As many of you probably have heard by now, Canon has announced the Canon 5DS R and the 11-24mm f4 lens. I followed all the hubbub about the release over at Canon Rumors Blog. Here's a great preview from The Digital Picture Blog about the 5Ds R. I have been mulling it over, doing research, and trying to decide what I wanted to do in terms of my photo gear. I have been eagerly awaiting Canons response to the Nikon D810 and Sony's A7R. While the megapixel count is in the medium format realm, the dynamic range is not. According to several Canon interviews, the dynamic range will be the same as the Canon 5D III. This was disappointing to hear! Sony and Nikon (which is using Sony made sensors) have better dynamic range according to DXO Mark. This is pretty important for nature photographers. I researched various websites including DXO to help me decide what camera / lens combinations would be best for me and my workflow. My initial thoughts of disappointment quickly turned back to pro Canon views after a bit of looking around.
Many dispute the ratings and tests of DXO. They provide ratings and numbers that can't be independently verified. Some say they don't accurately measure sensor performance and the testing procedures used are flawed. So I use the results with a grain of salt. While the sensor and lens ratings really don't mean much, DXO seems to rate Canon glass better than Nikon glass. For example, a D810 with a 14-24mm f2.8 lens, did not perform as well as a 5DIII with a 16-35mm f4. The perceived megapixels with the sensor lens combo way 4% higher in the Canon. Chromatic aberration was also better in the Canon while other categories where very similar. What does this mean? According to DXO (which rates Nikon sensors above Canon sensors), rates Canon glass above Nikon glass overall. This means that even if Nikon announces a 50 megapixel camera, the sensor / lens combination won't be as good (in terms of sharpness and chromatic aberration) as a Canon sensor with the better glass .
While I flirted with switching to Nikon, my research quickly reminded me that my philosophy of basing a camera system around lenses and not camera bodies is the best way to build a camera kit. Cameras will come and go, lenses last for a lot longer. Canon has been actively updating their lens lineup and has produced some of the best lenses we've seen to date. Nikon has also has had issues with the D600 and complaints about their repair service are well known. The Nikon Corporation has not been performing well financially. All the factors combined had an influence on my decision, and I'm also not fully convinced on the mirrorless movement. I think most of the mirrorless following has been stirred up by well known photographers that are paid by Sony. I'm not saying the Sony mirrorless system is bad, all I am saying is that well known photogs that use Sony mirrorless equipment are getting paid by Sony. My advice is to find the best set of lenses that suits your style and base your camera system around that.
Canon also announced the 11-24mm f4 lens. While I have been waiting for this lens for some time, I didn't realize it would cost as much as a new pro level camera. The price is a major deterrent. On the other hand the MTF and optics chart looks amazing! This lens could be a major game changer! I will wait for real world testing to be done and will probably rent it before I make a decision on whether I will add this to my kit. The 16-35mm f4 has surpassed all my expectations, so it will be hard to give that lens up as it seems impractical to keep both.
Canon's 11-24 f4 lens will be available late February and can be pre-ordered here at:
Canon's 5Ds R is available in June and will go on pre-order in April. Sign up to get notified when preorders are being accepted at: