Tag Archives: Canon EOS 5DS Review

Canon EOS 5DS R Review

The Canon EOS 5DS R was launched in February 2015, together with the Canon EOS 5DS. Both were pretty similar in technical specifications, with the EOS 5DS R having the optical low pass filter (LPF) cancellation feature inside them, a feature that makes it stand out from the rest of the other Canon EOS DSLR family.

I reviewed the Canon EOS 5DS camera previously in the month of November 2015. My overall experience was good, the EOS 5DS was an excellent camera with the capabilities of their 50.6 megapixels sensor along with their dual Digic 6 processors. Ever since I completed my EOS 5DS review, I wanted to review her sister camera that was launched together, the Canon EOS 5DS R. While there was a bit of time lag between these 2 reviews, I was thankful and grateful that I was able to obtain a review unit for my travel photography trip to Hokkaido in October 2016.

Before I proceed on further, let me recap on the techinical specifications of the Canon EOS 5DS R –

Dimensions: Approx. 152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm

Weight: Approx. 845g (body only)

Image sensor: 50.6 megapixel CMOS sensor

Imaging processor: Dual DIGIC 6

ISO speed: 100-6400 (expandable to 50 and 12 800)

Continuous shooting speed: 5 fps

Maximum video format: Full HD 30p

AF: 61-points Phase Difference AF with iTR AF

LCD: Wide 3.2-inch (1.04 million dots) 

Prior to this review, I did had a hands on experience with the Canon EOS 5DS R during a heritage outing with Canon Singapore and National Heritage Board in July 2015, visiting places of worship in Singapore. I requested to try out the EOS 5DS R for this outing and I got the chance! Check out the url links for the photographs that I took with the EOS 5DS R and my heritage tour article!

Therefore, in that short half day heritage tour, I had seen first hand for myself the capabilities of the EOS 5DS R. The photographs had great vivid colours, that would be ideal for landscape photography whereby this would stand out during spring and autumn seasons. In the later part of my article, I would be writing about my Hokkaido autumn travel photography and you would be able to view for yourself, not just the vivid colours, also the sharpness and details.

During my trip to Hokkaido in October 2016, I brought the Canon EOS 5DS R with two lenses, EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM and EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM. I have uploaded my Hokkaido autumn 2016 photographs into a collection on my Flickr account, do visit and take a look at the photographs that I took in Hokkaido!

Sharpness and details

When I was traveling in Hokkaido with the Canon EOS 5DS R, I was amazed by the quality of the photographs, the sharpness and details can be seen a lot more in the photographs that I shot with.

The big image sensor size and quality of the EOS 5DS R, requires high quality lenses to be paired with it, such as the Canon L family of lenses. During my trip to Hokkaido, I had the opportunity to test out one of the latest L lens, the EF 16-35mm f/4 L USM and an older EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM lens.

Using the EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM lens, I was able to achieve consistent, sharp and detailed photographs for my landscapes and walkabout travel photography. While for the slightly older L lens, there were times whereby I was able to capture excellent, sharp and detailed photographs, there were also a number of times whereby the photographs were not sharp and detailed, especially in the longer focal length of the lens.

This is not to state that the EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM lens is not a good lens, I have been faithfully using this lens for years (and still using it), another of my workhorse lens and I love it for its lightweight, capabilities and optics.

After I came back from Hokkaido, I met with a few photographer friends and had a chat with them on my observation. Having such a big image sensor size does have its own challenges, not all the lenses can bring out the best of the quality and capabilities of the EOS 5DS R. The Canon EF L lenses have the capabilities and abilities to bring the best out of the EOS 5DS R, and in my personal humble opinion, I would recommend that the latest L lenses would be more suitable and capable to do so.

Flexibility of dual card slots – SD + CF

The dual card slots is really ideal for photographers, for example, landscape photographers can choose to shoot both in RAW and JPEG format, separately into each designated storage card.

This would allow the photographer to have both types of files to work on, depending on their workflow or requirements. Some photographers may choose to work on the JPEG files and store the RAW files aside for future usage, as and when it is required.

