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Canon EOS R5 brings 8K video to full-frame mirrorless series



Canon hasn’t been quiet about the announcement of its EOS R5 camera, teasing a pre-release way back in February about some of the goodies you could expect from it.

Now the full information has come to the fore: the EOS R5 is the top-tier camera in the company’s RF lens-mount mirrorless system, bringing a 45-megapixel full-frame sensor that’s even capable of 8K video capture.

Yes indeed, the EOS R5 is a beast when it comes to potential. Here are some other specification highlights, as there are so many potential places to start.

  • In-body stabilisation system, works with lens IS for up to 8-stops of stabilisation
  • 12 frames per second mechanical shutter (20fps electronic shutter)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system introduced (0.05s)
  • Enhances face/eye detection, adds animal detection
  • ISO 100-51,200 sensitivity (102,400 expanded)
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • 5.76m-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch 2.1m-dot vari-angle LCD
  • Dual card slot (1x SD, 1x CFE)

There are some big take aways there, in particular that this full-frame sensor is a massive 45-megapixels when it comes to resolution. That’s not quite the highest Canon has ever produced (there’s the 5DS), but the company is claiming – due in part to the RF lens system, but also the low-pass filter design here – that it will deliver the best fidelity of any of its cameras. Like, ever.

It’s also the first camera to introduce the second-generation focus system, called Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which not only claims the world’s fastest speeds (at just 0.05 seconds if the right lens is attached), but adds in animal detection – it’s able to lock onto the eyes of various species, including dogs, cats, and birds (including birds in flight).

Then there’s the image stabilisation system, which is a first for Canon. There’s a gyro in the body, which works in tandem with the lens-based stabilisation (IS) to function as a two-part system, which Canon claims can stabilise for up to 8 stops. That’s a rather immense claim.

Elsewhere the R5 has an ultra-resolution electronic viewfinder, plus a 3-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen.

Two card slots feature: an SD (UHS-II) and CompactFlash Express slot. The latter is an essential for one of the R5’s other major abilities: shooting 8K video. Yes, this camera can capture the 33-megapixel format at 30 frames per second. Or you can ‘downgrade’ to 4K and shott at 120fps, making for ultra high-definition slow-motion capture. Looks as though Canon is finally opening the gateway to its high-end video capabilities.

So how much do you need to buy such a system? It doesn’t come cheap, at £4,199.99 for the body only. The RF lenses are various prices and levels, including a batch of new optics also announced to show the company’s dedication to getting the R system well and truly off the ground.





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Canon R5 vs R6: What’s the difference?



Canon had been teasing that its EOS R5 mirrorless camera was coming – it was first made public in February 2020 – but it arrives alongside an EOS R6 too. That’s a bit of a surprise! Two cameras, but two very different prospects, so what’s the difference between the EOS R5 and R6?

Best for

  • EOS R5: Magnesium alloy body, 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm, 738g
  • EOS R6: Polycarbonate body, 138.4 x 97.5 x 88.4mm, 680g
  • Both cameras: Full-frame sensor with EOS RF mount
  • Both cameras: Built-in image stabilisation (IBIS)

The EOS R5 as the ultra-high resolution solution with 8K video capability. Think of it as the mirrorless version of the EOS 5DS DSLR, ideal for landscapes and highly detailed work.

The EOS R6 doesn’t deliver the same resolution or video potential as the R5 – but it’s a very fast camera, with action and low-light in mind. Think of this more as the mirrorless version of the EOS 7D II (albeit with a larger sensor).

Both cameras feature Canon’s built-in image stabilisation system, which is a first for the brand. By using a combination of sensors in the cameras’ bodies in combination with lens-based stabilisation (where applicable) the Japanese company is claiming up to 8-stops of stabilisation can be delivered. That’s a huge helping hand.

While both cameras are also weather-sealed, the R5 is a magnesium alloy build, so it’s heavier, as the EOS R6 uses a polycarbonate body instead.

Resolution

  • EOS R5: 45-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
    • ISO 100-51,200 (102,400 expanded)
  • EOS R6: 20.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
    • ISO 100-102,400 (204,800 expanded)

Here’s the biggest difference on paper. The EOS R5 has a 45 million pixel full-frame sensor. Canon says, thanks to it being part of the new system, it’s capable of resolving more detail than any Canon camera before it – and that includes higher-resolution DSLRs too – because of the optical potential of the RF lens mount.

The EOS R6 has a 20.1 million pixel full-frame sensor, so less than half the resolution. That’s still heaps of pixels though, more than many will need for most types of work. And having lower resolution can be a benefit when churning through dozens of files at a time.

Performance

  • EOS R5: -6EV low-light autofocus / EOS R6: -6.5EV
  • Both cameras:
    • 12fps mechanical shutter (20fps electronic)
    • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus
    • Digic X processor

In terms of performance both cameras offer a lot that’s the same. Their sensors are the same physical size. The stabilisation system equally effective.

