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Fujifilm GFX100 II review: it’s medium format, but faster
1:00 pm | September 12, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

You don’t need a lot of time with the Fujifilm GFX100 II to conclude that it’s the most powerful, responsive and versatile medium-format camera available – I gained such an impression during half a day shooting with the new flagship model ahead of its global announcement.

During those few hours with the GFX100 II, I was majorly impressed by the autofocus speed and maximum continuous shooting speed, especially given that the camera's sensor format is traditionally a landscape, portrait and studio-based one – in other words, controlled scenarios. I can easily see the GFX100 II being genuinely useable for a wider range of subjects and everyday photography. 

Never before have I been able to shoot with a medium-format camera at a rate of 8fps with reliable subject detection autofocus that includes human eye AF. That’s no mean feat for a camera that shoots 102MP photos whose size dwarfs that of images from most other mirrorless cameras. 

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Fujifilm GFX100 II on wooden table with no lens attached

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
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Side profile of Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)
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Side profile of Fujifilm GFX100 II with LCD screen tilted

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II rear screen displaying Reala Ace film simulation

(Image credit: Future)
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3-way tilt screen of Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)

Historically, professionals would have to choose between image quality and speed, but the GFX100 II goes a long way towards offering both, being faster than any other GFX camera, and matching the kind of speed we’d expect from enthusiast full-frame cameras. 

The GFX100 II is also a highly-capable video camera, with 8K / 30p video and ProRes raw recording, LUT color profiles, compatibility with an external SSD, and a cooling fan to extend record times.

It’s not the sexiest Fujifilm around, but the GFX100 II is by all accounts the most capable, and it comes with a sensible list price.

Fujifilm GFX100 II: Release date and price

The GFX100 II will be available from September 26, with a list price of $7,499 / £6,999, while the optional VG-GFX II grip costs $499 / £479. That’s somewhere between the launch prices of the Fujifilm GFX100 and Fujifilm GFX100S, around what we would expect given the camera’s features, and immediately the most sensible GFX camera for most people.  

Alongside the GFX100 II, Fujifilm announced three new medium-format GF lenses; the GF 55mm F1.7 R WR, priced at $2,299 / £2,249, plus two tilt-shift lenses - the GF 30mm F5.6 TS ($3,499 / £3,499) and 110mm F5.6 TS ($3,999 / £3,999). The same ‘Fan-001’ made for the Fujifilm X-H2S, X-H2 and Fujifilm X-S20 is also compatible with the GFX100 II, which will be a useful accessory for those making the most of the GFX100 II's 8K video recording capability.

Fujifilm was unable to provide Australia prices at the time of writing, but we'll update this article when we have them.

Features and performance

  • Continuous 8fps for more than 1,000 JPEGs
  • X Processor 5 for fastest GFX performance yet
  • 8-stops in-body image stabilization

Fujifilm says the 102MP sensor is newly designed, and different from the one found in the identical-resolution GFX100 and GFX100S. So what’s new? For one, it has a quicker read-out speed, paired with the latest X Processor 5 engine to deliver the fastest performance in a GFX camera to date. And that includes the kind of autofocus speed we expect from the Fujifilm X-T5, one of the best cameras overall, for human and animal subjects.

Another aspect of the sensor redesign is at the photodiode level. (Bear with us here.) Each micro lens has a 30% extended capacity of the photodiodes, which improves dynamic range and realizes a base ISO 80 sensitivity setting, lower than the ISO 100 of the GFX100. Essentially, if good light is available, the GFX100 II will provide the best dynamic range in the series yet. 

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Window light portrait, photo using the Fujifilm GFX100 II and GF 55mm F1.7 lens

(Image credit: Future)
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Window light portrait, photo using the Fujifilm GFX100 II and GF 55mm F1.7 lens

(Image credit: Future)
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Window light portrait, photo using the Fujifilm GFX100 II and GF 55mm F1.7 lens

(Image credit: Future)
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Lady in an art gallery, photo using the Fujifilm GFX100 II and GF 55mm F1.7 lens

(Image credit: Future)
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Portrait of a lady in an art gallery, photo using the Fujifilm GFX100 II and GF 55mm F1.7 lens

(Image credit: Future)

The on-sensor in-body image stabilization unit has been redesigned, too, upping the maximum effective stabilization to eight stops from the six stops we can get with the GFX100. Powerful image stablization is game-changing for a large-sensor, high-resolution camera such as the GFX100 II, where softness caused by camera shake is all the more obvious. You won’t need a tripod as often with the GFX100 II.

You also get up to 8fps with continuous AF for what is essentially an unlimited number of JPEG photos, when recording onto a CFExpress card, or around 75 images in raw format. That number of JPEGs is reduced to a little under 200 images onto a SD card. In short, this is the most capable medium-format camera yet. 

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Top plate of the Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)
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Closeup of top LCD of Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)
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Closeup of Fujifilm GFX100 II's viewfinder

(Image credit: Future)
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Closeup of connection ports of Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)
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Close up of memory card slots of Fujifilm GFX100 II

(Image credit: Future)
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Closeup of Fujifilm GFX100 II's battery

(Image credit: Future)

Design

  • Similar size to the GFX100S
  • Compatible with optional grip and EVF adaptor
  • Best-in-class 9.44m-dot EVF

Fujifilm was keen to make it clear to me that the GFX100 II succeeds the $10,000 / £10,000 GFX100 and not the half-price GFX100S, but the reality is that the GFX100 II does the job of both, which is actually great. 

We get the smaller form factor of the GFX100S, but now with the option to bulk it out with the optional VG-GFX II vertical grip for portrait format shooting and increased battery life. The GFX100S cannot be paired with a grip, nor in fact with the EVF-TL1 tilt adaptor accessory. The GFX100 II, on the other hand, has a removable 9.44m-dot EVF compatible with the tilt adaptor for those that like the waist-level viewing synonymous with medium format.

The viewfinder display is a healthy 0.64-inches, with a 1x magnification, and that 9.44m-dot resolution is only equalled by the Sony A7R V. In plain speak, this is the largest and sharpest electronic viewfinder around, although to gain the best possible refresh rate, you’ll need to switch to the 0.5-inch display setting with 5.76m-dot resolution.

