Waves at Sai Wan Swimming Shed • Testing Canon EOS R5 mirrorless

Hands On with Canon EOS R5

EOS R5 Test Run for Photography

I was lucky to get some hands-on time with the latest full-frame Canon EOS R5 camera, a new addition to the R system mirrorless digital cameras. Having tested the first generation EOS R camera when it was launched in 2018, I was excited to get to test new gear with Canon again. There has been a lot of hype about this new release. Here’s my perspective as a professional photographer, shooting with the EOS R5 for stills photography.

The EOS R5 camera felt relatively compact compared to my current EOS 5D Mark IV.  Meanwhile, the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L lens felt slightly heavier than my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III lens. The whole set of camera body with lens seemed well balanced, and not too front heavy.

My trial run with the camera was over 4 days, and during that time, I went around different spots in Hong Kong with the intention to try out the camera. I also used it as part of my weekend with friends and family.

Auto-Focus Shines

I most enjoyed the new autofocus (AF) capabilities, which allowed me to focus with more flexibility and speed. Especially while I was on the streets when moments passed quickly, the autofocus worked pretty well.

Not only did the the camera handle eye tracking for humans and animals, it also could hold focus with objects. This meant I could recompose a shot with a selected object without losing focus, or even maintain focus while it moved.

One AF function that was already present in the EOS R camera but not in the 5D Mark IV was the Touch & Drag AF. With my current shooting habit on the 5D Mark IV, I like to define my focus points in the viewfinder and nudge using the joystick. The Touch & Drag AF function allowed me to move the spots around on the touchscreen while looking through the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). I was able to make adjustments quickly using this intuitive feature.

Rotating Touchscreen

I believe the official name for the 3.2″ screen was the “fully articulating touchscreen”. Sounded pretty fancy, and it meant the screen could swivel out towards the left of the camera and rotate. It was such a blessing being able to frame and focus my shots at higher, lower, or even side angles.

I really wish the screen could change angles while it was over the main body. Once it was swiveled out towards the left side, I found it difficult to use my right hand to tap for focus. As a right-handed person, I was balancing the camera on my left hand. It took me a few tries to get used to it, but it seemed that it was a matter of habit.

Controls and Ergonomics

Overall, the EOS R5 felt nice in my hands, and intuitive to pick up as a 5D Mark IV user. The camera was a bit smaller, but still I was generally able to find my controls in similar positions as what I was used to. For example, I enjoyed having the joystick within reach of my thumb. Although the playback and erase buttons were now to the right side of the back of the camera body, I could still easily find them.

One main confusion I found was the video recording button, now at the top of the camera. Its location was close to the old control buttons for functions such as White Balance, Drive, ISO, so I frequently would accidentally start a video while meaning to make other adjustments. I wonder if other users found a similar confusion.


I thoroughly enjoyed using the camera, and in fact, I was surprisingly impressed with its overall ease of use! Looking forward to take another spin with the camera, especially in my studio. It would be great to further test how the camera could fit my workflow as a professional photographer.

Thank you to Canon for letting me try out the camera! Below are some shots taken during my few days hands on with Canon EOS R5. Take a look, and check out more individual stories and specifications behind each shot on my Instagram.

Waves at Sai Wan Swimming Shed • Testing Canon EOS R5 mirrorless
Sunset Silhouette • moody portraits • Canon EOS R5
City Layers • North Point, Hong Kong • urban photography
15mm wide shot, Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L lens • Tracy Wong
In the shadows • Shot on Canon EOS R5
Tracy Wong at workshop ten • self portrait with Canon EOS R5
Lifestyle portraiture • Tested on Canon EOS R5
Sai Kung harbor, Hong Kong • Hands on Canon EOS R5
Lone fisher • Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L lens with EOS R5 camera

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