Canon launches R5 and R6 mirrorless cameras

Canon EOS R6 with lens
Surprise choice: Canon’s EOS R6, launched alongside the R5

Canon is set to launch two new mirrorless cameras, the EOS R5 and EOS R6.

The R5, which boasts a 45 megapixel sensor, has been the source of rumours for several months. But canon has doubled down, and also announced a cheaper model, the R6. With a lower-resolution sensor, and also lower price tag, the R6 might be more attractive to video makers.

Both cameras are based around full frame sensors. The EOS R5 has the headline-grabbing specs: 8K, 12-bit RAW video, 45 megapixels resolution for stills, 20fps stills shooting, and up to eight stops of image stabilisation, with compatible lenses.

The R5 also offers up to 120FPS in full frame 4K, a maximum ISO of 51,200 and Canon’s advanced autofocus systems. This is based on what Canon calls “deep learning AI”, as used on the EOS-1D X Mark III.

The headline-grabbing feature for video is, of course, the R5’s 8K mode. Canon offers three recording modes for 8K: 12-bit RAW, 10-bit 4:2:2 in MP4/H.265 and 8-but 4:2:0, also in MP4/H.265. Frame sizes are either DCI or UHD, and ALL-I or IPB compression. Canon claims IPB files can record to a v90 SD card, in IPB mode. Log and HDR are available.

R6: lower resolution, more options?

Alongside the R5, Canon surprised industry watchers by also launching the R6. The new Canon camera might lack some of the “hero” features of the R5, but from a videographer’s point of view, the R6 looks to be very capable, and addresses some of the film-making shortcomings of the original R.

The EOS R6 has a lower resolution, 20.1 megapixel sensor, but a much higher maximum ISO, up to 102,400. The R6 has the same 8-stop stabilisation and a similar AF system; in fact the R6’s focus system operates down to -6.5EV, the lowest-light AF of all current EOS cameras.

Video recording is at up to 60fps in 4K, and footage is up to 10-bit 4:2:2 with internal recording on to SD cards; the R6 has dual UHS-II slots; the R5 uses one CFast and one SD slot. The R6’s EVF is lower resolution than the R5, but still a respectable 3.69 megapixels.

The cameras are likely to add to the competition to models such as the Panasonic S1.

The R5 costs £4200, whilst the R6 retails for £2499, both including VAT.

See UK dealer Proactive’s Carl Yates on the pros and cons of the two cameras: