R5 arrived... First impressions for stills

tiggy@mac.com

R5
CR Pro
Jan 20, 2014
640
483
Thetford, VT
www.camnostic.com
A fox appeared out my window as I was unboxing the first R5. A good omen, perhaps.

General impression:
This is a once-in-10-years milestone camera when all these improvements coming together. Extremely happy with it. Sure I'll find some bugaboos, but so far so good. There are some 1D series features in here (voice notes), but at least one left out (AF spot metering).

Quick first impressions:
1) Rolling shutter is amazingly well controlled. Need more proper testing, but first impression makes it seem like my A9 II. Really unexpectedly good. Whipping the camera back and forth at 840mm on vertical grass at 80 yards while shooting at 1,000th of a second showed the same rolling shutter using mechanical as electronic shutter, which is to say that it was limited by shutter speed, rather than readout.
2) Ergonomic improvements from R/RP much more than I'd expected. There are lots of little thoughtful things.
3) Goofing around counting FPS I took 3203 shots so far, and my old lp-e6n battery I used is now 37 percent charged still. The lp-e6nh that they sent with the camera was low on arrival, so it's still charging. My sense is that this is draining faster than a dslr, but not crazily so. Typically when doing 10 fps+, you get much higher number of exposures per battery, but this is still pretty good.
4) Perhaps because I'm using the old style battery, I can get 12 fps on mechanical shutter, but only about 15 fps on electronic. I think when I put the proper battery in, it'll go up to 20 on electronic shutter.
5) [Note: this is revised due to original test having been done on faulty card] After redoing the frames per second tests on two different R5's, here's the rough gist when using RAW format (JPEG goes forever):
a) Mechanical shutter does 12 fps for 13-16 seconds before starting to stutter with the buffer unloading. Low was 150 frames before the buffer kicked in, high was 191 using a faster card.
b) E-shutter does 20 fps for a little less than 3 seconds before buffer kicks in, and then it stutters at an average frame rate of just over 10 fps.
6) Touchscreen focus point selection is lightning fast. The R and RP were sludgy, I felt, relative to the M series, although the M series was subject to lag too - a slightly different phenomenon. Neither afflict the R5. It's super zippy and a joy to use. So much so that I now realize I haven't even tried the joystick yet .
7) Image quality with the resolution is way better than I expected. I thought it would be more akin to the 5d4 /R sensor. The additional resolution is great, but there is more improvement than just that resolution would suggest. I feel the noise levels are reduced per same ISO, but of course we'll need real testing. Just an informed feeling at this point. Wouldn't be surprised if there is a stop improvement, as has been suggested by early reviewers.
8) Tracking is noticeably improved, even from the R tracking after the most recent firmware update. It is on par with my A9 II and A7r4; and the animal eye tracking is probably quite a bit better.
9) Not a video guy, so I haven't even ventured over there.
10) Tried out the IBIS (forgot to test it earlier). I am getting consistently sharp shots with my 600mm f/4 with 1.4x EF TC for an effective 840mm focal length at 1/15th second when viewing 1:1 pixels on a monopod. At 1/8th of a second I'm getting 1/4th shots in perfect focus at 1:1 pixel viewing. This is way better than I got with earlier cameras, and especially good given the 1.5x megapickles versus the R. I'm guessing this is a real-world 6 stops of IS with the lens+IBIS combination. I feel my limitation is now only subject movement.
11) Non-animal, non-person tracking is improved. This, I felt, was a weakness in the R, even after the recent firmware update, relative to the Sony version. I feel it is better a picking an inanimate object and keeping hold of it in tracking, where previously the Canon version of tracking would be a bit slippy on non-living targets.
12) After having taken about 1500 shots within 5 minutes, the camera wasn't even slightly warm. Removed the memory card and felt, and it was slightly warm, but couldn't feel any other component retaining much heat. This tells me that intense stills taking isn't going to do anything to cause a heat problem. Shooting at 82 degrees in sun.
13) I cannot see much viewfinder lag, but I haven't had opportunity to fully test on birds in flight, etc. When using panning to try to introduce viewfinder lag, I'm unsuccessful.
14) Startup time is super fast. Can flick camera on and start shooting in <1 second. Quite a bit less it seems. Faster than I'd be able to raise camera to eye.
15) Just got the 600mm f/11. Surprisingly nice image quality. Oddly won't let me take an exposure longer than .5 seconds as I'm trying to test out the IS+IBIS. Probably doing something hinky that I'll figure out later. IS seems to be 5-6 stops. 800mm still on way.
16) Putting the 1.4 RF teleconverter on the 600 was very surprising. F/16 images were very sharp at 840mm. Tomorrow will make direct comparisons with the EF 600 f/4 + EF 1.4x TC III. The f/4 will be better, of course, but not as much as you'd think. These f/11 lenses aren't as nuts as people thought.
17) I can confirm that the RF 1.4x teleconverter does NOT work with the EF/RF converters, so you must use the EF teleconverters with EF lenses.
18) High ISO (50k) is usable without much cropping. I do think this is about a stop better. Must do real tests, but gut tests look pretty impressive.
19) For kicks, tried the RF 85 f1.2 to verify that a camera can have 8 stops of IS. Wow, it can. The weird thing is that the 85 doesn't have lens IS, so it's not even combining the two (although the RF protocol does provide accelerometer data back from lens to body that is used in IBIS calcs).
20) As per usual, certain things that you select in settings will have effects on your frame rate. These sometimes aren't intuitive. I found I had 9fps in mechanical shutter for some reason until I reset my communications settings, which I'd been futzing with. That gave me back 12 fps. Someone should build a chart of this stuff once we figure it all out.
 
