Still the King – the 5DSR. If you’re looking for the ultimate landscape camera, here’s why you should choose this body even in 2021.
I know claiming the 5DSR is still the best may be a bit of a hot take given the launch of the newer R5 with its 45 megapixel, internally stabilized sensor. But there’s more to choosing between these two camera bodies than just looking at comparable resolutions.
If you focus primarily on landscape photography, you know that resolution and final image sharpness can be the most important factor above all else, especially if making prints. Below is a quick comparison of the resolutions and detail capture. I think the 5DSR image quality still outperforms even the newer models. Check out the comparison of the 5DSR vs. R5 vs. 5DS vs. EOS R (5D Mark IV sensor):
Make sure to look at these full size to get a true sense of the difference, or head over to the-digital-picture.com comparison tool to do your own investigation. These differences may seem slight, but if you’re chasing the absolute best then it does make a difference. One of the other drivers is the lack of an aliasing filter on the 5DSR where the 5DS, 5D Mark IV, R5, R, etc. all still have the aliasing (or slightly blurring at the pixel level effect).
I’ve done a firsthand comparison too between the Canon R (same sensor as 5D Mark IV) and the 5DSR. Below shows the detail comparison with the R on the left and 5DSR on the right:
2. Great Dynamic Range
The 5DSR has more than enough dynamic range for just about any landscape scenario. While the newer sensors are certainly better, it still performs well, sitting at less than roughly one stop compared to the sensor in the 5D Mark IV and about a stop better than the 6D Mark II. For landscape photos requiring more range, quickly switching over to the auto exposure bracketing mode will capture multiple exposures which can be blended together in Photoshop, exceeding even the best dynamic ranges offered on the market in competing bodies.
For example, take a look at the before and after edit of the photo below. The shadow detail retained after lifting the shadows is incredible!
3. Excellent Weather Sealing
This is an important one for chasing the best landscape images. Often the best light occurs just before or after a storm, meaning camera bodies and lenses will get wet, dusty, banged around, etc. One day I hiked through a torrential downpour with both the Canon EOS R and the 5DSR in hand (one for filming, one for landscape photography, both with weather sealed L lenses), and the buttons on the R started acting up while the 5DSR kept on going strong. I was nervous about heavy rain damaging the R, but never even thought for a second the 5DSR was at risk.
I’ve since purchased $10 rain covers for both in case torrential rains hit again. But the 5DSR weather seals are top notch. I’ll never hesitate to take the 5DSR to the beach, desert, out in rain or snow, or any other demanding location or condition.
4. Current Price: $1,000 – $1,400 used, $1,499 new!
The final convincing selling point is the price. For a model that had just under 4,000 shutter actuations, I purchased a new option that cost 75% less than it did at launch, and 80% less than a new Canon R5. For that kind of savings, I will easily choose the 5DSR over the R5 if it means saving $3,000. Instead I’ll deal with the occasional need to bracket.
If you’d like, you can check out the 5DSR on Amazon here. I highly recommend grabbing one before they’re no longer available!
So in conclusion, the Canon 5DSR offers the highest resolution in a full frame camera, with no blurring aliasing filter, in a super rugged weather sealed body. Sure, newer options might have more dynamic range, frame burst rates, and the ability to use Canon’s new RF lenses. But, if you are a landscape photographer that follows a methodical approach to set up a composition, uses EF mount lenses, and ventures out in harsh weather, the Canon 5DSR is still the best option.
Even in 2021!