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Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Comparison

Optics
Video
Features
Storage & Battery

Canon EOS R5

canon eos r5
Winner!
86%

Canon EOS R6

canon eos r6
80%
Canon EOS R5
vs
Canon EOS R6
Price
3899
2499
Brand
Canon
Canon
Model
EOS R5
EOS R6
Released
2020
2020
Announcement Date
30/07/2020
27/08/2020
Camera Type
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Camera Size
138 x 98 x 88 mm
138 x 98 x 88 mm
Camera Weight
680
680
Compare

Canon R5 vs R6 Overview

Considering buying the Canon R5 vs R6 and wondering which way to go? You get what you pay for with these two. The Canon EOS R5 is the better camera. But you’ll have to pay over $1,000 more for it!

Badge
Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

A powerful Canon mirrorless with high resolution, fast frame rates, and Dual Pixel AF.

The main difference between the Canon R5 and R6 is the sensor. The R5 has a 45 MP sensor. The R6’s sensor is only 20 MP, which is very small for a full frame camera these days. That means Canon R5 vs R6 is like a quality bottle of wine vs sparkling grape juice!

Yes, the Canon EOS R6‘s larger pixels improve low-light performance. And the reduced file size increases the number of shots in the buffer.

However, the R5’s extra resolution blows the R6 out of the water. It means you can crop in much more and print at larger sizes. And if you’re a videographer, the benefit is that it allows you to shoot 8K video.

Canon EOS R5 vs Canon EOS R6 Comparison image

Body and Handling

The Canon EOS R5 and R6 have identical dimensions. They look almost the same front and back (apart from the remote port flap on the R5).

But the top plate of the camera body is different. The R5 has a small LCD screen with a light button. The R6 has a traditional mode dial and a plain dial to the right.

Apart from that, they both have the following:

  • An on-off switch
  • A flash hot shoe
  • Video recording, multi-function (M-Fn), lock and shutter buttons
  • A command dial

The Canon EOS R5 is slightly heavier. But it’s not significant. What does matter is the differences between the electronic viewfinders.

Both OLED (organic light emitting diode)  viewfinders offer 0.76x magnification with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 23 mm eyepoint (eye relief). The greater the magnification, the more detail you can see in the viewfinder. The greater the eyepoint, the further away your eye can be. So it’s useful if you wear glasses.

But the Canon EOS R5’s viewfinder has a much higher resolution.

Top view product photo of Canon R5 with LCD
Top view of Canon R5 with LCD

Optics

Resolution vs Low-Light Performance

Normally, there’s a trade-off between image quality and continuous shooting speed. However, these two cameras have the same maximum frame rates even though the R5 has far more megapixels. They both have 12 fps with the mechanical shutter and 20 fps with the electronic shutter.

Instead, the trade-off is between sensor size and low-light performance. The differences aren’t huge. But you “pay” for the following Canon EOS R5 qualities:

  • A larger sensor and smaller pixel pitch with a lower maximum ISO
  • Worse performance at high ISOs
  • Worse minimum focus sensitivity

Both cameras have an Anti-flicker mode.

Autofocus

Both cameras use Dual Pixel CMOS AF II. This is a hybrid phase-detection autofocus system (PDAF) that can focus in only 0.05 seconds.

The excellent light sensitivity also means you can focus with maximum apertures as low as f/22. This is handy when using teleconverters or “slow” lenses.

The autofocus system also boasts “next-generation subject tracking.” It’s based on deep learning artificial intelligence (AI)… Canon engineers have used hundreds of thousands of images to “teach” the camera what to look for.

Both the Canon R5 and R6 can now recognize and follow people, animals, and motorsport vehicles. Subject tracking works on all AF area settings. The refresh rate is at 60 cycles per second (the faster, the better the tracking).

The autofocus works hierarchically. It looks for the eyes of the subject first, then the head, and then the body. In the case of motorsport, it “knows” it should focus on the driver’s helmet.

There is only one real difference between the autofocus systems. The Canon EOS R6 has slightly more focus points if you select an AF position manually (6,072 vs 5,940). However, this is limited to 1,053 (in a 39 x 27 grid pattern) when using Face or Eye detection or Tracking AF.

When shooting video, the number of focus points falls again to 819 (in a 39 x 21 grid)… Both cameras have focus stacking, as well as AE (auto exposure) and focus bracketing.

Top view product photo of Canon R6 with camera dials
Top view of Canon R6 with camera dials

Available Lenses and Stabilization

The cameras have the same Canon RF mount. So they can both be used with Canon’s full range of 32 native lenses—30 of which are full frame. Both cameras also have inbuilt image stabilization that can offer up to 8.0 stops of improvement (depending on the lens).

Optics
Optics
88%
79%
Megapixels
45 MP
20.1 MP
Image Resolution
8192 x 5464 px
5472 x 3648 px
Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor Size
23.9 x 35.9 mm
23.9 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
20 fps
20 fps
Lens Mount
Canon RF
Canon RF
Image Processor
Digic X
Digic X
Aspect Ratio
3:2
3:2
Minimum ISO (Native)
100
100
Maximum ISO (Native)
51200
102400
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
100
50
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
102400
204800
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
1053
1053
In-body Stabilization
1
1
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Electronic
Viewfinder Resolution
5760000 dots
3690000 dots

Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Video Performance

The Canon R5 has a better maximum video resolution and maximum video bit rate.

