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Canon R5 Mark II Megathread


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Posted (edited)

Fifteen years ago, the 5DMKII was a revelation for its ability to white balance at depth and produce natural colors in ambient light without the aid of filters. "Canon Color", we called it, with a wink. Back then, Canon was the only manufacturer that bothered to send a representative to the Digital Shootout every year to listen to the concerns and needs of the underwater photo/video community. This was a time when pretty much everything else was dismal in this regard. Nikons couldn't do it. None of the Micro 4/3 cameras could do it until the GH5 came along, and even that was nowhere near the Canons. The early APS-C Sonys were particularly awful. The only salvation for everyone not using Canons for UW video at the time was Alex Mustard's (truly magic) "Magic Filter".

Times have changed since then, and now, the OG underwater camera manufacturer is set to release it's latest kraken: The Canon R5 Mark II is just around the corner!

To get us ready for the R5 Mark II, let's take a moment and look back at the original R5 and R5C. Here's an excellent review of both of the Mark I cameras from our friends, Joel Penner and Cristian Dimitrius:
https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Canon-EOS-R5-vs-R5C-Underwater-Review

And now some of the early rumors:
https://www.4kshooters.net/2024/03/07/more-canon-r5-mk-ii-specs-leaked/
 

Edited by Jim Laurel
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Posted (edited)

The Canon colors are legendary!  In 2010 I bought a humble Canon T2i and put it in my first Nauticam housing.  Why this model?  The Canon colors AND it was the smallest DSLR made at that time that would also do 4K video.  It was fantastic!  

 

In 2020 it was time for an upgrade, but I went to Sony.  The main reasons were the size of the Canon R5 body, and resulting housing, and there was not yet a good support for the WACP/WWL.  (The latter has been improved). While the new Sonys are pretty great, I do miss the Canon feel uw.  
 

As for the R5C, a buddy of mine likes the extra mass uw as it aids with video stability.  Also, If you use an external recorder, which he does, there is no heating issue with either the R5 or R5C.  
 

For those that still have EF “L” glass, I have never found an issue with focus or speed when using the actual Canon EF-RF adapter on the R5.  I still use some today.  This could save a few pennies initially if someone wants to jump in.

 

Like many others, I’m quite interested to see what is added / improved in the R5II!  

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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5 hours ago, ChipBPhoto said:

Like many others, I’m quite interested to see what is added / improved in the R5II!  

Me too  but I don^t plan to change my R5 to the R5II I'm happy with mine setup. I bougth a second (for a good price) as reserve ... juste in case of... then if my first R5 have a problem I don't want to change my housing. It will be very expensive much more as the price I pay for the second R5.
Now I can have one for under water and the second for over I hope I'll shooting many years with it 

 

But YES it was eypensive to buy the first setup...   for me after 3 year(?)  It was the good decision to invest on it.

 

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1 hour ago, CaolIla said:

Me too  but I don^t plan to change my R5 to the R5II I'm happy with mine setup. I bougth a second (for a good price) as reserve ... juste in case of... then if my first R5 have a problem I don't want to change my housing. It will be very expensive much more as the price I pay for the second R5.
Now I can have one for under water and the second for over I hope I'll shooting many years with it 

 

But YES it was eypensive to buy the first setup...   for me after 3 year(?)  It was the good decision to invest on it.

 

 

I've always thought that going with the two identical camera bodies was a good idea. As you say, Caollla, a backup body but also one for topside shooting when one of them is in the housing. Same lenses, same features, same controls. I did this for Nikon D100, D200, D300... and D800. I must admit though I havn't this time around with the D500. I wanted to go to the Z, mirrorless series for topside and havn't made that jump for underwater - and doubt I will.

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6 hours ago, CaolIla said:

Me too  but I don^t plan to change my R5 to the R5II I'm happy with mine setup. I bougth a second (for a good price) as reserve ... juste in case of... then if my first R5 have a problem I don't want to change my housing.

