Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Introduction

The Canon EOS 5Ds is a 35mm full-frame digital SLR camera with a 50.6 megapixel sensor, the highest number of megapixels ever seen in a full frame sensor. Key features include a 61-point auto focus system with 41 cross-type points, 150k pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with innovative flicker detection mode, dual DIGIC 6 processors, weather sealing, an expanded ISO range of 50-12,800, 100% viewfinder with electronic overlay, 3.2 inch Clear View II LCD screen, customizable Quick Control screen, three in-camera crop shooting modes (1.3x, 1.6x and 1:1), dual CF and SD memory card slots, Mirror Vibration Control System, built-in intervalometer and bulb timer, new Fine Detail picture style, Full HD 1080p video recording at 30fps, and continuous shooting at 5 frames per second. The EOS 5DS retails for £2999.99/€3999.99/$3699.00 body only. The EOS 5DS R additionally includes a low-pass cancellation filter and costs £3199.99/€4249.99/$3899.00 body only.

Ease of Use

The Canon EOS 5Ds is outwardly very similar to its 3-year-old predecessor, the EOS 5D Mk III, measuring exactly the same (152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm) and weighing the same too (950g in total), so if you’ve used that camera before, you’ll be immediately at home with the new 5Ds. Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the two cameras apart when they’re placed side-by-side – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix” it seems to be the order of the day. The Canon EOS 5Ds has a magnesium alloy body, which should make it more durable in the longer term, and it also adds a welcome level of weather-proofing for protection against dust and moisture. There’s a textured area on both the deep hand-grip and around the thumb-rest on the rear of the camera, and size-wise the 5Ds is perfect for everyone with normal to large-sized hands. On the front of the Canon EOS 5Ds is an infrared port on the grip, depth-of-field preview button, self-timer lamp and a monaural microphone.

Like other semi-pro cameras, the Canon EOS 5Ds offers two control wheels; a small one on the top of the handgrip, and a large, spinning dial on the back of the camera. This rear ‘quick control dial’ is characteristic of all high-end Canon EOS cameras, used to apply rapid exposure adjustments. It’s a bit of an acquired taste compared to more conventional control dials, but you quickly get used to it and it is easy to ‘spin’. There’s a dedicated Lock switch which toggles this dial on and off.

The quick control dial does take up the space where you’d normally expect to find a four-way controller, which means that for menu navigation Canon has had to incorporate an additional small joystick on the back of the camera. This joystick works well enough, but it’s not as positive or as easy to use as a conventional four-way controller. Underneath is the Q(uick) button which opens the Quick Control screen. Depending on which shooting mode you’re using, this lets you set various parameters via the LCD screen, using the joystick to move around the various options. The Quick Control screen is particularly well-suited to beginners and tripod work.

On the top-right of the Canon EOS 5Ds, positioned above the large monochrome status LCD display, are three buttons, each of which has two functions. You press a button and then turn either the top dial or the rear dial to change the corresponding setting. It does take a little while to memorise which button does what, and which dial you need to turn. The Canon EOS 5Ds also shows the settings on the main LCD screen as well as the status LCD. There’s a smaller fourth button which activates the status LCD display light so that you can use it in the dark.

There are two LCD displays on the Canon EOS 5Ds; the 3.2-inch colour LCD on the rear and the smaller status panel on the top. On cheaper DSLR cameras, the LCD on the rear usually has to do both jobs, but on this model all of the camera’s main settings are visible from above on the smaller panel. This makes the Canon EOS 5Ds quicker to use and also helps to extend the battery life. The main LCD screen offers a fantastic VGA resolution with 1,040K dots, so you may find yourself using it more often than you thought. Importantly it also allows you to judge the critical sharpness of your photos using the LCD screen. The viewfinder offers 100% coverage, with a magnification of 0.71x and dioptre correction, and a transparent LCD screen overlays vital focus shooting information plus a dual-axis electronic level (the overlay information can also be customised to suit your needs).

Canon EOS 5Ds
Front of the Canon EOS 5Ds

Like most DSLRs aimed at prosumers, the Canon EOS 5Ds offers all the usual serious manual and semi-automatic shooting modes for users who want more advanced exposure control, via a chunky and positive dial on the top-left of the camera body, complete with a central lock button to prevent the dial from inadvertently moving. Canon refers to these advanced operations as the ‘creative zone’ and provides all the normal settings including Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority and the full Manual mode. There is still an auto shooting mode aimed at beginners called Scene Intelligent Auto, which allows you to change just a few key settings using the LCD screen, setting both the aperture and shutter speed for you, although we doubt if many of the Canon EOS 5Ds target audience will ever use it.

The Canon EOS 5Ds’ power switch is located underneath the shooting mode dial. Over on the right is a Multi-Function button, positioned next to the shutter release button. This M-Fn button toggles through the five different AF area choices after pressing the AF Point select button The AF areas are Manual Spot AF, Manual 1-Point AF, Expand AF Area, Expand AF Area: Surround, Manual Zone AF, Manual Large Zone AF and Auto Selection, and they can also be selected via the Quick Control Screen menu.

Once the Canon EOS 5Ds is in one of the ‘creative zones’, users can adjust the ISO setting into one of 10 positions from 50 to 12,800 (you need to to enable the ISO 50 and 12,800 modes via the “ISO expansion” custom function option). This ISO range allows you to shoot in most lighting conditions without having to resort to using flash, which is good news as the 5Ds doesn’t actually have a built-in pop-up flash (you’ll need to budget for an external flashgun). The Canon EOS 5Ds offers a range of three Auto focus modes (One Shot, AI Focus and AI Servo), and there are six preset, auto, kelvin and custom white balance options.

The viewfinder displays all key exposure information including the ISO speed, and there are four metering modes including a tight 1.5% Spot metering mode, useful in tricky lighting conditions as an alternative to the excellent and consistent Evaluative metering system. The 5Ds is the latest EOS camera to include infra-red and flickering light sensitivity, with the flicker detection mode automatically compensates for tricky indoor lighting by only taking the shot when the light levels are at their brightest level.

The Canon EOS 5Ds uses the same 61-point auto-focus system as its predecessor, with 41 of them cross-type points and five being the extra sensitive double-cross type, helping to ensure that moving objects remain in focus. There’s also a whole AF menu dedicated to fine-tuning the Canon EOS 5Ds’ autofocus system, with a range of customisable AF pre-sets helping you to deal with different subjects.

Canon EOS 5Ds
Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds

The menu system is the same as on most EOS cameras, utilising a simplified tab structure that does away completely with scrolling. There are 6 main menu options, each containing up to 5 individual tabs of options. You can even setup your own customised menu page for instant access to frequently used settings via the My Menu setting. Only the complex Custom Functions and AF menus detract a little from the overall usability. Thankfully the documentation that comes with the Canon EOS 5Ds is clear enough, as it is with all Canon cameras, if a little light on detail. You do get a the manual in English throughout and you’ll find most things that you need to know about the camera’s operation in here, without the need to search through the supplied CDs for an ‘electronic’ manual.

The Canon EOS 5Ds features not one, but two of the latest DIGIC 6 image processors, which produces noticeably fast image processing, start-up and image review times. Dual DIGIC 6 also allows the 5Ds to shoot at a speed of 5fps for up to an incredible number of 510 JPEGs or 14 RAW images with a UDMA 7 card. 14-bit A/D conversion, in-camera HDR processing, multiple exposure function and in-camera RAW processing are also enabled by the Digic 6 processors. The Canon EOS 5Ds boasts a 150,000-cycle shutter-life, and battery life is rated to CIPA standards at a very respectable 700 shots.

The Canon EOS 5Ds has an identical Live View system to its predecessor. If you’re new to DSLRs and don’t understand the terminology, basically Live View allows you to view the scene in front of you live on the LCD screen, rather than through the traditional optical viewfinder. This is an obvious attraction for compact camera users, who are familiar with holding the camera at arm’s length and composing via the LCD screen. It’s also appealing to macro shooters, for example, as it’s often easier to view the screen than look through the viewfinder when the camera is mounted on a tripod at an awkward angle.

Live View is easy to turn on, via a dedicated switch on the back of the camera which toggles between Live View and Movie recording and a self-explanatory Start/Stop button. A grid line display, dual-axis electronic level and very useful live histogram can be enabled to help with composition and exposure, and you can zoom in by up to 10x magnification of the image displayed on the LCD screen. Focusing is achieved via the AF-On button, or you can half-press the shutter-button. Live View can also be controlled remotely using the supplied EOS utility software, which allows you to adjust settings and capture the image from a PC.

Canon EOS 5Ds
Top of the Canon EOS 5Ds

Three types of focusing system on offer in the Canon EOS 5Ds’ Live View mode. The first, Quick AF, works by physically flipping the camera mirror to engage the auto-focus sensor, which then momentarily blanks the LCD screen and causes a physical sound, before the image is displayed after about 1 second. The other methods, Live AF and Live AF with Face Detection, use an image contrast auto-focus system, much like that used by point-and shoot compacts, the main benefits being the complete lack of noise during operation, and no LCD blackout. Unfortunately these are much slower than the Quick AF mode, taking over 3 seconds to focus on a clearly-defined subject in bright light, which will put off most users that are attracted by the promised point-and-shoot experience. On a more positive note, you can move the AF point around the screen, and the Canon EOS 5Ds successfully detected faces in most situations.

