First look: Canon EOS R5 and R6

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After what may be the longest marketing campaign in the history of cameras, Canon has officially announced the two newest members of its EOS-R full frame mirrorless range, the EOS R5 and EOS R6. 

For the first time, Canon has given the iconic EOS 5-Series name to the EOS R Mirrorless system with the EOS R5.
For the first time, Canon has given the iconic EOS 5-Series name to the EOS R Mirrorless system with the EOS R5. Image: James Simmons.

We were lucky enough to test both the video and stills capabilities of the two models at a media event in Sydney recently. From the event, it's clear Canon sees the EOS R5 as the mirrorless successor to the professional-spec Canon 5D Mark IV, a distinction they never gave to the EOS R which launched back in 2018.

By comparison, the R6 is a more accessible offering, featuring a smaller megapixel count, but similar performance in autofocus and image quality to its bigger brother. 

The new cameras were announced along with a bumper announcement of new lenses and accessories, which you can read about in their dedicated post here.

The EOS R6 is the more accessible option of the two cameras, and features a 20.1MP full frame sensor derived from that in the 1DX-Mark III. © Canon Australia
The EOS R6 is the more accessible option of the two cameras, and features a 20.1MP full frame sensor derived from that in the 1DX-Mark III. © Canon Australia


The headline specs for the two mirrorless full frame cameras are pretty impressive, but let's start with what they both have in common.

Both cameras get in-built image stabilisation (IBIS) systems good for up to 8 stops stabilisation, up to 20fps shooting with an electronic shutter (and 12fps with mechanical), and gain Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF II processors, which Canon says will offer the world’s fastest AF focusing speed of 0.05 seconds. 

Yep, there's now dual card slots, CFexpress and SD UHS-II for the EOS R5, and two SD UHS-II slots for the R6. 
The rear of the R6. Canon have scrapped the touch bar, with a more traditional AF-Multi controller taking its place. Both cameras feature similar flipout LCDs. 
The R5 (Left) and R6 (Right). The R6 loses the top panel display, and has a slightly different button layout. 

Physically, there's little to tell them apart, with the two cameras sharing a similar build quality and styling, and both cameras featuring a similar weatherproof build. That said, the EOS R5 is slightly heavier, 738g with battery and memory card, versus 690g with battery and memory card for the R6. 

Where the cameras differ is in their megapixel count. The EOS R5 features a 45 megapixel full-frame sensor, compared to the 20.1 megapixel full frame sensor in the R6, which Canon says is similar to the sensor in the 1DX Mark III.

There are a few other differences, including a brighter, 5.76 million dot EVF on the R5 versus the 3.69 million dot EVF on the R6, and a bigger 3.2inch 2.1 million dot vari-angle LCD on the R5 versus a 3inch 1.62 million dot vari-angle LCD on the R6.

The R5 also gains a top panel display (the R6 has a more traditional mode dial in its place) as well as a slightly different button array - it gains a customisable mode dial and light for the top panel instead.

Interestingly, Canon have ditched their somewhat divisive touch bar, which has been replaced by a more traditional AF multi-controller on both bodies. Both cameras are also powered by a new LP- E6NH battery, which offers an increased capacity of 14%, and is backwards compatible with all existing cameras that use the older LP-E6 series batteries. There's also a new battery grip available at launch, the BG-R10. 

You can see a comparison table of the specs of the two cameras at the bottom of the page.

Image quality

The images in this first look were captured with Canon's stunning RF 28-70mm f2 L USM and RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lenses, but unfortunately we were unable to access Raw files from either camera, so the images in this review are straight out of camera JPEGs, and we have none of the EXIF data available either.

However we did get to test the high ISO capabilities with both cameras, and from our limited hands on, the images held up well to fine scrutiny on the rear LCD.

The R6 should (in theory at least) be the better performer in low light - it has a higher native ISO (102,400 versus 51,200 on the R5), but we'll wait to take a closer look when we do a proper review. The new cameras will also shoot Canon's High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF). Compared to JPEG images, HEIF images require considerably less storage space without sacrificing image quality.

You can download the full resolution JPEGs of the images in this first look here. 


Canon have made some bold claims about the autofocus capabilities of these cameras - even putting aside the claim of world's fastest AF for interchangeable lens cameras, both the R5 and the R6 offer 100% AF point coverage. There's 5,940 user selectable AF points on the R5, and a whopping 6,072 selectable AF points available on the R6.

