Photography

Canon's 5DS and 5DS R have 50-megapixel sensors

Canon's 5DS and 5DS R have 50-...
The new Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature 50.6-megapixel full frame sensors
The new Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature 50.6-megapixel full frame sensors
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use Canon's Dual DIGIC 6 image processors
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use Canon's Dual DIGIC 6 image processors
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R can shoot at 5 frames per second for 510 JPEGs or 14 RAW images
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R can shoot at 5 frames per second for 510 JPEGs or 14 RAW images
The new Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature 50.6-megapixel full frame sensors
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The new Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature 50.6-megapixel full frame sensors
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R benefit from a durable magnesium alloy build
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R benefit from a durable magnesium alloy build
RAW files from the new Canon 5DS cameras can be saved as RAW (8688 x 5792), M-RAW (6480 x 4320) 28-megapixel, and S-RAW (4320 x 2880) 12-megapixel
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RAW files from the new Canon 5DS cameras can be saved as RAW (8688 x 5792), M-RAW (6480 x 4320) 28-megapixel, and S-RAW (4320 x 2880) 12-megapixel
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R have the highest resolution of any current 35-mm-format DSLR
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R have the highest resolution of any current 35-mm-format DSLR
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R are 50.6-megapixel DSLRs
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R are 50.6-megapixel DSLRs
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use a 61-point AF system, with 41 cross-type points
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use a 61-point AF system, with 41 cross-type points
The Canon EOS 5DS R will use a low-pass cancellation filter to reduce the effect of the optical low pass filter (OLPF) and maximize sharpness
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The Canon EOS 5DS R will use a low-pass cancellation filter to reduce the effect of the optical low pass filter (OLPF) and maximize sharpness
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R have an ISO range of 100 to 6400, which can be expanded to 12,800
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R have an ISO range of 100 to 6400, which can be expanded to 12,800
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature a rear 3.2-inch LCD monitor wit 1,040k dots
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The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature a rear 3.2-inch LCD monitor wit 1,040k dots
View gallery - 11 images

The rumors were true. Canon is going big in terms of resolution with its latest full frame DSLRs. The newly-announced Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R each boast 50.6-megapixel sensors, that's more than double the 5D Mark III and considerably bigger than previous megapixel monsters like the Nikon D810 or Sony A7R. This gives the new megapixel-heavy duo the highest resolution of any current 35-mm-format DSLR.

While new 5DS cameras might be based on the 5D M3, complete with familiar magnesium alloy weather-resistant bodies, the jump in resolution to 50.6-megapixels turns them into very different beasts. They're designed for users who need the sharpest possible image, and have the computer processing power and storage to manage the colossal files they can produce – think advertising, fashion and landscape photographers.

The reason for having two 5DS models is that the R version will use a low-pass cancellation filter to reduce the effect of the optical low pass filter (OLPF) and maximize sharpness. While this means it runs the risk of suffering from more moiré, and is therefore best suited to situations where patterns are organic, it will produce more detailed images. It's similar to the Nikon D800/D800e setup.

The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use Canon's Dual DIGIC 6 image processors
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R use Canon's Dual DIGIC 6 image processors

Pairing with those 50.6-megapixel effective full frame (36 x 24 mm) CMOS sensors are Canon's Dual DIGIC 6 image processors, which look able to keep things running surprisingly quick given the resolution of the files. The 5DS cameras will be able to shoot at 5 frames per second (fps) for 510 JPEGs or 14 RAW images and have an ISO range of 100 to 6,400, which can be expanded to 12,800. This isn't quite up to the 100 to 25,600 of the EOS 5D Mark III, which will remain on sale alongside the new cameras.

Autofocus should be fast and accurate with the 5DS and 5DS R using a 61-point AF system, with 41 cross-type points. Canon's EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF (iTR) is there to make sure the cameras can maintain focus with moving subjects and track both faces and color and a 150k pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with flicker detection helps to ensure consistent and accurate exposures in any lighting condition.

