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Year Road Trip with Canon 5Ds and 5Dsr

by Hugh O. Smith

The moment that Canon announced their 5Ds and 5Dsr series my wife and I pre ordered 1 of each.

I chose the Dsr since I am a stickler for detail and Diana prefers to reserve any post processing to other endeavors. We live in Mexico just 5 minutes south of the border from San Diego and decided to take a year long photographic journey from Mexico to France.

We bought a teardrop trailer for ease of hauling, packed it up and left in April. We drove to Northern California and Diana received her camera before we made it to Northern California. I did not receive mine until we reached Wyoming so many of my images were done with my EOS Mark V. It wasn’t until France that I got to give the 5Dsr a workout.

To give you an idea of the extent of the trip, our route took us from San Diego, up the California Coast to Oregon and southern Idaho. We crossed into Wyoming and stayed for several weeks in the Grand Tetons. We headed across to our final goal in Philadelphia where we stored the trailer and our Toyota Four Runner and hopped a flight to Paris.


Moonset on Jackson Lake in the Grand Teton, Wyoming. We arose at 4:30 a.m. to get this image.
Photo Diana Hughes/Canon EOS 5Ds


“Mormon Row” with the Grand Tetons in the background. This is in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Photo Diana Hughes/Canon EOS 5Ds


Aspen Grove in the Gros Ventre area of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Converted in PhotoShop.
Photo Diana Hughes/Canon 5Ds


After a few weeks in Paris, we headed out to Normandy (many of the shots can be seen at our website. After St. Malo, we headed to Tours and points south and are now in Provence in the village of Pelissanne. Whew! I get tired just talking about it.

First, let me explain the difference in the two cameras. The Ds maintains the anti-aliasing filter that prevents moire in repeating patterns. Canon chose to filter out the AA filter in the Dsr making manufacture easier and eliminating redesign of the body.

Let me say that at 50 mps Raw files from both cameras are exceptionally sharp and portend to eliminate the need to go to larger formats to reach the lofty heights of larger format mega pixels. Cropping still leaves plenty of room for exacting printing needs and, to my way of thinking, the print is the ultimate goal anyway.

I don’t want to get into the deep functions of the cameras (and they are multiple) but Canon finally added an automatic sensor cleaner that we both really like. Even with the deep menu, Canon has kept it surprisingly easy to navigate. It’s also been weather proofed. But, let’s get to some of the images this beast kicks out.


The village of La Roche Guyon about an hour out of Paris. 
The Chateau was General Erwin Rommel’s headquarters during WW2. 
This is a view from the castle Keep (dungeon). 
Photo Hugh Smith/Canon EOS 5Dsr


Sainte Malo on the Normandy Coast at the English Channel. Tall granite walls surround the old town, 
which was once a stronghold for privateers (pirates approved by the king). Converted using Nik Pro. 
Photo Hugh Smith/Canon 5Dsr


The tiny fishing Village of Port Vendres on the Mediterranean situated near the Spanish border on theCôte Vermeille 
in south west France. Port-Vendres is renowned for its numerous fish and sea food restaurants.
Photo Hugh Smith/Canon5Dsr


As you can tell, even with these small jpegs, the images from both cameras are virtually indistinguishable as far as sharpness and saturation are concerned.

Processing the files can be exasperating at times since many of my plug ins will not handle such huge files and I imagine that many software people are pulling their corporate hair out, trying to match these huge files. When processed from RAW, some of my files exceed 150 mbs! (Eats up my 2 TB external drive memory pretty quickly).

All of the images in this article were shot with the Canon 24-105mm lens. Add the cost of the lens to the cost of the body and you could buy a good used car. The price comes in just under $5,000 for each camera!

Is it worth it? Absolutely!

If you’re looking for a camera that will produce pro’ quality output, these will do it in spades.

You can see more of our work at

I was considering this camera specially for the high resolution. I am waiting to see what the new Mark IV will offer. I would love to have them all! :)
Nice writeup. Would love to hear more about the real world performance of the Canon 5Ds and 5Dsr models.
The Canon 5Ds and Dsr are Giant Killers. I was considering medium format just before the Canon announcement and the resolution of the Canons puts MF to shame. I predict more of these high resolution "35mm" cameras and the death of MF. They are much easier to carry and operate.
Hi Hugh, thanks for sharing your experience with the Canon 5Ds and 5Dsr. Very nice and interesting article, my friend.
You are MORE than welcome. Look forward to a lasting relationship with 1X!