EOS R5 4K and 8K Overheating Limitations to Consider

With the EOS R5, Canon has finally released a camera with the forward thinking, competitive features that we all want. This is the first Full Frame mirrorless camera to film in 8K DCI Raw & 4K 120p. Being first is pretty new for Canon, a company notorious for limiting features in their stills and prosumer offerings to protect their high-end line.

This new camera sounds pretty doggone good, but if you’re all set to preorder, let me play Debbie Downer to your early celebration. Wah Wah. Unfortunately, I hear this camera has a real problem with overheating and it doesn’t sound like something you’d be able to shoot with practically.

You were enjoying your day. Everything was going your way. Then, along came Max Yuryev with some facts and information about the Canon EOS R5 that is sure to knock you down a peg or two.

I don’t always enjoy being a Negative Nelly, but the EOS R5 sounded too good to be true to me. Something was bound to be wrong with it just like the 5D Mark II initially only having auto exposure in video mode, or the blatant absence of 10bit 422 in the C200.

Canon always leaves us hanging with a near perfect, future-smashing, dream camera that suffers from one tragic flaw. 

So, when I heard the news of the overheating issue, my inner Debbie Downer was slight-frowning hear-to-hear with malicious joy thinking of all those poor people who rushed to pre-order only to be sucker-punched by Canon yet again.

And this flaw is a real tasty one too because not only will the camera shut off after less than a half-hour of raw recording, it seems the amount of time you’ll have to wait for it to cool down before you can get rolling is frankly absurd.

Canon EOS R5 Key Features:

  • 45MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC X Image Processor
  • 8K30 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video
  • Sensor-Shift 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1053 Points
  • Subject Tracking with Deep Learning
  • CFexpress & SD UHS-II Memory Card Slots
  • Price: $3,899

Though I’m fully committed to this schadenfreude theme that I’ve picked for this article, I will break character for a moment to let you know I’m wholeheartedly disappointed in Canon for not including a fan or any active cooling system into the design of this camera. 

The Panasonic S1H has an active cooling system and is also weather-sealed.

This isn’t a lack of foresight, they’ve implemented 8K, Raw, and 4K 10-bit in this camera merely as a gimmick and the total cost drastically outweighs the benefit if you’re a videographer or filmmaker.

Let’s take a look a Max’s breakdown of how the heating issue impacts this camera’s usability.

MAX RECORDING TIME BEFORE OVERHEATING

This information is straight from Canon, and as you can see it isn’t good news. You can’t even hit the 29min and 59sec recording limit that is imposed on DSLR and Mirrorless camera’s without this thing overheating when you’re filming in 8K, and things aren’t much better in 4K either.

In 4K60p you can record for 35 minutes, but that still comes with that awful, dreaded 29min recording limit so you’ll have to split it up into two clips.

More importantly, this is under normal temperatures.  If your shoot is outdoors on a hot day, you can expect even shorter runtimes without a shutdown – maybe half or less! This is really unfortunate for you, but for me, your Debbie Downer, all I can say is ‘wah wah’. 

Hold on to your hat, though, cause it gets so so much worse.

RECOVERING TIME AFTER OVERHEATING

Sure, you thought you could live with filming 20 minutes at a time, maybe you even thought you could find a workaround or rent a second one for a busy shoot day, but again ‘Wah Wah’ down go went all of your hopes and dreams.

The EOS R5 is a compact, weather-sealed camera; once it heats up it takes a very long time to cool back down again. 

Best case scenario, according to Canon, you can only expect to capture another 3 minutes after allowing the camera to cool for 10 minutes, and after 20 minutes of cooling all you’re going to get is 10 minutes of recording time before it shuts down again.

Things are slightly better when you’re filming in 4K 60p in crop mode. Once the camera overheats, you can expect a 10 more minutes of recording after a 10 minute shutdown for cooling. This is due to the fact that the EOS R5 isn’t processing as much data in 4K 60p as it is in 8K DCI Raw.

Other than the incredibly expensive media that is required to film in 8K with this camera, the numbers aren’t looking good for anyone hoping to shoot their indie film, documentary, or wedding in 8K with this amazing little camera. Unfortunately, this camera seems like it wasn’t made with filmmaking in mind but more likely for the jet setting AP photographer.

If you’re a still shooter, you will love the ability to capture 30x 8K, roughly 35-megapixel, raw stills per second when you’re covering an important world event, grabbing bursts of video at a time, but for the wishful videographer and filmmaker this camera just doesn’t seem to have a practical use for filmmaking.

Hopefully, Canon can do something with a future firmware update that can help with the recovery time, or a 3rd party cooling system can be developed to make this camera more usable as a filmmaking tool. 

With the included stabilization, DPAF, 8K Raw and 4K 10-bit modes this camera really sounds like a winner on paper.  For me, I think I’ll just wait until the EOS R5 Mark II comes out. Sorry if I just ruined your day.

[source: Max Yuryev]

B&H Pre-Order Links:

Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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