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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Expert Review

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Expert Review - We review the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, with a 30 megapixel full-frame sensor and 4K video recording, could this be the best DSLR from Canon yet?

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in Digital SLRs



Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (22)

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

Canon EOS 5D IV Vs Mark III (3)

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
  • Improved handling
  • USB3

Canon EOS 5D Range

Here we run through some of the main features and differences between the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, III and IV:

5D Mark II 5D Mark III 5D Mark IV

21.1mp FF sensor
3inch 920K dot screen
9 AF points
ISO50-25600
3.9fps continuous shooting
150,000 shutter rating
FullHD video, 30fps
CompactFlash
USB2
Mic socket
N/A
Weather-sealed
850 shot battery life
152x113.5x75mm size
Weight 810g
£2599 RRP (when new)

22.3mp FF sensor
3.2inch 1040K dot screen
61 AF points
ISO50-102400
6fps continuous shooting
150,000 shutter rating
FullHD video, 30,25,24fps
SD/CompactFlash
USB2
Mic, Headphone
N/A
Weather-sealed
950 shot battery life
152x116.4x76.4mm size
Weight 950g
£2999 RRP (when new)

30.4mp FF sensor
3.2inch 1.62m dot touch 
61 AF points (with phase)
ISO50-102400
7fps continuous shooting
150,000 shutter rating
4K, FullHD video
SD/CompactFlash
USB3
Mic, Headphone
GPS + Wi-Fi built-in

Weather-sealed (improved)
900 shot battery life
150.7x116.4x75.9mm size
Weight 890g
£3629 RRP

*To see how the 5D compares to the Mark I, see our 5D Mark I vs Mark II vs Mark III comparison.

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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (17)

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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (19)

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. 

Key Features

  • 30.4 megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor (latest generation, same generation as 1DX II, and 80D)
  • 3.2inch Touchscreen, active all the time
  • 100% viewfinder, 0.71x magnification, Intelligent Viewfinder 2
  • 61-point AF, (very similar to 1DX II), f/8 sensitive, -3EV
  • 150,000 pixel RGB+IR sensor (same as 5DS/5DS-r), Flicker detection (updated since 7D-II)
  • ISO50-102400 (ISO100 to ISO32000 before expansion)
  • 7fps continuous shooting full-res, 21 raw files, unlimited JPEG files
  • 4.3fps live view continuous Servo AF
  • 150,000 - Shutter rating
  • SD and CompactFlash
  • USB3.0, miniHDMI out, Flash Sync, Remote terminal (at front)
  • 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

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (5)

Video Features

  • 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

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (7)

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 (9)
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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Battery Grip BG-E20 (6)

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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (8)

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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (12)
 

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. 

Canon Camera Connect1 Canon Camera Connect Remote Shooting Canon Camera Connect Camera Settings
Main menu Remote shooting Camera Settings

 



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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Comments


25 Aug 2016 11:02AM
Surely the 1Ds was the first full frame Canon. Introduced end of 2002.

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sherlob Plus
11 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2016 11:31AM
3629 RRP - Well at this price point I suspect a good number of enthusiasts are likely to be priced out of the market. Me for one.
ChrisV Plus
10 1.7k 26 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2016 11:41AM
ISO32000 before expansion? That seems like an odd ceiling [not being a whole stop number], although the more logical 3200 seems a bit on the conservative side.

I suppose the devil will be in the detail with this camera as initially it doesn't seem much of a dramatic leap from the mkIII. The price does seem a bit of a leap though, although it possibly shouldn't be a surprise as Canon's prices have crept up not so gradually over the last few years, I bought my 5dII probably somewhere in the middle of its production cycle for around 1650. Launch prices are always higher, but at around double that, this is a definite 'ouch'.
RJPhoto 4 11 1 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2016 2:00PM
The old 1 series used an APS-H sensor, which is smaller than full frame but bigger than APS-C, so I think this is right that the 5D was the first full frame for Canon.

With respect to this new MKIV, the price is higher than the 5Ds (and r) - are Canon thinking this camera will appeal to more users overall, or is the new video facility and the 5D reputation making them think they can basically charge the earth? The price is just ridiculous. One look at the Pentax K1 at less than half the price with a bigger sensor, pixel shift and lots of other useful bits (including a better rear screen) will make a lot of photographers question their upgrade route, even Sony's A7rII also looks good value compared to this.

