Shooting with the Canon 5DS R

A couple of weeks ago I borrowed a Canon 5DS R from my workplace to test out and have a play with. The 5DS R is one of the newest full-frame cameras by Canon, with a whopping 50.6-megapixel count and 61-point auto-focus system. I’ve been dying to try it and its counterpart, the Canon 5DS, out for a while. I currently use a 6D, and my partner a 5D Mark III, so I really wanted to see the differences between the models. I asked around to see if anybody was in need of some portraits, and my friend Charlotte, the outgoing president of UEA’s Feminist Society, was more than up for it! We met up at the very sunny Waterloo Park in Norwich, which is a great location for portraits thanks to its architecture and plants. I shot with a 50mm f1.8 lens and the Lomography 85mm f2.0 Petzval lens which I’ve talked about in a previous blog post. Here are the photographs I got of Charlotte.


I also met up with one of my favourite couples that evening, Charlotte and Amy, and we did a little portrait session with them as well. I’ve never shot couples before, apart from at weddings, so I really wanted to add to my portfolio.


I was really impressed with the capabilities of the 5DS R, and in particular the auto-focus system with the 50mm lens (the Petzval is manual focus only). The image quality is amazing as well. I didn’t really get a chance to test it out in low lighting, but the photographs of Charlotte and Amy were taken at dusk, and despite me bumping the levels and exposure up in post-production there is no visible noise which is great. The photographs are all sharp, and it worked really well with both of my lenses – neither of which are L lenses or particularly high-grade/”professional”. The camera has a high dynamic range, meaning that the colours rendered in the photographs are vibrant and beautiful straight out of the camera, with not much editing necessary. But, of course, the main appeal of the 5DS and 5DS R is the huge megapixel count that the camera can achieve. I photographed RAW images, and my card was filled by the end of the day. It took ages for the photographs to transfer onto my computer. It captures a lot of detail.

Regardless of all the amazing features of the 5DS R, I’m still pretty happy to stick with my Canon 6D. I’m not planning on blowing any of my images up to the size of a wall any time soon, and in any case the 6D can handle prints of up to (at least) A0 size – I’ve seen it done. There might be a slight decrease in image quality, but when you’re viewing those images either on a computer screen or in an A5 magazine – which is how my photographs are viewed 90% of the time – that doesn’t actually matter. I also do not tend to shoot anything fast-moving, like sports or wildlife, so the the advanced auto-focus system is another feature that doesn’t really affect me.

Plus I don’t really have £2,899 to blow on a camera that only offers minimal differences to my current one.



Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting again in a few days’ time about the next issue of Parallel, which is due out in May – I might also write an article about a subject that’s been playing on my mind for a while. See you soon J


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