Getting started with photography using the Canon EOS R5: a beginner’s guide to configuring the camera

You’ve made the switch to Canon’s latest mirrorless masterpiece, the EOS R5. Congratulations! Where exactly should you go from here?

To begin, the process of configuring any camera will invariably be unique to the individual requirements and inclinations of the user. It is possible that it may take some time for you to become accustomed to your new camera and determine how to best configure it for the style of photography you do.

When you initially obtain your R5, there are a few menu options and settings that I believe are worth looking into, and I’ve included them here for your reference. Please take note that this post only discusses the photography options available on the R5, and does not go into detail about the video settings.

To begin, let’s go to the primary camera menu, which can be accessible by pressing the Menu button, which is located on the top left of your camera.

Menu 1 for shooting

Image quality

Determine the format of the file that you intend to shoot using and set it up. RAW is the default setting, which I always use.

Cropping/aspect ratio in a photograph

The default setting of FULL is the one you should keep, but it’s important to be aware that you can also shoot in 1:1, 4:3, 16:9, and 1.6 (crop) aspect ratios. In most cases, you should just leave it at FULL. When you’re shooting for clients that need precise aspect ratios for their websites, social media, or other platforms, this information might come in quite helpful.

Taking shots on menu 2

ISO speed settings

When shooting at high ISOs, the R5 performs quite well. Having said that, when I’m shooting in daily situations, I still find it more convenient to have a cap on how high my Auto ISO will go.

In spite of the fact that the R5 is capable of shooting at an ISO of 51,200, I have chosen to set the maximum at 6400. If I reach my limit, I have the option to ignore it and continue playing if I so desire.

To reiterate, this decision is entirely up to the individual, who may choose to set their limit anywhere between 3,200 and 12,800. The most important takeaway here is that you should be aware of how high your camera’s Auto ISO may go.

Attempting to shoot menu 5

Multiple exposures, high dynamic range, and focus bracketing are all options that may be found in this section. Although you will probably have these functions deactivated most of the time, it is still beneficial to be aware of where you can locate them.

The bracketing of the focus

You may or may not have had the ability to bracket the focus on your prior cameras, but the R5 gives you that capability. It enables you to shoot a series of photographs with the focusing distance of the lens gradually rising between each photograph in the series. Because of this, you will be able to combine all of them in post-processing so that the entire scene is in focus.

Shooting menu 6

Interval timer

If you’ve never worked with a camera that has an intervalometer before, you might find that experimenting with this function is a lot of fun. Essentially, an intervalometer gives you the ability to shoot pictures at predetermined intervals without the use of remote control.

This is a feature that I make extensive use of in order to include the human aspect (namely, me) in my landscape photographs. You might, for instance, program the camera to take a picture every ten seconds for a total of thirty exposures while you move around the area.

Activate the shutter button without the card.

This function is always turned off by default. Your camera will not be able to snap a picture if a memory card is not there when it attempts to do so.

Attempting to shoot menu 7

Toggle shutter on/off

If you have the touch shutter function enabled, you will be able to capture pictures by touching the LCD screen that is located on the back of your camera. For me, having this feature disabled is preferable because I find that it only serves to be an annoyance and results in an excessive number of pointless photographs being shot. If I’m shooting with the LCD, I like to get the focus point by touching the LCD screen, and then I use the standard shutter button to take the picture.

Image review

I deactivate this function so that once I hit the shutter button there is no image displayed on the screen for a period of two seconds. One more time, this is a matter of taste, so choose the one that appeals to you the most.

Autofocus menu 1

Observable and detectable.

You have the option of setting the camera to detect humans, animals, or nothing at all in this section. People is the option I keep selected here unless I expressly intend to photograph wildlife or other creatures.

Touch & drag AF adjustments

This is one of the aspects of the R5 that has won my heart over again and again. If it is turned on, it enables you to shift the focus points by moving your thumb over the LCD screen while you are looking through the electronic viewfinder. This is a function that I’ve found myself use fairly regularly in recent times.

