A fox appeared out my window as I was unboxing the first R5. A good omen, perhaps.
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.