We took a close look at the recently released Canon EOS R5 and lenses – the RF 50L f1.2, RF 15-35L f/2.8 and EF 100L f2.8 Macro. Today, we share some of the photographs we took when the camera was with us for about two weeks.
Canon EOS R5
As described in the review article last week, I was rather thrilled with the performance of the R5.
My main use case is of course macro photographs of watches in a studio or mini-studio environment, where the lighting is under full control of strobes. In this use case, the camera is only required to perform well at base ISO.
During the two weeks the R5 was with me, I photographed the following reviews with the R5 with the EF 100L f/2.8 Macro. The lens is superbly sharp, resolving fine detail very well. The images are beautiful, and contrasty. Out of focus areas are nicely rendered with a soft bokeh, but in-focus areas are bitingly sharp.
The following reviews were photographed with the R5:
- Rado Captain Cook Bronze
- Hermes Arceau l’Heure de la lune
- Rolex Submariner no-date 2020
- Hasselblad 907X Moon Edition report
- Breguet 7597
Out and about
The camera had very fast autofocus, which was also very accurate – nails the shot everytime. The ISO performance is excellent, and can be put into use for all kinds of photography.
In bright sunlight, the images are very nicely captured. The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore is a magnificent colonial building, formerly used as the General Post Office and now a luxury hotel. With 45Mp at its disposal, the R5 captures a very detailed image, with good resolution of the micro tones and micro contrasts.
Autofocus is very good. A friend of mine, Calvin, a professional photographer who is currently using Canon’s former flagship 1Dx mkii (now superseeded by the mkiii), remarked that he thinks it is faster than his camera.
This lens used to photograph Calvin is the RF 50 f/1.2L. Very sharp, even when wide open at f/1.2, and beautiful bokeh. The depth of field at f/1.2 is very thin on a full frame sensor. I shot at f/1.4 just to give some room for error, but the R5 has no problems nailing focus at f/1.2.
Calvin then used the R5 to shoot the following runner, also with the RF 50L.
But to take the camera out for a walkabout, especially in the evenings, will require ISO performance which is more extended – ideally without chroma noise or luma noise up to at least 3200 for large prints, and 6400 for web use. The photograph below was taken at ISO2500. Noise is very well controlled, and the image is usable in quite large prints, even A2 size. Resolution, colour accuracy and rendering of tones are excellent.
Pushing the ISO a bit more, I turned the camera to the right, and photographed the whisky shop right next door. Here you can see the noise. Especially in the darker areas, like on the floor of the foreground where it shows up like grain. However, inside the shop, the image is well resolved, and the colours are accurate. Note on the right the colourful panels show up nicely. Inside the shop, the labels on the whisky bottles can be read easily in the full resolution photograph.
And the R5 performs excellently at higher ISO, showing little noise and retaining not only details but also colour accuracy. And underexposed images can easily be fixed in ACR or Ps, and up to 3 stops can be rescued with good detail and color. Below are two images, the first is as shot. And the second is with some editing in ACR.
With simple adjustments in ACR, the following image is recovered from the almost unusable image as shot.
Though ultimately, the malleability of the files are not quite as good as full 16 bit sensors of the medium format cameras like the Phase One IQ4 or the Fujifilm GFX series, or Hasselblad H6D, X1D and 907, I think they are very good for a 14 bit sensor, and more than sufficient for real world usage.
Overall, this was a camera system I really enjoyed the using the R5. It excels as a professional camera. It does everything right, and well. The image quality out of the camera and its native lenses or adapted EF lenses are excellent. The files are very malleable and there is sufficient room to edit. The body is very robustly built. Both the lenses and body are weather sealed and feels good on the hands. The system’s ergonomics are well designed so the buttons are useful and well placed. An excellent camera indeed, and worthy of the currently crown in Canon’s range of mirrorless cameras. Until the EOS R1 is released, which may or may not be in Canon’s plans, at least.
Next week, I will compare it with it sibling which was released at the same time – the Canon EOS R6.