in the opposite direction of the camera movement, which effectively cancels or greatly reduces the chance of blur in photographs taken at slower shutter speeds.
What does "8 stops of image stabilization" translate to in real-world numbers?
An 8-stop effective IS system means, for example, if you can normally hand-hold a lens at 1/500 sec, then 8-stop IS will enable you to theoretically handhold the same lens under the same conditions at ¼ sec and get equally sharp results.
When shooting with IS-enabled EOS R lenses, does the IS system in the lens add additional stability to the camera's IBIS?
Yes. When shooting with IS-enabled EOS R-series lenses, depending on the lens, you can realize up to a total of 8 stops of image stabilization. The IS system will use the lens's optical stabilization when possible and then provide additional support by shifting the sensor.
Can I get the same combined image stabilization if I adapt IS-enabled Canon EF-mount lenses to an R5 or R6 camera?
Not entirely. While Canon EF-mount lenses will work, and the image stabilization will be supported, it won't be to the same degree as native RF-mount lenses. Adapted EF-mount lenses will still offer optical image stabilization, and the camera will still use sensor-shift image stabilization to control shake, but it won't be as effective as 8 stops worth of camera shake reduction.
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Are Canon EF lenses adaptable to Canon EOS R bodies?
Yes, Canon EF lenses can be adapted to both the R5 and R6 by using Canon EF-EOS R lens adapters, which allow for seamless use of EF and EF-S lenses on EOS R cameras.
When adapting Canon EF-S lenses on EOS R cameras, does the camera automatically crop to an APS-C format?
What about AF performance? Do EF and EF-S lenses perform equally well when used on EOS R cameras or is there a noticeable drop in performance levels? (Video Time Code – 21:11, Video Time Code – 01:47:59)
EF and EF-S lenses perform equally well when used on an R5, R6, or other EOS R-series camera.
What about Wi-Fi connectivity? Do both cameras offer similar options?
The R5 offers 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, connectivity for transferring image files to mobile devices. The R6 only offers 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The Canon Camera connect app uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to communicate—Bluetooth is for keeping the connection and Wi-Fi is for actual transfer. Bluetooth also acts as a remote trigger. (Video Time Code – 02:09:35)
Are there any quicker, more powerful Wi-Fi options for either camera?
The R5 can be used with Canon's WFT-R10A Wireless File Transmitter Grip, which in addition to enabling wired Ethernet and wireless LAN connectivity features the option of a faster 802.11ac/c 2x2 MIMO Technology connection for transfer speeds of up to 867 Mb/s.
Standard 802.11b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11ac/a/n at 5 GHz can also be used depending on the network.
Both cameras feature dual card slots. What types of cards do they use? (Video Time Code – 00:46:56)
Both cameras feature dual memory card slots, but they use different combinations of card types. The R5 has slots for a single CFexpress Type B card and a single SD (UHS-II) memory card. The R6 has slots for dual SD (UHS-II) memory cards.
Can I use SD UHS-I cards in the R5 and R6?
Yes, of course. Most SD cards should work, but if you're recording 4K or 8K video or shooting in quick bursts, you should stick to UHS-II cards. Canon went as far as including the buffer capacity based on UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards in the R5/R6 spec sheets.
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Do the R5 and R6 use the same batteries? (Video Time Code – 14:11 / 2:32:58)
Yes, both cameras use Canon's latest 16Wh LP-E6NH batteries. Older Canon LP-E6-type batteries can also be used.
How many exposures can we expect from the new LP-E6NH batteries?
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In default mode, you can expect about 320 exposures per charge from the R5 when using the camera's EVF and about 490 exposures with the rear LCD. These numbers fall by about 30% when the camera is set to a higher viewfinder refresh rate.
The R6 is rated at 380 exposures per charge when using the camera's EVF and about 510 exposures when using the LCD. These figures also go down by about 30% when the camera is set to a faster refresh time.
Note, though, that these are tested and official numbers, but you might be able to get a greater number of shots per charge depending on the conditions in which you're working, how you're shooting, and which other camera settings you use or don't use.
Can the LP-E6NH batteries be used in older Canon EOS cameras that normally use LP-E6/E6N batteries? (Video Time Code – 14:00)
Yes, they can, but the increase in battery life will only be recognized when used in the R5 and R6. Similarly, older LP-E6/E6N batteries can be used in the R5 and R6 albeit with fewer exposures per charge.
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