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[Part 2] Enhancements Seen from the Product Specs

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)

Both the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R are developed based on the EOS 5D Mark III model. In the following, I will, by comparing with the EOS 5D Mark III, highlight the more favourable and enhanced specs. I will leave it to you to determine the ways in which the camera has evolved.

Double Card Slots

Format / Recording Media

CF card (Type I-compliant, compatible with UDMA Mode 7), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card

* Compatible with UHS-I cards

As with the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 5DS and 5DS R both come with double card slots that support CF and SD cards. While the recording method remains the same as that of the EOS 5D Mark III, taking into consideration the huge data size, some additional features that will come in handy are [Record separately] for recording in the RAW or JPEG format, and [Auto switch card] to switch to the other card and continue recording seamlessly.

Dual DIGIC 6

Format / Image Processor

Dual DIGIC 6

Data output by the CMOS sensor with about 50.6 megapixels is processed at high speed by two DIGIC 6 processors that are placed parallel to each other. High-definition images are generated by the digital signal, which maintains a broad gradation of 14 bits after A/D conversion. While achieving a high resolution of about 50.6 megapixels, high-speed continuous shooting at a maximum of about 5 fps is also possible.

CMOS with about 50.6-megapixel

Image Sensor / Format

CMOS sensor

A new miniaturisation process that supports a resolution exceeding 50-megapixel has been employed. Despite the smaller pixel size with the increase in pixel count, the aperture ratio of the photodiode is enhanced, and gapless micro lenses compatible with the new sensor are also built in to achieve high-definition image quality with only a low level of noise.

Cropping Function

Recording Format / Crop/Aspect Ratio

Supports crop shooting or shooting based on the aspect ratio setting
Full-frame, 1.3x crop, 1.6x crop, 1:1 (aspect ratio), 4:3 (aspect ratio), 16:9 (aspect ratio)

Both models are equipped with a crop function that enhances the telephoto effect by about 1.3 times (equivalent to APS-H format) and about 1.6 times (equivalent to APS-C format). A crop frame or mask corresponding to the respective magnifications appears on the viewfinder, which allows you to grasp the resulting image while shooting. Cropping is applied after the data of all pixels are read.

Fine Detail

Image Processing during Shooting / Picture Style

Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1 to 3

A new menu option, [Fine Detail], is added for the first time to the preset Picture Style effects. This option reduces the [Fineness] and [Threshold] of sharpness, and excels at faithful and delicate expression of the actual object with a relatively subtle [Contrast] setting (compared to the [Standard] contrast).

AWB (Ambience Priority)

Image Processing during Shooting / White Balance

Supports Auto (Ambience priority), Auto (White priority), Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom, Colour temperature setting (approx. 2,500 to 10,000K), White balance compensation, White balance bracketing

* Supports communication of the flash's colour temperature information

Scene detection ability is further enhanced on the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R. [Auto (Ambience priority)] and [Auto (White priority)] are newly added to the AWB menu. In the [Auto (White priority)] setting, influences from light source colours, such as that of tungsten light, are eliminated to enable reproduction of white colour in white.

AE Sensor

Exposure Control / Metering Mode

Uses an RGB + IR metering sensor with about 150,000 pixels for 252-zone TTL full-aperture metering

EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system

  • Evaluative metering (supports all AF points)
  • Partial metering (approx. 6.1% around the centre of the viewfinder screen)
  • Spot metering (approx. 1.3% around the centre of the viewfinder screen)
  • Centre-weighted average metering

The AE system uses an RGB + IR (infrared) metering sensor with about 150,000 pixels for 252-zone TTL full-aperture metering, and it supports the EOS iSA system. These features help to boost the basic performance of the camera including its AF. Besides support for colour tracking and anti-flicker during shooting, metering accuracy under artificial light sources is also enhanced.

Custom Quick Control

Customisation / Custom Quick Control


Users can customise the Quick Control screen according to their preference. Items can be selected and pasted, and you can also alter the position and size of the icons. The customised screen is saved separately from the default layout, so you can choose which screen to use according to your needs.

Other Specs

Image Sensor / Effective Pixel Count (Camera)

Approx. 50.6-megapixel

Recording Format / Recording Pixels

L (Large): approx. 50.3-megapixel (8,688×5,792)
M1 (Middle 1): approx. 39.3-megapixel (7,680×5,120)
M2 (Middle 2): approx. 22.1-megapixel (5,760×3,840)
S1 (Small 1): approx. 12.4-megapixel (4,320×2,880)
S2 (Small 2): approx. 2.5-megapixel (1,920×1,280)
S3 (Small 3): approx. 350,000-pixel (720×480)
RAW: approx. 50.3-megapixel (8,688×5,792)
M-RAW: approx. 28-megapixel (6,480×4,320)
S-RAW: approx. 12.4-megapixel (4,320×2,880)

Viewfinder / Function Settings Display

Battery check, White balance, Drive mode, AF operation, Metering mode, Image-recording quality: JPEG/RAW, Flicker detection, Warning symbol

Autofocus / Automatic AF Point Selection Options

Varies with the EOS iTR AF setting (supports AF using face/colour information)

*iTR: Abbreviation for "Intelligent Tracking and Recognition"

Autofocus / Custom AF

16 types

Exposure Control / Metering Range

EV 0 to 20 (room temperature, ISO 100)

Exposure Control / Flicker Reduction


Exposure Control / Interval Timer

Supports setting of shooting interval and number of shots

Exposure Control / Bulb Timer

Supports setting of exposure time

Live View Shooting / Focusing System

Contrast detection (Face + Tracking, FlexiZone - Single), manual focus (supports magnified display up to approx. 6x/16x)

Live View Shooting / Continuous AF


Live View Shooting / Metering Range

EV 0 to 18 (room temperature, ISO 100)

Image Playback / Display Format

Single image (no information), Single image (simple information), Single image (Shooting information: details, Lens/histogram display, White balance, Picture Style information 1, Picture Style information 2, Colour space/noise reduction information, Lens optical correction information), Index display (4, 9, 36, or 100 images), Two-image display

Image Playback / Image Jump

By 1 image, 10 images, 100 images, Date, Folder, Movies, Stills, Image protection, or Rating

Image Playback / Slideshow

By All images, Date, Folder, Movies, Stills, Image protection, or Rating

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

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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