The majority of us are familiar with the most notable characteristics of Canon’s groundbreaking full-frame mirrorless EOS R System cameras. We are aware that the flagship Canon EOS R5 features a CMOS sensor with 45 megapixels, an electronic shutter that allows for up to 20 frames per second of quiet photography, and the ability to capture 8K RAW video.
You are probably also aware that the Canon EOS R6 has a resolution of only 20.1 megapixels for still images and can record 4K video at a frame rate of up to 60 frames per second. However, it shares many features with the Canon EOS R5, including the same rapid continuous shooting speed of 20 frames per second, up to 8 stops of Image Stabilization, and Dual Pixel CMOS AF II intelligent autofocus that can recognize and track eyes, faces, and animals.
The innovative Canon EOS R is the camera that kicked off the EOS R System. It features a 30.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast and precise focusing, and a multi-function bar that can be customized. It pioneered the innovative high-speed RF lens mount, which paved the way for the creation of a wide variety of high-performance RF lenses. These lenses may now be used in a variety of applications.
It also includes a fully articulated vari-angle touchscreen, the ability to shoot in complete silence, and an optional Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter, which not only enables you to use your already-owned EF lenses but also enables you to make even more of them. These are some of the important features that it offers. These characteristics are also available in other cameras that are part of the EOS R System, such as the Canon EOS RP, which is a camera that is smaller, lighter, and has 26.2 megapixels.
Other technological improvements are housed inside the tiny bodies of the Canon EOS R System family of cameras; nevertheless, these remarkable characteristics have eclipsed these other technological innovations. Mike Burnhill, a Professional Imaging Product Specialist for Canon Europe, provided us with some further insight into the capabilities of these cameras during our conversation with him.
Mike claims that there is still a great deal more to learn about what these ground-breaking cameras have to offer. “When a new camera is being introduced, we promote the larger features, but plenty of little things that are tucked away but actually have a major influence,” he adds. “When a new camera is being launched, we highlight the larger features.” “Some of the most unique and exciting technologies are sometimes hidden well down in the specs,” the author says.
In this article, we will shed light on eight features of the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS R, and EOS RP that you may not be aware of. These features are notable despite their relative obscurity.
Eye autofocus is set to tracking mode for eyes that are tack-sharp.
The Face Detection and Tracking function have been available for more than a decade, but Canon has taken it one step further with the Eye AF function, which was first debuted on the Canon EOS RP and then extended to the Canon EOS R via software update. It grants the camera the ability to locate and fixate its focus on the eyes of the subject, which are, of course, an essential component of portraiture.
Mike adds that the sharpness of the eyes is the first thing he looks for while creating a portrait. “Face Detection AF works exceptionally well for portraits while the subject is at a specific distance from the camera; but, once you approach closer to your subject, there comes a moment at which the subject’s eye gets more distinct and the depth of field becomes more apparent. At that moment, paying attention to the eyes is going to be of far more significance than paying attention to the face as a whole.
“Making sure that the eyes are sharp no longer requires any effort thanks to Eye AF. It indicates that you will have a lot easier time engaging with your subject and capturing the expression and feeling of the topic, as opposed to having the camera act as a barrier between you and your subject. Additionally, it enables you, for instance, while photographing weddings, to focus more on the composition of the shot as well as the activities that are occurring in the surrounding area.”
When capturing portraits with a lens that has a wide aperture, such as the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM or Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM, this function is very helpful. Mike adds that “now” you don’t have to worry about whether or not the eyes of your subject will be crisp while taking portraits with these gorgeous fast lenses.
You may use Eye AF by selecting your AF point from the menu on your camera. You are given the choice to select face tracking, and after that, you tap the Info button, which toggles the Eye AF setting either on or off. When you are using the Eye AF mode on your camera, but the subject’s eyes get obscured for even a moment, the camera will switch to the Face Detection AF mode automatically. The autofocus mode reverts to Eye AF as soon as the subject glances back in the direction of the camera.
Eye AF has been taken to a whole new level by the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras thanks to its AI-based ability to recognize and follow the eyes of humans, animals, and other objects. According to Mike, “it’s designed using a big library of animal photos, which enables the camera to recognize cats, dogs, and birds anywhere they may be found inside an image.” “The technology is also capable of working with a variety of other species, but not to the same degree of precision. Even if the animal isn’t looking at you, which is a common occurrence, it is still able to identify the body form of the animal, and as soon as the animal turns its head, it will zero in on the eyes.”
