R5 Update Helps with Heat (A Bit), No Joy for Time Lapsers

Aug 27, 2020 | Bodies, Canon, News, Software

Canon released 1.1.0 firmware for the R5, and Gordon Laing of CameraLabs was given a one-day head start in trying it out. His quick rundown shows only three changes:

  1. Improved image stabilization coordination between the in-body variety and the lens’s own stabilizer )which we don’t think technically counts as a firmware upgrade if the lens isn’t out yet).
  2. You can now enable the heat control bits while recording externally. Of course, many of us are recording externally precisely to get around the heat control bits. Perhaps this suggests there’s a greater risk to the hardware for doing so.
  3. The new firmware reduces the time intervals between thermometer checks, which could help the camera recognize a cooler camera faster, and theoretically allow for more recording sooner, provided those thermometers were showing good news. In fact, as shown below, tests showed this to be so.

The Canon release notes show a few more:

  • Fixes a mis-display of the “Slow Synchro” setting
  • Nixed a Korean typo in a screen menu when set to that language
  • Improved FTP connectivity
  • Fixed an issue with “card access time” with some CF Express cards

Alas, the fix for the broken intervalometer is missing, and it gives no mention of fixing the occasional random freeze. For our R5 portal of these and other issues, keep tabs on this index page.

We installed the new software on one of our units and went straight to the intervalometer to see if a kind Canon software engineer had taken pity without informing the technical documentation people, but alas, 私たちは運が悪い.

Gordon interviewed a Canon employee who told him that there are three thermometers on the R5: one for the image sensor, one near the autofocus chip, and one by the ports to measure the outside air temperature. The software reportedly calculates when you should be allowed to start recording again based on those measurements and a function of time. This all checks out with the experiments that have been popularly spread around YouTube, but may show that some of the conclusions drawn from those experiments were a little hasty.

It seems that by having the firmware query the thermometers more frequently, the camera could mend its expected cooling curve more accurately over time, which would lengthen the period if the conditions grew hotter, or shorten it if the user was aiming a leaf blower into the open sensor.

Gordon was able to get 11 minutes of alternating 30-second clips with 30-seconds of cooling with the old firmware when shooting 8k All-I. With the new firmware, he was able to get 48 minutes of footage that way. However, the longer the clip length, the worse recovery time was for the next go-round. When he tried putting the camera (sealed) in the freezer, he was able to get as much time recording as he was freezing with very short clips, but the longer clips didn’t give this 1:1 ratio.

To say that the new firmware gave a more than four-times increase to recording capacity would technically be true, but not practical, as these would have to be done in 30-second clips. Although, that’s fine for most stills photographers, who tend to grab clips rather than sets. Likewise, to say that active cooling gives a 1:1 ratio of shoot time would be deceiving, as it too would require 1-minute clips to get that rato.

The firmware can be gotten here (The Aussies often get the goods first. If you want firmware that swirls around in the right direction, you might wait a day and download it on the US site here when they get around to posting it). Camnostic installed it on one body and left another body with the original 1.0 software for comparison testing, so stay tuned to this channel.

And it should be said that this fellow Gordon Laing does a lot of work with things like this to bring us great information. If you want to buy the guy a coffee, you can contribute here. Also, a shout-out to NewsShooter’s Matthew Allard for providing a link to the software itself.

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