Canon EOS 5DS R Review – A Powerhouse Of Canon

Canon has expanded its EOS 5D lineup with the introduction of two new cameras with a resolution of 50 megapixels each: the 5DS and the 5DS R. Both cameras have a full-frame sensor and a high resolution, and they are designed with still photographers in mind.

The ‘S’ model has an optical low-pass filter, whilst the R’ model has a self-canceling filter (this is the same relationship that Nikon’s D800 and D800E models had). This is the sole variation between the versions.

The two cameras will reside alongside the EOD 5D Mark III, operating as specialized high-resolution cameras that are specially meant for the studio, landscape, and wedding shots. This is in contrast to the present model, which has all-around capabilities. In terms of maximum ISO and the number of shots that can be taken continuously, the Mark III is superior to both the S and the S R.

Key characteristics

  • 50-megapixel CMOS sensor with continuous shooting at 5 frames per second
  • ISO 100-6400 (Extends to 12,800)
  • 61-point autofocus module that receives data from a metering sensor with 150k pixels
  • Dual Digic 6 processors
  • 3.0″ 1.04M-dot LCD CF & SD slots (UHS-I compatible)
  • downsampled M-Raw and S-Raw video formats in 1080/30p resolution
  • APS-H crop mode at 30 megapixels and APS-C crop mode at 19.6 megapixels
  • interface with USB 3.0

The majority of the significant new capabilities that have been added to the high-resolution 5Ds are geared at making it possible for users to make the most of the additional resolution offered by the cameras. Because of our experiences with the Nikon D8X0 series of cameras, we now know that merely possessing a sensor with a high resolution isn’t enough; in order to get the most out of it, you need to be very concerned about the camera’s steadiness.

In order to do this, Canon has strengthened the tripod socket and the region surrounding it, which enables a more robust engagement with a tripod. It has also utilized a motorized mirror mechanism that is more controlled, similar to the one found in the EOS 7D II. This mechanism enables a deceleration step prior to the mirror reaching its higher position, which helps to reduce the mirror slap.

The third modification is a revamped mirror lock-up mode that enables users to set an automated delay between the raising of the mirror and the opening of the shutter to initiate an exposure. The user is given the ability to select the lowest feasible time that has enabled the mirror vibration to decrease. This maximizes sharpness while simultaneously limiting the amount of responsiveness that is lost.

A built-in intervalometer and the capability to shoot time-lapse sequences are two more features from the 7D II that have made their debut in the Canon 5D Mark III. And as a first for Canon, these still images may then be blended in-camera to produce a time-lapse video in 1080p/24p resolution.

Structure And Constituents

The bodies of the EOS 5DS, 5DS SR, and 5D Mark III are all basically indistinguishable from one another and from those of the 5D Mark III. The controls are located in the exact same places as they were on the 5D III, which is itself a natural extension of Canon’s time-honored commitment to ergonomics. Because of this, it is a camera that any person who is already familiar with the brand will be able to pick up and begin using right away.

Because of this continuity with the 5D III, the high-resolution cameras will not receive the spring thumb switch that was included on the EOS 7D Mark II and which we found fairly appealing. On the whole, though, these cameras have the kind of robust and long-lasting feel that is consistent with the quality of products that retail for this kind of money.

Control points

The consistency with the 5D Mark III is quite high: both the 5DS and the SR have the exact same buttons in the exact same placements. If you’ve been shooting with previous Canon bodies in the past, or if you’re already comfortable with shooting with an EOS 5D Mark III, this will make switching to a new Canon body a very natural transition for you.

The power switch, mode dial, menu, and info buttons are all located on the left shoulder of the camera. Because it is a locking mode dial, the exposure modes cannot be changed inadvertently. Instead, you are required to depress the center button while spinning the dial in order for it to have any impact. While the ‘Info’ button allows you to toggle between the several display modes, the ‘Menu’ button does precisely what you’d expect it to do.

The majority of the important control points are located in the upper right-hand corner of the camera. There are three buttons that have dual functions, a button that illuminates the LCD panel, and just beyond the front control dial is the M-Fn button, which can be used to cycle between different AF point selection modes. When you push one of the camera’s controls knobs, one of the camera’s three dual-function buttons will take over for it and perform its new role.

