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Canon 5DS vs Canon 5D Mark III


The Canon EOS 5DS and 5D Mark III are two, semi-pro DSLR cameras that were introduced on the market by Canon, in February 2015 and May 2012, respectively, but, although there is a 3-year gap between them, both cameras have appeared to be very successful throughout their existence, and what’s even better is that they share some mutual things that will simply guarantee us an entertaining overview!

At a glance, you may be in doubt regarding who wins the race which is completely normal though, and in order to find out, we will have to reveal all of their advantages and disadvantages so that you’d have better insight regarding their capabilities. Ready? Let’s get started!

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Head To Head Comparison

Canon 5DS

The Canon EOS 5DS features a sleek, glossy-black finished body that’s exceptionally durable at the same time, due to the use of a magnesium-alloy throughout the crafting process, and to ensure an even better protection, Canon has implemented a weather sealing which by default, means that you can shoot under a variety of different weather conditions without feeling restricted at anything, when it comes to photography.

For your information, this camera is also fairly comfortable to shoot with, thanks to its deep grip that is covered with a textured, rubber-like coating which allows you have a steady and comfortable hold in your hands!

Speaking of the control layout, well, Canon deserves credits here, because although there are numerous buttons present across the body, they are well-organized and even though they are many, this doesn’t mean that you will have difficulties understanding them, because they are very simple, trust me!

For example, on the top-center, there’s a hot shoe, while on the sides, there’s a Mode dial that lets you adjust the Program, Aperture & Shutter priority, Manual, and Bulb, as well as a monochrome Information screen that is followed by 4 dedicated buttons, a shutter release button and an M-Fn button.

On the rear-left, you can notice the presence of an array of buttons that sit next to the screen, while on the top-rear to the right-handed side, there’s a couple of more buttons if which you can take advantage and tailor the picture depending on what you want to achieve in a specific moment.

Also on the rear, a large, optical pentaprism viewfinder that occupies the central position, and what’s interesting about it is its ability to provide 100% coverage, and also the fact that it is bright enough to let you have an undistracted view of the targets you opt to capture!

Slightly below, you can find a 3.2″, 1040k-dot LCD screen which is covered in an anti-reflection coating that will play a huge role during your shooting sessions because it can withstand the glare if you’re shooting under bright daylight. However, my remark is the lack of flexibility, because the screen is fixed and you will feel kind of restricted in terms of adjusting the position, as well as the lack of touch sensitivity. Clearly, Canon should have done a better job here.

When it comes to the connectivities, the EOS 5DS houses an HDMI Type-C port, stereo mini- jack, USB 3.0 port, dual memory card slots that support SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and UHS-I cards. Unfortunately, this unit isn’t Wi-Fi or GPS-enabled, hence, I consider this as another remark because wireless capabilities are a must-have in this modern era.

Performance wise, the Canon EOS 5DS is running on Dual DIGIC 6 image sensors, has an impressively high, 61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points, a strong, 50.6MP full-frame CMOS sensor, continuous shooting rate of 5 fps, a native ISO range of 100-6400 which can be expanded up to 50-12,800!

In practice, you’d have an opportunity to witness that the EOS 5DS is highly capable of dealing with the blur across the entire ISO range. JPGs look fascinating at lower ISO range and to be honest, I really love the definition of the details and the overall color accuracy! Once you start pushing higher and reach the ISO 3200, you will notice that blur starts to appear, and it progresses as you’re increasing the ISO sensitivity. At ISO 6400, the noise is really well-controlled, whereas, at ISO 12,800, blur starts to appear heavily pronounced, and therefore, I’d recommend you avoid this level.

Except shooting JPG format images, you’d be able to capture RAW format imagery as well, and in comparison to JPGs, RAW imagery starts to have luminance noise at ISO 400, however, the noise does not really decrease the overall image quality. As expected, at higher ISO levels, noise is getting worse, and as was the case with JPGs, I’d avoid shooting at higher ISO range.

Moreover, the EOS 5DS is also capable of recording videos, but to be honest, it isn’t special at all due to the fact that it records 1080p videos at 30 fps, and I’d like to see recording at 60 fps. Either way, footage looks nice, and you can try yourself switching between capturing photos and recording videos until you really have to invest in a camera that can offer you 4K or 1080p60 recording.

Canon 5DS Sample Images:

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Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon 5D EOS Mark III sports an attractive, matte-black painted magnesium-alloy body that employs an improved weather sealing, which as was the case with the EOS 5DS, this camera will also let you have a freedom in shooting under a variety of different weather conditions, hence, both cameras deserve credits from me! 

It’s a good camera for concert goers that want to capture and relive moments at any time, because it performs well in low-light conditions.

In addition, Canon paid attention at making this camera comfortable to shoot with by implementing a finger grip that is also covered in a textured rubber-like coating as the EOS 5DS, which by default, means that you will unlikely feel fatigued even if you’ve been shooting for a considerably long period of time!

The control layout is very similar to the 5DS, because at the center, you can find a hot shoe, a large, monochrome information LCD screen that sits on the right-handed side which is also followed by 4 dedicated buttons labeled as WB, AF+Drive, ISO and Bulb, and as was the case with the 5DS, this camera does also employ an M-Fn button and a shutter release that are positioned slightly upwards, close to the grip. The left side has a single Mode dial with an Off/On switch, while on the rear, the control layout is nearly identical to the 5DS. Namely, the left part holds an array of buttons, a viewfinder sits at the top-center along with a few buttons placed on each side, and a couple of more buttons placed on the right-handed side!

For your information, the included viewfinder has a magnification of 0.71X, covers up to 100% of the field of view, and it is also crisp which definitely comes handy once you start shooting through it, because you will not only miss a target, but your eyesight will always remain clear.

Furthermore, the EOS 5D Mark III has a 3.2″ fixed-type screen, same as the EOS 5DS, which by default means that you will not be granted an opportunity to adjust its position according to your preferences, and in comparison to the EOS 5DS, the resolution is the same, 1,040k-dots, hence, visuals you’ll see will be strong and here, the result is a tie.

When it comes to the connection options, the EOS 5D Mark III packs a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0 port, mini-HDMI port, remote control terminal, 3.5mm microphone jack, and sadly, it isn’t Wi-Fi enabled. At this point, once again, the result is a tie, and Canon should’ve definitely made way better job here!

Speaking of the performance, the EOS 5D Mark III incorporates a 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, 61-point AF system, has a burst shooting speed of 6 fps, an ISO range that stretches from 100-25,600 which is expandable to 50-102,800 and is powered by a DIGIC 5+ image processor that boosts the camera’s ability to control the noise, and enhances the image processing speed.

This model controls the noise pretty well as I’ve stated previously, and you can notice that that especially if you shoot up to ISO 25,600, because beyond ISO 25,600 noise becomes heavily pronounced and starts progressing up to the highest settings such as the ISO 51,200 and ISO 102,400 which should be reserved only if you really have to use them.

Otherwise, at ISO 100, the noise is set to the minimum, whereas between ISO 800-3200 the occurrences of blur are present, but will not affect the picture quality negatively, because still, details are numerous and look good while the color accuracy is superb.

Aside from shooting JPGs, you can try yourself shooting RAW imagery, and keep in mind while doing so, that once you reach the upper ISO range, you’ll definitely recognize blur. That’s why I’d recommend you to avoid relying on the upper sensitivity expansion settings.

Last but not least, the EOS 5D Mark III lacks 4K capabilities the same as the EOS 5DS, so, you’ll be left to record 1080p videos at 24/25/30 fps, and yet again, both cameras lack an ability to record 1080p videos at 60 fps. Hence, the result is a tie once again!

Canon 5D Mark III Sample Images:

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Canon 5DS vs Canon 5D Mark III Feature Comparison

  Canon 5DS Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Megapixels 50.6 22.3
ISO Range 100-6400;50-12,800 100-25,600; 50-51,200
Flip-Out Screen No No
AF Points 61 AF Points 61 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C

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In the end, I’m sure that you’ve recognized the potential of both cameras, and have learned a lot regarding their pros and cons, and since we reached the last stage of this article, we have to announce the winner, right? Hold on for a minute, let’s quickly reveal the key areas of both cameras.

For Portrait photography, both cameras output an above-average performance, however, the EOS 5DS is a bit better thanks to its impressively high-resolution sensor of 51MP.

For Street photography, both cameras output a nearly identical performance, whereas for Sports photography, the EOS 5D Mark III appears to perform a bit better due to its tiny advantage regarding the continuous shooting rate ( 6fps vs 5fps).

For Daily photography, the result is again, nearly the same, but the 5D Mark III performs a bit better, whereas for Landscape photography, the EOS 5DS wins the battle thanks to its 51MP sensor.

On the contrary, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a 300% higher max ISO ( 25,600 vs 6,400), is by 1 fps faster than the EOS 5DS ( 6 vs 5 fps), and has a stronger battery life ( 950 vs 700 shots), whereas, the Canon EOS 5DS has 131% more pixels( 51MP vs 22MP), it is by 20g lighter, has a higher dynamic range ( 12.4 vs 11.7), supports UHS-I memory cards, and outputs a stronger high ISO performance ( 2381 vs 2293).

Who wins the battle? If you ask me, I’d go for the EOS 5DS thanks to its better sensor.

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