So the rumors that dominated the headlines on the release of the Canon R5, is of course the talk of overheating. After Canon has released their numbers for internal overheating, we all wondered if they were mitigated by recording externally. Unfortunately, tests by Gerald Undone seemed to add another nail in the coffin


So first the bad news. Internally, it seems I’m getting around the same times as Gerald. In fact, my times are a bit more conservative. I’ve averaged and rounded down my numbers a bit. But none the less, the internal recording times are quite restricting.

In terms of Usability, this means how often can you expect to hit the internal numbers. “Completely unreliable” means you’re really at the mercy of the camera. On a cold start, sure, you’ll probably get those advertised numbers. But if you’re actually using the camera, expect to see numbers similar to mine. “Reliable” meaning you should be OK, for the most part. “Completely reliable” meaning you’ll never worry about it. 8K is completely unreliable. Don’t ever go out with the intention of shooting 8K, you’ll just be frustrated. 4K120 is also unreliable. One day I shot 30min of 4KHQ, and still was able to get around 15min of 4K120, another day I shot photos for an hour or so and got around 5 mins. This isn’t too much of a big deal in my opinion, as long as you know you’ll just be limited to short, short bursts of it. Which is what its use case is for the most part. Fortunately, 4K 60 is a bit more reliable in FF mode, especially compared to 4K60 Crop. But I find you don’t gain that much image quality entering crop mode, so keep that in mind. And lastly, 4KHQ has the most amount of time, but you may find at 30fps, times fluctuate a bit more than you’re comfortable with. Meaning, if you’re going out and you need exactly 25min of 4KHQ footage, you may find yourself disappointed. But that’s the bad news that everyone knows about.

I have great news, though. My current testing, with proof added to the video above, shows a much different story externally. The Canon R5 can record that beautiful 4KHQ up to 30fps, in 10-bit CLog, with DPAF, as well as the best in class IBIS, externally to a Ninja V recorder or any recorder like a PC to OBS, for upwards of 4 HOURS. Yes, that’s correct. You can externally record 4KHQ up to 30fps and 4K60fps with almost no limits, no weird shut down issues, no screen blackouts, and no overheat control.

All you need to do is not put any CFExpress / SD cards in the camera, and ensure your camera screen is set to auto-off.

So I found this out by not inputting any cards in the camera. With no cards added to the camera, the overheating timer does not show up, and you still get the clean 10-bit 4KHQ image sent. I’ve tested this multiple times, and each time, I was not met with even an overheating warning after multiple hours of recording. This is a FAR different case than the original numbers Gerald Undone released, and completely opens up the camera to so many more situations and content creators. I’m also not saying Gerald’s number are incorrect – they just don’t tell the full story. Also, I’ve done this with a dummy battery as well as with the new Canon LP6H batteries inserted, and currently, the battery dies before any overheat warnings. So you DON’T have to use a dummy battery to get long-form external recording.

UPDATE (8/7/20): Setting the HDMI display only to the external monitor (not the dual screen option), and turning on “Overheat Control” seems to be bugged. This mode was giving me those “screen blackout / disconnection” issues. Setting your camera in this mode may also reduce your times from the times I’ve stated. I will update this if it is fixed in the future. 

UPDATE (8/11/20): A test by the user John Gress posted his test results. It showed that the screen being on the entire time overheated the camera in just 40min. I can confirm that the screen being on (the entire time), overheats the camera much much quicker. I did a test where I kept the display on auto-off, but every other minute, turned the camera screen on. This test got me a mere 30min before overheating. Another test I did allowed the camera to record externally, without the screen being on at all, and was able to reach over 2 hours before concluding the test. This leads me to believe the issue is software related.

How to use the Canon R5 (Firmware 1.0) to get the best Recording Times in 4KHQ Externally

  • Use a dummy battery. This will not only improve heat, but also give you much more recording time, as you are now no longer limited by battery
  • Remove the CFExpress & SD Cards. Since you are recording externally, there is no need to use these cards.
  • Ensure your camera is set to “HDMI Display – Camera & External”. This mode is bugged, and if you set it to external only, you will end up with screen blackout / disconnection issues.
  • Ensure your camera screen is set to auto-off. Like in the update, YouTuber John Gress showed that the screen also plays a role in overheating – through software limitation. This may be fixed in future firmware.

What I think is happening is that the cards themselves play a much bigger role in triggering the overheating, than the processor or sensor. Maybe there is some type of card buffer that activates when the cards are inputted, and this triggers the overheating countdown timer. I’m not exactly sure what the case may be, all I know is that a simple firmware fix can clear all this up.

Now, in order for Canon to fix this issue, they need to be made aware of the problem. So I implore you (if you care about these cameras), send this video to Canon, send it to the other reviews, send it to others with the camera. I’m just a single point of contention in this entire discussion, so it’ll be great for more data points.

Overall, from my current testing, I’m 100% confident in saying you will get no overheating issues in 4KHQ up to 30fps, and 4K60, when recording externally until around 4 hours. And then, only shutting down the camera for a few minutes should give you another few added hours. This is huge for indie filmmakers, documentaries, weddings, and many other content creators looking for a reliable 4K camera that can record for long periods of time. Just know you’ll need to pick up an external recorder to do so.


If you happen to have the R5, I’d love to know what types of recording times you’re getting, both internal and external. Leave your times below in the comments, and make sure to leave what modes you’ve shot in (4K, 4KHQ, 4K120, All-I or IPB, Crop mode, everything). 




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