The primary shooting controls are located along the right-hand side of the camera, while the majority of the playback controls are located on the left. This layout is similar to that of the camera shoulders. Next to the viewfinder is where you’ll find the Live view/video switch, and to the right of that is where you’ll find the AF-On, AEL (*), and AF point selection mode buttons.

It is important to note that the AF-ON and AEL buttons can be configured in a variety of ways. When the AF point selection button is pushed, the main dials may be repurposed to swiftly shift the selected AF point left/right and up/down, as well as alter the AF area modes in combination with the M-Fn button. This is done by pressing the AF point selection button.

Further down is the joystick that is mostly used for AF point positioning (although for some reason this is not enabled by default) and menu navigation. Below the joystick is the Q.Menu button, and below that is the camera’s second control dial. The SET button that is located within this jog dial is programmable, and one of our favorite purposes for it is the immediate magnification of the AF point (to do this, you need to change the ‘Magnification (apx)’ option to ‘Actual size’ under the Playback settings menu).

The left-hand side of the camera is mostly reserved for playback controls; the only button on this site that has any impact during shooting is labeled “Picture Style” and may also be used to access HDR and multi-shot settings. The ‘Rate,’ zoom, play and delete buttons all function as you would expect them to, making it simple to evaluate and edit your pictures while you are on the move. Strangely, none of these buttons may be personalized in any way.

Mechanism for mirrors

The mirror mechanism of the camera has been overhauled by Canon to lessen the amount of vibration that is caused when the mirror is flipped up. It is operated by a motor rather than a spring and uses a mechanism that is quite similar to the one that is used in the EOS 7D II. This indicates that its upward momentum may be slowed down as it near the peak of its trip, rather than crashing to a halt at full speed as it hits the limit of its travel.

Even though the camera has a high resolution, this new design keeps the images rather clear, especially when the camera is set to Silent Shooting mode. We are quite confident in this assertion. However, it is not completely foolproof: the mirror actuation can still cause image softening vibrations, which is something that is covered in our special article on mirror- and shutter-induced shock.

What’s Brand New?

The problem with high ISO

If the images captured by the 5DS and SR are identical to those captured by the 7D II at the pixel level, then when those images are scaled down to a common output size, the 5DS and SR should look approximately 1EV better than the 7D II because their sensors are so much larger. However, this decision seems even stranger when you consider that. On the basis of this information, you may anticipate that the cameras will reach their limit at an ISO of 102,400.

There are a few other reasons that may explain why this is not the situation, but none of them seem likely. First, Canon feels that the customer base for the EOS 5DS and SR have greater expectations than the audience for the EOS 7D II, and as a result, they would be unsatisfied with the camera if they purchased it.

The second difference is that there are some shooting conditions in which the output of the 5D S and SR is not comparable to that of the 7D II at the pixel level. The most plausible explanation, albeit one that is very cynical, is that Canon wishes to keep a clear separation between the high-pixel-count 5Ds and the existing 5D Mark III.

Lock-up for the mirror

The mirror lockup modes of the cameras have been upgraded. Rather than having to press the shutter button twice in order to lift the mirror and then press it once more in order to start the exposure, it is now possible to apply a pre-set delay before the shutter fires in order to let the mirror vibration dissipate before the shutter button is activated.

The plan is for you to be able to select the shortest time that is still effective, which is something that will alter based on the focal length, how tightly you can clamp the camera down, and how hefty the lens that is attached to the camera is.

There is no way to combine this mode with an electronic first curtain shutter since doing so would create a delay between the mirror slap and any shutter wobble that may occur before the exposure begins. For whatever reason, there is no way to do this combination.

A metering sensor as well as an autofocus system

Canon has recently begun equipping its professional-grade cameras with metering sensors that have full-color sensitivity and a high resolution. The metering sensor in the 5DS and SR has the same 150,000-pixel resolution as the one used in the EOS 7D II.

The 63-zone, two-layer sensor that was utilized in the 5D III has been replaced by a sensor that has a sensitivity to blue, green, red, and infrared light. This gives the camera the ability to build up a far greater knowledge of the scene. This sensor is capable of more precise metering than the 5D Mark III was able to achieve as a result of its color information being divided into 252 different zones.

An odd omission considering the simplicity with which we assume it might be done now that the cameras have high-resolution metering sensors is the fact that spot metering still cannot be connected to the AF point that has been picked.

These metering sensors are, in essence, image sensors with a low resolution, and the information that they provide can be fed into the autofocus system for the purpose of subject recognition and tracking. Canon first introduced the ‘iTR’ system in its EOS-1D X camera, and it is known by that acronym (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition).

Despite the fact that it uses the same focus module as the EOS 5D III, this should, in theory, allow for far more accurate subject tracking throughout the frame (where the camera automatically finds the right AF point to stay on your subject) than the camera’s predecessor.

The majority of our experience with it comes from our use of the Canon 7D II, which performed noticeably better at following subjects than previous Canon cameras without iTR, but not quite up to the level achieved by Canon’s own 1D X or by full-frame cameras from Nikon. Our experience with iTR comes primarily from our use of the 7D II (which has been using a similar approach for many years in its own version of iTR: 3D tracking).

Although we only spent a short amount of time with the 5DS, it seemed that the iTR technology performed just as well as the 7D II, and Canon verified that both cameras used the same iTR mechanism.

Movie mode

When it comes to recording movies, the EOS 5DS and SR deliver quite contradictory information. When you compare them to the EOS 5D III, you get a confusing tale about how certain features have been added while others have been eliminated.

On the bright side, the 5DSs acquire continuous autofocus during video shooting (what Canon refers to as Movie Servo AF), and they also feature increased preview magnification to make it easier to attain ideal manual focus.

However, these improvements are somewhat mitigated by the fact that the EOS 5D III does not come equipped with a headphone connection. Additionally, the new cameras do not have the capability to provide a “clean,” menu-free signal through the HDMI port. Finally, in comparison to the 5D III, their ISO ranges have been reduced, which is the same thing that happened with still images.

Aside from this, both cameras have the same capture and compression choices. For example, one camera may record 1080 videos at 30 frames per second, 25 frames per second, or 24 frames per second, and it has two primary compression settings.

These compression algorithms are the now-familiar 87Mbps ALL-I mode and a more compressed 34Mbps IPB mode. The former keeps full information about all frames, while the latter only keeps full information on infrequent “key” frames and the changes that occur between them.

The EOS 5DS and the SR both have a maximum ISO setting of 6400, but there is an extension setting that goes up to 12,800.

The declaration that the camera’s sensor produces the same noise at the pixel level as the EOS 7D Mark II, which has a top extended setting of ISO 51,200, is contradictory to this decision, which seems to contradict the statement.

Autofocus Focus Module

The Canon EOS 5DS and SR feature modified versions of the 61-point autofocus module that is found in the Canon EOS-1D X and Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras. This boasts a class-leading 41 cross-type AF points that can fix focus on both horizontal and vertical edges, enhancing the in-focus rate even in difficult lighting circumstances. These AF points can fix focus on both edges horizontally and vertically.

This is due to the fact that in tough, low-contrast illumination (situations such as low light or backlit environments), it is simply preferable to have an AF sensor that is “searching” along many axes for detail in order to make measurements. Even when partnered with somewhat slow lenses, such as f/5.6 lenses (or lens/teleconverter combos that yield an f/5.6 maximum aperture), 21 of the camera’s center cross-type AF points continue to function normally.

It is important to pay particular attention to the five center AF spots, which are shown in blue with an X below. When these points are used in conjunction with lenses that have an aperture of F2.8 or faster, they transform into dual-cross-type, which enables them to detect diagonal cross-sensitivity in addition to the standard cross-sensitivity (visualize an X superimposed on a plus sign).

When combined with fast lenses, the diagonal cross-type sensors that are located at those five center places have longer baselines, and as a result, they display a high degree of focus accuracy. When combined with Canon’s most recent lenses, we discovered that the camera’s accuracy was virtually on par with that of mirrorless cameras, even when set to an aperture of 1.4.

Roger Cicala, who works for LensRentals, speculates that this may be the result of a feedback system that is included in more recent lenses. This mechanism collaborates with high-precision sensors to provide improved focus precision. After you have performed the necessary micro-adjustments to some of your lenses, you may anticipate extremely high focus repeatability with these central AF spots. However, prior to doing these adjustments, you will still need to do so.

Focus Modes

The high-resolution twins offer a set of options that are comparable to those found on other Canon models. These options include the capability to use only particular focus points or zones, as well as single AF (One Shot), continuous AF (AI Servo), and a mode that tries to automatically switch between the two types of AF (AI Focus). This auto mode, like to virtually every other camera that we have ever evaluated, has a propensity to be overly sluggish in registering motion, and as a result, it is not always that useful.

Picking the appropriate AF point

There is a wide variety of options available on the cameras to choose from or restrict the focus points that the camera will utilize. Spot AF, Single AF, Expand AF area +, Expand AF area Surround, Zone AF, and Autoselect 61 point AF are the available settings, going from more particular to least specific as you go outside from the center. It is possible to restrict the camera to just utilize cross-type or to a 15- or 9-point array in order to make the manual point selection process go more quickly.

The parameters for continuous AF behavior

When set to AI Servo mode, the EOS 5DS and SR offer the same focusing choices that were introduced for the first time in Canon’s professional sports camera, the 1D X. These take the three options that are already available for determining how tolerant the camera should be of changes in the subject’s distance and location within the frame and combine them into a series of presets that are geared toward certain sorts of subject movement. The purpose of this guide is to make it simpler for you to pick the appropriate location for the topic you’ve decided to photograph.

The default settings of the six presets can be changed if the results they produce are not precisely what you are looking for; however, the presets already cover a reasonably wide variety of subject behaviors in their unmodified forms.

However, despite the fact that these options are the same as those that are available on the EOS 5D Mark III, the 5DS and SR have higher-resolution metering sensors to build up an understanding of the scene, which means that they should be better at identifying and tracking subjects as they move around.

The ‘Auto AF pt sel. :EOS iTR AF’ setting can be found on the fourth page of the AF section of the main menu. This setting allows you to activate the ‘Intelligent Tracking and Recognition’ mode (iTR). If it is not engaged, the camera will only utilize the information from its phase-detection AF sensor to determine the subject’s depth.

Focus with Low Light

In spite of the fact that the autofocus is officially claimed to operate well down to -2EV, our testing revealed that the center point performed just as well as the Nikon D750, which is rated to perform well down to -3EV. You can view it in action at -2 EV by clicking this link, and you can also view our demonstration of the 5D Mark III’s AF module performing down to -3 EV with its center point in our competition against the Nikon D750, D810, and 7D Mark II by clicking this link.

It is important to note that the D810, which is Nikon’s closest competitor, frequently refuses to focus on light levels as bright as -1 EV when using its central point. This places it in a much worse position than the 5DS/R, as well as the D800/E, which can all focus in conditions that are 4 times darker (-3 EV).

Continuous Aperture Focusing: Subjects at a Great Distance (Telephoto)

It should come as no surprise that the camera is very good at refocusing on a subject that is coming directly towards it while using a single AF point. This is true regardless of whether the subject is being shot at a long distance with a telephoto lens (below) or at a shorter distance with a wide, fast prime lens (see here). This is a task that DSLR phase detection autofocus is particularly good at, and Canon has a lot of experience creating algorithms that predict subject distance, based on existing movement. Canon has a lot of experience creating algorithms that predict subject distance, and it has a lot of experience.

Zone AF: Center (with iTR)

Through the usage of Zone AF, you are able to pick either a 3×3 core or 4×3 peripheral zone and then give the camera permission to choose whatever point from within that region to utilize. When it is difficult to maintain a single AF point over a moving subject, this might be of some use.

We put Canon’s Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR), which is supposed to enhance this AF mode, to the test by photographing an approaching bike and seeing how effectively the camera followed him.

Unfortunately, even though the camera’s autofocus points were confined to a central zone (so that it couldn’t go too far wrong), the fact that the camera had to choose which AF point to use resulted in a lower hit rate than it had before. This was because the camera had to contend with an additional challenge.

iTR Multi Area AF (61 point mode, cross-type points only)

After that, we have our subject weave left and right while riding towards the camera, and we let iTR try to follow it across all of the camera’s 41 cross-type AF points while it does so. In this mode, we first identify our topic by choosing the center AF point, positioning it over our subject, and starting the autofocus process.