Live View is also used for the Canon EOS 5Ds’ 1080p movie mode. The new 5Ds records high-definition 1080p video in 1920×1080 pixel resolution at a frame rate of 30, 25 or 24 fps in MOV format. There is also 720p 1280×720 pixel mode recording at 50/60 fps. High bit-rate video compression options include intraframe (ALL-I) and interframe (IPB). The maximum size of a single video clip is either 4 gigabytes or one second below 30 minutes. You can also take either single or continuous stills during recording, with video capture continuing after the final still frame has been taken. Audio is recorded in linear PCM format without any compression. There’s a built-in microphone on the front of the Canon EOS 5Ds for mono recording, a socket on the side for connecting an external stereo microphone, although sadly the headphone socket has been replaced by the new USB 3.0 port. It also has an HDMI port for playing back 1920×1080 still images on a HD TV. It uses the industry-standard HDMI mini-out connection, but note that you’ll need to purchase a suitable cable separately. You can also still connect the 5Ds to a standard TV set via NTSC/PAL.

Although you can autofocus during movie recording, the Canon EOS 5Ds uses the painfully slow contrast-AF mode. Focusing manually is a much better idea, although most AF lenses have MF rings with very little ‘travel’ between their close-focus point and infinity, and in a quiet environment it’s also possible to hear the sound of the focusing ring. You can set the aperture and shutter speed from the camera in movie mode, and exposure compensation and AE-Lock can also be used. You can take a single/sequence of still shots whilst shooting video, but this causes a 1 second delay which you’ll need to edit out later. Handholding the EOS 5Ds and shooting video is very difficult, with the DSLR form factor not lending itself well to controlled shooting at arm’s length. It’s a much better idea to mount the camera on a dedicated video tripod or rig.

The Canon EOS 5Ds implements the same dust-removal technology as its predecessor, where the sensor is shaken briefly at high frequency to dislodge any dust particles from its surface. This could delay the need for manual sensor cleaning, perhaps indefinitely, but it won’t be able to remove ‘sticky’ deposits like salt spray, pollen or the smears left behind by careless sensor cleaning or the wrong kind of solvent. The 5Ds also inherits the internal Dust Delete Data system from the 5D Mark II, which can map the position of visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the supplied Digital Photo Professional software.

Canon EOS 5Ds
The Canon EOS 5Ds In-hand

Peripheral Illumination Correction is a feature that’s actually a lot simpler that it initially sounds. Basically it corrects the unwanted effects of vignetting, typically seen in wide-angle photos in the corners of the frame. The 5Ds contains a database of correction data for various Canon lenses and, if Peripheral Illumination Correction is enabled, automatically applies it to JPEG images. For RAW images the correction is applied later in the Digital Photo Professional software. Up to 40 lenses can be programmed into the Canon EOS 5Ds, with over 90 currently available to choose from. Peripheral Illumination Correction is a useful and effective addition, particularly for JPEG shooters, and can safely be left turned on all of the time.

Even more useful, especially if you have a number of older lenses, is the AF Microadjustment feature that has trickled down from the pro DSLRs. This allows you to alter the focus of each lens, then use a focusing target to test if the lens focuses correctly, and if it doesn’t, alter it slightly using the AF Adjustment option, then test again until perfect focus is achieved. With most other DSLR systems you’d have to send the camera and lens off for calibration (and maybe even have to pay for it), but with the Canon EOS 5Ds, you can calibrate all of your lenses in the comfort of your own home (up to 20 lenses can be stored in the camera). The Canon EOS 5Ds features a silent shooting mode that reduces the sound of both the shutter and mirror, perfect for situations where you don’t want to draw unwanted attention to yourself. A continuous silent mode is also available, although its at a slower rate of 3fps than the headline 5fps mode.