The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R benefit from a durable magnesium alloy build
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R benefit from a durable magnesium alloy build

There's good news for your computer processing and image storage needs, RAW files from the new cameras can be saved as RAW (8688 x 5792), M-RAW (6480 x 4320) 28-megapixel, and S-RAW (4320 x 2880) 12-megapixel. In-camera crop modes can also deliver more manageable JPEG files for those times you find a 50.6-megapixel resolution overkill. In 1.3x crop you'll still get a 30-megapixel file, while 1.6x crop gives a 20-megapixel file and in 1:1 the files will be 36-megapixel. Storage is handled by CompactFlash and SD memory card slots.

One area in which the 5DS and 5DS R run the risk of disappointing more demanding users is their video credentials. That's because the new cameras are limited to shooting HD 720p video at a maximum of 60/50 fps and Full HD 1080p video footage at 30/25/24 fps, which is beginning to look a bit dated. Also, while there's still the option to attach an external microphone by a stereo mini jack, the headphone socket has been dropped. Uncompressed HDMI, which was added to the 5D M3, is also lacking in the new cameras.

On the back of the cameras are the 100 percent coverage optical viewfinders you would expect, and 3.2-inch LCD monitors with 1,040k dots. Their durable magnesium alloy build also means that the 5DS and 5DS R cameras will be able to survive in the hands of professionals, and have a level of water and dust resistance. Canon has also made a number of improvements aimed at reducing any blur-inducing vibration, including a Mirror Vibration Control System which drives the cameras’ mirror up and down in a more controlled manner.

The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature a rear 3.2-inch LCD monitor wit 1,040k dots
The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R feature a rear 3.2-inch LCD monitor wit 1,040k dots

As is frustratingly typical of professional-focused cameras, there's no built-in Wi-Fi. However, the cameras are compatible with the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 version 2, and Eye-Fi cards if your wireless needs aren't quite as demanding.

The new cameras will be available body-only from June. The EOS 5DS will set you back US$3,700, while the EOS 5DS R will cost you $3,900.

Product pages: Canon EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R

View gallery - 11 images
3 comments
EH
4 micron photosites with lousy dynamic range and terrible noise at high ISOs - no thanks.
The announcement of the full-frame Pentax after over a decade of anticipation is much bigger news.
Keith Reeder
"Lousy" dynamic range?
So you're happy just regurgitating unfounded internet meme BS rather than actually understanding how to use the camera?
Learn how to expose your files properly - Canon cameras will give you all the DR you could possibly want if you do that.
And "terrible noise"?
You're just making things up now...
(You don't actually BELIEVE the utterly discredited, dead-in-the-water meme that a higher pixel count increases noise, do you? Even DxO gets the utter nonsense of that: http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/More-pixels-offset-noise).
Anyone who puts ten year old vapourware over a camera which will - all by itself - sell more than all the Pentax bodies out there... Well, that says everything, doesn't it?
Go Scrub
Undoubtedly these will be VERY expensive cameras. I just sold two EOS 70D's partially due to such disappointing still photos. They have 20Mp sensors and with Canon's best glass ( i owned most of the L series) they delivered such disappointing images that I spent about 6 hours carefully adjusting back focus on 9 lenses and 2 bodies. That helped very little. So I researched the combo of the 70D and Canon L series lenses on DXO and learned that at BEST the 70D delivers 12 to 14Mp of resolution in the files.
SO, I bought a Samsung NX1 to test and within 3 weeks sold all the Canon gear on Craigslist. The NX1 is twice as sharp (smaller circuit features allow the camera to not need anti-alias filter) as anything from any Canon. I'll be surprised if 50Mp allows Canon to be noticeably sharper than the NX1. Read on DXO regarding the limits of lenses to resolve at different f-stops. Read about the circuit design and construction of the NX1. Canon circuits are 500Nm aluminum while the Samsung is 2 generations ahead with 32Nm features. All that plus internal 4k video. I do not see how Canon can possibly ever catch up with the manufacturing capabilities of Samsung who have built over 200M phones and tablets.