Go big or go home: 50MP, full-frame Canon 5DS and 5DS R unveiled, world’s highest-res full-frame DSLRs


posted Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:01 AM EDT

For those photographers yearning for oodles and oodles of resolution -- landscape, fine art, and magazine photographers come to mind -- Canon has come up with a solution -- two, in fact. The new Canon 5DS and Canon 5DS R sport an in-house designed and built 50.6-megapixel full-frame image sensor. The "R" model provides even more critical sharpness and detail by cancelling out the optical low-pass filter, a la the Nikon D800E -- a first for a Canon camera.

When Canon released the 1D X back in 2012, it replaced both the high-speed, sports-shooting 1D Mark IV as well as the high-resolution 1Ds Mark III cameras. With an 18.1-megapixel sensor, it was only a marginal boost in resolution from the 1DMkIV, but a decrease from the 21.1MP 1DsIII. Studio, advertising and other photographers needing high-resolution images were left worried that a pro-level, full-frame camera with a very high megapixel count was gone from Canon's repertoire.

With the introduction of what are essentially ultra-high-resolution versions of the 5D Mark III, Canon has finally answered the demand from advanced and professional users for more resolution. Housed in a nearly-identical body design as the 5DMkIII, the 5DS and 5DS R nevertheless borrow a lot of new technological innovations from the 7D Mark II, particularly the dual DIGIC 6 processor configuration and the enhanced iTR AF system for improved subject tracking.

Aside from the sensor itself, both new models bring a few unique, EOS firsts, namely the addition of a built-in timelapse movie function that will automatically create a timelapse movie all in-camera with adjustable intervals and the number of shots. There are also new 1.3x and 1.6x crop modes, that allow for smaller file sizes (30.5MP for 1.3x and 19.6MP for 1.6x) and increased versatility with existing lenses.

Of course, with such a massive number of pixels crammed onto a full-frame sensor, there are some limitations compared to the earlier 5D Mark III for instance, such as maximum high ISO range and burst shooting. HD video recording features are also not as robust as the 5D Mark III.

The Canon 5DS and 5DS R are planned for June 2015 availability at estimated retail prices of $3,699 and $3,899 for body-only, respectively. 

For all the "detail" about Canon's new super-high-res full-frame DSLRs, head over to our Canon 5DS First Impressions Preview and Canon 5DS R First Impression Preview.