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Canon R5 vs R6: Everything You Need to Know

Confused by the difference between the Canon EOS R5 and the R6? You wouldn’t be the first. 

A common mistake is to assume the Canon R6 is an upgrade from the R5. In fact, the Canon R5 is Canon’s flagship mirrorless camera, an exceptional workhorse that rates as one of the best mirrorless cameras out there.

While the R6 shares many of the same specs as the R5, there are some important points of differentiation that make all the difference in your decision. So, the Canon R5 vs R6? Read on for a side-by-side comparison. 

The Canon R5 vs R6: Specs review

Image quality

A clear winner here is the R5, with a game-changing 45MP full frame sensor compared to the R6’s 20.1MP full frame sensor. You can see the difference in image resolution, with the R5 bound to capture greater detail. 

Even with the smaller sensor, the R6 captures impressive image quality even in low light shooting with the ISO up to 102400. You’ll get away with the smaller sensor just fine unless you intend to print professionally or shoot for high-end clients. 

Both cameras share the same built-in five-axis image stabilisation system that communicates well the IS system in the RF lenses. This system has up to 8 stops of shooting advantage, which translates into pin-sharp images. 

Canon R6: A 20.1MP full frame CMOS sensor with DiG!C X processor.

Canon R5: A 45MP full frame CMOS sensor with DiG!C X processor.

Focusing

When it comes to autofocus systems, the cameras are basically the same. Shared features include:

  • An impressive Dual Pixel CMOS AFII that enables 100% autofocus coverage
  • A jaw-dropping 1052 automatically-selectable focal points
  • Advanced Face and Eye detection

The Face and Eye detection system (EOS iTR AF X) is particularly impressive. It can detect human eyes, faces, and heads, as well as the eyes, faces, and bodies of animals such as cats, dogs, and birds. You can choose whether it should focus on humans or animals and even if the subject looks away, it will maintain focus. 

Canon R6 and R5: Dual Pixel CMOS AFII with 100% AF coverage and 1053 focal points. 

Speed

Both Canon cameras feature the same continuous shooting rate with the ability to shoot up with 12 frames per second (fps) with their mechanical shutters or 20 fps with their electronic shutters. 

Canon R5 and R6: Burst mode of up to 20 fps with the electronic shutter and 12 fps with the mechanical shutter. 

Video

This is where you’ll notice one of the biggest upgrades between the Canon R5 and the R6. 

The R5 delivers four times the detail of the R6, thanks to its huge 8K video functionality. While the R6’s 4K recording capability is impressive, it can’t compete with the shooting experience of 8K. 

The R5 also has a range of video exposure modes, including Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Custom modes . Meanwhile the R6 only offers Program or full manual modes, although you have some control with the ability to adjust aperture in 1/8th EV steps or use Auto ISO in manual mode. 

Both cameras feature: 

  • The ability to grab detailed stills from rolling footage
  • Headphone and mic ports
  • Focus peaking
  • Zebra exposure indicators
  • The ability to capture C-Log or HDR PQ video as 10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 files

Canon R6: 4K video functionality at up to 60p, with a slight crop (effectively 16:9). You can slow the action down to 4K/60p or full HDMI at 120p. 

Canon R5: 8K video at up to 30p and 4K video at up to 120p using the full width of the sensor. You can slow the action right down to 4K/120p or speed it up with an 8K timelapse. 

Handling experience

The Canon R5 has a substantially better electronic viewfinder, with 5.75MP compared to R6’s 3.69MP. The EVFs on both cameras have a 0.76x magnification and a 23mm eye-point and can be run at 120Hz to mimic the optical viewfinder experience.

Both cameras have a vari-angle LCD touch screen that enables easy shooting from virtually any angle (although the R5 has slightly higher resolution than the R6). The R5 also has a top-mount dot-matrix settings display.

For both cameras, the build will feel familiar but the R5 is heavier and slightly more angular than the R6.

Canon R6: A 3.69MP OLED electronic viewfinder and a slightly smaller 1.68M dot vari-angle LCD touch screen. It weighs 680g with the battery. 

Canon R5: A 5.76MP OLED electronic viewfinder and a 2.1M dot vari-angle LCD touch screen. It weighs 738g with the battery.

Battery life

The Canon R6 performs slightly better when it comes to the battery life because of the internal power the R5 needs. 

Both cameras have the latest 16Wh LP-E6NH battery and both can be recharged with a high-current USB-C charger or powerbank. 

But the R5 can shoot 320-490 shots per charge while the R6 can shoot 380-510 shots per charge in default mode. The performance of both cameras drops by around 30% if you engage the faster viewfinder and higher refresh rate mode. 

Canon R6: 380 shots per charge using the viewfinder and 520 using the LCD. 

Canon R5: 320 shots per charge using the viewfinder and 490 shots using the LCD. 

Investment

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of similarities between the Canon R5 and the R6 but some important, potentially game-changing, differences. 

This translates into the cost. Canon R5, with its huge image sensor and video recording capabilities, is a camera for the pros, which shows in the investment.  

If you’re an enthusiastic amateur or dedicated hobbyist, the Canon R6 represents great value for money at almost half the cost of the R5. 

Canon R5: $5,989 at Camera House

Canon R6: $3,898 at Camera House

So which is best: the Canon R5 vs R6

The Canon R5 is designed for the professional photographer looking for superlative quality, fast speeds, and a reliable, exceptionally-built camera that will serve them no matter the subject. 

Meanwhile the Canon R6 is ideal for the enthusiast photographer: someone who relishes high quality images but is looking for value for money. Sharing many of the specs of the R5, the R6 won’t disappoint. 

Made up your mind? Buy the Canon R5 or the EOS R6 online at Camera House today and get free delivery and fast shipping across Australia. 

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