It has been exactly three years since Nikon debuted its high resolution 36.3 MP D800 and D800E cameras in February of 2012. At the time of the announcement, Nikon’s highest resolution camera was the super expensive D3X with a 24.5 MP sensor, while the similar class D700 only had a 12.1 MP sensor. So for many, going from either 12.1 MP or 24.5 MP to 36.3 MP on full-frame represented a huge jump in resolution. The cameras were truly groundbreaking, thanks to their superb performance, low noise levels and stunning dynamic range. Although Nikon faced a number of issues with quality control in the beginning, particularly when it came to calibrating the autofocus system for the new high-resolution cameras, the Nikon D800 / D800E took the market by storm and quickly became Nikon’s best selling professional cameras. For three long years, Canon failed to offer a true high-resolution competitor, while Nikon already went through another iteration of the 36 MP line with the Nikon D810 camera. This angered many Canon shooters who wanted to get a high-resolution camera that offered similar performance benefits and a much wider dynamic range than what Canon had on its existing cameras. The wait is now over because Canon has just announced record-breaking super high resolution 50.6 MP Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R full-frame DSLR cameras. Canon decided not to just bring out a competitor but hit Nikon hard with something better in terms of resolution.
Packed with dual DIGIC 6 processors, the same 61-point AF system from the Canon 5D Mark III, 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, dual CF / SD card slots and 5 fps continuous shooting speed, the cameras have much to offer to compete with Nikon. Canon came up with the 5DS and 5DS R very similarly as Nikon did with its D800 and D800E cameras by featuring an anti-aliasing filter on the 5DS, while the 5DS R has the anti-aliasing filter cancelled out for greater detail. The big difference at this point is price – at $3,899 MSRP, the 5DS R is $600 steeper compared to the current Nikon D810 (which does not have an anti-aliasing filter). The Canon 5DS is $200 cheaper, at $3,699 MSRP.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the 5DS and 5DS R cameras. I am particularly interested in dynamic range improvements over current-generation Canon full-frame DSLR cameras…
Overview of Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R Specifications
Here are the main specifications for the two cameras:
- Weather Sealing: Full, dust and water-resistant
- Sensor Size: 36x24mm, Full-Frame CMOS
- Resolution: 50.6 MP
- Image Resolution: 8688 x 5792
- Processor: Dual DIGIC 6
- Native ISO Range: 100-6400
- Boost ISO Range: 12800
- Autofocus System: 61 point AF with 41 cross-type points
- Continuous Shooting Speed: 5 fps
- Metering Sensor: 150,000-pixel RGB+IR sensor
- Crop Modes: 1.3x and 1.6x crop modes
- RAW: 14-bit RAW, Medium RAW (mRAW) and Small RAW (sRAW)
- LCD Size: 3.2″
- LCD Resolution: 1,040,000 dots
- Viewfinder: Pentaprism, 100% coverage
- Viewfinder Magnification: 0.71x
- Built-in Flash: No
- Flash Sync Speed: 1/200
- Video Recording: Up to 1920×1080 @ 24p, 25p and 30p
- Storage: CF and SD
- Interface: USB 3.0
- GPS: None
- WiFi: None
- Weight: 930g
- Dimensions: 152 x 116 x 76mm
- MSRP Price: $3,699 (5DS), $3,899 (5DS R)
Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R Official Announcement
MELVILLE, N.Y., February 5, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to introduce the Canon EOS 5DSi and Canon EOS 5DS Ri Digital SLR cameras featuring the world’s highest resolution* among 35mm format DSLRs. Providing photographers with uncompromising image quality, these new EOS models incorporate a newly designed Canon 50.6 megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor and Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors for superb image quality and processing speed. Perfect for commercial, studio, portrait, landscape and architectural photography, or anyone looking for an affordable alternative to medium format, the ultra-high resolution of these new models allow for large-format printing and extensive cropping capability while maintaining fantastic image quality.
Maximizing the potential of the new 50.6 megapixel sensor – for the first time in an EOS camera the low-pass filter effect in the EOS 5DS R model is cancelled. The cancellation of the low-pass filter helps deliver sharp images, squeezing the most out of every pixel. Both models provide attractive options for medium format shooters especially when coupled with a wide array of over 70 creative Canon EF lenses to choose from.
“Canon is always looking to deliver the absolute best in image quality and push our technology to the limits. These cameras deliver on that pledge, providing photographers with two new incredible tools that will enable them to make the most out of every shoot,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “As photography becomes more specialized and more images are captured than ever before, the burden is on the photography equipment to keep up with the demands of today’s artistic talents. These new camera models will provide many photographers with new options to deliver their vision to clients, fans, and the world.”
