The Canon EOS R5 remains at the top of the list for being one of the most versatile bodies on the market. It does for mirrorless what the initial Canon 5DII did for DSLR. It’s excellent for everything. The R5 has some of the best autofocus performance and tracking available at this price point. Editor-in-chief Chris Gampat gave it our Editor’s Choice Award.
The recent firmware updates from February and March 2022 have added vehicle tracking. Canon’s newest update, firmware version 1.5.2, improves eye detection and vehicle tracking for even snappier performance. As a disenfranchised Canon shooter, even I was impressed.
Canon EOS R5 Review Update
I added the following to our Canon EOS R5 Review, along with additional sample images:
The Canon R5 continues to be one of our team’s most highly recommended cameras when it comes to versatility. The most recent 2022 firmware updates take what was already great and makes it even more competitive. Portrait photographers will appreciate the enhanced eye detection stability for improved performance. Automotive photographers will rejoice with the upgraded vehicle tracking.
We encountered very few instances of missed focus. Of those missed focus frames, most were user errors due to my timing being off. The Canon R5 excelled with wide tracking and close-up frames. The camera also tracked some racing cattle as the dirt bike entered the scene. Vehicle tracking performs best in less busy environments without distractions. Amp up the bokeh when other vehicles are in the scene for best results. It does require user timing to be spot on when the subject is in close proximity and fast approaching. Mastering your timing only takes a few practice runs to get the hang of it.
The latest firmware also optimizes autofocus accuracy for the RF 800mm f5.6 and RF 1200mm f8 when using an RF 1.4x or RF2x extender. At the time of this update, we did not have that particular gear to test.
I tested the Canon R5 with a 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 lens, 24-105mm f4 lens, and 50mm f1.2 lens. We did not have the RF extenders or the 800mm and 1200mm lenses to test. Bryan and I spent a few mornings at the race grounds in variable conditions. Our first morning was incredibly dark and overcast. We only had ten minutes until the clouds opened up, and flooding rains ensued, causing unsafe riding conditions. The following day was bright and sunny to test in various lighting situations.
I tested the R5 with human detection selected and eye detection enabled in single shooting mode. The camera did not struggle to achieve focus as Bryan rapidly approached my frame.
Then I moved to vehicle tracking with eye detection enabled and switched to high continuous shooting mode. The R5 did a fantastic job tracking Bryan as he switchbacked across the lens.
We moved to a backlit location and had him gain speed as he approached me. The R5 did a fantastic job tracking Bryan at speeds of 40-50mph. There were even situations when Bryan hit 70mph, and the fast shutter speeds easily accommodated these conditions.
As you can see, dirt and flying rocks did not hinder the overall performance.
This is one of the few frames that missed when it was downpouring, and my timing was off. I also should have risked grain and opted for a faster shutter speed. The image is still usable. The only other time the R5 slightly stuttered was when Bryan entered a scene with other vehicles when I was panning.
Canon’s R5 was quick to track it upon the next frame.
The R5 quickly identified this fast-moving herd of cattle while tracking Bryan racing past them.
Improved Eye Detection
Portrait and Animal photographers will also appreciate the newest update with even better eye detection. Even the peskiest birds in a backlit tree with thick branches are no adversary for the R5. The camera continues to impress me with how fast it detects the subject’s eye and achieves focus
A Worthy Firmware Update
The Canon R5 2022 is now even better with these notable updates. One of the most highly-rated and versatile cameras continues to get better. The newest firmware update is worthwhile if you haven’t already updated. It may even be enough to entice users who are on the fence as to whether they should remain with (or jump ship to) Canon.