Once you have captured a photo, the Canon EOS 5Ds has an average range of options for playing, reviewing and managing your images. More information about a captured image can be seen on the LCD by pressing the Info button, which brings up a brightness image histogram and all the shooting Exif data, including shutter speed and the time and date it was captured, with a second press displaying an additional RGB histogram. Highlight Alert and AF Point Display can also be turned on via the Playback menu. It is simple to get a closer look at an image as you can zoom in up to 15 times, and it is also possible to view pictures in a set of nine contact sheet. Pressing the Creative Photo button displays two images side-by-side to allow you to compare the quality of different exposures on the camera. You can also delete an image, rotate an image, view a slideshow, protect images so that they cannot be deleted, and set various printing options. Unlike some competitors, there are no digital styles or effects that can be applied to an image after it has been taken – the more subtle Picture Styles are the only way of tweaking your JPEGs in-camera, before they are captured. In-camera image rating via a dedicated button on the rear makes it easy to organise your images ahead of post-production, with the rating maintained in IPTC-friendly software.

The Canon EOS 5Ds’ software suite is very good. Admittedly, photographers who’ve graduated to a camera like this one will almost certainly have chosen image browsing and editing software already, so they won’t need the basic image browsing program included here, but there’s more than that. You also get Canon’s simple but effective PhotoStitch application for making panoramic shots, a utility for using the 5Ds remotely (while tethered to a PC) and Canon’s Digital Photo Professional application for converting RAW files. This is a big bonus, because other makers don’t always include such good RAW conversion software. Digital Photo Professional certainly isn’t the best RAW converter on the market, but importantly does mimic the camera’s Picture Styles ‘retrospectively’. In addition the supplied Picture Style Editor software can be used to create custom Picture Styles on your computer instead of in-camera.

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 50.6 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 13Mb.

The Canon EOS 5Ds produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free JPEG images from ISO 50 up to ISO 1600, with noise first appearing at ISO 3200 – a great performance for a 50.6 megapixel, 35mm SLR. The faster settings of 6400 and 12800 display more noise but are still usable. The JPEG images were a little soft straight out of the camera using the default Picture Style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations. The 6 different Picture Styles and the ability to create your own are a real benefit to JPEG shooters, as are the Highlight Tone Priority and Auto Lighting Optimizer custom settings when used in the right conditions. The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, plus it offers natural and more artistic looks.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Canon EOS 5Ds which you can select at any time. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with the JPEG version on the left and the RAW on the right:

JPEG

RAW

 

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

File Quality

The Canon EOS 5Ds has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality JPEG option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

22M Fine (13.7Mb) (100% Crop) 22M Normal (6.31Mb) (100% Crop)
   
22M RAW (57.4Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images at the default setting are a little soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don’t like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Night

The Canon EOS 5Ds’ maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there’s a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you’re seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/11 at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Highlight Tone Priority

This custom setting promises to improve the highlight detail of the image by expanding the dynamic range from 18% grey to bright highlights. Turning it on didn’t make a great deal of difference in our test shot, as shown below.

Off

On

Auto Lighting Optimizer

This setting promises to automatically correct the brightness and contrast of an image, with three levels of varying intensity available. There was a slight difference between the weakest and strongest settings, as shown below. Note that the user guide warns that this setting might cause noise to increase at higher ISO speeds.

Off

Low
   

Standard

High

Multiple Exposure

This setting allows you to combine up to 9 images into a single composite image, with a range of different ways to blend them together. Here’s an example with two images combined.

HDR

The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, with natural and more artistic looks also on offer.

Off

+1 EV
   

+2 EV

+3 EV
   

+3 Natural

+3 EV Art Standard
   

+3 EV Art Vivid

+3 EV Art Bold

   

+3 EV Art Embossed

 
 

Picture Styles

Canon’s Picture Controls, similarly to Nikon’s Picture Styles, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The six available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also three User Defined styes so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

   
Landscape

Neutral

   
Faithful

Monochrome

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon EOS 5Ds camera, which were all taken using the 50.6 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Canon EOS 5Ds enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We’ve provided some Canon RAW (CR2) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample RAW Image

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1/2s · f/8 · ISO 50
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Sample RAW Image

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1/4s · f/8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/8s · f/8 · ISO 200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/15s · f/8 · ISO 400
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Sample RAW Image

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1/30s · f/8 · ISO 800
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Sample RAW Image

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1/60s · f/8 · ISO 1600
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Sample RAW Image

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1/125s · f/8 · ISO 3200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/250s · f/8 · ISO 6400
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Sample RAW Image

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1/500s · f/8 · ISO 12800
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Sample RAW Image

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1/320s · f/16 · ISO 800
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Sample RAW Image

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1/160s · f/11 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/1000s · f/4 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/40s · f/8 · ISO 200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/25s · f/8 · ISO 6400
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/4.5 · ISO 500
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/4 · ISO 1250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/4 · ISO 1250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/4 · ISO 500
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/4 · ISO 800
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Sample RAW Image

