The New Canon 5DS, 5DS R: Candid Thoughts from the Specialists at B&H


When Canon announces a new version of its much-loved 5D series of cameras, it’s incredibly big news. When the company announces two new versions of the 5D at the same time, it’s even bigger news. That’s exactly what happened this week, with the arrival of the new 5DS and 5DS R. When big camera news like this hits, you can read all about the new features and specifications on the Internet but, typically, you don't get to hear the thoughts and impressions of seasoned industry experts. Below, you'll find a collection of candid thoughts on the new Canon 5DS models from camera specialists here at B&H.


..... .... Gabe Biderman, B&H Camera Specialist
The rumors are true and Canon has finally entered the massive megapixel race! Personally, I’m not sure if this is the camera for me, as it seems like the must-have accessory would be a new computer! I’m also very curious to see the image quality coming out of these 50-megapixel beasts. That’s double the number of any previous Canon camera! I do like the fact that Canon has paid special attention to detail—to camera shake affecting your image. This is an issue I have come across with previous high mega-cameras, and Canon’s advanced mirror-control mechanism and reinforced baseplate should help the photographer stay sharp! This is also Canon’s first foray into removing the low-pass filter, so I’m intrigued to see how well you will need to battle moiré. Either way, this will definitely make some landscape and studio photographers who have a lot of Canon glass very happy."



..... .... Michael Hollender, B&H Social Media Manager

"Lead change! With their 50.6-Megapixel Sensors, both the Canon 5DS and 5DSR take the lead as the highest resolution full-frame cameras on the market! This is truly an exciting boost to the EOS line and I look forward to seeing results from the camera. Interestingly enough, both cameras have crop modes of 1.3x and 1.6x, which drop the effective megapixels used, while creating 'smaller' files at 30MP and 20MP respectively."


..... .... Zevi Slotkin, B&H Camera Specialist
"I’m sure Canon had convincing reasons for releasing the 5Ds in two versions but, considering the recent history of Nikon with its D800, D800E, and D810 SLRs, I’d find it hard to believe this was a unanimous decision by all those involved in the design and marketing of the 5Ds. I think releasing a single no-holds-barred model would have been preferred by most Canon users. That being said, the image quality from the 5Ds and 5Ds R will, no doubt, be nothing less than spectacular. Let all the pixel-peeping tests begin!”


..... .... Todd Vorenkamp, B&H Photography Content Writer 

"Like the luxury-car horsepower race, the megapixel battle is alive and well! And, just like the fact we don’t need 400 horsepower to reach legal highway speeds, we don’t need 50.2MP to make a good photograph. Having said that, technology exists, so I guess I need to embrace it while I save up for faster computers and bigger hard drives. Pro Canon shooters rejoice! You knew it was coming—something to challenge the previous title holder, the 36MP Nikon D800—and it is here!


"I am sure the image quality will be a thing of envy for those who don’t have it, and bravo to Canon, like Nikon, who packs its premier high-res sensor into semi-pro bodies instead of the larger, more expensive, pro bodies. I like this trend, as it allows more photographers to experience the sensors without breaking the bank for more speed, weight, and size than they might need or want.


"And, like the horsepower race, I will keep driving my current camera and dreaming of the images I could make with this new behemoth! If you are getting one, enjoy it and stop making me jealous!"


..... .... Eric Reichbaum, B&H Photography Content Writer
The rumors of this camera have been swirling for a while now, and Canon shooters are sure to be split down the middle of the love/hate aisle. For me, as a strictly still image photographer, I think it’s a great update. 50.6MP is amazing. I shoot a lot of red carpet events, where full-body shots and head shots of the celebrities are both equally important. With this large of an image I can easily crop a full-length shot into a head shot and still have a useable and sellable photo. Video shooters are going to be upset that the camera doesn’t shoot 4K video, but to me that’s no big deal. This is a photo camera, and I can’t wait to test it out.


..... .... Bjorn Petersen, B&H Photography Content Writer
I think it's great to see Canon making the move into a higher-resolution camera and to be positioning this model for studio and landscape use. I think it's a strong decision to go against the grain of people craving higher sensitivities and improved video performance, and instead to just focus on a true picture-taking machine. I love to print large and have a lot of latitude to make image corrections during post production, and the sensor's design, 5DS R's low-pass filter cancellation effect, and use of more controlled mirror and shutter-release mechanisms to prevent vibrations seems like a decent nod to those who don't have the need to shoot handheld in the dark at 10 fps.

Sure, the 50MP file size isn't going to benefit anyone trying to work quickly, shoot sports, or those who like to take thousands of images at a time. It will, however, benefit those who appreciate working at a slower, more methodical pace.


..... ....Shawn Steiner, B&H Photography Content Writer
It is great to see Canon expanding their target audience with a camera more suited to studio and landscape work. Earlier 5D models, especially the Mark III, are amazing when it comes to video features and low-light shooting, which is useful for documentary and location shoots, but many manufacturers have already greatly surpassed them on the megapixel front. Now, I still can see many people (videographers especially) deciding to wait for a Mark IV to upgrade, since it should follow a similar feature set to the Mark III, but for current Canon shooters who have been desperately looking for resolution, this seems to be the perfect option. Especially since before now, if you needed 50MP resolution, it required investing multitudes more into larger digital medium format systems.


