The new Canon R5c is a mirrorless camera with video as its priority. And one of the few cameras out there that deliver 8K video in RAW at 60 frames per second – and under a price tag of 5000€.
Is it the all new hybrid-camera we wanted from Canon? Let’s see.
Disclaimer: Canon Austria and Foto Kücher made this pre-production model of the R5c available to me. They do not get to see the video before it is finished. Also, I am doing this review with the purpose of showing an overview of the camera’s capabilities for a hybrid-shooter, this is not an in-depth review of the technical aspects. I am a photographer mainly and am shooting the Canon’s R5 since it came out 2 years ago. And I am a big big fan. When it comes to video, I love to use the R5’s 4K capabilities and shoot in C-Log 3. So for all of you watching who are photo first, let me spare you the time, stick to the classic R5. For all others, keep watching.
That out of the way, let’s start.
You probably heard the specs of the R5c already and that it is basically a jacked-up version of the R5 with a fan. This is partly true, but also not quite. Let me specify.
The R5c differentiates itself from the R5 for me in these 4 main areas
- No more overheating
- 3 different RAW options in 8K – especially RAW lite in 12-bit is amazing.
- Bigger, power-hungry body
- A full cinema menu with great features.
Let’s take a closer Look at the areas:
No more overheating and record limits in any of the settings because of the added fan. Which we would have wanted already in the R5, but maybe it would have been a real overkill to pack that all in a small body like this.
Speaking about 8K RAW – The r5c gives you 3 different RAW shooting modes: HQ, normal and lite in 8K. Sadly not in 4K, which would be the absolute best thing ever. But Canon told me, that RAW only works using the full sensor, so for the R5C, it will stay at 8K. Canon will come out with a firmware update to the C70, where you will be able to shoot RAW Lite in 4K, I am looking forward to that. But back to the R5C: The 8K Raw just looks so good straight out of cam. You don’t even have to apply a LUT to make it look good. Just go into your RAW settings and put it to BT709 and C-Log3 and boom, amazing grading. And I am big fan of quick grading of your footage.
RAW lite is great because it saves you some recording space on your CF express cards. 256GB gave me about 30 minutes of recording time. If you want to go higher than that, you have to invest in some rather expensive CF express cards that go for 500€ +. But still, you get 8K from a camera for under 5000€ – which is pretty great. Another great aspect is, that the r5c gives you XF-AVC 4:2:2 in 10-bit which is wonderful, compact and great to grade. I know this format already from the C70 and I love it. MP4 for quick edits and also HVEC files as well.
The sensor that also delivers the 45MP still that I love so dearly from the R5 also has Canons well-known Dual-Pixel CMOS autofocus. With dual native ISO at 800 / 3200 in clog3 and 400 / 1600 in BT709. When it comes to autofocus, I tested the R5c in rather low light in my friend’s aforementioned restaurant, both in 8K and 4K 120fps. In 8K the autofocus was struggling a bit as it was rather dark with quick movements. I also tried the 4K 120fps in XF-AVC mode and the AF performance was way better. What I really do not like is that Canon’s Face detection is not available in the 4K-120 – and I cannot understand why that is. Canon please fix this!
Side note: I mostly used the RF 50mm 1.2 for shooting but also tried the RF 100mm Macro on it and the picture just looks amazing I have to say. I just love the C-Log 3 Look of it, the grading is fast and easy. There is no C-LOG 2 available in the R5c for any other options than RAW (this remains only in the c70 and above). Which is not a huge deal for me as the dynamic range of 14 is plenty for me.
Here is a little montage of the shooting.
Bigger body but less weight as the R5, yes, it is lighter! And, I actually like the bigger base, as you have a good grip when taking videos, I call it the C-Grip. The new body still gives you a small-HDMI which I think is not a big problem, but I would still prefer a full sized HDMI in a cinema camera. What the fan does also, is going through batteries really really quickly. I tested it, shooting in a restaurants kitchen and one batterie gave me about 10 – 12 minutes of shooting time. Nevertheless, you can use an external power bank to power the R5c . This gives you nearly endless shooting time and also the capability of shooting 8K 60fps in RAW.
2 operating systems: for photo, it is the classic R5 menu that I love and for video, Canon’s cinema menu with all its wonderful capabilities, which is a really huge plus, when you know your way around professional video making. It gives you all tools, from loads of options in Waveform Monitor, False Colour, LUTs, Timecode and one of my favourites is shutter angle.
Switching from photo to video and vice versa takes about 8 seconds as the camera completely shuts down and boots the other operating system. It is not a fast as in the classic R5, but I still prefer to have Canon’s cine menu with that little down side. The operating system also gives you customisable buttons and layouts for video specifically.
Also the shooting monitor menu changes and gives you all the tools you really need, I really like that. And if you are not used to the cinema menu, it is really easy to get used to.
I tried the R5c also with a Ninja V+ as external monitor and really liked the way it felt in my hand.
For photo I cannot really tell any noticeable difference, also not about the missing IBIS, which I would need to try in more depth when I test that camera for a longer time. More importantly, my fear, that it will feel weird to shoot with the bigger body is not a problem at all. And I love that the shutter sound is different from the R5 (at least I think so) maybe because of the bigger body.
I have been testing the R5c for 2 days only – but still, here is my summary of what I think about the camera.
Canon claims that the R5c is between the R5 and the C70 – I think, the comparison to the c70 is wrong because it doesn’t have a full-frame sensor like the R5 or R5c – which I just love.
The R5c is a great video, or even cinema camera with its up to 8K Raw capabilities and shoots amazing 45MP photos which I think is a huge plus. So for everyone that wants all the cinema options in a small camera and wants to shoot great photo at the same time, the R5c is for you. I could imagine, if you go on expeditions that require video and photo, the R5c hits the right spot.
If you are a photographer that does videos sometimes, the classic R5 is still the camera for you as you could extend it’s capabilities with an external recorder if you want to go more professional.
All in all, the R5c delivers something that many on-the-go hybrid shooters will love. Well done Canon.
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