Wedding and portrait photographer Alex Barrera recently conducted a side-by-side comparison between the new 45MP Canon EOS R5 and the two-year-old 30MP Canon EOS R. Setting aside video performance, he wanted to see how these two camera stack up when it comes to pure image quality.
Barrera wanted to test three main things: overall image quality straight out of camera, dynamic range performance in a challenging backlit situation, and low light performance. For each of these broad scenarios, he enlisted his wife to help and they went out to capture portraits in a variety of locations and lighting conditions using the same lens on both cameras (the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM) and trying their best to capture the exact same frame.
Rather than steal Alex’ thunder or impose our opinion on the process, we’re just going to include the files below for you to peruse for yourself: first, SOOC JPEGs converted straight from RAW files; and second, edited versions that show how these files respond to manipulation in Lightroom.
SOOC JPEG Comparison
Here are all the side-by-side (or, rather, top-by-bottom) comparison of straight out of camera (SOOC) JPEGs that were exported as-is from the original raw files at 100% quality. For each duo the Canon EOS R is on top followed by the same photo captured with the same settings on the EOS R5 (click for full resolution):
Edited Photo Comparison
Once edited and exported at a lower resolution, it’s much harder to tell the difference. That may seem like an obvious point, but it’s important to note. If the R files fall apart under editing, or the R5 files handle adjustment better, this is where you should be able to see that.
As above, each set is Canon EOS R first followed by the same photo captured with the EOS R5 (click for full resolution):
There are lots of interesting things to point out about these images: from the surprising difference in white balance and exposure when shooting with the same exact settings, to the low-light performance and how far you can safely push the new R5 files in post. Then there’s the fact that the EOS R still holds up SO well, even when you put it up against the latest and greatest from Canon.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out the full comparison up top or download and explore the Raw files for yourself at this link.
There are lots of reasons why you might want to pony up the extra cash for the R5, even if you don’t shoot video. There’s the dual card slots, faster continuous shooting, extra resolution, and IBIS… just to name a few. But when it comes to pure image quality, the gap between these two cameras may not be as wide as you might imagine.
Image credits: All photos by Alex Barrera and used with permission.