Q & A on the Canon 5Ds R

Andrew Beck Andrew 7 Comments

I’ve been shooting off of the Canon 5Ds R for a couple of months now and I am finding that it is far more often than not my go to camera. On a recent trip Kenya I took a 7D MKII as a second body and, not that 7D MKII is anything to sneer at, I just couldn’t bring myself to shoot on anything BUT the 5Ds R.

Keep in mind that I’m talking wildlife photography here, not landscape photography. Well, maybe a bit of wildlife meets landscape photography in some ways.


Canon 5Ds R, Canon 24-70mm F2.8 @ 47mm and F11, ISO 320, 1/1000, -1 1/3 EV, Lee Filters 0.9 Soft Graduated Filter

I’ve already shared some initial thoughts on the 5Ds R in wildlife photography in this post but since writing that i am even more convinced that this camera most certainly has an application in wildlife photography arenas.

Whilst the frame rate of 5fps pales in significance compared to some cameras on the market today I have found that through a combination of understanding animal behaviour and various technical variables that I am still able to capture the crucial moment, regardless of how fast paced the action.


Canon 5Ds R, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 @ 200mm and F3.5, ISO 100, 1/1000, -2 1/3 EV

Canon 5Ds R in Wildlife Photography

Canon 5Ds R, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 @ 200mm and F3.5, ISO 100, 1/1000, -2 1/3 EV


Canon 5Ds R, Canon 200-400mm F4.0 @ F560mm and F8.0, ISO 1600, 1/2000, -1 1/3 EV

Have there been moments where I would have preferred to have an extra frame between images? Sure, but not on so many occasions that i feel frustrated by it at all.

For my style of photography, showcasing animals in their environment, I have found that the frame rate is not an issue and that the benefits of doubling up of the pixel counts on subjects which only occupy a small part of the “bigger picture” is certainly worth the trade off.

Canon 5Ds R in Wildlife Photography

Canon 5Ds R, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 @ 200mm and F3.2, ISO 125, 1/640, + 2/3 EV

Some of the other benefits I have enjoyed over the last couple of months include:

  • The ability to assign different AF case scenarios and AF area modes to both the Exposure Lock and AF buttons simultaneously. This allows me to make use of a single AF point set to AF Case 4 and easily switch to all 61 AF points set to Case 5 quickly and easily.
  • The 1.6x and 1.3x in camera crop guidelines which allow me to compose the shot with the final image in mind without loosing the full 50MP file.
  • The edge to edge AF coverage with the 1.6x crop mode engaged which still yields a 19MP file.

There’s a lot of information on the net these days but perhaps you have a specific question on the Canon 5Ds R that you haven’t quite been able to find an answer for, or perhaps you’d simply prefer to ask me.

If so, I’d love for you to leave a comment on the blog and lets see if we can help you get answers to those burning questions on whether this camera is for you or whether it even has an application in wildlife photography.

About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

Comments 7

  1. Roger Machin

    Thanks for this Andrew – some excellent images as always. Love the pelican in flight – spectacular.

    I have to admit that one of the greatest things I found when I first started shooting my 5DSR after shooting 5D Mk III for 3 years was the ability to use Auto ISO in Manual mode to be able to get exposure compensation at the same time.

    Being able to set the shutter speed to match the lens I was using and the desired effect, choose an aperture for the depth of field I want and let the ISO change according to the light meter, yet still over expose or under expose at will !!! its changed a lot of my shooting methods.

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  2. Melissa Hogarth

    I’ve often wondered about them. How would you rate this with the 5DIII? I enjoy portraitures and wild life, keen to do products and mostly do event photography. The 5DIII video is appealing…how does the 5Ds R compare on video?

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      Andrew Beck

      Hi Melissa

      A great question.The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R are much higher in resolution than the 5D MKIII. Where the 5D Mark III has a 24.2-megapixel sensor, the two newer models have 50.6-megapixel sensors. This brings with it a number of benefits and potential issues (if you’re not technically profecient) which I highlighted in my original blog post on the camera.

      One aspect where the 5DS and 5Ds R may not [erform as well as the 5DMKII is at high ISO’s. In fact they wont perform at all beyond ISO 6400 as this is there maximum range. Shots taken in good light at low ISO settings (studio, flash etc) will offer an incredible amount of detail and flexibility in post production cropping. Both of these cameras flourish in conditions where you have a good deal of control over the lighting, or where it is at least going to be good.

      That being said, I haven’t experienced any issues or poor results at the higher ISO’s and VERY seldom shoot beyond ISO 3200 even in wildlife.

      On the video front, and this is something I know very little about, the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R can’t shoot video at 1080p 60 frames per second as many cameras can these days and has a maximum frame rate of 30fps. Based on the video content that we have put together in the past and the track record of the 5DMKIII when it comes to video, I don’t think this is an issue for the vast majority of users.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Pingback: Q & A on the Canon 5Ds R - Africa Freak

  4. Richard Wentzel

    Not really a comment on the camera body but I noticed you have used two different lenses in your examples. In the field do you carry 2 bodies or do you swop lenses ?

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