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Thread: Just ordered a 5DS R

  1. #1
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Just ordered a 5DS R

    I'm not quite sure how the 5DS R will fit into my little stable of cameras and what I'll end up using it for, but three more than three things have prompted me to buy another camera.

    • I'm fed up with not having an electronic level in the viewfinder of the 5D II or the 1D IV. I am constitutionally unable to get horizons straight though I have tried and tried and tried over the years. The simple, practical electronic level in the 7D II and the 5D IV is a godsend! (The EOS R had one too, but it was almost unusable.) I particularly miss the level when I'm landscaping, especially at wide angles. This will give me three out of four cameras with levels (assuming that I retire the 5D II and keep the 1D IV).
    • I dislike second-rate focus systems. In that category I include the 5D II (which is notoriously primitive and, for its era, more like fifth rate) but also anything which has all the AF points squeezed into the middle of the frame with none in really useful places like the edges and corners. Black marks against the 6D and the 6D II on that account, and top marks to most crop cameras which are typically very good in this regard. The 5D III and 5D S (R) are mediocre in this regard, the 5D4 good and the 1 Series bodies excellent. Anyway, something with AF points in more useful places than the 5D II was desired.
    • Another 5D IV would be perfect. In my opinion, the Canon 5D IV is the best all-round camera ever made. But every time - and I do mean every single time - I've bought a second, identical camera to one I already own, it has given lots of trouble. I bought a second Coolpix 4500 because the first one was such a great little camera. It died. (I probably still have the first one somewhere.) I bought a second 20D: it blew up. (The first one went for many years.) I bought a second 40D. It died too. Twice, I think. (The first one is still in service with a relative.) So I don't want a second 5D IV because I have a stupid superstition about buying a second camera of the same model four grand is too much to spend.
    • I am tired of the vast bulk of the 1D IV. As a single stand-alone camera, it is still a joy to use even after all these years. But mostly it gets used alongside another body with a different lens mounted and it is a real pain trying to fit both bodies into even my oversized camera bag. And it doesn't have an electronic level.
    • As you know, Canon has stopped production of the 5DS and 5DS R models and is threatening not to make any more SLRs at all. I'm seeing a few second-hand examples of the 5DS around at reputable places for about $2000, give or take. (No, I don't do E-bay, not for anything expensive - E-bay is good for cheap and nasty little gadgets out of China. Anything over $100 or so I want a real shop and proper consumer protection laws.) That's less than half the price they were selling for new not long ago. A 5DS would be way more than I need, but it would certainly do the job.
    • On the other hand, I've always thought that the 5DS R was the one to have, certainly for a nature and wildlife man like me, and you mostly only see the (slightly) inferior 5DS advertised. And it's quite a lot for a second-hand camera.
    • But what about a 5D III? Well-regarded model, excellent in all respects, plenty enough resolution for my needs, and I'm seeing used ones in good nick for $1000 or a little under. A 5D III would do everything I'm asking for. So there is my answer.
    • But I see that B&H are selling brand new 5DS Rs for $1500 USD - that's $2350 AUD by the time we factor in GST and shipping. This is probably the last-ever chance to buy a brand-new 50MP DSLR and (going on my experience with the horrid little EOS R) I don't know that I'll ever want one of those mirrorless things, at least not as a main camera.
    • The 5DS R doesn't quite manage the near-perfect body and controls design of the 5D IV. It actually stepped backwards a bit from the excellent 7D II design in order to be more like the 5D III, so it misses out on the very useful focus-mode switcher on the back of the body and, instead, has that fiddly and awkward M-fn button on the top (like a 7D Mark 1). And from reading the manual I think it doesn't have the ability to put the top and back dials around the right way in manual mode. (All Canon professional-grade cameras and also the 5D IV have this. Without it, when you switch from Av to M - idiotically - the top dial and back dial get switched around backwards such that the aperture is suddenly under your thumb and the shutter speed under your finger. If this is the case, I'll just have to live with it, as I did with the 20D and the 5D II and several others. It's a pain though. I don't like having to think about the camera - all that control stuff ought to be on muscle memory level while I think about the picture I'm making.) But these are fairly minor quibbles: overall it is an excellent design, very nearly as good as the very, very best ones.


