The Canon EOS R5.
The Canon EOS R5 is the ultimate high-resolution hybrid camera, offering a powerful combination of 45 megapixel stills and 8K RAW video, while the EOS R6 is an uncompromising 4K-capable low-light performer. Both cameras offer true silent shooting at up to 20 frames per second and have built-in image stabilisation for up to 8-stops of shake reduction.

From social media to smartphones, the technological landscape has changed beyond recognition over the past decade. The camera industry has experienced transformational change too, with the rise of mirrorless machines helping to drive a new era of innovation.

With their small size and compelling blend of photo and video functionality, mirrorless cameras perfectly suit the discreet and diverse nature of photojournalism in 2020, and the latest Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless bodies show just how far the technology has come.

So what technological development – mirrorless camera or otherwise – has made the most difference to the working lives of leading photojournalists? We spoke to Visa pour l'Image stalwarts Brent Stirton, Francis Kohn, Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Pascal Maitre, Anush Babajanyan, Laura Morton and Daniel Etter to find out.

Francis Kohn, former Photo Director of Agence France-Presse.

Francis Kohn

Francis joined Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 1979, covering conflicts in Central America and Mexico. He later became an editor-in-chief, then was AFP's Photo Director from 2012 until 2017. He chaired the World Press Photo Awards jury in 2016.

Fast uploads

"The speed of everything has made a huge difference," said Francis. "The way the photographer can transmit to their news desk, and also the way we can send to clients. This has totally changed photojournalism. A photographer can now send 3,000 to 4,000 photos daily, so we need to be even more careful about what we do. The roles of photographers and editors are now even more important."
American photojournalist Laura Morton.

Laura Morton

Laura is a photojournalist based in San Francisco. She won the 2018 Canon Female Photojournalist Award for her project University Avenue, which was exhibited at this year’s Visa pour l'Image festival.

Low light capabilities

"You can shoot practically in the dark now, which helped on my Wild West Tech project on the startup technology industry. I wanted to keep the atmosphere of fluorescent lights in a bad office, so I didn’t use flash, just the glow off people's screens," said Laura.

"A lot of that project was shot on the Canon EOS R. Another great thing about this camera is that it’s so small and compact. In my current project, University Avenue, having a small camera put people at ease and made them a little bit more comfortable."

French photojournalist Pascal Maitre.

Pascal Maitre

Pascal is a Canon Ambassador who has spent more than 30 years covering stories in over 40 countries in Africa for the likes of National Geographic, Stern, Paris Match and The New York Times. In 2015, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Visa d’Or award.

Mirrorless cameras

"Mirrorless is a big, big change. I just came back from Ethiopia using mirrorless for the first time. Some pictures you cannot do without this technology. I was one of the last ones to use film until 2008, when I switched to digital. It was a big change, but now the big changes are in the new family of mirrorless cameras, and it's opening new doors," said Pascal.
Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton

Brent is a Senior Correspondent for Getty Images and a Canon Ambassador. He focuses on wildlife and conservation, and has earned recognition for his long-term projects for National Geographic Magazine.

"The leap in resolution and performance that's been made with the Canon EOS R5 means that I no longer have to compromise," said photographer Brent Stirton. "I used to always have to carry a Canon EOS 5DS R and two Canon EOS 5D Mark IVs. If I wanted to make a 50-megapixel file I would use the EOS 5DS R, but if I wanted to shoot in low-light I would have to switch to the EOS 5D Mark IV. Now I have it all on one body.

"At the same time, this camera doesn't look like a big, threatening professional tool," he said. "It doesn't attract a lot of attention, which is often a good thing in my line of work."

Photographer and journalist Daniel Etter.

Daniel Etter

Daniel is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, videographer and journalist, and a Canon Ambassador. He attended Visa pour l'Image 2019 to mentor up-and-coming students.

"I finished school in 2009, which was around the time the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was released, and that was a big change. It was one of the first affordable full-frame cameras with the ability to make videos, and that was a big paradigm shift," said Daniel.

"Now we are seeing the shift from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, which are now technologically on par. I've completely shifted from a DSLR to only using the Canon EOS R. It is much smaller and much lighter. Now I can take my camera everywhere."

Armenian photojournalist Anush Babajanyan.

Anush Babajanyan

Anush is an Armenian photojournalist who is known for depicting the social narratives of women and minority groups in Turkey, the Middle East and West Africa. She is the winner of the 2019 Canon Female Photojournalist Award.

Social media

"The biggest change from my point of view as a photographer is the way we communicate with our audience through social media," said Anush. "Instagram Stories has really transformed not only the way pictures are seen, but the way photographers show their work and communicate with people. I post my pictures and do behind-the-scenes stories of how I work. It has become very, very important for me."
Dutch photojournalist Ilvy Njiokiktjien.

Ilvy Njiokiktjien

Ilvy is a Dutch news and documentary photojournalist and Canon Ambassador, whose work has gained global recognition. In 2011, she was awarded first place in the World Press Photo Multimedia category for the first video she produced on her Canon DSLR.

Video-shooting cameras

"For me, the most game-changing technology has been video being added to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II," said Ilvy. "I never thought it would become such a big part of my daily work, but clients keep asking for video. It gives a totally different perspective to my job, and I really like it.

"Things have got even better with the latest mirrorless cameras such as the Canon EOS R6. This camera focuses so quickly and it sees more than I could with my naked eye," she said. "The new technology is so inspiring and I will be able to shoot things that would not have been possible before."

Find all the Canon-related stories on our Visa pour l'Image event page.

Autor Matthew Bowen

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