As long as the shutter button is depressed halfway, the camera will make an effort to identify the right autofocus point or points so that the subject may be maintained in the frame regardless of where it travels inside the frame.

It is interesting to note that the autofocus (AF) point that is displayed in the viewfinder will frequently fall behind the subject, but the camera will still hit focus in approximately the right place (possibly because the camera is better able to estimate the subject’s distance than it is to keep up with the subject’s position in the scene).

Video

Both the EOS 5DS and the EOS 5DS SR provide users with essentially the same video choices as the EOS 5D Mark III. Both ALL-I compression, in which each frame is compressed on its own, and IPB compression, in which only the differences between crucial frames are maintained, are available at resolutions up to 1080/30p. There is also a choice of other compression techniques. Recording at 60 frames per second is only feasible at a resolution of 720 pixels, which reduces the number of possibilities available when capturing video to be played back in slow motion.

A number of important video-centric functions, including as focus peaking and zebra (highlight) alerts, are absent from the 5DS and 5R cameras. Even while it’s realistic to assume that professional videographers won’t use the 5DS cameras for shooting video, similar functionalities are available on several of the 5DS’ mirrorless competitors.

Video Quality

Our video still is not, in and of itself, a test of video quality (since that cannot sensibly be assessed without seeing how the cameras reproduce motion), but it does provide some insight into the manner in which the sensor of the camera is being sampled and the degree to which it is being sharpened.

It is interesting to note that the 5DS R (and, by implication, the 5DS) appears to do its video in a totally different way than the 5D Mark III. The Canon 5DS R appears to be skipping readout lines in order to get down to the 1080 resolution, in contrast to the Canon Mark III, which groups its pixels together into larger units (the giveaway for this is the asymmetrical rendering of moiré on the Siemens stars around the scene’s central target). Despite this, the results that it produces appear to be slightly more detailed than those produced by its brother with a lesser resolution.

The results appear to be extremely close to those of the Nikon D810, both in terms of detail and capture artifacts, although with slightly more harsh sharpening on the Nikon when compared to its two most obvious competitors. The footage captured by the 5DS looks to be more capable of handling aliasing and moiré than that captured by the D810.

When filmed at 1080 utilizing the nearly full-width crop of its sensor, the Sony Alpha 7R II appears to be of higher quality in both of these regards. However, despite the fact that this video was undoubtedly pixel-binned, it is still capable of producing results that are substantially superior if it is shot in 4K from the Super 35 area and then downsized (which you can read more about in the a7R II review).

Good Light vs. Nikon D810

In this comparison test, the Canon EOS 5DS R and the Nikon D810, which is its closest DSLR competitor, take pictures side-by-side. Although the manufacturers of both cameras claim the video capabilities of their products, the reality is not particularly video-friendly.

Both cameras do not have a focus peaking feature, which would make manual focusing easier. While the Nikon only provides a few options for compression and bitrate, the Canon does not provide any zebra alerts to help determine exposure.

Compared to the Sony a7R II in terms of Low Light Performance

In spite of being set to ISO 12,800, the EOS 5DS R is still able to produce films that may be utilized in many contexts. Although there is no evidence of temporal noise (such as dancing patterns in the shadows, like those that can be seen in the film captured by Sony’s Super 35 1080), there is also relatively little information in the image. The noise reduction that is keeping everything clean is also giving the subject’s skin on the darker side of his face a rather over-smoothed and waxy look. This is because of the way the noise reduction is keeping everything clean.

In general, the results are comparable to those of the majority of the a7R II’s output modes in terms of noise, with the exception of the a7R II’s very best performing 4K Super 35 mode, which outperforms in the vast majority of, if not all of, the relevant categories. In spite of this, none of the 4K settings on the a7R II provide the film with quite the same level of detail as the footage captured by the camera.

