Canon EOS R5 Mark II delayed – and 'replaced' with firmware update

Canon EOS R5
(Image credit: Canon)

Has a 2023 release for a Canon EOS R5 Mark II been effectively replaced by a substantial firmware update for the current model?

Rumors have been coming in for quite some time that the manufacturer is readying the Canon EOS R5's successor for a late 2023 release date. New information, however, suggests that this release might well have been pushed back into 2024, with the new camera expected to be announced closer to the much-delayed Canon EOS R1.

• The R5 is one of the best 8K cameras – perfect for delivering the ultimate video image quality

In the meantime – according to according to Canon Rumors – it hopes to keep the EOS R5 fresh in the minds of potential buyers, as well as satisfy existing users of the costly 8K camera by offering a substantial firmware update, bringing a lot of the features from newer Canon cameras to the current R5.

The Canon EOS R5 is the workhorse camera for the widest range of professional photography, with a 45MP sensor, Dual Pixel autofocus with subject tracking, and 8K video recording. However, newer cameras in Canon's range such as the Canon EOS R6 Mark II actually offer significant features that the pricier EOS R5 misses out on, such as more subjects for autofocus recognition and tracking.

With this proposed firmware update, the EOS R5 looks set to receive the latest algorithms for subject recognition, including additional animal recognition, such as horse-shaped animals (horses, donkeys, zebras), as well as better identification of animals' heads and eyes. Vehicle tracking autofocus has also been improved, offering improved tracking for bikes, trains, and planes.

The EOS R5 may also receive the pre-shooting buffer from other Canon cameras, which actually begins shooting a burst sequence half a second before you press the shutter, saving us from our slow human reaction speed.

And finally, for video, the R5 should receive the latest in lens breathing correction, which most Canon cameras are now capable of. The 30-minute recording limit for video might also be removed, with better heat management on a system level.

There is no word on if the Canon EOS R5 C will be included in the update, but we would expect Canon not to leave it out. When this update might come is still unconfirmed, but Canon Rumors suggests that it may well be announced at the NAB 2023 expo in April.

For more on the latest from Canon, you can check out our Canon rumors hub. You can also find out more in our guides to the best Canon cameras and the best Canon lenses.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.