R5 - What Canon can improve for pros.

Jul 23, 2013
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carlsmiller.com
I've set my M Fn button to "Stills <--> Movie Switching". It switches to the last movie mode you used, separate from C3. Set the same in the movie settings so I can switch back & forth by pressing the MFn button.

Link to a video

Thanks for sending that! Seems "stills <--> movie" is only available on the "M.fn" button and of course I didn't check that one :oops:. By default M.fn is assigned to the very useful "Dial Function Setting" but thankfully that can be assigned to other buttons. I'll have to re-customize things now - but this will definitely speed up the photo/video switch for me!
 
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definedphotography

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 13, 2020
62
64
Thanks for sending that! Seems "stills <--> movie" is only available on the "M.fn" button and of course I didn't check that one :oops:. By default M.fn is assigned to the very useful "Dial Function Setting" but thankfully that can be assigned to other buttons. I'll have to re-customize things now - but this will definitely speed up the photo/video switch for me!

I guess thats another thing Canon could fix. Allow anything to be assigned to any button :)

Glad I could help.
 
Sep 28, 2021
5
1
Hopefully they trickle down the fine tuning of shutter speed from the R3 to R5 & R6 even if they don't add the auto-detect.
 

paul

EOS M50
Sep 11, 2012
34
11
My R5 shipped late July and I've been lucky to shoot (both photo & video) many more weddings than I thought I would this year (socially distant masking wearing affairs, as well as an unfortunate super-spreader or two). It's such a phenomenal camera and I can't recommend it enough. It really is the pro-level mirrorless we've all been hoping for. But my guess is you already know that, so I thought it might be useful to touch on some of the shortcomings/annoyances I've encountered, especially compared to the 5DIV. Some of these might seem nitpicky, but that's 1. only because the camera is that good and 2. I work in a very high paced environment and how quickly I can see/change/toggle settings really matters. Thankfully, almost everything I'm about to mention can be addressed through firmware.

Top LCD Display
Canon chose form over function with its current configuration. It displays minimal information and is often harder to read. It looks new and sexy (and has cool animations while you toggle modes), but in use its utility pales in comparison to a DSLR top display. From manuals to illustrate:

View attachment 195229 View attachment 195228
View attachment 195236 View attachment 195237


On a 5DIV I can see everything with one glance. On the R5 only my exposure settings are shown, for some reason ISO is smaller/more difficult to see (I care about that setting as much as aperture/shutter), and a button press is required to toggle to a second page with more info. It's just too slow compared to pressing the shutter half-way to wake the back LCD and seeing all the info there. Further, if you're used to a 5D, here are the settings you still won't be able to see at all from the top display:
  • Remaining shots left before card is full (big omission IMO)
  • If multiple exposure is on
  • If dual-pixel raw is on
  • If GPS is on
If you're comparing the R5 with the R6, and the top LCD is pulling you to the R5, don't let it. That said, if Canon improved this, or better yet made it user-customizable with what info can be shown and how condensed, I'd change my tune.

No top mode dial / separate photo/video Mode screens
To swap back and forth between photo & video modes, you have to press mode and then press info, which is slower than just quickly spinning a top dial like on the R6. Canon lets you go into the menu and hide certain modes (Av, Tv, C1, etc.), but photo and video modes are still separate pages. As someone who does hybrid photo/video weddings, I wish we could customize the mode menu so both photo and video options appeared together. I'm often toggling between M for stills and all three custom video modes (One high frame rate, one 24fps, one in crop mode for extra reach).

Update: Definedphotography pointed out that the M.Fn button can be customized to immediately switch between photo & video modes! The camera remembers the last mode you were in for each respective option and will return to that when the button is pressed. After testing it out I can confirm switching is much faster. Strangely, this is only a customization option for the M.Fn button and not others, but the very handy "Dial Function Setting" (the M.fn default) can at least be customized to other buttons. Still, I hope Canon can update the Mode menu to allow photo & video options to be customized and shown together.