Handling/Controls

The 5DS and SR contain a respectable amount of capabilities that videographers may take advantage of, although a lot of additional options are not available. However, it does not feature a headphone port for audio monitoring, despite the fact that it has the same bitrate options as the EOS 5D Mark III. It is lacking features like focus peaking, zebra warnings, and flat gamma profiles, which are rapidly appearing on competitor models (as well as on Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras). This is a characteristic shared by all Canon DSLRs.

Autofocus

You can see how the video autofocus compares to that of the Sony a7R II and the Nikon D810 in the examples that follow, beginning with a motion that is relatively basic and going back and forth and then progressing to a motion that is slower and more erratic and being tracked by Face Detection:

The contrast detect-only autofocus (CDAF) mechanism of the 5DS implies that it is unable to compete with the depth-aware, on-sensor phase-detect AF system of the Sony a7R II while shooting video. Because the 5DS R spends most of its time trying to catch up as our subject moves, the vast majority of the film is, in all likelihood, out of focus. Compare this to the minimal hunting that is displayed by the a7R II, which allows our moving subject to remaining essentially in focus throughout the majority of the film.

Having said that, in comparison to the Nikon D810, Canon has done a great job of settling at a focus point without excessively bouncing back and forth for confirmation. This is especially noteworthy when considering that Canon’s AF system is limited to CDAF only. The Nikon will only sporadically correct the focus of the image, and when it does so, it will hunt significantly, resulting in an unsettling experience for the user.

The results produced by the Canon would not be acceptable to commit and discriminating filmmakers, but they are not unduly disturbing for projects that are being done at home. Note that because there is no focus peaking, the enlarged live view is your best option for correct manual focus. If you don’t have access to a higher resolution monitor, you may also try focusing off of a live HDMI stream.

Overall, that is the tale of the Canon EOS 5DS and SR: it is fully usable as a video camera, but it hasn’t been developed with professional filmmaking in mind.

Overall, that is the tale of the Canon EOS 5DS and SR: it is fully usable as a video camera, but it hasn’t been developed with professional filmmaking in mind. [Camera model]

Both the video quality and the degree of support resources that are offered are better suited to photographers who primarily work with stills but are interested in experimenting with video than they are to anyone who has serious goals in the video realm. One cannot help but get the idea that Canon would much rather have those consumers purchase a camera from its Cinema EOS series. This is something that is difficult to deny.

Quality of the Image

When it comes to the picture quality, a lot of people are going to be questioning which model is better: the 5DS or the 5DS R. The latter, as one might expect, provides a higher resolution than the 5DS, but doing so comes at the expense of increased aliasing.

Although we rarely encountered aliasing problems in the real world, which is not surprising given the high resolution of these sensors, those who routinely shoot high-frequency patterns may experience fewer aliasing artifacts with the 5DS. This may be the case because the 5DS has a higher horizontal resolution. Having said that, even the 5DS is susceptible to aliasing on occasion.

JPEGs have the appealing hues that we have come to anticipate from Canon cameras, especially when it comes to the tones of human flesh. Compare that to the few minutes I spent on each of the model photos on this page; I spent many hours playing around with Nikon and Sony Raw colors in order to obtain the skin tones I want. I really wish that lush vegetation was portrayed as lovely and warm as Nikon’s does, but they’re very close.

When it comes to the level of detail, sharpening with a big radius might cause halos around the edges. Since the 5D Mark III, noise reduction has been turned down greatly; nevertheless, it is still very unsophisticated in comparison to the balancing act of effective noise filtering and detail retention that Sony has achieved in their most recent JPEG engine in the a7R II. Learn more about JPEG by reading this in-depth analysis.

And although the 5DS and 5DS R feature the best-performing Canon sensor to date with regard to Raw dynamic range, rivals haven’t been standing still, which means that the most current full-frame Nikon or Sony camera will much outperform what the 5DS and 5DS R have to offer. It’s a shame that this is the case, considering that the 5DS and 5DS R cameras are ostensibly designed with landscape photographers in mind, many of whom place a high value on dynamic range.

And it’s not just landscapes that suffer; the image below had an impossible-to-control high-contrast background scene and exposing the sky meant that the shadows had to be brightened to make the foreground anything other than a sea of black. This resulted in noise and banding, which you can see even in the crop that’s been reduced by half.