 

So glad to hear your R5 has been working well.  It's a terrific body!  The reason I kept my T2i so long was it was doing everything I wanted and I was happy with the results.  There came a time, many years later, that the advances made it worth while to "invest" again.  Then again, if the R5II can use the same housing....  (Hmmmm) 😁

 

4 hours ago, TimG said:

I've always thought that going with the two identical camera bodies was a good idea.

 

I did buy a 2nd T2i, just for that reason.  I was able to sell my original body once it had ~70K clicks so I could still some money to invest in a replacement.  Of course that was a lot cheaper than buying a 2nd R5 or a1. 😳

 

In my current rig I primarily use the Sony 28-60 for the WACP-C or WWL.  I bought a used backup 28-60 at a good price.  That lens does not feel as durable as others, and it's super small to carry.  I'd hate to be in a distant destination and have a lens issue that would throw a wrench in the trip. 

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1 hour ago, ChipBPhoto said:

 Then again, if the R5II can use the same housing....  (Hmmmm) 😁

The chance is really really .... inexistant 

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32 minutes ago, TimG said:

Two chances?

 

Fat and No??

 

Yeah, they never seem to do that for us, especially Canon.  Sony has been a little more kind, or is it lazy so they don't have to design new bodies? 😆 

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Posted (edited)

Knowing where this thread comes from, or rather, because of what it comes from, I'll get straight to the point.

You already come from the top-of-the-line Sony hybrid mirrorless. Speaking of other brands...

 

RED

 

It is perhaps one of the most widely used cameras in wildlife documentaries including underwater ones. Sony A7SIII are seen occasionally as B cams. Lately I saw Sony Burano or Venice in some BBC productions.

 

Switching to RED, even considering only the cheaper Komodo X, is a huge financial leap. Not only for the camera body and housing but also for all the accessories that come with it.

These are cameras that were created for cinema and therefore lack a whole series of features that are considered almost standard in the consumer market but in cinema are not, quite the contrary.


(***) Autofocus in theory yes but in reality you have a basic AF only with Canon lens. Nothing like AF that current mirrorless users are used to. Let's not talk about Sony users. See this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEUDXliF-Us

 

 

Even if the economic factor is not important, in my opinion there is another factor to keep in mind.
As you know RED has just been bought by Nikon, and as much as both parties have made statements aimed at reassuring users and investors, it is unclear what will happen a year from now.
Speculations range from "Nikon will take all the technologies and patents and goodbye RED" to the opposite: "A RED with all the Nikon technologies will come out soon, as Nikon wants to enter the film market."
This is actually quite complicated. RED had sued Nikon for patent infringement regarding the compressed RAW format, and shortly after an unspecified settlement, Nikon bought RED.
Just think that RED uses EF and RF mounts precisely because in return Canon was allowed to use the compressed RAW format. A fair exchange many say. But Canon is a competitor of Nikon. Many have wondered if at some future time the deal will be cancelled. Certainly in the future we will see REDs offered with native Z-mount.
In short in my opinion by buying a RED now you risk seeing your investment depreciate in the short term.

 

*** Edit:

I correct myself, or explain myself better. Surely you can use a Single AF and focus on the subject and then try to stay as hyperfocal as possible. Pretty much what I've always done with my Panasonic. I don't know your style of filming. Some people use CAF and the camera may follow the subject. I don't think the CAF RED is as reliable in water. It would be interesting to get feedback from @Alex B who has long since switched to a RED Komodo.


 

Edited by Davide DB
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On 5/2/2024 at 9:41 PM, Jim Laurel said:

Fifteen years ago, the 5DMKII was a revelation for its ability to white balance at depth and produce natural colors in ambient light without the aid of filters. "Canon Color", we called it, with a wink

 

For Canon colors underwater I totally agree with you. Canon was the one that had a MWB and the most pleasing colors in underwater shooting. Now that is no longer the case.