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Fujifilm GFX100 II in the hand

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II in the hand

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II in the hand with rear screen tilted

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II in the hand with rear screen tilted

(Image credit: Future)
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Fujifilm GFX100 II in the hand

(Image credit: Future)
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User holding the Fujifilm GFX100 II's viewfinder up to their eye

(Image credit: Future)

Smaller doesn’t mean small - this is medium format, after all. By way of comparison, the GFX100 II, with the new GF 55mm F1.7 R WR lens attached that I had for this hands-on, is like an advanced DSLR such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. It sits in the hand comfortably enough, but if we’re purely talking design I still prefer the experience with the Hasselblad X2D 100C.

The GFX100 II still handles really well, though, and I’m a fan of the generous back-lit top LCD displaying key exposure information. It also boasts an improved battery life, despite using the same WP235 battery as the GFX100, up 20% and rated to 540-shots.

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Flowers on a wooden table with Reala Ace Fujifilm film simulation

Reala Ace film simulation (Image credit: Future)
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Flowers on a wooden table with standard Fujifilm film simulation

vivid film simulation (Image credit: Future)
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Flowers on a wooden table with black and white Fujifilm film simulation

black and white film simulation (Image credit: Future)

Image quality

  • New 102MP sensor with improved light intake
  • 8K / 30p and 4K / 60p video
  • New Reala Ace color profile

I haven’t had nearly enough time with the GFX100 II to draw any conclusive opinions on its image quality – including how discernible the new sensor improvements are over the previous-gen – but on paper, image quality will be unmatched. After all, this is a camera that succeeds the already excellent GFX100. 

I’m also keen to take the high-res shot mode for a spin. It combines four 100MP images into one 400MP image, and is now supposedly useable handheld, thanks to improved sensor speed and image stabilization. A sharp, handheld 400MP image would be quite the feat.

And who doesn’t like a Fujifilm film simulation? The array of color profiles – inspired by Fujifilm film stock – now has another addition; Reala Ace. It’s a natural yet rich profile, with plenty of tonal detail in highlights (see above, compared to other film simulations), and an excellent addition to the now 20 choices you have (albeit that number includes two black and white profiles each with four different filter effects). 

There can’t be too many more film simulations left for Fujifilm to add now, and first impressions are that Reala Ace is an excellent addition. 

Fujifilm GFX100 II with no lens attached

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

The GFX100 II looks like the best medium format camera for most people, if you can afford it. I prefer the user-experience with the simplified Hasselblad X2D 100C, but the GFX100 II is the most powerful camera in this sensor format available, and blows away all other GFX models, even if it has the same 102MP photo resolution. 

Based on my time with it so far, the combination of superb photo quality, speedy performance across the board and powerful in-body image stabilization take medium format to new heights. The question for Fujifilm will be how many people demand the best of both worlds enough to lay down the cash. 

Sony FX30 review: pro-level video at a cheaper price
5:18 pm | April 10, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Sony FX30: One-minute review

The Sony FX30 is the cheapest of the company's Cinema Line cameras, offering a value-for-money route into professional-level videography while retaining the ability to capture stills imagery. 

The good news is that the FX30 hits the sweet spot on both levels: this is a well-built camera that is easy to use, and that's capable of producing premium video footage - but it also holds its own against more stills-focused rivals. And it does this while costing around half of the price of the Sony FX3, the next model up in the Cinema Line range.

That reduced price does come with some limitations compared to the top-of-the-line models, not least that it has an APS-C sensor, rather than the full-frame one you'd find on the FX3. However, if video is your priority it definitely offers some advantages over more stills-focused, or hybrid, cameras such as the Sony A7R IV and Sony A7 IV

That said, it is a different beast from most of the best Sony cameras, so it will take a little bit of ‘re-learning’ to get the most from it. Although the FX30 can shoot stills in JPEG and RAW formats, its primary function is to capture video and it comes with a special handle with XLR ports to control the audio captured alongside the movies. The absence of a mode dial and viewfinder could also be a dealbreaker to those who lean towards stills imagery.

Make no mistake, though, the Sony FX30 is a powerhouse product squeezed into a tiny body. It's out on its own in terms of pricing, and specifications, and is a strong contender to join our list of the best vlogging cameras and best video cameras - and indeed, the best cameras overall. 

We spent some time with it to find out if it deserves a place in your kit bag.

Sony FX30: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $1,799 / £2,1000 / AU$2,999 (body only)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Worldwide

The Sony FX30 was released in September 2022 and is available in two versions. 

In body-only guise it will set you back $1,799 / £2,1000 / AU$2,999, which places it between the Sony A7C and Sony A7 IV full-frame cameras, and way above any of the brand's APS-C models such as the Sony A6600

Add the XLR handle unit and that price jumps to $2,199 / £2,500 / AU$3,699.

Still, you're getting a lot for your money here and compared to other cameras in Sony's Cinema Line range, it's a steal.

  • Price: 4/5

Sony FX30: Specs

Sony FX30: Design

  • Small form factor that’s unmatched by peers
  • Robust and weather sealed against the elements
  • Lack of EVF and video-focused controls setup won't be for everyone

As we’ve mentioned, the design of the FX30 will be new to users who have never picked up a Cinema Line camera before. 

Although similar in size to a regular mirrorless Sony, such as the A7 IV, the design is simpler and more open to modular set-ups. For example, there is no mode dial; instead there is a small mode button on the back of the camera and you follow the menu interface on the LCD to switch between modes such as Aperture-priority and Video. 

This does slow operation, especially if you need to switch between stills and movie, but a little context is needed here as it’s likely that if you are on location, you’re probably going to be there to shoot a bunch of video footage or to capture stills, rather than to do both concurrently, so I don’t see this as a huge issue. 

The camera is turned on/off via a flick switch on the rear of the camera and, if I was Sony’s designers, I would have swapped the placement of the Menu and Mode buttons for ease of use.

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera buttons on rear

(Image credit: Future)

Hidden to the left side of the camera are ports for headphones, microphone, charging and HDMI, while on the other side of the camera you can find not one but two card slots that can take SD or Type A CF Express. The presence of dual cards is highly useful and enables users to create an instant back-up of their work or record stills to one card and video to the other. Use a CFExpress card and you’ll be able to make the most from the high-resolution video, as you always run the risk of slower SD cards not being able to keep up with the fast transfer of data.

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera showing open card slot

(Image credit: Future)

The FX30 is available with an optional audio handle complete with inputs for XLR to connect to audio devices such as additional mics, plus dials to control the levels of the audio. 

This handle slides into the hotshoe ports and is secured by two bolts, and connecting it completely changes the feel and balance of the camera. However, while it makes for an ergonomic hold, I can also see why some photographers may prefer to use the camera without the handle, particularly if they intend to just shoot stills; without it, the camera feels like a more portable package that you can use to get down low and shoot ground-level compositions with. 

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera with XLR handle

(Image credit: Future)

There’s a big dedicated record button on the top plate, and around the shutter button you’ll find a zoom in/out button that will allow powerzoom-equipped lenses to zoom in and out with the flick of a switch. Somewhat more familiar is the D-Pad at the back of the camera, with options for Display, Zebra, Peaking and Shutter, along with a control wheel. 

The flip out, vari-angle screen makes short work of awkward high/low compositions, but is sometimes hard to view, especially if you are shooting video in a flat profile. Other features include plenty of mounting points for additional accessories, which will appeal to videographers looking to add cages, extra monitors and mics.

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera from above

(Image credit: Future)

The FX30 uses Sony's E mount, which means there’s a wealth of compatible lenses to be used with it; you certainly won’t be short on choice when it comes to picking a new optic. Remember, though, that this is an APS-C sensor camera - so each lens will take on a 1.5x crop factor, giving a 50mm prime an equivalent focal length of 75mm, for example.

  • Design: 4/5

Sony FX30: Features & performance

  • Excellent autofocus
  • 5-axis IBIS
  • Dual ISO system

Make no mistake, the Sony FX30 is packed with advanced, cutting-edge features that make this camera even more of a bargain. 

Front and center, as with all Sony cameras, is its superb autofocus system. It’s remarkable how accurately the FX30 locks on to a target, until you know what the secret behind it - namely that it has 759 phase detection points, spread across the entire frame so that the accuracy doesn’t drop off should a subject near the edge of the frame. 

Real-Time Eye AF is available, not just for humans to make portraiture easier, but also for animals and birds - great news for wildlife shooters, and also for those of us who just want to take nice shots of the family pet.

The FX30's Dual Base ISO system does what you might expect: it offers one ISO system that starts at ISO 800 and one that begins at ISO 2,500. This enables users to select an appropriate noise floor, while maximizing the FX30’s dynamic range when shooting in both bright or low-light conditions.

There's also an optical 5-axis In Camera Image Stabilization (IBIS) system, which make use of a precision gyroscope to detect and measure movement before applying the appropriate compensation. This serves to not only keep shots shake free, which can be a problem when using a slow shutter speed in low-light conditions, but also aids when shooting video and helps to produce smooth handheld footage.

  • Features & performance: 5/5

Sony FX30: Image and video quality

  • Excellent, colorful 26MP stills
  • Superb 4K video
  • Packed with useful video-shooting options

It should come as no surprise that, despite the (relatively) modest price tag, the FX30 really does serve up the goods when it comes to image and video quality. 

Let’s talk about the stills quality first. Users can capture these in JPEG format for ‘straight out of the camera’ results or they can shoot in RAW, making the most of all that tonal data captured by the 26-megapixel Backside Illuminated CMOS sensor. The results show good color rendition without any ugly colour casting that would require additional time in RAW processing software such as Adobe Lightroom to remove.

However, it’s the video quality that really impresses. The FX30 takes 4K footage from a 6K crop using 20-megapixels of the sensor’s resolution in a ‘Super 35 format’, so there’s an excess of data. This results in a sharp, punchy and high-resolution picture. At 4K 120p, there is a 1.6x crop, though, so users will need to be aware of this when capturing slow-motion sequences at up to 5x slowed down. 

The FX30 offers 10-bit Log options along with Sony cine profiles including the acclaimed S-Cinetone profile, which is an excellent choice to use when filming scenes with people, as it’s very sympathetic to skin tones. One issue I did encounter was the visibility of the screen when shooting in flat profiles and in lighting with low contrast, but many other users are sure to pair the FX30 with an external monitor such as the Atomos Ninja or similar, so this may not be a deal breaker.

The FX30 can shoot 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally (16-bit RAW can be captured via an HDMI set-up), meaning more colors are available to record and this results in a more faithful capture of the scene. Also present is the XAVC HS format, which roughly doubles the usual compression; this is important, because it enables you to capture high-quality video without filling up your memory cards too quickly. What’s more, low-bitrate proxy files can be recorded alongside the high-resolution versions, meaning you have the option to edit with the proxy files but export your final video to the full-res versions. This makes life a lot easier on your computer and will prevent you from using too much RAM and slowing the process down. 

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera buttons on rear

(Image credit: Future)

When capturing footage, recording is confirmed not only by red tally lamps on the front and rear of the FX30, but also a red frame appears on the outside of the LCD display to show that the camera is definitely recording. Those creatives out there who shoot a lot of content for social media will be pleased to hear the FX30 offers various aspect markers to check your framing, so that everything lines up.

Personally, I preferred to work with just the small footprint of the camera in hand and not with the optional extra XLR handle. As this is the entry-level Cinema Line camera from Sony, it’s likely that most of the users will not opt for XLR connection but will instead use radio kits, such as the DJI Mic, or Rode Wireless Go II systems. In this case, it’s better to just link the transmitter to the mic port on the side of the camera and you’re good to go. 

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the FX30 features a built-in fan and a heat sink designed to dissipate the warm air away from the camera. I tested the FX30 in all video modes and didn’t have any overheating problems at all; having this feature integrated in the camera elevates it over rivals such as the Fujifilm X-H2S, where this is an optional extra.

