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Canon EOS 5DS R Camera

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The Canon EOS 5DS R Camera

The Canon 5DS R is a professional-grade, ultra-high-resolution DSLR in an expansion of the Canon camera lineup. Key features include:

Canon 5DS/5DS-R Difference. These two cameras are essentially exactly the same. The only difference is that the Canon 5DS R has the anti-alias filter “cancelled out,” while the Canon EOS 5DS has its fully-functional filter. In very basic terms, this means the 5DS R technically captures sharper images. However, this does come at the cost of possible moiré and other color artifacts when shooting intricate patterns or texture. It’s nothing that can’t be removed in post-processing, but that does add an additional step. Otherwise, the two cameras are exactly the same.

What’s The Big Deal? Resolution, that’s what this camera offers. Lots and lots of it. The 50.6MP resolution sensor outputs a print size just short of 20"x 30" @ 300dpi, making it a commercial and landscape photographer’s dream. At this resolution, it’s a direct competitor to digital medium format.

50.6MP Full-Frame Sensor. In addition to just ridiculously large image files, at the heart is a full-frame sensor that enables shallow depth of field. Its pixel pitch is essentially the same as that of the 7D Mark II, so optimistically high ISO performance should be “similar.” However, do note that the normal ISO range has been limited to 100-6400 with the ability to “expand” to 12,800. Dual DIGIC 6 image processors are employed to move all that data around, and yet they still provide speedy performance with up to 5 fps in high-speed continuous shooting.

61-Point High Density Reticular AF. The autofocus system is basically that of the 5D Mark III, with 61 total autofocus points, 41 of which are cross-type. It also features EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Resolution), which utilizes the metering sensor for tracking, but the big difference is the addition of the 150,000-pixel RGB metering sensor from the 7D. This enhances tracking and continuous focus performance, breathing new light into the “old” 5D III’s system.

HD Video. While the 5DS R shoots video, that’s not its focus. It offers Full HD 1080p capture at 30fps in either ALL-I or IPB compressions, just as the 5D III did. However, the camera loses uncompressed HDMI output and the headphone jack for monitoring.

Built-In Intervalometer and Bulb Timer. Enables in-camera time-lapse and bulb settings without the need for an advanced remote shutter release. In addition to images, you can also set it to output an HD video file of the timelapse captured.

Roger's Take

OK, I know you want this and you know you want this. So let me start by trying to talk you out of it; or at least make sure you’re ready for it. The resolution is as amazing as you’ve heard. Sure you can make big prints, but you can also manipulate and filter the images way more than you can a smaller file and not worry about losing detail. For detail-critical photography, like landscapes and wildlife work, there’s nothing even close.

But make sure you can handle this. RAW files are around 60Mb and processing on anything other than a fast computer with lots of RAM can be really slow. Really. Slow. The 5DS and 5DS R have more robust autofocus than previous 5D series cameras, but you absolutely need it. The increased resolution will show slightly missed focus more than you are used to.

It will also show flaws in your lenses you might not have noticed before. While every lens will benefit from the increased resolution of these cameras, only better lenses will really show all the resolution available in that 50 megapixel sensor. The resolution in the center of the lens will be obviously better even with an average lens. The corners and edges, though, may not be as good as you’d expect with wide-angle lenses that aren’t excellent.

Finally, the images you get will depend a lot on meticulous technique. It does give near-medium-format quality, but you have to have near-medium-format technique to realize the camera’s potential. You aren’t going to shoot at high ISOs, pull out missed exposures by three stops, or hand hold 1/focal-length exposure times with this camera.

All of that being said, if you just carry it around and shoot it like any other camera, technique and lenses be damned, you’ll still realize a lot of the benefit of all those pixels. The resolution can be breathtaking and you will literally see details in your photographs you’ve not noticed before. If you want resolution and the most detail in your images you can possibly get, this is the camera for you.

Whether you get the S or the S R version is a minor detail. I think most people want all of the detail they can possibly get, so the R is their first choice. But if you’re doing portraits or weddings, I think you might find the S a better option. Moire does happen with a lot of fabrics and it’s still hard to get rid of. The resolution difference between the S and S R is minor compared to the huge leap from the Mk III to either of these.

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