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1/3200s · f/4 · ISO 5000
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Sample RAW Image

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1/3200s · f/4 · ISO 1600
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Sample RAW Image

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1/3200s · f/4 · ISO 2000
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Sample RAW Image

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1/3200s · f/4 · ISO 2500
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Sample RAW Image

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1/1600s · f/4 · ISO 5000
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Sample RAW Image

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2/1s · f/8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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15/1s · f/8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/1s · f/8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/0s · f/8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/500s · f/3.2 · ISO 125
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/2.8 · ISO 160
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/2.8 · ISO 250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/400s · f/2.8 · ISO 160
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Sample RAW Image

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1/160s · f/2.8 · ISO 250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/400s · f/2.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/160s · f/2.8 · ISO 125
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Sample RAW Image

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1/200s · f/2.8 · ISO 200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/200s · f/2.8 · ISO 160
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Sample RAW Image

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1/500s · f/2.8 · ISO 250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/500s · f/2.8 · ISO 250
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Sample RAW Image

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1/1250s · f/2.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/500s · f/2.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/200s · f/2.8 · ISO 200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/13s · f/2.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/10s · f/2.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/5000s · f/1.8 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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30/1s · f/11 · ISO 160
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Sample RAW Image

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1/8000s · f/1.4 · ISO 100
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Sample RAW Image

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1/1250s · f/4 · ISO 12800
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Sample RAW Image

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1/800s · f/1.4 · ISO 3200
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Sample RAW Image

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1/160s · f/4 · ISO 100
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Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920×1080 at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 18 second movie is 196Mb in size.

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Product Images

Canon EOS 5Ds

Front of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Front of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds / Turned Off

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds / Image Displayed

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds / Main Menu

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds / Quick Menu

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Rear of the Canon EOS 5Ds / Live View

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Top of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Top of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Bottom of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Side of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Front of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Front of the Canon EOS 5Ds

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Memory Card Slot

 
Canon EOS 5Ds

Battery Compartment

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Specifications

IMAGE SENSOR

Type

36 x 24 mm CMOS

Effective Pixels

Approx. 50.6 megapixels

Total Pixels

Approx. 53 megapixels

Aspect Ratio

3:2

Low-Pass Filter

Built-in/Fixed

Sensor Cleaning

EOS integrated cleaning system

Colour Filter Type

Primary Colour

IMAGE PROCESSOR

Type

Dual “DIGIC 6”

LENS

Lens Mount

EF (excludes EF-S / EF-M lenses)

Focal Length

Equivalent to 1.0x the focal length of the lens

FOCUSING

Type

TTL-CT-SIR with a dedicated CMOS sensor

AF System/ Points

61 Point / 41 f/4 cross-type AF points inc 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 and 1 cross-type at f/8[11] The number of cross-type AF points will differ depending on the lens.

AF working range

EV -2 – 18 (at 20°C & ISO100)

AF Modes

AI Focus
One Shot
Predictive AI Servo

AF Point Selection

Automatic selection: 61 point AF
Manual selection: Single point AF (selectable points 61, 15, 9 or cross type only points selectable)
Manual selection: Spot AF
Manual selection: AF point Expansion (4 points up, down, left, right or 8 surrounding 8 points)
Manual selection: AF point Expansion surrounding 8 points
Manual selection: Zone AF
Manual selection: Large Zone AF
AF points can be selected separately for vertical and horizontal shooting

Selected AF point display

Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on top LCD panel and Quick Control screen

AF Lock

Locked when shutter button is pressed half way or AF ON is pressed in One Shot AF mode

AF Assist Beam

Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlite

Manual Focus

Selected on lens, default in Live View Mode

AF Microadjustment

Manual: Enter adjustment +/- 20 steps
Adjust all lenses by same amount
Adjust up to 40 lenses individually
Adjustments remembered for lens by serial number

EXPOSURE CONTROL

Metering modes

150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
EOS iSA System with 252-zone metering:
(1) Evaluative metering (linked to All AF point)
(2) Partial metering (approx. 6.1% of viewfinder at centre)
(3) Spot metering (approx. 1.3% viewfinder at centre)
* AF point-linked spot metering not provided
(4) Centre weighted average metering

Metering Range

EV 0 – 20 (at 23°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens ISO100)

AE Lock

Auto: Operates in 1-shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved Manual: By AE lock button in all exposure modes

Exposure Compensation

‘+/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments (can be combined with AEB).

