Michael Topham lays hands on the all-new Canon EOS 5Ds and EOS 5Ds R – a pair of DSLRs boasting an astonishing 50.6MP sensor

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Canon EOS 5Ds


Canon EOS 5Ds Review – Hands-on First Look


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Canon EOS 5Ds Review: Hands-on First Impressions

  • entoman

    Anyone considering spending 3 grand on a 50 megapixel body will be using top-notch L glass, and will be shooting wherever possible at optimum aperture.

    It goes without saying that cheaper glass and poor technique are not compatible with such a serious photographic tool.

    I do think however that Canon, in an attempt to out-do Nikon and Sony, have possibly produced a camera that is simply too good for most photographers. Perhaps it would have been more realistic, and given Canon a better market share, if they had limited the resolution to 40mp. That would still have beaten the opposition in the megapixel race, but would have enabled Canon to reduce image noise at all ISO settings. In some respects, the 5Ds and 5Ds R exist just simply to “prove Canon can do it”.

    I’ll be much more interested to see the 5DMk4, which should be a more sensible compromise between resolution and image quality. Until then, I’ll stick with my 5DMk3.

  • Thomas Latcham

    It might not seem relevant but every year new cameras with new specs arrive! So what is all the fuss about?

    Are we supposed to pay thousands of pounds every time we want to upgrade and stay ahead if we are professional? I’m not, but as an amateur I’m only glad the competition isn’t so steep. Getting that way perhaps. Total saturation of the market is inevitable. When smart phones catch up with whatever imaging technology we have at – that time – we will all be using that no doubt!

  • kacoooper

    I’m not so sure – for my (professional) work, consistency of layout/handling is merely a convenience. I can easily learn changes with practice. Revolution can be great if it forces me to reassess workflow, technique or other aspects that let me produce work that is wanted and differentiated from others. Part of my business approach relies on many other photographers being resistant to change 😉

    I’m much more interested in performance that is relevant to my work, and for that, burst rate, whizzo AF, high ISO, video, and customisation are not high on my list.

    The 1D X was nothing special -for my own work-, so I kept the 1Ds3, and very well it’s doing still 🙂

  • kacoooper

    I’ve always assumed that this was mainly the small pixel size and the additional expense and difficulty (yields etc) of making full frame sensors.

    The 18MP sensor in my 100D would scale up to ~46MP at FF but not at an image quality I’d want.

    The new 24MP sensors in the 750/760 scale up to 64MP at FF

  • entoman

    I hope that the 5DMkiv (if it actually exists) will be a hybrid between 5DMkiii and 7DMkii, with a fast burst rate, 3.5″ fixed screen, 28 megapixel sensor, 12,800 max ISO and that very handy customisable switch on the back. For professionals, evolution is better than revolution. Consistency of layout and handling is imperative.

  • entoman

    I’ve never really been able to comprehend why Canon introduce the highest resolution sensors on their cheaper models e.g. 750D, and let them “filter-up” to the expensive professional models.

    It would be great to have 50 megapixels in a 1 series body, but at least this time they introduced the high pixel count on a professional body rather than a prosumer or entry model!

  • entoman

    We need to be realistic here. 50 megapixel cameras that can produce noise-free images at 25,000 ISO will certainly appear within a few years, but at the moment technology hasn’t got that far.

    It’s an either/or situation.

    If you want/need noise-free images at very high ISO settings you can buy a Sony A7S, but it will only give you a 12 megapixel image.

    If you want/need ultra-high resolution you can buy a Canon 5Ds R, but you have to settle for a lower maximum ISO.

    In practice, most of us will choose to compromise, and get a 5DMkiii or Nikon D750, both of which provide more than enough resolution to satisfy the needs of publishers, and give us noise-free images at the ISO settings we are most likely to use, i.e. the ISO 200-1600 range.

  • entoman

    I applaud Canon for not changing the design of the 5D which is just about the most perfect camera ergonomically on the market. A sensible decision that will definitely be welcomed by anyone upgrading from a 5DMkiii.

