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Canon EOS R5 vs Canon EOS R6
Comparison

Optics
Video
Features
Storage & Battery

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 camera image
Winner!
94%

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS r6
90%
Canon EOS R5
vs
Canon EOS R6
Price
from $3,899Shop 3 Offers Cart
from $2,289.95Shop 2 Offers Cart
Brand
Canon
Canon
Model
EOS R5
EOS R6
Released
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
2020
2020
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
July 30, 2020
August 27, 2020
Camera Type
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Camera Size
Camera Weight

Canon R5 vs R6 Overview

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!

The main difference 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
91%
86%
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45 MP
20.1 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
8192 x 5464 px
5472 x 3648 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.9 mm
23.9 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
20 fps
20 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Canon RF
Canon RF
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic X
Digic X
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
3:2
3:2
Minimum ISO
Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
100
50
Maximum ISO
Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
51,200
204,800
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
1,053
1,053
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Electronic
Electronic
Viewfinder Resolution
5,760,000 dots
3,690,000 dots

Canon R5 vs R6 Video Specs

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 recording. 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
Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
8K
4K
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
8192 x 4320 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
120 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
MP4
MP4

Canon R5 vs 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
74%
72%
Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
LCD
LCD
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
3.2"
3"
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
2,100,000 dots
1,620,000 dots
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Canon R5 vs 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
57%
57%
Memory Card
SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible), CFexpress
SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
LP-E6NH
LP-E6NH
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
320 shots
360 shots
USB Charging
DXO Mark Scores
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
95%
90%
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25.3 bits
24.2 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.6 EVs
14.3 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
3042
3394

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.

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:

Canon 80D vs 90D

Nikon Z30 vs Z50 

Canon EOS M50 vs M50 II

Canon EOS R vs RP

Nikon Z6 vs Sony a7 III

User Scores
B&H photo video
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