I have a 5D MKII, a 5Ds and a 6D and can't see how the new MKIV will make me go for it now my MKII needs replacing. I shoot portraits, weddings and landscapes, with some commercial work, and unless Canon botch up the 6DMKII I think that could be a better bet for me, and basically photographers everywhere, rather than videographers.
25 Aug 2016 2:25PM
Canon 1Ds was the FIRST full frame camera ! I still have an 1Ds Mkii. Here's the start of a review:

The EOS-1Ds is Canon's newest professional SLR. Based on the EOS-1D body the EOS-1Ds raises resolution to 11 megapixels, uses a CMOS sensor (just like the EOS-D30 and D60) and is the first Canon digital SLR with a sensor which captures a full 35 mm frame. (Source DPReview)
RJPhoto 4 11 1 United Kingdom
27 Aug 2016 11:08AM
You're quite right, the 1D was APS-H, the 1Ds full frame.
karl 13 640 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2016 11:50AM
RE: RRP - Don't forget the exchange rates have moved massively out of favour for us recently, which has an effect on the price, as does inflation.
joshwa Plus
6 821 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2016 10:02AM
Full review now live
Techno Plus
8 2.2k 8 England
7 Oct 2016 9:29AM
it's a shame that the screen doesn't tilt....................Why?
joshwa Plus
6 821 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2016 11:13AM

Quote: it's a shame that the screen doesn't tilt....................Why?


Some people find tilting screens useful, particularly when using live view for stills or video.
RJPhoto 4 11 1 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2016 12:56PM
Agree - shooting from the hip like the good old days of the Blad is a nice feature to have - Sony and Pentax both have this nailed (ok, so for fashion type work where the subject isn't racing all over your studio) as this position gives the best perspective on whole body shoots. Looks like we'll have to continue kneeling or bending our bad backs.
Techno Plus
8 2.2k 8 England
7 Oct 2016 3:26PM

Quote: it's a shame that the screen doesn't tilt....................Why?

Some people find tilting screens useful, particularly when using live view for stills or video.

I will concede that on odd occasions it would be useful, i.e. lying prone in wild flower meadow at ground level, but, my memory goes back to an accident I had with a Fuji x30 in the Lake district where moisture found its way into the LCD around the ribbon cable, very difficult to water proof, those are my personal thoughts.....
Thanks for your feedback Joshwa....Wink
12 Oct 2016 10:12PM
You do not mention that the function of the row of buttons in front of the top screen has been reversed for each button. That will surely cause confusion for people who use two bodies, say, a 5DIII and a 5DIV.
12 Oct 2016 11:16PM
re my above post. I now understand that although the symbols have been reversed, the same dials are used as in earlier versions of the 5D
I'm an enthusiast photographer and I shoot various genres including, landscape, studio and sport. Have had every iteration of the 5D and the MkIV has all the things that I wished the MkIII had. I have been using it for a month and it is a superb camera. The pixel count is ideal as it doesn't give the problems that occur at the more rarefied levels. The camera has an increase in dynamic range, lower noise (particularly in the shadows), is fast enough for most sport photography and has improved weather sealing. Having had problems with a tilt screen in the past I wouldn't give one a thank you. I use the Wi Fi remote shooting from my smartphone which works very well.
The layout follows the pattern as the MkIII and I have hardly had to refer to the manual to use the camera. The price is high, yes, but the performance across multiple genres is impressive. The camera is a true workhorse and a genuine jack of all trades and is master of most. We can expect to pay much more for many things in post Brexit Britain as the pound is at a 30 year low.
I have now been using the Mk IV for over 2 months and I have to say that I have found it to be an excellent camera. The dynamic range is much better, noise levels are better, focusing is improved in low light and the live view focusing is first class. I intended to use both this camera and my old 5D III but I instinctively go for the Mk IV, even if the MK II is sitting there ready to go with the right lens on. Is it worth the money? Well given the enjoyment I have had from it so far the answer is yes.

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