If you use a CFexpress Type B card, the R5 can shoot in 8K DCI at up to 30p with a resolution of 8192 x 4320 and a maximum bit rate of 2600 mbps. However, the R6 can only manage 4K Ultra HD (no DCI), with the following specs:

  • Up to 60p
  • With a 1.07x crop
  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • A maximum bit rate of 470 mbps

And the R6 can also shoot 1080p up to 120p.

The internal video modes are the same with both cameras:

  • H.264 4:2:0 8-bit
  • H.265 4:2:2 10-bit with HDMI output

Both cameras also have time-lapse recordings. But only the R5 features voice tagging!

This is where the Canon EOS R6‘s smaller sensor counts against it. However, I should point out that even the best monitors (like the Apple Studio Display) are only 5K. So any difference between 4K and 8K footage won’t appear.

Video
Video
100%
91%
Video
1
1
Max Video Resolution
8K
4K
Max Video Dimensions
8192 x 4320 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
120 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
1
1
Video File Format
MP4
MP4

Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Features and Benefits

Your basic choice is between the better image quality of the Canon EOS R5 and the superior low-light performance of the Canon EOS R6.

The R6 also has more manual focus points, weighs less, gives you more shots per battery charge, and costs a lot less. However, a detailed feature comparison favors the R5 in several areas:

  • A larger LCD screen size
  • Higher LCD resolution
  • Color depth
  • Dynamic range
  • CFexpress card support
  • Better Bluetooth connectivity
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity

Having said that, both cameras conform to the same Canon template, so they share a long list of other features (apart from having a built-in flash):

  • A fully articulated LCD screen (for selfies and vlogging)
  • Vari-angle LCD touchscreen
  • An external flash shoe
  • RAW support
  • Microphone and headphone ports
  • Weather sealing
  • Smartphone remote control
  • Webcam functionality

Features
Features
87%
85%
Built-in Flash
External Flash
1
1
GPS
Weather Sealing
1
1
Screen Type
LCD
LCD
Touch Screen
1
1
Screen Size
3.2
3
Screen Resolution
2100000 dots
1620000 dots
Flip Screen
1
1
Live View
1
1
Wi-Fi
1
1
Bluetooth
1
1

Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Storage and Battery

Storage

These two cameras both have dual card slots. The Canon EOS R5 has a CFexpress Type B slot and an SD UHS-II slot. But the R6 has two SD UHS-II slots.

SD cards are cheaper and more popular. But you really need the speed of CFexpress Type B cards to get the most out of the R5’s sensor. So I’m not sure why Canon hasn’t provided two slots for them.

My Sony a1s have two slots that take either SD or CFexpress Type A cards. So I get the best of both worlds!

Batteries

Both cameras take LP-E6NH batteries. They offer a slightly higher capacity than the old LP-E6 batteries (16 Wh vs 14 Wh).

The battery life of the Canon EOS R6 is supposed to be 20 shots better than the R5’s when using the LCD and 40 shots better with the EVF. Just be aware that the LCD rating drops dramatically on both cameras if you increase the live view refresh rate to 120 fps.

However, I’m skeptical of these CIPA ratings. In Africa, I took thousands of images at 30 fps without using a second battery. So I don’t think you need to worry too much that these figures are on the low side.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
68%
68%
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), CFexpress
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
1
1
Battery Type
LP-E6NH
LP-E6NH
Battery Life
320 shots
360 shots
USB Charging
1
1
DXOMARK Scores
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
95
90
Portrait (Color Depth)
25.3 bits
24.2 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
14.6 EVs
14.3 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
3042
3394
Scores
Main Features
96
Extra Features
92
Construction and Durability
100
Handling and Ergonomics
100
Value for Money
85
Total Score
94

Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 – Our Verdict

The Canon EOS R5 is one of the top three full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market—along with the Sony a1 and the Nikon Z9. It has a large sensor, high frame rate, and an excellent autofocus system.

Plus, it can shoot 8K videos! That makes it an ideal camera for almost any photography style— landscape, wedding, portrait, news, street, sports, or wildlife.

The Canon EOS R6 can’t compete with that. But it depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re on a budget and don’t want to make large prints or create 8K videos, the R6 is a perfectly good camera. The problem is that our expectations have grown—especially since the mirrorless revolution.

When we look at the Canon R5 vs R6, we see that the Canon EOS R5 is (almost) perfect, while the Canon EOS R6 is just good.

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Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

A powerful Canon mirrorless with high resolution, fast frame rates, and Dual Pixel AF.

What Camera is Better Than the Canon EOS R5?

The Nikon Z9 is on par with the Canon EOS R5 among high-end mirrorless cameras. But there’s only one camera model with a larger sensor and higher RAW frame rate than both. That’s the Sony a1.

Yes, the R5 might offer a slightly better dynamic range and minimum focus sensitivity at a much lower price. However, the Sony a1 has a 50 MP sensor and can shoot in RAW at 30 fps.

It also offers the following:

  • A higher color depth
  • Better performance at high ISOs
  • A Pixel Shift High-Res mode
  • A faster electronic shutter
  • A larger viewfinder with better resolution
  • Blackout-free shooting
  • Unlimited video recording
  • Better battery life

If you’re still undecided (or just curious!) check out some other popular camera comparisons:

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