Both also represent the first appearance of Canon’s second-generation Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. If you’ve used a Canon before you might have heard about this: it first appeared on the 70D DSLR, showing off what was possible on screen-based autofocus. In its 2020 guise, however, it’s quicker than ever before – as fast as 0.05s, Canon asserts – and also features eye/face/body tracking and animal detection.

Not that the EOS R5 and R6 are just for shooting your pets. Both cameras offer deep learning, so the more you shoot subjects, the more context the camera will have to understand your methods. Sure, dogs and cats are the dominant species it’s programmed to recognise, but also birds – including birds in flight – will be a huge deal for a large swathe of enthusiasts.

The latest Digic X processor also means considerable speed: both can clack away at 12fps (mechanical shutter) at full resolution. So, yes, the EOS R5 can capture 540 million pixels of data in a second in that regard (it’s actually more as a 20fps electronic shutter also runs at full resolution, meaning 900MP can be buffered within a second).

The EOS R6, on account of its larger ‘pixels’ on that sensor, is also more astute to low-light conditions. It can autofocus as low as -6.5EV, which is beyond moonlight conditions – more like candlelight really. The R5 isn’t far behind, though, at -6EV, making it half a stop less capable there.

Screen & Viewfinder

  • EOS R5:
    • LCD: 3.2-inch, 2.1m-dot, vari-angle mount
    • EVF: 0.5in, 5.76m-dot 120fps refresh rate
  • EOS R6:
    • LCD: 3-inch, 1.62m-dot, vari-angle mount
    • EVF: 0.5in, 3.69m-dot, 120fps refresh

In sync with its ultra-high resolution, the EOS R5 also offers the higher resolution viewfinder, offering a massive 5.76 million dots. That makes it 1.92m pixels (1600 x 1200; as each dot describes one of the red, green and blue channels used to create one white pixel). Still, there’s nothing more resolute out there in the consumer market.

By comparison the EOS R6 has a lower resolution offering, but it’s still massively resolute at 3.69m-dots (1.23m pixels). Both offer 120 frames per second refresh rate too, for the most accurate to-eye view, so you don’t miss a moment.

Both cameras feature vari-angle LCD screens for creative composition. The R5’s is a little larger and more packed with pixels.

Video Credentials

  • EOS R5: Maximum capture – 8K at 30/25/24fps
  • EOS R6: Maximum capture – 4K at 60/50/30/25/24fps
  • EOS R5: Dual cards (1x CF Express, 1x SD (UHS-II))
  • EOS R6: Dual cards (2x SD (UHS-II))

The headline feature of the EOS R5 is its ability to capture 8K video (DCI 17:9, UHD 16:9 using H.265 compression and 4:2:2 10-bit onto card). This is with a slight crop – Canon tells us the camera captures at 35MP per frame – at up to 30 frames per second.

The EOS R6 maxes out at 4K60p, but that’s still impressive. The EOS R5 also offers this – but with 4K120 as an option to make quarter-time slow-mo editing a breeze.

Both cameras also offer Full HD at 120fps, Canon Log for grading, and clean HDMI out to 4K60 maximum (potentially due to the HDMI standard).

Conclusion

  • EOS R5: £4,199.99, sales from 30 July 2020
  • EOS R6: £2,499.99, sales from 27 August 2020

So there you have it, two big deal pro-spec cameras with a different target user in each case.

Want the ultra-high resolution and/or 8K capture? The R5 will set you back £4,200 in the UK, arriving late July. Add an RF lens and you’ll need deep pockets.

The R6 is £2,500 and will arrive later in the year, from late August. Hardly small change, but this looks like an all-round EOS R that, with the right lens attached, will become Canon’s 2020 focus.





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Best vlogging camera? Panasonic G100 v Sony ZV-1 v Canon G7 X 3



Traditional camera makers are shooting to become king for an expanding market sector: vlogging cameras. Where YouTube is king, more makers are looking for better ways to capture themselves and their surroundings in better quality.

We pick three of the best options out there – the Panasonic Lumix G100, Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1, and Canon Powershot G7 X III – to help you decide which makes best sense to buy and why.

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Size & Portability

  • Panasonic Lumix G100: 115.6 x 82.5 x 54.2mm; 412g (with 12-42mm lens)
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1: 105.5 x 60 x 43.5mm; 294g 
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3: 105.5 x 60.9 x 41.4mm; 304g

Small is sometimes mightiest. While all three of these cameras are small, it’s the Sony that will most likely feel lightest and most portable. There’s not a huge amount in it.

Sensor Size & Lens

  • Panasonic Lumix G100
    • Sensor: 20MP Micro Four Thirds
    • Lens: Interchangeable lens mount
      • 12-32mm kit lens (24-64mm equivalent)
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1
    • Sensor: 20MP 1.0-inch Exmor RS CMOS
    • Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3
    • Sensor: 20.1MP 1.0-inch stacked CMOS
    • Lens: 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent

However, there’s a big reason for the variance in size: sensor size and each lens’ focal length.