Although its low-light performance is respectable in comparison to that of other Canon DSLRs, it is not quite up to pace, and it lags behind class leaders such as the Sony a7R II or the Nikon D810A at popular viewing sizes.

Having said that, it’s not all that far behind the best, so the arbitrary ceiling of ISO 12,800 feels pretty artificial and will be restrictive to some people. A maximum ISO setting of 6400 for the auto mode is almost unforgivable. A D810, which has a comparable ISO capability, is able to shoot without issue up to ISO 51,200.

Canon EOS 5DS R Specifications

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8688 x 5792
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels51 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors53 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor size notesOffers 1.6x and 1.3x crop modes, as well as medium and small Raw sizes.
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDual DIGIC 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-6400 (expandable to 50-12800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)12800
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.3, DPOF v2.0)Raw (Canon CR2, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points61
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeClearView II TFT-LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesScene Intelligent AutoProgram AEShutter Priority AEAperture Priority AEManualBulbCustom
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe and PC sync port)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleHigh-speed continuousLow-speed continuousSilent single shootingSilent continuous shootingSelf-timer
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p)
FormatH.264
Videography notesSupports ALL-I and IPB compression
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible), CompactFlash
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Remote controlYes (Wired and wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (dust and water-resistent)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)700
Weight (inc. batteries)930 g (2.05 lb / 32.80 oz)
Dimensions152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

The Closing Statement

There is no question that the vast majority of photographers do not require a resolution of 50 megapixels, but there are those who do, and because of this, the 5DS and especially the 5DS R are firmly established in the medium-format domain for studio and fashion photographers.

For example, Canon’s radio-triggered TTL flash system (600EX-RT / ST-E3-RT) is absolutely unsurpassed in its adaptability among Speedlites. This system is part of Canon’s superb family of glass and accessories, which are trusted by professionals. Landscape photographers are constantly searching for higher resolution so that they can print larger images, and the superb new glass that Canon has introduced in their 11-24 F4L, 16-35 F4L IS, and 70-200 F2.8L II lenses might make this camera an easy sell to nature photographers. The fact that the 5DS and 5DS R do not exist in a vacuum, though, makes them somewhat of a mystery.

To begin, landscape photographers who are interested in Canon glass now have a second alternative available to them in the form of the Sony Alpha 7R II, which features a sensor with a dynamic range that is far greater than that of its predecessor.

Those who are satisfied with Nikon glass may be willing to overlook the fact that the D810 only has 36 megapixels instead of 50 in order to compensate for the class-leading dynamic range of the camera. The D810 competes with the respectable medium format 645Z in terms of base ISO dynamic range due to its extended ability to capture light at ISO 64. To put it more simply, the capture of more light at a base ISO of 64 results in photographs with reduced levels of noise across the whole tonal range, not only in the shadows.

Those who are interested in attaining the highest possible resolution will therefore go for the 5DS/R. However, Sony’s a7R II is a worthy competitor, boasting a linear resolution that is 91.5 percent higher than that of the 5DS R. This camera effectively marries nearly unrivaled dynamic range with Canon glass.

However, it has a shorter battery life and controls that are more difficult to use, so you could find yourself mumbling under your breath when you’re out in the field. Those who are seeking for the best noise performance or the photographs with the least amount of clutter may be willing to overlook the fact that the D810 only has 84.7 percent of the linear resolution of the 5DS/R.

What about the several different categories of photographers? Wedding photographers and photojournalists may like the enhanced resolution when compared to a 5D III, but there are no noise improvements in low light: just limits, with an arbitrary ISO ceiling of 12,800. (6400 in Auto ISO).

In the meantime, rivals such as Nikon and Sony produce photographs with lower levels of noise. And although while the RGB+IR metering sensor was supposed to bring subject tracking capabilities to the series, it doesn’t really make a difference for the kind of candid portraiture that these photographers are prone to capture.

Recent equivalent products released by Nikon and Sony are far superior in terms of their ability to reliably track and focus on human beings, particularly those who are moving.

As long as they use the tried-and-true strategy of maintaining a single selected AF point over their subject, sports photographers will be able to take use of the very quick and precise AF system offered by this camera.

