Update Your Cameras!

In the video above, I detail how the latest firmware for the Canon R5 changes the game in terms of overheating. Now, initially I was criticized for “clickbaiting” with the video title. But once more testing details got out, more people found my claims to be correct. So in the comments, I expect your apologies. So what’s the gamechanging aspect of the latest firmware? Well until firmware 1.1, nothing you could do to the camera would get it to cool down. No amount of fans, wind, ice, tornadoes, an intense stare from the rapper Ice-T…NOTHING! This was one of the reasons why the community started to think that Canon was implementing an arbitrary timer to try and push users to higher priced cinema cameras. Nothing was more frustrating than knowing if you hit your overheating time, you’d be locked out of your top video modes for up to 2 hours.

But this is no longer the case

First things first. The latest Canon firmware 1.1 does increase recording times, right off the bat. Now…it’s not by much. You’ll gain an extra 5 – 10 minutes on 4K60, 4K120, 4KHQ, and 8K. I wouldn’t even really say that, but instead say that it now, at least, gives you the stated recording times as stated by Canon. This is the list below.

So you should expect to get 30 minutes of 4KHQ 30fps, 4K 60fps, 15 minutes of 4K 120fps, and 20 minutes of 8K. This is great news for those who need to rely on the advertised times. So if you’re off to a shoot, and you NEED 15 minutes of 4K 120p, you can have much, much more confidence. This was not the case in 1.0, and in my personal overheating charts, most of these modes were marked as “unreliable” since there were many times I could not hit advertised times. Now this is all at the least, and you can even get more than the advertised times, much more often.

That said, there still remains some issues. One of the main ones being that screen-on time is one of the biggest factors in overheating. In my testing of 1.1, I was still able to record externally indefinitely in 4KHQ, but only when the screen was set to turn off automatically. When the screen was on the entire time, I was only able to record externally 4KHQ for 1 hour before the camera shut off due to overheating. This is a bummer. The good news is that cards and the battery in the camera no longer affect the overheating as much as they used to (though I’d still remove them if you’re looking for times around 3 – 4 hours long). The other bad news is that the “Overheat Control” option seems to drop the camera to standard 4K unless you record internally as well as externally. So if you’re in 4KHQ and are recording externally, and you have Overheat Control turned on, it will only output the standard 4K image until you press record on the camera. So DO NOT USE this setting when recording 4KHQ externally. This should only be used when recording internally, or when just using the HDMI output for monitoring purposes only.

The Gamechanger

But that’s not the exciting part. The exciting part is now with firmware 1.1, you can actually influence the heat and overheating of the camera. Like I stated, nothing you did could actually change the recording or recovery times. That all changes with 1.1. According to Gordon Laing of Cameralabs, Canon has stated the camera runs on 3 different temperature sensors, as well as timer. One of the temperature sensors is near the port side of the camera, and this measures the “external” temperature. In firmware 1.1, Canon seemed to weigh this ambient temp sensor much, much more than previously. This means you can actually influence both your recording and your recovery times, by using external cooling solutions!

As soon as this was announced, we got to work. Jodu Media was one of the first users to find that utilizing a small 6″ desk fan allowed him to record 8K and 4KHQ indefinitely inside at room temps. That is correct. Unlimited 8K recording. No hacks, no weird tricks. Just a cheap fan. This was then confirmed by user Bababokeh from the Canonrumors Discord group, who also ran the same tests and found the same results. Lastly, I recently did my own tests with a cheap 40mm USB fan, and alas, I’ve found the same results!


In the video above, I showcase that my small fan allowed me to record multiple hours of 8K 30fps IPB. I’ve been doing further testing and can confirm this works for both 4K 60fps, and 4KHQ. I have not tested with 4K 120fps currently. Unfortunately, there are some caveats. The first is…the ambient temperature. So both Jodu Media and Bababokeh have found that the camera reached its overheating point with a fan, outside in a hot climate. (I believe the average temp for both was around 92-95F). It seems blowing hot air at the camera doesn’t do much to cool it. I also found that the placement of my small fan did matter.  I needed to place it directly on the port side for it to run indefinitely, where the back of the camera wasn’t able to keep it cool enough. This all gives much more confidence to after-market cooling solutions like the one we saw from Tilta.

So all that said, it’s great to see that Canon is actively working on this issue. I have no doubt that 1.1 gives the Canon R5 much more life and you should upgrade immediately. I think this latest firmware solves many issues a lot of videographers had with the camera. And I have a lot of hope for the future of the device and I can’t wait to see how far Canon pushes it in the future.