Unlocking even more features in the EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III

Sports photographers Richard Walch, Martin Bissig and Eddie Keogh try out the new functions and enhancements unlocked by the very latest Canon firmware update.
Martin Bissig in the mountains, wearing a coat and woolly hat, holding a Canon EOS R5 camera.

Adventure sports photographer Martin Bissig surveys the scene, preparing to shoot on his Canon EOS R5, which has now received an additional upgrade thanks to the latest Canon firmware update. © Martin Bissig

You update your smartphone to benefit from new features and enhancements, and you can do the same with your Canon EOS camera.

Canon has announced a series of additional firmware updates for the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III introducing a range of new professional features, new controls and performance enhancements, in answer to requests from working photographers. The latest update enables filmmakers to use cine-servo lenses on the EOS R5.

It's a simple process to download the Canon firmware update – simply visit the support section of the Canon website, and select your product from the pop-up to get started.

"It's great to know that when you buy one of these cameras, you can trust Canon to keep pushing the products further and then give you these updates for free," says action sports photographer, filmmaker and Canon Ambassador Richard Walch.

Adventure sports photographer Martin Bissig is equally enthusiastic about the continued development: "It's really cool that Canon listens not only to us pros but to enthusiasts as well. It gives you a good feeling to know that the company is listening and continuing to add future-proof qualities to these cameras."

Richard, Martin and fellow Canon Ambassador Eddie Keogh have put the new features enabled by the Canon firmware update to the test on some demanding shoots. Here are the highlights…
Hear more of the conversation in this episode of Canon's Shutter Stories podcast:
A skier jumping while travelling down a mountainside, passing in front of the sun

One of the features unlocked by the latest firmware update is Canon Log 3 video recording. "When you look at Canon Log 3 on paper and it says that it has more stops, it can be hard to picture what that means," says Martin Bissig. "But once you start working with it in post, you can really see how much more you can get out of your footage." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 15mm, 1/1250 sec, f/14 and ISO200. © Martin Bissig

New in EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-ID X Mark III firmware update: Canon Log 3

With its 45MP stills and 8K video capabilities, the Canon EOS R5 is a formidable hybrid camera for professional photographers and filmmakers alike. Martin Bissig uses his EOS R5 to capture video footage alongside his stills work and welcomes two of the significant video enhancements introduced with the EOS R5 firmware update: Canon Log 3 and 120fps Full HD recording. "For the type of thing I shoot," he says, "the EOS R5's 8K RAW video is a bit overkill, but working with C-Log 3 gives me all the freedom I need."
C-Log 3 enables a wider dynamic range to be captured in-camera and provides more flexibility in post-production and final delivery. "Now that I'm working with the footage in post, I can really see the advantages," says Martin. "I was shooting skiers in the snow, so there was a combination of very bright snow and clothes, and very dark elements to deal with. It was a really difficult environment to shoot, but C-Log 3 meant I could get the most out of the footage."

Another advantage of being able to shoot in C-Log 3 is that it integrates into a pro workflow. "You can use the EOS R5 on a film set as a back-up or a crash cam and then combine the clips with C-Log 3 footage shot on Cinema EOS cameras or other movie cameras thanks to the EOS R5's ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) compatibility. It's probably one of the biggest advantages that you gain right now."
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Thanks to the latest firmware update, the Canon EOS R6 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark III also now benefit from Canon Log 3, making it even easier to achieve a consistent look in a multi-camera setup. "Whether you are a one-man show using two different cameras or you're part of a bigger crew all shooting video with Canon cameras, you're able to get a really nice look throughout the whole production," says Richard Walch.

"And it makes sense to use different cameras, because maybe there's a situation where you need a really small and light body, for which the EOS R6 is perfect," he adds. "With a shot where you need more rigging and a longer battery life, then the EOS-1D X Mark III is the right camera. Canon Log 3 then brings them all together in one unified look."
Martin Bissig standing on a ski slope, filming a skier kicking up a cloud of snow.

"I'm not a typical filmmaker, I'm a photographer who also shoots video," says Martin. "So it all goes together, and I need to work very fast. This is why Canon Log 3 and the 120fps option for Full HD recording are quite a big step forward for the way I like to work." © Martin Bissig

A closeup of Martin Bissig's hands holding a Canon EOS R5, with the screen displaying settings.

Martin loves having so many options to configure the EOS R5, but it can be tedious to enter them all again on another camera. For him, it will be a significant timesaver to be able to save settings to a memory card and transfer them across when using a second camera. © Martin Bissig

EOS R5 firmware update: Full HD at 120p

Martin also took advantage of the Canon EOS R5's recently added 120p Full HD video recording option to capture skiers jumping over cliffs. Shooting at a high frame rate captures more information during action sequences, allowing them to be played back in slow motion.

"A lot of my work does not require 4K footage," Martin says. "Often, I need to send a file over the internet to a client, and we need to edit it pretty quickly – sometimes even in the field on a laptop. Now, with the option to shoot 120fps in Full HD, it's so much easier for me to do the data handling."

