I was in Ponte de Lima in Portugal (Europe) and I was contemplating one of the best sunsets of my 10 days vacation. I was staying at the house of a friend’s grand parents, when we discovered an awesome light and cloud formation in the sky. We went out fast and I chose to NOT take my camera, to just have a look at it in reality instead of seeing it on the screen or through my viewfinder. I told my friend Mauricio while we were rushing down the stairs that, in the past, I have always regretted not taking my camera with me on moments like these.
While we were watching the sun set along their famous bridge, I saw someone take shots with a Canon cam right next to me. When I looked at him, I heard him say “nice” while he was looking at the sunset. I just started talking to him about how nice that moment looked. I asked him which camera it was, because he had put black tape on the brand and model names to prevent people to wanting to steal it. He took his strap off and put it around my neck and said “here take it and have a look”. I said “oh, ok…can I change some settings please?”. “Sure, press all the buttons you like”. He didn’t know I was into photography.
It was a 5D Mark II and I remembered how to fiddle around with it as I had the 5D III. I switched it to Av and put the ISO to auto. The 50mm 1.2 was attached to it. I then wanted to take my first shot without thinking about anything but the moment, but…it didn’t focus. That’s a funny irony for me, as a Sony shooter. I have to listen (or read) all the time from many people how the autofocus is (appearently) not good but I can tell you one thing for sure, without wanting to start a focus war yet again, the 5D2 is way worse than the A7R II. So I tried to find bigger contrast on the horizon and it worked.
We then started to talk about cameras and that’s when he told me that he also had a 5DSR locked in his travelling van. After a couple of beers and some talk about drones, beer, ireland, national geographic and godzilla we agreed to meet the next morning so I could test out Canon’s latest.
So there we were the next day, 11 am, at the exact spot we met the day before. He gave me his 5DSR and off we went for a one hour long shoot in the streets of Ponte de Lima.
MY HANDS ON EXPERIENCE
I must say that first off, I am not really into mirrorfull cameras, because of their weight and bulk. Now that this is out, let’s move on.
I had an awesome time with the 5DSR. There is nothing else to say. I am (in general) not close-minded and intolerant, picking a side very quickly. I am not an opportunist either, but instead (in terms of gear and brands) I just like what’s good. My A7R II is good. The 5DSR is good, too.
It is in fact fun to shoot. In terms of stats my Sony cam has it all. But in terms of how it handles, the 5DSR is way ahead, for me. The main argument for this is simple: The 5DSR is way more snappy and responsive than Sony’s flagship. It is faster in everything it does, which does a huge difference in usage. I also found that lenses felt better balanced on the Canon than on my Sony. The strap that came with the Canon is of way better quality than Sony’s (of course you can always change straps). The startup time is way faster on the 5DSR. Autofocus was great and having the possibility to insert a backup flash card is a very good plus, too.
BUT OF COURSE…
– If you would like to shoot 4K (S-Log2, 100M) with it, then of course you can’t.
– If you would like to shoot stills in low light of non moving subjects to up to half a second hand-held, then of course you can’t.
– If you would like to have a higher dynamic range, then of course you can’t.
– If you want to shoot with a really good live view, then of course you can’t.
– If you would like to use peaking in manual mode, then of course you can’t.
– If you would like to have all the advantages of an EVF, then of course you can’t.
– If you would like a tiltable screen, NFC, Wifi, better ISO performance, lighter weight/size and slow mo videos, then of course you can’t.
But all in all. For what I have done in an hour of usage…I liked the 5DSR very much. It is a very capable and enjoyable camera. If you do not need the above-mentioned features, then you should, as a Canon shooter, stick to Canon. The cam is just great. Meanwhile, you will still see me sticking to my beloved A7R II, as it’s for me, despite its flaws, my all-time favorite camera.