File size

The 50.6 megapixel EOS 5DS R produces a huge file size for JPEG and even much bigger file size for RAW files. The huge file sizes on both JPEG and RAW would take up a lot of resources on your computer as well as your storage space.

For future owners of the EOS 5DS R or the EOS 5DS, a more powerful computer would really be ideal (highly recommended) and you would also need more disk storage space (external, internal or cloud)

EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM review

Canon has an excellent line up of constant aperture wide angle zoom lens such as the EF 17-40mm f/4 L and EF 16-35 f/2.8 L lenses. I personally own the EF 17-40mm f/4 L lens and I am not just a huge fan of this lens, this was also my workhorse lens. I can’t bear to let go of the EF 17-40mm f/4 L for another Canon wide angle lens. However, if I ever going to upgrade, I would choose the EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM lens, over the f/2.8 counterparts.

I reviewed the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens a number of times and I started to love this lens. This is an excellent lens, lightweight with image stabilisation (IS), you can also use it for recording videos. Optics is really excellent, coupled with a big image sensor such as the EOS 5DS R 50.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, you have an excellent camera and lens combination. This combination of EOS 5DS R and EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM is highly suitable for landscape photographers, event photographers and travel photographers.

Final thoughts on Canon EOS 5DS R

This would be an excellent camera for landscape photographers, who like/are comfortable with the 35mm format. Match it with Canon’s latest wide angle lenses or their latest L lenses and you have an ideal and powerful camera and lens combination. With the 50.6 megapixels sensor, photographers would be able to have high quality images with a lot more details and sharpness.

While I am still predominantly a sports/events photographer with my Canon EOS 1DX, I do have a portfolio on travel photography. Photographers do (always) face the dilemma of wanting a few camera bodies yet it takes up space and they can be a hefty investment cost. For my future travel photography assignments, whether it is commissioned or personal travel, I would look into renting the EOS 5DS R to fulfil the job.

The EOS 5DS R is not just confined to landscape/travel photographers, other photography fields can also consider them too, probably just as good for product shoot photography! Portraiture photography would be a lot more sharp and having more details, this might be very good or too sharp with too many details for your liking, depending on your job requirements!

This is a “monster” DSLR camera, it can be a very powerful camera and it is able to give medium format a run for its money (although it would not be a very fair comparison between 35mm and medium format). In order to bring out the best of the EOS 5DS R, pair it with the latest Canon L lenses such as the EF 11-24mm f/4 L USM, EF 16-35 f/2.8L III USM and EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the Canon EOS 5DS R review opportunity.

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Canon EOS 5DS Review

The Canon EOS 5DS was recently announced in February 2015 and I had a chance to see and touch the Canon EOS 5DS for myself during the launch event. This camera got me pretty interested, I was wondering how “strong” and “powerful” this Canon EOS 5DS can be, versus the rest of the competitors in the mirror-less and medium format categories?

In the month of November 2015, I was given an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 5DS. This was really awesome and I am very humbled and excited that I am able to continue my journey in reviewing cameras, adding on to my extensive list of camera reviews that I done over the years.


In my short stint with the Canon EOS 5DS, I brought it out whenever I could, to do landscape, portrait, walkabout, night events photography. Through the photographs that I took, let me share with you my thoughts, feelings and review of the Canon EOS 5DS, starting with the pros and cons –


  • 6 megapixels, a big number and room for photographers to work on
  • Superb colour quality output, clarity, details and sharpness
  • Versatility ~ cropping/aspect ratio options with full frame, 1.3x crop, 1.6x, 4:3 and 16:9 options
  • Electronic Level is useful when doing handheld photography
  • At high ISO 12,800, the noise level for the 5DS is still relatively clean, manageable and within my tolerance level (in my personl humble opinion)
  • Dual memory cards options, both SD and CF cards, make it versatile and photographers can have options on how they want to use and save the photos to one card or both cards
  • More detailed battery level indicator, photographers would welcome this when they are busy shooting
  • 61 Auto Focus points, handy and useful when needed, technology inherited from Canon EOS 1DX and 5D3 camera models.
  • In-built HDR option
  • In-built multiple exposures option
  • In-built interval timer option


