Well, we’ve all heard the rumors so we knew it was coming, and today’s the day for it. Canon has come clean with the EOS 5DS and the EOS 5DS R, two megaliths of resolution with 50 megapixel full-frame sensors. Of course, you can’t just more than double the resolution of a sensor without any consequences, and in this case the big thing to note is the 5DS twins are not gunning to be low light kings, their native ISO range is down to 100-6400 compared to the 100-25,600 range of the EOS 5D Mark III they build on. To that end, the 5D Mark III is going to remain in the line-up as the low-light choice, while the 5DS twins are best thought of as studio and landscape variants for people with more specific needs. Other than the ISO thing, Canon has done an admirable job keeping the compromises to a minimum in these new bodies. Dual DIGIC 6 processors will keep them humming along at 5 frames per second despite their currently-record-breaking resolution, although even on a UDMA7 card you’ll see that top out at about 14 frames. There’s still only so fast you can move 50mp worth of data after all. And, to make your decision between them and the 5D Mark III even harder, both sport the same stellar AF system debuted in the EOS 7D Mark II, with a 61-point AF system containing 49 high-accuracy cross-type points married to a 150,000 pixel 252-zone metering system.
Other than the giant bullet point of the sensor, the twins have only a few new features to offer over predecessors. Mostly small tweaks. There’s a new customizable quick control screen for getting to settings you use often faster, and they are the first Canon’s to offer time lapse video controls right in the camera (with programmable intervals from 1 second all the way up to just 1 second shy of 100 hours!).
The difference between the 5DS and the 5DS R is the same place Nikon was a few years ago with the D800 and the D800E. They are the same camera except the 5DS R effectively negates its antialiasing filter to maximize the possible resolution with the usual caveat of increased moire (but hey, thanks to Nikon breaking the ground here Lightroom has already provided a moire slider for years now, so, once it adds support for these you’ll be good to go, right?).
Oh, and hey, to go along with them Canon has also announced a shiny new EF 11-24MM F/4L USM super-wide angle lens. Didn’t we just mention landscape photographers as an ideal market for these twins? Guess Canon thinks so too…