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BEST VALUE FOR MONEY CAMERA for landscape photography?

In this video entitled, BEST VALUE FOR MONEY CAMERA for landscape photography? I think I have found the best VFM camera on the market for Landscape Photographers!

Last week I headed up to the Lakes to extensively test a camera I bought on eBay for £1200. The camera is the Canon 5DSr.

I compared the Canon 5DSr to the normal camera I have been using for some years now, the Canon 5D MKIII.

The Canon 5DSr is around 4-year-old technology. By today’s standards that sounds like a relic but in terms of camera sensors, does it really make that much difference?

If you watch the video and moreover download the available files, I think you will be very surprised.

2 pictures, 1 taken on each body. No filters. Exactly the same settings. Same lens. Same focus point. Same composition.

Take a look at the images and make your own mind up

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  1. I think that I stick to my 5D MKii and Nikon D800 ( huge dynamic range ). There is really no need for such huge mega pixel count. One must also consider the processing power required for such huge files, normally leading to a new super expensive high spec computer. Unless one is making a bloody good living out photography, I consider 24 MP the practical limit for a DSLR. Thanks for an honest demonstration.

  2. Hi Gary , I have both of these cameras and I refuse to sell my 5DMK 3 because it’s a darn good camera.. one of nicest full frame bodies canon has made . Bang for buck …. The 5DSR is also a great camera if used correctly for its design.. landscape photography! They are worth keeping and worth more than they would sell for ! Great blog as always 👏👏👍

  3. Hi Gary, really interesting and informative video, thanks for sharing. I've been a Canon shooter for more years than I care to remember, I started digital photography with a 20D, (the only digital camera that I've bought new), I then went to a 5D, a 5DII and currently have a 5DIII, I was considering the purchase of a 5DSr but, after watching this, I don't think I'll bother, so thank you Gary, you've saved me a few quid.

  4. Why d810 has 14.8 dynamic range and overall score of 97 and 5dsr only 12 dynamic range and overall score of 83 because they almost the same price, I'm confused what to buy, does the score really matter?

  5. I've got a 5dsr and got sick of the weight of the body and all the lenses (11-24mm, 27-70mm f4 and 100-400) for shoots when I'm hiking up hills, especially because I need to carry a meaty tripod. I've just bought a Fuji X-T4. It's so much lighter and I don't need such a full-on tripod. I'm looking forward to putting the cameras up against each other and trying to gauge whether 50MP is worth the hassle. Do you have any thoughts?

  6. Great comparison Gary. No arguing with that. I still swear by my 2 5D Mk3s. I bought James R Burns old one from him when he changed to the R6. The 5D3 is a better landscape camera than the 5D4 and 1DX and on a par with the Sony A7R3 and 4. It is my go to camera despite being the oldest of 7/8 that I have. However, I never considered the 5DSR. I have moved to Sony Mirrorless (when they were better than Canon) and won't buy another Canon DSLR but I wish you well with your 5DS – perhaps I should have bought it before the 5D4 – which is good for wildlife but trails after the 5D3 at landscape.

  7. Like you, I was looking forward to the new version of the 5D so when that was not announced, and Canon stopped developing the EF lenses, I was left wondering how to upgrade my Canon 6D mark I? I bought the 5DS second hand in February for about the same price as you as I saw it as an upgrade, and I could still use my EF lenses. I am very happy with it for landscape photography, I’m enjoying the extra detail, which as you found, also helps with recovering shadows. I bought the Canon 100-400 mm a few years ago to give me more landscape photography options but I’ve also started photographing wildlife with it and the better autofocusing system of the 5DS over the 6D has helped with that too. It’s expensive to completely change systems so I think the 5DS was a better option for me.

