A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a Canon Experience Day, with the chance to try out Canon’s two high resolution cameras, the EOS 5Ds and 5Dsr. Helping out, were two Canon Ambassadors, David Clapp and Tim Parkin, along with Canon Representative, Rob Cook.
Normally when trying out gear, you get a quick few minutes at trade shows and don’t have a chance to take images away with you. However, the idea of the Experience Days, is to really gain some experience with using the equipment available. It wasn’t just the camera bodies either, with a range of lenses also being available to try out. I was also able to try out the bodies with my own lenses and use my own memory cards, so that I was able to examine the images and compare to my own equipment in full resolution.
Conditions weren’t ideal for showing detail, as conditions were very foggy, but it was still possible to practice landscape photography in the more demanding conditions found in the Hound Tor area of Dartmoor and later around the abandoned barn at Emsworthy.
I started off using the EOS 5Dsr for a few hours around Hound Tor, coupled to the highly rated (if difficult to perfect) TS-E 24mm tilt and shift lens. Despite it now being a few years old, this lens really showed what the 5Dsr can do, showing a high degree of resolution and detail. My own EF 24mm f/1.4 was also able to show additional detail, when compared to what my 5D MkII can achieve.
After a foray into Widecombe for a late lunch, we moved on to Emsworthy Barn. This is an old abandoned barn, situated amongst traditional drystone walls. By this time, I had swapped the 5Dsr and TS-E lens, for a 5Ds and a 16-35. This combination was visibly less sharp, even in the extremely foggy conditions (which may actually have exaggerated the difference) and I was also able to make a direct conparison between the two bodies, using my 24mm lens. This location enabled me to take some images, I don’t often get a chance to try out, as I would normally be wary of heading to the moors in such conditions alone.
As the light dropped, it was time to head home. It was a very interesting day and a rare chance to try out equipment, I may consider purchasing, before I take the plunge. It has also given me a new perspective on the current very high resolution cameras on offer and rather than get a second MkIII as backup, I would be more inclined to go for the 5Dsr instead, as the price difference is relatively small for the resolution advantage gained, particularly, as I could even see the difference in detail when viewing at 50%, the zoom level I use to estimate print sharpness and detail. The various crop options and ability to use at a lower resolution for many shots, would lessen the impact on cost for computing power and storage space, making it a more sensible choice, than it may otherwise have been.