There is currently an ultra-high resolution Canon mirrorless body that’s been sent out to select photographers for the first phase of testing.
Sources say that camera is the Canon EOS R5s. It will be a high-end body that will slot in nicely with the R5. Although it shares the ‘R5’ name, rumored specifications indicate that it will be a camera with a much different focus.
The EOS R5s will supposedly be released at the same price as the EOS R5. So, let’s tackle some highlights.
Early summer first brought about whisperings that Canon had a 70-100 megapixel camera body in the pipeline. We know now that the camera in question is in fact the EOS R5s, and the actual resolution should be 90 megapixels.
That would easily trounce the 61 megapixels of the Sony A7r IV and be on target with a rumored Nikon body thought to also be 90 megapixels. That’s a LOT of resolution and I’ll share my thoughts on that shortly.
The EOS R5s is also expected to have a pixel-shift feature that will enable it to capture approximately 300 megapixels. Wow! It will function similar to the Fujifilm GFX 100 feature that enables 400-megapixel stills, but the GFX 100 is priced at $10,000.
Video & Burst Rate
We know nothing about the potential video capabilities and burst rates of the EOS R5s. Those are two things that are important to point out, as the R5 is a video powerhouse and burst rate is an important feature for wildlife photographers.
With a monster 90-megapixel sensor, I would guess we will see limited video features for the R5s. Mainly because it takes an incredible amount of processing power to downsize for 4K (and 8K) video. That’s why most of the top mirrorless video cameras today are around 12 megapixels.
IBIS & EVF
Saving our two favorite acronyms for last – in-body stabilization and the electronic viewfinder. The IBIS of the EOS R5s is expected to be different from the other R models. This is due to the fact that a special stabilization system is needed for a pixel shift system that can achieve 300-megapixel stills. I’m guessing the IBIS system will be the best yet in a Canon mirrorless camera.
The EVF is supposed to be larger and better than the R5 too. That would make it very impressive, as the R5 already boasts a 5.76 million-dot OLED EVF.
I’m sure the EOS R5s will be an awesome camera, along with the monster resolution cameras that Sony and Nikon will surely release too. For Canon, the R5s will slot in very nicely with the R5. As a photographer, you’ll have to decide between an all-around awesome camera with top video capabilities or an ultra-high resolution camera capable of producing 90-300 megapixel stills.
The R5s could be useful for landscape photographers, as 90 megapixels leaves a lot of room to crop and since landscapes are often static, the 300-megapixel pixel shift mode should work well most of the time.
Of course, 90 megapixels is great for wildlife photography too. It would offer fantastic cropping and reduce the focal length needed for a great wildlife shot. But, it’d be pretty awesome to capture a wolf way off with a 600mm f/4 lens and then do some heavy cropping.
The downside is the burst rate will most likely not be up there with top-of-the-line cameras – the R5 is there to save the day though and 45 megapixels is plenty, in my opinion.
I think that begs the question; how much resolution is too much? The increase in resolution means we need better lenses to take advantage of the larger sensor, it means potentially an increase in noise, a reduction in video features, and lower burst rates. For many, we shoot with a high-resolution camera, only to downsize images for web and social media, with an occasional large print.
No doubt, the benefits of being able to crop a super high-resolution image is enticing, but I think that’s really only a benefit if you find yourself a) cropping your wildlife images a lot b) printing extremely, extremely large, and doing it often (like over 60 in on the long edge)
All in all, the R5s should be an awesome camera and it will pair really well with the R5 and Canon’s current mirrorless lineup. The expectation is it should be released or announced in Q1 of 2021.
For more info on Canon’s mirrorless offering, click here.
Matt Meisenheimer is a photographer based in Wisconsin. His artistry revolves around finding unique compositions and exploring locations that few have seen. He strives to capture those brief moments of dramatic light and weather, which make our grand landscapes so special. Matt loves the process of photography – from planning trips and scouting locations, taking the shot in-field, to post-processing the final image.
Matt is an active adventurer and wildlife enthusiast as well. He graduated with a degree in wildlife ecology and worked in Denali National Park and Mount Rainier National Park as a biologist. He also spent 6 months working in the deserts of Namibia before finding his path in photography. Matt’s passion for the wilderness has taken him to many beautiful places around the world.
As a former university teaching assistant, Matt is passionate about instruction. It is his goal to give his students the technical and creative knowledge they need to achieve their own photographic vision. He truly enjoys working with photographers on a personal level and helping them reach their goals.
You can see Matt’s work and portfolio on his webpage at www.meisphotography.com
Don’t Miss the Next Session of BCJ “Live”
Backyard Bird Photography: Simple Techniques for Wildlife Close to Home
with Russell Graves
Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 at 11 am (Mountain)