[Update: This story has been superseded by a more comprehensive review of power options for the Canon R5 and R6 that can be found here.]
Canon’s two new mirrorless offerings appear to have a higher and more strict voltage requirement to turn on. This means that a marginal battery, and some external power options may fail to work. Some third party batteries may appear fine at first, but fail to make those minimum requirements when they are partially discharged. Camnostic writers witnessed one such external power pack fail for both the R5 and R6 cameras.
Once started, the cameras burn power at a surprisingly high rate when sleeping and attached to an external battery. When “Eco” mode is brought online, this increased power draw lowers by a factor of about four. When running off of a 98 watt-hour battery, both the R5 and R6 showed about a 36 hour battery life when sitting almost entirely in sleep mode, waking up every half hour to take a single burst of photos. In eco mode, that extended to six full days.
The Canon manual mentions some power saving elements associated with eco mode, but it remains silent on power draw during sleep. This is a critical capacity particularly for people using remote cameras for sports and – especially – wildlife.
Photographers looking to put a remote camera trap out in the woods will find an R5 or R6 will last roughly 5 nights at temperatures close to freezing, using a typical 98 what-hour D-Tap battery with an LP-e6 dummy battery interface. Both camera models were using firmware 1.1.1.
The Canon RP performed similarly to the R6, but managed only about two thirds the same duration on battery power. Test conditions assumed a waking up of the camera every 30 minutes to take 1 second of shots, and had the cameras set to “eco” mode in the case of the R5 and R6.