    I haven't figured out how I'm going to employ the 5DS R. The main unmet need at present is wide-angle use with the 16-35/4. It would be excellent for that, of course, but a bit wasted given that the 24-105 goes so wide and whatever camera has that lens will likely get first use. And I'm certainly not going to consign the 5D IV to wide-angle duty - it's my best bird camera. I'll try the 5DS R out for birding - thinking of it, essentially, as a slow 7D II with a wide field of view. (The pixel density is similar.)

    Whatever ... I guess I'll just mix and match and bumble around to find out what works best.

    5DS and 5DS R users, what is your experience with this camera?
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

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    Good day Tony, your selection process is detailed and works well. It is good to know that you are staying with Canon, the stable of suitable cameras must be somewhat narrow for a skilled photographer.

    The shutter on my 90D can be noisy when it suits, the only real problem with an otherwise serviceable camera for a man who is slowly developing his knowledge. Thanks for the inspiration to look wider.

    May I wish you good fortune, kind regards Journeyman.
    Last edited by Journeyman; 02-11-2021 at 9:50am.

  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Tony i owned this camera body but I just never got along with it - but that might be my lack of patience using this body. At 50mp the files are huge (too big for my use) but what really ticked me off is I could never take a sharp photo with it. Even on a tripod it needs to use a high shutter speed - forget about very low timed shutter speeds. I used it when I was travelling - in fact bought it particularly to photograph the cherry blossoms in Japan - but my keeper rate was low. The other down side to this body is the highest ISO is only 6400.

    Anyway just my thoughts - I would never own one again.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1DxII, EOS R, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-200 F4IS, 24-70 F2.8 II, 16-35 F4IS


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    Cheers Kel, I read your previous comments on the 5DS R ... oh ... a year or two ago that would be ... and gave them careful thought. My reasoning is that the 5DS R has about the same pixel density as a 7D II (58,242 px/mm2 where the 7D II is 59,410. Compare with a 5D IV at 38,844 or a 90D at 97,193.) On that basis, it should be no worse than the 7D II (which we hand-hold without the slightest trouble). But if that is so, why did you have so much trouble? Something doesn't add up. It wasn't user error - you are a very competent photographer. But there are two or three others here on AP who use 5DS or 5DS R and get excellent results. I am left to suppose that your 5DS R was faulty in some way. I can't think of any other explanation to fit all the facts.

    Well, I'll find out for myself soon enough.

    The ISO thing isn't a big issue for me. I seldom go much past 1600, and if the light is really poor the 5D IV is always there to go to. The big files .... probably not that much of an issue either, but worth bearing in mind if I am birding with it. (Memo to self: if I'm going to take a zillion shots in a session, use the 7D II or at least the 5D IV!)

    Journeyman, thanks for your comment. Many Canon cameras have a quieter (but slower) operation mode called (I think) "silent shutter". It's not silent, but it is quieter. I'm not sure if the 90D offers this feature, I only remember it from some of the full frame models, but you could check the manual.

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Tony in honest fact I think it was my impatience and my style of photography. I found I had the most trouble when using a lighter tripod and medium telephoto lenses (70-200). I am sure if I had persisted then maybe I could have tamed the beast but in the end as you know, when you travel you only get the one chance to nail the shot, and unfortunately I just lost confidence in the team (me and the body). When it works it will not disappoint.

    I do remember we had differing opinions with the EOS-R, and i once again put that down to different photographers with different requirements. Be a boring world if we all did the same thing with the same equipment.
    Last edited by Brian500au; 05-11-2021 at 8:08pm.

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    Wow! B&H and DHL really pulled their fingers out - it arrived today!

    A bit of a practice with it this afternoon suggests that it will perform very much as expected - something like a hybrid between the 5D IV and the 7D II. It handles so very like a 7D II that you have to look twice to make sure you've got the right one.

    Here is Myrtle again (same bird as the other day):

    [

    (Canon 5DS R, 100-400 II @ 214mm, 500 ISO, f/5.6, 1/1000th, as metered, hand-held. Moderate crop from the in-camera JPG.)


    Next, the whole image the above was cropped from. (Resized to 1600 x 1200.)






    Now a 100% crop.





    The 5DS R looks the goods to me. I got a lot of discards and a low keeper ratio this afternoon, but messing around with fast moving birds you expect that. I threw a lot of 7D II and 5D IV shots away today too. The 5DS R strikes me as just a little fussier than the other two. I'm not sure why that should be, but I'm happy to lift my game a little and expect that I'll enjoy it.

