Canon R5 C top features – a better video workflow that plays nicer with Macs [Video]


    Up until recently, I’d been using the Canon R5 as my day-to-day camera for photos and videos. Although I was able to make it work, things like overheating made it a little less than ideal for recording long form content, such as the in-depth video walkthroughs of iOS updates that I like to do. Canon’s recently released R5 C addresses the overheating problems, but also provides quite a few enhancements that Mac users, and Canon enthusiasts in general will appreciate.

    Before I get into my full list of nearly 40 features, I thought it would make sense to first share a few of the features that may appeal most to Mac users. For example, the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro (and Mac Studio) feature an SD Card reader, and the Canon R5 C lets you shoot high quality All-I 8K video directly to an SD Card. Not only that, but the R5 C features an 8K MP4 (HEVC) codec with a much more reasonable 540Mbps data rate when compared to the 1300Mbps data rate in the R5.

    I’ve compiled a list of my top R5 C features below in a handy time-stamp format, so you can just click the link, and you’ll be taken directly to that portion of the video without leaving this page.

    30+ reasons why I love the Canon R5 C

    Introduction | USB PD support | Lower bitrate 540 Mbps 8K HEVC | Record 8K All-I to SD Card | Record RAW 3K to SD Card | Webcam mode | Familiar layout for R5 users | Dedicated Photo Mode switch | Three Record Buttons | LCD doesn’t get in way of I/O | Access menu from both sides of camera | Timecode | Powered hot shoe | Unlimited 8K recording time | Hot-swappable batteries | Tally lamps |
    8K60 RAW recording |
    XF-AVC codec |
    Oversampled 4K/2K |
    Open card door while recording |
    Less issues with CFExpress buffering |
    Access menu while recording |
    Controllable fan noise |
    Fully customizable buttons |
    Face-only auto focus |
    Shutter angle |
    6K shooting in S35 mode |
    HQ 6K RAW in S35 mode |
    Reduce ISO below 800 when recording RAW |
    Focal length displayed |
    False Color / Waveform |

    USB PD support

    The Canon R5 C supports USB Power Delivery, which means that you can power the camera using a compatible USB-C cable and power adapter. Canon sells its own PD-E1 USB Power Adapter, but you can save money and use your MacBook Pro power adapter with the Canon R5 C or a compatible external battery pack.

    Powering the R5 C via USB not only extends that amount of recording time, but also lets you unlock recording in 8K RAW at 60 (!) frames per second. Whatever the case, as I noted in my hands-on video above, the Canon R5 C absolutely decimates batteries, so you’ll definitely want to keep a USB power source handy.

    Lower bitrate 540 Mbps 8K HEVC

    One of the biggest reasons that I love the R5 C is because of how easy it is to work with its 8K MP4 (HEVC) codec. On the standard R5, Canon uses a codec with a 1300 Mbps bitrate, which is great for capturing an insane amount of detail, but makes it difficult for an NLE, like Final Cut Pro, to handle. The 8K HEVC codec on the R5 C features a much more reasonable 540Mbps bit rate, which still looks great, but is a whole lot easier to massage in post.

    Record 8K All-I to SD Card

    Offloading footage to Apple’s newest Macs, like the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the recently-launched Mac Studio, is super-easy thanks to the presence of built-in SD Card readers. Because of the 540 Mbps bitrate, you can record 8K All-I footage directly to an SD Card, which wasn’t possible on the baseline R5. This means that you can film and offload your 8K footage to your Mac without the need for any adapters or dongles, helping to streamline your workflow.

    Setting the Canon R5 C Main Recording Destination to SD Card while shooting in 8K resolution with the HEVC codec.
    You can even shoot 8K All-I video directly to an SD Card for easy offloading to today’s Macs

    Record RAW 3K to SD Card

    The R5 C features two handy crop modes: a Super 35, and Super 16 Crop – these crop modes allow you to shoot 6K and 3K RAW footage respectively, which adds to the versatility of this camera. If you’re delivering in 1080p or even 4K, these crop modes can come in super-handy for those of you with a limited supply of lenses. What makes it even cooler is that the 3K RAW bitrate is only 170 Mbps, which means you can shoot RAW video directly to an SD Card and offload the footage straight to your Mac.

    Setting the main recording destination to SD Card for 3K RAW footage when using Super 16mm Cropped Mode
    Shooting RAW 3K video to an SD Card thanks to the Super 16mm crop

    Webcam mode

    The Canon R5 C supports UVC video class, which essentially turns you camera into a webcam that macOS can immediately see without the need for any additional software drivers. Need to hop on a quick Zoom call, but want better quality than your Studio Display’s built-in camera? Enable UVC mode, connect a USB-C cable from your R5 C to your Mac, and you’re ready to go.

    But what’s really cool about using the R5 C as a webcam is that you can record in high quality directly to storage media while live streaming simultaneously. This allows you to stream on platforms like YouTube or Twitch, and then use the high quality version of the recording to edit in post production.

    Honorable mention: Proxy workflow

    Unfortunately I forgot to mention one of the really awesome features of the R5 C in my video walkthrough, but I’ll take the liberty to do so right here. When shooting RAW, the R5 C lets you record 8-bit XF-AVC or MP4 proxies to your SD Card, which can definitely speed up workflows when you need a quick turnaround. Even older Macs will be able to easily slice through such footage, and once the edit is complete you can relink the RAW files before delivery in Final Cut Pro.

    9to5Mac’s Take

    Of course, these aren’t the only features of the EOS R5 C that I enjoy, but I wanted to first consider the items that I thought would most appeal to Mac users. In my video walkthrough, I also discuss tons of additional features that serve as upgrades over the baseline Canon R5.

    Granted, the camera is far from perfect, and is missing some key feature that would have been nice, but it seems like Canon is listening to user feedback more than they have in the past. I was recently at NAB 2022 in Las Vegas, and a Canon engineer quipped that I was the only person that he had met on the showroom floor with the R5 C. He then amicably grilled me on how I liked the camera, and seemed to be very serious about taking my feedback and even wrote it down to take back to Japan.

    Right now we’re living in the golden age of digital video, with tons of options for capturing ridiculously high quality footage at prices that would have seemed like a dream not that long ago. There are amazing camera’s like the Sony FX 3, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, etc. But for me, the Canon R5 C is my favorite of them all given the amount of power, flexibility, size, and features. What do you think?

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