 

[rant mode on]

I am sorry to see how 99% of the threads focus only on purely technical aspects and we all become pixel peepers. One forgets that cameras are not automatic drones but there is always a person using it and the purely artistic aspects of a video or photograph are neglected or almost taken for granted. In short I reiterate my signature.

[rant mode off]

 

In this regard I would like to mention that two very good video makers like Marcelo Johan Ogata (https://www.bugdreamer.com/) and Alex del Olmo (https://naucratesuw.com/) have been using a GH5 for years. Hard to say that their MWBs or colors were not up to the mark. There is always a person behind the camera. Now BugDreamer uses a RED V-Raptor and Naucrates a Canon C70.

 

You mentioned the R5 and R5C, and in my opinion the C70 is missing from the roll call. It is an S35 cinema camera absolutely not to be underestimated. I point you to this follow-up review published a few days ago by CVP, a rent cinema company that produces very accurate and unbiased reviews. You could find old comparison and review about all of these cameras.


 

 

 

I also point out this YouTube channel. IMHO this is a talented guy in both editing and color grading. His older videos are shot with a Canon 1DX then he used a A7SIII, a C70 and an R5. Canon colors in all their glory.

 

 

 

 

 

For the R5 whose MK2 is rumored soon.... Initially, it had the well-known overheating problems (deliberately ignored by all the biased YT influencers) but then finally Canon largely solved them with subsequent firmware upgrades. I know at least one professional filmmaker who uses it in a Seacam housing as B cam along with a C500 MKII and the quality is insane.

 

What to choose? I don't know but again it may be best to wait a few months, if not 2025. We all read the rumor sites and Canon has registered 5 new cameras with two of them soon to be released. I would stay in the window.

 

P.S.
Once the new cameras come out, there is also a chance to get some good deals in the used market...

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8 hours ago, Davide DB said:

I don't think the CAF RED is as reliable in water. It would be interesting to get feedback from @Alex B who has long since switched to a RED Komodo.


 

 

@Davide DB...you ask me questions...

 

I never took CAF or AF in consideration nor I used it on the Komodo. I move the camera or I MF constantly at some moving objects

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Yes, Davide, I agree. I got pretty deep into researching a new Komodo-based system over the last few days, and have ruled it out for now. As you point out, the Nikon acquisition puts no small amount of uncertainty on the future of RED and what it all means for the existing lineup. And also, the Komodo itself is nearing the end of its life cycle. It's not a good time to jump in.

 

21 hours ago, Davide DB said:

Knowing where this thread comes from, or rather, because of what it comes from, I'll get straight to the point.

You already come from the top-of-the-line Sony hybrid mirrorless. Speaking of other brands...

 

RED

 

It is perhaps one of the most widely used cameras in wildlife documentaries including underwater ones. Sony A7SIII are seen occasionally as B cams. Lately I saw Sony Burano or Venice in some BBC productions.

 

Switching to RED, even considering only the cheaper Komodo X, is a huge financial leap. Not only for the camera body and housing but also for all the accessories that come with it.

These are cameras that were created for cinema and therefore lack a whole series of features that are considered almost standard in the consumer market but in cinema are not, quite the contrary.


(***) Autofocus in theory yes but in reality you have a basic AF only with Canon lens. Nothing like AF that current mirrorless users are used to. Let's not talk about Sony users. See this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEUDXliF-Us

 

 

Even if the economic factor is not important, in my opinion there is another factor to keep in mind.
As you know RED has just been bought by Nikon, and as much as both parties have made statements aimed at reassuring users and investors, it is unclear what will happen a year from now.
Speculations range from "Nikon will take all the technologies and patents and goodbye RED" to the opposite: "A RED with all the Nikon technologies will come out soon, as Nikon wants to enter the film market."
This is actually quite complicated. RED had sued Nikon for patent infringement regarding the compressed RAW format, and shortly after an unspecified settlement, Nikon bought RED.
Just think that RED uses EF and RF mounts precisely because in return Canon was allowed to use the compressed RAW format. A fair exchange many say. But Canon is a competitor of Nikon. Many have wondered if at some future time the deal will be cancelled. Certainly in the future we will see REDs offered with native Z-mount.
In short in my opinion by buying a RED now you risk seeing your investment depreciate in the short term.