Auto ISO
Auto ISO works great if you like to use it, but I don't and I'm constantly getting bumped into the mode by accident. The top rear dial defaults to ISO and if metering is active scrolling it all the way down will stop it at 100. However, if metering is not active, scrolling it all the way down will bring it past 100 and then to auto-ISO. I'm sure many of us habitually reset ISO to 100 when going from indoors to outside, but now I can't rely on muscle memory (blindly giving it a bunch of spins to the left) and instead have to look down and pay attention more. I've spent hours in the menu looking for a disable auto-ISO option, and there isn't one. I've since disabled the dial completely and instead remapped AE lock to ISO (while held down the front dial switches from shutter to ISO). Another option is to change the metering timer (default 8 sec.) to 10 min or 30 min. (closest to always on), but I'm unsure of how this might affect battery performance.

"Unlock" option for custom button
I carry two bodies on wedding day, which dangle at my hip, and having the dials locked helps keep exposure settings from being bumped/changed. The 5DIV allows you to customize a button to "unlock" the dials while it's held down (I have it set to the DOF button) but strangely the R5 has no such custom button option. Toggling the lock button on & off is the only option on the R5, which is just slower compared to the 5DIV.

Listening to voice memos
By default the "Rate" button rates with single press and records a voice memo if you hold it down. You can customize it differently, although I like it setup this way. However, when reviewing your images, there's no way to play your voice memo in the playback quick menu. The only way to playback voice memos is to enter the menu and customize the rate button and trade the rate ability for memo playback. If you only do rates or memos just set it up that way, no big deal. But if you do both, the only way to playback memos is to continuously change what the button does. The playback quick menu needs a "play memo" option.

30 min. record limit
I know this is mentioned ad nauseum, but it really is a hinderance to my work, especially for longer wedding ceremonies. I'd love to leave an R5 unmanned up in the balcony of a church for an hour catholic ceremony. I already own multiple Canon cinema bodies without record limits (C200, C100), but because I film weddings with 4 bodies it would be nice if my C/D cam could be nice and small and save me lugging around such huge cases all day. Having a record limit in the R5 actually has me looking at trading in my XC10 towards a Sony/Panasonic camera instead of simply picking up a second R5 body.

Summary
These are the main issues I've found, and for many of you they might not even come into play. They also seem to be interface oversights rather than purposeful functionality (record limit withstanding), so hopefully Canon can fix them via firmware (fingers crossed). All that said, as a complete package, I still MUCH prefer the R5 over the 5DIV. I'll take more shots in focus with the R5, over slightly faster usability with the 5DIV, any day.
 
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R5 is good but not that good. Allow me to elaborate. It's my dream camera for low light photography both with or without a tripod (the latter capability of combining IBIS and IS is superb. I can shoot at 1/3 sec when using R5 with RF24-70 2.8L IS at 70mm. Also its sensor is obviously a big step forward.

So what I dislike? You will be surprised and call me heretic but birding photography using R5. I used it with 400DO+2XIII and while it was OK for distant photos (I needed these 800mm with 45mpixel and still this was not enough but not R5's fault of course) , it could not focus easily on a bird on a stick in front of a fence. I tried many modes and the only mode that barely could do it was .... wait ... the one I thought as the least possible the smallest area selection!!! Yes not the wider modes but the smallest one. Of course the bird didn't wait for me! This is a case that is very easy for my Nikons. Even my 7DII and 5DsR could do it in the past with much less pain than my R5!

So to cut it short and be heretic (but not a troll!): focusing!
Agree completely. I carry both a 7D2 or 5D and an r5 when shooting birds with an EF500mm, but I find myself using the r5 less and less. It's great for owls and other immobile large objects at night and for flying large birds, but significantly inferior to the 7-yr-old 7d. It just cannot focus reliably in most situations.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Agree completely. I carry both a 7D2 or 5D and an r5 when shooting birds with an EF500mm, but I find myself using the r5 less and less. It's great for owls and other immobile large objects at night and for flying large birds, but significantly inferior to the 7-yr-old 7d. It just cannot focus reliably in most situations.
Our birds threads here are now dominated by images from the R5, and the Canon threads on FM full of amazing images from it. Your statement that the R5 cannot focus reliably in most situations is frankly ridiculous in the light of the evidence of what you see posted. As for birds in flight, it’s better than any DSLR I have used for small fast birds or even dragonflies in flight.
 
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With all due respect, your experience photographing small birds (e.g., warblers) in trees/bushes must be limited. All experienced bird photographers that have used DSLRs and the r5 extensively that I have communicated with agree that an r5 is inferior to a DSLR in these situations; there are threads and videos from people I don't know documenting this as well (search among "r5 bird autofocus problems"). If the bird is small, eye focus often does not work, and point focus often chooses leaves/branches instead of the bird.

