Screen and viewfinder
One key advantage of full-frame DSLRs is the optical viewfinder, and the EOS 5DS R’s is exceptionally good. With a magnification of 0.71x it is as large and as clear as they come, and it gives 100% coverage for accurate composition. Alongside the usual exposure data – shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation – an LCD overlay display gives the option to add gridlines and the nice dual-axis electronic level we previously saw on the 7D Mark II.
Alongside drive, AF and metering modes, it’s possible to show battery status, white balance, image quality settings and even a flicker warning with fluorescent lighting. This allows you easily to change all of the settings controlled by the top-plate buttons with the camera to your eye. The overall result is probably the clearest and most information-rich optical viewfinder we’ve ever seen on a DSLR.
The 3.2in, 1.04-million-dot rear LCD is also excellent. It’s sharp and detailed, and a light sensor adjusts the brightness automatically to match the ambient lighting. It’s great for checking images during playback, and provides an accurate preview of your shots when using live view. However, I can’t help feeling that Canon has missed a trick by not making it articulated – a high-resolution studio camera like the 5DS R will often find itself working in live view on a tripod, and the ability to reposition the screen is a real boon when shooting in this way. The screen is not touch-sensitive, either, and while that’s standard for this type of camera it’s a shame as Canon’s touch interface is excellent.