Canon 5DS R Performance

Timing and Performance

Mixed performance for a prosumer DSLR.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.5 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was fairly quick for a DSLR, at about 0.5 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was slightly faster, at about 0.3 second.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single-point (center) AF

0.268 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. All AF timing measured with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled


Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Preflash metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Manual Focus

0.189 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.057 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View

Live View

0.092 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

In terms of the Canon 5DS R's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using the optical viewfinder with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 lens, its full autofocus shutter response was a little slow for a pro DSLR. We measured 0.268 second for full AF lag using single point (center) AF, which is closer to consumer DSLR AF speed. Note that the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 is a fast lens when it comes to autofocus speed when tested this way, but as a sanity check, we also tested full AF lag with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II lens, and got nearly identical results (only 0.0018 second faster).

Shutter lag using manual focus was fair at 0.189 second, also a little on the slow side. However, "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure was quite fast at only 0.057 second.

The Canon 5DS R's prefocused shutter lag time in Live View mode was 0.092 second, which is very fast for a DSLR. Note that we no longer test full AF lag in Live View mode for DSLRs, because the lens used makes such a huge difference that comparing is pointless. We'll try to comment on real-world Live View AF performance in our shooter's reports.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Single Shot mode

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Early shutter


Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous High mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.21 second (4.84 frames per second);
28 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 28 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.31s or 3.21 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous High mode

0.21 second (4.86 frames per second);
15 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 15 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.59s or 1.71 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous High mode
RAW + Large/Fine

0.21 second (4.88 frames per second);
11 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 11 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.76s or 1.32 fps when buffer was full.

Flash recycling


Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 100MB/s UDMA 7 CompactFlash card. Slower cards may produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's nimbleness and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG modes.)

Full-resolution continuous high mode speeds were decent for a full-frame DSLR with such high resolution, though the 5DS R's burst speed certainly won't compete with sports-orientated DSLRs. We measured about 4.8 frames-per-second when shooting best quality JPEGs, and closer to 4.9 fps for RAW and RAW+JPEG files. That's pretty close to Canon's 5.0 fps spec. The 5DS R also has low-speed and silent continuous shooting modes which are both rated by Canon at 3.0 fps, however we did not test those modes in the lab.

Buffer depth for best quality JPEGs was good at 28 frames before the camera started slowing down. When shooting RAW files, buffer depths dropped to 15 RAW frames and 11 RAW+JPEG frames.

Buffer clearing times were good considering the resolution, ranging from 6 seconds after 28 best quality JPEGs, to 14 seconds after a burst of 11 RAW+JPEG frames with a fast UDMA 7 CompactFlash card.

Bottom line, the Canon 5DS R offers mixed performance, ranging from mediocre autofocus and burst speeds to very fast prefocused shutter lag. Still, decent performance overall for its intended market.


Battery Life
Below average battery life for pro DSLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)

The Canon 5DS R uses a custom LP-E6 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated battery charger. Battery life is below average for a professional DSLR using the optical viewfinder, CIPA-rated at 700 shots per charge (and keep in mind the 5DS R has no built-in flash, which is normally enabled for 50% of shots during CIPA battery life testing). And of course Live View mode draws more power reducing battery life considerably. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand, or consider purchasing the BG-E11 battery grip which doubles battery life with a second battery installed.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon 5DS R is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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