  • Image and video quality: 5/5

Should you buy the Sony FX30?

Sony FX30 Cinema Line camera from front

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Sony FX30: Also consider

Before you leave our Sony FX30 review, it's worth considering these alternatives that offer some of the same advantages for either stills or videos (or both).

How I tested the Sony FX30

I tested the Sony FX30 over three weeks, capturing both stills and video footage in a range of different lighting conditions. Stills were compared between JPEG and RAW files captured in the same locations and video footage was shot in multiple recording modes with and without Log Profiles.

As a professional photographer, filmmaker and former photography magazine editor, I have tested a huge amount of camera gear over the years, ranging from entry-level bodies to consumer equipment, right up to professional-level cameras and video gear.

First reviewed April 2023

Sony A7R V review
4:06 pm | January 16, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Cameras Computers Gadgets Mirrorless Cameras | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: January 2023
• Sony's best AI-powered autofocus performance
• Launch price: $3,899 / £3,999 / AU$5,899 (body only)
• Official price now: $3,199 / £3,699 / AU$5,499 (body only)

Update: February 2024. The full-frame A7R V's max 61MP resolution is only matched by Sony's own A7C R and various Leica cameras including the Q3. Put simply, in this sensor format you won't get better detail in your pictures. Furthermore, it's autofocus is powered by a dedicated AI chip for improved subject detection, and that's still the best AF performance in any Sony camera, now matched by the A9 III. It's one of the best professional cameras that has also dropped in price on Sony's website since its January 2023 launch, making it better value, too. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Sony A7R V: Two-minute review

Sony released the first high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera – the A7R back in 2013 – and we’ve had an updated model every couple of years since, culminating in the fifth iteration of the series, the A7R V. A lot has changed in the cameras since then in terms of the ergonomics, handling and, of course, the technology employed. But with more rivals on the scene now, the A7R V is up against some stiff competition from the likes of the Canon EOS R5 and Nikon Z 7II.

The Sony A7R V on a table straight from above with lens attached

(Image credit: Future)

Being the newest model on the block, and offering some impressive specs, the A7R V ultimately has little to worry about, despite not providing the highest performance in all areas. Features include a new 61MP sensor and Bionz XR processing engine, up to eight stops of in-body image stabilization, increased burst shooting and AI-powered subject recognition to improve autofocus. Then there’s video capture up to 8K at 24fps and 4K up to 60fps.

Sony A7R V specs

Sensor: 61MP BSI full-frame CMOS
Processor: Bionz XR (with AI processing unit)
Autofocus: 693-point phase-detection
AF subject recognition: human, animal, bird, insects, car, train, automobile
EVF: 9.44-million dot Quad XGA
In-body stabilization: up to eight stops
Continuous shooting: 10fps
Continuous shooting buffer: 184 raw (compressed)
Video: 8K/24p, 4K/60p, 10-bit 4:2:2

Image quality is, as you’d hope, excellent for both photos and video. But with the high-resolution sensor, you’ll need to use Sony’s best lenses in the G and GM ranges with the resolving power to complement the camera. It’s unlikely that you’d be using lower-end lenses if you’re prepared to pay approximately  $3,900 / £4,000 / AU$5,900 for a camera body so it shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re upgrading from a lower-resolution A7 model and already have some cheaper lenses, it’s certainly something to bear in mind.

Sony A7R V: Release date and price

  • Went on sale in December 2022
  • Launched with a list price of approximately $3,900 / £4,000 / AU$5,900
  • Price close to medium format

The A7R V was announced in October 2022, and was available to buy from December 2022, costing approximately $3,900 / £4,000 / AU$5,900. We might have expected a slightly higher price given the launch price of the A7R IV and the consequent rise in camera prices over the last year or two.

The Sony A7R V on a table straight on front

(Image credit: Future)

That said, the cost of the camera is getting close to that of medium-format models. For instance, the Fujifilm GFX 100S costs approximately $6,000 / £4,800 / AU$9,300 body-only. Those shooting faster subjects such as sport and wildlife, and/or video, the A7R V is undoubtedly the better option, but landscape, portrait and studio photographers could benefit from the larger sensor (1.7x) and higher 100MP resolution of the GFX 100S.

  • Price Score: 4/5

Sony A7R V: design

  • Versatile 4-axis articulating touchscreen
  • Moderate 10fps continuous shooting
  • Dual SD/CFexpress Type A card slots

The overall design of the A7R V is extremely similar to that of previous models, with most innovations occurring under the hood, although there are a few design tweaks that improve upon the A7R IV. Current Sony users will almost certainly feel at home, and newcomers should be able to navigate the main settings with little to no problems. 

On the back of the camera is a new 4-axis 3.2-inch articulating touchscreen, which allows the screen to be tilted and flipped out sideways, and twisted to face forwards; perfect for both stills photography and video. This makes the screen slightly bulkier than on the previous two models, which only had a tilting screen, but this doesn’t impact overall handling. The electronic viewfinder is the same one as on the A7S III, and features an excellent 9.44-million dot resolution with 0.9x magnification.

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The Sony A7R V on a table from above with screen flipped out

(Image credit: Future)
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The Sony A7R V on a table with dual hinge screen flipped out

(Image credit: Future)
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The Sony A7R V on a table straight on back with screen on

(Image credit: Future)

Moving up to the top of the camera, the exposure compensation dial is now unmarked, and like most of the buttons and dials it can be set to perform another function if users wish, although having it set to exposure compensation is the most convenient option, despite the almost infinite ways in which you can customize Sony cameras. 

Just like previous A7R models, there are two card slots on the side of the grip that can be set to record in several different ways when two cards are installed. On the A7R V, the card slots can take both SD and CFexpress Type A cards, with the latter being the faster of the two options. This is great if you prefer the cost and capacity benefits of SD cards, but to realize the full speed potential of the camera, considerably more expensive CFexpress Type A cards are a must 

The Sony A7R V close up of the ports

(Image credit: Future)

Shooting speed has also been improved, and the buffer is also larger, with a continuous shooting speed of 10fps available. Sony claims that up to 583 compressed raw images can be captured in Hi+ mode with compressed raw files. For testing, we used a 128GB Kingston Canvas React Plus SD card with transfer speeds of up to 300MB/s. This allowed us to separately shoot 170 JPEGs in Fine quality, 100 Compressed raw files and 50 uncompressed raw files before the camera began to stutter. It’s a far cry from the claimed buffer performance, but is still respectable, and more than most photographers would ever need.

