Most regular consumers haven’t even received their Canon EOS R5 pre-order yet, but the company has already released a major firmware update for the camera. And while Canon doesn’t actually SAY it in the documentation, this update does improve both the base overheating and the recovery times.
First things first, Canon barely even mentions temperature performance in the change log for Firmware 1.1. Near the bottom of the log, they mention that “temperature detection and shooting control” have been improved, and that total shooting time is better “when the short-time recording and power-on/off are performed repeatedly.”
You can read the full change log below:
- Useful messaging is now displayed when [HDMI display: Camera+External monitor] and [Overheat control: on] settings are enabled.
- When using certain RF lenses for movie shooting, the in-lens image stabilization mechanism has been improved.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the “Slow Synchro” setting screen is not accurately displayed, when the language is set to English.
- Fixes a typo displayed on the communication setting screen, when the language is set to Korean.
- Connectivity during FTP transmission has been improved.
- Fixes a phenomenon, in which the card access time may take longer, when using certain CFexpress cards.
- Temperature detection and shooting time control in video shooting have been improved. In addition, the total shooting time when the short-time recording and power-on/off are performed repeatedly at room temperature is improved.
- The phenomenon in which the movie recording time available is not correctly displayed when the Date/Time/Zone is not set has been corrected.
However, it does seem that the overheating brouhaha was the main reason this firmware was released so soon. So… how does this update affect real world performance? Both Jordan Drake at DPReviewTV and Gordon Laing at Camera Labs have tested the new firmware, and report their findings below:
There has been a lot of speculation and some very interesting test results lately that seem to indicate the R5 is hampered by a timer that has nothing to do with internal temperature, but Canon indirectly denied this when they talked to Laing.
According to Canon, the EOS R5 uses three temp sensors—two internal, and one external; Firmware 1.1 forces the camera to check these sensors more frequently, and puts more weight on the ambient temperature sensor to improve cool down times under ideal conditions. This may not have a huge impact on single long clips, says Laing, but it should help with both recovery time and with shooting multiple shorter clips (which is how most people shoot anyway).
You can see what sort of real-world difference this had by watching the videos above, but both Laing and Drake saw improvements in both overall recording time and recovery time in both 8K and 4KHQ. You can see recording and recovery time comparisons for 8K in the screenshots from DPR’s testing below:
This update and the real-world performance findings above probably won’t put to rest the overheating debate. As the reviewers point out, shooting photos or even just having the camera turned on still chews through your available record time, and the improvement for long sustained shooting (e.g. interviews) is only mild.
However, the firmware does seem to noticeably improve the camera’s performance in real-world shooting scenarios, where you’re much more likely to be shooting several short clips. And it’s also interesting to hear Canon push back on claims that they’re not even using the temperature data to reset or control the overheating timers.