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15 February 2022


You update your smartphone to benefit from new features and enhancements, and you can do the same with your Canon EOS camera.

Canon has announced a series of additional firmware updates for the Canon EOS R5EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III, introducing a range of new professional features, new controls and performance enhancements, in answer to requests from working photographers. The latest update also add a number of the Canon EOS R3's autofocus capabilities to these cameras.

It's a simple process to download the latest Canon firmware update – simply visit the support section of the Canon website, and select your product from the pop-up to get started.

"It's great to know that when you buy one of these cameras, you can trust Canon to keep pushing the products further and then give you these updates for free," says action sports photographer, filmmaker and Canon Ambassador Richard Walch.

Adventure sports photographer Martin Bissig is equally enthusiastic about the continued development: "It's really cool that Canon listens not only to us pros but to enthusiasts as well. It gives you a good feeling to know that the company is listening and continuing to add future-proof qualities to these cameras."

Here, we look at the latest firmware updates, while Richard, Martin and fellow Canon Ambassador Eddie Keogh put a selection of the features enabled by previous firmware updates to the test on some demanding shoots.

New in EOS R5 and EOS R6 firmware update: Enhanced autofocus with vehicle tracking
The Canon EOS R3 is programmed to detect and track racing cars and motorcycles – an advanced function that's now also available for the EOS R5 and EOS R6, thanks to the latest firmware update. The enhanced recognition ensures rapid and reliable focusing on fast-moving vehicles, and it can even lock onto a driver's helmet when visible.

In addition to vehicle tracking AF, the latest EOS R5 and EOS R6 firmware update adds the EOS R3's improved Face/Eye Detection. The cameras now demonstrate even more assured autofocus when focusing on people whose faces are partially obscured by masks.
New in EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Enhanced head detection
The latest firmware update also introduces another of the Canon EOS R3's advanced autofocus features to the EOS-1D X Mark III. The people-tracking capabilities of the flagship EOS DSLR have been upgraded to improve the detection of someone's head when they're wearing goggles or helmets. This gives the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III the same level of precision as the EOS R3 when it comes to keeping winter sports athletes in sharp focus.
EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-ID X Mark III firmware update: Canon Log 3
With its 45MP stills and 8K video capabilities, the Canon EOS R5 is a formidable hybrid camera for professional photographers and filmmakers alike. Martin Bissig uses his EOS R5 to capture video footage alongside his stills work and welcomes two of the significant video enhancements introduced in a previous EOS R5 firmware update: Canon Log 3 and 120fps Full HD recording. "For the type of thing I shoot," he says, "the EOS R5's 8K RAW video is a bit overkill, but working with C-Log 3 gives me all the freedom I need."
C-Log 3 enables a wider dynamic range to be captured in-camera and provides more flexibility in post-production and final delivery. "Now that I'm working with the footage in post, I can really see the advantages," says Martin. "I was shooting skiers in the snow, so there was a combination of very bright snow and clothes, and very dark elements to deal with. It was a really difficult environment to shoot, but C-Log 3 meant I could get the most out of the footage."

Another advantage of being able to shoot in C-Log 3 is that it integrates into a pro workflow. "You can use the EOS R5 on a film set as a back-up or a crash cam and then combine the clips with C-Log 3 footage shot on Cinema EOS cameras or other movie cameras thanks to the EOS R5's ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) compatibility. It's probably one of the biggest advantages that you gain right now."
Thanks to a previous firmware update, the Canon EOS R6 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark III also benefit from Canon Log 3, making it even easier to achieve a consistent look in a multi-camera setup. The Canon EOS R3 comes with Canon Log 3 as standard. "Whether you are a one-man show using two different cameras or you're part of a bigger crew all shooting video with Canon cameras, you're able to get a really nice look throughout the whole production," says Richard Walch.

"And it makes sense to use different cameras, because maybe there's a situation where you need a really small and light body, for which the EOS R6 is perfect," he adds. "With a shot where you need more rigging and a longer battery life, then the EOS-1D X Mark III is the right camera. Canon Log 3 then brings them all together in one unified look."
EOS R5 firmware update: Full HD at 120p
Martin also took advantage of the Canon EOS R5's recently added 120p Full HD video recording option to capture skiers jumping over cliffs. Shooting at a high frame rate captures more information during action sequences, allowing them to be played back in slow motion.