  8. I have a Canon 6D mkII because I find it to be a smaller lightweight camera. It takes good images and I am pleased with it. I just need to find a decent light weight camera bag now that holds my tripod. I struggle to carry everything when I go out walking. I think you need to find the camera that suits you. I sometimes like Street photography so my camera is smaller and not as 'in your face' as other DSLR cameras, but it is also good for landscapes, seascapes, sports and portraits. I find it does everything I need it to.

  9. Wow, that was a great test, Gary. You are so right, why spend money when your equipment is up to par. Showing off your latest purchase does not mean that you have a better camera.

  10. I have saked myself this question before. Looking to upgrade an elderly 40d. Want to go full frame, I was concerned that 50+ Mp might be overkill for me, where as a good mkiii/mkiv would suffice. But at the prices and low shutter counts I'm finding , a no brainer really. Next video of yours for me would be how to get sharp images from 50+ mp sensor.( suppose my tripod technique needs to be better than usual). Brilliant video, Thanks for putting it out here!!

  11. Well done Gary, a genuine side by side real world comparison – why are such things so rare? I am 'stuck' with old tech but cannot justify any upgrade. I can afford it, I just cannot convince myself it is worth it. Would rather spend £1200 on travel to be able to use the old work horse. Stay safe.

  12. Great vid as always Gary and an excellent comparison. Question though, the 5DS is even cheaper than the 5DSR, yet still delivers outstanding quality images. I have the 5D3 and 5DS. The quality jump from pure file size from the 5D3 to the 5DS is jaw dropping and as you say the bang for buck is fantastic when comparing to the latest and greatest for 'landscape and portrait' photography, however they are not as competitive for sports/ wildlife, i think the R5 is more a capable all rounder in that sense. I'll be looking forward to the R5 review, the price of that tech is crazy! Hopefully Canon release the R7 for a more budget friendly and versatile body for all to switch to.
    That all said, I still prefer the Optical rather than digital viewfinder! Even though for landscapes I shoot Live-view! 😛

  13. I love your show, your a dedicated Canon shooter as I am too. I've been shooting on the 5dsr now for a full year. Theres no camera at this moment in my opinion for my needs that matches its simplicity of use. I shoot it for street, macro, portraits and most of all for landscapes here in Canada. I'm glad you're on board with this camera. To view some of my photos I've taken @Instagram erickson_photography_. Keep inspiring Gary your a stand up guy.

  14. The original Canon EOS R has got to be up there in regards to bang-for-buck at present.
    I purchased mine including the EF-RF adaptor for £1250 in pretty much new condition. Yes I understand there was issues when it first came out but I do think they have addressed 90% of what they could through firmware updates.

    Able to take the same batteries as the 5D series, Lighter, EVF, Future proof but also backwards compatible.

    One thing that you may or may not also realise from going to the EOS R is increased sharpness from the same lenses you have already.
    The EOS R range of cameras use "On Sensor" Phase detection. There is no requirement for micro-adjustment, and this is why there is no option for it.
    The EVF is a game changer if you shoot landscapes and more so if do a lot of long exposures, being able to see through the 10 stop image to compose your grads etc… really makes things a lot easier.

    Having shot with canons from the 450D upwards to the 5DmkIII I then moved to fuji. Due to various reasons I recently switched back and opted for the EOS R. Am I glad I did, you bet I am.
    The only niggle I have had since getting it is the backwards compatibility with some older third party lenses but this is documented.

    As a side note the EOS R + Macro lens makes a fantastic combination for digitising 35 +120 Film. I have been over the moon with how my Negatives come out with this combination to the point that I sold my scanner.

  15. Hey there, Gary. Would a good, wide-angle prime lens limit banding / aberration in the shadows when used with the 5D3? Perhaps, then, shadow degradation might relate to optical performance of the wide-angle zoom lens and not the sensor. Shadow-lifting is a problem I’ve encountered with the 5D3 when moving from the edited image to printing. I have considered the 5DS and 5DSr as options. But really it may be time to work with 2021 technology. Looking forward to your R5 video and what is revealed. Also, thanks for the R6 video.

