Canon’s EOS 5DS R is the highest-resolution full-frame camera yet made. Andy Westlake investigates

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon EOS 5DS R

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • + Extraordinary image quality with huge levels of detail
  • + Highly refined control layout and user interface
  • + Excellent, extremely accurate autofocus system
  • + Rugged, professional-level construction

Cons:

  • - Fixed rear screen is inconvenient for tripod work
  • - Relatively limited ISO range
  • - Huge file sizes

Product:

Canon EOS 5DS R review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,200.00 (body only)

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ISO sensitivity and Noise

At low ISOs, the EOS 5DS R delivers exceptional levels of detail with essentially no visible noise. It’s only at ISO 800 that some noise starts to creep in when looking at the image on the pixel level, but you’d have to make huge prints for it to be visible. Noise only really starts to have any sort of negative impact at ISO 3200, mainly causing a slight deterioration of shadow detail. But with a fine granular pattern it’s not hugely problematic, and easily dealt with in post processing, although at the usual expense of fine detail and colour saturation. Crucially, there’s little unsightly low frequency chroma noise, which tends to be difficult to remove. The top two ISO settings are both perfectly usable, suggesting Canon could have offered a wider sensitivity range from this sensor.

ISO noise – JPEG

Below are 100% crops from JPEG files at a full set of ISO settings, shot using the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM at f/13.

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 50

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 50

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 100

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 100

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 1600

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 1600

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 3200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 3200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 6400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 6400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 12800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, JPEG ISO 12800

 ISO Noise – Raw

Below are the same crops, but now taken from the corresponding raw files converted using Adobe Camera Raw with noise reduction turned off. The idea here is to give an impression of the underlying noise on the files; normally you’d use noise reduction to minimise its appearance. Again we see very clean images at ISO 50, with some noise starting to become clearly visible around ISO 800, but only having a clearly negative effect at the top two settings.

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 50

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 50

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 100

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 100

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 1600

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 1600

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 3200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 3200

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 6400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 6400

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 12800

Canon EOS 5DS R noise, raw ISO 12800

 

  1. 1. Canon EOS 5DS R review: Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Screen and viewfinder
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. Focusing
  6. 6. Performance
  7. 7. Image quality
  8. 8. ISO sensitivity and Noise
  9. 9. Canon EOS 5DS R compared to 5DS
  10. 10. Conclusion
  11. 11. Page 11
Page 8 of 11 - Show Full List
  • Michal Rosa

    Honesty is good.

  • Stefan Stroebele

    Thanks for the good review. the 5DS offeres also 2 modes of reduced resolution. What would the dynamic range be in the reduced resolution mode? If Canon engineers did a good job it should go up by an entire stop. But on my current model (60D) it does not. did anyone already look at this aspect?

  • I’m trolling and clueless both

  • Michal Rosa

    Are you paid for trolling or just clueless?

  • Prob is that you can’t trust Sony too much, what they are saying does not always translate in what is actually true. An acquaintance of mine told me with no doubts whatsoever that Nikon and Canon are getting ready to fight the fight at open arms with Sony and we will be thankful to Sony for the “gifts” as he put it, they we are going to get thanks to them. We will see, but I’m tired of waiting I need to shoot high ISO at fast shutter speeds and so far neither 5D3 or 1DX are giving me that. I cannot go over 16000 ISO which is already pretty noisy. I read that 5DM4 will have a substantial improvement in high ISO, that would make me get one right away and forget Sony for a bit:)

  • John Tharp

    I’m actually thinking the same thing, at some point. I’m shooting a 6D now; the 5Ds is more of what I don’t need and less of what I do (not that it wouldn’t be a suitable replacement, just not really an upgrade).

    It really depends on what happens with the 5D IV. If Canon can make gains in terms of DR at lower ISOs while also making general improvements, a la the newer features in the 7D II and 5Ds, while putting in a bit more 1D X DNA, I could easily be won over for the better handling and better system and support.

  • John Tharp

    I’ve seen that; of course, the issue is that we’ve only seen a few samples with a few lenses in a few situations.

    Are we talking Rebel-level tracking (still better than most mirrorless) at a dog park or are we talking 1D X-level tracking at a sporting event, etc.?

    That’s the question that will hopefully be answered soon!

  • EXACTLY! I’m stuck with Canon sadly, if that AF will actually work fast with Canon lenses I’m in! I’ll get a7r II and a7s II whenever that will be

  • Sigma

    Actually, Sony has been showcasing the a7rII’s ability to AF and track quickly and reliably with Canon adapted lenses. There are a few bloggers/reviewers who have had a chance to test it out, and they reporting that this is indeed the case. There are a few videos starting to trickle down.

    So 42mp A7rII with backlit sensor (greater sensitivity vs the 5DSR which caps out at ISO6400), greater dynamic range, in body image stabilization, native 4K, 399 AF points, and the ability to AF Canon lenses quickly. The only thing Canon has going for it is a modest MP advantage

  • John Tharp

    That A7r II that can be mounted behind the best telephoto lenses made with fast and accurate AF while tracking moving subjects in less than ideal conditions?

    The A7’s may have better shadow-levity at 100-400 ISO, and that’s great and all, but they’re still limited by Sony’s system. A better comparison will be the Nikon D800-series body that is eventually released with that same 42MP sensor.

  • Arkarch

    I got the 5DS a few days ago and love it. Works, feels and uses the same accessories as my old friend the 5D3. The same great Canon User Interface with an optical view finder you can compose and filter with. I might quibble a bit with the 5DS/5DsR choice; the nature impulse is the 5DsR, but I actually am in the 5DS camp for a more pleasing and smooth image – Adding blur to a sampled image is not the same as subtle anti-alias using the actual image. But this is a subjective choice and either choice based on your needs and shooting/post styles will work well. DR does seem to be better. Color is wonderful. Thank-you for the review!

  • lol the camera barely came out and it’s already killed buy the sony A7r II another boring camera from Canon reusing older sensors….whet are they gonna wake up and innovate?!?