Canon R5, first impressions

Thank you Diane for all of your comments. It has been really helpful for me. Like Ed, I shoot mostly landscapes with a Canon 5D IV and have been wondering about the R5 for landscape. Like Ed, I extensively use Luminosity masks and rarely have dynamic range issues. One thing I would miss with the R5 is no GPS…that is almost a deal breaker for me.

I have been thinking of upgrading from 5D Mark3 to either the Mark4 or the R5. I would like GPS. I have read you could have GPS with the R5 thru the the Canon app on your smart phone via bluetooth. I am torn. It will probably come to price or weight.

I’m not sure how the present Canon app/bluetooth thing works, but on my old Canon I used GPS apps on my iPhone. You had to sync the time on your iPhone with the camera time, you had to remember to turn on the app, and turn it off, then when you get home you had to upload the GPS info from your phone to Lightroom, choose the photos, and then you had to have Lightroom sync the info into the photos. It was a very cumbersome process and I often forgot to turn the app on, and often had trouble getting LR to sync the info. Having the 5d IV record the GPS info onto the EXIF data was a game changer for me.

There is some sort of external GPS thing that plugs into the camera – probably pricey. I sometimes (when I think of it) shoot an iPhone picture of a scene and go through a similar exercise as you outlined – just loading the iPhone images into the same folder as the camera shots. (And hoping I remembered to check the camera time was accurate.) I have the Canon Connect app and there is some provision for location info – I need to look into it.

5D4 vs. R5 for landscapes: for me, not worth the upgrade. You go to an image that is 8192 x 5465 pixels, but when you look at the linear resolution increase, it’s not exactly huge. I’ve never been happy with my attempts at landscape so can’t speak from experience, but as a pixel-peeper wanting to see exquisite detail, I’d be looking at a medium format like the Fuji GFX-100. I assume it has excellent dynamic range, too.

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I wanted to update my experience so far with the R5. I took delivery in very early December and probably have taken about five thousand photos.
I bought the R5 complete with the Canon RF to EF adapter. I use it with the included R5 battery. I normally have the adapter attached c/w a Canon 1.4 V.III Ext and Canon 500mm VII lens. I have also used with the 2.0 VIII ext. I save to a Sony Tough CF express 128 GB card. In other words I am all Canon and using a recommended package.

I really like the operation of the camera and the files it produces. The tracking option is lovely as is eye focus.
About a week or so ago I started getting some freezing of the camera. I would be focusing in on a bird and suddenly no reaction from the camera. At first I did not understand. It was intermittent and did not seem consistent at all. One of the times I removed the battery. The issue continued every once in a while. The next day I was out and experienced the same sort of thing. I could not detect any reason for the freezing. Each time the camera would sort of reboot on its own and get back to where it had been before. The freezing lasted a few seconds.
I contacted Canon Canada. They said reset camera settings and clear all custom functions. Then remove battery for a few minutes and try again. I have done all the resets and will give camera retry today.
Canon also suggested I try the camera first without resetting to my preferences to see if it works first.
One thing I did do about a week or so ago was update the software to the latest version., I have asked Canon if this might be the issue and have not heard back yet.

I’ve had several hangs like that – and of course each one was at the worst possible time! I also did the firmware update and some of them happened after that. I always turned it off, removed the battery and waited about 30 sec and put it back in. I think maybe once it rebooted on its own – maybe I turned it off.

Lat us know what Canon says! It is a major nuisance, but hasn’t happened to me in a while now.

I have been out several times since I did the resets. Everything seemed fine until this morning when I went out for a few hours. As I was leaving the house I noticed the battery was down to about 1/4 but headed off anyway as I carry a couple spares from 5D4. As soon as I arrived at the site I saw a Harrier perched on a log. I started to get some photos and the camera started to freeze. It stopped as soon as I changed batteries to one with more charge, 3/4.
I hope this is the issue as it is an easy fix.
I have not heard back from Canon about the freezing due to software update.

After Feb 4 I have had more freeze ups. It is a nuisance and certainly not what i want from an expensive camera. After talking with Canon they have suggested to try using a different card. I had been saving to a Sony Tough CFexpress 128gb card. Only CFexpress card I have. So now I will try Sony Tough SD card. Fingers crossed.

Interesting possibility – let us know. I haven’t has a freeze in a while, and have only had maybe 4 all together. I’m using a Lexar Pro 128 GB 1750 MB/s CFExpress and a Lexar 128 GB SDXC II, 2000x 300 MB/s.

Thks Diane. I had gone back to check to see what you were using. Now that I know you have not had a freeze in a while I might buy a Lexar card. I should have two cards anyway I suppose.

Have updated software to version 1.2.0?

Yes, @David_Leroy, I updated the firmware when it came out. I think I had one or maybe two freezes after that.

I’m sure Murphy is stalking me for saying I haven’t had a freeze lately… I’ll report in if I do. The camera is definitely getting a LOT of use!!

Mumms the word. I really like the camera.

@peter Hi Peter. I have had more than a few lock ups with the R5. It seems it is not unusual and at this time might be related to CFexpress cards. There was a a fairly lengthy discussion about this issue on DPreview a couple weeks ago. It seems others were having the lock up and it did not seem to matter about which make or brand of CFexpress card you were using.
The first time I had the issue I followed Canon’s suggestion about resetting the camera as per a previous comment in this thread. It did not solve my problem. Canon suggested I try a different card. CFexpress cards are expensive so I only had a Sony Tough SD card 68 GB. I have been out 4 or 5 times and have taken probably over a 1000’s photos using the SD card. No lock ups.
So I will switch back to the Sony CFexpress card and see what happens.
To be honest i suspect I could do all my photography with a SD card. I may have noticed a difference when I had been taking a lot of bunches of photos close together. The shutter shutter actuations seemed to slow down a bit.

