I’ve been using the Canon EOS R5 for just a little bit over 2 years now and in that time I’ve used it for many different kinds of photography. Most of my professional work was in weddings and family photography so if you’re in that business and you have an R5 you should definitely check out this list.
Tip #1: Use RF lenses with the R5 for best results.
The R5 is a really flexible camera that works well with all the EF lenses I have ever tried it with. And since it is mirrorless, it can be used with a wide range of vintage lenses via an adapter. But, if you really want to get the most out of the R5 from the stabilization (IBIS), tracking AF, and burst shooting speeds of 20fps, using RF lenses is an absolute must. While many EF lenses work ok the RF lenses do better with things like SERVO AF and stabilization results. I don’t know exactly why this is but I think it’s just general technology improvements in these newer lenses.
Tip #2: Use the correct type of battery.
When the Canon EOS R5 and R6 were introduced Canon also released an update to their LP-E6 battery. If you don’t use the new battery (or the 3rd party equivalent) the R5 won’t work up to it’s maximum potential. And if you want to use the R5 at it’s maximum speed of 12fps mechanical shutter speed you’ll have to use the LP-E6NH and keep it more than 40% charged. You won’t get the max speed or stabilization with any other Canon battery. The LP-E6NH also works well with older Canon cameras like the EOS R and it provides a substantial boost in battery life to that camera.
Tip #3: The R5 can track, people, animals, and cars.
One of the newer features added to Canon RF system is the real time subject recognition that is built into their autofocus system. The R5 can track people’s faces with relative ease, and it can track most animals and birds as well. If your R5 doesn’t have an option to track vehicles then all you have to do is update to the latest firmware. The R5 was upgraded to track cars when the EOS R3 was introduced which also sports this functionality.
Tip #4: The IBIS is better than I thought it would be.
Shooting landscapes in low light is at a higher level compared to previous Canon cameras. While the old Canon cameras were very good, the R5 is almost magic in its ability to deliver sharp images hand held, even at weirdly low shutter speeds.
It doesn’t quite make up for using a tripod, but for photographers who either can’t use a tripod or don’t want to use a tripod, the stabilization is worth getting the hang of to get higher quality night photos.
Tip #5: 8k resolution video requires CFExpress cards.
The R5 was the first consumer camera to offer 8k resolution video. That’s all well and good but how does one actually save 8k video to the card? Most SD card’s aren’t fast enough to save 8k data rates so if you want to shoot 8k you have to get a CFExpress card with a sustained write speed higher than 400 mb/s, even when using the compressed video codecs. If you’re planning on shooting in 8k RAW you’ll need a card that can top 2,600 mb/s sustained write speed.
Tip #6: IBIS can be used with any lens.
The R5 allows the user to input the focal length that the IBIS should stabilize for. This option is only available with a fully manual unchipped lens attached. Then you’ll find it on page 7 of the camera menu under the IS (image stabilizer) menu option. It’s not as good as the stabilization with dedicated lenses, but it definitely does work for stills and video.
Tip #7: Customize your button layout and screens.
There are a couple things I like to do whenever I set up my R5’s buttons. First, I like to set a center press of the Joystick button to do a reset of the focus point back to center. Second, I like to set the AF-ON button to enable face detect AF. And I like to setup my playback zoom to “actual size”. This makes it super easy to check details at a glance. The last thing I like to do is tweak the different screen info options to not display certain things in order to reduce clutter. If you like to shoot with a histogram on your screen a nice option is that the size of the histogram can be switched from small to large, or vice versa. There are lots of thoughtful settings in the EOS R5 that anyone serious about using the camera should check out.
Tip #8: Experiment with different “auto” settings.
The RF cameras have the ability to do Tv priority and Av priority as most camera’s have had for decades. They also allow photographers to control shutter speed and aperture manually while leaving the ISO controlled by the camera. This is sometimes called letting the ISO “float”. The R5 also features a new mode called “flexible priority” (Fv in the menu) which is new for RF mirrorless cameras. Fv mode is sort of like all 3 of the above combined into one mode. So instead of having to switch from Tv to Av or Auto ISO, Fv let’s you choose which setting you want manual control of on the fly. It’s basically a faster way of accessing the different priority modes but it also allows going full manual or full auto without changing your camera mode. With the advent of Fv the good ol’ P mode is kind of outdated but it is still there if you want the camera to adjust all aspects of exposure for you. The last mode the R5 has is called “Scene Intelligent Auto”. Scene intelligent auto is basically P mode on steroids. In this mode the camera will recognize the scene and adjust settings accordingly. For instance, it knows if it’s daylight or indoor lighting, and it can also recognize people’s faces. Scene intelligent auto has been around for awhile but it definitely seems upgraded in the R5.
Tip #9: Use the depth of field preview button.
Unlike the EOS R or RP, the R5 has a depth of field preview button. You can use this to check how your image will look when stopped down. It’s particularly useful if you have a lens with focus shift such as the Sigma Art 12-24mm f/4. That lens shifts the focus plane toward infinity when stopped down, this can cause objects that are close up to be pulled out of focus. In order to counteract this effect, what I do is switch my lens to manual focus and then I adjust the focus with the focus ring while holding down the depth of field preview button. This ensures I get the sharpness the lens is actually capable of delivering.
Tip #10: Don’t forget about the EVF.
As good as the rear screen is, the EVF on the R5 is even better. If you’re having trouble reviewing a shot on the rear screen due to bright light, simply review the image on the EVF. You may not think to do that if you’re accustomed to using a DSLR. Everything you would use the rear screen for normally you can now use the EVF for, from reviewing shots, to changing any and all camera settings.
Bonus Tip: Set your priority card to the CFExpress card when recording separately to two cards.
Be sure to make us of priority card selection in the card settings menu of the EOS R5. Normally when using dual cards, when you switch out one card, the camera will automatically switch to using the card you left in the camera. And it will make this switch even when the camera is off. While this is fine for a camera like the 1 series with dual CF card slots, it’s a little confusing for the R5. Thus, you will find that after switching your CFExpress card for a new one the camera will have switched to using the SD card for everything. To avoid this happening just set your priority card to the CFExpress card. This setting is located on page 1 of the wrench menu under setting called “Record/play”. On that screen there is an option to press “info” and have the camera always default back to the CFExpress card if it is inserted in the camera.