There’s little doubt that the Canon EOS 5DS R is one of the most impressive cameras we’ve ever seen. With its 50.6MP sensor, robust build, and reliable metering and autofocus, it’s sure to become a favourite with working photographers for whom ultimate resolution really matters. Indeed, with 20% higher linear resolution than 36MP cameras, it lays down the gauntlet to Sony and Nikon to play catch-up again, although it would be naive to expect this to take long.
When shooting with the 5DS R, it is also striking just how mature the design has become. While no camera is perfect, and different photographers have different preferences, few models work quite so well out of the box. In part this is due to the fact that the large body gives plenty of space for controls, but the layout is also exceptionally well considered, placing everything you need at your fingertips. Unusually, the camera works almost as well in live view as when using the viewfinder, although an articulated LCD would have made it even better.
Image quality is superb, and the ‘fine detail’ picture style is capable of packing practically all the captured detail into the camera’s JPEGs. I’d still expect most users to shoot raw, but it’s great that JPEGs are much more usable than on recent Canon DSLRs. The only caveat is that low ISO dynamic range still doesn’t quite match its peers, so you can’t dig as much detail out of deep shadows as you can from cameras such as the Nikon D810.
So is the EOS 5DS R the best DSLR on the market right now? It’s certainly got to be close. But despite this, I can’t help but feel that for a great many photographers, the EOS 5D Mark III is still a more practical all-rounder, with its much easier-to-handle file sizes and significantly higher ISO range. But landscape and studio photographers in particular will surely love the addictive level of detail that the 5DS R can deliver.