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[Part 1] Appearance and New Features

In February 2015, Canon announced the release of two new models, "EOS 5DS" and "EOS 5DS R", both boasting the highest pixel count in the EOS series. I will, in a series of four articles starting from this one, unravel the appeal of the two cameras. (Reported by: Ryosuke Takahashi)

35mm Full-frame Camera with an Unbelievably High Pixel Count Exceeding 50 Megapixels!!

February 6, 2015 marks a memorable milestone in the history of digital SLR cameras. On this day, the EOS series successfully exceeded the "50 megapixel" mark, a hurdle that was deemed technically impossible to overcome by 35mm format full-frame cameras. Two models carrying the "S" label were released, with the EOS 5DS R built in with an optical low-pass filter (LPF) cancellation function, while the EOS 5DS is equipped with an optical LPF.

Both the EOS 5DS and 5DS R boast the highest pixel count in the EOS series, but they are positioned as variation models in the EOS 5D lineup as they were developed based on the EOS 5D Mark III. The "S" label is a homage to the EOS-1Ds, which marked the world's highest resolution at the time of its release. Meanwhile, the "R" of the EOS 5DS R is adopted from "Resolution", which not only refers to the high definition, but also bears the meaning of "determination" at the same time.

  1. Low-pass Filter 1
  2. Low-pass Filter 2
  3. Light Ray
  4. Separates subject image in the vertical direction
  5. Merges the separated images
  6. Infrared Absorption Glass
  7. CMOS Sensor

Conceptual Diagram of Low-Pass Filter Effect Cancellation

On the EOS 5DS R, the image of the subject is first separated in the vertical direction by Low-pass Filter 1, after which the separated images are merged again at Low-pass Filter 2. In the case of the EOS 5DS, the subject image is separated in the horizontal direction by Low-pass Filter 1, and in the vertical direction by Low-pass Filter 2.

A newly-developed full-frame CMOS sensor is employed on both models, but they vary significantly in the structure of the low-pass filter that is located immediately in front of the image sensor. As with the other EOS models, the EOS 5DS prevents false colours and moiré effect from occurring by separating the subject image using the low-pass filter effect. In contrast, the EOS 5DS R separates the subject image with the low-pass filter, but merges them again using a technology uniquely developed by Canon. Doing so successfully cancels the low-pass filter effect to achieve an apparent resolution that is similar to that when a low-pass filter is not used. Other than the optical LPF feature, the EOS 5DS R and the EOS 5DS are basically twins with no difference in their functions and mechanism. Various measures have also been introduced on both the hardware and software of the two models to address camera shake, an issue that may become more pronounced with a high pixel count that exceeds 50 megapixels. In the following, let us take a look at these two cameras with "super high" image quality.

* This article is created based on a trial model. Aspects such as the appearance and image quality may differ slightly from the actual product.

Comparing the Appearance of the EOS 5DS R and EOS 5D Mark III

Both the EOS 5DS R and the EOS 5D Mark II have the same external dimensions in front as well as on the rear. However, the new model is slightly lighter due to the different internal structure. More specifically, in addition to the protrusion at the right edge of the body of the EOS 5DS R, the only difference between them is the colour of the emblem. Also, the EOS 5DS R is applied with a layer of highly durable coating to minimise any change in the texture due to long-term use of the camera.

Thorough measures have been introduced to address camera shake. The height of the M-Fn button on the EOS 5DS R is slightly lower, and a new finishing is applied to the Mode Dial. A slight protrusion is added for an embossed effect of the wordings, while it also helps to reduce surface reflection at the same time. The anti-slip rubber at the bottom surface has been done away with on the EOS 5DS R, and replaced with screws inside the internal structure for addressing camera shake.

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EOS 5DS R and EOS 5DS Packed with Features New to the EOS Series

Mirror Lockup

Shutter time lag can be set manually

Unlike conventional models, the shutter time lag after the mirror is locked up can be set manually. By selecting an interval setting, both the mirror lockup and shutter release operations can be performed successively with a single press of the shutter button, thus helping to reduce camera shake.

Enhanced Sharpness Settings

[Fineness] and [Threshold] options newly added

Two parameters have been newly added to the Sharpness setting to enable more detailed adjustment of the apparent resolution. Both [Fineness] and [Threshold] are similar to the items on the DPP for RAW development, and they can be used to specify where you want to sharpen and how wide you want the sharpening effect to be applied.

Custom Quick Control Screen

Screen layout can be adjusted freely

Simply follow the instructions and you can create your own Quick Control screen in addition to the default layout. You can choose to make additions to the recommended screen, or erase all available items and determine the layout from scratch. The latter method allows you to adjust the layout freely.

To hide the [Custom Quick Control Screen], deselect the checkbox on the menu screen. Choose how you want the display to appear according to your own preference.

Adding items to the free space

To edit the recommended screen layout, align the cursor with the free space, and paste the selectable items accordingly. You can also choose to erase existing items and replace them with new ones, as well as alter the size of the icons in the preset display mode.

Ryosuke Takahashi

Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China. Takahashi is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

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