However, the maximum frame rate is just 5, which is 1 fps slower than the 5D Mark III and 2 fps slower than the D810 while shooting in crop mode with a handle attached. Photographers who take pictures of birds in flight will profit greatly from the one area in which we did find iTR to perform well, which is the quick and precise tracking of targets over a great distance.

If it doesn’t find anything under the AF point you specify, the system will even focus on a bird that flies into any other part of the frame if it sees one.

Unhelpfully, this occurs right around the shutter speeds you’d typically use in low light portraiture: 1/60s, where a Nikon D810 controls shock better than the 5DS and 5DS R. Although Canon has done a lot to ensure that its images are sharp, the 5DS and 5DS R are not completely immune to shock caused by the mirror and the shutter.

Having said that, your results may vary depending on the focal length of the lens you use. Additionally, the redesigned mirror, when combined with Silent Shooting and/or a number of mirror-up pre-delays, ensures nearly pin-sharp shots at almost any shutter speed, while Canon’s IS system helps stabilize the image even more.

That means you won’t have to worry too much about getting tack-sharp shots, but ultimately, the experience won’t be as worry-free as shooting with the Sony a7R II. The mirror-less design, electronic shutter, and in-built stabilization of the Sony a7R II guarantee absolutely tack-sharp shots every single time.

On the other hand, if you put some best practices into action, you won’t have to worry as much as a Nikon shooter, who either doesn’t have an electronic first curtain at all or only has a poor implementation of it (in the D810), and who has to worry about parasitic interactions between mirror shock and VR on certain lenses, which can result in a blur at certain shutter speeds. Best practices will allow you to avoid these problems.

Although the Canon 5DS and 5DS R are strong additions to the company’s product range, in the end, they do not actually excel at anything other than providing the highest possible resolution. That may be difficult to market if rival goods, even those produced by Canon itself, allow you to sacrifice a small amount of resolution in exchange for more capability.

And with suggested retail prices of $3699 and $3899, respectively, those rivals will also have more reasonable pricing. The feeling that these cameras only do one thing well won’t matter to the kind of photographers who are looking for a resolution that is comparable to that of medium format, but it will prevent them from winning our top prize.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • iTR has enabled thanks to a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, which also provides some basic facial identification capabilities.
  • Class-leading 50.6MP picture resolution
  • aesthetically pleasing hues straight out of the camera, particularly skin tones
  • AF system with 61 points, including 41 cross-type points
  • 5 high-precision dual cross-type points give amazing accuracy when used in conjunction with more recent lenses.
Need Improvement
  • Performance in low light is inferior to that of competitors.
  • Images captured at the base ISO might have more noise than the most impressive examples of the competition.
  • JPEGs are not as crisp or detailed as some of their rivals’ offerings.
  • The maximum ISO setting of 12,800 (6400 for Auto ISO) appears arbitrary and restrictive.
  • Raw dynamic range is restricted in comparison to other competitors.
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
The Canon EOS 5DS R is the company's highest-resolution camera. It incorporates a sensor with a resolution of 50 megapixels into a body that will be instantly recognizable to owners of previous 5D models. The focusing of the camera has been improved, but it is still not as good as the autofocus of the best of its rivals while working at close range. Its video capabilities and quality are also a little underwhelming, particularly in light of the fact that its competitors are starting to take video more seriously. Having said that, the camera is exceptional in a number of ways, including having an exceptional resolution, doing a lot to guarantee that the photographs are kept stable, and having a JPEG engine that offers colors that a large number of experts are glad to depend upon.

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Canon EOS 5DS R Review - A Powerhouse Of CanonThe Canon EOS 5DS R is the company's highest-resolution camera. It incorporates a sensor with a resolution of 50 megapixels into a body that will be instantly recognizable to owners of previous 5D models. The focusing of the camera has been improved, but it is still not as good as the autofocus of the best of its rivals while working at close range. Its video capabilities and quality are also a little underwhelming, particularly in light of the fact that its competitors are starting to take video more seriously. Having said that, the camera is exceptional in a number of ways, including having an exceptional resolution, doing a lot to guarantee that the photographs are kept stable, and having a JPEG engine that offers colors that a large number of experts are glad to depend upon.