After what has started to feel like a long period of hibernation when it comes to video focused cameras, Canon has sprung back into life in a big way. Many people have felt that Canon have not really been at the cutting edge of imaging technology since the 5D MkIII, which was released over 8 years ago. Canon had been hinting at the capabilities of the Canon Eos R5 for a few months, but people had assumed that the video capabilities would be at least slightly limited to avoid competition with the cinema Eos bodies. They were wrong.
The Technology Leap
Compared to pretty much every other camera on the market today, from mirrorless to cine cameras, the Canon Eos R5 represents a leap forward in technology. The output specifications are comparable with cameras that cost 5 figures, which is incredibly impressive in a mirrorless sized body. The leap in specifications compared to its predecessor, the Canon Eos R, are even more impressive. The increase in capability is perhaps the largest seen between two models of camera since the digital revolution really got going.
What are the Canon Eos R5 Specifications?
- Internal 8K/30p RAW video recording
- Internal 8K/30p video recording in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ
- Internal 4K/120p video recording in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ
- External 4K/60p video recording over HDMI
- No-crop 8K and 4K video recording using the full-width of the sensor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF available in all 8K and 4K recording modes
- C-Log available in 8K and 4K internal recording modes
- 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilization works in conjunction with Optical IS in both RF and EF lenses
- Dual-card slots: 1 CFexpress and 1 SD UHS-II
The most impressive thing about these specifications is that they appear to be achieved from a smaller body, without fans, than the Panasonic S1H. The Panasonic is the only camera on the market today that costs less than £10k that is at all comparable.
The ability to record 4:2:2 10 bit at 4k120p internally is huge. No other camera on the market can do that using the full width of a full frame sensor. The only cameras that get close are monsters like the Sony Venice and Red systems, but they all have to crop down to at least S35 to acheive this.
Conclusion, and the Panasonic S1h
Perhaps in an attempt to take the sting out of Canons announcement Panasonic announced a firmware update for the S1H today. The camera will be able to output 5.9k60p and 4k60p RAW video out to Atomos Ninja V external recorders. This will allow the files to be saved as ProRes RAW, which is a large improvement as Adobe Premiere Pro is starting to support the format. The firmware update will be free of charge, and will be available to download from the 25th May 2020.
The major advantage that the Panasonic S1H has over the Canon Eos R5 at this point is that it is a known quantity. For all of the hype around the R5, there is still a huge amount of unknowns. The announcement is a development announcement, not for a final product. Canon has also been very reluctant to talk about recording time limits, which given the huge amount of heat that is produced when recording in high quality high framerates is not a surprise.
As more information about the Canon Eos R5 specifications are released, it will become more clear about what the balance of capabilities and limitations of the system are. For now, Canon has at least thrown down the gauntlet to other companies (cough, Sony A7Siii, cough) to improve their systems, which can only be good for all filmmakers.
At the same announcement, the Canon C300 Mark III was also announced. The C300 Mark II was a Super 35 workhorse cinema body for a lot of productions, from TV to film. Canon refreshed the specifications, and used the same body as their C500 Mark II full frame cinema camera body. Canon also reduced the price of the new camera by nearly 1/3rd, allowing it to be directly comparable to the Sony FX9 price point. Unlike the Canon Eos R5, the Canon C300 Mark III has been released – it was not a development announcement!