3 things I've been very eager to try together this year is the new Canon 5DSR, the Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 & Profoto's B1 - I recently took all of them to Prague to see how they would perform individually and together. The Sigma Art Primes on the 5DSR can only be described as other worldly when paired with Profoto's B1 - and while the Canon 5DSR does present some unique challenges in real world use, the files it produces are truly sublime.
As a long time Canon 1D user - the X the 3DS and the MK V1 all have full -time homes in my kitbag, I wasn't sure what to expect with the Canon 5DSR. I'd read the hype and the sales blurb, but have to admit to being a little dubious about 50 mega pixels on a full frame sensor.
I'm not a technophile and like my equipment to get out of the way while I shoot and have become very used to the workman like functionality of the Canon pro bodies over the years. This camera is not like that. Not at first anyway. Coming from the 1DX which really does do just about everything thrown at it very well - the Canon 5DSR is how shall I say it, a bit more "precious" and needs coaxing and talking to nicely to give you it's best. A bit like riding an unsaddled Arabian horse - but it really is worth the extra effort.
After a few natural light test shots when I arrived in Prague, I headed straight to a camera store to purchase a monopod to use with the camera. I personally could not shoot handheld at lower speeds than 1/200th of a second to get sharp files - you may have a better technique than me - but my 5DSR will live on a monopod or a tripod for natural light photography. Strobes make a huge difference here and handheld shutter speeds of down to 1/50th of a second produced great results.
I actually love the form factor of the Canon 5DSR after the 1D bodies - it felt like a travel camera ;-) I have ordered the battery grip though after shooting with it for a week as I am just too used to the portrait grip setup of the 1D's.
Using fast cards the Canon 5DSR was actually much faster in use than I had expected - blazingly fast actually when you consider the amount of data thats pumping through it - and it works perfectly with the recycle time of the Profoto B1 - like a perfect dance.
What I have been impressed the most with however is not just the insane amount of detail the Canon 5DSR captures - but the quality and workability of the RAW files - I wasn't expecting that. To my eyes the files have the same dynamic range and tonal capabilities as the 1DX files which are only 18 megapixels on the same size sensor.
I am sure there are people out there that will disagree with that statement - but in real world use, I can't see or feel the difference when working with the files in Lightroom. There may be some but it's academic in my opinion.
Overall, once I got my head around the fact that I wouldn't be shooting handheld at anything below 1/200th of second or anything over 400 ISO - this camera shines - big time. Probably not the ideal camera for wedding photographers in a real time setting - but perfect for staged engagement shoots etc. Best to take a 5DMK111 to shoot the wedding with.
I did however attend a friends Polish wedding while visiting Europe and shot it with the Canon 5DSR (the only body I took with me) not an experience I would recommend - very stressful compared with a 1DX or 5DMK111 which are made for shooting weddings - the results however were very good - but lots of key moments were missed. ( I was not the official photographer ) the results are below.
The combination of the Canon 5DSR and the all of the current Sigma Art series lenses works extremely well - the rendition, colour and sharpness is simply amazing. All of the yellow dress images here were shot with the Sigma Art 50mm which will likely live on the 5DSR for most of the time.
The hardest thing now will be feeling a sense of "oh is that it" when next uploading a Canon 1DX file to the screen - I'm not sure how you go back to 18mp from 50mp with out feeling let down:-)