Canon EOS R5 C Review: two brilliant cameras in one body

Dec 28, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Canon EOS R5 C Review: two brilliant cameras in one body

Dec 28, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Canon EOS R5c Review: two brilliant cameras in one body

The Canon EOS R5 C ($3,799.00) was launched in 2022, so it’s been around for a while now. However, a recent firmware upgrade has made this hybrid camera a truly interesting option for anyone who works with both still photography and video.

The R5 C is a beast of a camera. It’s the smallest Netflix-approved video camera, and with its 45mp sensor, it shoots extraordinary images and 8K video. I’ve been able to put it through its paces for both still photography and video. We will look at who this camera is for, what it’s great at, and what, if any, disadvantages there are.

Canon EOS R5c review: top view

Why a hybrid?

The R5 C is essentially two cameras in one: a stills camera and a cine camera. It has all the great things you’d expect from one of Canon’s top-end mirrorless cameras, plus all the advantages of a dedicated cine camera like the EOS C70. At the flick of the switch, you can swap systems from stills to cine and keep all the settings you need independently of one another.

This is a massive advantage if you ever shoot stills and videos on the same day (or even in the same week). I’ve always found it annoying having to go into the menu to switch between the two modes. This is easy, and it is nearly instantaneous with the latest firmware update.

Canon EOS R5c Review: front view

How is the Canon R5 C different from the R5 or R3?

Most mirrorless cameras can shoot video, and Canon’s other R lineup of camera models is no exception. They all shoot excellent quality 4K video in addition to stills, and the R5 even shoots 8K up to 30fps. So why would you need to go that extra step and buy the R5 C? Well, this camera has several advantages over, say, the R5 or R6II, for example.

Firstly, if you ever shoot more than the occasional video, having a completely separate video set-up is a huge advantage. It simply works seamlessly like a fully dedicated cine camera like the EOS C70.

Canon EOS R5c Review: front and back.
You can clearly see where the fans are

Canon added fans to the back of the R5 C to stop the sensor from overheating. It’s not particularly pretty or ergonomic. However, you do notice the difference when shooting video for any length of time. This camera can keep filming, and you don’t need to worry about the sensor or cards overheating. Unlike the R5, which can manage around 30 minutes in 8K, the R5 C can keep going indefinitely (or as long as you have battery power and memory, anyway).

Canon EOS R5c Review: back view

Similarly, this camera provides more video options than the other primarily stills cameras can. The R5 C can shoot RAW 8K video at 60fps, shoots up to 120fps in 4K in 4:2:2 10-bit color, and shoots Canon Log 3, which is perfect for creating a blank slate ready for color grading in post. All this without cropping the sensor.

You can also record proxy files or the audio separately on the second card. This is a significant advantage to filmmakers.

So why would you need the RAW 8K 60fps option you might ask?

Canon R5 C: built for VR with the Dual fisheye lens

The R5 C is one of the few camera bodies designed to work with the RF 5.2mm dual fisheye lens ($1,799.00). This lens was designed to shoot VR 180 video (and VR stills incidentally). The ideal resolution and frame rate for viewing VR films in a headset is 8K 60fps.

Any less than that will simply not be a high enough resolution or frame rate to create a fully immersive experience. And, of course, being able to shoot RAW 8K video on such a relatively affordable camera is huge. Before this, you would have had to upgrade to an Arri or Red or something in a similar price range.

Canon EOS R5c Review: with fisheye lens

Canon R5 C vs Canon R5 vs Canon EOS C70 Specs

Sensor45-megapixel full-frame CMOS45-megapixel full-frame CMOS8.85-megapixel Super 35mm CMOS
Lens MountCanon RFCanon RFCanon RF
Max resolution8192 x 54648192 x 54644096 x 2160
Stills File formatRAW, JPG, HEIFRAW, JPGJPG
Stills Bit-depth14-Bit (CR3 RAW)14-Bit12-Bit (brought down to 8-Bit due to JPG format)
ISO/GainISO 100 to 51,200 in Manual Mode (Extended: 50 to 102,400)
ISO 100 to 25,600 in Auto Mode (Extended: 200 to 51,200)
Photo: ISO 100 to 51,200 in Manual Mode (Extended: 50 to 102,400)
Photo: ISO 100 to 51,200 in Auto Mode
Video: ISO 100 to 25,600 (Extended: 51,200)
ISO 160 to 25,600 (Extended: 100 to 102,400)
Gain -6 to 54 dB (Native) / -2 to 54 dB (Expanded)
StabilisationSensor-Shift (Video Only)5-axis in-body image stabilisation works with IS lensesYes. Function depending on lens used, Digital 5-Axis IS for non IS lenses. Combination of Optical IS and Digital IS to give combined 5-Axis IS. IS performance depends on lens used
Continuous shooting12fps (mechanical) / 20fps (electronic)12fps (mechanical) Unspecified
8K Video8K DCI (8192 x 4320) at up to 59.95fps Cinema RAW Light / 29.97fps Raw 12-bit / 29.97fps 4:2:2: 10Bit8K DCI (8192 x 4320) & 8K UHD (7680 x 4320) at up to 29.97fps RAW / 4:2:2 10-BitN/A
4K Video4K DCI (4096 x 2160) & 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at up to 119.88fps 4:2:2 10-Bit4K DCI (4096 x 2160) & 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at up to 119.88fps 4:2:2 10-Bit4K DCI (4096 x 2160) & 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at up to 119.88fps 4:2:2 10-Bit
HD VideoFull HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 59.94pFull HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 59.94pFull HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 179.82fps 4:2:2 8-Bit
Focus typeDual Pixel CMOS AF with Eye DetectionDual Pixel CMOS AF (also available in 8K and 4K video modes)Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Face Detection
AF Points1053 phase detection1053 phase detectionN/A
Viewfinder5.79m-dot EVF5.76m-dot EVFN/A
LCD3.2″ 2.1m-dot Articulating Touchscreen LCD3.0″ 1.04m-dot Articulating Touchscreen LCD3.5 inch LCD 2.76 million dots (1280 x 720 x RGB) Touchscreen LCD
Card slotsDual CFexpress Type B and UHS-II SDDual CFexpress Type B and UHS-II SDDual UHS-II SD
ConnectivityWiFi, BluetoothWiFi, BluetoothN/A
Dimensions142.2 x 101.6 x 111.8 mm138 x 97.5 x 88 mm130.2 x 160 x 115.9 mm
Weight1.7 lb / 770 g (With Battery, Recording Media)738 g (Body with Battery and Memory)1.34 kg (With Battery)
Launch price$4,499$3,899$5,499

