Canon announces 5DS and 5DS R

Canon EOS 5DS
50 MP option: the Canon 5DS breaks new ground for 35mm resolution. Picture: Canon

Canon has upped the ante when it comes to camera resolution with two new, full-frame DSLRs.

The 5DS and 5DS R, which will go on sale in June, both boost 50.6 megapixel sensors. This beats the previous highest resolution DSLRs, the Nikon D800 and D810, and enters territory previously restricted to medium-format systems.

The new cameras are based on a 35mm CMOS sensor, coupled to dual DICIC 6 image processors to handle the increase in file sizes. Canon has equipped the new cameras with three crop modes: 1:1, 1.3x and 1.6x. Even the 1.6x, the company says, delivers a 19 megapixel image.

The 5DS models feature 61 AF points, with 41 cross points, and an “intelligent tracking and recognition” system for AF on moving subjects, and a mirror vibration control system. The cameras do not, though, feature the Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF system featured on the EOS 7D mk II and the Cinema EOS C100. Construction and weather sealing, as well as styling is similar to the 5D mkIII.

The main differences between the models is the fitting of a low-pass cancellation filter to the 5DS R, to improve resolution in detail-critical photography, including landscapes. Unlike recent Nikon camereas, though, Canon has stopped short of removing the low pass filter entirely.

The new, higher resolution sensors does not, though, increase the resolution for video: the 5DS and 5DS R record 1080p, but not 4K.

Given the higher pixel density of the 50.6 MP sensor, it is possible that video recording could exhibit more noise than on the 5D mkIII. Canon has set the ISO range of the new cameras conservatively, with 100-6400 ISO in standard mode, and 50-12800 in extended mode, suggesting that there is a trade off between sensitivity and resolution.

The EOS 5DS will cost £2999.99 body only and the 5DS R, £3199.99.

Canon has also announced a new, constant aperture super-wide zoom for the EOS range. The EF 11-24mm f/4L USM, which goes on sale in March, is a full-frame optic which Canon says is “the world’s widest-angle rectilinear zoom lens”. It will cost £2799.99.