This card was absolutely fine for shooting 8K video, and the camera was able to shoot for 30 minutes. The camera body did heat up during recording in a 64.5F / 18C room, which wasn’t an issue, but in warmer temperatures when shooting outdoors this could be problematic. One way to aid heat dissipation in warmer temperatures when shooting video is to open the battery door on the bottom of the camera, although this presents obvious risks. 

  • Design 5/5

Sony A7R V: features and performance

  • Subject-recognition autofocus
  • 8-stop image stabilization
  • Improved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

While the A7R IV didn’t offer a great deal more to entice A7R III owners to upgrade, the A7R V aims to address the deficiencies of its predecessor, and is a much more well-rounded camera overall. The improvements Sony has implemented, alongside the inclusion of some welcome new features, make it significantly more attractive, whether you’re upgrading from an earlier model or switching to Sony from another brand.

One new feature, which is designed to address sensor dust complaints from A7R IV users, is the ability to have the shutter close when the camera is switched off. This might work, but after only using the camera for a few weeks it’s impossible to test this claim. Although, given that  DSLR shutters close after each shot has been taken, and these cameras still suffer from sensor dust, whether it’ll be effective is questionable. 

The Sony A7R V on a table without a lens

(Image credit: Future)

Image stabilization has been improved, with up to eight stops of compensation available when shooting stills. During testing, it was easy to shoot sharp handheld images with a shutter speed of around 1/8 sec, and with a particularly steady hand it was even possible to shoot as slow as one second. For video, Active Mode image stabilization aids smooth handheld shooting, and can be paired with some lenses that feature optical image stabilization for even smoother video.

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting has also been improved. In this mode the camera captures 16 frames, with the sensor position shifted slightly between each, which can then be merged into a huge 240.8MP image that’s claimed to be better corrected for minor movement in scenes. This requires Sony’s Image Edge Desktop software to be used, but it would be much more convenient if these composite images were merged in-camera.

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The Sony A7R V on a table angled front with lens

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The Sony A7R V on a table straight close up of top controls

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The Sony A7R V on a table straight from above with lens attached

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The A7R V features 693 AF points and offers Real-time Recognition AF, enabling you to select from Human, Animal/Bird, Animal, Bird, Insect, Car/Train and Airplane. The Human option is much more advanced than simply eye or face detection, and can identify people in wider scenes. The feature generally works well across subjects, but it’s not perfect, and turning off subject recognition requires delving into the camera menu. The best way to switch Real-time Recognition AF on and off is to include this in My Menu, which is the camera’s custom user menu.

My Menu is incredibly useful overall, because Sony cameras are infamous for their labyrinthine menu systems. Another feature worth including here is Bulb Timer Settings. With this, when shooting in Bulb mode you can select any exposure duration from two to 900 seconds, which is incredibly useful when shooting long exposures. With this setting turned on, you can use the self-timer to release the shutter and the camera will time the exposure for you – fantastic when using a Big Stopper.

The Sony A7R V on a table straight on back with screen on

(Image credit: Future)
  • Features and performance 4/5

Sony A7R V: image and video quality

  • New 61MP Exmor R sensor boasts 15 stops dynamic range
  • Impressive ISO handling
  • Sharp video up to 8K video

Image quality in many respects comes down to the optics you attach to the camera, with higher-quality lenses naturally offering the best possible image quality. And with the A7R V, this is certainly the case – you’ll get the best results using higher-quality Sony G lenses such as the 20mm F1.8 and 90mm F2.8 Macro and the flagship G Master lenses. The high-resolution sensor is unforgiving when the camera is paired with cheaper and lower-quality optics, so you do need to avoid these if you want the A7R V to achieve its potential.

With high-quality lenses, image quality for both stills and video is excellent thanks to the new 61MP Exmor R sensor and Bionz XR processing engine. Dynamic range is advertised at 15 stops, and you can certainly increase the exposure of underexposed raw files considerably before image degradation becomes problematic. Photo capture is available in 14-bit raw, compressed raw, HEIF and JPEG, so you’ve got plenty of options.

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A long exposure seascape taken with the Sony A7R V

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Details of a bridge against a sunny sky taken with the Sony A7R V

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Details of crumbling wall taken with the Sony A7R V

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A modern building on a sunny day taken with the Sony A7R V

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ISO performance is impressive within the native ISO 100-32,000 range, with the expanded range taking settings from ISO 50-102,400. The best quality comes at settings up to ISO 1600, with images shot at up to 6400 still looking reasonably good, and those taken at up to ISO 25,600 providing usable results. Beyond this, noise and color loss become very evident, leaving images pretty much unusable.

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Inside an abandoned building taken with the Sony A7R V

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Beach homes in the sun taken with the Sony A7R V

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A river and sunny landscape taken with the Sony A7R V

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Details of crumbling wall taken with the Sony A7R V

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A cityscape reflected in water on a sunny day  taken with the Sony A7R V

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Video quality is equally impressive, with 8K video available at 24fps, 4K up to 60fps, and FHD up to 120fps in NTSC or 100fps in PAL, with a 4:2:2 10-bit color depth available. Color profiles include S-Cinetone and S-Log3 among others, so there’s plenty to keep hybrid stills/video shooters happy. Videographers will find the A7S III is a better camera overall for shooting video; you could certainly shoot professional video with the A7R V, but it’s not the best Sony A-series camera for the job.

  • Image and video quality 5/5

Should I buy the Sony A7R V?

The Sony A7R V on a table angled front with lens

(Image credit: Future)

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If our Sony A7R V review has you wondering about alternatives, here are two rivals to consider.