  • Huge photo file size (for both jpeg and raw files)
  • Additional accessories needed, thus additional costing (big size memory cards e.g 128GB SD card and a powerful desktop/laptop with lots of RAM and HDD space)
  • Price is on the higher side (relative to other DSLR camera models)




  • Ideal for photographers who wish to have camera quality close to medium format at a lower investment cost
  • Portrait and commercial photographers would find the Canon EOS 5DS ideal and suitable to meet their photography needs and requirements



Due to a heavy workload and time constraints, I wasn’t able to fully explore the video recording capabilities of the Canon EOS 5DS, thus I would not be writing about it here. If the time and opportunity allows again, I would carry on from where I left off and share with my readers.

Personal thoughts and feelings on the Canon EOS 5DS

On a side note, it would not be fair to compare a 35mm DSLR system to a Medium Format system (2 different camera systems). The Canon EOS 5DS with its 50.6 megapixels on her 35mm format, gives photographers options and opportunities to have a system and its capabilities that are close to the medium format system.

There are also not many other camera models at this point in time, that are in the range of 50.6 megapixels, thus giving all these few camera models (e.g. 5DS, 5DS R) a niche in the digital camera market.



The Canon EOS 5DS is built upon a very successful Canon DSLR, the Canon EOS 5D series (and one of my favourite Canon DSLRs is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III) family. It has a strong “family tradition” and I do quite like the Canon EOS 5DS. I can’t say that I prefer one of the DSLR camera models over another until I tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 5DS R. Personally speaking, I have a soft spot for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (I was using a 5D Mark III review unit), having helped me clinched a spot in a photography exhibition a few years ago when Gardens By The Bay was officially opeend. Another very significant contribution would be my Hokkaido Black and White Landscape Photo Book, kindly loaned to me by fellow photographer friend Marcus.

Would I own a Canon EOS 5DS ? I don’t have an answer at this point in time, maybe until I tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 5DS R. There are a great range of “powerful” Canon DSLRs in the 5D series family. I hope that I can do the Canon EOS 5DS R review in the near future and give my readers more information, views, thoughts, feelings and review points, thus allowing them to know, understand and compare before making any Canon DSLR investment decision.



If you love the superb colour quality output, clarity, details and sharpness of the Canon EOS 5DS and do not mind the anti-aliasing filter inside the 5DS, on top of that, you would need the high megapixels for your photography needs, why not take a look at the Canon EOS 5DS and consider it? It might be a viable option when you are considering between a 35mm format and a medium format camera.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 5DS.

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River Nights 2015 @ ACM

Our Singapore River played a major and significant role in the history and economic development of Singapore as a trading port, the cross road between the East and the West. While Singapore River had changed tremendously since her early days packed with warehouses and the iconic bumboats that carry supplies to the ships in Singapore’s waters. Today, the Singapore River is bustling with tall business buildings, making up the financial hub and business hub of Singapore.


River Nights 2015 at Asian Civilisations Museum celebrated the changes and achievements of Singapore River, from a trading port during her colonial days to the current hub for both business, leisure, history and nightlife. There were many activities, events, art works on display and performances on the nights of 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st October 2015 for all to enjoy and have fun.

Although I wasn’t able to watch and enjoy all the activities and events organised by Asian Civilisations Museum for River Nights 2015, I was able to go down and capture some beautiful lighting and artworks display during River Nights 2015. I loved the artworks and lighting displays that were present at River Nights 2015 at ACM.

Les Voyageurs by Cedric Le Borgne

There were a few human figures, stationed at different points around Asian Civilisation Musuem, some were on the ground, some were in the air. These larger than life figures, we can see through them, the transparency of the material, accompanied by the lighting projection on them, they lighted up the surroundings around Asian Civilisations Museum and themselves too.



160 by Trafik

160 light bars, 60m in area, an interactive light and sound installation, popular with the visitors to River Nights 2015. Many people can be seen standing inside the light installation arches, taking photos and enjoying the lighting displays.



Delight by Yves Moreeaux

I am a big fan of light projections artwork displays on building facades. Yves presented a colourful and bright light and sound display, with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore River and the Central Business District as a backdrop.


Walter by Dawn Ng

Oh yes, how can I forget my favourite giant rabbit sculpture? I seen Walter a few years ago and it was great to see Walter making an appearance again! Welcome back, Walter the giant rabbit!


It had been a fun River Nights 2015 at Asian Civilisations Museum even though I wasn’t able to catch all the performances and activities during the event. Moving ahead, I hope to be able to share more events and activities from the various museums that I visit!

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A Bird and Landscape Photography Exploration at Bidadari

The migratory bird season is here again in Singapore, with a number of migratory bird species spotted in various parts of Singapore in the month of October 2015. Bidadari Woodlands is a haven for migratory birds and there were a few of them making Bidadari Woodlands their home for their stay in Singapore to rest, recharge and refuel before continuing their flight down towards the Southern Hemisphere.

I haven’t visited Bidadari Woodlands for a period of time, visited once in the years 2013 and 2014, therefore, I decided to return back to Bidadari Woodlands to look for the migratory birds that were making headline news among the birding photography groups here in Singapore. Another key thing for me was to document and photograph more landscape scenes of Bidadari Woodlands with the Canon review camera, the Canon EOS 5DS DSLR.


With the migratory bird location tips from fellow photographer David Tay, I knew where the Ruddy Kingfisher was “staying” in Bidadari Woodlands. When I reached there in the morning, there was a pretty big group of bird photographers photographing the beautiful Ruddy Kingfisher. While it was a bit crowded around the tree and shrubs, I managed to get some photographs of the Ruddy Kingfisher into my bird photography collection on Flickr, it’s another kingfisher ticked off my bird photography list! While it is not my best shot of this beautiful Ruddy Kingfisher, I hope to go back and photograph it again if I have the chance (and if they haven’t decide to fly off yet from Singapore!).



After photographing the Ruddy Kingfisher, I decided to walk around Bidadari Woodlands, with the Canon EOS 5DS, photographing more landscape scenes of Bidadari Woodlands into my collection. While I was photographing the landscape shots, I was also on the lookout for the other birds residing/resting at Bidadari Woodlands. Sometimes, you can tell by a group of photographers together in a location waiting or photographing a bird. I was lucky that I was nearby to some smaller groups of photographers and when they spot some birds, the rest quickly move into position to photograph the birds in action. With that kind of assistance, I managed to photograph the Tiger Shrike and Brown Jungle Flycatcher!



Personally, I was happy with my photography shoot on that morning at Bidadari Woodlands, I got a few bird photographs and the landscapes too. I hope to visit again if I have the chance. The beautiful and tranquil Bidadari Woodlands will be lost to re-development by the Government for public housing projects.

Soon, in the near future, the migratory birds have to find another location to stay in Singapore when they fly down away from the cold winter season. For us, Bidadari Woodlands will soon become another SG Memory, in our hearts, minds, eyes, archives, internet, social media and HDD.

For now, let’s continue to enjoy the greenery, tranquility and the birds residing at Bidadari Woodlands.

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Visiting the Former Combined Operations Room

On a hill top in the heart of Singapore’s city centre district in Chinatown, there lies some very interesting and significant historical monuments. I was thinking, back in the old days when there were no tall commercial buildings that Singapore had today, the view from this hill top could be awesome, looking at the sea, harbour and city centre. On top of a hill does makes it an important and strategic location for the “eyes” to watch over the peace and security of a district.

On top of Pearl’s Hill, there is the Pearl’s Hill Terrace Building, occupying the former Straits Settlements barracks, built by the British. Today, it is now a hub for start ups and small businesses. I walked up there to look for my friend’s office before and I would always pass by this corner of the Pearl’s Hill Terrace building without knowing the history and significance behind that thick wall.



