Can Canon R5 Record to SSD?

a camera with a cable

Yes, the Canon R5 can record to SSD, you will need a few extra bits of gear though.

The Canon EOS R5 is a powerhouse mirrorless camera known for its high-resolution 45-megapixel sensor, impressive 8K video capabilities, and robust feature set.

Given its advanced specifications, many users wonder if it can record directly to an SSD (Solid State Drive) to bypass the limitations of traditional memory cards in terms of capacity and speed.

Can Canon R5 Record to SSD?

In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities, methods, and considerations for recording directly to an SSD with the Canon R5.

Native Recording Capabilities

By default, the Canon R5 is designed to record to CFexpress Type B cards and SD cards. These cards are inserted into the camera’s dual card slots and offer substantial speed and capacity for most shooting scenarios. However, high-bitrate video formats, such as 8K RAW, can quickly fill up even the largest memory cards, leading to frequent card swaps and potential interruptions in recording.

Using External Recorders

While the Canon R5 does not natively support direct recording to an SSD via its built-in ports, you can use an external recorder to achieve this.

External recorders like the Atomos Ninja V or the Blackmagic Video Assist can be connected to the R5 via HDMI.

These devices not only provide additional recording formats and higher capacities but also offer features like larger monitoring screens and professional-grade codecs.

How to Set Up External Recording:
  1. Select an External Recorder:
  • Choose a compatible external recorder that supports HDMI input and can record to an SSD. The Atomos Ninja V is a popular choice due to its robust feature set and compatibility with many cameras.
  1. Connect the HDMI Cable:
  • Use a high-quality HDMI cable to connect the Canon R5 to the external recorder. Ensure the cable is securely connected to both the camera and the recorder.
  1. Configure Camera Settings:
  • Turn on the Canon R5 and navigate to the menu settings. Under the “Shooting” tab, go to “HDMI output” settings and select the desired output resolution and frame rate. Ensure that the HDMI output is set to deliver the video signal to the external recorder.
  1. Configure the Recorder:
  • Power on the external recorder and configure it to receive the HDMI input from the Canon R5. Select the appropriate recording settings, such as resolution, codec, and file format.
  1. Attach an SSD:
  • Connect an SSD to the external recorder according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the SSD is formatted correctly for the recorder to avoid compatibility issues.
  1. Start Recording:
  • Once everything is set up, press the record button on the external recorder. The Canon R5 will send the video signal via HDMI, and the external recorder will capture it directly to the SSD.

Benefits of Recording to an SSD

Recording to an SSD via an external recorder offers several advantages:

  1. Increased Storage Capacity:
  • SSDs typically offer much higher storage capacities compared to CFexpress or SD cards, allowing for extended recording times without the need to swap cards frequently.
  1. Faster Transfer Speeds:
  • SSDs provide faster read and write speeds, which can be beneficial when dealing with high-bitrate video formats such as 8K RAW or 4K 120fps.
  1. Improved Workflow:
  • Using an external recorder with an SSD can streamline your workflow, making it easier to transfer and edit large video files. SSDs can be connected directly to your computer, bypassing the need for card readers.
  1. Enhanced Features:
  • External recorders often come with additional features such as larger, high-resolution monitors, professional codecs (e.g., ProRes, DNxHR), and focus and exposure tools, enhancing your overall shooting experience.

Considerations and Limitations

While recording to an SSD via an external recorder offers many benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Portability:
  • Adding an external recorder and SSD setup increases the overall size and weight of your camera rig, which may affect portability and ease of use, especially for handheld or gimbal shooting.
  1. Power Requirements:
  • External recorders and SSDs require their own power sources, typically through batteries or AC power. Managing multiple power sources can be challenging during long shoots.
  1. Cable Management:
  • The HDMI connection between the camera and the external recorder requires careful cable management to avoid accidental disconnections or damage during shooting.


While the Canon R5 cannot record directly to an SSD through its internal ports, using an external recorder provides a viable and effective solution. This setup offers significant advantages in terms of storage capacity, transfer speeds, and workflow enhancements, making it an excellent choice for professional videographers and filmmakers working with high-bitrate video formats. By understanding the setup process and potential challenges, you can maximize the capabilities of your Canon R5 and streamline your recording workflow with the use of external SSDs.

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