AEB

2, 3, 5 or 7 Shots +/-3 EV 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments

ISO Sensitivity [8]

100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments)
ISO can be expanded to L:50 or H1: 12800

SHUTTER

Type

Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter

Speed

30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode)

Shutter Release

Soft touch electromagnetic release

WHITE BALANCE

Type

Auto white balance with the imaging sensor

Settings

AAWB (Ambeince priority/White priority), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Colour Temperature Setting.
White balance compensation:
1. Blue/Amber +/-9
2. Magenta/ Green +/-9.

Custom White Balance

Yes, 1 setting can be registered

Yes, 1 setting can be registered

‘+/-3 levels in single level increments
3, 2, 5 or 7 bracketed images per shutter release.
Selectable Blue/Amber bias or Magenta/ Green bias.

VIEWFINDER

Type

Pentaprism

Coverage (Vertical/Horizontal)

Approx. 100%

Magnification

Approx. .71x[4]

Eyepoint

Approx. 21mm (from eyepiece lens centre)

Dioptre Correction

‘-3 to +1 m-1 (dioptre)

Focusing Screen

Fixed

Mirror

Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f/4 or shorter)

Viewfinder Information

AF information: Single/Spot AF points, AF Frame, AF status, Focus indicator, AF mode, AF point selection, AF point registration
Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture value, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level/compensation, flash metering, spot metering circle, exposure warning, AEB, metering mode, shooting mode
Flash information: Flash ready, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation, red-eye reduction light.
Image information: Card information, maximum burst (2 digit display), Highlight tone priority (D+).
Composition information: Crop area, Aspect ratio, Grid, Electronic
Other information: Battery check, Warning symbol, Flicker Detection, drive mode, white balance, JPEG/RAW indicator

Depth of field preview

Yes, with Depth of Field preview button.

Eyepiece shutter

None (eyepiece cover attached to strap)

LCD MONITOR

Type

8.11cm (3.2″) Clear View II TFT, approx. 1040K dots

Coverage

Approx. 100%

Viewing Angle (horizontally/vertically)

Approx. 170°

Coating

Anti-reflection and Solid Structure

Brightness Adjustment

Auto: Using extenal ambient light sensor
Manual: Adjustable to one of seven levels

Display Options

(1) Quick Control Screen
(2) Camera settings
(3) Dual Axis Electronic Level
(4) Custom Quick control screen

FLASH

Modes

E-TTL II Auto Flash, Metered Manual

X-sync

1/200sec

Flash Exposure Compensation

‘+/- 3EV in 1/3 increments with EX series Speedlites

Flash Exposure Bracketing

Yes, with compatible External Flash

Flash Exposure Lock

Yes

Second Curtain Synchronisation

Yes

HotShoe/ PC terminal

Yes/ Yes

Flash Exposure Bracketing

Yes, with compatible external flash

External Flash Compatibility

E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support

Second Curtain Synchronisation

Yes

HotShoe/ PC terminal

Yes/ No

External Flash Compatibility

E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support

External Flash Control

Via camera menu screen

SHOOTING

Modes

Scene Intelligent Auto, Program AE , Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual (Stills and Movie), Bulb, Custom (x3)

Picture Styles

Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, Fine Detail, User Defined (x3)

Colour Space

sRGB and Adobe RGB

Image Processing

Highlight Tone Priority
Auto Lighting Optimizer (4 settings)
Long exposure noise reduction
High ISO speed noise reduction (4 settings)
Multi Shot Noise Reduction
Auto Correction of Lens Peripheral illumination
Chromatic aberration correction
Resize to M, S1, S2 or S3
RAW image processing – during image Playback only
Image cropping – during image Playback only
Multiple exposure
HDR images 5 presets

Drive modes

Single, Continuous L, Continuous H, Self timer (2s+remote, 10s+remote), Silent single shooting, Silent continous shooting

Continuous Shooting

Max. Approx. 5fps. (speed maintained for up to 510 number of JPEGs or 14 RAW images)[1][2][10] with UDMA mode 7 card.

