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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

David Noton

Apr14

The proof is in the pudding: the real advantage of the EOS 5DS

By David Noton, Tuesday April 14, 2015
The Cape of Good Hope at Black Rocks, Cape Point, South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with a TS-E24mm f/3.5L II tilt and shift lens. Ultimate resolution is what the 5DS is all about. The fine detail when images are viewed large has to be seen to be believed.

The Cape of Good Hope at Black Rocks, Cape Point, South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with a TS-E24mm f/3.5L II tilt and shift lens. Ultimate resolution is what the 5DS is all about. The fine detail when images are viewed large has to be seen to be believed. © David Noton

The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in this case is a giant print of the Cape of Good Hope which was hanging on a wall in London's National Theatre for the launch of Canon's new high-resolution EOS 5DS. The pudding looked fabulous, with amazing clarity and detail. If I'd have been shown that pudding – sorry, print – ten years ago I'd have bet our house in the rolling Wessex countryside and all its contents (including my collection of single Highland malts) that the image was created with a large format camera; 5x4in in 'Old Money', or larger. But no, we live in a brave new digital world where that huge print was enlarged from an image area not much bigger than my thumbnail. Incredible, isn't it?

I wanted to bring the print home but couldn't get it in the overhead rack on the train from Waterloo and besides, we don't have a wall that big in either our house or office. If I could show you the print all that follows here would be superfluous, because it’s all about the pictures; it always is. All the talk about pixels and resolution and noise is just, well, noise when it comes down to it; it's the results that matter. But given that I can't display this particular pudding in its entirety on a web page I'm just going to plug on and give you my opinion of the 5DS and its stablemate, the 5DS R.

Quite simply it is all about the pursuit of perfection. There is of course no such thing as the perfect image, but it doesn't stop us photographers chasing it. There is something entirely satisfying in striving for the very best in the pursuit of our craft. It’s not a logical thing because our images are our cherished offspring; the product of much patience, persistence, frustration, often sweat, sometimes blood, and often tears. We invest heavily in our images, and when the capture of the decisive moment is finally nigh we want the result to be the very best it can possibly be.

Over the entire span of my 30-year career I have had to weigh up the pros and cons of optimum image quality versus system portability. I've always gone for flexibility first; 'being there' is always the first step. Big, bulky, ponderous camera systems are just not suited to the kind of places I end up, like rainforests or glaciers. But now we can achieve the kind of image quality previously only associated with large format photography, using a body the size of my hand, all backed up by a system of lenses and accessories of unchallenged breadth. If that's not a game changer I don't know what is.

You can read my full Field Trial of the EOS 5DS in my Chasing the Light Online Magazine: http://www.davidnoton.com/chasing-the-light.asp

Hout Bay, from Table Mountain National Park, Western Cape,  South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with a TS-E17mm f/4L  tilt and shift lens. Having now used the 5DS for what the camera  is designed for in South Africa I feel I know the its capabilities  as well as anyone, but the bottom line is that the results speak  for themselves; the proof is in the pudding.

Hout Bay, from Table Mountain National Park, Western Cape,
South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with a TS-E17mm f/4L
tilt and shift lens. Having now used the 5DS for what the camera
is designed for in South Africa I feel I know the its capabilities
as well as anyone, but the bottom line is that the results speak
for themselves; the proof is in the pudding. © David Noton

Rolling farmland in the Overberg region near Villiersdorp, Western Cape, South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with an EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. This camera demands a lot from the photographer; getting the most out of the high-resolution sensor requires a thoughtful, meticulous approach and the best glass in front is a must...

Rolling farmland in the Overberg region near Villiersdorp, Western Cape, South Africa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with an EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. This camera demands a lot from the photographer; getting the most out of the high-resolution sensor requires a thoughtful, meticulous approach and the best glass in front is a must... © David Noton