Canon EOS 5DS vs Nikon D850

  • Full frame
  • 51 megapixels
  • Canon EF
  • 60
    Overall
  • 42
    Imaging
  • 55
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 46 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 63
    Overall
  • 46
    Imaging
  • 85
    Features
  • 69
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Canon EOS 5DS vs Nikon D850: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Canon and Nikon. Models we are reviewing in this article have different types of sensors, Thus, Canon EOS 5DS is equipped with a 51.0 MP CMOS sensor. Nikon D850, on the contrary, features BSI-CMOS sensor with a resolution of 46.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Canon EOS 5DS Key Features:

  • 51.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 12800)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 152 x 116 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 930 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No

Nikon D850 Key Features:

  • 46.0 MP Full frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 64 - 25600 (Expands to 32 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 7.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 146 x 124 x 79 mm
  • Weight: 1015 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Nikon D810. Compare

Why is Canon EOS 5DS a better choice than Nikon D850

Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP vs 46.0 MP 9.8% more pixels
Sensor Area 864 mm2 vs 858.01 mm2 0.7% larger pixel area
Weight 930 g vs 1015 g 85 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D850 over Canon EOS 5DS

Wireless Connectivity Built-In vs No Better connectivity
NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Bluetooth Yes vs No Connect your camera to other devices via Bluetooth
Continuous Shooting 7 fps vs 5 fps 2 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 153 vs 61 92 more focus points
Number Of Cross Focus Points 99 vs 41 58 more cross focus points
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots vs 1,040k dots 55.9% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Battery Life 1840 shots vs 700 shots 1140 more frames with a single charge
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 26.4 vs 24.7 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.8 vs 12.4 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2660 vs 2381 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.75 vs 0.71 0.04 better magnification

Key PROs of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850

Screen Size 3.2″ | 3.2″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots | 2,359k dots High resolution screen
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP | 46.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 slots | 2 slots Extra Storage Slots
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions
Battery Life 700 shots | 1840 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850

Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps | 7.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Canon EOS 5DS vs Nikon D850: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 from the front view.

Canon EOS 5DS
Nikon D850
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Canon EOS 5DS
Nikon D850
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Canon EOS 5DS is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 85g less than the Nikon D850. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5DS — 700 shots
Nikon D850 — 1840 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5DS — 76 mm
Nikon D850 — 79 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5DS — 930 g
Nikon D850 — 1015 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Canon EOS 5DS features a 51.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Nikon D850, in its turn, comes with a 46.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 by the size of their sensors.

Canon EOS 5DS
Nikon D850
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Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850
Portrait Photography
100%
94%
Street Photography
73%
88%
Sports Photography
97%
99%
Daily Photography
80%
68%
Landscape Photography
98%
100%

Canon EOS 5DS for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (51 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D850 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (46 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5DS for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D850 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1840 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5DS for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (61)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (41)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2381)
  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)
  • Small battery life (700 shots)

Nikon D850 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (153)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (99)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2660)
  • Big battery life (1840 shots)
  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (7.0 fps)

Canon EOS 5DS for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (930 g)
  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D850 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1015 g)
  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Canon EOS 5DS for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (51 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2381)

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Nikon D850 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (46 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.8)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2660)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Canon EOS 5DS vs Nikon D850: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Canon EOS 5DS or Nikon D850, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Canon EOS 5DS and Nikon D850 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D850 deserves a higher Total Score than the Canon EOS 5DS. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Canon EOS 5DS vs Nikon D850 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850
General
Brand Canon Nikon
Model EOS 5DS D850
Announced Feb 06, 2015 Aug 24, 2017
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS BSI-CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 24 mm 35.9 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Area 864.00 mm2 858.01 mm2
Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP 46.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 8688 x 5792 8256 x 5504
Max Native ISO 6,400 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 12,800 102,400
Min Native ISO 100 64
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Canon EF Nikon F
Number of Lenses 256 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 61 153
Number of Cross Focus Points 41 99
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Tilting
Screen Size 3.2″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots 2,359k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.71 0.75
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps 7.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes no built-in flash Front-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial Yes Yes
AF-Area No Yes
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 87 100
DxO Color Depth 24.7 26.4
DxO Dynamic Range 12.4 14.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2381 2660
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p) 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 3840 x 2160
Video Formats H.264 MPEG-4
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof Yes No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 930 g 1015 g
Physical Dimensions 152 x 116 x 76 mm 146 x 124 x 79 mm
Battery Life 700 shots 1840 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model LP-E6 EN-EL15a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible), CompactFlash SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
Storage Slots 2 2

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