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Should I get the canon 5dsr?

By Scott Umstattd


There it is. This is what my brain is trying to wrap itself around.

Should I get it? 

This is not a review of the Canon 5DSR. This article may very well cause more questions than it addresses.


Canon 5dsr - Is now the time?

I am in a unique position. I have been hired to photograph art. Paintings to be specific. Large, beautiful, colorful, vibrant, living paintings. 

The pictures I take of these paintings will be used to create posters, post-cards, clothes, books, wall displays - a lot of things. 

I've taken pictures of paintings before. I have friends that like to paint. But this is on a grand scale. It's 300 paintings and the final images will be seen by a lot of people.

Since I've never photographed 300 paintings (in different locations) as one project before I am facing a lot of new and exciting challenges. How to light the paintings? How to do this with minimal movement. How to share this many large files. How to edit this many pictures in a reasonable amount of time. There's a lot that I am thinking about right now.

But the one question that is really working me over this week is what camera I should use. It has been highly suggested to me by the print shop that will be reproducing these images to shoot with nothing less than 36 megapixels. 

For some background on my gear see what's in my camera bag.

I use a Canon 60D which I love. It's best bud is my Canon 15-85mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. This is an excellent combo for what I do - which is mainly street/documentary photography. Although, I am stepping into portraits (and that play's into my brain as it tries to tackle the 5DS R).

The Canon 60D is a 1.6x crop camera. The Canon 5DSR is a full frame. Full frame is better than a crop factor if you want to utilize light and "properly" used Canon's line up of EF lenses. EF-S lenses are made for cameras with a crop factor. 

Canon 5DSR Full frame Fury

Since my Canon 60D, with it's smaller sensor, is not really suitable for this type and level of photography. I planned on renting a Canon 5D Mark III. But remember, it was highly suggested to me to shoot at 36 megapixels or higher. The Canon 5D Mark III shoots at a very respectable 22.3 megapixels. And quite frankly that is more than I will ever need - outside of this project. Unless I want to expand into large-print hotel-style photography. Which I may want to do.

Canon 5DSR with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens.Canon 5DSR with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

The Canon 5DS R (and it's brother, the Canon 5DS) shoot at 50.6 megapixels.

There's your 36 megapixels with lots of room to play.

The Canon 5DS R costs $3,699 on Amazon right now.

That's a lot money for some megapixels.

Luckily, the job of photographing the paintings will more than pay for the camera. But I am hearing some rumors that there may be some issues with the 5DS R and Lightroom. 

-Did a little research and found this. The Canon 5DS R can be processed in Lightroom 6. As of now there are only rumors as to when Lightroom 5 will have the necessary updates to handle the 5DS R's files.

Canon 5dsr demands great glass

The other thing about taking the plunge to the 5DS R is lenses. Right now I have a Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and it is not compatible with the 5DS R. Plus, if I'm going to bring in 50 megapixels I don't want to ruin that with lesser lenses that will only have their shortcomings highlighted.

So, I'm thinking about the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II.

This would give me an excellent combination. The 24-70mm covers a very useable range for me. Plus, I already have a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM that I know will bring in some fantastic pictures. 

These two lenses would give me enough lens power to last through the dent the 5DS R and 24-70mm lens put in my wallet.

To make matters more interesting for me; I am living in Mexico and simply buying from Amazon will have challenges. I'll have to make my way to Mexico City. I know that town has to have a camera shop that is selling prime grade-A lenses and cameras.

Anybody know a place in Mexico City that sells cameras?


The more I write about the Canon 5DSR the more I know I will find a way to get it. For one, the project I am doing requires the best resolution possible without buying a medium format camera.

Also, once in hand, I would really like to see what can be done with extensive editing on such large files.

Since a lot of my photography is documentary, I'm not always in the exact place I would like to be when it's time to press the shutter. Being able to crop in closer to get a better composition is intriguing to me.

Canon 5DSRCanon 5DSR

Quite frankly, I would never consider buying this camera if I were not being hired to complete this project. I also wouldn't recommend that anyone (anyone I know at least) buy this camera. For most of our purposes 20MP provide plenty of information to manipulate in post. 20MP is also plenty big enough for most printing applications. 

I'll keep you posted and provide a review of the Canon 5DSR. 

If I get it.

When I get it.


Hi there! I'm Scott. I love photography. It's a constant challenge and there is always something to learn - if you want to learn.  For those that do want to learn, I created Picture Power. In time, Picture Power will unite the superhero photographers of the world. Once we are all united, I will give further instructions. In the meantime,  Picture Power serves as a resource for you to sharpen your photography skills. If you don't find the answer you're looking for just let me know and together we'll find a way to ignite that inner superhero photography genius. 


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