Canon R5C - The Ultimate Hybrid Cine Camera

Canon R5C - The Ultimate Hybrid Cine Camera

Embarking on a path less travelled, Canon's R5C is an innovative tool that redefines the cinema camera market. It's Canon's definitive answer to the pursuit of integrating professional-grade videography and photography into a single compact design. The R5C, an effective hybrid, revolutionises the workflow of photographers and cinematographers alike with its outstanding capacity to capture 8K RAW footage and high-definition 45-megapixel images.

Our most recent feature highlights how Ben Bagley and Chantelle Kemkemian fully use the Canon R5C's hybrid capabilities to capture stunning visuals in the studio for portraiture and on location for surf and marine life. Their insights provide an understanding of why this camera is an all-encompassing solution, seamlessly catering to superior photography and cine needs. Mirroring their hands-on review and analysis, this article delves into the camera's remarkable features, real-world uses, and what makes the R5C stand out in the growing selection of cinema cameras.



Sensor and Resolution: The Core of Quality

The R5C sports a high-resolution 45-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, a notable enhancement and the key driving force behind the camera's superior imaging prowess. With this full-frame sensor, professionals can control the depth of field and enhance low-light performance, delivering unparalleled image quality for stills and video. In addition to utilising a full-frame view, there are a variety of sensor crop modes to assist in frame ratio and lens section; these include, Super35 / APS-C and Super16.

R5C Goes Beyond The Traditional DSLR or Mirrorless Setup

The Canon R5C packs an impressive suite of features, making it a versatile tool for diverse production needs. Aside from its ability to capture a higher megapixel count than most cine cameras, this brilliant design masters the ability to record 8K RAW video, giving professionals unmatched video resolution and ensuring flexibility during post-processing and cropping while maintaining high quality.


To put this 8K ability in real-world terms, earlier this year, Netflix announced the Canon R5C a granted role in producing production content for its global platform. To meet the stringent demands of the streaming platform, Camera Systems Specialist Kris Prygrocki emphasised that their camera evaluation process was comprehensive. It not only considered the potential for thermal management and risk of overheating but also evaluated the compatibility of the RC5's recorded file format with post-production software and the effectiveness of its colour management capabilities.

If you are considering a Panasonic, Blackmagic or Sony cine setup, consider some additional flagship features before diving in. For instance:

  • The integrated DIGIC X Image Processor amplifies the camera's speed and efficiency, making handling high-resolution images and videos a breeze in post-production.

  • There's also the ability to capture a high frame rate which offers dramatic slow-motion footage, and the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II System ensures quick, precise autofocus, enhancing video quality.

  • Plus, with features such as In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), wide dynamic range, high sensitivity, impressive low-light performance, internal Canon Log recording, dual card slots, and extensive connectivity options, the Canon R5C is well-equipped to deliver high-quality stills and cinematic footage that makes other cine cameras look like toys.



Design and Build: The Perfect Fusion

When holding the camera in your hands, you'll first notice the ergonomic design, cleverly merging the familiarity of Canon's mirrorless and cinema ranges. The familiar form factor of the EOS R series is retained, while an impressive passive cooling system is integrated to counter overheating during long-duration, high-resolution video recording.

Turning the attention to its build and capability in different environments - there's really nothing to worry about. Thanks to its weather sealing, this camera can almost go anywhere. In addition, its intuitive button layout makes it ideal for waterproof housings, rigs and drone work.


Dynamic Range: Handling Varied Lighting Scenarios

With an impressive dynamic range, the R5C expertly captures a wide tonal spectrum - from deep shadows to bright highlights delivering images and videos with lifelike detail and realism. This feature especially shines in high-contrast environments, balancing detail in highlights and shadows without crushing blacks. The Gamma Curve of the Canon Log 3 profile further allows more precise colour grading during post-production, broadening creative possibilities.

ISO and Low Light Performance

The R5C's ISO range exhibits exceptional low-light performance, reducing image noise for clear, detailed imagery, even at higher ISO values. Users can opt to extend the range in manual modes from 50 to 102,400, making daylight to candlelit scenes excel in image and video quality.

Video Capabilities: Reinventing Cinematography

As mentioned, the R5C's revolutionary video capabilities help redefine the cinema camera landscape. Its ability to capture 8K RAW 12-Bit video and high frame rate recording up to 4K at 120fps and Full HD at 240fps allows for dramatic slow-motion effects and stunning image quality. To put things in perspective, the list of the prominent internal recording modes on offer Excel similarly sized bodies from other manufacturers. These in-camera recording modes are possible thanks to the internal cooling fan that enables non stop 8K60 recording.

