FILMMAKING

The best Canon cameras for shooting video

From the full-featured EOS R5 C to the compact EOS M50 Mark II, Canon experts and filmmakers explore the best mirrorless cameras for video.
A man sat on the edge of a boat filming with a Canon EOS R5 C camera.

With its 8K recording capabilities, unlimited record times and compact design, the hybrid Canon EOS R5 C is one of a range of Canon cameras selected by professional filmmakers and Canon experts as being the best for shooting video.

Which are the best Canon cameras for video? Shooting video used to require a dedicated cine camera, but all the models in the current Canon EOS and PowerShot ranges can now shoot high-quality movies as well as top-notch stills. Consequently, more photographers are discovering how easy it is to enhance their storytelling with great video, while videographers are finding new ways to shoot more creative footage with mirrorless and compact cameras as B-cams.

Here we look at the best Canon cameras to use for shooting different types of video, calling on the expertise of Mike Burnhill and Aron Randhawa, product specialists at Canon Europe, as well as the experiences of Canon shooters.

"There is a lot to think about when you're selecting a camera, but the first consideration should be how you intend to use the video," says Mike. "For instance, the 8K capabilities of the Canon EOS R5 C and EOS R5 may grab your attention, but it's important to remember that this will affect your file storage and computer processing requirements. In fact, if you're only planning to produce short video clips for social media, 4K video may be more than enough. However, shooting in high resolution brings scope for cropping down to Full HD to create alternative framing in processing, which means you only need to shoot everything once.

"If you're an experienced videographer, the ability to shoot in Canon Log is also very appealing because it produces files that are perfect for post-capture grading and can be matched in with clips from other cameras, including the Cinema EOS range," Mike continues. "But if you're just getting started, or you need to work quickly, you may be more interested in what the camera produces with an in-camera Picture Style."

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With these points in mind, here are the best Canon cameras for video, whether you're a stills photographer looking to branch out into moving images, a filmmaker or videographer looking for a second camera, or new to shooting films.

A man sitting on the edge of a boat filming with a Canon EOS R5 C camera.

The Canon EOS R5 C has the same 8K sensor as the EOS R5, but includes a host of additional features for filmmakers. "You can shoot 8K 30p internally (60p with an external power supply), plus you have a wealth of recording formats such as the robust XF-AVC format, and three new flavours of 12-bit Cinema RAW Light :LT (Light), ST (Standard) and HQ (High Quality)," explains Aron.

1. Best camera for experienced videographers: Canon EOS R5 C

"The Canon EOS R5 C is a video-focused version of the EOS R5, with added features specifically for professional filmmaking," explains Aron. "The ergonomics are similar, but with its built-in fan, the EOS R5 C can record for long durations no matter what mode you are in. And being a dedicated cinema camera, there’s no limit on recording time."

The EOS R5 C has a three-way power switch to choose between photo/video mode. Video mode boasts a host of options not usually seen in mirrorless cameras: you can import your own LUTs; set your shutter angle to 180°; and take advantage of waveform monitors and false colour tools. A front tally lamp indicates recording and the timecode in/out terminal is particularly useful for synchronising multiple cameras at once. In addition, attaching TASCAM's CA-XLR2d Audio XLR Adapter to the Multi-function accessory shoe gives you XLR input options.

The Canon EOS R5 C camera.

Canon EOS R5 C

The first hybrid Cinema EOS camera with 8K. A nimble and powerful product for video-first hybrid shooters.

Travel filmmaker Kevin Clerc took the EOS R5 C on a shoot in Madeira, and says it felt ready to go straight out of the box. "I travel a lot, so I really appreciate how light and discreet the EOS R5 C is. But for me, the best feature is the switch to go between photo and video modes. Video mode unlocks different features, so you really feel as if you have two cameras in your hand. I now don't need another stills camera on time-lapse shoots.

"In-camera waveform has proven so reliable for accurate exposure and was particularly helpful on my travels when it wasn't possible to use an external monitor. I also use manual focus and having the option to mount Canon Cine lenses via the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R has been an incredible experience."

A man standing on a raised platform filming a rally car as it spins around a corner.

The Canon EOS R3 provides excellent image quality. "You’ve got 4K 60p which is oversampled from 6K, for glorious high-detailed 4K footage," says Mike. "There's 12-bit raw to get the most out of the dynamic range, Canon Log 3, as well as HDR PQ standards for a wider dynamic range, without needing to grade your footage. Ultimately, it enables you to shoot video in bright conditions with dark shadows and still capture all of the tones."

2. Best camera for video shoots in tough conditions: Canon EOS R3

There is a reason the EOS R3 is Canon's flagship mirrorless camera. The ideal solution in difficult lighting or weather conditions, on lengthy shoots or when working with tricky subjects, it's not just reliable and robust, but also lightning fast. Like its flagship DSLR counterpart, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the EOS R3 is as tough as they come.

"The EOS R3 is weather-sealed and can withstand harsh environments – rain, snow and sand," explains Mike. "It has a large battery, which allows it to work in colder conditions and shoot for longer. Likewise, it can shoot for long periods of time in high temperatures without overheating. You can also power by USB to run the camera via a powerbank and charge remotely. Focusing is down to -4EV for video, and you still get the same face tracking and vehicle tracking modes that you get in stills, even in dull, dark conditions."

The Canon EOS R3 camera.

Canon EOS R3

Brimming with features that empower filmmakers to new levels of creativity, the EOS R3 can capture oversampled 4K as well as 6K RAW footage internally to a CFexpress card.

With its advanced autofocus capabilities, which can not only detect and track vehicles and animals, but also faces and eyes – even behind masks – the Canon EOS R3 ensures both stills and videos are always in sharp focus.

The back of a Canon EOS R5 camera, with a finger pointing to the Zone AF options on the vari-angle touchscreen.

The Canon EOS R5's Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system with Face/Eye Detection ensures your footage stays sharp and enables impressive pull-focus transitions in all video modes.

3. Best camera for hybrid shooting: Canon EOS R5

Both the Canon EOS R5 and the EOS R6 (best all-rounder, below) are built around Canon's groundbreaking RF mount, but thanks to a range of EOS R Adapters, are fully compatible with Canon EF or EF-S lenses.

Muhammed Muheisen is a photojournalist who has twice won a Pulitzer Prize, and is currently based in Greece. Muhammed used to shoot with two Canon EOS 5D Mark IV cameras, one set up for stills and the other for video. He had reservations about switching to the Canon EOS R5 but says he has adapted quickly. "It's two cameras in one," he explains. "The 8K capability is a revolution – I can shoot video and extract 35MP images."

The Canon EOS R5 camera.

Canon EOS R5

Capture superb 12-bit RAW video internally at 8K, or record 4K (4:2:2 10-bit) at frame rates up to 120p for exceptional slow-motion effects.

Muhammed also appreciates the camera's small size, which means he can work without drawing attention to himself. "The camera doesn't intimidate anyone, so I can shoot unnoticed. It makes my life easier and there's no sacrifice in image quality."

"Shooting in 8K gives lots of scope for post-capture cropping of video and stills," adds Mike. "Alternatively, you can use 4K HQ mode to create 4K footage with incredible detail."

Firmware updates have introduced new features to the EOS R5. "The most recent update brings 8K 30p ProRes RAW when paired with an Atomos Ninja V+ Monitor & Recorder," explains Mike. "Switching from an internal to external recorder unleashes unlimited 8K recording – essentially until the battery runs out or the card fills up – and allows the system to run cooler, whatever the ambient temperature."

Javier Cortés filming a ballet dancer with the Canon EOS R6.

Filmmaker and photographer Javier Cortés was the first pro to test the video capabilities of the Canon EOS R6 on a shoot that followed ballet dancers through Sicily. Canon Log and HDR PQ options helped him to capture more dynamic range, and high-quality 10-bit 4:2:2 recording is supported internally to either of the camera's dual UHS-II SD memory card slots. © Javier Cortés

4. Best camera for low light: Canon EOS R6

With extra-wide dynamic range thanks to Canon Log, combination IS, 4K video at up to 60p, and support for 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, the Canon EOS R6 is a versatile filmmaking tool. Like the Canon EOS R5, it has a vari-angle touchscreen. "Although some filmmakers may prefer to connect to an external monitor, the vari-angle screen is incredibly useful," says photographer and filmmaker Clive Booth. "It means you can keep the kit small and light. I use it all the time. The ability to move focus with a tap on the screen makes the camera intuitive, and being able to change the speed of focus adjustment via the menu ensures that you get the look you want in your movies."

The Canon EOS R6 camera.

Canon EOS R6

Superb video at up to 4K 60fps and Full HD 120fps, all with Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

Another key feature of the Canon EOS R6 is that it has the same 20MP full-frame sensor as the EOS-1D X Mark III. "Its low-light performance is excellent," says Mike. "In addition, like the EOS R5, it has an In-body Image Stabilization (IBIS) system which works with the optical IS in a compatible lens to deliver smooth handheld footage with up to 8-stop shutter speed compensation. A third system – Movie Digital IS – adds another layer of stabilisation for professional-looking results."

Cameras such as the Canon EOS R6 keep improving. "We've launched three major upgrades for the EOS R5 and EOS R6 since launch, adding new functionalities," says Mike. "For example, vehicle tracking AF, which was introduced with the EOS R3 is now found in the EOS R5 and EOS R6 – it's not exclusive to our flagship camera." Both cameras also now benefit from other features found in the EOS R3, including animal detection and advanced face and eye detection – even through masks.

A man looking intently at the screen of a Canon EOS M50 Mark II.

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II has evolved according to the demands of its users and, compared to its predecessor, the added functionality makes life much easier for vloggers. Designed for social videos, there's a menu option for vertical shooting and videos are tagged so that editing programmes can determine the orientation they were shot in.

5. Best camera for vlogging: Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Vlogging often involves holding the camera at arm's length, so ideally you want something small and light. "The 24MP APS-C format Canon EOS M50 Mark II weighs just 388g but it has both a built-in viewfinder and a vari-angle touchscreen," says Mike. "That flip-around screen is essential for vloggers, and the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens makes a perfect partner when shooting at arm's length. It is stabilised and has an STM (stepping motor) focusing system to avoid any unwanted sound. Despite its small size, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II has an external mic port, which means you can record high-quality audio when you're ready to take the next step.?

A Canon EOS M50 Mark II camera.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Amazing image quality with shallow depth of field and movies that sound as good as they look. The EOS M50 Mark II's smart tech empowers you to be creative.

"Canon has added functionality in this second iteration to make life much easier for vloggers," adds Mike. "The three major advantages of the EOS M50 Mark II over the EOS M50 are improved face and eye tracking autofocus; vertical shooting, which is ideal for platforms such as TikTok, where you still make the most of the 4K resolution; and it now also has the ability to livestream to YouTube."

Mike notes: "The Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens is the smallest of the current RF lenses. With a natural-looking focal length and fast aperture, this is an ideal street photography lens for those who don't want to stand out."

Scris de Angela Nicholson and Tim Coleman


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