Island idyll: encapsulating the magic of Madeira with the Canon EOS R5 C

Find out how travel filmmaker Kevin Clerc used the powerful hybrid camera to capture the essence of this picturesque region of Portugal.
A man wearing a winter hat and holding a Canon EOS R5 C looks out over a bay as the sun breaks through the clouds.

For his first shoot with the EOS R5 C, Canon's full-featured hybrid cinema camera, French filmmaker Kevin Clerc travelled to the beautiful Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Kevin Clerc is renowned for his exquisitely executed travel films, which have a distinctive narrative style underpinned by rich visuals and evocative audio. Originally from Haute-Savoie in the Alps of Eastern France, Kevin has been passionate about geography and travel since childhood. He discovered the power of video after a year spent exploring Asia, South America and Africa.

The filmmaker has now built a career travelling the globe capturing the wonders that the world has to offer for brands including Discovery Channel Asia and Beautiful Destinations. A trip to document the people and culture of Madeira provided the perfect opportunity for Kevin to explore the creative potential of the hybrid Canon EOS R5 C.

At the flick of a switch, the EOS R5 C shifts from a professional 45MP stills setup to a professional 8K video setup, complete with the dedicated interface, features and controls that all pro filmmakers need. Its impressive list of specifications includes the ability to record cinematic 8K 30p footage, 4K 120p slow motion and even 8K 60p when using an external power supply. It offers multiple professional recording formats, including three new 12-bit Cinema RAW Light options, as well as popular XF-AVC and MP4 formats. The camera also supports simultaneous recording options, allowing users to record high quality RAW and proxies at the same time for easy editing on the go.

It's no wonder, then, that the compact and feature-packed EOS R5 C has piqued the interest of travel filmmakers such as Kevin.

 EOS R5 C_The_Soul_of_Madeira_KevinClerc_ENGLISH_MASTER_H264_4K_MP4_2mins_EM_v2

Pro video capabilities

Kevin’s film focused on various aspects of Madeiran culture, tied together by a poetic narration delivered by a local luthier, a craftsperson who makes stringed musical instruments.

"My first impression of the camera was that it was very light in weight, but had so many features packed into it," says Kevin. "Getting 8K long duration video recording in such a small body is so impressive."

To capture the luthier at work, Kevin relied on the EOS R5 C’s 4K 120p recording option. "It was interesting to discover that I could record slow motion footage and real-time audio at the same time," he says. "That was very helpful, because the sound that the luthier's traditional tools made on the wood as he worked was incredible."

A technician wearing white gloves cleans the sensor of a Canon camera.

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A Canon EOS R5 C and Canon EOS C70 on tripods in a craft workshop. Next to them, two seated men are looking at something to the left of the camera.

To record the voiceover with multi-cam, Kevin set up the Canon EOS R5 C and EOS C70, syncing them through their timecode terminals.

The bottom half of a man's face in the rear screen of a Canon EOS R5 C.

Kevin connected the microphone to the EOS R5 C via a TASCAM CA-XLR2D-C XLR microphone adapter attached to the camera’s Multi-function accessory shoe.

One of the design features that distinguishes the Canon EOS R5 C from the similarly specified EOS R5 is the built-in fan that helps to regulate the camera’s internal temperature during long and intense shoots. The benefits of the new thermal exhaust system were particularly noticeable while Kevin was recording the voiceover.

"I recorded the luthier, Henrique, repeating the narration, just to be sure that I captured the tone of voice I wanted. I asked him to talk slowly for one take, a bit faster for another, louder for the next, and so on. We did it between 20 and 30 times without stopping – maybe an hour of continuous recording in 8K at 25fps – and the camera performed perfectly."

The EOS R5 C features Canon's innovative RF mount, which gave Kevin access to a wide choice of professional RF lenses, but he was also able to use Canon's CN-E24mm T1.5 L F and CN-E50mm T1.3 L F Cine Prime lenses via the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

"The manual focusing is so smooth on these lenses, and the image you get is just incredible," he says. "I don't really like to use focus peaking because the colour can sometimes end up covering so much of the image. But the EOS R5 C's manual focus indicator, which takes up such a small part of the screen, was very helpful."

A man in a blue jacket filming with an EOS R5 C camera on a boat in choppy waters.

When set to video mode, the EOS R5 C uses the same effective 5-axis image stabilisation system as the Canon EOS C70, which meant footage remained smooth and stable even when shot from a small fishing boat sailing against strong ocean waves. "Just standing up was hard," recalls Kevin. "The fishermen were used to the conditions, but it was pretty tough for the crew."

Hear more about the EOS R5 C in this episode of Canon's Shutter Stories podcast:

Accurate and reliable autofocus

There were several situations during the shoot when the EOS R5 C's EOS iTR AF X autofocus technology proved invaluable, including a dawn fishing trip.