  16. interesting vid mate.. i agree with your point.. marketing makes us feel there are more advances in tech than there actually are.. i say 5 years to see a big change in sensor DR and ISO.. an amazing camera for sure..

    bang for buck if you have the lenses then yes 100% bargain.. if not then I'm thrilled with the z7, but more for the lens sizes and sharpness over what I had on my canons, tho I can't test and say for certain.. but its more the video and mirrorless advantages that make me prefer the z7.. ibis focusing options (peaking & face/eye detect) and smaller body size.. i paid 1700 for mine.. mint 3000 shutter (tho mirrorless its irrelevant)

    The ecosystem for canon is the winner.. there are a billion cheap used lenses with that mount.. if you're not looking for the new lens range then hell yeah mate you've got a bargain. for stills and landscape/ commercial shooter its a bargain.. the rest of the bells in the R5 are pointless. Excited to see how they compare.. id be willing to guess there isn't much in it! Especially considering the difference in dolla! x

  17. Really interesting video Gary.
    I had a 5d mark ii which I loved, it was my 1st proper camera for landscape photography. It had its down sides so I thought I’d up grad to the 5dsr about 12 months ago. Long story short, I have just sold it and all my canon lenses are going too. I really didn’t get on very well with this camera at all. 50% of the time I went out I failed to come back with anything useful, which is a shame! The iso range isn’t great, anything over 500 and the images have a lot of noise in them, I found the shadows also had lots of noise and areas of green and purple too. That might of been a result of the 24-70 l lens but I still suffer with the shaper 16-35 l lens.
    Anyhow I will be moving to the Nikon z system. It’s a real shame as I love canon but this last camera failed in my use case. When weather conditions were good it would take a fantastic photo, but when they weren’t it was a bit hopeless
    Really interested in the next camera test with the R5
    Thanks for the video Gary, I hope you get the very best from the 5dsr that you have now 👍

  18. Yes!! I absolutely LOVE the 5DSR. Could not agree more that it has tremendous value, even in 2021. When it can be found for 1/4 the cost of an R5, it definitely is a compelling option.

  19. It would be interesting to get Steve Gosling out with his Olympus and 7-14 F4 for a comparison. Take into account convenience features such as time lapse, IBIS, various bracketing features. The Olympus might surprise you,

    Oh, when comparing cameras, focal length of the lens is irrelevant. Match on angle of view. Match aspect ration in settings.

  20. Some photographers like to shoot some places in landscape and portrait shapes. With the 50 megapixel cameras, you don't need to. Just crop later.

    With the 5Ds cameras, you can frame more loosely to have more flexibility in post.

    Canon rates the dynamic range of these two cameras about the same.

    Canon has a list of lenses rated as suitable for the 5Ds cameras. The 50mm F1.8 II is n the list, the 17-40L F4 is not..

  21. For those undecided, do not overlook the Pentax K1, or the K2. It has been described as the best landscape camera ever made. I have examined the K1. It is indeed impressive. However, I agree with Derek Gillian. The best camera is the one I am using.

  22. Looking forward to hearing about the comparison between to 5DSR and the R5 to see if you come up with the same conclusions that I did after comparing them for landscapes a couple of weeks ago! I know what’s staying in my bag for landscapes. 😊

  23. Nice, I've been looking at the DSR but was concerned about the tight packed photo sites on the sensor and how that might adversely affect images but this clears that up
    I assume you'll be offering larger than 20 x 30 inch prints now too 🙂

  24. I enjoy my 5dsr the R5 is too expensive especially if you don’t need the af features. I would expect the R5 to deliver better DR but if you can’t
    get good landscape photos with the 5dsr the R5 won’t fix your problem . For wildlife and action I am more tempted by the R5 but it’s rather expensive !