It is not only an accurate system, but it is also adaptable since you can tell the camera whether people or animals should be prioritized by using the Subject to Detect option in the AF menu. This allows the system to be both accurate and flexible. Mike makes the following observation: “Let’s say you’re taking pictures of a human, a dog, and a cardboard box, and the box is in the middle of the frame in the front.”
“If you set the priority to Animal, the camera will concentrate its attention on the canine subject. The moment the dog is no longer visible, the camera will shift its attention to the person. However, if you choose People as the priority, the camera will disregard the dog and instead focus on the person who was selected. When you pick No Priority, the camera will concentrate on whatever is in the front; in this example, it will be the box. If you do not select this option, the camera will not focus on anything.”
Fv: a new, adjustable exposure mode
Everyone is aware of the existing exposure modes that can be found on Canon cameras, which are labeled as P (Program), Av (Aperture priority), Tv (Shutter priority), and M. (Manual). However, the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS R, and EOS RP all have an extra Fv (Flexible Priority AE) setting available to them. How therefore is it distinct from the other exposure options already available?
Mike explains that in order to transition between the various modes, such as changing from P to Av, you will often need to hit the ‘Mode’ button and then toggle between the available options. “If you find yourself in a predicament in which you need to respond immediately, this may prove to be inconvenient for you. The function of the Fv mode is to provide you the ability to switch between managing the aperture, shutter speed, exposure correction, and ISO all while remaining in the same mode.
“Av works well for me for around 90 percent of the photographs I take, but every so often there are situations in which the exposure meter gets tricked. You may now switch between Av and changing the exposure compensation or even pick a fully manual exposure in Fv in a very short amount of time. After that, you may return to Av mode with the press of a button and continue shooting without having to remove your eye from the viewfinder.”
When you change one of the Fv settings, the others will automatically adapt as well in order to keep the exposure in the right range. The process of controlling the exposure between these factors hence becomes considerably more expedient and straightforward.
The RF mount offers improved IS performance
The revolutionary RF mount that comes standard with the Canon EOS R System is one of the system’s defining characteristics. This attachment has a small flange distance, which makes it possible for radical new lenses to be designed. In addition to this, it has a new 12-pin connection that enables quicker communication with a bigger bandwidth between the lens and the body, which in turn improves the image quality in a number of different ways.
According to Mike, “the advantages of this better connection include real-time Digital Lens Optimisation,” which enables users to adjust for distortion, aberrations, and diffraction without having any impact on the buffer. “In earlier models of cameras, activating these features slowed down the camera, meaning that you were unable to take photos at the same rate or that the buffer size was reduced by a factor of two while the camera processed photographs. Now, there is no difference in performance regardless of whether you turn it on or off; you just get better photographs anyway.”
Because of improvements in connection speed and capacity, photographers now have access to real-time information regarding the focus distance, which is presented in the viewfinder. In the past, it wasn’t accurate when used with older lenses due to a time lag created by a slower transmission speed. This caused the problem. Additionally, this enables the aperture settings of RF lenses to be modified more quickly and in more precise increments.
Better image stabilization is an additional significant advantage that comes with the increased connection speed. Mike believes that the lens-based IS technology that Canon use is quite effective, but it does not pick up on low vibrations as effectively as it might. “The gyroscopes contained within the lens are able to detect motions such as the minor wobbles of the hands; but, low vibrations such as your heartbeat and the vibrations caused by breathing are not as easily recognized.
“The sensor in the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS R, and EOS RP can pick up on those items and transmit that additional information into the system, which ultimately results in an improved Image Stabilization effect. Even while we could state that a lens has 5-stop image stabilization (IS), for example, it is actually much better than other systems that are comparable because it cancels out the minor vibrations in addition to the major ones, which results in an improvement in picture sharpness.”
With the assistance of its 5-axis In-body Image Stabilization, the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 are both capable of providing up to 8 stops of stabilization for their photographs (IBIS). This stabilizes the image by rotating the imaging sensor itself, thereby reducing the appearance of blur caused by camera shaking. Not only does it operate in coordination with IS lenses to correct a wider range of vibrations, but it can also stabilize the image even when you’re using lenses that do not have IS built into them.