  • Raw 12-Bit
  • AVC-LongG/MP4 4:2:2 10-Bit
  • AVC-LongG/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit
  • Raw/Cinema RAW Light

Note: If you use an external monitor, you can gain 4:2:2 10-Bit via HDMI at either DCI 4K or UHD 4K (59.94 fps). 

Attention To Detail: Audio Recording

Recognising the equal importance of sound in cinematography, Canon has equipped the R5C with superior audio recording capabilities. With a 3.5mm mic input, headphone jack, and support for the optional TASCAM CA-XLR2d-C professional audio XLR microphone adapter for up to 4-channel audio, you can capture and monitor clear, detailed audio to complement your visuals.

Colour Science: Canon's Unique Aesthetic

The R5C embodies Canon's esteemed colour science, delivering vibrant, true-to-life colours straight out of the box. With the wide dynamic range and Canon Log 3 profile (or HDR-HLG, HDR-PQ, Rec709, Rec2020) complementing the camera's colour rendition, every subtle shade and tone in your scenes is captured perfectly.

Autofocus Performance: Precision with Dual Pixel CMOS AF II

One of the prominent features of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system is its robust subject-tracking abilities. This feature allows users to capture fast-moving objects with impressive clarity and precision. Whether it's for capturing the exhilarating actions of a sports event or shooting dynamic wildlife scenes, the R5C ensures subjects remain sharply in focus, even when in motion.


Further enhancing the autofocus performance is the superior face and eye detection feature. The camera can automatically identify and lock focus onto a person's face or eyes, a characteristic that proves particularly useful in portrait photography.

In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS): Stable and Smooth

The R5C features an effective In-Body Image Stabilisation system, significantly reducing camera shake for smooth footage and sharp stills, which is particularly useful for handheld shooting or slower shutter speeds. The IBIS system collaborates with lens stabilisation to provide up to 8 stops of stabilisation, enhancing footage stability and expanding possibilities for low-light shooting without a tripod.


On top of this, the Enhanced Image Stabilisation stabilises further when Canon RF lenses with Optical IS are used when recording MP4, or more commonly, XF-AVC formats.

Workflow and Post-Production: Streamlining with Canon Log and RAW Recording

The R5C's ability to record 8K RAW and internal Canon Log makes it a seamless fit for professional post-production workflows.


When shooting in C-Log, the camera records a flat image that retains more details in the highlights and shadows, providing greater flexibility in colour grading during post-production. This is particularly beneficial for cinematographers who need to match shots from different cameras or wish to achieve a specific look or mood in their footage. While on the subject of matching shots, the Canon R5C makes life easy when found in a multi-camera setup, as the timecode input/output socket can synchronise footage between cameras and in post-production.


Connectivity and Storage

Like most cameras, the R5C caters to a variety of external devices and setups through the use of its connectivity interface. Consisting of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-HDMI, and USB-C (9VDC at 3 A), users can power, stream or sync their footage in a myriad of environments and workflows.


More importantly, powering the camera is accessible with the dedicated Canon LP-E6N battery. However, having a number in your kit is recommended, as you'll likely receive 40 to 50 minutes of usable power. However, battery performance will always depend on individual shooting conditions and settings.


Looking into the storage of Canon's flagship hybrid camera, you'll find dual card slots (CFexpress Type B and SD UHS-II). This double-up of media offers a flexible and reliable storage solution ensuring you can store stills and footage independently from each other, making post-processing even faster.


In Conclusion: The Ultimate Hybrid

The Canon R5C marks a milestone in the history of hybrid cameras. It achieves a rare blend of high-end still photography and professional-grade cinematography, all packed within a compact, mirrorless design. While it stands tall in terms of technical specifications and performance, the versatility it brings to the table for varied professional needs is unmatched.


Whether you are a photographer venturing into videography, a filmmaker seeking enhanced mobility without compromising quality, or a content creator juggling multiple roles, the Canon R5C emerges as a holistic solution. It consolidates a gamut of top-tier features into one unit, revolutionising the workflow and creative possibilities for imaging professionals.


For further information or competitive pricing on the Canon EOS R5C revolutionary camera, cine rigs, lenses, gimbals, lighting, or filters, feel free to contact our team. The Georges team are ready to help with any inquiries about setting up your cine kit.


By Leigh Diprose