Canon EOS 5DS R review

June 12, 2015

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS 5DS R

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


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


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



Price as Reviewed:

£3,200.00 (body only)

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

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Screen and viewfinder

Canon EOS 5DS R viewfinder

The 5DS R has a large, bright viewfinder and excellent LCD

One key advantage of full-frame DSLRs is the optical viewfinder, and the EOS 5DS R’s is exceptionally good. With a magnification of 0.71x it is as large and as clear as they come, and it gives 100% coverage for accurate composition. Alongside the usual exposure data – shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation – an LCD overlay display gives the option to add gridlines and the nice dual-axis electronic level we previously saw on the 7D Mark II.

Alongside drive, AF and metering modes, it’s possible to show battery status, white balance, image quality settings and even a flicker warning with fluorescent lighting. This allows you easily to change all of the settings controlled by the top-plate buttons  with the camera to your eye. The overall result is probably the clearest and most information-rich optical viewfinder we’ve ever seen on a DSLR.

The 3.2in, 1.04-million-dot rear LCD is also excellent. It’s sharp and detailed, and a light sensor adjusts the brightness automatically to match the ambient lighting. It’s great for checking images during playback, and provides an accurate preview of your shots when using live view. However, I can’t help feeling that Canon has missed a trick by not making it articulated – a high-resolution studio camera like the 5DS R will often find itself working in live view on a tripod, and the ability to reposition the screen is a real boon when shooting in this way. The screen is not touch-sensitive, either, and while that’s standard for this type of camera it’s a shame as Canon’s touch interface is excellent.

  • Sensor: 50.6-million-pixel, full-frame CMOS
  • Output size: 8688x5792 pixels
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Focal length magnification: 1.0x
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/8000sec + bulb
  • ISO: 100-6400 (50-12,800 expended)
  • Exposure modes: PASM, Auto
  • Metering: Evaluative, partial, spot, average
  • Exposure Compensaiton: ±5EV in 1/3 steps
  • Drive mode: 5fps
  • LCD: 3.2in, 1,04-million-dot LCD
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism, 0.71x magnification
  • AF points: 61-point phase-detect
  • Video: Full HD at 30, 25, or 24fps
  • External Mic: Yes, 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: CF type 1, SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: LP-E6N rechargeable Li-ion
  • Battery life: Approx 700 shots
  • Dimensions: 152x116.4x76.4mm
  • Weight: 930g (with battery and card)

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