Canon says the R5 can focus in light levels as low as-6EV, and the R6 -6.5EV. Although our testing went nowhere near these extremes, it had no trouble holding focus on the happy couple in the images here in a variety of different lighting. 

There's also some impressive Eye AF features built in to both cameras, including both human and animal, which can recognise a much wider variety of animal species than what we've seen before. We watched a fish being accurately tracked with the Animal Eye AF technology, and also anecdotaly heard that it will work with most 'wild' animals including lions, giraffes, zebras, and birds. Better yet, all the Eye AF features work in any of the autofocus modes, including AI Servo mode. 


For the first time in the EOS series, both the R5 and R6 incorporate 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilisers.

Similar to Panasonic's system in the S-series, the body stabilisation and lens stabilisation can work collaboratively together. RF lenses and the sensor will correct pitch and yaw with the sensor correcting X-Y and roll movements. 

Interestingly the system is also capable of working with select EF mount lenses, as the in-body IS works with IS enabled EF lenses to provide roll and X-Y correction. But even select non-IS EF lenses benefit too, receiving 5-axis correction provided by the in-body IS. In testing, we were able to handhold images at 1/20s, which suggests the IBIS is up to the task.


The higher megapixel count of the R5 allows it to shoot 8K internal video recording up to 29.97fps (non-cropped) in 4:2:2 10-bit Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265), while the R6 maxes out at 4K movie 60p 10-bit, Full HD 120fps. 

While both cameras feature dual card slots (yay!), the R5 has a CFexpress slot and a standard UHS-II slot. To shoot 8K, you'll need to use the CFExpress slot which, as Canon explained at the briefing, is a result of the huge file sizes produced when shooting in 8K. At four times the size of 4K, 8K will push most storage to the limit, and even with the fast read and write speeds of CFexpress there is a recording time limit of 20 minutes with 8K capture. The R6 by comparison features two standard UHS-II slots.

All video modes take advantage of Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF with tracking, and there's zebras available to minimise blown highlights. In our limited time using it the autofocus in video mode appeared to be excellent, even when the studio lights were dropped to test the higher ISO capabilities of both cameras.

Final thoughts

It's fair to say the first generation of Canon's full frame mirrorless cameras had some teething problems, but at the same time it's obvious the company has been paying attention. By cramming some seriously impressive tech into the EOS R5 and R6, Canon have made a very compelling argument that mirrorless is the future for the brand. 

What we haven't had any confirmation on is pricing for the new bodies, and it's likely to be considerable when you take into account the position in the market Canon expects the two cameras to occupy. For now, we'll save our final judgements for when we can get hold of them for a full review, but at first look, the EOS R5 and R6 look to be the game-changing cameras Canon users have been waiting for. 

Pre-orders for the EOS R5 and EOS R6 are available now via the Canon Australia Store, with the R5 and R6 available from the Canon Australia Store and authorised local dealers from late July 2020 and late August 2020 respectively.

In the meantime, you can find out all the details on the new cameras on Canon's website, and watch a live event on the new products on the Canon UK website here.

Update 13/7/20 - We now have a better indication of local pricing, with the Canon Australia Store listing the EOS R5 (body only) for $7,099, and the EOS R6 for $4,749. 

More images


45 megapixel full-frame sensor

20.1 megapixel full frame sensor

Up to 20fps/ 12fps

Up to 20fps/ 12fps

In-body IS up to 8-stops

In-body IS up to 8-stops

Dual Pixel CMOS AF II

Dual Pixel CMOS AF II

ISO range 100-51,200

ISO range 100-102,400

8K movie 30p 12-bit (full width)

4K movie 60p 10-bit, Full HD 120fps

5.76 million dot EVF

3.69 million dot EVF

3.2inch 2.1 million dot vari-angle LCD

3inch 1.62 million dot vari-angle LCD

Dual card slots (1x CFexpress, 1x SD UHS II)

Dual card slots (2x SD UHS II)

Top panel display and AF multi-controller

AF multi-controller

Built-in 5Ghz Wi-Fi with optional wireless transmitter (WFT-R10)

Built-in 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and FTP



USB charging and power via PD-E1

USB charging and power via PD-E1

Body only 650g (738g with battery/ memory card)

Body only 598g (690g with battery/memory card)

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