For an easy way to see the difference in AF between DSLR and mirrorless cameras (that does not involve birds), find a tapering branch against a leafy background and focus progressively down the narrowing branch; you will find that a DSLR will reliably focus down to quite a thin part of the branch, whereas the r5 will jump to focusing on the background when the branch is considerably thicker. This is a fact. If you have evidence that this isn't true, I and many others will be most interested to see it.

Don't be fooled by the hyperbolic videos saying that the r5 is the best bird photography camera. I don't dispute that the r5 is an extraordinary camera at birds in flight and for large birds; it is also great when you use manual focus. I agree that there are threads full of amazing images--of course no one posts out-of-focus shots. It is only the AF on small birds against busy backgrounds where the r5 is inferior to DSLR. This isn't a problem limited to the r5, it appears to be endemic to the focusing physics of the current generation of mirrorless cameras.

n.b. I amend my earlier statement about "cannot focus reliably in most situations" to note that this applies if most situations involve shooting small birds in trees and bushes--which is most situations for me. If you mostly shoot gulls at the beach, the r5 is great.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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With all due respect, your experience photographing small birds (e.g., warblers) in trees/bushes must be limited. All experienced bird photographers that have used DSLRs and the r5 extensively that I have communicated with agree that an r5 is inferior to a DSLR in these situations; there are threads and videos from people I don't know documenting this as well (search among "r5 bird autofocus problems"). If the bird is small, eye focus often does not work, and point focus often chooses leaves/branches instead of the bird.

For an easy way to see the difference in AF between DSLR and mirrorless cameras (that does not involve birds), find a tapering branch against a leafy background and focus progressively down the narrowing branch; you will find that a DSLR will reliably focus down to quite a thin part of the branch, whereas the r5 will jump to focusing on the background when the branch is considerably thicker. This is a fact. If you have evidence that this isn't true, I and many others will be most interested to see it.

Don't be fooled by the hyperbolic videos saying that the r5 is the best bird photography camera. I don't dispute that the r5 is an extraordinary camera at birds in flight and for large birds; it is also great when you use manual focus. I agree that there are threads full of amazing images--of course no one posts out-of-focus shots. It is only the AF on small birds against busy backgrounds where the r5 is inferior to DSLR. This isn't a problem limited to the r5, it appears to be endemic to the focusing physics of the current generation of mirrorless cameras.
My experience must be limited? I have posted in the past 10 years on CR more photos of small birds in trees and bushes than anyone else.
n.b. I amend my earlier statement about "cannot focus reliably in most situations" to note that this applies if most situations involve shooting small birds in trees and bushes--which is most situations for me. If you mostly shoot gulls at the beach, the r5 is great.
Do you expect to be taken seriously with equivocation like that? I actually looked at your Flickr albums - very nice shots indeed. For your trip to the Galapagos, there's hardly a small bird in a tree.
 
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Deleted member 389378

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Thanks for the positive comments.
Is your experience that the r5 is as good as a DSLR at AF of small birds in trees and bushes? If so, this is counter to my experience and that of many other bird photographers, and you experience might be most valuable.
Please try my test of focusing on a branch in front of a busy background and kindly report how the r5 and a DSLR compare.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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Thanks for the positive comments.
Is your experience that the r5 is as good as a DSLR at AF of small birds in trees and bushes? If so, this is counter to my experience and that of many other bird photographers, and you experience might be most valuable.
Please try my test of focusing on a branch in front of a busy background and kindly report how the r5 and a DSLR compare.
Merry Christmas (using a camera that "cannot focus reliably in most situations").

309A7959-DxO_Robin_singingR5-smal.jpg
 
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I have r5 pictures like that too...the point is not that such pictures are impossible, it's that they are more difficult to achieve with an r5 than with a DSLR. I interpret your cheery deflections to indicate that you have not made a serious comparison. :) Merry Xmas
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I have r5 pictures like that too...the point is not that such pictures are impossible, it's that they are more difficult to achieve with an r5 than with a DSLR. I interpret your cheery deflections to indicate that you have not made a serious comparison. :) Merry Xmas
Quite an about turn from "cannot focus reliably in most situations" to "being more difficult" in a particular situation. I don't need to make a comparison of taking photos of branches, I just reliably take photos of birds sitting among them- you can take photos of branches.
 
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