"A lot of my work does not require 4K footage," Martin says. "Often, I need to send a file over the internet to a client, and we need to edit it pretty quickly – sometimes even in the field on a laptop. Now, with the option to shoot 120fps in Full HD, it's so much easier for me to do the data handling."
New in EOS R5 firmware update: Canon cinema and Dual Fisheye lens support
The Canon EOS R5 now supports Canon's CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S and CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS compact cine-servo lenses via the EF to EOS R Mount Adapter, making it even easier to achieve a cinematic look and integrate the camera in a professional production workflow. These combinations allow iris, zoom and focus to be controlled via the body as well as the optical IS system of the lens to work. Recording can be started and stopped via the rec button on the lens grip.

When attached to the EOS R5, the lenses can be operated from the camera body or remotely, using EOS Utility and the Canon Camera Connect app.

"For filmmakers, having access to these kinds of lenses really puts the EOS R5 even more into a space where you really can use it as your main camera or second unit camera rather than just a backup body," says Martin.

The latest EOS R5 firmware update also adds support for the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens. Canon's EOS VR SYSTEM – a compatible full-frame RF-mount camera, the RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, EOS VR Utility and the EOS VR Plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro – now makes it easier than ever for content creators to produce immersive 180° VR experiences.
EOS R5 firmware update: Save settings to card
Martin works with two Canon EOS R5 camera bodies, so the ability to save a snapshot of one camera's settings to the memory card and transfer this to the other camera saves valuable time. "One of the big advantages of the EOS R5 is that you can customise it to your needs," he says. "There are tons of options, which allows you to make the camera behave exactly the way you want it to. But the problem is that when you're working with two cameras, it's so slow to transfer all the settings manually from one camera to the next. Now it's not a big deal because it can all be done in one step.

"If you have to send your camera in to be serviced, say, or you need to rent an extra camera for a job, then it's really convenient to be able to save all your settings on a card and load them into another camera."

The Canon EOS R3 offers the same option to save the camera's settings to memory card as standard, without requiring a firmware update.
New in EOS R5 and EOS R6 firmware update: Streamlined Custom White Balance
The Canon EOS R3 introduced an additional method of setting a Custom White Balance, and this functionality has now been added to both the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6, via the latest firmware update.

The Custom White Balance option can now be accessed from the Quick menu, reducing the number of steps required and making it easier to follow in tricky situations such as when shooting underwater or in tight spaces.

The update also improves the smoothness of the EVF display on the EOS R5 and EOS R6. A new 'Suppress lower frame rate' option, introduced in the EOS R3, ensures that the frame rate of the EVF doesn't drop significantly in low light and prevents moving objects from appearing blurred.
EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Dual recording
Providing peace of mind on important filming assignments, all three cameras have gained the ability to create an instant in-camera backup by simultaneously recording video clips to both memory cards - a function that they share with the Canon EOS R3. Some video formats are not available for dual recording on the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III because of the amount of data to write to two cards.

"Usually, when I shoot stills, I always use the second card as a backup," Martin says. "To have this possibility now, even with 8K footage on the EOS R5 using the new low-bitrate IPB setting, it just gives you that additional layer of security that you know you have the footage on two cards."
EOS R5 firmware update: Atomos ProRes RAW support
ProRes RAW footage can be recorded externally to an Atomos Ninja recorder via an HDMI connection. The original Ninja V supports 5K crop ProRes RAW at 30P/24P, but the new Ninja V+ is able to support uncropped 8K ProRes RAW at up to 30p, as well as 5K crop at up to 60p.

"Even more, this puts the EOS R5 into a very professional environment when it comes to filming," says Martin. "I, and most of the professional filmmakers I know, shoot with an external recorder, and being able to capture RAW in this way is a huge step forward for the camera."
EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: CFexpress VPG400 card support
Designed for professionals and power users, CFexpress cards that comply with the VPG400 (Video Performance Guarantee) standard are able to deliver stable video recording at 400MB/sec. A fast, sustained write speed is essential to prevent the camera's buffer from being filled and recording being stopped mid-shoot. While some cards offer even faster maximum write speeds, there may be no guarantee of consistency during the recording. The Canon EOS R3 also comes with CFexpress 2.0 Type B VPG400 support, straight out of the box.

"If the camera is capable of writing more data but the bottleneck was the card, then it makes sense that VPG400 is being supported," says Martin.
EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Low-bitrate IPB and RAW movies
Smaller video file sizes can be an asset when you're working in remote areas, as Richard Walch often does. "Shooting an 8K movie with my EOS R5, for example, or a 4K movie with my EOS-1D X Mark III and trying to edit them on the fly is impossible for me, as it's too data heavy," he says.

