Here at Cellular, I promised to share some of my behind the scenes details on my workflow. My main camera at the moment is the R5 C, Canon’s versatile hybrid camera. In this post I take a hands-on look at several must-have accessories for the Canon R5 C.
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Full transparency: I am a B&H affiliate, and thus use affiliate links in this post. B&H loaned me the WFT-R10 and the Tascam CA-XLR2d-C to test for this article and video.
Canon RF 24-70 f/2.8
The RF 24/70 f/2.8 is my main workhorse. This lens is fast, sharp, and has a great focal length range. Most importantly, it has built-in imagine stabilization, which is handy when using a camera like the R5 C, which lacks IBIS. There are several levels of digital stabilization available, however, and when combined with the lens’s built-in stabilization, it can pack a nice punch. The 24-70’s versatility is expanded when combined with the camera’s two main crop modes. With this in mind, this lens can throw out to roughly 210mm. Just keep in mind that these crops come with significantly reduced resolution and light capture.
|Full Frame||Super 35||Super 16|
Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter
The Canon Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter with Drop-In Variable ND Filter is a $400 accessory that sits between the R5 C’s RF mount, and an EF lens. It’s an adapter that lets you use EF glass on a RF mount camera, but it provides the extra luxury of including a variable ND. Since the R5 C lacks a built-in ND filter system like the Canon C70, this adapter can be a huge help when shooting outdoors. It can also save you money, allowing you to use the versatile EF glass that you may already own instead of having to purchase expensive RF lenses.
WFT-R10A for Browser control
The R5 C has a glaring omission, and it’s sort of a head-scratcher. When it comes to controlling the camera remotely via a web browser, it outright lacks the needed support for network connectivity while in Video mode. While both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is available in Photo mode, users are forced to purchase the WFT-R10A Wireless File Transmitter to gain access to network connectivity, and thus Browser Remote, FTP Transfer, IP Streaming, and Canon App control in Video mode. Weird, to say the least.
Is the $1000 WFT-R10 worth it? The answer is a bit more complex than it might appear on the surface.
The WFT-R10 is not a battery grip
The WFT-R10A looks like a typical battery grip. It features a battery sled that’s able to accommodate two batteries, but it doesn’t work in the way that one might expect.
The WFT-R10A is, as its name states, a Wireless File Transmitter and not a battery grip. Hence, only one of the two batteries that you place inside the unit actually powers the Canon R5 C’s camera functionality. When that one battery dies, the camera powers down. The other battery is there solely to power the wireless transmitter inside the WFT-R10A, and plays no role in supplying power to the camera.
Don’t buy the WFT-R10A if you’re looking to extend the battery life of the R5 C, because you’ll be disappointed. If you’re just looking to improve battery life, then the much more wallet-friendly $349 Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip, will do the job.
Conspicuously missing network functionality
The Canon R5 C features built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality, but only for Photo mode. Because the camera runs two separate operating systems, the Video mode is apparently unable to access the built in network hardware that already resides inside the camera. Either that, or Canon wanted to restrict network usage to the WFT-R10A because of the camera’s short battery life. Of course, this is all conjecture at this point, so it’s hard to say for sure.
The WFT-R10A unlocks the R5 C’s conspicuously missing network functionality while in Video mode, and its provides more ways to control the camera than you get with standard connectivity via Photo mode.
The WFT-R10A features built in Wi-Fi connectivity. Canon notes that wireless support has been upgraded over the base R5 (and R5 C photo mode) with 802.11ac/c 2×2 MIMO Technology to achieve transfer speeds of up to 867 Mb/s. There’s also 802.11b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11ac/a/n at 5 GHz for compatibility with various network setups.
The unit also adds an Ethernet connection to the camera for a more stable, and perhaps faster hard-wired connection.
The WFT-R10 is a solid studio companion
Despite its inability to extend battery life, the WFT-R10A can function as a handy studio companion for the Canon R5 C. If you have your camera set up in a studio for things like on-camera talking-head shots, and product photography, then the WFT-R10A might be just what you need.
Although the Canon R5 C is an extremely power-hungry camera that eats through batteries in minutes, none of that matters in a studio setup with a constant supply of power from USB or via Canon’s DR-E6C DC Coupler + Canon CA-946 Compact Power Adapter. [Fun fact: the WFT-R10 can accommodate two DC Couplers simultaneously].
