If there is one iconic name in the field of cameras he must surely be Canon. Much though the consumer electronics market has diversify and become more competitive, Canon still retains a significant place in the field of camera development and manufacturing. Forbes rates Canon among the top 70 brands on the planet, and the corporation generated over $38 billion of revenue in 2014.
And Canon is still producing jaw-dropping, market-defining products. Canon has recently unveiled the EOS 5DS and 5DS R models, with both of these cameras boasting a 50.6-megapixel full-frame sensor. This makes them the highest-resolution DSLR cameras currently available on the market.
Clearly Canon believes it is worthwhile to release two devices of this quality, so what is the difference between the two? And which makes the better purchase for consumers?
Canon 5DS vs. Canon 5DS R
There is extremely little aesthetic difference between the two devices, in fact the only tangible physical difference is in the design of the name badges attached to the cameras. The 5DS features a golden finish, while Canon 5DS R instead opts for a silver and red badge.
Aside from the physical appearance, the build of the two devices is almost identical. Canon has insured that both models are extremely well weather-proofed, and the specific dimensions of the two cameras both measure 152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4mm. Both have apparently been based on the footprint of the earlier 5D Mark III body. A few new features ensure that these cameras differ from this earlier device, with new base plates and mirror boxes instrumental in the mirror vibration control system featured in both.
Critics have also noted the outstanding left-hand grip included in both devices, which enables two-handed holding with superior stability.
Another area where it is difficult to separate the two devices is in the sensor department. Both feature at the same ultra-powerful 50.6-megapixel full-frame (36 x 24mm / 35mm film equivalent) sensor, and this means that these two Canon cameras are phenomenal photograph takers. This is particularly true given that they are matched with the dual Digic 6 processors included.
However, the Canon 5DS utilizes a low-pass filter (LPF). This enables the device to diffuse light and achieve false colour effects. Even at the incredibly high resolutions of which the cameras are capable, this is still a valuable and appreciated feature.
The Canon 5DS R attempts to achieve an LPF-free effect by utilizing two low-pass filters, with the intention of the second filter to counteract the influence of the first. Critics of this camera have suggested that removing the filter altogether would achieve the same result, but this would necessitate the focal point of the sensor being adjusted in order to achieve accurate focus. The system utilized is something of a workaround and compromise, but it is one that works fairly effectively within the build of this camera.
Autofocus and speed
The 61-point autofocus system included in the 5D MkIII was critically acclaimed, and it is perhaps not a huge surprise that Canon has decided to facsimile this system in these two new devices. This still produces the same speedy results as in the previous iteration in the series, but the 50-megapixel resolution does ensure that softer images are likely to result if care is not taken with shooting. Subtle movements with these powerful devices quite simply translates into a greater impact on the ultimate result.
Where the two devices do differ is in the fact that 1.6x and 1.3x crop options deliver 19 and 30-megapixel results respectively. But both models are capable of snapping five frames per second at full resolution, which ensures that even an amateur photographer can achieve professional standard results.
One disappointing aspect of these two devices is that Canon has not armed them with the ability to shoot 4K movie. This is a bit surprising given that some mobile phones actually have the capability of filming video in this resolution. However, the 1080p Full HD video capturing capabilities of these two cameras is respectable, with the native 60 frames per second possible enabling decent results.
Ultimately, the focus with both of these devices is on still shooting, and both include a USB 3.0 output to enable the fast transfer of images.
If you wish to get your hands on the slightly more powerful Canon 5DS R then it will cost you an extra couple of hundred dollars when it is released in June 2015. What can be said is that both models offer outstanding and extremely similar functionality.