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Touchy subject: Canon abandons touch bar on Canon EOS R5

Touchy subject: Canon abandons touch bar on Canon EOS R5
(Image credit: DC Watch)

UPDATE: Check out our hands-on Canon EOS R5 review (opens in new tab) for our first impressions of the remarkable new 8K, 45MP body. We've also got a Canon EOS R5 vs R6 (opens in new tab) head to head, which compares the specs between the R5 and the new Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab).

ORIGINAL STORY 03 MAR 2020: The first images of the rear of the Canon EOS R5 have appeared online and reveal a number of design differences from the base Canon EOS R – namely the abandoning of the M-Fn touchbar.

The Canon EOS R5 will instead feature a traditional joystick – and not the Smart Controller of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab), which we'd hoped for – in addition to a familiar AF-ON button.

Among the many divisive opinions of the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) upon its release, the M-Fn bar was reviled by most users who would much rather have seen a traditional joystick – and all credit to Canon for listening to the feedback. Indeed, in all subsequent revisions of the body (the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS Ra (opens in new tab)) the input was unceremoniously dumped.

In the newly revealed images of the R5, shared by Japanese outlet DC Watch (opens in new tab), we see that the critics got their wish. In fact, the entire rear of the camera has been completely redesigned; the streamlined 8-button approach to the EOS R has given way to a more traditional 11-button configuration much more akin to Canon's DSLR design, right down to the reinstated scroll wheel (replacing the circular D-pad).

There are plenty more changes, from the protruding DSLR-like viewfinder on the back to the additional function button and covered port on the front.

The Canon EOS R5 (top) abandons the M-Fn touchbar of the Canon EOS R (below), among other changes

The Canon EOS R5 (top) abandons the M-Fn touchbar of the Canon EOS R (below), among other changes (Image credit: DC Watch)

"The shape of the [power] switch has been changed," reports the website (via machine translation). "The depression from the back is deeper than the EOS R, and it is arranged a little deeper. The shape of the eyecup, which has never been seen before, is a shape reminiscent of a soft touch at the time of eye contact.

"The layout of select buttons in the AF area has also been changed… [on the front] it can be seen that a cover that can be opened and closed is provided below the lens attach / detach button. Is it like the remote control terminal of the EOS 5D Mark IV?"

It's also notable that the body of the EOS R5 is chunkier than that of the EOS R, no doubt to accommodate the in-body image stabilization system. However, the grip also appears to be deeper and has a memory card door – does this mean that the R5 supports one or more CFexpress cards, like the 1D X Mark III?

We look forward to getting our first look at the Canon EOS R5 at The Photography Show (opens in new tab), where the camera will make its first public appearance in Europe from 14-17 March at the NEC in Birmingham. 

Read more: 

Canon EOS R5 to make public debut at The Photography Show! (opens in new tab)
Canon goes 8K! New Canon EOS R5 has 8K video, IBIS, 20fps + dual card slots (opens in new tab)
Canon EOS R5 to launch before July? (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.