With Canon releasing two mirrorless powerhouses in the form of EOS R5 and EOS R6, many might be wondering about the actual differences in key specifications between these two cameras. Although the two cameras share similar-sized bodies, they are quite different ergonomically, as well as functionally. The Canon EOS R5 is aimed at photographers who want to be able to shoot 45 MP high-resolution stills and 8K video, while the EOS R6 is a general-purpose camera with a 20 MP sensor, limited to 4K video shooting. Let’s take a look at both cameras in more detail and compare the two cameras side-by-side.
Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Camera Body Comparison
First, let’s take a look at the ergonomic differences between the EOS R5 and EOS R6. We will start with the view of the front of the camera:
Both cameras look very similar in their front view, with very minor differences. The biggest differences to note here are the remote port flap on the EOS R5, which is not present on the EOS R6, as well as the all-rubber design, vs partly plastic design of the EOS R6.
When looking at the top of the cameras, however, we can see pretty big differences between the two cameras:
While both cameras follow Canon’s traditional top dial with the multi-function button (M-Fn), the Canon EOS R5 has a digital top LCD screen that displays all the relevant information, as well as a button that helps illuminate the information at night. The EOS R6, on the other hand, has a traditional PASM dial in that same location, as well as a plain rear dial. Canon went with the same functional Mode dial on the EOS R5 as on the original Canon EOS R camera instead (in fact, the Canon EOS R and EOS R5 look nearly identical from the top).
The back view of the two cameras is functionally identical:
The only big difference here is the smaller LCD screen of the EOS R6.
Overall, it looks like the biggest difference ergonomically between the EOS R5 and R6 is the top LCD screen, as well as the larger LCD screen of the EOS R5. Let’s move on to the camera internals.
Canon EOS R5 vs EOS R6 Specifications Comparison
Aside from differences in resolution and video specifications, the two cameras have a few other functional differences. For example, the Canon EOS R6 has an inferior electronic viewfinder (EVF), a smaller 3.0″ LCD screen with less resolution, no top LCD screen, inferior WiFi features, and a different memory card configuration. Both cameras offer Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system and can shoot up to 12 FPS using mechanical shutter and up to 20 FPS using an electronic shutter.
Let’s take a look at the specifications of the two in more detail:
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS R5||Canon EOS R6|
|Sensor Resolution||45.0 MP||20.1 MP|
|Low-Pass Filter||Yes, High-Resolution OLPF||Yes|
|In-Body Image Stabilization||Yes, 5-axis||Yes, 5-axis|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0mm||36.0 x 24.0mm|
|Image Size||8192 x 5464||5472 x 3648|
|Pixel Pitch||4.40 µm||6.58 µm|
|Image Processor||DIGIC X||DIGIC X|
|Viewfinder||Electronic / EVF||Electronic / EVF|
|Viewfinder Type / Resolution||OLED / 5.76 Million Dots||OLED / 3.69 Million Dots|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/200||1/200|
|Storage Media||1x CFexpress / 1x SD UHS II||2x SD UHS II|
|Continuous Shooting Speed M / E||12 FPS / 20 FPS||12 FPS / 20 FPS|
|Buffer Capacity (RAW)||87 (SD UHS II), 180 (CFexpress)||240 (SD UHS II)|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000||1/8000|
|Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter||Yes||Yes|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||384-Zone Metering||384-Zone Metering|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-51,200||ISO 100-102,400|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Low-Light Sensitivity||-6 to 20 EV||-6.5 to 20 EV|
|Internal Video Modes||H.264 4:2:0 8-Bit, H.265 4:2:2 10-Bit||H.264 4:2:0 8-Bit, H.265 4:2:2 10-Bit|
|Video Maximum Resolution||8K DCI @ up to 30p, 4K DCI @ up to 120p||4K UHD @ up to 60p, 1080p @ up to 120p|
|4K Video Type||Full-sensor width (oversampled)||1.07x Crop|
|HDMI Out / C-LOG||4:2:2 10-bit HDMI Output / Yes||4:2:2 10-bit HDMI Output / Yes|
|LCD Size||3.2″ Diagonal LCD||3.0″ Diagonal LCD|
|LCD Resolution||2,100,000 dots||1,620,000 dots|
|Wi-Fi / Band||802.11a/ac/b/g/n / 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz||802.11b/g/n / 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 5.0||Yes, 4.2|
|Battery||Canon LP-E6NH/LP-E6N/LP-E6||Canon LP-E6NH/LP-E6N/LP-E6|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots||360 shots|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||Yes|
|USB Version||Type-C 3.1 Gen 2||Type-C 3.1 Gen 2|
|Weight (Camera Body Only)||1.43 lbs. / 650g (body only)||1.3 lbs. / 598g (body only)|
|Dimensions||5.45 x 3.84 x 3.46 in. / 138 x 97.5 x 88.0mm||5.45 x 3.84 x 3.48 in. / 138 x 97.5 x 88.4mm|
|MSRP||$3,899 (check price)||$2,499 (check price)|
As you can see, both cameras are quite similar in most specifications. However, there are some very important differences between these two cameras that you should be aware of. First of all, the Canon EOS R5 is aimed at those who need a high-resolution camera (such as landscape, architecture, and studio photographers). With its 45 MP sensor and a high-resolution low-pass filter, the EOS R5 is going to deliver very high-detailed images when compared to the 20 MP EOS R6. What’s impressive about the EOS R5, is that it is able to do this at a whopping 12 FPS using the mechanical shutter. That’s a lot of data to process for the camera, so you will need to use a fast CFexpress card (which is only an option present on the EOS R5) to be able to shoot for a longer period of time. However, the EOS R6 has much less resolution, so it is able to store more images in its buffer – 240 full-size RAW images vs 180 on the EOS R5. This means that if you are going to be using these cameras for photographing fast-moving action, the EOS R6 is going to be a better choice (the EOS R6 also has a slightly better low-light sensitivity range, making it better for sports and wildlife photography).
