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Canon shooters have been looking for an ultra-high resolution sensor for some time. Despite the general amazingness of Canon’s popular 5D Mark III or the 7D Mark II, they lack a truly high resolution sensor, which can seriously limit the appeal of these models to high end shooters who need the extra pixels. Some professionals, especially landscape or macro shooters and those in the fashion industry, have felt their needs ignored by Canon for years – but that is about to change in a big way.

This year, Canon announced two new camera bodies that will come equipped with 50.6 MP full frame sensors. This is a huge jump from Canon’s 22 MP sensor in the 5D Mark III and puts them in position to compete with Nikon, who has had a significant advantage in the high resolution world for years with popular bodies such as the D800 or D810. The 5DS and 5DS R are physically almost identical to the 5DMIII, but take advantage of some of the high end functionality of the 7DMII, including the awesome dual Digic 6 Processor. Of the new features, one that I find incredibly exciting is the built in time lapse movie function that both new models will come equipped with. This is a first for Canon EOS cameras and should offer photographers a unique opportunity to expand their creative abilities. As a landscape photo junkie, I can’t wait to give this a try. The 5DS comes with an anti-aliasing low pas filter, while the 5DS R does not, which offers a bump in overall sharpness over the 5DS.

The 50MP sensor does bring with it some limitations, especially to the camera’s video capabilities. Its ability to shoot in higher ISO ranges is also lacking as it creates more noise than other models like the 5D Mark III. High MP sensors like this also don’t bring much to the table for shooters looking for better dynamic range. Additionally, these cameras are going to create some huge storage concerns for users. Shooting in RAW with these 50MP sensors will create some massive files, and the enormous amount of data this sensor takes in also slows the post-processing speed.

With so many pixels being packed in to one image, there is going to be a necessity of more exact focusing to go along with extremely stable hands or tripod use in order to eliminate blur, which will be more visible when zoomed to the pixel level. Others have expressed concern that many lenses are simply not designed to handle such high megapixel sensors. Professionals need edge to edge sharpness, and many older lenses simply will not deliver that quality on these new cameras. Essentially, if you don’t have new glass designed for full frame sensors, the 5DS and 5DS R are nothing more than expensive paper weights.


There is some serious technology packed into these bodies, and the price points will reflect that. These new models are strictly for professionals who need a level of resolution that borders on the insane. Both the 5DS and 5DS R should be released in June of this year with prices estimated to land just south of $4,000.

What do you think of these new models and their 50 megapixel sensors? Is the photography world really ready for this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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