It can be configured in a few various ways, but in my experience, selecting Right for the active touch area is the one that makes it the least complicated to operate. I can’t stress enough how highly I think you should give it a go.

Playback menu 5

Bring to your attention

If you enable this function, any highlights that are overexposed or blown out will light up and flash when you look at the image review. This is normally deactivated on my end, but I do make use of it occasionally when I need to make sure that I haven’t blown out any highlights in a photograph. It gives you an immediate visualization after you have taken a picture, which is quite helpful.

Network 1 and Network 2

Make sure that this option is set to “Airplane mode” if you are not going to be utilizing the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functions of the camera. Doing so will allow the battery to survive for a longer period of time.

Set-up menu 1

  • Format card
  • After you have uploaded and backed up your photographs, you may use this option to completely delete all of the data from your memory card.
  • Set-up menu 6
  • data on the battery
  • A more precise readout of the charge remaining in your battery may be obtained here, shown as a percentage.
  • data on the battery The Canon R5


Simply entering your information in this box will ensure that your name is attached to the IPTC metadata of every photograph you shoot from now on.

Custom Functions menu 1

Exposure level increases

  • In this section, you have the option of being able to alter the exposure by increments of either a third or a half. I picked 1/3 to offer greater control.
  • Changes made to the ISO speed settings
  • The same as what was discussed earlier, you have the option of being able to modify your ISO by either 1/3 stop or 1 stop. Again, I will go with one-third.

Custom Functions menu 3

Customize buttons

This is a really important point! You will be able to modify the buttons on your camera so that they correspond with the way you like to take pictures here. For instance, if you want to use the back button to focus, you may change the shutter button on your camera from Metering and AF start to Metering. This will allow you to use the back button to focus. After that, you may alter the function of your AF-ON button to one that initiates metering and AF start.

When you are taking pictures, it is helpful to keep in mind that pressing the Set button will cause your camera’s focal point to be immediately reset to the center of the frame.

Again, this menu has a wide variety of configurable choices, and it is well worth your time to experiment with each one until you discover a combination that suits both your approach to photography and the way you often shoot.

Customize dials

In this section of the camera’s interface, the primary dials may be programmed to carry out a variety of standard operations, including the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.

My Menu 1 and 2

  • Instead of having to navigate through all of the other menus, this section allows you to create a menu that is comprised of the functions and features that you use most frequently, making it simple for you to reach them.
  • In the menu of my camera, I have options such as Interval Timer, Focus Bracketing, HDR Mode, and Multiple Exposures. The Format Card option is located at the bottom of the menu so that I do not accidentally click it.

Next, let’s take a cursory glance at the dials and buttons that are located on your camera:


If you press the Info button while seeing a picture in playback, while looking through the electronic viewfinder (EVF), or while viewing the LCD screen, you will be able to cycle between the various information displays. For instance, while photographing real estate, one of my favorite tools to employ when composing the scene is the electronic level. You also have the option to toggle the LCD screen so that it does not display anything but camera information.

Magnifying glass

You may use the magnifying glass not just to examine a picture when it is being played back, but you can also use it while you are shooting through the electronic viewfinder (EVF) or while you are using the LCD screen to zoom in and check that your focal point is accurate.

Q button

This is a quick access button that gives you access to 10 of the most frequently used camera settings, such as the drive modes (single shot, high speed continuous, timer, etc.), autofocus methods (single point, face tracking, nine-point, etc.), and metering modes (e.g., center-weighted average, evaluative, spot, matrix, etc). (evaluative, spot, partial, center-weighted).


The joystick is used to shift focus points the vast majority of the time, but it may also be used to navigate through the many menu options.

In general, you should just allow yourself some time to become accustomed to your R5. There are a plethora of buttons, dials, and features that may be personalized and altered. Even for something as straightforward as focusing, I presently have a choice between three distinct methods to establish my focus point. I may use the touchscreen on the LCD panel, the circular joystick, or the touch-and-drag AF capability while looking via the electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The configurations that work well for me might not be the best choice for you, but I strongly recommend that you navigate through all of the menus and investigate the many choices available to you. Then, acquire some experience behind the camera by going out into the world.

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