    One small change I'll make: it's still on the factory default in-camera sharpening setting. By the time you do standard resize/output sharpening, that's a bit much. (It always is - has been with every camera I have ever owned.) I'll dive into the settings and dial that back just a touch.

    PS: the file sizes are a bit frightening!

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Be interesting to get your feedback after month or two of shooting with the body Tony.

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    Ausphotography Regular jamesmartin's Avatar
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    When I started photography I got a Canon 6D but didn't take me long to upgrade to a 5Ds R (couldn't resist 50mp) which I've had ever since. Bought a 5Ds around twelve months back for a back up as don't want to go mirrorless & couldn't find a 5Ds R. Anyway I can't give much feedback as I haven't used any other bodies to compare them to but as I mainly shoot landscapes with the plan on getting my better ones printed large it suits me. I also do a bit of flora close up shots & occasional birds/wildlife. Nearly every time I use it even with birds I use a tripod & seem to get pretty good results. Apart from not having built-in gps I'm very happy with them
    www.jamessmartin.net - currently in the process of doing up my new website
    Canon 5DsR & 5Ds - Zeiss Milvus 21mm - Canon 70-300mm L - Canon 100mm macro - Sigma 150-600mm contemporary. Aquatech sport shield rain cover. Phantom DJI 4 pro drone. Gitzo traveller tripod. Tascam DR-70D sound recorder

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    Cheers James - and you do lovely work with them, as I've seen.

    A month or so on, the 5DS R has become my main camera (insofar as I actually have a "main" camera). The sharpness and detail it brings home is extraordinary, and I'm not finding it any more difficult to use than a 7D II. I'm mainly using it on a tripod for birds at present. Watching the native-hens grow up is a delight, and an education all in itself. Here is another example:



    It has been a long time since I used a camera which takes as long between frames as the 5DS R - maybe back to 20D days - but that's all part of the game. Just as well really, at the size of these files, you don't want too many of them!

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    12 months on and the 5DSR remains on top of my list. In general use it is such an excellent all-round camera that I reach for it first and sometimes forget just how good the 7DII and the 5DIV are.

    Right now I'm in Sri Lanka and the SR is getting lots of extra work because the 5DIV has developed a fault and needs servicing. The 5DIV has always been my go-to for low light work, but I've been forced to try the SR out in that role, deep in the rainforests of Sri Lanka.

    It's a mixed bag. Contrary to popular reputation, the SR's high ISO performance is very good indeed - not quite up to 5D IV standards, but pretty close. On the other hand, its focus system is clearly inferior to the 5DIV's. In really bad light, it just can't cope, where the 5DIV just soldiers on regardless. The SR is also slower to focus in medium-good light and more likely to miss focus than the 5D IV.

    Don't make too much of this comment, it's still very good, just not in the absolute top drawer with AF stars like the 5D IV, 7D II, and 1D IV.

    Anyway, I'm learning more about its abilities on this trip. It's also not very good for flight shots. For those, the 1D IV (not with me here in Sri Lanka) and the 7D II rule supreme, with the 5D IV a decent stand-in. But the SR's ability to pull detail out of a static bird too far away in not-very-good light is awesome.

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    Here is an example of the SR at its best:




    This is a 100% crop. The SR's ability to pull out fine detail is extraordinary. Compare with the original image below.





    (It's a nice bird so I'll cross-post it over to the bird forum.)

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    Sadly, it is no longer possible to buy a new 5DS R. With my 5D IV off to visit Peter at Accurate Instrument in Brisbane for servicing, I looked around to see what was available by way of a spare body. A second 5D IV would make a lot of sense - I really, really missed its amazing low-light focus ability in Sri Lanka when it went faulty early in the trip - but they are still very expensive. The Camera Exchange in Melbourne had a nice-looking 5DS in stock. I have dealt with Ryan there before (he bought my 70-300L and 500/4) and was happy to buy from him. The 5DS was advertised at $1750 but, being a nice bloke, he offered to express post it to me here in Tasmania free of charge and round the price down to $1700. Very happy with that.

    The 5DS arrived promptly and is working fine. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the theoretically superior 5DS R.

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