Ask Charlotte, Camera Gear, Photography

Canon 5DsR — Still a great camera?

“Ask Charlotte” is my landscape photography advice blog. Have a question about photography? Go ahead. Ask me. I’m delighted to hear from people who share my passion. I’ll do my best to answer your question thoroughly, and who knows, maybe we will both learn something new! So, what’s your burning question?


Hi Charlotte,

I just bought a canon 5DSR (I don’t know if that was very smart with everything going mirrorless, but at $1500.00 for a new one I couldn’t resist). I was going to buy a 24-70 F/4 L, but they quit making them and the 24-70 F/2.8 is $1,000.00 more. So, my question is what are your thoughts on lenses for this camera ? Should you use F/2.8 lenses given the high megapixels or F/4 if mainly shooting landscape ?
Thank You

Hi Alan,

Thanks for reaching out and congratulations on your new camera purchase! At $1,500 the Canon 5DsR is a steal! I still have my 5DsR and love it, even though I mostly shoot with my Canon R5 mirrorless now. But, there’s something about working with a single lens reflex camera that just can’t compare with mirrorless. I love to see the real scene through the camera’s mirror, not through an LED interpretation of it. So, I still prefer my 5DsR from a creative standpoint.


Regarding which lenses to use with the camera, it really depends on what you are intending to photograph. Since I primarily photograph landscapes, my main go-to lenses are the 24-105 ƒ/4 L and the 70-200 ƒ/2.8 L. The reason I own the ƒ/2.8 version of the 70-200mm lens versus the ƒ/4 version is because I also use the lens to photograph indoors from time to time which requires a wider aperture. It is also a great lens for portraiture, where a shallow depth of field is desirable, and opening it up to ƒ/2.8 will achieve that beautiful bokeh effect. But it is a heavier lens than the ƒ/4 version. For landscape work, my aperture is usually set around ƒ/16, depending on the scene and the situation, so I tend to use slower and lighter weight lens selections whenever possible.

I also own the 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 L lens, and I do use it for landscape from time to time, although it is a heavy lens so I don’t use it much in the field. It is quite a sharp lens and is an excellent addition to the bag. I purchased that one because I needed a lens for travel and photographing indoor scenes.

The only other time I’ve needed a lens with a very wide aperture is for astrophotography. I have a Zeiss 21mm ƒ/2.8 for that purpose. It is very sharp all the way to the corners. However, I don’t recommend using the 5DsR for astro work. The one thing about working with the 5DsR that you should know is that it doesn’t handle low light situations well — it can be quite noisy in the shadows. And, it doesn’t perform well at higher ISOs, so I don’t recommend that you push it too high. You really start to notice noise around 800 ISO.

When Canon released the 5DsR in 2015, it blew away the competition with its whopping 50.6 megapixels on a full frame sensor. Today, this camera is not known for its exceptional dynamic range compared to some competitors, although it still packs an impressive range. The detail is phenomenal. You’ll love that aspect of it.

So, with the 5DsR, make sure you give it lots of light and it will perform beautifully for you!

If you’re interested, you can see my complete gear list here.

Have a great time!


Charlotte Gibb is a contemporary fine art photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in landscapes of the Western United States. Her images are often taken in familiar places for the well-versed landscape photographer, but she prides herself on her keen eye toward the subtle and sometimes overlooked beauty of the natural world. Growing up among the beautiful mountains of Northern California, she considers herself a student of life, learning about people, nature, music, and photography along the way. But always, her life-long passion for the wilderness shines through it all. Charlotte earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has exhibited her work in several solo shows throughout California. Her darkroom, long gone now, has been replaced with digital darkroom tools, and her style has evolved from a somewhat journalistic approach, to one that pays tribute to the natural world. 

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