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Products >> All Products In Focus: EOS R5 Reviews- Part6

[Hands-on Review] EOS R5 in Beauty Photography

Fashion and beauty photographer Zantz Han (@zantz) took the EOS R5 into the studio for a beauty shoot, and came away obsessed with it. He shares what impressed him the most. (Photos by Zantz Han, account as told to the SNAPSHOT team)


When art meets commerce, details, creativity, and versatility take the spotlight 

The world of beauty, fashion, and commercial photography is a fast-paced one, with deadlines to meet and creativity pushed to the limits. Each project brings about a myriad of possibilities, and more often than not, the tiny things—textures, expressions, intricate details—have an important role to play.

A camera’s image sensor, megapixels, and the lens optics all work together to ensure that these details are crisp, clear, and beautifully resolved, even when they are printed on a banner.  For this reason, I was excited to try out the new EOS R5 along with the RF28-70mm f/2L USM and RF85mm f/1.2L USM. With 45 megapixels, the camera promised to harness the potential of the RF mount beyond that possible on my existing camera, the 30.3-megapixel EOS R.


AF:Fast, reliable, seamless face and eye detection, even in tricky lighting

EOS R5/ RF85mm f/1.2L USM/ FL: 85mm @ f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 400

This shoot was done in a studio that was pitch dark except for two LED lights, which I used to draw attention to the model’s eye area. Everything else was cast in shadow.

On other cameras, even the EOS R, focusing can be tricky in such scenes as it is easy for the camera’s AF to become distracted by the bright spots of light like the one on her white top. However, with the EOS R5, the Face Detection and Eye Detection AF acquired focus almost immediately and stayed locked on throughout the shoot, even when the model moved, and even when her face was partially hidden. The reliable focus played a huge part in ensuring that the entire shoot flowed seamlessly.

EOS R5/ RF28-70mm f/2L USM/ FL:47mm @ f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 800


In-Body IS: Unleashing creative potential

EOS R5/ RF28-70mm f/2L USM/ FL:36mm @ f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

For beauty photography, I am always moving around in search of the most flattering angles, and this makes handheld shooting a given. The In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS) on the EOS R5 increases handheld shooting possibilities with lenses that are not equipped with the Optical (in-lens) Image Stabilizer (Optical IS) , such as both of the lenses that I used for this shoot as well my own RF50mm f/1.2L USM.

With the EOS R5, the RF28-70mm f/2L USM and RF85mm f/1.2L USM both get up to eight shutter speed stops’ equivalent of image stabilisation, while the RF50mm f/1.2L USM gets up to seven shutter speed stops’ equivalent. That is more than what is possible when using any existing compatible IS lens on the EOS R.

Also see: How are Image Stabilisation Stops Determined?


A clear, high-definition viewfinder

I like shooting through the viewfinder as it allows me to concentrate on the scene. An electronic viewfinder (EVF) is especially useful when working with strobes and flashes as the viewfinder gain lets you see in low light, even in a pitch-dark studio.

With 5.76 million dots, the EOS R5’s EVF has a higher resolution than the 3.69 million dot one on the EOS R, providing even greater clarity. All the better for checking the details and focus before I shoot.


Empowered to attempt extremes in lighting design

EOS R5/ RF85mm f/1.2L USM/ FL: 85mm @ f/4, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

Lighting fascinates me. Before I became a photographer, I studied how to light and render 3D animations, and even now, I love designing and crafting the lighting for shoots. With the excellent AF focusing and tracking in low light, In-Body IS, and better vision in the dark thanks to the EVF, I feel even more empowered to get bolder with lighting design, like in the above shot for a hairstyling competition.

The EOS R5 is also useful for situations where you need to adjust the direction and/or intensity of your portrait lighting after a shoot. Check out: 
Portrait Relighting: Your In-Camera Lighting Crew


Excellently resolved details, down to individual eyelashes

EOS R5/ RF28-70mm f/2L USM/ FL:58mm @ f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

Post-processing the images I shot on the EOS R5, what stood out was the excellent noise handling and the crispness of the details.

The following are 400 x 400 pixel 100% crops from images shot on each of the lenses I used.


RF28-70mm f/2L USM @ f/2

RF85mm f/1.2L USM @ f/2

RF28-70mm f/2L USM @ f/2

RF85mm f/1.2L USM @ f/2

In both images, each individual eyelash is excellently resolved. The RF85mm f/1.2L USM and RF28-70mm f/2L USM are well-known for their outstanding sharpness and clarity, and I feel that the 45 megapixels of the EOS R5 truly showcases their ability.


More than just about the image quality

Excellent rendering of details does not just make a difference for beauty and close-up portraits, it also means better flexibility to meet the demands of the world of marketing and advertising.

Clients often want different crops of the same image for different marketing platforms and mediums. These range from print banners and collaterals to digital media for online shops, social media, website graphics and so on. It helps to be able to crop in that much to get a close-up of, say, the brand name engraved onto the arm of the spectacles that a model is wearing and still be assured of excellent resolution, without having to reshoot using a macro lens.

2560 x 1440: YouTube channel cover image
1980 x 1080: Facebook banner or cover image/Website masthead
1200 x 630: Facebook feed post
1080 x 1980: Instagram/Facebook Stories
1080 x 1080: Instagram feed post (square)
400 x 400: Social media profile photo
(Unit: pixels)

Common sizes used in print and social media, shown alongside the largest image resolutions possible on the EOS R5 and EOS R. A larger image resolution combined with excellent rendering of tiny details increases creative possibilities when utilising images for both print and digital media.

8K video: The same flexibility in a different medium

With evolving technology and the rise of social media, there is increasing demand from brands to create video content in addition to still images. Fashion photographers must become hybrid shooters to remain competitive. Just as its 45-megapixel resolution does for stills, the EOS R5’s 8K video recording capability promises more possibilities for video, which makes it invaluable for hybrid content production.


Overall impressions: “Like an extension of my hands”

The images in this article don’t tell the full story of how wonderful the EOS R5 was. A lot more lies behind the scenes— like how comfortable it was to hold, how intuitive it was to operate, and how seamlessly it helped me to realise my creative vision. It felt like an extension of my hands.

Just as I had expected, the EOS R5 was amazing when paired with both the RF85mm f/1.2L USM and RF28-70mm f/2L USM, bringing out the best of the lenses’ excellent resolving prowess. If this is what the EOS R5 can do, it makes me excited about what a future EOS R system camera with even more megapixels could potentially achieve.

But that’s in the future. For now, it is the EOS R5 that I dream of almost every day, along with the countless new possibilities that it brings.

Learn more about the EOS R5 in:
EOS R5 vs EOS R6: 5 Key Differences to Note
Why the EOS R5 is My Ideal Camera for Landscape Photography

Wondering about the EOS R6? Check out:
[Hands-on Review] EOS R6 in Dance Concert Photography


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Zantz Han

Zantz Han

Based in Singapore, beauty and fashion photographer and fashion film maker Zantz Han sees photography as his chosen mode of communication with the world. He aims to freeze life and beauty in timeless images that evoke the senses of the audience. By marrying art with commerce, he hopes that his images contribute to the success of his commercial and editorial clients, which include regional fashion brands like ZALORA as well as fashion magazines such as ELLE Croatia. In 2018, he was named the Fashion Photographer of the Year at the ZALORA Style Awards.

Website: https://www.zantzhan.com/
Instagram: @zantz