Behind this thick wall, there is a door that leads to the former combined operations room, it is a bomb proof bunker that plays an important and significant part in Singapore’s history of pre-independence and post-independence. This bunker was so well hidden and it’s just another part of the building that I never knew something important could be occupying there previously!

The Former Combined Operations Room (fCOR) exhibition, the HT SG50 exhibition, is launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), along with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and National Heritage Board (NHB). This is really great as we get to see, feel, learn, know and understand more in-depth of Singapore’s history. While waiting at the registration point before entering the FCOR for the special guided tour, my fellow heritage and photography friends were busy reading the history boards, showcasing the timeline and history of our British Colonial days, Singapore Police Force and history of Pearl’s Hill. This was definitely a real eye opener for me! Oh, I have to mention that that is an old police car on display!



The fCOR plays a significant and important role, an iconic historical structure of our SPF. This was like the brain, the nerve centre where she had seen, managed and resolved the major crisis that happened in Singapore, the numerous communal and communist related incidents such as the 1956 Chinese Middle School Riots, Konfrontasti and 1969 racial riots.

During our special guided tour, we were very honoured and blessed to meet a pioneer, Mdm Evelyn Wong, age 71 (she doesn’t look 71!), a former Senior Staff Sergeant with the Singapore Police Force. She came along in our group for the guided tour. As we walked through the tight and narrow corridors of the fCOR, we started to know, understand and learn more about the operations and people behind the scenes that played many key parts in building up the peace, prosperity and safe Singapore today many of us, especially the younger generations of Singapore, enjoyed so much today.

We toured the Radio Control Room, Chief Police Staff Officer Room, the Map Room, we listened attentively to our guide, Mr John Kwok from NHB and Mdm Evelyn Wong, sharing with us their insights and real life stories. Although the fCOR exhibition is a re-creation of the 1950s settings and furnishings, we were able to see a few of the original equipment that were used during the fCOR operations.


The Radio Control Room had the replica saucer shaped podium where the famous iconic 999 girls of the Singapore Police Force used to work at. Mdm Evelyn Wong shared many real life stories when she was working there inside the fCOR, it was amazing to listen real life stories that happened in Singapore and she was very enthusiastic and passionate. I can still feel Mdm Evelyn Wong professionalism from her sharing even though she had retired from the Singapore Police Force.


At the Chief Police Staff Officer Room, it was not just a bird’s eye view, it was the brain and nerve centre for the senior police officers to oversee the whole of Singapore (in the Map Room below), to command and order the various resources and other government agencies, to handle crisis and situations in Singapore.

Walking down to the Map Room, with the Singapore map and board, it was like the Ops Room where the operational instructions, coordinations and updates took place. Our group spent some time here and Mdm Evelyn Wong shared more real stories of the crisis that happened in Singapore whereby she was part of the action while working inside the fCOR. Everyone of us were mesmerised and engrossed by Mdm Evelyn Wong real life stories sharing, we can feel the emotions, the passion, touching stories by one of the many pioneers that helped to build up Singapore today.



Her sharing made me feel very blessed, of what we have and achieved today in Singapore, it’s not by luck and we went through crisis and challenges to reach our living standards today in Singapore. Pioneers, like Mdm Evelyn Wong and many other Pioneers all played significant and important roles (no matter how big or small) to build up Singapore today.

I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the Pioneers that helped to build the modern Singapore today!

The fCOR exhibition is now on till 31st January 2016, more information can be found here on the Ministry of Home Affairs website. Please do take note that registration and pre-booking is required to visit the fCOR exhibition and maximum capacity is 10 participants per tour.

For those interested in visiting the fCOR exhibition, you can call 9893 5140 during office hours from 0900hrs to 1700hrs, or email fcor@mha.gov.sg to book your tour with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Please provide the following information in your e-mail or phone call:

Contact number:

No of visitor(s):

Preferred day and time slot 1:

Preferred day and time slot 2:

Preferred day and time slot 3:​

Walking out of the fCOR exhibition, I learned something new and more about Singapore’s history. I hoped that they can do more of such exhibitions that goes beyond the history text books that they can teach and share many more key and significant history, life experiences to Singaporeans.

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