Do I need to upgrade to EOS R5 or R6?
In this blog post, I am going to go through my thought process of whether I need to upgrade my existing EOS R camera to the new Canon EOS R5 or R6. Before we get into my reasoning, let's take a look at some stats on how much usage I have done on EOS R.
I have been using Canon EOS R for about two year now, so far I use the RF lenses and EF 35mm as my main paid shoot photo session lenses. Below are my photo counts for each lens and you can get a sense of which one I use the most:
It turns out that I like the EF 35mm F1.4 L Mark ii the most for my portrait shoots. I really like the environment context of this lens and at the same time retaining the sufficient depth of the image. Below is an example of using this lens.
The Upcoming EOS R5 or R6
There are lots of excitement building up in the Canon Community before the announcement of these two cameras later next week (July 9th live stream). Lots of improvements will be included such as dual card slots and IBIS for the sensor. R6 will be 20MP Full-frame vs R5's 45MP Full-frame, and there will be lots of video feature improvement as well.
But the main question is: Do I really need to upgrade to R5 or R6 right now given I have been only using my EOS R for only two years?
Next, I am going to list couple points that I need to ask myself before I make my decision on whether to upgrade.
1. Do I need IBIS sensor?
For my photography style ratio, The usage of my mirrorless camera is about 85 percent still photos vs 15 percent videos for some BTS in my youtube channel. Below is an example when I used my Canon EOS R & RF 35mm F1.8 IS lens for my BTS video shoot:
As you can see the IS for the RF35mm F1.8 hand-held still has some shakiness to it, but it is pretty sufficient for my casual BTS video. Of course, if there is IBIS added to the equation, the video will be even smoother. Since I only use to shoot videos hand-held about 15 percent of my time, I don't think it's needed in my scenario.
In terms of still photos, I have been using cameras with or without IBIS for many years. For example, my Fujifilm X-T1, X-T2 and X-T3 don't have IBIS and I can still get sharp images. And the EOS R doesn't have IBIS, but I have been using this body to shoot about 50k Canon images based on the photo count above.
For still image shoots in the RF lens line-up, the only time I can IBIS improve my images is when I shoot the RF 85mm F1.2 L lens. This lens is about 2.63 lb and IBIS will help stabilize the shakiness to improve the sharp focus. For other lens like 35mm or 50mm, IBIS is not needed in my situation.
Here is an example of using RF 85mm F1.2 L to get sharp image without IBIS:
So the answer is I don't need IBIS right now in my situation. It would be nice to have it in the future, but for now, my EOS R satisfies my needs.
2. Do I need two card slots?
My first instinct answer is that yes, I need two card slots. However, I have been using my EOS R for two years and I haven't have problem with one single card yet. I save both JPEG and Compressed RAW files into one card (SanDisk 64GB 300MB/s). On my other cameras, I use one SD slot for RAW and one slot for JPEG.
Canon EOS R5 and R6 both have dual card slots, while R5 having CFexpress card slot and SDcard slot. R6 will have both SD card slots. And then I search the CFexpress card in Amazon. The price average for this type of card is pretty high as well, such as SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO for $240 US dollars. It's like half the price of the RF 35mm lens already.
If I don't shoot 8k video in my BTS video, I don't need this expensive card for my daily use. SD Card 300MB/s will satisfy my needs.
The answer is: I need two SD card slots to store JPEG and RAW file separately.
3. Do I need 45mp sensor?
Canon R5 will have 45MP sensor while Canon R6 will have 20MP sensor. My question to ask myself: for my portraits still photography, will my Canon EOS R 30.3MP sensor be enough?
I shot some Fujifilm GFX 50R before, the sensor size if 51MP and the files are pretty big to import and store. So currently, 30.3MP in EOS R seems reasonable for me in terms of file size and my photo storage.
In terms of this 30.3MP Canon EOS R sensor, i think it's doing a great job for me already. It provides enough room if you need to crop your image as well. Below is another example:
So my answer to this sensor question: No, I don't need to upgrade to a 45MP sensor.
In summary, besides dual SD card slots that I want to improve on EOS R the most, the other two things I considered IBIS and 45MP improvements I don't really need. I will save the money (R5 rumored to be $3,500 dollars camera) and invest this $3500 for two more years. After two years, I will consider the upgrade at that time. Plus, the RF L lenses I invested will last at least 10 years so I am in no hurry to upgrade the body.