Mike adds that while filming at 20 frames per second, you have only a very brief gap in which to move both optical systems to adjust for any vibrations, and they need to be in sync. “As you can imagine,” he says, “when you’re shooting at 20fps, you’ve only got a very tiny gap.” “They have to cooperate with one another as a team and compensate for one another in a variety of ways, but the effects of each should not be canceled out by the other. The high-speed communication system that we programmed into the RF mount from the very beginning makes it possible for the lens IS to communicate to the in-body IS and vice versa. This entire process takes place in a matter of only fractions of a second.”
HDR filming with protection for the movie’s highlights
Both the Canon EOS R and the Canon EOS RP are capable of shooting movies in HDR, which increases the contrast range between the most extreme highlights and the most extreme shadows. Photographers may use both cameras to shoot movies. However, how exactly does the recording of HDR movies operate on these cameras?
Mike explains: “Both the EOS R and the EOS RP are capable of recording HDR video at a frame rate of 60 fps; but, while they are shooting at that speed, they are really recording two films at 30 fps, each with a unique exposure: one is underexposed, and the other is normally exposed. These two videos are combined into one by the camera on their own. It safeguards the highlights, increases the dynamic range, and produces a movie in full high definition at 30 frames per second.
“HDR makes a significant impact when photographing subjects in high-contrast environments, such as when they are riding in a car with a bright sky in the background. Without HDR, the sky will be blown out because of the significant exposure difference between the inside of a car and the outside, which is a very dark and darkened location. When you shoot video with the EOS R or EOS RP with the HDR Movie shooting mode, you get exceptionally good, edit-ready video clips that can be utilized immediately and do not require any extra processing. It makes producing outcomes that seem like they were done by professionals very easy to do.”
Both the Canon EOS R5 and the EOS R6 have the ability to record in HDR PQ, making them suitable for real HDR filming. Mike says that this is the part of the process in which a hybrid HDR signal is combined with a regular signal. “Therefore, not only does it have a greater dynamic range that can be extracted and modified, but the raw footage may also be used right after it is taken from the camera.
You may just watch it on your TV, and the picture will already be satisfactory; but, if you connect it to another TV that is HDR-compatible, the picture will be even more impressive. It is also recorded in 10-bit, which means you have greater versatility when it comes to grading and a wider dynamic range to work with if you choose to go that route.”
Time-lapse photography in either 4K Ultra High Definition or Full HD
Time-lapse movies, in which the passage of minutes or even hours may be depicted passing in a matter of seconds, are a popular and creative alternative to still photos, particularly for subgenres of photography such as street photography and nature photography. However, in the past, the process of making them was quite difficult. Historically, a remote shutter trigger consisted of an external intervalometer that was hooked into a camera and used in conjunction with the camera.
It gave you the ability to choose the interval between exposures as well as the total amount of time you wanted the camera to continue taking pictures. Following the completion of the shoot, you would then need to utilize editing software to piece together the separate shots in order to create a time-lapse film.
The Canon EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS R, EOS RP, and even the Canon EOS Ra, which is a specialized camera for astrophotography, all have the ability to shoot time-lapse films in-camera in either 4K Ultra High Definition or Full HD resolution. The Canon EOS R5’s ability to record time-lapse videos in 8K quality is made possible by its high-resolution sensor.
You are able to film with intervals of two seconds or more for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds, and the completed duration of your video can be up to 3,600 frames. This is made possible by the software that is embedded inside the camera. When shooting with cameras from the Canon EOS R System, one of the primary advantages is that the time-lapse movie may then be compiled within the camera itself.
Mike says: “These cameras come with an interval timer already installed, so all you have to do is set it up and start taking pictures; the device will then save all of the stills and video and piece them together into a movie when you’re done. Therefore, you do not want any additional devices; all you need is a source of continuous power or a battery, depending on how long you intend to carry out the activity.
“You can use a dedicated external intervalometer to create longer time-lapse videos, such as the Canon TC-80N3, or you can use the built-in interval timer on the EOS R5 and EOS R6 to shoot at intervals of one second or more for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds, saving an unlimited number of shots as stills in your preferred format. Both of these options are available with the EOS R5 and EOS R6 (JPEG or RAW). In any scenario, the next step is to utilize software to put together a movie from the collection of still images you have.
“However, thanks to the built-in time-lapse movie capability, each of the EOS R System cameras provides a wonderful opportunity to learn more about time-lapse photography and become accustomed to the process as a whole.
You only need to decide how much time should pass between photos and how long you want to shoot, and the camera will take care of the rest. As an added bonus, this can be done in either 4K UHD or Full HD resolution, and even 8K with the EOS R5 camera.”