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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Canon EOS-5Ds vs Nikon D810 Comparison

Canon EOS-5Ds vs Nikon D810 comparison

My readers know, I have been a Canon user for about 25 years. Through the decades, I have used almost all of Canon's cropped and full frame, film and digital cameras, plus the EF and EF-S lenses. You can see my equipment bag and works on

The recently released Canon EOS-5Ds and EOS-5DsR cameras are descendants of the original EOS-5D, released in 2005. It was the first 'affordable' full frame digital camera and the official list price was roughly the same as the current list price of the EOS-5Ds. Considering inflation and the monumental advancement in technology packed into the new camera, I must say it is a very good deal, indeed.

The Nikon D810 camera was released in March 2015. Until the announcement of the Canon EOS-5Ds, this was the only mega pixel DSLR camera on the market.

The following comparison covers the two cameras' major features, and assumes the reader is already familiar with the functionality and capabilities of DSLR cameras. It is intended to help those trying to decide whether to upgrade or keep their present Canon or Nikon bodies.

Canon EOS-5Ds and EOS-5DsR 50MP full frame cameras

EOS-5Ds and EOS-5DsR full frame cameras :
  • 50.6 MP sensor powered by dual DIGIC 6 processors
  • Optical low pass filter on EOS-5Ds. Self cancelling on EOS-5DsR
  • 1.3x (30.5MP) plus 1.6x (19.6MP) with 1:1 ratio crop mode 
  • 3.2 inch, 1040K dot LCD screen.
  • Dual card slots, one CF, one SD
  • Burst rate 5 fps. Burst depth, up to 510 JPEG and 14 RAW files
  • ISO range from 100 - 6400, 50 - 12800 with expansion
  • 61-point High Density Reticular AF, 41 cross type points, 5 double cross type 
  • 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252 zone
  • Custom Functions - 16, USB 3.0
  • Number of cross-points depends on the speed of the lens used.
  • 59 ms. shutter lag, 150,000 cycle shutter and .71x viewfinder.
  • DxOMark overall sensor score - 87
  • Low light ISO - 2381 ISO

Nikon D810 36MP full frame camera

Nikon D810 full frame camera :
  • 36.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor (no AA filter)
  • ISO 64-12,800 (expands to ISO 32-51,200)
  • Electronic first-curtain shutter and redesigned mirror mechanism
  • New 'RAW Size S' 9MP Raw mode
  • Expeed 4 engine
  • Max 5 fps shooting in FX mode, 7 fps in DX (with battery grip + EN-EL18)
  • 3.2in 1,229k-dot RGBW LCD screen with customizable color
  • OLED viewfinder information display
  • Improved Scene Recognition System allows face detection in OVF mode
  • 'Split screen zoom' display in live view allows horizons/lines to be leveled precisely
  • 51-point AF system with new 'Group Area AF' mode (inherited from D4S)
  • New 'flat' Picture Control mode (intended to appeal to videographers)
  • Auto ISO available in manual exposure mode
  • Zebra strips for exposure checking in video mode
  • Uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous recording to memory card
  • Built-in stereo microphone

The first thing that stands out in many people's mind is the Canon EOS-5Ds has a much higher pixel sensor. That in itself means little since both cameras can produce excellent photos that can be printed out in fairly large size. If one needs to print super large sized photos, then the EOS-5Ds has a slight edge.

The Nikon D810 does have the advantage over the Canon EOS-5Ds, with a native ISO of 12,800 vs 6,400. The EOS-5Ds edges out the D810 in terms of AF points, 61 vs 51. Both cameras shoot at a maximum of 5 fps and Canon maxes out at 14 RAW and 510 JPEG vs Nikon's 23 RAW and 100 JPEG.

Both cameras have cropped modes, in addition to the full frame capability. Canon's 1.3x and 1.6x vs Nikon's 1.2x and 1.5x

There are of course other differences with proprietary processors, video speed, etc. but suffice to say, they are differences without much distinction. The final stand out point is the Nikon D810 has better battery management capability and claims to shoot 1,200 vs Canon's 700 shots on a fully charged battery.  

In conclusion, both cameras are great full frame DSLRs, capable of producing sharp, extremely huge prints but they are unsuitable for wildlife photography, in my opinion. Whether one wants to upgrade from their present camera depends entirely on whether one needs a camera capable of producing mega prints. For Canon users thinking of upgrading from the EOS-5D Mk III, read my comparison here


Byteme 12 said...

Digital cameras have only been out for 15 years in a useful sence so to say you've been using them for decades makes you a TWAT

valholl said...

Byteme 12… He said he used both film and digital over 25 yrs.
So who's the twat? I believe that would be you 😉

Canon User said...

It's better to shoot with one's camera than with one's mouth. It also helps to read before you comment.