The Canon EOS 5DS was recently announced in February 2015 and I had a chance to see and touch the Canon EOS 5DS for myself during the launch event. This camera got me pretty interested, I was wondering how “strong” and “powerful” this Canon EOS 5DS can be, versus the rest of the competitors in the mirror-less and medium format categories?

In the month of November 2015, I was given an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 5DS. This was really awesome and I am very humbled and excited that I am able to continue my journey in reviewing cameras, adding on to my extensive list of camera reviews that I done over the years.

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In my short stint with the Canon EOS 5DS, I brought it out whenever I could, to do landscape, portrait, walkabout, night events photography. Through the photographs that I took, let me share with you my thoughts, feelings and review of the Canon EOS 5DS, starting with the pros and cons –

Pros

  • 6 megapixels, a big number and room for photographers to work on
  • Superb colour quality output, clarity, details and sharpness
  • Versatility ~ cropping/aspect ratio options with full frame, 1.3x crop, 1.6x, 4:3 and 16:9 options
  • Electronic Level is useful when doing handheld photography
  • At high ISO 12,800, the noise level for the 5DS is still relatively clean, manageable and within my tolerance level (in my personl humble opinion)
  • Dual memory cards options, both SD and CF cards, make it versatile and photographers can have options on how they want to use and save the photos to one card or both cards
  • More detailed battery level indicator, photographers would welcome this when they are busy shooting
  • 61 Auto Focus points, handy and useful when needed, technology inherited from Canon EOS 1DX and 5D3 camera models.
  • In-built HDR option
  • In-built multiple exposures option
  • In-built interval timer option

Cons

  • Huge photo file size (for both jpeg and raw files)
  • Additional accessories needed, thus additional costing (big size memory cards e.g 128GB SD card and a powerful desktop/laptop with lots of RAM and HDD space)
  • Price is on the higher side (relative to other DSLR camera models)

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Suitability

  • Ideal for photographers who wish to have camera quality close to medium format at a lower investment cost
  • Portrait and commercial photographers would find the Canon EOS 5DS ideal and suitable to meet their photography needs and requirements

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Due to a heavy workload and time constraints, I wasn’t able to fully explore the video recording capabilities of the Canon EOS 5DS, thus I would not be writing about it here. If the time and opportunity allows again, I would carry on from where I left off and share with my readers.

Personal thoughts and feelings on the Canon EOS 5DS

On a side note, it would not be fair to compare a 35mm DSLR system to a Medium Format system (2 different camera systems). The Canon EOS 5DS with its 50.6 megapixels on her 35mm format, gives photographers options and opportunities to have a system and its capabilities that are close to the medium format system.

There are also not many other camera models at this point in time, that are in the range of 50.6 megapixels, thus giving all these few camera models (e.g. 5DS, 5DS R) a niche in the digital camera market.

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The Canon EOS 5DS is built upon a very successful Canon DSLR, the Canon EOS 5D series (and one of my favourite Canon DSLRs is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III) family. It has a strong “family tradition” and I do quite like the Canon EOS 5DS. I can’t say that I prefer one of the DSLR camera models over another until I tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 5DS R. Personally speaking, I have a soft spot for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (I was using a 5D Mark III review unit), having helped me clinched a spot in a photography exhibition a few years ago when Gardens By The Bay was officially opeend. Another very significant contribution would be my Hokkaido Black and White Landscape Photo Book, kindly loaned to me by fellow photographer friend Marcus.

Would I own a Canon EOS 5DS ? I don’t have an answer at this point in time, maybe until I tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 5DS R. There are a great range of “powerful” Canon DSLRs in the 5D series family. I hope that I can do the Canon EOS 5DS R review in the near future and give my readers more information, views, thoughts, feelings and review points, thus allowing them to know, understand and compare before making any Canon DSLR investment decision.

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If you love the superb colour quality output, clarity, details and sharpness of the Canon EOS 5DS and do not mind the anti-aliasing filter inside the 5DS, on top of that, you would need the high megapixels for your photography needs, why not take a look at the Canon EOS 5DS and consider it? It might be a viable option when you are considering between a 35mm format and a medium format camera.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 5DS.


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