New in EOS R5 firmware update: Canon cinema lens support

The Canon EOS R5 now supports Canon's CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S and CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS compact cine-servo lenses via the EF to EOS R Mount Adapter, making it even easier to achieve a cinematic look and integrate the camera in a professional production workflow. These combinations allow iris, zoom and focus to be controlled via the body as well as the optical IS system of the lens to work. Recording can be started and stopped via the rec button on the lens grip.

When attached to the EOS R5, the lenses can be operated from the camera body or remotely, using EOS Utility and the Canon Camera Connect app.

"For filmmakers, having access to these kinds of lenses really puts the EOS R5 even more into a space where you really can use it as your main camera or second unit camera rather than just a backup body," says Martin.

EOS R5 firmware update: Save settings to card

Martin works with two Canon EOS R5 camera bodies, so the ability to save a snapshot of one camera's settings to the memory card and transfer this to the other camera saves valuable time. "One of the big advantages of the EOS R5 is that you can customise it to your needs," he says. "There are tons of options, which allows you to make the camera behave exactly the way you want it to. But the problem is that when you're working with two cameras, it's so slow to transfer all the settings manually from one camera to the next. Now it's not a big deal because it can all be done in one step.

"If you have to send your camera in to be serviced, say, or you need to rent an extra camera for a job, then it's really convenient to be able to save all your settings on a card and load them into another camera."
Two skiers, dwarfed by the mountain peak in front of them, climb upwards through deep snow.

When you're on a location shoot such as this one, with little chance of replicating the day's events if anything goes wrong, kit reliability is crucial. That's why Martin is delighted that the latest Canon firmware update means the Canon EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III will now be capable of dual recording. "Having the possibility to record onto two cards simultaneously is awesome," says Martin, "and it's something that I and a lot of filmmakers have been waiting for." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 24mm, 1/2500 sec, f/6.3 and ISO100. © Martin Bissig

Martin Bissig, wearing a blue coat and woolly hat, looks at the screen on the back of a Canon EOS R5 camera. Snow-capped mountains can be seen blurred in the background behind him.

CFexpress VPG400 card support is also part of the latest firmware update for the Canon EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III. "It gives you a good feeling to know that you're able to continue to future-proof your workflow as far as possible," says Martin.

New in EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Dual recording

Providing peace of mind on important filming assignments, all three cameras now gain the ability to create an instant in-camera backup by simultaneously recording video clips to both memory cards. Some video formats will not be available for dual recording on the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III because of the amount of data to write to two cards.

"Usually, when I shoot stills, I always use the second card as a backup," Martin says. "To have this possibility now, even with 8K footage on the EOS R5 using the new low-bitrate IPB setting, it just gives you that additional layer of security that you know you have the footage on two cards."

New in EOS R5 firmware update: Atomos ProRes RAW support

The new firmware enables ProRes RAW footage to be recorded externally to an Atomos Ninja recorder via an HDMI connection. The original Ninja V supports 5K crop ProRes RAW at 30P/24P, but the new Ninja V+ is able to support uncropped 8K ProRes RAW at up to 30P, as well as 5K crop at up to 60P.

"Even more, this puts the EOS R5 into a very professional environment when it comes to filming," says Martin. "I, and most of the professional filmmakers I know, shoot with an external recorder, and being able to capture RAW in this way is a huge step forward for the camera."

New in EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: CFexpress VPG400 card support

Designed for professionals and power users, CFexpress cards that comply with the VPG400 (Video Performance Guarantee) standard are able to deliver stable video recording at 400MB/sec. A fast, sustained write speed is essential to prevent the camera's buffer from being filled and recording being stopped mid-shoot. While some cards offer even faster maximum write speeds, there may be no guarantee of consistency during the recording.

"If the camera is capable of writing more data but the bottleneck was the card, then it makes sense that VPG400 is being supported," says Martin.
A girl skateboarding, at the apex of a curved, graffiti-covered ramp, approaching the camera.

Richard says the addition of low-bitrate IPB and RAW movie options in the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update makes the camera even more versatile. "It makes it even more of a universal tool for photography and for video," he says. "It can do everything." This still of skateboarder Kona Ettel in action was taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III with a Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens at 15mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6 and ISO400. © Richard Walch

EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Low-bitrate IPB and RAW movies

Smaller video file sizes can be an asset when you're working in remote areas, as Richard Walch often does. "Shooting an 8K movie with my EOS R5, for example, or a 4K movie with my EOS-1D X Mark III and trying to edit them on the fly is impossible for me, as it's too data heavy," he says.

"Many people don't really need this level of resolution. What they really need is to be able to move files around quickly. So that's why it makes a lot of sense that you can save a low bitrate IPB movie, which gives you very small file sizes." Richard finds this feature particularly useful for sharing footage with the athletes he frequently photographs, as they often request video clips that they can put on social media.

Another scenario where the low bitrate option can be helpful is when shooting an extended take, such as a long interview. "It means you can record a lot more footage onto a single card," Richard explains. "Of course, you might be wondering whether the quality is good enough. If the scene is recorded well, it will usually fit seamlessly into a longer film."