..... ....Sarita Ashkenazy, B&H Designer/Photographer
"Even though it seems to have similar features that put the 5D Mark III in such high demand, the 5DS R is a new camera from top to bottom. With a whopping 50.6-megapixel full-frame sensor, it'll deliver great performance to people, wildlife, street and still photographers."


..... ....Levi Tenenbaum, Pro Photo Trainer

"The megapixel war is officially back and Canon has entered with a powerful champion. Canon shooters have long awaited this high-megapixel unicorn and it has finally come. Personally, I have been waiting over three-plus years for Canon to produce a camera like this and I am excited. This is not a 5D Mark III replacement, as many seem to think. The video features and high ISO limits (which may yet change before the release date) do not point in that direction. Instead, this camera is the new megapixel king and for all of you who are like me and love BIG RESOLUTION, here it is.


"What I find interesting is the release of two versions 5DS and R. Our experience from other manufacturers trying this approach is that it can really confuse customers.


"A question that will need to be resolved (pun intended) over the next few months is how the current Canon and third-party lenses will perform on this new high-resolution sensor. As we have already seen, when the resolving power of the sensor increases, any issues from focus to lens resolution to shutter shake become more prominent. It is hard to hide flaws at this level. I am looking forward to seeing how the L Series Version II lenses from Canon perform on the 5DS/R. Who knows, this may even challenge Zeiss to start another line of OTUS lenses.


"As a trained digital tech, a word to the wise—computer processing power is going to be of prime importance when dealing with these (hopefully) gorgeously big files. For those who are used to working with highly retouched medium format files, you know what I mean. The media space and RAM needs for viewing, processing, retouching, and storing these files will be demanding—especially with all the advantages of the 35mm form factor, combined with a tried-and-true autofocus system at 5 FPS—they will not slow you down. However, imagine 60MB+ files out of camera, once converted to PSD or TIF and add some layers the file size quickly approaches half a gig or more per file. I have a feeling we will see many people needing to upgrade their computers and storage in order to keep up with the files from the 5Ds/R.


"In conclusion, as of late, I have been a mirrorless fanatic, nevertheless, I am eager to check out the 5Ds/R’s potential and look forward to getting my hands on one."


..... ....John Harris, B&H Photography Content Writer
"There is a pro market for the 5DS and 5DS R. It will fit in nicely for those who want medium format resolution in a familiar form factor. Anti-flicker is great if it works, and the crop functions and alternate RAW sizes give this camera a great deal of versatility. For the many 5D Mark III shooters who wanted a camera addressing low-light or focusing improvements and for the important HDSLR video contingent, this is clearly not the camera for you. Be patient though—I’m certain Canon feels your pain (or has heard your early morning grumblings) and be happy with your Mark III, it’s still a great camera."



I think the B&H people have a good grasp on the Canon 5Ds+r capabilities and how this will make a lot of people happy. This camera seems to be slanted towards the landscape and studio photographers, but it will also encompass wildlife, astronomical, macro, etc.with photo enthusiasts who want to get the finist detail of their subjects. Imagine taking a BIF photo with this camera with it's vast array of focul points and meter sensitivities with getting highly detailed shots that you couldn't achieve with a lower MP camera. This may be an all-around camera like the Canon Mark III, but on steroids.

The Canon 5Ds and 5Ds/r will completely change the medium format industry and bring medium format to many people that could only just dream about it. Canon is making medium format cameras so much more affordable to so many more people that can now get into image quality that use to cost thousands more dollars to get into. Many people keep mentioning that it is limited to studio and landscape photographers, even so if it is, then that would include the thousands upon thousands of people in a ever increasing market that is continually expanding! Canon is doing the right thing, this camera will be so much more versitle then we can currently imagine! 

"Canon is making medium format cameras so much more affordable"

Sorry, Canon don't make MF cameras and this isn't a MF camera.  High megapixel yes, but not medium format.


I think these camera are going to be great what they are designed for I would of liked to see a third one that was tailored for low light performance maybe reducing the megapixels on the sensor to trade off but I'm sure that will come with time. I can only imagine at how clear portraits would be with this camera in a well lit studio enviorment. I will deffinatley be considering this once it has been out for a while, investing in a camera geared towards one aspect of photography you kind of want to wait to make sure its worth every penny! but I am sure excited to see the results! another bravo by canon.

Nothing about this blog-post seems candid - it seems very neutral and lacks any luster. I'm a huge Canon fan but his camera is lacking so many features and functions its not even funny. Photographers have been waiting 4 years for improvement and haven't seen any in the areas they way. If shooters want a medium format camera, they'll buy a medium format camera, not a 5DMKIII with 50mp's. 

Knock yourself out. It's a waste of money and a lot of hype.

I see people complaining about needing to up-date their computers if they go with a 50+ mp Canon.  I have been shooting the Pentax 645D, which is a 40-mp camera, for almost three years now.  I have no problems processing those files with Core i7 and i5 PC's with plenty of RAM and a good video card.  I personally look forward to using the new Canon so I can compare it to my Pentax. Yes, I would up-grade my 645D to the 645Z and its 50-mps if I could afford it.  I have plenty of "L" glass to use on the Canon, and will probably rent one when they become available.  Onward Canon.