Canon R5 C interface and touchscreen menu

If you’re familiar with either of Canon’s systems (photography or video), then the menus will look familiar to you. The photography menu is identical to every other R-range mirrorless camera. However, when you switch to the video mode, a completely separate menu appears with a vast array of options.

YouTube video

Custom Functions

One interesting feature of this camera body is the huge number of buttons. There are 13 buttons distributed around the camera to which you can assign different custom functions and shortcuts. If you are a fan of back button focusing, you are more than covered.

This is a good idea if there are settings you always need to access quickly. Although there are so many, I’m not sure how you would remember what does what!

Canon EOS R5c Review: back button array

Canon R5 C Ergomonics, body, and handling

Although the fans on the back do make a slightly less streamlined appearance, I found that they didn’t particularly get in the way too much. Yes, they do make the back of the camera a little bulkier than the R5, for example.

However, the camera is still relatively light, and I was able to operate it perfectly well within the 2K weight limit of my gimbal, even with the dual fish eye lens attached.

Canon EOS R5c Review: no lens - front view

For video, generally, the weight and size weren’t a concern, with the camera always on either a tripod or monopod. I was surprised, though, that the camera was fairly light enough to use handheld. Even with longer lenses and after a 4-hour shoot, I never suffered from claw grip.

Canon R5 C for shooting still photos

The R5 C, like the R5, boasts a 45mp full-frame sensor. This is far and away more than most of us will ever need in terms of megapixels.

Canon EOS R5c Review "in action"

Canon R5 C Shooting experience

The R5 C was very much like shooting with my other Canon mirrorless R camera body. The menus are identical, and the touchscreen is intuitive. It is easy to find what you need and change settings via the touchscreen. I have been a fan of the Canon mirrorless system since I switched from a DSLR a few years ago, and I wasn’t disappointed with what the R5 C had to offer.

Canon R5 C Autofocus

The autofocus is lightning fast, and now you have the advantage of being able to select a few different autofocus options, from animals to people to vehicles. This improves the autofocus accuracy somewhat. This is no different from any other Canon mirrorless camera, however.

Canon R5 C High ISO / low light performance

Shooting at higher ISOs, there was little noticeable noise, even up to around 3600 ISO. This was easy to eliminate in Lightroom afterwards.

This camera felt like an upgrade from my EOS R. However, in terms of using it on shoots for purely still photography, I might still choose to shoot with the R, mostly because it is smaller and lighter and still gets the job done. However, if I were doing less location work and more studio-based work, I would buy this camera in a heartbeat.

Canon R5 C for video

The R5 C really comes into its own for video shooting. It is the smallest and cheapest Netflix-approved video camera and produces highly professional, beautiful footage.

To start with, the learning curve was definitely steeper as I was less familiar with the Canon Cine ecosystem. The menu for the video mode is entirely different, and if you are coming from the stills photography camera bodies, it is easy to find it a bit daunting at first.

However, after some YouTube tutorials, I was able to set things up properly, and after that, it was straightforward to find and change settings using the touchscreen.

Dual gain ISO

The camera uses dual gain ISO. You can select either 800 or 3200 ISO as your base level, meaning you can have less noisy footage in lower-light situations. This was really helpful, especially when we were shooting in a church and at the trade show under mixed lighting.

Other video features

The camera uses other video camera features that most filmmakers would be familiar with. You can choose to have two different sorts of zebra stripes to help set exposure, you can select different focus peaking, and you can apply false colours.

You can also shoot in c-Log 3, a huge advantage for editing and colour grading later on.

