Camera Tinkerers & Tweakers Poke at R5, Mull Meaning

Aug 21, 2020 | Canon, News, R5

We are, so far, aware of three different types of camera experimentation going on with Canon R5 units around the world in attempts to figure out why it is that the camera shuts down video in some formats after relatively short sessions. We have a portal built to monitor this and other R5 issues here. Before moving on to the different types, it should be noted that there is a reliable solution to the problem already established: take the memory cards out of the camera, and record video in the high bitrate modes to an external video recorder, like the Atomos Ninja V. But for those wanting to dig into the particulars of exactly why the camera acts the way it does, here are the three lines of hand-wringing inquiry:

Some folks in China opened up the camera and monitored temperatures while running it. Numerous YouTubers ran multiple tests to try to determine causal links. Others are trying out hacks that might trick the camera into thinking it doesn’t have a problem.

One such hack, shown below, involves tricking the camera into believing it is operational, when the battery is actually popped out (by using tape to trick the battery door sensor), allowing for a glitch in recording the most recent heat warning – or perhaps vacating some actual sensor data. It’s clear from the video that the fellow doing the experiment doesn’t know what is happening, but is happily reporting on the results.

All of this experimentation is rapidly filling in knowledge, but hardened opinions about what it means are likely premature. It isn’t clear that a conclusion can be drawn that Canon is just nerfing the camera to protect a more expensive video line that is coming out versus just taking some shortcuts in using runtime lengths as a proxy for likely heat build-up. If it’s the first, then these sorts of hacks should be harmless to the camera, and potentially useful. If it’s the latter, then there could be real damage to a component.

The cheap solution to this is purchasing an external recorder, which has a great number of other benefits for video shooters.

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