v1.5 of the EOS R5 firmware has been posted today and I already have it installed on my camera.

AND, I have already given it a basic test.

First, here are the list of changes that v1.5 brings to the table:

  • Improves head detection performance to support helmets or goggles in winter sports.
  • Adds [Vehicles] selection to [Subject to detect] selection in the [AF] tab to support the detection of automobiles and motorcycles in motorsports. Adds [Spot detection] when [Vehicles] is selected as the helmet of the driver or rider*.
    *Detection may not be possible for ordinary passenger cars or bicycles, or for motorcyclists performing stunts or kicking up dirt and dust.
  • Improves detection performance for eye detection when:
    -there are shadows on the face.
    -hair is hanging over the eyes.
  • Adds support for torso detection of a person. If the eyes, face or head are hidden or cannot be detected, a person’s torso will be detected and tracked continuously.
  • Adds the ability to import manual white balance (MWB) data from the Quick Control screen when capturing still images.
  • Eliminates the center press operation of the multi-controller to prevent accidentally transferring images during FTP transfer.
  • Adds the ability, when using EOS Utility for remote shooting with two cards inserted, to set the recording method and to select which card to be recorded to.
  • Adds [Suppress lower frame rate] to [Smooth] in [Disp. performance], enabling the shooting screen to be displayed with less drop frame rate even in dark locations.
  • Adds support for the RF 5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens.
  • Changes the default value of [FTP server] → [Passive mode] to [Enable].
  • Improves operation stability during FTP transfer.
  • Optimizes controls of In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) when using specific EF lenses not equipped with the image stabilization function.
  • Fixes an issue, in which noise occurs along the edges of bright subjects when using Canon Log for movie recording.

For once they used the firmware update to do more than just fix “phenomena”. They’re actually treating it like a normal software product where additions are made all the time. Great! Isn’t this what we expect with pretty much all our other computing devices like iPhones?

Right off the bat it appeared that the way face detection works has been improved at its most basic level. The main thing is the focus box seems to be stickier. I did still notice random “glitchy” behavior where the focus box is jumping back and forth between face and eye and head detection in rapid succession. It’s like it can’t figure out what “mode” it wants to be in. I don’t know why it happens or if a setting can fix it, but it still seemed to get focus so maybe it is just something we have to live with for now.

I also gave the animal detection a quick spin and that also seemed to do better with the RF 70-200mm L scoring more in-focus shots than before. I hate to say it, but I was secretly getting sick of seeing stupid numbers of focus misses with this lens which should be *lights out* when it comes to focusing accuracy… Not sure what Canon was playing at, but I was ready to throw the lens on eBay and buy a Sony. For now, it seems that this scenario has been averted.

Lastly, I gave the car detection a very quick workout and it’s true, the R5 now detects cars and seems to focus on them pretty well. Of course, I have not gone to a racetrack and taken anything like a professional car photo but at least at a basic level the R5 will detect a car and put the blue box around it, although the focus box does a weird squeezy animation thing that is oddly distracting it does seem to work.

In terms of camera hardware this update is kind of expected because the R5 can support similar processing capability as the R3. I’m sure the R3 runs faster due to the bigger battery, but the R5 can do 8k 30fps RAW video so it’s no surprise the R5 got some of the same features added in.

Even so, it is never a given that we receive an update of this magnitude for a 1-year-old camera. Canon was good about updating the EOS R and getting the AF on that camera to a more functional state. The same applies here, the camera has been brought up closer to par with our expectations. Honestly my expectations were not really met originally as even my iPhone will detect animals and faces near instantly… It is not primarily a camera so it’s odd that my device which is primarily a camera was behind an iPhone. The actual focusing on an iPhone is terrible, but the face detection box pops up near instantly. So, it’s really about time we got something similar in our Canon cameras. It’s a given that the R5 has a decent CPU in it, any device that can shoot 8k RAW at 30fps has some horsepower. That said, it’s probably not as powerful as an iPhone. My thoughts are that the R5 has to send power to more places than an iPhone does. The stabilization systems in the R5 are several orders of magnitude larger and more massive than those tiny cameras in an iPhone. The focus motors also demand power. Ultimately it all means that to maintain portability the R5 has to cut back on how big of a CPU it has in it. The iPhone also benefits from the fact that every person with a job owns or has owned an iPhone at some point… It’s too bad that Canon doesn’t have that kind of money behind it, but it is what it is.

If you don’t have firmware v1.5 yet I highly suggest you download it, and if you have been on the fence about getting an R5, definitely look into again with this new firmware addition.

Click here to visit the firmware update page for the R5.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, thanks for sharing this, I’m actually on the fence about getting the R5 or a Sony a9, why is the Sony so much more expensive but it looks like the R5 is actually better overall, am I missing something?

    • Hey Richard, thanks for commenting. The a9 is not a bad camera, shoots fast and can do a lot. But it does appear that Canon beat Sony at their own game with the R5. They made a higher specced camera for less money. (Truth is Sony never made a *better* camera than Canon, but they did make *higher specced* cameras for less money.)

  2. “Optimizes controls of In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) when using specific EF lenses not equipped with the image stabilization function.”

    I’ve looked everywhere for an answer to this, but nobody seems to know which “specific EF lenses” Canon is talking about. Reaching out to anyone who might have an answer.

    • The specific EF lenses are any EF lenses that don’t have IS built in. It’s just the weird official language of corporate communications. I contacted their support line and that is what their rep told me.

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