"We left the port at around 6am, as we wanted to be out at sea in time to capture the first light of the day," Kevin recalls. "I started off using the Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 L F lens to shoot some B-roll of the fishermen working, but it was very hard to keep them in focus manually as there were so many waves and I was moving a lot. I changed to the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM and switched to autofocus and it was so much easier to maintain focus, even while moving."

A man films a female triathlete running towards him on a cliff path with a Canon EOS R5 C camera.

Kevin rigged the lightweight EOS R5 C to a gimbal, an FPV (first-person view) drone and a traditional drone to capture triathlete Filipa during the running leg of her race.

A Canon EOS R5 C hybrid camera attached to a drone.

"We used the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens for the FPV drone work, and the RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM for the standard drone," he says.

The sequences featuring triathlete Filipa also presented the perfect opportunity to test out the EOS R5 C's AF tracking capabilities. "For the cycling scene, I was shooting from the back of a car while Filipa followed us on her bicycle. It was pretty hard to stay stable, even with a gimbal, but the camera's tracking was very steady and reliable when I was recording both in 4K 120p and in 8K.

"We were on the beach early one morning to shoot the swimming scenes. I put the EOS R5 C in a waterproof pouch so I could get some footage of Filipa in the water and shot in 4K 120p as I wanted to record the waves hitting the camera in slow motion. I watched the footage back at home and the focus was so good. It's so reliable, with the ability to track a person's head or even their eyes. I used some speed ramping in the final film, slowing down the footage and speeding it up, and it looks so nice – so clean and sharp."

A man's hand holding a Canon EOS R5 C with a 15-35mm lens.

Meet the Canon EOS R5 C

Everything you need to know about Canon’s professional 8K full-frame hybrid camera.

The EOS R5 C’s compact and lightweight design was a big benefit when shooting in the waves, and it also gave Kevin greater flexibility when filming Filipa running. "It meant that not only was I able to follow her with the camera on a gimbal, but I could rig the camera and the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens onto an FPV drone to get very close 8K footage of her running fast. The ability to get such high-quality footage from such a small body on an FPV drone was really impressive."

A Canon EOS R5 C hybrid camera, with an RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens attached, mounted on a tripod overlooking the sea.

Kevin paired the EOS R5 C with a range of Canon RF, EF and Cine Prime lenses during the shoot, including the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye (pictured), the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and the RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM.

Versatile creative options

As a true hybrid camera, the full-frame EOS R5 C further expanded Kevin’s creative options. "I'm not really a photographer but being able to switch from recording 8K RAW video to capturing 45MP stills makes you feel as if you have both a dedicated video camera and a dedicated photo camera in your hand.

"I hiked to the top of a mountain to shoot a time-lapse sequence. The 45MP sensor means you can crop, zoom and pan the shot in post-production, which is really good for time-lapse work. I used the in-body Interval Timer to record the sequence, but as the clouds were moving so fast, I also recorded some 8K footage at 60fps [using an external power source] and applied some speed ramping in post."

Further creative recording options offered by the EOS R5 C include a vertical shooting mode – which Kevin used to capture TikTok-friendly clips – and the ability to generate stereoscopic 180° VR using the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens.

"We simply put the lens on the body, started recording and then did the VR work in post-production," explains Kevin. "Having a high-resolution, full-frame sensor means you don't need two different cameras on this kind of shoot."

Hands holding a Canon EOS R5 C hybrid camera, with one finger pushing a card into one of the dual card slots.

The dual card slots on the EOS R5 C – one for CFexpress type B cards and the other for UHS-II SD cards – enable you to simultaneously record a different format, resolution and bit depth to each card.

Flexibility in post-production

The EOS R5 C’s high-resolution full-frame CMOS sensor and sophisticated video recording options also gave Kevin greater flexibility when it came to grading and editing his film. "I'm always looking for a flat picture profile, so I shot RAW as often as I could," he says. "When I wasn’t shooting RAW, it was 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log 3."

There are numerous ways to configure recording to the EOS R5 C's dual card slots. "I recorded all of the footage onto CFexpress and the proxies onto SD," Kevin says. "This meant I already had all the proxies ready when I got home, saving time in the edit.

"I always export in 4K, but with 8K footage from the EOS R5 C you can get an oversampled 4K output that will always look better than footage recorded natively in 4K. Or you can crop into the 8K footage to remove something in the frame that you didn’t want or that you didn’t see while you were shooting.

"For me, though, the audio is 50% of the edit," explains Kevin. "So, before I started shooting, I had a structure in place, with the music and the voiceover I'd written. It’s basically a poem – essentially the island talking about herself. That's the message that I hope the viewer gets at the end of the video."

Marcus Hawkins

Kevin Clerc's kitbag

The key kit pro filmmakers use to shoot their videos

A top-down shot of Canon cameras, lenses and accessories arranged on a striped surface.




Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

The standard Mount Adapter EF-EOS R allows EF-S and EF lenses to be used on EOS R cameras seamlessly.

TASCAM CA-XLR2D-C XLR microphone adapter

A two-channel microphone adapter and preamplifier that allows external microphones to be used to record high-quality professional stereo sound.

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