Another big selling point for the EOS R5 is in video features – it is capable of shooting 8K DCI video at up to 29.95 FPS, while the EOS R6 is limited to 4K UHD only (no DCI). The EOS R5 uses the full sensor width to oversample video, while the EOS R6 uses a small 1.07× crop to be able to shoot 4K UHD. Both cameras can record up to 4:2:2 internal video with the H.265 codec and output 4:2:2 10-bit video through their HDMI ports, which is very impressive.
The Canon EOS R5 has a few more advantages. It has a larger 3.2″ LCD screen with more resolution than the EOS R6, and it has a higher-resolution OLED EVF with 5.76 million dots. In addition, it utilizes better WiFi and Bluetooth chips, with both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz channels (dual band), as well as Bluetooth 5.0. The EOS R6 is limited to 2.4 Ghz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.
As expected, the EOS R5 comes with a big price premium of $3,899. In comparison, the Canon EOS R6 will retail for $2,499.
Which Camera Should You Get?
That really depends on your needs. If you need a camera for everyday needs, as well as for shooting fast action, the Canon EOS R6 is going to be a great choice, thanks to its 20 MP image sensor, 12 FPS shooting speed, and a much lower price. However, if you need a camera for high-resolution work (such as landscapes, architecture, and studio), the Canon EOS R5 is clearly going to be the better choice.
What do you think about these cameras? Are you planning to buy the Canon EOS R5 or the EOS R6? Please let me know in the comments section below!
Great article! Thanks for this. Given the prices ranges of both of these bodies and the cutover to the RF mount, it will be awhile before I can replace my 5DIV. I shoot a combination of portraiture and sports, so I’m really torn. I’ve been dreaming about the R5 though, and since it can also do 20 fps in electronic shutter mode, I feel like it would do a fine job on gymnastics, soccer, and football, the primary sports I shoot.
Hi – Thank you for a very detailed comparison of the two great cameras and I would like to know which one do you recommend for a macro photography. I am not a professional photographer and think a R6 Mark II would be a good choice when released. Thanks.
I’m still doubting. I have a 7DII and use it for bird photography. With this camera I have the advantage of the 1.6x factor. The R5 is a full frame camera but the pixel size is bigger than that of the 7DII, promising better quality.
I’ve been calculating. According to me this means that when I would crop the images made with an R5 to the size of the aps-c sensor I would have images with only a little less pixels used. Cropped pictures made with the R6 would use less than half of the amount of the pixels. Is that not a reason to chose for the R5 for my bird photography? I would still have the benefit of the high resolution for other pictures. Or do I overlook some facts here …?
I needed a full frame system for general photography. A day at the zoo, a walk around town, a modest sized public event, that sort of thing. With that in mind, the R6 was an easy choice. I saved enough to pick up a couple of nice lenses.
I shoot a lot of indoor gymnastics and dance. Not a big video guy. So from what I read, looks like the R6 is a better choice for me. A $1400 plus choice to boot.
Thank you for a helpful review.
Thanks for the aeesome comparison. I do mostly lanscape scenery so decided on the R6 plus price was more affordable. Working in getting the right lenses now but they are soooo expensive.
Looking for cheaper sources.
I’ve finally decided on the R6 as I do lots of night sky/astrophotography and the low light performance looks good. Also aircraft and birds in flight, so the R6 should fit like a glove.
Thanks for such a great comparison!!! A follow question, have you tried the EF lens adapter on either camera? Is one better than the other when using these lens? Many folks are not willing to shell out thousands for the RF lens – especially those who have the EF L lens at this time!