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Thorsten Milse


First try with the EOS 5DS

By Thorsten Milse, Thursday April 02, 2015
Barbary macaque on a wall at the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Gibraltar. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with an EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens; the exposure was 1/250sec at f/8, ISO 320.

Barbary macaque on a wall at the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Gibraltar. Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS with an EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens; the exposure was 1/250sec at f/8, ISO 320. © Thorsten Milse

The next stop was Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Nature Reserve (formerly the Upper Rock Nature Reserve). The British overseas territory located on the Iberian peninsula – at the entrance to the Mediterranean – is home to some Barbary macaques, who live on the rock.

I wanted to test the EOS 5DS with the lively monkeys and knew that fast autofocus would be required in order to avoid missing any situation. It was important that the camera process the faster frame sequences in RAW quickly, with no waiting time. The camera's processors (Dual DIGIC 6), a USB 3.0 interface and fast Toshiba memory cards were a prerequisite to avoid missing any situation with the lively mammals.

During the daylight hours the shutter speed was so good that I took some shots handheld. When checking the sharpness of the images on my MacBook laptop later, I realised that the camera can also be used without a tripod. But because it is such an ultra-high resolution camera, and because of the very fine details it records, whenever possible I preferred to work with a solid Sachtler tripod.

Our first destination was the "Ape Rock". A cable car climbs up to the top, but we used our own car. This was the better option for us, because of the extensive photo luggage we had. And besides, the monkeys sit on the boundary walls by the side of the road. The Barbary macaques are tame here, because they have always been fed by humans. They share the small area with many people. The monkeys and – in the background, the cities of Gibraltar and Algeciras and Africa in the distance – show a different side to wildlife.

I was pleasantly surprised at how the camera reproduced the monkeys' fur in great detail. The fine resolution was very impressive. The monkeys were also interested in the new Canon camera, too, even though their primary interest was the nuts! The soft hands of the monkey touched my arm and the camera, thus visiting the "Ape Rock" of Gibraltar was a nice experience for me.

A Barbary macaque's first try with the EOS 5DS! Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Gibraltar.

A Barbary macaque's first try with the EOS 5DS! Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Gibraltar. © Matthias Busch