(2020-08-25) Update: Shenanigans confirmed! A recent post by Horshack from the dpreview.com forums confirms with certainty that the Canon R5 overheating limitation is not bound to the actual temperature of the internal camera hardware, but is in fact a software limitation deliberately designed to cripple the R5’s capabilities. So, R5 artificial overheating confirmed!
This is not an accidental move – Canon is a very competent manufacturer with over 80 years of experience in their business. They may attempt to explain this incident away or adopt a stance of plausible deniability, but at this point the evidence is very clear – the R5 overheating limitations are artificially imposed (most likely to prevent affecting sales in their higher-end and more expensive cinema camera line) and it’s likely that Canon was testing to see whether their consumer base would catch on to these limitations.
We do use Canon hardware ourselves and find them to be the most reliable, so we’re not disappointed in quite the same way as some of the more hard-core camera and photo/video enthusiasts are – but to give Canon a fair shake, one also has to consider how much business sense it might make to release a killer camera like the R5 with zero issues into the market.
However when deciding on investing into professional DSLR/MILC bodies, there are many things to take into account such as ergonomics, reliability, workflow improvements, and so on.
If Canon is merely price-gouging customers and being greedy, that is one issue; however, if we have to consider that Canon has to go head-to-head with other major manufacturers and must make an optimal set of design decisions to stay profitable in order to continue innovating and operating, that is another matter. In the business world, this is always a fine line to walk.
Will the R5 overheating issue cause consumers to migrate to Sony?
Our current prediction: some of the user base will migrate to Sony’s mirrorless product line (e.g. the A7R IV, or A7S III), which will in due time make a similar move and unfortunately disappoint professional photographers and videographers the world over, as the incentive for generating higher profit margins outpaces any real push for genuine innovation or value.
Original blog post follows:
According to recent posts on Chinese social network Baidu, as translated and reported by EOSHD, Canon’s new flagship mirrorless camera (the EOS R5) may have artificially programmed time limits for the infamous R5 overheating issue that has somewhat plagued the unit since its first pre-production tests and reviews.
If this is an artificial time limit in firmware, Canon has the chance to reverse this decision but it involves admitting to their customers that they lied.
It also involves a huge loss of face in Japan and possible resignations.Source: EOSHD
We don’t believe that this is at all the case for Canon Inc. – it’s been fairly clear for many, many years now that from a technical standpoint it has been possible to produce robust models such as the 5D Mark III or 5D Mark IV (or at the very least the T7i) since as early as the Canon Rebel T1i series was produced.
There is always a difference between what is technically possible and what is feasible and profitable from a business standpoint – and we don’t believe at all that there will be any loss of face or harm to reputation for Japanese manufacturing.
Here’s a very easy example: Apple Inc. is regularly caught engaging planned obsolescence practices with their products – ramping down the battery life of older mobile phone models with firmware updates and even deliberately slowing down the phone software itself through updates in order to encourage users to buy newer iPhone products.
For a great deal of time Apple products have enjoyed a cult-following and have become mainstream in spite of the various practices Apple as a company engages in, and Apple is set to become more popular than ever as the years roll on.
So why would Canon’s reputation suffer? Arguably, Canon is a far more ethically upright company in comparison to Apple and the quality of their products are essentially superior because of this greater commitment to quality and much more genuine respect for the consumer.
I cannot in any sense imagine any Canon engineer thought that arrangement of circuit board blocking the CPU, and no thermal pad would satisfy the criteria of good electronic design. So the only conclusion I can come to is that it’s intentional. All the signs, in my opinion, point to Canon crippling the EOS R5 to segment it from Cinema EOS.– EOSHD
We’d not be surprised in the least. The R5 overheating issue is an unfortunate development considering how the R5 was marketed, but the R5 is still an excellent stills camera.