Tag Archives: 5DS

Canon 5DS: Why I think it’s crazy

Fifty megapixels! Fifty! On a measly 35mm sensor!

Let me be very blunt about this. It’s a stupid idea.

How much resolution do you really need? Here’s a hint: how close do you have to sit in front of your 60″ full HD TV before you start noticing the individual dots? Have you EVER printed any of your shots as big as a 60″ screen? Do you know that a full HD TV is only 2Mp? And if you are not satisfied with full HD, how about a 60″ 4K TV with an effective resolution of only 8Mp?

Let me ask you, have you ever been to a drive-in movie? They are projecting standard definition movie into a very very big screen and yet we do not really notice the pixelation. That’s basically an image that is smaller than 2Mp “printed” as wide as an entire street block! I have never heard of anyone complaining about drive-in movie resolution.

What does 50Mp imply? It means that you will need more storage and more computer processing power. It also means that you can no longer just shoot without a tripod at the usual shutter speeds because even very minor movements become very obvious in your photos. Not only that. It also means that you need to be shooting with premium lenses. At 50Mp, you need a lens that peaks at f/5.6 at the minimum. In case you are unaware, you also need to shoot at f/5.6 or wider to fully utilise the entire 50Mp because shooting narrower than that results in a massive drop in effective resolution. So, if you can’t shoot at f/8 and beyond then the 5DS is really not meant for landscape photography. Some say that the 5DS is meant for studio work where you shoot portraiture and fashion. Who prints their portrait shots that big? If you do want to print at billboard sizes then you only need 2Mp (as in our drive-in movie example). 

It seems to me that manufacturers struggle to improve sensor performance so that they can increase the megapixel count. In the case of Canon, why don’t they concentrate on improving their mediocre sensors instead of engaging in the megapixel slugfest? 

It doesn’t make any sense but I’m sure somebody will find some good use for such massive images. Go ahead and buy the 5DS if it scratches your itch.