  25. The landscape in the video opens up to an alternative, even. Imagine you want an image angle of a 14mm full frame lens – but you have "only" 20mm. Imagine you "only have 24MP in the camera and you think you need more. Here we go. Place an Arca-compatible pan disc (1) on that cheap Manfrotto (MF) head in the video – the MF head now becomes a leveling base. Place a nodal slide with another Arca lock (2) in the pan base. Place the camera with an Arca compatible quick release mount (3) in the nodal slide. Find the nodal point of you lens (document that for future use).
    Now we have a setup that gives you a slightly wider image angle from 3 overlapping shots in vertical (aka "portrait") orientation. With 1/3rd overlap, imagine we use 24MP of left and right image and 8MP of the middle one – the sum MP now is 56MP. Set camera to all manual (ISO, WB, exposure time and aperture) and it is easy.
    Panorama stitching is best done in Photoshop – it does this exceptionally well. If you want to have more pixels for a huge print, you could sample the individual images up in e.g. Topaz Gigapixel AI that can take your image up to 32,000 (or so) pixels on the longest side, which you can subsequently stitch in Photoshop. You now have turned 6,000 into, say, 30,000, and 4,000+4,000+1,333=9,333 (*5 for upsampling) = 46,667 and this gives 1,400MP. (4)
    The nodal slide and rotating around the lens's nodal point is essential in the foreground (you'll have a lot with such wide angles). You could do this with a 50mm, but you need multi-row panorama shots. Photoshop can stitch that, but this ups the requirement to a 3D nodal slide that allows to bring the lens in the vertical nodal point too.
    (1) a simple indexing rotator for panoramas US$54.95 (sunwayfoto DDP-64SI @ B&H)
    (2) nodal slide rail with Arca type lock US$39.95 (sunwayfoto DMP-200R @ B&H)
    (3) could be an Arca compatible universal L-bracket US$29.90 (sunwayfoto DPL-08 @ B&H) – note that a universal plate does not "register" the camera in position with the sensor parallel to the bracket base and slightly more money buys a version that would do this, but is camera model specific.
    (4) you may need to upgrade your computer's memory or buy a new one 😉 – note that Lightroom bases its processing on your raw image's long side resolution and that of your display. My €2,000 notebook could easily handle 2 displays of 4K next to each other until I upgraded to a 46MP camera and the notebook became essentially unusable. It now sits in the studio to write tethered shots to storage.

    Photographic disclaimer: hard wind, or subject motion in general, may become a challenge when you must build an image from multiple shots. Think of fast moving clouds and moving plants. Waterfalls where you want the water to be motion-blurred is not a problem, though. Photoshop is very clever and can stitch very difficult images – you'll have to experiment in order to build a feeling for what you can do with this setup.

  26. Norman Wright.
    I suppose your videos are not for me anymore as I only have a Canon 7d and only just being able to afford one of these, I have enjoyed your videos in the past but now it seems to be all about expensive gear.

  27. Great video Gary and pleased that you are happy with your new camera ………….. I recently upgraded and bought the Canon EOS R (which I'm very pleased with) ……… I have to say if I had seen this video prior to that, who knows ? 😊📷👍

  28. Interesting test and should be the same with the R5. I suspect that even though I own an R5 and absolutely love it, you will find the 5D SR still good for your needs as the pixel counts are similar and the extra features of the R5 won’t be useful for your type of photography.

  29. Money for money the 5D3 wins but I see ( maybe me ) a depth and tonality superiority in the 5Dsr images.
    I've also loaded the two images and as well as the file size difference the sharpness and the ability to push and pull the 5Dsr images is quite impressive.
    By the way on the 5Dsr image there is a dust spot , which I'm sure you see but I'm not sure what the line is in the top right had corner?
    Is it in all your 5Dsr images?

  30. I did get quite confused last video Gary and thought you'd gone mirror less 😁 I picked up a new 5dsr from the US B&H photo around the turn of the year, my other camera is a 70D. What's making me concerned is cannon discontinuing ef mount lenses, do you think you'll do a video on that? Great video by the way.

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