Canon’s R5 get a lot of grief for its heat limitations when recording in the high-throughput modes, such as its 8K shooting formats. Those shooting 4K HQ have had the option of buying an Atomos Ninja V external recorder, which allows recording limited only by your storage media, but those wishing to shoot 8K (because they can?) didn’t have an external solution until the just released Ninja V+. But now comes Tilta with a cleverly-designed heat sink and fan combo that will swing into the small cavity left when you open up the tilty monitor. That sink will then draw heat out of the back of the camera.
It’s not perfect. Canon designed the cameras internals in a way that strands the greatest heat in the middle of the guts of the camera, without heat tape or other conduits to push it out to the exterior. But, generally, the thing works. Camnostic got one of the first copies of the fan and put it through its paces on an R5 over the weekend, comparing it with a second, naked R5.
The upshot: at room temperature, it will increase the time you can shoot 8K to 57 minutes from 35 minutes. Not bad for a device that costs $165. A Ninja V will set you back $700, and the “+” version is more than twice that cost.
Above, the fanless R5’s heat rises quickly, shutting the body down at 35 minutes. The Tilta-equipped sister body kept going to minute 57.
The fan runs on a USB battery supply (not included). Hinges that connect to an arca plate allow it to fold away when not in use, letting the screen close again, and then letting the fan fold back up to press against the back of the screen.
The fan comes with two levels, presumably to reduce noise if desired. It’s not loud enough to interfere with lav mics on talent, but if you were thinking of using the camera’s internal mics, yeah, it would be quite loud.
One perhaps unavoidable problem found when testing was the fact that if you wanted to put your eye up to the viewfinder, the airflow from the fan shoots up at your eyeball, quickly drying it out.
The cool-down period is accelerated for the Tilta-equipped body. Below, the graph shows external temperature measurements (top of hot shoe) over time after a forced heat shutdown. The externals of the body with the fan (blue) goes back down to a few degrees above room temperature in about 45 minutes, where the naked body was still north of 80 degrees F at that point.
One forum dweller, over on the excellent CanonRumors.com Discord server suggested that perhaps two R5 units could alternate in perpetuity, shooting and cooling, if they were equipped with the new fans. Accepting the challenge, we ran through a few of these cycles, but discovered the flaw in our optimism. Our heat measurements are taken as external temperatures, and those look pretty close to completely recovered after a spell. But, as it happens, there’s residual heat inside the camera, and that causes an R5 cooled all the way down externally to within a degree of room temperature to still only be able to shoot 28 minutes, rather than a second round of 57 minutes. If you wish to shoot 8K non-stop, you’ll need to look at the Ninja V+.
There aren’t a great many people yet gunning to shoot long-form 8K, but for those who do, the Tilta Cooling System Black is the simplest, smallest, and definitely the cheapest option for extending the R5’s capacity. It is a great deal less to tote around than the Ninja V+ $1,500 external recorder and all its batteries, cables, etc. But if you are looking to endlessly record 4K HQ or one of the other high-throughput formats, the older Ninja V at $600 may well work better than the Tilta fan, as it won’t stop for heat, removes the 30 minute file limit, and it provides a great amount of other processing features a simple fan cannot.