The fourth version of the highly successful Canon EOS 5D, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is now available, and the latest version introduces a number of new features, including a new 30 megapixel full-frame sensor made by Canon, 7fps continuous shooting, 4K video recording, plus built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Features
The Canon EOS 5D was introduced in 2005 as the first affordable full-frame camera from Canon. When the 5D Mark II was introduced, in 2008, it transformed the industry as a Digital SLR capable of shooting FullHD video. Canon says the 5D Mark III, introduced in 2012, was a fully rounded DSLR, with a greatly improved focusing system, making up for any shortcomings in previous models. The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R were introduced with a 50-megapixel sensor, and are ideal for detail, and landscape type shots. (Side note: The largest number of World Press Photo winners of 2016 use a Canon EOS 5D series camera)
The 5D Mark IV improves on the 5D Mark III with a number of ways, which we have highlighted below:
New 30.4mp Full-Frame sensor
Dual-pixel AF system - improved live view and video focus speeds
3.2inch 1.62m dot touch-screen
7fps continuous shooting
4K video recording
GPS and Wi-Fi built-in
Dual pixel raw
Improved weather sealing
Here we run through some of the main features and differences between the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, III and IV:
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV makes a leap in resolution to a 30.4 megapixel full-frame sensor, and the new sensor uses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system for high-speed focusing on-sensor, which works in both live view shooting, and video recording. Canon's dual-pixel sensor was first seen in the Canon EOS 70D, and gives on sensor phase-detection focus. There are 61 AF points, and the focus system is now sensitive down to -4 EV.
The Mark IV has a very similar design to previous to make it familiar to people who have used other 5D cameras. The camera now features a deeper front grip and the rear thumb grip is bigger. There's also a new customisable button on the back, where your thumb lands. Introduced with the camera is a new battery grip, designed to match the 5D Mark IV design and control layout.
Dual pixel raw optimizer – This is a new feature that gives a number of benefits. For example, you can fine-tune images in post-production, altering the sharpness after the shot is taken, and make adjustments similar to lens Micro-adjustment. This means you can get more hits, and alter the focus point after taking the photo, or move the bokeh of an image. This is possible when editing the raw file in Canon's Digital Photo Professional software. You need to enable this in the menu, and switching “Dual pixel raw” on, means that camera records 65mb raw files, instead of the more usual 35mb raw image, due to the camera recording the dual pixels (left and right / A and B areas on the sensor). We'll go into more details on this later in the review.
GPS and Wi-Fi are built-in so you don't need to add any additional accessories. The Wi-Fi also supports FTP/FTPS so you can upload more quickly, and it's also compatible with the Canon Camera Connect app so you can shoot remotely and transfer images to a smartphone or tablet.
30.4 megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor (latest generation, same generation as 1DX II, and 80D)
Weather-sealed body - with improved weather proofing (extra grommets and seals)
Dual-axis electronic level
900 shot battery life
50g lighter, redesigned mirror box, aluminium used instead of stainless steel.
Wi-Fi/NFC/GPS/FTP transfer built-in
IPTC meta-data for news and sports photographers (International press and telecommunications)
DIGIC 6+ and DIGIC 6 image processor
Mirror vibration control system
Digital lens optimised for JPEG images
Fine detail picture style
4K video at 30/25/24p (DCI CINE resolution), upto 500Mbps
1080p video at 60/50/30/25/24fps, upto 180Mbps
720p at 120/100fps
Mic, Headphone sockets, Dual pixel AF
8.8mp images from 4K video (in-camera)
Time-lapse video creation
Built-in mono microphone
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Handling
For anyone familiar with the 5D series, particularly the 5D Mark III, 5DS and 5DS R, the 5D Mark IV will be immediately familiar, with a few tweaks to the layout of ports and a new custom button. There are numerous external buttons and controls making it quick to change settings, and with the top illuminated LCD display giving shooting information at a glance, you don't have to resort to looking at the rear screen, or menus.
As you would expect on a camera priced at over £3000, build quality is excellent, and the camera body has improved weather sealing. The camera has a thicker chassis and tripod socket than found on the 5D Mark III, as featured on the 5DS and 5DS R. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is quite heavy, however with a large handgrip covered in textured rubber you can get a good grip on the camera, and the camera is provided with a wide neck strap. There is a textured rubber area on the left of the camera as well. The ports on the side of the camera are updated to include: Mic, Headphone, HDMI, USB3, flash, and remote sockets.
Canon EOS 5D IV Vs Mark III
Focus is possible in low-light conditions down to -4 EV and up to 18 EV, which is an improvement over the 5DS and 5DS R. There are 61 AF points, covering a fairly wide area of the frame, and the full width of the APS-C 1.6x crop mode. When using Live View or recording video a much larger area of the frame is used for focus, as the camera can then switch to using the sensor-based phase detection pixels.
The optical viewfinder is large (with 0.71x magnification) and clear with a large rubber surround, as well as dioptre adjustment. The 3.2inch screen is large, clear, and bright with a good resolution of 1.6million dots and viewing angles are good. It's also quite clear and easy to use the screen outdoors in bright light however, it's a shame that the screen doesn't tilt.
The new custom button is also featured on the new battery grip, the BG-E20, which can be seen below.
The camera features a larger bump on top for GPS and Wi-Fi connection, and on the right-hand side if the NFC connection point, making it easy to connect to a compatible smartphone.
The menu system will be familiar to anyone who has used a recent Canon camera, but the range of options available has increased, particularly in the lens correction options. The menu system is logically and neatly arranged with colour coded sections, letting you change additional settings and options. The large number of buttons and controls on the camera mean you can change settings quickly without entering the menus, and the Q button makes it easy to change settings on the rear screen - the options here can be customised so you have quick access to your favourite settings. There is built-in help that can be accessed by pressing the INFO button, although studying the manual is recommended to fully understand all of the options. A comparative playback function lets you zoom in and view images side-by-side on the rear screen in playback, making it easy to see which image is correctly in focus.
Along with a variety of focus options in the menu system, there are auto focus (AF) scenarios built into the camera so that you can choose the most appropriate for your shooting situation. The choices optimise the following three options: Tracking sensitivity, Acceleration / Deceleration Tracking, and AF point auto switching - each can be increased or decreased +/-2. It's worthwhile studying the manual to get the best AF settings for your own shooting needs.
You can also use the touch-screen to scroll through the menus and change options. To spend more time reading each option in the menu below, simply pause the video:
The 5D Mark IV uses the same battery as the previous model, the LP-E6N, and the camera offers 900 shots. This means you don't need to worry about replacing any spare batteries you may have, as they will work on the new camera.
Continuous shooting has been improved, with the camera now able to shoot at 7fps at full resolution:
Wi-Fi features - With the camera featuring built-in Wi-Fi and NFC it's easy to set up a connection to a compatible (Android) smartphone with NFC built-in. Using Canon's Camera Connect app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, you can view and transfer images on the camera, shoot remotely as well as change camera settings, plus automatically update the camera's time.