    I think criticism of the upper ISO limit is unfair. This camera is not designed for people who shoot in ultra-low light levels, it is aimed at those who want the ultimate in resolution and are happy to work at “sensible” ISO settings, i.e. landscape, architectural, macro etc, and possibly wedding or group photographers.

    I don’t agree with PK, who thinks that professionals would be better off with a Pentax 645. A Canon outfit including a 5Ds body handles better, has wider aperture lenses, has a much broader lens and accessory system, and is a lot less expensive, especially for the existing Canon owners who will be the target buyers.

    My ONLY problem with this camera is that I’d need a major computer upgrade to handle the files. But let’s face it, anyone wanting to edit 50 megapixel images will be doing it on a iMac Retina 5K anyway.

    A dream camera that I’d love to own and use for my macro-photography and landscape work.

    Thank you Canon!!!

  • Wim Stolwerk

    At 36Mp, my D810 produces files of 72Mb. Can anyone explain why this 50Mp engine only produces 50Mb files? How much is immediately thrown away in compression and why?

  • Wilson Laidlaw

    Will any other than the best of Canon’s prime lenses be able to resolve to the detail required by a 50MP sensor and even then be struggling at the edges? Will the 50MP sensor only really give benefit when those prime lenses are stopped down to the diffraction limit? If DxO’s perceived MP limits of lenses is even a reasonable approximation, the answer to both these questions is yes.

  • kacoooper

    Indeed ‘quite a few’ is a very variable quantity 😉

    As to the memory/storage issue, the problem is that this is a bit of a recurring theme I’ve heard since I switched to digital with the ‘huge’ files from my 11MP 1Ds. It wasn’t a real problem then and I don’t anticipate it to be when I get a 5Ds …YMMV

    Archives of negatives were always a bit of a ‘Write Only Memory’ for all too many people.

    As to the design of the 5Ds, I suspect that the 5D mk4 will be massively similar in many design areas

  • Peter Kelly

    I’m certain there will be people who find this camera a useful proposition, but the interpretation of ‘quite a few’ is where we will probably differ.

    Indeed, I
    wouldn’t for a moment think that those interested would be fewer than
    thousands, but I seriously doubt that there will be sufficient
    buyers to make such a camera profitable unless they are producing it as
    part of the mainstream 5D production.
    I simply don’t see the advantages being that great to warrant the purchase, even for most well equipped Canon users.

    As to memory being cheap, that is an often repeated fallacy. Certainly it is not as expensive as once was, but the costs are not in the physical devices but rather the time and money it takes to maintain them. I’ve said it before and will say it again, the biggest single issue we as photographers face is data storage and handling.

    So, you can afford an 8Tb NAS backup drive, but just how long does it take to copy that when you need to carry out planned mantenance? Sure, it can be done ‘in the background’, but it still needs careful planning as any mistakes will get you in a terrible tangle or even lose the originals.

    Back in the days of negatives one could be reasonably sure that only a monumental fire or flood would do any damage, so only a room and a simple index was necessary. Other than that they could be ignored for decades.

  • kacoooper

    It takes my TS-E 17, 24 and EF8-15 – that makes it massively more useful than a 645Z.

    That and the new 11-24 f4L to go with it – looking forward to what they do together…

    Yes, there really are quite a few Canon users, who have no interest in video, high ISO and FPS. Huge files – who cares? memory is cheap. So is Aspirin for that headache… 😉

    Only downside for me is that I’d have preferred it in an 1 series body…

  • Peter Kelly

    “An astonishing 50mp sensor…”? Perhaps the most astonishing is that the ONLY area of improvement is the resolution. DR is no better, noise is likely to be unchanged (or worse), speed inevitably is down, and huge files come as a real headache!

    This is definitely a niche camera for those professionals who need fantastic resolution, but I’d imagine even a good number of those could make better use of a Pentax 645.

    An odd camera indeed, which I can only think owes a great deal to the existing 5D production line to minimize costs. Otherwise I could only imagine it would lose a lot of money for Canon.

  • Bert3000

    Huge! Presumably the point is to make sure everyone – even very short sighted people standing quite a distance away – can see you’re a professional.