Intervalometer

Built-in, number of shots selectable from 1-99 or unlimited. Bulb timer possible

LIVE VIEW MODE

Type

Electronic viewfinder with image sensor

Coverage

Approx. 100% (horizontally and vertically)

Frame Rate

29.97 fps

Focusing

Manual Focus (Magnify the image 6x or 16x at any point on screen)
Autofocus: Quick mode, Live mode, Live Face detection mode

Metering

Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor
Active metering time can be changed

Display Options

Grid overlay (x3), Histogram

FILE TYPE

Still Image Type

JPEG: 2 compression options (Exif 2.3 compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system (2.0),
RAW: RAW, M-RAW, S-RAW (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition),
Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant

RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording

Yes, any combination of RAW + JPEG possible, separate formats to separate cards possible

Image Size

JPEG:
Full Frame – (L) 8688×5792, (M1) 7680×5120, (M2) 5760×3840, (S1) 4320×2880, (S2) 1920×1280, (S3) 720×480
1.3x Crop – (L) 6768×4512, (M1) 6016×4000, (M2) 4512×3008, (S1) 3376×2256, (S2) 1920×1280, (S3) 720×480
1.6x Crop – (L) 5424×3616, (M1) 4800×3200, (M2) 3616×2408, (S1) 2704×1808, (S2) 1920×1280, (S3) 720×480
1:1 Crop – (L) 5792×5792, (M1) 5120×5120, (M2) 3840×3840, (S1) 2880×2880, (S2) 1280×1280, (S3) 480×480
RAW:
(RAW) 8688×5792,
(M-RAW) 6480×4320,
(S-RAW) 4320×2880

Movie Type

MOV (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Sound: Linear PCM)

Movie Size

1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps) intra or interframe
1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps) intra or interframe
640 x 480 (29.97, 25 fps) interframe only

Movie Length

Max duration 29min 59sec, Max single file size 4GB

Time-lapse Movie

Shooting interval can be set between 1 sec. to 99 hr. 59min. 59 seconds[12] Sequence of images between 2 and 3600 shots, up to 2min. 24sec. (PAL) MOV format, Full HD (1920 x 1080) 25p (ALL-I)

File Numbering

(1) Consecutive numbering
(2) Auto reset
(3) Manual reset
(2) Auto reset

OTHER FEATURES

Custom Functions

16 Custom Functions

Metadata Tag

Author, copyright, GPS (with GP-E2), Rating

LCD Panel / Illumination

Yes / Yes

Water/ Dust resistance

Yes

Sound Memo

No

Intelligent Orientation Sensor

Yes

Playback zoom

1x – 16x

Display Formats

(1) Single image
(2) Single image with information (2 levels)
(3) Two image Display image
(4) 4 image index
(5) 9 image index
(6) 36 image index
(7) 100image index
(8) Jump Display
(9) Movie edit
(10) RAW processing
(11) Rating

Slide Show

Image selection: All images, by Date, by Folder, Movies, Stills, Rating, Protect images
Playback time: 1/2/3/5/10 or 20 seconds
Repeat: On/Off

Histogram

Brightness: Yes
RGB: Yes

Highlight Alert

Yes

Image Erase/Protection

Erase protection of one image at a time, folder or card

Image Erase

Single image, selected, folder, card or all unprotected

Self Timer

2 or 10 sec.

Menu Categories

(1) Shooting menu 1 – 6
(2) AF Menu 1 – 5
(3) Playback menu 1 – 3
(4) Setup menu 1 – 4
(5) Custom Functions menu 1 – 4
(6) My Menu (1 – 5 user selectable)

Menu Languages

25 Languages
English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese

Firmware Update

Update possible by the user.

INTERFACE

Computer

USB 3.0 Hi-Speed (PTP)

Other

HDMI Type C, External microphone (Stereo mini jack)

DIRECT PRINT

Canon Printers

Canon Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge

PictBridge

Yes

STORAGE

Type

CompactFlash Type I (UDMA 7 compatible), SD card, SDHC card or SDXC card. High-speed writing with UHS-I type SD cards is supported

SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM

PC & Macintosh

Windows 7 (excl. Starter Edition), Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
OS X v10.7-10.10

SOFTWARE

Image Processing

Digital Photo Professional 4 (RAW Image Processing)

Other

PhotoStitch, EOS Utility 3 (inc. Remote Capture, WFT utility*), Picture Style Editor
* Requires optional accessory

POWER SOURCE

Batteries

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E6N (supplied) / LP-E6

Battery life

Approx. 700 shots (at 23°C)[5]
Approx. 660 (at 0°C)

Battery Indicator

Automatic displayed in 6 levels

Power saving

Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30mins.

