Leaked Canon EOS R5 image gives us our first glimpse of the mirrorless powerhouse

Canon EOS R5
The EOS R5 shown in an official Canon press image (Image credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS R5 may still be at its early 'development announcement' stage, but a leaked image has now given us our first look at the pro mirrorless camera in the wild (Canon has released a couple of official images, one of which you can see above).

The image from Japanese site Newswitch (below) is a hands-on shot that gives us a sense of the Canon EOS R5's body size, which is considerably smaller than the similarly pro-friendly Canon 1DX Mark III DSLR.

The image suggests it'll balance nicely with lenses like the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, and the EOS R5 doesn't look noticeably bigger than the existing Canon EOS R, which is impressive considering it's the first Canon camera to have in-body image stabilization (IBIS).

Canon EOS R5

(Image credit: Newswitch)

What's less clear is exactly who the Canon EOS R5 will be aimed at, but Newswitch claims that Canon is planning to launch the camera "as early as possible before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics", which start on 24 July.

That seems to be backed up by the fact that the camera will be making its public debut at The Photography Show, which starts on March 14. 

With the Canon 1DX Mark III launch very much drumming home the idea that most professional sports photographers still prefer optical viewfinders to EVFs, it seems the EOS R5 could be used at the Olympics as a smaller, second camera for shooting 8K video as much as stills.

Mirrorless Olympian

Despite the leaked image and Canon's development announcement, there's still quite a bit we don't know about the EOS R5.

Chief among these details are what image sensor it'll use. We know the EOS R5 will have a "newly designed CMOS sensor" and that it'll be at least 40MP, because it's been confirmed that the camera will shoot 8K video.

The rumors so far suggest it'll likely be a 45MP camera, and the fact that it shoots at an impressive 12fps (when using the mechanical shutter) or 20fps (if you switch to the electronic shutter), suggests it's unlikely to be significantly higher than that.

The EOS R5's size and performance, then, suggest it's very much going to be in the mould of the Sony A7R IV (albeit closer in resolution to the A7R III), so a megapixel monster that has the power to pull off all kinds of photography, including sport and action. 

The key difference, of course, is that the EOS R5 will also be able to shoot 8K video, and more special skills are likely announced in the run-up to its official launch. We'll bring you all the news when it breaks, but in the meantime you can read our in-depth Canon EOS R5: everything we know so far about the mirrorless marvel.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.