Both Sony and Canon models have fixed-in-place zoom lenses, while Panasonic’s G100 is a system camera with interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses – which makes it potentially much more versatile (and a bit larger and heavier by comparison).

All three of these cameras house sensors that are larger than an entry-level compact, which bodes well for quality. The Sony and Canon both use stacked 1-inch size CMOS sensors. The Panasonic has the larger scale sensor, however, which ought to mean greater potential when it comes to background blur and overall quality.

The kit Panasonic G100 comes with a 12-32mm pancake zoom – which delivers a 24-64mm equivalent zoom. That’s the same on the wide-angle as the 24-70mm of the Sony ZV-1 and the 24-100mm of the Canon G7 X III. Note that the Canon can zoom the furthest – i.e. make farther away subjects look closer-up in the frame.

Audio, Mic Input

  • Panasonic Lumix G100: OZO Audio by Nokia (audio tracking / positioning), 3.5mm mic input, micro HDMI out
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1: 3.5mm mic input, micro HDMI out, deadcat wind-shield included
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3: 3.5mm mic input, micro HDMI out

A big reason to buy a dedicated camera for video is for its audio abilities. All three of these cameras offer a 3.5mm microphone input, so you can connect an accessory microphone as you please – whether that’s a directional shotgun mic, a wireless mounted mic, or any other number of possibilities.

However, you won’t necessarily always want to use a microphone. It’s here that Sony comes up trumps by including what’s called a deadcat in the box – a fluffy microphone cover that sits up top and stops wind noise from creating those ‘tearing’ sounds.

The most advanced of the lot, however, is Panasonic’s Lumix G100. For the first time in a camera this includes OZO Audio by Nokia, which utilises the three onboard microphones to record in a directional format – you can define whether you want behind, in front, or subject tracked to be sound isolated. That’s the real big winner: the system’s autofocus includes face detection which can be audio synched, so as the subject moves through the frame the OZO tech will use the right proportion of microphones to channel that audio isolation. Very clever.

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Screen & Viewfinder

  • Panasonic Lumix G100: 3-inch 1,840k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD; built-in 3,680k-dot EVF
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1: 3-inch 921k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD; no EVF
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3: 3-inch 1,040k-dot vertical tilt-angle touchscreen LCD; no EVF

Traditional cameras aren’t great for vlogging on account of their fixed screens. All three of these cameras, however, offer mounted LCD screens that can be repositioned: the Canon’s flips forward vertically; the Sony’s and Panasonic’s are side-mounted and therefore offer even more versatile position potential. 

In terms of screen resolution the Panasonic is far and away the most resolute – although at arm’s length we doubt you’ll notice a huge difference in this, and actually more dots on screen is just more of a battery drain.

Of the three cameras only the Panasonic has a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). This is more for shooting still images or shielding from sunlight to better judge exposure and composition – so certainly has its use cases.

Video Credentials

  • All models: Up to 4K at 30fps
    • Panasonic: Up to 9mins 59secs
    • Sony: Up to 5mins due to avoid overheating
    • Canon: Up to 9mins 59secs
  • Panasonic Lumix G100: 1080p at 60fps (29m 59s maximum)
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1: 1080p at 120fps (29m 59s maximum)
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3: 1080p at 120fps (29m 59s maximum)

Being vlogging targeted, all three cameras cater for 4K resolution at 30fps maximum (and with 100Mbps in all cases, ensuring there’s enough data for optimum quality). However, the Sony can only record for half the time compared to the other two to avoid overheating – and even then the Canon and Panasonic max out at 10 minutes at this resolution.

If you’re looking for Full HD recording to up your recording time, save on bandwidth, storage space, and editing processing pressures then all three cameras can cater for that too.

Slow-motion is best handled by the Sony, with Full HD at 240fps/480fps/960fps available. The Canon offers 120fps slow-motion. The Panasonic’s spec sheet says 120fps sensor output is possible too – but that in-camera capture is 60fps.

Stabilisation

  • Panasonic Lumix G100: 5-axis hybrid stabilisation (4-axis for 4K video)
  • Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1: Steadyshot for Movie hybrid stabilisation
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X M3: 5-axis Advanced Dynamic IS & Auto Level

Stabilisation is important when it comes to video. Although you may wish to buy a handheld gimbal for extra stabilisation for those ultra-smooth video results.

All three cameras offer hybrid stabilisation systems – that’s to say there’s optical lens-shift working in tandem with electronic stabilisation (using a portion of the sensor as a buffer to counter motion). We’ve not tested these three side by side so can’t say which is best of the bunch.

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Conclusion

The big question: which one to choose? Well, if price comes into the equation then the Sony is the priciest of the lot. That might be a bit of a surprise when the Panasonic offers a more advanced audio isolation system, has a larger sensor size, and interchangeable lenses.

If size is your biggest concern then the Sony is the lightest of the bunch, which helps in terms of portability. It’s also got the most muscle when it comes to slow-motion options – although its 4K capture is more time-limited than the other two.

The decision, as they say, is yours.





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