 

*** Edit:

I correct myself, or explain myself better. Surely you can use a Single AF and focus on the subject and then try to stay as hyperfocal as possible. Pretty much what I've always done with my Panasonic. I don't know your style of filming. Some people use CAF and the camera may follow the subject. I don't think the CAF RED is as reliable in water. It would be interesting to get feedback from @Alex B who has long since switched to a RED Komodo.


 

 

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Posted (edited)

I actually find CAF to be pretty useful, but it's only because the A7SIII is so sure-footed in that regard. I always jump with CAF enabled because often enough, there's something wonderful happening right as you enter the water. Too often, by the time you can even power up the camera, it's over.

I have my focus button set up as a toggle between MF and CAF, so as soon as I start rolling on a subject with CAF, the camera grabs focus almost instantly. Then, I hit the toggle, lock off the focus and stay hyperfocal, and monitor focus peaking on the Atomos.

 

If I end up with another scene on the same clip (say, 1 dolphin moves away and is joined by 4 more and now it's a wider shot), I just reframe, hit the focus toggle, the A7SIII grabs focus, then I lock it off again. It's a very fast, and very effective way of working, but it's only viable if the camera has extraordinarily fast and reliable AF capabilities, including in very low light, and can rack the focus very smoothly without hunting.

 

13 hours ago, Alex B said:

 

@Davide DB...you ask me questions...

 

I never took CAF or AF in consideration nor I used it on the Komodo. I move the camera or I MF constantly at some moving objects

 

Edited by Jim Laurel
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You could rent one of these cameras during the weekend and getting some feeling with them.

 

P.S.

Don't underestimate Nikon. A Z8 is a video beast.

 

Sooner or later Panasonic will introduce the new FF flagship with DPAF and everything. Watch out because as a user experience, features and codecs they have always been the most complete cameras.

 

Nice times ahead

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, the video specs look amazing. Unfortunately, the Z8 cannot white balance at depth. You can live with it if you shoot in RAW all the time, but otherwise, it's not possible. And even if you shoot RAW, you'll want to grab a white balance as deep as the camera can go, then carry that down with you. Otherwise, you'll be spending alot of time in post dealing with magenta/purple casts.  Once you go past 40ft with the Z8, the colors fall apart.

Not a problem if you're using daylight balanced video lights, but I never do that anyway. The Z8 would add a few layers of complexity for the way I work with the Keldan Ambient (cyan) lights.

But man, the video specs sure look delicious!

Panasonic? Oh, Panasonic...I love your IBIS more than any other. But when, oh when will you fix your autofocus problems?
 

42 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

You could rent one of these cameras during the weekend and getting some feeling with them.

 

P.S.

Don't underestimate Nikon. A Z8 is a video beast.

 

Sooner or later Panasonic will introduce the new FF flagship with DPAF and everything. Watch out because as a user experience, features and codecs they have always been the most complete cameras.

 

Nice times ahead

 

 

 

Edited by Jim Laurel
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Don't forget the Canon R5C. It's.. unlikely that the R5II will have significantly better video specs.

 

Yes, the housing is lange, but it comes with the benefit of a external battery pack that gets you over 3 hours of filming. You really can charge it once and use it all day.

 

I only really see the R5II as a potential upgrade for photography or if you want to downsize from the R5C (I kinda do... but it doesn't make much financial sense). Fortunately, the wife now has an R6 II, and that's pretty compact in the Nauticam housing.  So I just borrow that. For testing. 😄

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