Canon 5Ds &5Ds R: 5D3 Equivalents of the Porsche GT2 and GT2 RS?

by Hugh Brownstone1 Comment

Canon seems to be taking a page from Porsche, creating the 5Ds and 5Ds R as specialist variants of the 5D Mk III, much as the German automotive manufacturer created the rip-snorting — and terrifying — GT2 and GT2 RS as extreme versions of its venerable 911.

Funny thing happens when you watch the five videos below on the new Canon 5Ds twins back to back: a very clear picture emerges of them as massively competent – and compromised — variants of a better daily driver.

Like Porsche?

After all, in day to day life, the fact that a Porsche GT2 can do 0-60 in 3.6 seconds while a GT3 can do it in 3.4 – even as a more vanilla 911 Carrera 4 manages only 4.5 – makes not a whit of difference to anyone but the most extreme of drivers.

Narrowly-Focused Brilliance

Canon reps go to pains in these videos to note that the 5Ds twins are in “addition to” rather than replacements for the 5D Mk III, as well they might: Canon has eliminated 24p recording; eliminated the headphone jack; and warns quite clearly that these are specialist cameras aimed at high-end still photographers in fashion, portraiture, and landscape (to which we would add: architecture).

But in the right hands under the right circumstances: oh, those massive 50.3 megapixels of exceptional fine detail goodness are mouth-watering!

Still, even in the studio, there are limitations: Canon is equally clear that the R in particular suffers from moiré even beyond its older brother. And outside the studio? Well, with this many pixels, Canon warns again, rolling shutter is an even bigger issue than on the 5D Mk III. [bctt tweet=”Canon 5Ds Twins: Competent but Compromised”]

And in what is likely to be a particular disappointment to landscape photographers, the dynamic range ofthe 5Ds twins remains unchanged from that of the 5D Mk III (it should come as no surprise, then, that a Canon rep asserts that they do not see these cameras as competitive with medium format — for comparison, Phase One quotes 14 stops of dynamic range for its IQ250 digital back, vs. 11.7 stops of dynamic range for the 5D Mk III as tested by DxOMark).

Back to the Porsche Analogy

Taken altogether, the 5Ds twins are a bit like saying “we’ve stuffed a racing engine into a street legal chassis because we can, but BE CAREFUL.”

Then again, there is – like the GT2 siblings – much to love about the s twins, including the ability to switch to 1.3x and 1.6x crop factors to make those Canon telephotos really shine in wildlife and sports situations.

But hang on: autofocus performance is the same as the 5D Mk III; low light performance is about the same as the 7D Mk II; and burst rate is a little slower at 5fps vs. the 5D MkIII’s 6fps (and compared to the 1DX’s 14fps).

Like we wrote above: competent but compromised – and actually a bit counterintuitive.

Unless you subscribe to the“racing engine in a street chassis because we can” theory.

What About the New EF 11-24mm f/4L?

It’s fascinating to watch a Canon rep say point-blank that this lens is a statement by the company’s engineers that Canon doesn’t just make photocopiers, but is in fact a master of lens technology.


By the way: all L series lenses since 2010 have been designed for this high resolution, so part of Canon’s lens roadmap includes updates to more and more L glass.

In Summary

It feels an awful lot like Canon has put a hot rod engine under the hood because it can (and thus claim for the moment “best”), but has done so at the cost of a number of features current 5D Mk III owners will miss. Maybe the analogy shouldn’t be to Porsche, but instead to the iconic Shelby Cobra?

Nah, that was more original.

Interview About the EOS 5Ds & EOS 5Ds R with Mike Burnhill

Interview About the EOS 5Ds and EOS 5Ds R with Mike Burnhill

Via Fotosidan:

In this video Mike Burnhill explains how Canon back in 2010 started the arduous task of replacing all their existing L-lenses, this to better match new sensors with very high resolution. The first model in the series of upgraded L-lenses was the EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM.

Another topic discussed is why high resolution cameras are not optimal for video, and why lower resolution sensors are better can do that better. We also asked Mike Burnhill about the dynamic range of the 5Ds and 5Ds R. He basically said we should not expect any significant improvements compared to the 5D Mark III, though improvements in terms of nosie had been made. He claims this is because of the smaller pixels. In light of the debate over the role of pixel area versus sensor area in recent years, and the almost universal acceptance of sensor size being the main factor, this is rather strange explanation which will probably cause much heated debate in months to come.

Read this article at Fotosidan “VIDEO INTERVIEW CANON EOS 5DS AND 5DS R”

The Freedom of High Resolution with the Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R DSLR Cameras

Watch the featured video to learn about the sophisticated technologies and amazing capabilities of the EOS 5Ds and the EOS 5DS R DSLR cameras, and discover how these cameras are revolutionizing ultra, high-resolution image capture.

Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R Overview by

A Day in Tokyo – Time Lapse Movie with the Canon EOS 5DS/5DSR DSLR

Catch it all in a glimpse! Time-lapse movie feature takes still photos at set intervals and joins them to create a silent movie. Time Lapse Movie function creates professional-quality movies, in camera, without the need for a computer, saving precious time when out in the field.


Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R Preview

We speak to Dave Parry from Canon UK about the new Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R DSLRs. The two models sit above the Canon EOS 5D III and beneath the EOS 1Dx, with each sporting a 50.6MP full-frame sensor. For more information head over to

Introducing the Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R

Join Rudy Winston as he discusses the similarities and differences between the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R, the newest DSLRs in our product line (as of February 2015). Learn about these ultra high resolution cameras, which utilize a full frame CMOS sensor, and how they compare to medium format SLRs. Beneficial to landscape, commercial, food, portrait, wedding, architectural photographers and more, these cameras offer an incredible reproduction of fine detail in their newly developed systems. See how these cameras can best suit you and your imaging needs.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Mr Brownstone’s petty, shallow judgment of a product he considers ill-advised is hardly worth serious — uh — consideration. Canon isn’t stupid. A “statement” product casts a favorable light on everything else Canon manufactures. So I’ll summarize my feelings with a simple question…
    Name a camera that does everything well. Not just well-well, but really well. (Looks at watch, taps foot, yawns.)
    On a strictly technical note… I’ve tried to figure out the minimum resolution needed to prevent moiré (spatial aliasing). Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about sensors — especially Bayer sensors, with different spacing for green and red/blue image elements — to know where to start. (My rough guess is that 50Mpx is “enough” to avoid moiré, except in cases of very high lens resolution (80lp/mm or greater) and very fine image detail. Any experts out there?

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