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Canon EOS R5 vs R6 (2021): Comparing Canon’s 2nd-Gen Mirrorless Cameras

Updated on 20 July 2020: Canon might be late coming to the mirrorless camera party, but they’re making up for lost time quickly. Two new full-frame camera bodies were unveiled in 2020, marking Canon’s second-generation models for the mirrorless market. We’ve compiled the specs and features of the Canon EOS R5 and R6 so you can get a quick preview of these upcoming cameras.

Canon EOS R5 vs R6 Mirrorless Camera Comparison Chart

ModelCanon EOS R5Canon EOS R6
 Canon EOS R5
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CMOS Sensor45MP Full-frame20MP Full-frame
IBISYesYes
Mechanical Shutter12 fps12 fps
Electronic Shutter20 fps20 fps
Scroll WheelYesn/a
Liveview/Movie ToggleYesn/a
8K VideoYes, at 30 fpsNone
4K VideoUp to 120 fpsUp to 60 fps
Wi-FiBuilt-in 5GHzNone
Dual Card SlotsYesn/a
BatteryNewNew

Design

Both the Canon EOS R5 and R6 inherit the design of the Canon EOS R.

Canon eos r5 vs r6
A side by side look at the Canon EOS R5 (left) and R6 (right)

The designs of the Canon EOS R5 and R6 will largely follow after the Canon EOS R, which sports a magnesium alloy body with a matte finish. Unlike cameras from competitors, Canon’s mirrorless camera has much the same heft and bulk as its DSLR models. Fans will find the handgrip familiar, providing a steady handle no matter how you turn it about.

User interface and button layout will also likely be similar to Canon DSLRs, as the brand keeps it consistent throughout its products. Those looking to expand their EOS kits will no doubt welcome the new EOS R5 and R6 without difficulties. Of course, there are a few new controls introduced in the EOS R line such as the Touch Bar.

One change that might make current owners of the Canon EOS R scratch their heads or nod approvingly is that the Touch Bar will likely not return on these new models. The controversial feature may have proven to be too finicky for the majority and Canon is listening to feedback. Most cite that it was too sensitive and that it’s easy to muck up your settings by accident. A scroll wheel similar to the Canon EOS 70D’s Quick Control Dial took its place in the Canon EOS R5.

Features

The Canon EOS R5 has a higher megapixel count than the EOS R6.

Canon EOS R5 vs R6 Features
Most controls are similar to the Canon EOS R, though a few new additions look to improve the overall handling of the Canon EOS R5 and R6.

Canon is aiming its two new mirrorless cameras at different audiences and price points. The more powerful Canon EOS R5, which boasts a 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor, is poised to be an upgrade over the current Canon EOS R, which was introduced with an effective 30.3MP sensor. Meanwhile, the Canon EOS R6 is likely to be the most affordable of the Canon’s mirrorless line, as it will only offer a 20MP CMOS sensor.

What might throw off the pricing for the Canon EOS R6 is that both new cameras will finally feature in-body image stabilization or IBIS. It was sadly missing in the Canon EOS R but the Japanese manufacturer seems to have realized their mistake. With IBIS, users can take snapshots much more confidently as it will cut down shakiness without relying on lenses that have OIS.

Other features that are included in the Canon EOS R5 are a Liveview/Movie toggle that works just like in current EOS digital SLR cameras, as well as a built-in 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. Moreover, it will have dual card slots to provide more storage options. These are features missing in the EOS R6.

Performance

The Canon EOS R5 can record higher quality videos than the EOS R6.

Canon EOS R5 vs R6 Performance
The Canon EOS R5 outstrips the performance of the Canon EOS R (above).

One of the most exciting upgrades on Canon’s new mirrorless models is 8K video recording capabilities. The Canon EOS R5 is expected to be able to record 8K video at 30 frames per second and 4K video at 120 fps. This truly makes it stand out in the mirrorless camera market. In comparison, the Canon EOS R6 is only capable of 4K quality at 60 fps.

Canon’s initial mirrorless camera effort compared unfavorably against current favorites in terms of burst shooting speed. The Canon EOS R can capture images at 8 fps, which was just a tad slower than the 10 fps of the Sony Alpha A7 III and the 11 fps of the Nikon Z6. Now with the EOS R5 and R6, Canon aims to lunge ahead with its 12 fps mechanical and 20 fps electronic shutters.

A new battery with a larger capacity also powers these new cameras, though it will have the same overall shape as the one on the EOS 5D Mark IV.

Verdict

The Canon EOS R5 is definitely more powerful than the EOS R6.

It’s pretty clear that the higher-tier Canon EOS R5 edges out the EOS R6 in many departments. It offers a greater megapixel count as well as higher quality videos, built-in 5GHz WiFi, and an extra card slot. In contrast, the EOS R6 is the more budget-friendly option for mirrorless camera fans.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the difference between the Canon EOS R5 and R6?

The most notable difference between the Canon EOS R5 and R6 is their sensor resolution. The Canon R5 features a 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor that can shoot up to 8K videos at 30 fps while the Canon EOS R6 has a 20MP full-frame CMOS sensor and can shoot up to 4K videos at 60fps.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do the Canon EOS R5 and R6 have IBIS?

Yes, both Canon models feature In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) for smoother video quality. The Canon EOS R5 is the first Canon camera that features 5-axis IBIS.

๐Ÿ“Œ When was the Canon EOS R6 released?

The Canon EOS R6 mirrorless camera was officially unveiled in July 2020.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, the Canon EOS R5 or R6?

At a glance, the Canon EOS R5 is the more advanced camera that lets you shoot higher-resolution videos and images. However, whether its high-end features are what you need is another story. Some photographers find that the 20MP CMOS sensor of the EOS R6 is more than enough, so it depends on your projects.

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.