Canon EOS R5 heatsink modification service from the NJ-based company Kolari Vision promises to significantly improve the recording times in 8K. The modification includes the replacement of Canon’s internal aluminum heatsink with a larger copper heatsink and thermal pad that dissipates the heat into the camera chassis. The cost of the service is $400.
Announced in summer of 2020, both Canon EOS R5 and R6 cameras were troubled by overheating problems when recording video in certain modes. While Canon later improved the recording times of the EOS R5 with a firmware update, unlimited recording times in 8K, or 4K HQ are still not possible. Make sure to check our Canon EOS R5 Review and our EOS R5 Lab Test to learn more about the camera.
Replacing the Canon EOS R5’s Internal Heatsink
In November 2020, Matt from the DIY Perks Youtube channel published a long and useful video about modding the Canon EOS R5 and getting unlimited 8K raw recording. After some temperature measurements and experimenting with water cooling, he was able to get an unlimited 8K recording. He then created a more practical solution by designing a better and larger internal heatsink out of copper rather than Canon’s original aluminum one. Matt’s heatsink also directly touched the camera chassis at the back via a thermal pad to further spread the heat created by the sensor and image processor.
My assumption is that Canon was unable to do that as with the modified heat sink as the camera body gets very hot during use and would probably fail to pass some safety requirements. Anyway, with this modification, Matt was able to get significantly longer recording times and shorter recovery times with the EOS R5, which is very interesting for users of the camera.
Double recording times in 8K with mod
Fast forward a couple of months, here comes a New Jersey-based company called Kolari Vision that offers a modification service for the Canon EOS R5 that promises to almost double the recording times in 8K and provide shorter recovery times. The modification includes, you guessed it right, the replacement of the internal aluminum heatsink with a larger copper heatsink. Although the heatsink from Kolari Vision looks very similar to the one Matt designed, I don’t know to what extent the company was “inspired” by or licensed his design.
Canon EOS R5 mod service by Kolari Vision
From what I saw on their website, The NJ-based company focuses mainly on infrared photography solutions and camera modifications. The EOS R5 modification encompasses the replacement of the internal aluminum heatsink. The company claims to have designed a new larger copper heatsink that draws heat out of the processor and brings it around the motherboard and out to the rear case where it transfers heat through a high-efficiency thermal pad. This design is fully internal to the camera and maintains the weather sealing of the camera.
Kolari Vision tested the modified camera at 8K-D IPB 30FPS at 59°F (15°C) and 69°F (20°C) environments. At 15°C, the R5 never overheated. At 20°C, the stock camera lasts around 25 minutes and the modified camera lasts 44 minutes, which is almost twice the initial shooting duration. Furthermore, the camera recovered a lot faster after it did overheat, giving more shooting time after a short recovery. With the stock camera, they could only get about 8 minutes of additional shooting after a 5-minute recovery, where the mod was able to shoot 25 minutes after the same 5-minute recovery – 3 times faster overheating recovery.
Kolari Vision also published a Youtube video comparing the 8K recording times with a stock EOS R5 and the modified EOS R5. My initial thought (and some other Youtube viewers pointed out the same) is that the comparison is not fair as the stock EOS R5 records the video with a closed screen. Opening the screen proved to make a notable difference in the recording times. The company stated that they will redo the test and upload a new video where the stock R5 will have the screen opened.
Price and availability
The company offers the Canon EOS R5 modification service for a fee of $400. According to the website, return shipping within the US is free of charge. The turnaround time for camera conversions is two weeks on average for most models – this is, however, only an estimate and not a guarantee. Currently, this mod is “available on backorder” so the real time required might be different. Additionally, Kolari Vision also accepts international orders with FedEx. In this case, the cost of shipping and the time required for the service may, of course, vary.
When it comes to warranty, Kolari Vision states that all camera conversions are 100% warrantied for post-conversion malfunctions and electronic issues. Conversions on mail-in cameras and the company’s already converted cameras come with a 1-year warranty from Kolari Vision. I suppose the warranty from Canon will be void after the modification.
Do you use Canon EOS R5 for your video work? Does the overheating issue limit you in any way? Would you have your camera modified? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.