With Canon’s Wireless File Transmitter, R5 C users gain access to the following functionality:
- FTP Transfer
- Browser Remote
- IP Streaming
- Canon App
The most important feature in that list for studio setups is undoubtedly the Browser Remote functionality. While not perfect, Browser Remote comes in handy for controlling the various settings on your camera remotely with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The other features, like FTP functionality, allow you to transfer videos shot using the camera’s lesser codecs, and IP Streaming lets you use the R5 C with live streaming tools like OBS and the like. Those features are nice, but they have caveats, such as the slow speeds of FTP transfers due to the slow card reading interface. Canon App access is also there, but it appears to be limited to Canon’s rather pedestrian Content Transfer Mobile app that costs $4.49 a month.
In the end, the primary reason to consider the WFT-R10A is for the Browser Remote control functionality, which provides lots of ways to control the camera remotely in a studio environment.
Another downside to the R5 C when compared to a camera like the Canon C70 is the lack of built-in XLR inputs for professional audio. The good news is that, thanks to the powered accessory shoe for the R5 C, users can use the Tascam CA-XLR2d-C to bolt on two direct XLR inputs and a secondary 3.5mm input. The cool thing about the CA-XLR2d-C is that it can be powered directly by the camera, but it can also be powered independently via a couple of AA batteries. Keeping in mind the horrible battery life of the R5 C, you might be best off powering the adapter independently.
The CA-XLR2d-C works as expected. I used it to connect the line out from my Universal Audio Apollo Twin X via a pair of TRS to XLR cables going directly into inputs 1 and 2 with the line option enabled. This simplifies my audio workflow for on camera talking head footage, as there’s one less thing that I have to sync in post.
AngelBird AV Pro CFexpress B 2TB card
I’ve tried several CFexpress cards with my R5 C, but I’ve had the most success with the AngelBird AV Pro. Compared to other cards, which sometimes give me buffering errors when recording RAW 8K, the AngelBird AV Pro has been pretty much rock solid. The AV Pro comes in various sizes up to 4TB.
My 2TB AV Pro allows for full 8K60 RAW LT (2570Mbps) recording. Here’s some of the recording times that I get from the 2TB card:
|RAW LT 8K||60||2570||105 minutes|
|RAW LT 8K||30||1290||209 minutes|
|RAW LT 8K||24||1030||262 minutes|
|RAW ST 8K||30||1980||137 minutes|
|RAW ST 8K||24||1580||171 minutes|
|RAW HQ 6K (crop)||30||2120||128 minutes|
|RAW HQ 6K (crop)||24||1700||159 minutes|
|RAW ST 6K (crop)||60||2090||129 minutes|
|HEVC 8K||30||540||501 minutes|
|XF-AVC 4K||120||410||665 minutes|
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II SD Card
The SanDisk Extreme PRO is a UHS-II-enabled SD Card that’s capable of handling a lot of the lower end shooting modes on the R5 C, and even some 8K HEVC and 6K RAW LT video. Here’s a look at some of the available formats, resolutions, and bitrate figures that I came up with after testing:
|HEVC (Full)||422 10bit||8192×4320||540Mbps||31 minutes|
|RAW LT (Super 35)||RAW||5952×3140||544Mbps||30 minutes|
|XF-AVC (Full)||422 10bit||4096×2160||410Mbps||41 minutes|
|RAW HQ (Super 16)||RAW||2976×1570||430Mbps||38 minutes|
|RAW ST (Super 16)||RAW||2976×1570||212Mbps||76 minutes|
|RAW LT (Super 16)||RAW||2976×1570||138Mbps||115 minutes|
Of course, the SD Card can also serve as a CFexpress companion, allowing you to use the SD Card as an audio recording destination, use it for relay recording, or double slot recording. When filming in RAW, the SDCard can be used for proxy or sub recordings. Proxy recordings can be either 2K 8-bit XF-AVC or H.264 files, while sub recordings can be higher quality 4K or 2K 10-bit XF-AVX, HEVC, or MP4.
Using proxies straight out of the camera can significantly speed up your workflow, because you don’t have to use time-consuming computer resources to create them after the fact. If you’re editing on a less powerful Mac or PC, this feature can save you a lot of time.
The R5 C is a great camera, but depending on your workflow, can definitely benefit from several key add-ons. It’s far from a perfect camera, but if you’re looking for a jack of all trades photo and video shooter that can also shoot 8K60 video for super high-resolution slow motion shots, then the R5 C provides that.