Built to Maximize Sharpness
In addition to the 50.6 megapixel full-frame image sensor and Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors, both cameras include a 61-Point High Density Reticular AF array including up to 41 cross-type AF points and EOS iTR AF for high precision autofocus. They also include the EOS Scene Detection system featuring a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR 252-zone metering sensor that provides enhanced precision and performance.
In support of such a high-resolution imaging sensor, the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras were designed to minimize camera shake and significantly improve stability via a reinforced chassis, baseplate and tripod lug to improve rigidity. Canon also re-designed the mirror vibration control system to help reduce mirror bounce and camera shake. To help maximize stability and minimize vibrations, Canon added a new Arbitrary Release Time Lag Setting in Mirror Lock mode in both models. In addition to the standard setting (press the shutter button once to lock the mirror, then again to release the shutter), the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras offer new setting intervals of 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, one and two seconds, releasing the shutter after the selected preset delay, allowing potential camera vibration to dissipate before shutter release.
A new Picture Style called “Fine Detail” has been added to enhance the sharpness of JPEGs and EOS Movies with three new settings: Strength, Fineness and Threshold. With such abundant resolution on each sensor, both models also provide two cropped shooting modes, while still delivering high-resolution images 30.5 megapixels for the 1.3x mode and 19.6 megapixels for the 1.6x mode. The available crop options are visible as a mask or an outline in the viewfinder; so shooters can know exactly where to frame their subject.
Capturing the Action
Like the EOS 7D Mark II, the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras feature an advanced AE system that can detect and compensate for flickering light sources such as sodium vapor lamps that are often used in gymnasiums and natatoriums. When enabled, this anti-flicker system automatically adjusts shutter release timing to help reduce disparities in exposure and color especially during continuous shooting. And new Auto White Balance settings include Ambience Priority and White Priority (for use when shooting under tungsten lighting).
Photographers and cinematographers will appreciate improved custom controls including a built-in intervalometer and bulb timer to enable the capture of time-lapse images and long-exposure images. These features are ideal for recording fireworks, star trails, sunrises and more.
Both models feature Intelligent Viewfinder II providing approximately 100 percent field of view, while adding the ability to display cropped shooting frames and superimpose a customizable selection of camera settings and data such as dual-mode electronic level display and grid, as well as exposure, white balance, metering, drive, image quality and AF modes. A new Customizable Quick Control Screen, another first for EOS cameras, allows photographers to quickly change frequently used camera settings and functions.
The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras continue the EOS Movie tradition with the ability to shoot in 1080p Full HD up to 30p or 720p HD video up to 60p. A creative Time Lapse Movie function, a first for EOS cameras, takes a continuous series of still photographs and automatically combines them in camera into a Full HD movie file. Interval adjustments can be set from one second to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. The number of shots possible range from 2 to 3,600 with a maximum of two minutes and 30 seconds of playback time. In addition, high-speed continuous shooting up to five-frames-per-second (fps) at full 50 megapixel resolution allows users to capture fast action.
The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras feature dual card slots for CF and SD memory cards, including Ultra High Speed (UHS-1) SD cards. Built to last, the cameras also feature a shutter durability rating up to 150,000 cycles, the same as the EOS 5D Mark III.
The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R Digital SLR cameras are scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June 2015 for estimated retail prices of $3,699.00 and $3,899.00 for the body only, respectively.
* Among 35mm‐format Digital SLR cameras as of February 5, 2015 according to published competitive information.
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I don’t see the point of going past 36 MP. I have the D800E and the camera is amazing but and I often feel I have too much resolution. I have shots at 36 to 50 mp. Most of the images I use just need to be downsized between 2 to 5 MP to be used properly. Downloading images, light room post processing takes for ever.Unless you are planning to make huge prints of your work what is the point of having so much MP?
I am more looking forward to the upcoming D5 with only 24 MP but with amazing battery life.
I don’t see this as something hitting Nikon hard that’s a very pre-mature statement at this compulsory announcement stage. More like a shot at PL maintaining relationship with Canon and perhaps some folks pre-ordering through the sponsored link…
Someone always has a conspiracy theory, congratulations, this time it is you :) What really strikes me is that you mentioned affiliate links in such a negative manner – as if what little financial help we receive from those is not well earned, or our families don’t require food and home.
Best of luck to you, Laci!
I wouldn’t waste your breath Romanas. Not much you can say to change some peoples point of view. A big thankyou to you all for your great site.
Thank you, Mark. I know ignoring such remarks is, more often than not, the wiser choice. This time I could not help myself, but I’ve shown a sufficient amount of restraint, at least I hope so.
