Canon R5 timelapse modes overview

The brand new Canon EOS R5 offers three different ways of shooting timelapse sequences. Read on to find out which one would suit you best.

Cover for the article Canon R5 timelapse modes explained featuring the front of the camera

The Canon EOS R5 full frame mirrorless camera. Rarely has a camera been released that got so much talk online by so many people.

People love it. People hate it. People are idiots!

I don’t care about any of that noise, I care about timelapse, so let’s see what the R5 can do as far as time warping goes.

Buy the Canon R5 from Amazon here or from B&H here. (affiliate links)

2022 edit: Check out this new article about timelapse modes in other R series cameras.

I have to thank my friend Scott Stramyk back in Sydney for helping me with this video and article, he sent me very helpful footage of the timelapse menus which are featured in the above video.

The Canon R5 has a port on the front that allows you to plug in a remote with an N3 connector. Read this article here if you want to find out more about cheap, medium or expensive timelapse remotes aka intervalometers.

Now let’s have a look at the built in modes, the two other ways we can shoot timelapses on the R5.

First up: Photo mode aka INTERVAL TIMER.

This allows you to shoot full res RAWs, CRAWs and JPEGs at the same time using the built in intervalometer. I'm still trying to find out if you can shoot HEIF photos like on the 1DXMkIII.

This intervalometer has a minimum interval of one second and the max number of shots is 99, which is silly, I wish this had 4 digits. Alternatively you just set it to 00 which means it will keep shooting until you tell it to stop.

Secondly, switch to movie mode and you can enable TIMELAPSE MOVIE mode.

This allows you to shoot in FHD, UHD, or 8K resolutions.

Sadly, this only records video frames in the – what I suspect is – HEVC codec and doesn’t record RAWs or JPEGs at the same time.

The minimum interval here is 2 seconds, which I simply do not understand.

If it can shoot 8K30p RAW video, why can’t it record RAW frames with a one second interval?

If you are a Canon engineer or developer please get in touch with me so we can chat about this because I feel like you can make your cameras even better by adding a few lines of code!

In timelapse video mode you also get gradual exposure adjustments which is used to shoot holy grail timelapses where the sun is setting or rising. Read more about holy grail timelapse photography here.

To do this you set your camera to Av mode instead of Manual and set your ISO to auto. Depending on your min and max ISO settings your camera will then slowly start ramping its shutter speed, resulting in a flicker free holy grail shot.

This mode is limited to 3600 images per sequence, which is quite a lot but I wish it was more. I assume this has to do with file sizes.

Any shortcomings that this camera has as far as timelapse shooting goes can be remedied by using external controllers or post processing software like LRTimelapse which I have an article and video about right here.

What else do I like about the Canon EOS R5:

The built in image stabiliser with up to 8 stops of stabilising is great for hyperlapse photography when shooting handheld, especially in low light.

The CFExpress card slot is great for fast reading and writing of data. Nothing more annoying than waiting for your footage to offload.

Obviously it'll have great AF, colours, dynamic range, ergonomics, ease of use, speed of operating and all that other stuff.

I don’t have the camera, never even held it so it’s hard to make a longer video or article about this but I wanted to share these bits of information anyway as I’ve been looking for them myself.

Big thanks to Scott Stramyk back in Sydney for helping me out with this, if you liked this article please go check out his instagram, he’s got some beautiful travel and landscape photos and if you leave a comment tell him I sent you!

EDIT: I've been sent some answers by the team at Canon Australia to extra questions that were posted under the video:

1) Can EOS R5 timelapse videos be recorded in CLOG?   No

2) Can you use the fully electronic shutter to record time-lapse (in photo or video modes)? Yes

3) With the photo intervalometer mode, can you set the mode on full manual and then change settings as needed in between shots? Yes

4) Can you shoot timelapse in RAW? You can shoot RAW images with the interval timer. In timelapse movie mode it will not output a raw movie, only MP4’s

5) What is the maximum shutter speed in the auto iso settings? (in relation to timelapse?)  The auto ISO range is 400-26500 in timelapse movie shooting. The shutter speed range during timelapse movie shooting is 1/4000 – 30

6) Is there a limit /restriction on the number of photos you can take in Interval Mode? There is an unlimited mode which will just keep shooting until you stop it but if you want to choose how many shots then the limit is 99.

7) Does the photo-timelapse mode have any of the smoothing/ramping features? What about a max-shutter-speed (for external) or Interval-priority (for internal) setting? Does it ramp SS to the max first, before raising ISO? Not automatically but you can ramp the exposure yourself in between frames

Get all the best tools and techniques to become a great timelapse photographer.

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3 years ago

Fantastic Article–very clear and to the point. I am not sure why Canon does not have an easy way to count how many shots have been taken in Unlimited Mode?