I can tell you I really like the R5. You get nice files from it. Better noise. Larger files so you can crop more. I almost always have a Canon 1.4 Ver III on it so I don’t miss the crop sensor.
No more microadjusting. You can put a doubler on and focus is spot on.

The eye tracking is excellent. You have to assist sometimes getting the camera onto the eye but generally it is very good. As is the motion tracking. Lots of focus points. Lots of customizing the buttons and dials.
It is expensive. I sold a 5DIV to help get the money together. I really liked the 5D cameras. I still have a 7DII as a back up. Both really good cameras. R5 for me in one word is better. Expensive but better.

Hi David
Thank you for this information.
Peter

David Leroy
February 24

@peter Hi Peter. I have had more than a few lock ups with the R5. It seems it is not unusual and at this time might be related to CFexpress cards. There was a a fairly lengthy discussion about this issue on DPreview a couple weeks ago. It seems others were having the lock up and it did not seem to matter about which make or brand of CFexpress card you were using.
The first time I had the issue I followed Canon’s suggestion about resetting the camera as per a previous comment in this thread. It did not solve my problem. Canon suggested I try a different card. CFexpress cards are expensive so I only had a Sony Tough SD card 68 GB. I have been out 4 or 5 times and have taken probably over a 1000’s photos using the SD card. No lock ups.
So I will switch back to the Sony CFexpress card and see what happens.
To be honest i suspect I could do all my photography with a SD card. I may have noticed a difference when I had been taking a lot of bunches of photos close together. The shutter shutter actuations seemed to slow down a bit.

I can tell you I really like the R5. You get nice files from it. Better noise. Larger files so you can crop more. I almost always have a Canon 1.4 Ver III on it so I don’t miss the crop sensor.
No more microadjusting. You can put a doubler on and focus is spot on.

The eye tracking is excellent. You have to assist sometimes getting the camera onto the eye but generally it is very good. As is the motion tracking. Lots of focus points. Lots of customizing the buttons and dials.
It is expensive. I sold a 5DIV to help get the money together. I really liked the 5D cameras. I still have a 7DII as a back up. Both really good cameras. R5 for me in one word is better. Expensive but better.

Hi David
After reading your email, I called Canon support and women who answered, stated she had never heard of a R5 locking up. After the statement I ask to email me if she came across any information on this problem.
Peter

That is surprising as it is a common and well known issue.
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64807424

Thanks for the link, @David_Leroy – I hadn’t seen this thread. I didn’t get all the way through it but it does sound like a card issue. Does that hold up throughout the thread?

I bought both of mine through B&H, but I wonder if quality control is always as good as it should be… Nonetheless, that’s good advice about where you buy and a good caution about “bargain” cards.

I’ve only had one major card failure, and a format in the computer fixed it. If I have the issue again, I’ll try that. (Just put it in the card reader and format it like you would any drive – but I don’t remember which “format” to use. A quick web search would find it. Then put it in the camera and format there for that specific camera.)

I think the take away from DPReview is that the R5 had lock ups with cards from all the various card companies with one possible exception. So if that is the case then the problem is with the R5. And probably a software fix.

The one exception, I think, are cards from Delkin. I did not see any lock ups from Delkin cards.

I think the rain will hold off tomorrow and I will be able to get out. I am going to put the CFExpress card back in and see what happens.

Regardless I will again contact Canon tomorrow about my experience with the SD card and see what they say.

I’ll up date as I go along.

@David_Leroy – I had 3 lockups today!!! And I think the reason was my choice of focus mode. I was shooting our 5year old granddaughter running around (typical wildlife scenario). She was too far away and not facing the camera enough to use Face Detection so I switched to the third mode from the left, One Point, the medium sized square. Nothing else changed from what I have been shooting the last couple of days – I was in Av as she was in and out of shade. Three lockups in a row, with just a few shots each time before it happened again. Powered down and removed the battery for a few seconds each time I think I heard a small sound after but was too chagrined to pay attention. After the third one in quick succession, I changed the focus mode to the next one to the right, Expanded, with the 4 assist points, and no more lockups!

This was with the 100-500 with no TC. I’ve been using it with the 2X or using to 400 DO + 2X. I was using BB focus, as I almost always do. I can’t be sure, in the heat of action, if I was using the * button (which I do for Face Detection) or the AF-ON button, but I do know whenever I pushed the back button that I didn’t get the little dancing squares when eye detection doesn’t find enough to grab. I just got the rectangular icon for the focus mode, and left it centered as I had plenty of room to crop in post.

Oh… Too darn bad. What a nuisance. Nice that you were getting some photos of your Granddaughter tho.
I am not sure what caused my lockups. I know there were a few when i was using the joy stick to relocate a focus point.
I had sent a request in to Canon Canada last week. That was after they had suggested I try a different card which i did. I tried using my Sony Tough 64 GB SD card. I had no problems. By that time I had read the discussion on DP Review about lock ups.
I explained everything to Canon about my experience with lock ups and my findings on internet searches. I did not think it was card specific and therefore likely a camera problem and hopefully a software issue.
They replied yesterday and thanked me for trying things out and sending them the additional info. They had sent my issue on to the appropriate department and they would get back to me.
I switched back to the CFexpress card last week. Although I have only taken maybe 1000 photos since then I have had no lock ups.
It makes little sense to have a camera that locks up when you want to take a photo. Otherwise a very nice camera.
If it happens again you may want to try a few outings using the SD card and see if that shakes things up a bit.
It is an odd thing. I will stay on top of Canon CA, You may want to send a request of some sort of to Canon USA. They may have some useful info.