Canon has announced the EOS R5 C, what it calls a “true hybrid” mirrorless full-frame camera that connects both EOS-focused still-image technology with Cinema EOS into one powerful, ultra-thick, cooled camera body.
The EOS R5 C is a fully functional R5 camera, originally launched in July of 2020, that retains nearly all of the original shooting capabilities and adds unlimited video recording and Canon EOS cinematic menu options thanks to the addition of a large active cooling system attached to the back From the original R5 chassis design. As such, it still features dual card slots (SD and CFexpress), a 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD screen, and a 5.76 million-dot HD viewfinder.
Massive active cooling system unlocks unlimited 8K RAW recording
Let’s first discuss the elephant in the room: the EOS R5 is a thicker camera thanks to the addition of a massive active cooling system (which negates the overheating issues that plagued the original) that the original R5 didn’t have. But thanks to its inclusion here, the R5 C can record non-stop 8K videos at up to 60fps RAW video. The R5 C can shoot borderlessly in any of its video formats as well. In stark contrast to the suggestion that the original R5 could only record 8K for marketing reasons, the R5 C appears to be taking 8K seriously.
The EOS R5 C can shoot 8K HDR in Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and Perceptual Quantity (PQ) formats. Canon Log 3 can also be shot, including a Timecode terminal for multi-camera shooting situations, including the company’s new multi-function shoe that allows compatibility with first and third-party accessories (the TASCAM CA-XLR2d-C XLR microphone is a proven external accessory) It contains a total of 13 selectable and customizable buttons.
The caveat to RAW video claims is that 8K is recorded at 60 fps in the company’s “RAW Light” format, which is found in some other Canon Cinema EOS cameras such as the C300 Mark III and C500 Mark II. Canon says RAW Light captures the full dynamic range of the sensor and provides video data with a “cinematic look” that can be optimized for advanced HDR rating.
In addition, Cinema RAW Light now has three newly developed modes: RAW HQ (High Quality), RAW ST (Standard Quality), and RAW LT (Light Recording). This means that, as confusing as it may sound, it is possible to record Canon Cinema RAW Light High Quality. All three modes are 12-bit regardless of frame rate and the EOS R5 C can also record 8K video in MP4 format as well as XF-AVC in a .MXF shell for simple compatibility with non-linear editing systems (NLEs) and existing workflows. The camera also has a USB Video Class (UVC) connection that allows it to be used out of the box as a streaming camera.
The camera supports RAW output via HDMI for ProRes RAW recording with a compatible external recorder, allowing it to shoot in Apple ProRes RAW up to 8K 30P. Agent data can also be simultaneously recorded on the SD card in the camera.
The R5 C can shoot up to 120fps in 4K resolution in 4:2:2 10-bit with no cropping on the sensor, and the company’s excellent Dual Pixel AF works just as well, even in high frame rate capture. The EOS R5 C can record WAV audio as a separate file from video, which the company says virtually eliminates the need for a separate audio recording.
AC power is possible with the R5 C, but it requires an AC adapter as well as a DC coupler (Canon released the new DC Coupler DR-E6C as a result). The USB Power Adapter PD-E1 is not compatible with the EOS R5 C. Additionally, the camera can only operate at maximum capacity when armed with either external power (either through a wall outlet or a compatible external battery pack) or with an LP-E6NH battery. While the LP-E6 and LP-E6N can work, users won’t get much recording time per charge, and frames per second in static mode will be limited.
There is no in-body image stabilization
One of the major changes other than the active cooling system is that the R5 C does not have any in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Canon didn’t say why this was excluded, but it may be for the same reason that Panasonic didn’t include stabilization in the GH5S: cinematographers often prefer cameras without it.
Canon notes that the R5 C has coordinated image stabilization with Canon lenses that have optical image stabilization (as expected) and also features electronic stabilization, but this requires a crop to work.
Already double photo and video camera
The Canon R5 C features a prominent photo and video switch on the top of the camera that goes beyond what similar switches have done on Canon cameras in the past. When switching to photo mode, the camera works very similar to the original R5 (with the exception of IBIS), and the menu will look the same as the original camera. But when you switch to video mode, the camera activates the Cinema EOS menu and works like a Cinema EOS camera. This resolution separates the two modes beyond what is normal for Canon and even other manufacturers (Leica has played similar features in its SL series, but not to such a degree) and can make it look like two distinct cameras packed into one body.
The R5 C still features a high-resolution 45MP Canon sensor paired with a DIGIC X image processor that offers an ISO range of 100 to 51.200, expandable to 102400. Dual pixel AF is available of 1,053 points similar to that found on the original R5 As is the continuous shooting speed of up to 12fps in the mechanical shutter mode and 20fps in the silent electronic shutter mode.
The EOS R5 C also supports WiFi and Bluetooth at 5GHz or 2.4GHz for transferring image files.
Pricing and availability
The EOS R5 C is scheduled to be available in March of 2022 for $4,499, which is $600 more than the original R5’s $3,899 price tag.