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Canon R5 video file sizes + trouble downloading


Hi, I recently purchased a Canon R5 in the hopes that I would be able to get good quality slomo videos for sports. After using it for a week and trying to download the videos off my camera I ran into a problem. For some reason the file sizes are so large that I can't even get them onto my phone. I have a lexar adapter for my cf express card and whenever i try to airdrop the videos from finder on my mac to my phone it gets stuck and forces the videos to go to files on my phone. I'm not sure why this is happening but I was hoping someone could help me with this. I am by no means a professional photographer so any input would be appreciated.

Thank you,





Your R5 can certainly record very high quality video.  However, the idea that you can drop these videos onto a computer and use them directly is a bit unrealistic.  And a phone, even more so.

If you shoot video on a compact camera, the assumption is that you want to double-click the videos and play them directly.  As a result -- and also for general cheapness -- the camera will record at a pretty low bit-rate, resulting in small files.  The videos will have mediocre quality, but wll play easily.

When you invest in a better camera -- like the R5 -- the assumption is that you're going to edit your videos before publishing.  The camera records at a much higher bit-rate, and the files are huge.  In general, you can not play these directly on your computer.  When I try to play even MP4 files off my R5C, the video jerks forward a couple of times then freezes.  The idea is that you edit your clips and then export at a much lower bit-rate.  Because your computer isn't encoding in real time, it can produce a decent quality in a much smaller file.

The solution is one of these:

  • post-process your videos: either edit and export at a lower bit rate, or re-encode them (with a tool like Handbrake, which is free).
  • set your camera to record at a lower quality; maybe HD instead of 4k.

As for what's going on between your Mac and your phone, I have no idea.  But you're suggesting that the file size is the issue, and I guess you're right.


Apple's AirDrop doesn't have a file size limit.  However, a limit will still exist which would be the amount of free space on your iPhone.

As AtticusLake mentioned, and as you've found, video files generated by the EOS R5 can be extremely large.  What specific recording resolution are you using? HD, 4K, 8K? And what specific codec?

Also, when using AirDrop to transfer from a Mac to an iOS/iPad OS device, the file will get routed to an appropriate location automatically.  e.g. if you transfer images that the device can recognize (e.g. HEIC, PNG, JPEG), it will be placed into the Photos app.  I suspect that the video that you're transferring is the original video from camera? e.g. MXF or RAW? In which case placing it within the Files app would make sense.

If you wish to use your iPhone as a sort of backup, you're done.  However, if the goal was to be able to share the video to your phone for playback, you'll need to export the video to some playable format (e.g. H.264 or H.265) using software on your Mac (e.g. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, etc.).


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Hi thank you for the reply. This all makes more sense now. 
The resolution that I am using is 4k at 120fps, ALL-I.

Do you know of any good cheaper options for software systems on my mac that I can use to edit these videos? 

Thanks so much again, 

Davinci Resolve.  Bit of learning curve but the free version does pretty well.


Rebel XT, 7D, 5Dm3, 5DmIV (current), EOS R, EOS R5 (current)

While DaVinci resolve does have a free version, you'd need the Studio version (around $300) for working with framerates higher than 60fps as well as bit depths higher than 8-bit (e.g. 10-bit 4:2:2).

I think all are really well-priced.  I have used Final Cut Pro for all my video needs.  It started out as a $1,000 application back in the day.  But once Apple created the Mac App Store, it's at $300 and so far, every single update has been free for several years now.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers