I can’t think of the last time I reviewed gear on my blog to this Canon 5Dsr review may actually be my first.

Unlike many of the super informative reviews that already exist – trust me, there are many, I’m really not here to talk about specs.  Yes, it’s got a sweet sensor and yes, it produces gargantuan file sizes.  But I want to talk about things your normal, every day wedding photographer would find immediately useful.

I’m also going to be comparing it to the MkII – not the MkIII.  I honestly wasn’t sold on the MkIII – I played around with a friends on several occasions and didn’t see the fuss in it’s “increased low light capabilities”.  In my eyes (and I’m sure the internet will disagree) the MkII and the MkIII are pretty darn similar cameras.  The year the MkIII came out, I decided to invest heavily into other lenses – and not a new body.  To each their own – but I digress…

But what about the Mk4 (or the 5Ds and 5Dsr as they’re called) – how does it compare?

What’s the deal with this “dynamic range” thing?

When photographers gush over dynamic range, what we’re gushing over is the fact that there is a lot of detail not only at each end of the spectrum but also in between.  A camera that has a greater dynamic range can have photos that are over/under exposed in camera that are transformed into nice, properly exposed images in post-processing without too much data loss.

This is the main reason why I chose to buy this camera.  I wanted to know that if I exposed for my highlights, I could bring back enough detail in the shadows without excessive noise.

The example images here are of my cat, Marv.  When a photographer gets a new camera but is too lazy to change out of their pj’s and leave the house, the cats become the test subjects.

Shot with the 5Ds-R Image on the Left = SOOC ISO: 200 f:2.2 Shutter: 1/125 Exposure: Evaluative I had to bring the exposure down 2/3 of a stop in post, but I got a lovely, sharp image.
Shot with the 5Ds-R
Image on the Left = SOOC
ISO: 200
f:2.2
Shutter: 1/125
Exposure: Evaluative
I had to bring the exposure down 2/3 of a stop in post, but I got a lovely, sharp image.
Shot with the 5D MkII ISO: 200 f:2.2 Shutter: 1/125 Exposure: Evaluative Using the exact same preset for development as I did for the image from the 5Ds-R, I feel the results are somewhat similar.
Shot with the 5D MkII
ISO: 200
f:2.2
Shutter: 1/125
Exposure: Evaluative
Using the exact same preset for development as I did for the image from the 5Ds-R, I feel the results are somewhat similar.
Shot with the 5Ds-R Image on the left: SOOC ISO: 200 f:1.8 Shutter: 1/2,000 Exposure: Spot metering; metering on the highlight in the window I wanted to see just how much I could underexpose an image so I metered for the highlights in the window.  I brought this image up by +3.30 in post processing plus lifted the shadows to +50.  While there is definitely grain showing, I did push the limits of this image quite a bit and overall, it's not THAT bad.
Shot with the 5Ds-R
Image on the left: SOOC
ISO: 200
f:1.8
Shutter: 1/2,000
Exposure: Spot metering; metering on the highlight in the window
I wanted to see just how much I could underexpose an image so I metered for the highlights in the window. I brought this image up by +3.30 in post processing plus lifted the shadows to +50. While there is definitely grain showing, I did push the limits of this image quite a bit and overall, it’s not THAT bad.
Shot with the 5D MkII Image on the left: SOOC ISO: 200 f:1.8 Shutter: 1/2,000 Exposure: Spot metering; metering on the highlight in the window As with my shot from the 5Ds-R, I exposed for the window and them brought up the exposure to +3.30 and shadows to +50 in post.  All other editing parameters were the same.  There is definitely more noise noticeably in this image as opposed to the one shot by the 5Ds-R
Shot with the 5D MkII
Image on the left: SOOC
ISO: 200
f:1.8
Shutter: 1/2,000
Exposure: Spot metering; metering on the highlight in the window
As with my shot from the 5Ds-R, I exposed for the window and them brought up the exposure to +3.30 and shadows to +50 in post. All other editing parameters were the same. There is definitely more noise noticeably in this image as opposed to the one shot by the 5Ds-R

Does it really have more detail?

I definitely felt like the images were nice and crisp although – let’s be honest, they’re pictures of a cat.  I would only feel comfortable really answering this question after photographing a few weddings in a variety of lighting scenarios.  To stay tuned for updates.

How is it in low light?

The answer can be found in the dynamic range question above.  Even if the images are somewhat underexposed, you can recover quite a bit in post processing because there is simply so much data.  Definitely better in low light than the Mark 2 (and 3).  But I must admit, I”m an off-camera flash shooter so I rarely go over ISO 800 at any given time anyways.  For those who photograph receptions with OCF, you will probably never need to push the ISO 64,000 that the 5Ds-R comes with.

Where they did miss the mark?

I still really wish it had dual CF card slots.  I remember reading that it did in some of the earlier “guestimate” articles as to what it would have.  I’m sorely disappointed that I have to spend extra money investing in SD cards (to add to the small fortune of CF cards that I currently have).

Overall impression?

So far, so good.  I like it.  It fits well in my hand.  As with any body change, you have to get used to where the new buttons are but I’m happy with my purchase at this point in time.  I’m impressed with the dynamic range although my expectations may have been a little too high.

I will definitely be updating after shooting a few weddings as I feel a true review can’t be done until I’ve used the camera in a variety of settings.