Canon EOS 5Ds Review

June 16, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 50.6 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 13Mb.

The Canon EOS 5Ds produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free JPEG images from ISO 50 up to ISO 1600, with noise first appearing at ISO 3200 - a great performance for a 50.6 megapixel, 35mm SLR. The faster settings of 6400 and 12800 display more noise but are still usable. The JPEG images were a little soft straight out of the camera using the default Picture Style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations. The 6 different Picture Styles and the ability to create your own are a real benefit to JPEG shooters, as are the Highlight Tone Priority and Auto Lighting Optimizer custom settings when used in the right conditions. The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, plus it offers natural and more artistic looks.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Canon EOS 5Ds which you can select at any time. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with the JPEG version on the left and the RAW on the right:

JPEG

RAW

 

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

 
iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg  

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

 
iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg  

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

 
iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg  

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

 
iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg  

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

 
iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg  

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg  

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg  

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg  

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg  

File Quality

The Canon EOS 5Ds has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality JPEG option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

22M Fine (13.7Mb) (100% Crop)
22M Normal (6.31Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
   
22M RAW (57.4Mb) (100% Crop)
 
quality_raw.jpg  

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images at the default setting are a little soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Night

The Canon EOS 5Ds' maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/11 at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)
night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Highlight Tone Priority

This custom setting promises to improve the highlight detail of the image by expanding the dynamic range from 18% grey to bright highlights. Turning it on didn't make a great deal of difference in our test shot, as shown below.

Off

On
highlight_tone_priority_01.jpg highlight_tone_priority_02.jpg

Auto Lighting Optimizer

This setting promises to automatically correct the brightness and contrast of an image, with three levels of varying intensity available. There was a slight difference between the weakest and strongest settings, as shown below. Note that the user guide warns that this setting might cause noise to increase at higher ISO speeds.

Off

Low
auto_lighting_optimizer_01.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_02.jpg
   

Standard

High
auto_lighting_optimizer_03.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_04.jpg

Multiple Exposure

This setting allows you to combine up to 9 images into a single composite image, with a range of different ways to blend them together. Here's an example with two images combined.

multi_exposure.jpg

HDR

The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, with natural and more artistic looks also on offer.

Off

+1 EV
hdr_04.jpg hdr_01.jpg
   

+2 EV

+3 EV
hdr_02.jpg hdr_03.jpg
   

+3 Natural

+3 EV Art Standard
hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg
   

+3 EV Art Vivid

+3 EV Art Bold

hdr_07.jpg hdr_08.jpg
   

+3 EV Art Embossed

 
hdr_09.jpg  

Picture Styles

Canon's Picture Controls, similarly to Nikon's Picture Styles, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The six available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also three User Defined styes so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

picture_style_01.jpg picture_style_02.jpg
   
Landscape

Neutral

picture_style_03.jpg picture_style_04.jpg
   
Faithful

Monochrome

picture_style_05.jpg picture_style_06.jpg