Last edited:

Joules

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,216
1,368
Hamburg, Germany
Yeah from what I've seen (not just read) the noise performance of the R5 is really really excellent. Better than even the R6 and noticeably better too. Which is strange due to the resolution difference. Congrats!
Not sure what you are basing that on. To me, it looks like the R5 and R6 are identical if properly compared at the same magnification
But both are slightly better than the R / 5D IV and much better than the 6D II:

 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,859
1,720
:LOL:
You're very welcome. I've been frustrated some of these obvious questions hadn't been answered by reviewers.

Upshot: It's a keeper.

Other note: Ordered one from B&H and one from Adorama, 10 minutes apart, a few minutes after the orders were available. Both came within the same 1/2 hour here in Vermont.
Oh now there's some one-upmanship. A number of us have one R5, at just about the earliest possible time, so now someone has to tell us he has TWO of them!

:LOL: :ROFLMAO:
 
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AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,325
7,079
You're very welcome. I've been frustrated some of these obvious questions hadn't been answered by reviewers.

Upshot: It's a keeper.

Other note: Ordered one from B&H and one from Adorama, 10 minutes apart, a few minutes after the orders were available. Both came within the same 1/2 hour here in Vermont.
Are you keeping both?
 

Jethro

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
461
337
You're very welcome. I've been frustrated some of these obvious questions hadn't been answered by reviewers.

Upshot: It's a keeper.

Other note: Ordered one from B&H and one from Adorama, 10 minutes apart, a few minutes after the orders were available. Both came within the same 1/2 hour here in Vermont.
You've got two - no wonder there's a world shortage for the rest of us! :)
 

Jethro

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
461
337
12) After having taken about 1500 shots within 5 minutes, the camera wasn't even slightly warm. Removed the memory card and felt, and it was slightly warm, but couldn't feel any other component retaining much heat. This tells me that intense stills taking isn't going to do anything to cause a heat problem. Shooting at 82 degrees in sun.
Had to smile at that! Thanks for the great review, and for taking time out from your obvious enjoyment of your new acquisition(s).
 
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Feb 15, 2020
356
253
Thanks for this! If you have the time, I am very curious as to how the camera renders skin tones in the 'neutral' picture profile. Some of the early R5 images I've seen seem to have a slight magenta cast to them, and I'm just hoping that is a picture profile difference and not 'baked in' to the files... thanks!
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,859
1,720
Not sure where to put this, but I've made an interesting discovery.

The R5 is supposed to put you in 1.6 crop mode automatically when an EF-S lens is attached.

It does not do this when a Tamron APS-C lens is attached. You can take photos with the huge amount of vignetting (or whatever you want to call it) including dark areas outside of the image circle. (Of course, you can manually go to 1.6 crop mode, too.) It's rather interesting!
 

Jethro

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
461
337
Not sure where to put this, but I've made an interesting discovery.

The R5 is supposed to put you in 1.6 crop mode automatically when an EF-S lens is attached.

It does not do this when a Tamron APS-C lens is attached. You can take photos with the huge amount of vignetting (or whatever you want to call it) including dark areas outside of the image circle. (Of course, you can manually go to 1.6 crop mode, too.) It's rather interesting!
Ah, this is a problem with certain 3rd party lenses on the EOS R as well. You can try turning all the lens aberration correction settings off - this seems to work in some cases. I had problems with a full frame 3rd party EF mount lens as well.
 

zonefocus

I'm New Here
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2020
12
28
I have had the camera for about 2 hours. I agree with OP, this is the 5D Mirrorless stills camera I have been waiting for. It is early days though,,, Here is what I can report and I hope it adds value. I hope it is ok to post onto this thread...

1/ start up and shut down times are lightning quick. I would have no issues flipping this camera on and off if I needed to conserve battery with no worry I would miss a shot becuase by the time the cam gets to my eye it is on.
2/ I am using my old 6D LP6 battery and it is still going after excessive chimping and menu diving. I do have it on out of the box settings ie lower evf, auto shutoff after a minute. Normal warming that you get with every mirrorless camera I have tried (been mirrorless for 6 years now).
3/ EF 70-200 IS v1 crops in the focus points
4/ EF 35mm f2 non is does the same (that combo is so light!)
5/ EF-24-70 v2 is focusing like a rocket and I would be happy to hang on to this for a good while
6/ The ef to rf focus ring adaptor implementation to hold shutter half way down and then turn ring to EV comp is just wonderful to use - really great ergos
7/ Overall ergonomics is EVERYTHING I hoped it would be and what I have been waiting for. I have been through fuji and sony mirrorless and this is by far the most comfortable out of the box mirrorless camera, and more comfortable in my hands than my 5Dmkiii. Only the D700 grip gives me the same feels.
8/ see attached reference jpg image - The above mentioned 70-200 at 185mm, f/2.8, 1/160 ISO 12800, AWB. IBIS is real!! https://www.zonefocus.net/galleryr5
9/ AU/NZ Lucky strap is beautiful


My new LP6H whatever batteries are still charging and then Im out shooting!
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,859
1,720
Ah, this is a problem with certain 3rd party lenses on the EOS R as well. You can try turning all the lens aberration correction settings off - this seems to work in some cases. I had problems with a full frame 3rd party EF mount lens as well.
Actually, I don't view it as a problem; it's an interesting effect. Sure, 99% of the time I'll want to go to crop mode. Maybe in an ideal universe Canon would switch to crop mode automatically (which they do, for their lenses), but let you leave it if you want to (which they don't, for their lenses).

To be honest, I don't anticipate using crop lenses on this camera, unless there's some other feature of the R5 I just have to have (e.g., IBIS, screamingly fast autofocus). I can get better resolution in crop mode on my M50 or M6-II.