Slow and fast mode

Instead of changing the overall frame rate, the R5 C lets you select different speeds in the slow or fast menu. From here, you can shoot 4K from 120fps all the way down to 1 or 2 fps.

The fast option lets you shoot a timelapse-style effect without needing to shoot a ton of still images, which you then stitch together later. This removes the need for an intervalometer and seamlessly leaves you with a timelapse video. This is particularly handy if you’re shooting VR and don’t want to have to stitch it all together later.

The slow motion at 120 fps is very smooth, as you can see in this test video below:

YouTube video

Canon R5 C Shooting experience

Generally the video shooting experience for the R5 C was excellent, and it produces fantastic quality video. I must admit that shooting 8K Raw video was a challenge in terms of memory and battery power. However, with the large memory cards of 650Gb, that was less of a problem.

Computer power is also a factor that should be considered if you want to use this camera to its full potential of shooting 8K. But the footage is truly extraordinary. The clips below were shot in natural light. The first of each pair is straight out of camera shot in c-log 3, and the second is with a basic Davinci Resolve Studio LUT. No other effects were added.

YouTube video

Canon R5 C Drawbacks

While the Canon R5 C is an amazing camera (and definitely amazing for the $3,799 price tag), there are some features that I would have loved to see in this camera. My personal take is that some features were left out on purpose so as not to cannibalize sales on other Canon cameras.


Unlike the R5, the R5 C doesn’t have in-camera stabilization (IBIS), which may be a disadvantage for anyone who shoots in low light or wants to take advantage of slower shutter speeds while panning, for example, in sports photography.

This wasn’t much of a concern for me as I have never had IBIS in any of my camera bodies. I have merely relied on IS in lenses up to this point. It would be an advantage certainly. However, for me, it is not a deal breaker, especially as you would need to deactivate this in video mode anyway.

Battery life

My biggest issue with this camera is its terrible battery life. It uses an LP-E6NH lithium battery ($79.00 each), which just doesn’t cut it. If you buy this camera, you will need to investigate alternate power or battery options. Even shooting stills, I was down to a half battery after just 1.5 hours of shooting, and I wasn’t using the high-speed shooting modes or anything fancy.

For video, you have to find an alternative power supply. The camera won’t even shoot the 8K Raw 60fps unless it has an auxiliary power source. Fortunately, this wasn’t too costly or difficult. We simply used a PD power bank attached via the USB input. (We used the same 145-watt uGreen battery we use for our video lights. It’s only $90 and gives X10 recording time).

Canon EOS R5c Review: shooting 180 VR video

Apart from looking a little bit homemade rigging style, it worked perfectly. I would probably invest in some sort of cage to attach the power bank more securely.

No XLR inputs

Unlike the EOS C70, the R5 C doesn’t have XLR inputs. If you want professional audio quality directly into the camera, you will have to figure out an alternative way. There are external solutions like field recorders that you can use. However, once again, it is more paraphernalia to attach to the outside of the camera. If you truly want all the gizmos of a cine camera, this doesn’t quite have it.

In fact, the built-in mics on the R5 C had some issues in some instances until the recent firmware update. I rarely use the internal mic on my cameras when recording video, aside from using it for syncing audio.

Most music videos I make are either filmed to playback or have a more complex separate audio recording. You can get this Tascam microphone adapter kit ($399) for Canon cameras if you want to make life a little easier for a shotgun mic.

No built-in ND filters

Many cine cameras have built-in ND filters, which are super useful. Unlike the EOS C70 or Blackmagic cine cameras, the R5 C doesn’t have those. This is a bit of a shame, though, of course, it’s not a deal breaker. You can easily use external filters, magnetic over-the-sensor filters like Kolari Vision’s, or us EF-to-RF lens converter with slide-in filters.

Here are a couple of finished music videos:

YouTube video
Shot with the EOS R5 C, the EOS R, and a DJI Mini 3 drone
YouTube video
Shot with the EOS R5 C and the EOS R


If you mostly shoot stills, get a dedicated stills camera. If you mostly shoot video, get a cine camera. However, if you want to shoot 8K VR 180 video, do about 50/50 photography and video, or need a second cine camera, you should definitely go for the R5 C.

It is simply an excellent, fully professional camera for both photography and video, with very few drawbacks. It’s also over $1,000 cheaper than the EOS C70 ($5,299.00) and shoots 8K, whereas the C70 only shoots 4K video. Mind you, having shot 8K raw video, it’s not without complications. I would happily shoot 4K for most projects.

There is no way you could purchase two equally great camera bodies for less than this camera costs. The footage is beautiful and creamy smooth, the stills pin-sharp. At no point did I wish I had IBIS, only a longer battery life.

If you are interested in shooting VR 180, I would absolutely go for this camera over the R5 or the R6II. The R5 just won’t cut it well enough for video (and really, VR video is where it’s at), and the R6II doesn’t shoot 8K, so it is essentially pointless (if you don’t believe me, try watching 4K VR and tell me you’re not disappointed). In my opinion, the R5c is the only option to go with for using the RF 5.2mm dual fisheye lens.

All in all, this is a very attractive camera in terms of usability. I am currently looking under the sofa for small change so that I can buy one for myself!

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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