Power Supply & Battery Chargers

AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6, Battery charger LC-E6, Car Battery charger CBC-E6

PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Body Materials

Magnesium Alloy body covers

Operating Environment

0 – 40 °C, 85% or less humidity

Dimensions (WxHxD)

152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm

Weight (body only)

Approx. 845 g

ACCESSORIES

Case

N/A

Wireless File Transmitter

Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 version 2
Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 requires a firmware update and Interface Cable IFC-40AB II or IFC-150AB II
Compatible with Eye-Fi cards

Lenses

All EF lenses (excluding EF-S / EF-M lenses)

Flash

Canon Speedlites (90EX, 220EX, 270EX, 270EX II, 320EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 430EX II, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, 600EX, 600EX-RT, Macro-Ring-Lite MR-14EX, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT)

Battery Grip

BG-E11

Remote Controller/ Switch

Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6 and Speedlite 600EX-RT

Other

GPS GP-E2, Eyecup Eb, Eg-series Dioptric Adjustment Lens with Rubber Frame Eg, Anti Fog Eyepiece Eg, Angle Finder C, Hand Strap E2, Connect Station CS100

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Conclusion

The Canon EOS 5Ds combines the proven design of the popular 5D Mark III with jaw-dropping image quality from the new 50.6 megapixel sensor. Slow continuous shooting speeds and a limited ISO range by modern standards means that the 5Ds certainly isn’t suited to every photographic situation, with the venerable 5D Mark III and the EOS 7D Mk II being better all-rounders, while the huge file sizes and sheer level of detail demand that you use the best post-processing setup and the latest “L-series” lenses to do justice to the camera. The sheer level of detail that can obtained from the 5Ds and a high-quality lens like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is difficult to ignore once you’ve experienced it, though, so if you can commit both financially and in terms of time to the Canon EOS 5Ds, we’d whole-heartedly recommend it.

The design of the Canon EOS 5Ds is so similar to the 5D MK III that it’s difficult to tell the two cameras apart, a good thing in our book as the latter camera’s control layout was already well-refined. The Canon EOS 5Ds has inherited some extra design features from the EOS 7D Mk II which make it the best designed 5-series camera to date. We would have liked to have seen a flip-out LCD screen incorporated, though, especially with the Canon EOS 5Ds’ increased focus on life as a studio or landscape camera, and the lack of wi-fi connectivity is surprising too.

While the 50.6 megapixel sensor is capable of delivering the highest image quality from any Canon EOS camera to date in terms of out-and-out resolution, it does limit it versatility, with the 5fps burst shooting rate not proving fast enough for sports/action/wildlife photography, and the expanded ISO range of 50-12,800 limiting what the camera can do in more testing low-light situations. And as we’ve discovered after shooting thousands of images with the 5Ds and a variety of older and newer lenses, only the latest and greatest lenses together with careful technique are good enough to get the absolute best out of that 50 megapixel sensor.

Launching at the same price as the EOS 5D Mk III did 3 years ago, the Canon EOS 5Ds seems fair value, although anyone not already locked into the Canon system should take a long hard look at the Nikon D810 and the eye-catching Sony A7R II before parting with their £2999.99/€3999.99/$3699.00. Also, if you want even more detail than the 5Ds provides, there’s the 5DS R model which costs a little more and additionally includes a low-pass cancellation filter.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Canon EOS 5Ds.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review thumbnail

The long-awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR has finally arrived, boasting improvements to virtually every aspect of its popular predecessor, the breakthrough 5D Mark II. It’s cost has also increased significantly, so does the new 5D Mark III offer enough to justify the £2999 / $3499 asking price? Read our detailed Canon EOS 5D Mark III review to find out.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review thumbnail

The long-awaited Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR has finally arrived, boasting improvements to virtually every aspect of its popular predecessor, the 5-year-old 7D. Can an APS-C sensor DSLR camera still compete in the fast-changing photography market? Read our detailed Canon EOS 7D Mark II review to find out…

Nikon D810

Nikon D810 Review thumbnail

The Nikon D810 is a brand new 36 megapixel full-frame sensor DSLR camera with no optical low pass filter. The D810 also offers 1080/60p HD video, a 3.2-inch LCD screen, an optical viewfinder with 100% coverage and 5fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon D810 review to find out if it can emulate the success of the previous D800/E cameras…

Pentax 645Z

Pentax 645Z Review thumbnail

The Pentax 645Z is a 51.4-megapixel medium-format camera that’s styled very much like a DSLR. The well-appointed 645Z has a wealth of features in addition to its very large sensor, not to mention a very competitive price tag (for a medium format camera at least). Read our in-depth Pentax 645Z review to find out if it’s worth making the leap to medium format…

Sony A7R

Sony A7R Review thumbnail

Big sensor in a small body – that’s the USP of the new Sony A7R camera. Offering a 35mm full-frame sensor inside a relatively compact body that takes interchangeable lenses, the A7R is a truly unique and genuinely exciting proposition. Is the Sony A7R the ultimate fusion of DSLR technology and compact system camera size? Read our Sony A7R review to find out…

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

Canon EOS 5Ds Review Image

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