I personally think Canon did what Nikon failed to do with their D700 replacement and their current lineup. I haven’t been able to upgrade my D700 because there is really no direct replacement for what the D700 is/was. There is always a compromised on the current Nikon lineup. Canon on the other hand now has its low-end model, its direct 5D Mark II successor the Mark III (with the exact things Canon users were asking for) and now it has it’s speciality cameras with very high MP count.
I hope Nikon will follow suit by ditching the D610 for the D750. Upgrading the DF with good FX AF system and a 1/8000 shutter speed and keep the D810 as the speciality lens.
Can you explain to me what is it about the D700 and what a “real” replacement would look like? What does the 700 has that no other camera in their line up have?
I’d prefer more innovation than just upping the megapixel war! Better in-body image stabilisation, better focusing, modular designs, better noise management. All the big names ever do is add MP or shooting rate or something that really doesn’t benefit most photogs.
I disagree… more MP is perfect for the target audience. As a landscape shooter who shoots on a tripod at ISO100 99.9% of the time, megapixels are KEY, high ISO is useless (I’ve never taken my 6D higher than 6400 even shooting aurora in pitch black). None of my landscape lenses have IS, so this seems like the perfect bridge for those of us who can’t afford a Phase One rig.
Yes, apart from landscape photogs such as yourself. there are many others out there that shoot other stuff… so this is still pretty niche!
Canon only needs to improve their sensors in the aspect of DR and shadow noise, and they need it badly very soon. People at Canon are also lazy to put good AF and metering sensors with subject recognition and 3D tracking in their entry-level cameras (both APS-C and full frame). Otherwise they are on the right way. They have released some really sharp lenses recently and it’s a good time to boost up the pixels number, IMO.
Everyone that uses photoshop or software with image stitching, surely has the capability to effectively raise the resolution from their existing DSLR/mirrorless.
The advantage of image stitch are that it enables a normal angle of view lens to effectively create a wider shot with less lens distortion, also the day to day images are more manageable on most computers. In turn the storage is also smaller.
So what is better about a 5Ds (bloated 5D mkIII, in itself a great camera).
Sure the technology is interesting, albeit predictable.
What has happened in the Nikon Canon factories regarding Back Illuminated Sensors? Is there a reason they are not being adopted. I would far sooner opt for 24Mp with astonishing low light, than yet more pixels (50Mp) to push around on the computer ad infinitum.
In reading the specs, a couple of observations come to mind. The ISO range, it only has one boost mode, to 12,800. Also, no mention is made about a faster FPS rate if drop resolution to 1.3 or 1.6 shooting mode. Besides the DxO numbers, it will be interesting to see Nasims’ detailed review, especially when comparing downsized images from the 5Ds to those of full sized images of the D800/E/810. Count me as a “Nikon fan boy” (since that is the brand I use), however I believe I have respect for other brands. Nikon, at least in the low ISO range, does lead in Dynamic Range. As the ISO creeps up, the DxO listed values become quite close in a lot of cases.
What are the bets as too how soon Nikon will introduce a 50+MP camera? Before the end of 2015, or early 2016?
Nice announcement, Nasim! Boy, I bet all of the Nikon fan boys are wheeping and frothing at the mouth over this crusher. After enduring 3 years of ad nauseum nonsense about 36.3 MP, “ultra-high resolution”, and talking the talk without walking the walk with no decent photos to share, I look forward to Canon professionals showing the “Nikonian” wannabes how to properly make high resolution quality photos. Having said that, these new Canon cameras most likely will still not match the quality of medium format film or medium format digital. But, so what? As long as these new cameras take down the Nikon digital fan boys a couple of notches, I’m happy.
Nikon executives have been pacing the floor today as they expect a huge drop – perhaps as much as 20-35% – in the company’s share price at the market’s opening bell. Over the weekend, Nikon frantically attempted to reassure some of its largest investors and retail partners there was no reason to panic. What happened? By all respects, Nikon has been on a roll with the D800 and D4 model introductions. Most experts have attributed Nikon with hitting it out of the park. The issue uncovered this weekend, however, is that the D800 is actually much better than originally thought or reported thus far. Surprise, surprise… the D800 is actually capable of an effective resolution of 108MP!
Conveniently left out of the original product marketing material and technical details, was the fact that the D800’s sensor has a substrate capable of capturing additional detail. When combined with sophisticated interpolation software (also not revealed to the public), it is able to triple the camera’s resolution. No doubt this newly discovered feature will lead to increased D800 sales. But the more troubling concern is the potential impact on the sales of Nikon lenses. When a photographer can take pictures with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, and is able to obtain high resolution crops similar to what a 105mm macro, 300mm, or 200-400mm lens can produce, why purchase additional lenses?