Sony A7R V: testing scorecard

First reviewed: January 2023

Canon EOS R5 review
8:07 pm | April 28, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Cameras Computers DSLRs Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: April 2021
• No new model released
• Launch price: $3,899 / £4,199 / AU$6,899
• Official price now: $3,399 / £4,299 / AU$6,349

Updated: February 2024. When Canon announced the EOS R5 in July 2020, it made headlines and it's still a popular camera nearly four years on, staying put in our best camera roundup. There are rumors of a Mark II coming in 2024, but details are thin on the ground. Despite now being a few years old, the price for the body hasn't changed a great deal, dropping most in the US and a little in Australia, but is strangely listed for a higher price in the UK on Canon's official site and retailers like Jessops. Retailers, however, regularly discount this camera and, going by what we saw during Black Friday 2023, we think you shouldn't be paying more than $2,999 / £2,300 / AU$4,500 for the EOS R5. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Canon EOS R5: two-minute review

A lot has happened in the camera world since we first reviewed the Canon EOS R5 in August 2020 and labelled it 'Canon's best ever stills camera'.

That statement still stands and the EOS R5 remains the best mirrorless camera that Canon has made so far. It's almost certainly the best Canon camera on the market right now too. But with the Sony A7S III and Sony A1 now here, and Canon responding with firmware updates for the EOS R5 and the announcement of the Canon EOS R3, is it already on the verge of being overshadowed?

Not quite yet. We've tested the Canon EOS R5's firmware upgrades, and they improve the camera and smooth out its rough edges, albeit without fundamentally changing its character. It's a fantastic stills camera, one of the best you can buy, but the verdict on its video skills is a little more nuanced. 

In short, if video is your priority, you should test out the Canon EOS R5 in situations that are as close as possible to your real-world workflow - you may still find it to be one of the best video cameras you can buy. Those looking to shoot long, extended takes might be better served by the Sony A7S III. But if you look at the Canon EOS R5 as a stills camera that you'll occasionally use to shoot high-quality video, you'll likely never run into any overheating problems.

Canon EOS R5 articulating screen

(Image credit: Future)

For stills photographers, though, there isn't much wrong with the Canon EOS R5. The combination of a next-generation autofocus system, excellent image quality and fast 12fps/20fps continuous shooting means this is a camera that is just as comfortable (and capable) in professionally-lit studios as it is shooting breaking news stories at dusk.

The EOS R5's autofocus deserves a special mention. Its eye-detection is incredibly accurate and sticky, while its subject-detection and tracking is similarly impressive. As we found on our wildlife shoot, the animal detection is simply mind-blowing and a huge selling point on its own, if you regularly indulge in that kind of photography. 

What about battery life? If you're coming from a traditional DSLR, this is an obvious constriction. But we managed about four hours of very intensive shooting, while using the EVF. On a standard shoot, this means going through two (or, at a push, three) batteries in a day. With spares easy and relatively cheap to come by, plus backwards compatibility with the older LP-E6N battery, it’s not quite the impediment it firsts appears.

If you’re a high-volume, high-speed filmmaker, you might find the EOS R5's heat constrictions a little onerous. But during our half-day documentary shoot, where we shot in a variety of formats, we didn't see any overheating warnings. 

The video footage was also sharp and flexible for color grading, while a recent firmware update has added the Canon Log 3 (or C-Log 3) format to help its footage slot into cinematic workflows. The combination of stabilized RF-mount lenses and in-camera image stabilization (IBIS) also makes it possible to get reasonably smooth shots without a gimbal.

Canon EOS R5 Animal Eye AF in action

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As you'd hope at this price, the Canon EOS R5 brings lots of smaller treats, too. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is superb and practically indistinguishable from the optical ones found in DSLRs, at least to our eyes. And weather-proofing is right up there with the 5D series, if not quite as indestructible as the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III.

Canon has pulled out all the stops with the EOS R5, but it had to. It was relatively late to the mirrorless party and the competition at the pro level is now fierce. But it's Canon's best camera for stills shooters, and a more-than-capable hybrid option for those who like to mix that up with some video, too. 

Professional filmmakers who are looking for a small, hybrid camera whose priority is 4K video shooting should consider the Sony A7S II instead. And non-professionals of any kind should check out our Canon EOS R6 review. But even if, like us, you can't afford justify the Canon EOS R5's price, it's certainly an exciting example of what happens when Canon fully commits to mirrorless.

Canon EOS R5 review: price and release date

The Canon EOS R5 was released on July 30, 2020 with a body-only launch price of $3,899 / £4,199 / AU$6,899.

It was initially difficult to find stock, with demand outstripping supply for the first few months of its life, but the EOS R5 is now widely available worldwide.

Canon EOS R5 ports

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Of course, that price tag is a big investment, but it's in the ballpark of its nearest rivals. It's only a shade more than the lower-resolution, 4K-only Sony A9 Mark II and the Sony A7S III in most regions, and is also very much in the region of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV's original pricing, which started at $3,499 / £3,599 / AU$5,060 when it launched in 2016.

Is the Canon EOS R5 expensive? Yes. Unjustifiably so? Probably not...

Canon EOS R5 review: design and handling

  • Weighs 738g without a lens
  • Rear AF joystick instead of Touch Bar
  • Impressive 5.76-million pixel EVF

Design-wise, we’re not looking at a game-changer with the Canon EOS R5. But given the usability of the Canon EOS R, which it's heavily based on, that’s no bad thing. 

In terms of width and height, the EOS R5 is all-but identical to that latter camera; three mysterious millimeters have been added to its depth, and 70g has been added to its weight. 

Significantly, the EOS R’s touch bar – the touch-sensitive strip on the top-right of the camera – is gone, perhaps testament to its lukewarm reception. In its place is a chunky, knurled joystick for navigating autofocus points and menus, along the lines of the control on Canon’s other high-end cameras. 

Canon EOS R5 top display for shooting info

(Image credit: Future)

Pick up the EOS R5 and the first thing you’ll notice is that it practically floats in the hand. Its 738g weight with a card and battery compares extremely favorably to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV’s 890g, and even more favorably to the tank-like Canon EOS 1D X Mark III’s 1.4kg kerb weight.

