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Canon EOS R5 vs R6: Low Light Portrait Photography (Comparison)

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r5 vs r6

Hey everyone! Vanessa Joy here and today I’m going to be doing a low-light portrait photography comparison between the Canon EOS R5 and R6. I’m at the Watermark Bar in Manhattan which is a beautiful secret spot with stunning string lights, and a blue background that’s a little darker than I wanted it to be, but it’s okay because we’re here to test low light.

I have both the R5 and R6 with me, the brand new Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras, and a big question I get asked about both of these cameras is how they handle low light. I’m going to test this out by doing some low-light portraits with both cameras, trying to keep the settings somewhat the same. I also wanted to show you what it would look like with two different lenses, so I have the EF 135 2.0 lens and the RF 24-105 F4 lens.

Let’s start with the R6 first, and see how it does. I’ve turned it on, and it’s set to face detection, so I just tap on my model’s face, Marissa, and it’s tracking her face, which is awesome. I’m currently at ISO 8000, and it looks okay, so I’m going to lower my shutter speed to 100, which looks good as far as exposure goes, and then I’m going to cool down my white balance just a bit to make it look a little more natural.

With in-body stabilization and a 120th of a second on my shutter, I took some shots, and the results are gorgeous. The focus is good, but if we zoom all the way in, you can start to see the noise, but I’m not mad about it at all.

Next, I switched to the R5 and set it to ISO 8000. I had to lower my shutter speed quite a bit since I only have an F4 lens on here. The results look good and there’s less noise compared to the R6 when zoomed in. The R5 is a 45-megapixel camera compared to the R6’s 20-megapixels, so we have more room to zoom in.

I put both cameras side by side, and when I zoomed in on the last picture, it was not that noticeable, but we’ll have to take a closer look on a computer later.

In conclusion, both the R5 and R6 are great cameras for low-light portrait photography, and it really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of image quality and lens options. I hope you enjoyed this comparison, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Meet Vanessa

Photography education that gives your art an edge

Vanessa has been photographing weddings, events, portraits and lifestyle for over 20 years.

She's a Canon Explorer of Light, an honor given to only 5 photographers in the United States, and her work has been published by Yahoo! News, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Rangefinder and more.

With her practical and open-book style of teaching, she shares everything she knows with hundreds of thousands of photographers as an educator and influential sparker.

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