I must admit I have been asleep the last few days. I almost missed Canon’s announcement a few days ago. The announcement is for two high resolution variants of the 5D series DSLR cameras. Both the 5DS and 5DS R will have a resolution of 50.6 megapixels.
Also most notable for me is the much needed dual DIGIC6 processors. Before shooting my 5D Mark III, I shot my 7D and a few months ago I added the 7D Mark II to my kit. The 7D series makes it painfully obvious the 5D Mark III is underpowered with it’s single DIGIC5 processor. In my opinion all pro bodies should be equipped with at least two processors.
Once I started using the 7D Mark II, it quickly became my main go-to camera. I started considering selling my 5D Mark III and just trading up to a medium format. I figured if my 5D Mark III was mostly good for still life and studio work and was beat out by the 7D Mark II in almost every other scenario then I might as well get a proper studio system. Up until now, I have been taking a long hard look at the 50 megapixel Pentax 645Z. The only reason I haven’t bought one yet is the idea of committing to and maintaining yet another lens system.
However while I have my doubts about cramming that many pixels into the full frame sensor, if the image comparisons between the 645z and the 5DS/5DSR turn out close, I will most likely replace my 5D Mark III with a 5DSR. It also remains to be seen if there is Canon glass sharp enough to take full advantage of the sensor.
With that said this resolution is really not groundbreaking. If you look at the approximate numbers for pixel densities below, you will see that these are essentially a 19 megapixel APS-C sensor scaled up to full frame dimensions. So I expect image quality on par with the 7D Mark II – which is perfectly fine with me.
5Ds /R Sensor: 50,600,000P/864mmsq = 58,564.8 Pixels per square mm
7D II Sensor: 20,200,000P/333.27mmsq = 60,611.5 Pixels per square mm
7D Sensor: 18,000,000P/333.27mmsq = 54,010.3 Pixels per square mm
5DIII Sensor: 23,400,000P/864mmsq = 27,083.3 Pixels per square mm
Noise wise, I’m not really going to bother getting into it because I have never needed my 5D Mark III or 7D Mark II to shoot above ISO-6400, and for any professional assignments and print work I never shoot above ISO-1600 period. So “high ISO capability” is a marketing gimmick I simply do not care about.
This is an interesting development. Canon is clearly intent on keeping some folks from jumping over to ever more affordable medium format alternatives and perhaps also eroding the medium format market share.
For a more in detailed insight into both camera systems please visit Bryan Carnathan’s review.