The EOS R5 is still substantial-feeling, with a deep grip that makes it easy and comfortable to hold, but it’s also easy to tote around without it feeling burdensome. Weather resistance is said to be up to the standard of Canon's 5D series, which professionals will tell you means the R5 should withstand troublesome weather better than some photographers. We’d be confident in most situations.

Canon’s adroit touch when it comes to building cameras that are quick and easy to use is much in evidence. Along with that four-way joystick, which makes diddling through menus or selecting autofocus points a breeze, you also get a click-wheel on the back, plus a dial behind the shutter button and a ring around the mode dial. 

Don’t forget that RF-mount lenses also have a control ring, so getting the EOS R5 set up just-so is easy. If you’re coming from another of Canon’s cameras, the learning curve is basically flat – the R5 is easy to adjust to. Newcomers will find the menus responsive, intuitive, and powerful, whether you’re a power user or launching into photography for the first time.

A square display on the top right-hand shoulder of the camera displays your current shooting information. This is a good way to keep the rear monitor turned off between shots, and the secondary display has a backlight that you can turn on and off manually. The touchscreen monitor is a good ‘un, too, measuring a generous 3.15in and offering a 2.1MP resolution. It’s also vari-angle, which is handy for video.

But goodness gracious, the electronic viewfinder. The only thing that beats it for resolution right now is the 9.44-million pixel EVF seen on the Sony A7S III and Sony A1. And while the R5 might only offer 5.76-million pixels, in use we could barely distinguish it from the true optical viewfinders found in traditional DSLRs. 

Beautifully smooth and with an incredible amount of fine detail, it makes the normal bugbear of mirrorless cameras – being able to tell when an image with slim depth of field is actually focussed – a thing of past. It’s really easy to tell, and with focus peaking available in manual focus mode, it conspires to make the R5 very easy to use.

Canon EOS R5 had a standard SD card slot and CFexpress slot

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Canon EOS R5 review: specs and features

  • 45MP (effective) full-frame sensor
  • Same DIGIC X processor as the EOS 1D X Mark III
  • 8K video recording

On paper, the EOS R5 might be the best hybrid mirrorless camera on the market. It’s both high resolution and full-frame, producing 8,192 x 5,464 resolution files that weighed in, on average, at about 60MB each. 

That means, at the R5’s fastest continuous motor mode, you’re shooting about 1.2GB per second. In other words, make sure you’ve budgeted for extra storage, both in your camera and at home.

Speaking of storage, the R5 brings a pro-level solution to the table, offering both a standard SD card slot and a CFexpress slot. This allows you to either boost your camera’s available storage, shoot to two cards for real-time backup, or shoot raw files to one card and JPEGs to the other.

Memory cards take on more of a bearing if you plan to use the R5’s movie-shooting abilities. Its higher-end video modes, including 4K 10-bit HEVC (which is what you’ll shoot in Canon LOG or HDR PQ), 4K ALL-I 50/60fps, 4K 100/120fps or 8K ALL-I or raw, all require a CFexpress card. We shot exclusively with SanDisk’s 512GB Extreme PRO card, which is rated at 1,400MB/s write speed, and found that the buffer refilled at virtually the rate it was depleted, making in-the-field workflow completely hassle-free.

Canon EOS R5 articulating screen

(Image credit: Future)

Powering everything is Canon’s DIGIC X processor. It’s the same chip as the one you'll find in the powerhouse 1D X Mark III and it kept everything ticking over as our EOS R5 voraciously gobbled up light and churned out data.

The sensor is a new model, and this is Canon’s first body to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS). In combination with the high speed data throughput of the RF mount, this can combine with the image stabilization in a lens to offer, in the right circumstances, up to eight stops of image stabilization.

You get all the expected mod cons, and then some. Wi-fi is there, of course, but in exotic 5GHz as well as 2.4GHz. There’s an FTP client built-in, allowing press photographers to offload images to remote servers as they shoot. 

Just about the only thing not present is a proper Ethernet socket – the Sony A9 Mark II does have one of these and pro sports photographers might lament its absence here. If you want one, you’ll need to dig out your wallet for the Canon WTF-R10B –this upgrades the R5’s FTP client to one that supports SFTP, while also adding two MIMO antennae for stronger connections and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Those are pretty niche features that will only be desirable for full-time agency photographers, though.

Of more interest to the rest of us is the EOS R5's new battery – the LP-E6NH has about 14 per cent more capacity than the slightly older LC-E6N. Those who already own Canon kit should note that the older model of battery is still compatible with the R5. You can also use a Power Delivery supply to charge the R5 via its USB-C port, saving you popping the battery out when it’s time to recharge.

Flick the mode selector to video and you’re greeted with yet more out-of-this-world performance. 4K, naturally, but up to 120fps, and with the option of shooting raw. 

Or, the headliner: 8K video. Again, the option of shooting raw is there, at 30, 25, 24 or 23.98fps, and at a galactic bitrate of approximately 2,600Mbps. Opting to shoot H.265 files, at the same settings, lowers the bitrate to about 1,300Mbps, while H.264 lowers it further to 300Mbps. 

Of course, these headline figures are only part of the video story, and Canon was forced to subsequently recalibrate expectations a little by publishing estimated recording times for each of the EOS R5's modes. We've included that information in the table below.

Perhaps even more significant than these recording times, particularly if you're planning to use the Canon EOS R5 as your main video workhorse, are the 'cool down' recovery times it needs after shooting extended scenes. Most mirrorless video cameras overheat, but not as many need quite as long to recover as the EOS R5.

We re-tested the Canon EOS R5's video performance after the arrival of its 1.1.0 firmware update, which promised to "extend video shooting times in some situations". You can read the full results of our video tests here, but the short answer is that while it slightly improves recovery times in some modes and situations, it's not a radical change from the original figures quoted for the EOS R5.

For example, when shooting 8K/30p, a 10-minute rest will then give you only three minutes of recording time, while letting it cool for an additional 20 minutes will give you an extra eight minutes of recording.

That's fair enough for 8K, a mode that no other mirrorless camera offers, but even if you're shooting 4K/60p on the EOS R5, a 10-minute rest will only give you another 10 minutes of recording time. So for both of the EOS R5's most demanding modes, you're still restricted to relatively short bursts. 

Canon EOS R5 rear screen and controls

(Image credit: Future)

Canon EOS R5 review: autofocus

  • 5,940 AF zones
  • Animal and face-detection
  • 100 per cent horizontal autofocus coverage

The Canon EOS R5’s autofocus is very nearly unbelievable. Its eye-detection is practically infallible, grabbing hold of human faces and holding on even with subjects moving rapidly forwards or backwards through the frame. Subject detection and tracking is similarly impressive. 

The new animal detection mode is out of this world, as we raved about in our wildlife test, with the R5 detecting and tracking non-human eyes and faces in some very demanding circumstances.

The R5 uses a new version of Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, which means focussing is done on the sensor itself. This allows you to manually choose from 5,940 different AF points across 100 per cent of the sensor’s horizontal dimension and 90 per cent of its vertical. 

You can cut things however you want; splitting the sensor into large autofocus zones, allowing it to pick entirely for itself, or opting for tiny individual autofocus points using either the joystick or by dragging your thumb across the touchscreen monitor. Once you’ve got a zone picked, the R5’s autofocus will blow you away.

The animal recognition currently works for dogs, cats and birds, but it naturally isn't blind to other species, too. We're looking forward to seeing where this autofocus system goes next, but Canon's certainly made a very impressive start on the EOS R5.

Canon EOS R5 card slots

(Image credit: Future)

Canon EOS R5 review: performance

  • 12fps mechanical shutter/20fps electronic shutter
  • Backwards-compatible batteries
  • High-speed video modes

With the Digic X processor on board, it’s fair to expect good things of the R5’s performance – and so it proved in our tests. 

With our SanDisk Extreme Pro card we found the buffer cleared almost as fast as we could shoot, writing multiple frames per second when we’d finished shooting a burst of raw files. The EOS R5 will shoot 12fps using the mechanical shutter, or up to 20 with the electronic shutter. 

Purists who are concerned about the jello-effect of electronic shutters can put their minds at rest – we saw very little evidence of it. It was possible, on frames with tall elements in them, to detect a very small amount of distortion, but even with incredibly fast subjects, frames shot with the electronic shutter were just as usable as with the mechanical option. Another plus: the electronic shutter is totally – literally – silent. Wedding photographers and wildlife photographers, rejoice.

Battery life gets a significant thumbs-up as well. It’s still well down on traditional DSLRs, of course, but we managed about four hours of extremely intensive shooting (approximately 2,000 raw frames, all shot using the power-sucking electronic viewfinder) on a single charge. 

On a fairly intensive shoot we’d anticipate going through perhaps two batteries in a day, maybe three at a push. Because the R5 is backwards-compatible with the LP-E6N battery – first seen on the 2009 EOS 7D – it’s possible that many upgraders will already have a few spares.

Canon EOS R5 review: video and image quality

Video performance

Video performance is excellent as well. We tested the EOS R5 on a small half-day documentary shoot (see above), capturing just over 240GB of 4K video for a total of a shade over 55 minutes overall. 

Of that, about just about 38 minutes was shot in 4K, All-I, 25fps in 10-bit Canon LOG, with the rest (a hair under 17 minutes) shot at 50fps, still in All-I and in LOG. Of note is that the shoot happened on the warmest day of the year with the ambient temperature resting at an uncomfortable 32-degrees. We didn’t see any overheating warnings. 

Canon’s own claim is that the R5 will shoot up to 35 minutes at 50/60fps before it overheats, at which point it will recover at the rate of one shootable minute per minute of cool down. Not ideal, perhaps, if you want to shoot a documentary at 4K and 60fps, but those shooting 24 or 25fps films with a smattering of 60p for slow motion clips it’s quite possible you could use the R5 fairly intensively and never see an overheating warning. Canon claims that 25/30fps full-frame 4K video has no heat limitation.

Putting those slightly overhyped overheating claims to one side, it's far more useful –and fun – to look at the results that the Canon EOS R5 is capable of. 4K video is gorgeously sharp and the LOG files we shot were incredibly flexible when it came to grading. 

It's also worth noting that a recent firmware update, version 1.3.0, has brought the very useful Canon Log 3 (C-Log 3) format, which lets you achieve wide dynamic range and means its slots nicely into workflows that also include footage shot on Canon's EOS Cinema cameras. The update also brings a slo-mo 120p option for Full HD recording, though sadly the 30-minute recording limit for video files remains. 

Still, the combination of stabilized RF-mount lenses and in-camera IBIS ensures that, if you tread softly enough, you can create reasonably smooth tracking shots on the EOS R5 without a gimbal. Our selection of RF-mount lenses – the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM – all provided sound-free tracking autofocus. For single-crewed shooters, or those tasked with filming BTS (Behind the Scenes) or B-roll, the EOS R5 could be an incredible addition to any toolkit.

A quick note – if you’re shooting 10-bit files, you’ll be wanting a proper editor. Those using BlackMagic’s free version of Resolve will need to upgrade. We edited and graded with Premiere Pro on an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Image quality

As you'd hope for the price, the R5 shoots excellent images. Up to about ISO 4000 you should have very few concerns, which is incredible. Push further and you’ll find fine-grained speckling in your images – we suspect editorial photographers won’t mind it much, but those with an eye on producing art prints might be a bit more cautious. 

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5

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For those dedicated to capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments, whatever the light, the R5 will shoot ISOs up to 102,400. We shot in anger up to ISO 51,200 and while the results were undoubtedly grainy, there was no color shift to contend with and there was plenty of detail. 

Having a camera that produces outstanding, high-resolution images in perfect light but which is capable of shooting usable shutter speeds in the dark again marks the EOS R5 out as an exceptional photographic tool. For a more in-depth look at the EOS R5's Animal Eye AF performance, check out our feature on a wildlife photographer's visit to a bird hide.

Should I buy the Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 front

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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3:01 am | February 21, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

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