A low-bitrate RAW movie option is also available on the EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5. "Both of the low-bitrate options give you a quicker turnaround time and longer recording, so you can simply choose either RAW or IPB according to whatever fits your workflow better."
A man walking with a skateboard at night. A bright light in the upper-left is creating stark shadows, obscuring his features.

RF lens full-time manual support allows you to instantly override Servo AF on the EOS R5 and EOS R6 with certain RF lenses, making it easy to refocus without having to turn the autofocus off. © Richard Walch

A man performing a skateboard trick at night, illuminated by purple lighting.

"It's a pro move, but you get the hang of it quickly," Richard adds, explaining how he was able to use manual pull focus effects without switching from Servo AF. "It's an invitation to be a little more creative and to photograph a storyline or a sequence in a film that's a little more planned." © Richard Walch

EOS R5 and EOS R6 firmware update: RF lens full-time manual support

If you're a Canon EF lens user, you might have enjoyed the ability to use full-time manual focusing when the camera is set to One Shot AF mode. The firmware update for the EOS R5 and EOS R6 adds support for this feature with Servo AF with certain RF lenses.

"You can use it when you're shooting photos or videos," explains Richard. "It allows you to just grab the focusing ring of your lens and make an adjustment without having to turn the autofocus off. When the camera doesn't lock on, for whatever reason, you can immediately save your shot."
Richard made use of the new feature during a night-time video shoot with skateboarders. "I was using the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, which is a perfect lens for manual focusing. The shallow depth of field it gives you makes it easy to see the focus changing, and it has a wide focusing ring that's really comfortable to use.

"The scene opened with the skateboard upside-down on the ground. I was focusing on a close-up of the trucks and wheels before panning up to show the rider sitting on the ground, chilling. Of course, at this point I wanted to pull focus onto his face. There are several ways to do it, including tapping the EOS R6's touchscreen, first on the wheels and then on the face, with the camera automatically adjusting the focus. But if you want to really be in control of the speed of a focus pull, you can let the camera focus on the wheels using Servo AF, then grab the focus ring and turn it to focus on the face."
A black and white shot of a boxer throwing a punch.

Full-frame mirrorless vs. full-frame DSLR

One of the world's most experienced action photographers, Richard Walch, compares the features of the flagship EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras.
Eddie Keogh holding a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera with telephoto zoom lens and hood at a football stadium, training it on the pitch.

The FTP Transfer Status Display enabled by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update enables sports photographers to manage their time more effectively. "I was shooting the England football team training outside, where the signal wasn't so good," says Eddie Keogh. "Thanks to the display, I could see that I'd only be able to transfer seven or eight pictures where I was, so I waited until the end of the session to send them using fast Wi-Fi instead."

EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5 firmware update: FTP Transfer Status Display

For professional sports and news photographers, time is money – in more ways than one. It's not just the split-second timing required to capture the decisive moment in a game or event that affects the bottom line, but also the race to get images to clients as soon as possible.

The FTP Transfer Status Display that's been added to the EOS-1D X Mark III is designed to make this process easier to manage. It shows a timer on the rear display, so that you'll know exactly how long an image transfer is going to take.

"Everything we do is about trying to gain advantages to make the job quicker," explains sports pro Eddie Keogh. "We need to get our pictures to the clients as fast as we can. Social media is so big these days that everyone wants images immediately, so comms is key to the job."

Eddie says being able to track how long a picture will take to be delivered makes it easier for him to make decisions during a football match. "I can do a few tests before the game kicks off, so I'm able to plan what I'm going to do if the signal's not great in a certain spot.

"I'm lucky because I'm shooting the top of the game – international and Premier League football – and a lot of the grounds have better comms these days, with 5G and Wi-Fi. We even have ethernet cables by the side of the pitch now that we can plug into our cameras.

"But for all the photographers shooting at lower league and non-league grounds who still have to service social media, being able to get an idea of how long a transfer is going to take is so important."
A closeup of Eddie Keogh's hands as he selects images to transfer on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Thanks to the EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update, Protect Image Transfer enables photos that have been protected in the camera to all be transferred together. Eddie sees it being a benefit for all kinds of photography. "It could be a feature story you're doing with someone," he says, "where you can just go through the images on the back of the camera with them, selecting the pictures that you want to keep, and then send them all in one go. It means you can then just get on with doing something else."

EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Protect Image Transfer

A related feature that's been enabled via the EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update is Protect Image Transfer. This time-saving function allows photos that have been protected in-camera to be automatically transferred in one go.

"It's a handy tool," says Eddie. "It means that, as I'm going through a game, I can quickly look on the back of the camera, protect five or six pictures, then go into image transfer and choose to automatically send all those tagged images rather than sending them individually. If there's an injury and someone's down on the ground for a minute or two, that would be a good time to quickly flick through and protect a few images and maybe get them going.

"It's a really nice addition that will appeal to lots of photographers. If a fashion photographer is working for social media and they need to get a few pictures away, for example, they'll be able to have the client looking over their shoulder at the screen, and quickly tag the images that the client likes.

"It's add-ons like this which show that Canon wants to make the camera more user-friendly and to cater for all the different types of photographers that are out there."

Autors Marcus Hawkins

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