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Canon 5DS breaks the megapixel barrier (pictures)

It might not look it from the outside, but the Canon 5DS is hiding a 50-megapixel sensor. Take a look at what else is new.

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Lexy Savvides
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Lexy Savvides
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1 of 8 Lexy Savvides/CNET

More like crazypixels

The Canon 5DS and 5DS R (pictured here) boast a 50.6-megapixel CMOS sensor. That's not a typo, it actually has an output resolution of 50.6 megapixels. The sensor is full-frame, just like the earlier 5D cameras. Rather than replacing the 5D Mark III, it will sit above it in the Canon range.

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R you ready?

The two models are identical apart from one important feature: the 5DS R has a low-pass cancellation filter inside to deliver the maximum resolution from the sensor. The 5DS R is designed for photographers who need the sharpest image possible, such as landscape photographers.

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AF system

The autofocus system in the 5DS and 5DS R is lifted from the 5D Mark III. This means a 61-point AF array with 41 cross-type points.

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Up top

Although it looks remarkably similar to the 5D Mark III in most respects, the mode dial now features raised markings rather than a flat plate. The top LCD screen remains the same.

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Two to tango

Befitting a professional-grade dSLR, the 5DS and 5DS R have dual card slots: Compact Flash and SD.

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Crop to your heart's content

Sometimes, 50 megapixels is just too much. The cameras allow you to choose a crop ratio that reduces the output to 19 megapixels which is a bit more manageable for certain applications. Select from full (no crop); 1.3x (APS-H equivalent crop); or 1.6x (APS-C equivalent crop). The viewfinder also blacks out around the crop area to show you exactly what is being captured.

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Huge pixels

Let's just take a look at that image quality screen. Yep, it's definitely saying 50 megapixels…

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Ports ahoy

Serious video users will still want to grab the 5D Mark III, as the 5DS and 5DS R don't have headphone monitoring. USB 3.0 is a nice addition, though.

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