Worth The Upgrade | Canon EOS R5 and R6 Full Frame Mirrorless Underwater [VIDEO]

Worth The Upgrade | Canon EOS R5 and R6 Full Frame Mirrorless Underwater [VIDEO]

Worth The Upgrade | Canon EOS R5 and R6 Full Frame Mirrorless Underwater [VIDEO]

 

Find out why Canon R5 and R6 cameras are the best value proposition for full frame mirrorless cameras underwater. These cameras are no-brainers for Canon EOS 5D Mark IV shooters upgrading to mirrorless, underwater portrait photographers, and anyone looking for a great combination of ergonomics and image quality.

Canon EOS R5 Specifications

  • 45 megapixel sensor
  • Burst shooting up to 20 fps
  • Up to 8 stops of image stabilization
  • ISO range 100-51200
  • Flash sync speed 1/200
  • Dual Pixel AF II system with 100% coverage
  • 1053 autofocus points
  • Human and animal tracking with Deep Learning
  • Electronic viewfinder with 0.76x magnification and 100% coverage

Canon EOS R6 Specifications

  • 20 megapixel sensor
  • Burst shooting up to 20 fps
  • Up to 8 stops of image stabilization
  • ISO range 100-51200
  • Flash sync speed 1/200
  • Dual Pixel AF II system with 100% coverage
  • 1053 autofocus points
  • Human and animal tracking with Deep Learning
  • Electronic viewfinder with 0.76x magnification and 100% coverage

The Canon R5 and R6 cameras are particularly well suited for underwater shooters, whether their focus is stills, video, or both. 

Canon EOS R5 Ikelite Underwater Housing Copyright Nirupam Nigam

The Canon R5 works well with both Canon EF 100mm Macro and the new Canon RF 100mm Macro. The housing's lens release control allows you to easily attach either RF-mount lenses or EF-mount lenses with adapter. • ISO 100 • f/9 • 1/160 • Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro  • Photo © 2020 Nirupam Nigam, Underwater Photography Guide

Image and Video Quality

Canon may be known for complicated menus, but their control ergonomics are super streamlined. This makes Canon R5 and R6 cameras easier to use inside of a housing than the Nikon Z9 or Sony Alpha series.

Image and video resolution of the R5 rivals the Sony a1 camera at almost half the price. When R5 or R6 cameras are combined wiht Canon IS lenses, the image stabilization is significantly better than Sony's flagship model.

Up to 8 stops of image stabilization makes up for the natural motions of a diver underwater, resulting in super-smooth video and exceptionally crisp still images.

David Fleetham Orange

The Sigma 70mm Art lens is a very affordable and versatile option for macro with Canon full frame mirrorless cameras. It can be used behind either the Compact 8" Dome or our Large Diameter 5" Flat Port. • Photo © 2022 David Fleetham

Focusing

1053 autofocus points spread across the frame make it easier for the camera to focus on a subject. This is especially useful when your subject is moving around the frame.

"The latest iteration of Canon's EOS iTR AFX system, built on deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI), enables the latest cameras including the Canon EOS R3, EOS R5, and EOS R6 to recognise and track subjects with new levels of accuracy. The technology grows out of years of development." - Canon Europe

Tracking autofocus with animal eye recognition is a game changer underwater. Everything is moving - including the photographer. With the R5 and R6 we don't have to worry about chasing focus, giving us increased freedom in exposure adjustment and composition.

If you're coming from a DSLR camera, image review directly inside the camera's viewfinder will be a welcome adjustment. Canon's electronic viewfinder (EVF) is big, bright, and makes it easy to read exposure information while shooting. The display is customizable to show what you need to know.

Garibaldi cropped from Canon EOS R5 copyright Gary Burns

If you're coming from an older camera, you'll find that 45 megapixels is an awful lot to play with. The Canon EF 17-40mm lens at 22mm cropped to 2400 x 1600 pixels still produces stunningly sharp results of this garibaldi fish. • ISO 100 • f/8 • 1/160 • Copyright © 2022 Gary Burns 

Underwater Housing 

The Ikelite housing is designed in a modular way to meet the needs of the creator, regardless of their underwater environment.

Shooting through water confuses a camera's exposure system. Quick access to aperture shutter speed and ISO is critical. The housing provides full creative controls and puts the most important functions at your fingertips.

When treated with care your housing will easily outlast your camera. In the unlikely event of an accident underwater, there is no substitute for being able to see your camera water intrusion is visible in the form of fogging or droplets long before a leak sensor could detect it seeing where water is coming in helps you to save your camera and lens.

Lens Ports

With aluminum components and glass domes, an underwater photographer is packing over half their weight in ports with no discernible optical advantage. Our series of ultra light large diameter acrylic domes and glass flat ports provide the sharpest images possible at a tremendous cost savings over the lifetime of the system.

Canon R5 Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing Gary Burns

The Compact 8" Dome is a great option to streamline your rig without sacrificing image quality for use with wide angle zoom and macro lenses. Photo © 2022 Gary Burns

Strobes

Beyond 10 feet or 3 meters deep, external strobes are essential to achieving color depth and clarity in your images without enough light there will be no color data to bring back in post-production. The best moments underwater are fleeting and you typically don't get a chance to set up on a shop more than once. The DS Link TTL Converter connects strobe exposure data to your camera using pre-flash signals to measure distance to your subject and adjust strobe power in real time.

Conclusion

Underwater photography can quickly drain your bank account. The Canon R5 and R6 cameras represent the epitome of what we strive for in an underwater system: image quality and ergonomics. They also just happen to make the best value proposition in the full-frame mirrorless market.

 

71764 200DL Underwater Housing for Canon R5

71766 200DL Underwater Housing for Canon R6

73764 50DL Underwater Housing for Canon R5

 

Additional Reading

Diving Catalina Island with the Canon R5 and R6 [VIDEO]

Was it Worth Is? Gary Burns on Upgrading to the Canon R5 [VIDEO]

A More Affordable Macro Lens | Sigma 70mm Art and the Canon R5

Underwater with the Canon RF 100mm Macro Lens and EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 Underwater Photos and Review