36 Steps to the Perfect Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R Setup

My Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R cameras are here and as you expected, they are practically glued to my hands. These cameras are delivering simply amazing image quality.
 
I will have lots of additional info to share about this camera in the very near future, but once again, I kept notes as I unpacked and configured three copies of the world's highest resolution DSLR. Following are the 36 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 5Ds / 5Ds R ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Install Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare A+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(12800), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-6400
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Grid display: 3x3
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R
Posted: 6/25/2015 10:33:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Posted to: Canon News
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