"Many people don't really need this level of resolution. What they really need is to be able to move files around quickly. So that's why it makes a lot of sense that you can save a low-bitrate IPB movie, which gives you very small file sizes." Richard finds this feature particularly useful for sharing footage with the athletes he frequently photographs, as they often request video clips that they can put on social media.

Another scenario where the low-bitrate option can be helpful is when shooting an extended take, such as a long interview. "It means you can record a lot more footage onto a single card," Richard explains. "Of course, you might be wondering whether the quality is good enough. If the scene is recorded well, it will usually fit seamlessly into a longer film."

A low-bitrate RAW movie option is also available on the EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5. "Both of the low-bitrate options give you a quicker turnaround time and longer recording, so you can simply choose either RAW or IPB according to whatever fits your workflow better."
EOS R5 and EOS R6 firmware update: RF lens full-time manual support
If you're a Canon EF lens user, you might have enjoyed the ability to use full-time manual focusing when the camera is set to One Shot AF mode. firmware updates for the EOS R5 and EOS R6 add support for this feature with Servo AF with certain RF lenses.

"You can use it when you're shooting photos or videos," explains Richard. "It allows you to just grab the focusing ring of your lens and make an adjustment without having to turn the autofocus off. When the camera doesn't lock on, for whatever reason, you can immediately save your shot."
Richard made use of the feature during a night-time video shoot with skateboarders. "I was using the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, which is a perfect lens for manual focusing. The shallow depth of field it gives you makes it easy to see the focus changing, and it has a wide focusing ring that's really comfortable to use.

"The scene opened with the skateboard upside-down on the ground. I was focusing on a close-up of the trucks and wheels before panning up to show the rider sitting on the ground, chilling. Of course, at this point I wanted to pull focus onto his face. There are several ways to do it, including tapping the EOS R6's touchscreen, first on the wheels and then on the face, with the camera automatically adjusting the focus. But if you want to really be in control of the speed of a focus pull, you can let the camera focus on the wheels using Servo AF, then grab the focus ring and turn it to focus on the face."
EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5 firmware update: FTP Transfer Status Display
For professional sports and news photographers, time is money – in more ways than one. It's not just the split-second timing required to capture the decisive moment in a game or event that affects the bottom line, but also the race to get images to clients as soon as possible.

The FTP Transfer Status Display update for the EOS-1D X Mark III is designed to make this process easier to manage. It shows a timer on the rear display, so that you'll know exactly how long an image transfer is going to take.

"Everything we do is about trying to gain advantages to make the job quicker," explains sports pro Eddie Keogh. "We need to get our pictures to the clients as fast as we can. Social media is so big these days that everyone wants images immediately, so comms is key to the job."

Eddie says being able to track how long a picture will take to be delivered makes it easier for him to make decisions during a football match. "I can do a few tests before the game kicks off, so I'm able to plan what I'm going to do if the signal's not great in a certain spot.

"I'm lucky because I'm shooting the top of the game – international and Premier League football – and a lot of the grounds have better comms these days, with 5G and Wi-Fi. We even have ethernet cables by the side of the pitch now that we can plug into our cameras.

"But for all the photographers shooting at lower league and non-league grounds who still have to service social media, being able to get an idea of how long a transfer is going to take is so important."

The latest firmware update for the EOS-1D X Mark III also brings a number of additional FTP control enhancements, including improvements to the default power saving function and passive mode settings. The Multi-controller has also been disabled for FTP transfer in order to prevent accidental operation – a function that has also been extended to the EOS R5 and EOS R6 via their latest firmware updates.
EOS-1D X Mark III firmware update: Protect Image Transfer
A related feature that's been enabled for the EOS-1D X Mark III is Protect Image Transfer. This time-saving function allows photos that have been protected in-camera to be automatically transferred in one go, and it's a function that the EOS-1D X Mark III shares with the EOS R3.

"It's a handy tool," says Eddie. "It means that, as I'm going through a game, I can quickly look on the back of the camera, protect five or six pictures, then go into image transfer and choose to automatically send all those tagged images rather than sending them individually. If there's an injury and someone's down on the ground for a minute or two, that would be a good time to quickly flick through and protect a few images and maybe get them going.

"It's a really nice addition that will appeal to lots of photographers. If a fashion photographer is working for social media and they need to get a few pictures away, for example, they'll be able to have the client looking over their shoulder at the screen, and quickly tag the images that the client likes.

"It's add-ons like this which show that Canon wants to make the camera more user-friendly and to cater for all the different types of photographers that are out there."