Skip to main content

Canon EOS R5 overheating is fake? "These are artificial software limits," says report

Canon EOS R5 overheating is fake? "These are artificial software limits," says report
EOSHD's Temperature Status Monitor app (Image credit: EOSHD)

A scathing investigation claims that the overheating limitations on the Canon EOS R5 are "fake" – that they are not truly the result of the sensor overheating, but are instead "artificial software limits" imposed by the manufacturer to "lockdown" features of the camera. 

Moreover, these "'hidden' inhibitions" don't just affect the higher video modes – they can also lock out the higher end stills functions on the Canon EOS R5, too. 

• Head to head: Canon EOS R5 vs R6

The report comes from respected outlet EOSHD, which used the official Canon API – shared with developers, so that they can create legitimate apps for the camera – to develop a Temperature Status Monitor that would probe the actual heat readout of the R5 in real time. The app also features an intervalometer, to determine temperature increases in stills-only mode. 

"To the user, it appears that for every minute the camera is left switched on in the menus or in stills mode (with 8K or 4K HQ toggled in the video menu), the runtimes decrease even though you have not shot any video. Very disturbing behavior," notes the report.

"So the big problem from the user’s point of view is that they have paid 4 grand for a camera that after 30 mins in live-view mode and a few stills cannot do the approximately stated 20 mins of 8K or 30 mins 4K HQ at 23C ambient any more, even if it’s the first video take of the day.

Then at around 45 minutes into the day with the camera just in stills mode and taking a few snaps, or operating the menus, we arrive at a complete lock out of the high quality video modes. Officially Canon say this is due to excessive heat buildup. But is it? Indoors, during the evening we conducted the test as follows:

1. We observed 30 Celsius (86F) with the camera switched on from cold for the first time indoors (ambient temp 27C)

2. We observed 46 Celsius after 5 minutes in stills mode, with no video recorded and one photo.

3. We set the intervalometer to take one still every 5 minutes (JPEG)

4. The temperature remained at a very steady 46C, however after 30 minutes the 'Video Restricted' status activated in stills mode, with no video recorded whatsoever, and the internal camera temps still at 46C."

Troublingly, the app revealed a number of inhibitors implying that 'overheating'-imposed lockouts can also apply to stills functionality (namely high-speed frames-per-second shooting). 

EOSHD's app for the Canon EOS R5 reveals the "artificial software limits" that lockout the camera (Image credit: EOSHD)

"The recovery timer for video mode, is even more fishy," adds the report. "After switching on from a cold start and being left for a couple of minutes, at 46C, I recorded 8K for 15 mins and the camera temperature only increased to 62C which is very comfortable for pretty much any kind of electronics.

"Immediately after, the camera shut down and locked me out of 8K mode, but the EXIF data was reporting that the camera had cooled down almost immediately within seconds back to the mid 40s… The exact temperature in fact, that we started at before rolling 15 minutes of 8K. If you leave a plate of fries on your dinner table for 20 minutes, do you expect it to be still piping hot? 

"Thus it is similar with electronics. Indeed, metal parts cool down even quicker. Yet despite being back at the base temp, the timer was still locking us out of further 8K recording and even shut the camera down completely when I switched over into video mode, saying 'Overheated! Shutting Down!' The temperature? Still only 46C.

"So after waiting ANOTHER 10 minutes to let the camera cool further, the EXIF data reported near-to ambient room temperature inside the camera but the 8K record time limit had barely crept up past 2 minutes! What’s more, the Video Restricted status refused to toggle off altogether and only very slowly and artificially was it much later flagged off.

"The camera temperature remained stable in the 40’s throughout stills mode operation, but in this situation the camera timer doesn’t recover whatsoever. So the camera timer basically makes you believe it is cooking itself in stills mode at just 46C when it isn’t."

The Canon EOS R6 bears a warning message on the exterior, but does the interior really got hot enough to shut down?

In all it paints a fairly damning picture of the Canon EOS R5's inner workings – particularly with the revelation (also revealed in a teardown of the camera) that the sensor doesn't even feature a heatsink, which would be an obvious measure to reduce overheating. 

"As it stands, I believe them to be lying to their customers," concludes the EOSHD report. "My conclusion is that these are artificial software limits. The overheating problem after a few minutes of 8K does not exist and nor does it at 46C. That the processor doesn’t even have a thermal pad or conductivity internally to ensure longevity and reliability, is another 'smoking gun'. I find this deeply unethical."

We already know that a Canon EOS R5 firmware update is on the way with "increased record time limits". If these limitations are indeed arbitrary rather than temperature-dependent (it seems likely that Canon's engineers simply erred on the side of caution, rather than allow people to ignite their cameras by exploiting a lack of overheating protection), then the R5's biggest sore point could be easily fixed.

Read more: 

Canon EOS R5 review
Hands on: Canon EOS R6 review
The best Canon camera: Canon's DSLR, mirrorless and compact cameras

  • rathi
    "The report comes from respected outlet EOSHD"
    You make it sound like it was an independent scientific study.
  • adambaker82
    lol I actually read that article and posted a response playing "Devils Advocate" on the "reporting". What happened next was shocking. I WAS BANNED FROM EOSHD for disagreeing w his article. Apparently Andrew Reid dont believe in freedom of speech and wants a forum (that he plays god) where everyone kisses where the sun dont shine. I heard stories of Andrew Reid getting sued by Red camera in past and If I was Canon USA I would consider action as well. He states at beginning as he's independent and bought a R5 for testing but by end of article he's ranting and clearly biased and upset his camera dont shoot unlimited 8k. Software limitations are put in place to protect hardware. If not the camera would malfunction or catch on fire. Now sure Canon could rewrite the logic code for someone who shoots photos every 5 mins for an hr then 8k video won't work. But when u shoot 8k or 4k he video after 20mins its gonna overheat. Period. And its bad information and getting ppls hopes up to suggest Canon is maliciously making cameras bad. Possibly even slanderous. The c500ii cine line costs $16k and dont even do 8k.. 8k is Not easy to do. Its alot of data. Alot if heat.. and for $4k ppl should be happy they get 20mins. If they want more buy an 8k cine camera. RED has one for $50k.. ursa 12k is $11k.. Now do I feel bad for canon users investing $4k to have issues. Sure and im sure canon will correct these issues via firmware but this notion that there is no overheating problem on the R5 is nonsense. Furthermore the tests done prove nothing about overheating issue. The issue is bad in 8k and 4k hq.. do a test on that. Not taking photos for 1 hr. Yea canon will re write logic so that dont happen im sure but there is still a major heat issue in 8k video from hardware.. software used to ensure camera dont fail. Ofc I said all this on Eos Hd playing devils advocate and Got Banned. What a joke..
  • canon5dsquared
    First they offer full transparency as to the overheating possibilities with a chart and everything, second they update the firmware to increase the times listed on the charts. It seems Canon is doing right by their customers in letting them know the cameras limitations before they got it into the hands of their customers.

    The internal temperature of the R5 when recording 8K hits above 140F. Now, I am not sure who said that's not overheating, but they're definitely wrong. Running a camera that hot without a fan will certainly cause long term damage.

    It seems full frame mirrorless cameras, no matter the brand, have these issues. Sony is more than four cameras deep (Canon has the R, RP, R5, R6) into the mirrorless market and still having these issues. Maybe we shouldn't be ripping batteries out of cameras, putting cameras into the fridge, and making weird memes about other photographers.

    Instead let's just not purchase these new cameras with these flaws if the flaws aren't something we can work around.