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Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II and the Canon EOS 5DS R are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and February 2015. The RX1R II is a fixed lens compact, while the 5DS R is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 42.2 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 50.3 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Sony RX1R II   Canon 5DS R
Sony RX1R II Canon 5DS R
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
35mm f/2.0 Canon EF mount lenses
42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 50.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-102400) ISO 100-6400 (50-12800)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots 3.2" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
220 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
113 x 65 x 72 mm, 507 g 152 x 116 x 76 mm, 930 g

Body comparison: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX1R II and the Canon 5DS R is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the RX1R II – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony RX1R II and Canon 5DS R
Compare RX1R II versus 5DS R top
Compare RX1R II or 5DS R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5DS R is considerably larger (140 percent) than the Sony RX1R II. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5DS R is splash and dust-proof, while the RX1R II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R II has a lens built in, whereas the 5DS R is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 5DS R and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the RX1R II gets 220 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the 5DS R can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX1R II» 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Canon 5DS R« 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 17.2 oz 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The RX1R II was launched at a lower price than the 5DS R, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 5DS R is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX1R II and Canon 5DS R sensor measures

With 50.3MP, the 5DS R offers a higher resolution than the RX1R II (42.2MP), but the 5DS R has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.14μm versus 4.50μm for the RX1R II). It is noteworthy in this context that the RX1R II is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the 5DS R, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5DS R are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-12800..

RX1R II versus 5DS R MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the RX1R II provides substantially higher image quality than the 5DS R, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Sony RX1R II» Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
Canon 5DS R« Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
Sony A7S« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287Sony A7S
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX1R II has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 5DS R has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX1R II and Canon 5DS R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Sony RX1R II»2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 4000 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
Canon 5DS R«optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n Nikon D850
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
Sony A7S« »2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7S
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n Sony A7R
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1

One feature that is present on the 5DS R, but is missing on the RX1R II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The RX1R II writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the 5DS R uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The 5DS R features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the RX1R II only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II and Canon EOS 5DS R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Sony RX1R II»YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
Canon 5DS R«YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
Sony A7S« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1

It is notable that the RX1R II offers wifi support, while the 5DS R does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the RX1R II and the 5DS R are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The RX1R II replaced the earlier Sony RX1R, while the 5DS R does not have a direct predecessor.


Review summary: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX1R II and the Canon 5DS R? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the 5DS R requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 152x116mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the 5DS R).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the 5DS R).

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 5DS R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (50.3 vs 42.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX1R II emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

RX1R II 14:11 5DS R

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX1R II or the 5DS R handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX1R II»-82/100-rev4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Canon 5DS R«Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D850« »HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S« »-86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Sony RX1R II vs Canon 5DS R

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony RX1R II Canon 5DS R
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2015 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 3299 USD 3699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 36.0 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0 1.0
    Sensor Resolution 42.2 Megapixels 50.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7952 x 5304 pixels 8688 x 5792 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.50 μm 4.14 μm
    Pixel Density 4.93 MP/cm2 5.82 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO 50-12800 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X DIGIC 6 (Dual)
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots n/a
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards CF or SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack LP-E6 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)220 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 113 x 65 x 72 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    152 x 116 x 76 mm
    (6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 507 g (17.9 oz) 930 g (32.8 oz)

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