This capability, affectionately known within the Nikon Engineering ranks, as “turbo mode”, was apparently going to be introduced in approximately six to nine months. D800 owners would have been able to activate it after paying an additional $750. This would have marked the first time a camera manufacturer charged a fee for activating a feature after the camera had been shipped from the factory. Nikon customers would have been required to purchase a software key unique to their camera to enable this feature, so as to prevent people from sharing the code. But one of the Nikon engineers accidently stumbled upon a menu and button sequence that enabled this capability, thus bypassing the need for an activation code. In the software industry, such capabilities are often purposely inserted into the code. They are known as “Easter eggs”, since they require a bit of hunting to find. Most of the time, they are rather innocuous and simply result in a humorous message flashing onto the user’s screen. In computer games, Easter eggs may reveal some additional options not available in the menu. Nikon’s Easter egg, however, unlocks a significant capability – one that it was counting on for additional revenue. As with most modern day secrets, once the menu and button sequence was discovered, it went viral on the internet. Although we have yet to see the substrate and interpolation software engineering specifications, we can say that the initial test results are nothing short of jaw-dropping!
Nikon has pulled off what may be the most significant photography-related engineering feat of the last 50 years. It will undoubtedly garner extremely positive press as more details regarding turbo mode emerge. But Nikon’s Easter egg, in the form of the button sequence unlocking this feature, will likely result in a significant hit to Nikon revenues. Nikon was seeking to lay the groundwork for a new type of product – one that could be upgraded in the field by unlocking capabilities already present in the device. It was also seeking to fundamentally change the structure of DSLR pricing. While software companies have enabled customers to upgrade their software via encryption keys (for a fee), few hardware companies provided similar capabilities – at least not without some additional equipment such as CPUs, RAM, or other hardware. Should Nikon continue to pursue this strategy, it will no doubt be much more careful in the future!
How will turbo mode impact affect Nikon lens sales? This is a huge source of profits for both Nikon and its retail partners. DSLRs often have a relatively small mark-up, but lenses, particularly the higher end models, carry a hefty margin. The high resolution capabilities have some concerned that the D800 may enable someone to get by with one or two lenses. The unbelievable detail captured would allow them to crop to ridiculous levels and still have stunningly sharp images. Some are concerned that the D800’s turbo mode may fundamentally change people’s perceptions regarding the number and types of lenses they need, particularly if they don’t print images beyond twenty four inches.
Nikon will likely see the stock price recover over time, as people revise their original calculations of lost revenue from the discovery of the turbo mode Easter egg. It may, however, take some additional time for the market to understand the impact of turbo mode on lens sales. For now, Nikon and its investors can count on a roller coaster ride as the stock price ebbs and flows with the uncertainty of the moment.
Perhaps Nikon will announce their Easter Egg in 2018, when Easter falls on April Fool’s Day!
Based on everything I’ve read on these, the dynamic range is the same as the 5DIII, which is not a match for the D810 (D800). For me, the DR of my D810 is its best attribute and I have no need for more than 36MP. From my observations working with a lot of Canon shooters, Canon is really competing with the Sony A7r, which has become a go to camera with lens adapter for many Canon shooters.
I’m glad they aren’t available for a few months so I won’t do anything impulsive tonight. It’ll be interesting to see some full reviews on both as well as the new 11-24.
Tell us, again, Nasim how DSLRs are a dying breed and how Canon and Nikon are trembling with fear and are sleeping on their laurels and doing nothing innovative.
Please, remind us one more time, using your most prophetic prose possible.
And they are. Wait until Sony announces the mirrorless 50.6 MP A7R II. Canon just announced the EOS M3 in Asia and Europe – that mirrorless camera won’t even make its way to the US. Unless both Canon and Nikon start developing mirrorless early on, others will bring more innovative products to the market.
Look at the latest market data and see for yourself – DSLR sales are worse than ever, while mirrorless is steadily growing.
increasing megapixel count is all very nice, yes. But do you call that innovation? I don’t. Every single manufacturer has been increasing megapixel count ever since they released their first digital cameras. And you can try and mock anyone here all you like – market data is market data. DSLR sales are decreasing. Give it a few years. Personally, I don’t believe DSLRs will disappear or “die”, but the market share will be much smaller than it is now. It keeps getting smaller and will continue to do so for a while.
So, again, be as sarcastic as you like. It does us no harm, and it does not show you in a pleasant colour.
Look at the actual sales volume for DSLRs. They are collapsing rapidly. This change, or a Nikon answer, is not enough to change their fortunes.