Canon R5 / R6 Cameras Overheat More Quickly Than Shutterbugs May Like

Cameras are not my usual coverage — I tend to leave the topic to my colleague and professional photographer David Cardinal — but recent news from Canon camera testing caught my eye. It seems the recently released Canon EOS R5 and R6 both have a tendency to overheat when used in their highest-fidelity modes. The impact of this problem differs between the R5 and R6, but it hits both in a meaningful fashion.

According to DPreview, the problem isn’t that Canon failed to communicate the limitations of either camera. Press materials distributed for the launch directly discuss the limited amount of shooting time the R5 and R6 offer and stress that neither camera is intended for commercial use. The following table was published by Canon a few days after reviews of both cameras went up:

The problem, as DPReview writes, is: “[T]here is an important caveat that Canon’s figures don’t address: although the cameras can repeatedly deliver the amount of video promised, they may not always do so in real-world usage.” (Emphasis original)

DPReview’s tests found that any usage of the camera before you intend to start shooting, including time spent warming up a shot, setting the white balance, setting focus, shooting stills, or just waiting on a subject to get ready all cut into your total recording time. The longer you spend carrying out these activities, the less time you’ll have to shoot.

The difference between how the two units perform under testing can be summarized as follows: The R5 will only give you (most) of its full recording time if you start with a cold camera. Any other use of the device for any purpose will cut into your total. Leaving it on will cut into the total. When shooting with the R5 in 4K/30 HQ mode, you can expect ~25 minutes before an overheat warning, and no more than 30 minutes of footage at a time in that mode, tops. Leave the R5 to cool for 30 minutes, and you’ll recover most of this — between 22 – 25 minutes.

In the R6’s case, the initial film time is larger, with the device not giving overheat warnings until the 38 minute mark, and not overheating until nearly 40 minutes had passed. What’s different, in this case, is what happens when you give the device 30 minutes to cool. The R5 recovered virtually all of its performance, offering 22-25 minutes (down from 29+), while the R6 only managed 19-22 minutes of footage after the same 30-minute period. Whatever it is that gives the R6 additional recording time on the front end, it doesn’t help the device recover once it hits the thermal trip point.

The R5’s thermal problems can create trouble if you intend to shoot video after taking a bunch of still photos, one DPReview editor noted that after he took the camera out and shot 164 images in just under two hours, the amount of time it could provide 4K HQ footage capture was just four minutes, despite having plenty of storage capacity. You also can’t leave the camera in the sun while you’re cooling it off (or allow it to sit in the sun before you shoot) — allowing any additional heat to build up in the unit will cause a reduction in shooting time. Trying to charge the camera will also reduce its photography time.

Unfortunately, DPReview is not a PC hardware tech website, and I can find no discussion of their efforts to swap internal cooling components, bolt on a fan, or re-grease the internals. This is probably all to the good, as I’m deeply uncertain as to whether or not you can upgrade a camera with liquid metal thermal paste. Nonetheless, the takeaway from DPReview is less that Canon is struggling with problems other companies have solved, and more that the company has done a poor job explaining to its users what the real-world experience of buying the camera is like or what modifications they may need to make to how they approach a shoot. Recording 4K and above at high frame rates is still incredibly difficult for most cameras in terms of dealing with the related heat and energy requirements, and this definitely isn’t a solved problem in the consumer market yet.

Caveat emptor.

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Marc Thomas: Harlequins sign former Ospreys prop

Harlequins sign prop Marc Thomas on a deal until the end of the season following a two-week trial with the Premiership club.

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TSMC, Foxconn Reportedly Possibly Interested in ARM Acquisition

Ever since rumors of a potential ARM sale popped up, Nvidia has been floated as the most likely (and most-interested) buyer. That may have changed. Reportedly both TSMC and Foxconn are also interested in ARM.

Both companies are identified as “Key Apple suppliers” in a story at the Nikkei Asian Review, a likely-intentional reference to the company viewed as being behind their newfound interest. Apple doesn’t seem to be making a play for ARM itself, but it might not mind of one of its core strategic partners did. Apparently SoftBank has reached out to both Apple and Qualcomm in addition to Nvidia, TSMC, and Foxconn, but so far Nvidia is the only company we’ve heard much about. Apparently some of the companies (TSMC, Foxconn, Nvidia) have received limited financial data and future projections from ARM to help them better evaluate the company.

Apple reportedly stepped away from the idea, Foxconn and TSMC are still evaluating, and Nvidia is in more advanced talks but would prefer to buy the company outright rather than acquire a stake in it. Samsung has stated it has no interest in acquiring a stake in ARM. Several Chinese firms have also expressed interest, but the chance of this occurring given the current climate between the US and mainland China is more-or-less nil.

“Many tech industry bosses are being approached,” another person familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asian Review. “SoftBank is eager to find new investors as they have their own financial issues and they want to do it as soon as possible. They of course don’t want to face another write-down.”

ARM has recently seen a small decline in its royalty revenue but an increase in licensing revenue. Excluding royalties, ARM earned about 25.2 percent of licensing revenue in 2019.

ARM is locked in a bizarre battle with its own China unit, which SoftBank gave up control of in 2018. ARM China took over all of ARM’s operations and clients in China, but as Asian Nikkei says, “is now openly feuding with its UK parent over management issues.” It’s actually a good deal stranger than that. ARM China’s CEO has refused to leave his position after being fired for a conflict of interest. Allen Wu, then-CEO of ARM China, started a Chinese technology investment fund named Alphatecture that offered its clients discounts on ARM chip designs if they agreed to invest with his fund. Post-firing, Wu has attempted to rally China ARM employees to his side and has refused ARM UK employees accesss to the premises. Just the sort of circus a bright company eager for acquisition wants to be dealing with in front of potential clients.

The sale of ARM to a different company is a major event in semiconductors — akin to Intel granting a new x86 license to a major potential competitor. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few months and who ultimately winds up owning the UK-based company.

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