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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Expert Review - Verdict

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Canon 24 105mm F4L IS II USM (7)

Value For Money

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is available for £3599 body only which makes it quite a sizeable investment.

Pentax K-1 - 36mp, 4.4fps, FullHD video, £1799
Nikon D810 - 36mp, 5fps, FullHD video, £2399
Sony Alpha A99 Mark II - 42mp BSI CMOS sensor, 12fps, 4K video, £2999 (due November)
Sony Alpha A7R Mark II - 42mp BSI CMOS sensor, 5fps, 4K video (CSC), £2599
Canon EOS 5DS R - 50mp, 5fps, FullHD video, £2899

If you can live without built-in GPS, then for video, the Sony Alpha A7R II would be an appealing alternative due to built-in 5-axis image stabilisation and 4K video recording. Being a CSC, the camera is also smaller, and cheaper, by around £1000.

Have a look at more Full-Frame DSLRs in our Top 10 Best FF DSLR Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Verdict

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV introduces a new 30.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, with dual-pixels, which can be used for quicker AF, as well as Canon's new "Dual Pixel Raw Optimizer" for fine adjustment of raw files after you've taken the shot. 4K CINE video recording gives the camera an edge in video recording when compared to 4K cameras that record in UHD resolution instead. Continuous shooting speed is improved, with the camera now shooting at 7fps, and the camera's weather sealing has been improved over previous models. The design remains very similar to previous versions of the 5D, but it has now been subtly refined to improve handling and control, thanks to a new custom button and improved grip. 

With GPS and Wi-Fi built-in, USB3, and more sockets than most, the 5D Mark IV is an extremely versatile DSLR, and there will be many photographers out there that will be extremely pleased with the performance of the 5D Mark IV, and rightly so. The continuous shooting speed makes the camera more competitive with other cameras, but isn't a massive increase over the Mark III. For 5D Mark III owners, upgrading to the Mark IV could not be as pressing. If you own a Mark II (or Mark I) and can afford the Mark IV, then the upgrade would make a lot of sense, particularly if you've built up a collection of Canon lenses. 

Dual Pixel Raw works well, but the difference can be quite subtle, and time-consuming if you want to get the best out of it, for example, stacking shots for sharper macro photos, as all processing must be done on your computer and can't be done on the camera. It would be better to use live view focus and the touch screen to get the photo right in camera in the first place (and here technologies such as face-detection, and eye-detection focus help in other camera brands). It would be nice if the screen tilted, particularly as using live-view for stills and video has become much more useful, and usable, with vastly improved live view focusing speeds. 

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the fourth version of the highly popular 5D series, and brings with it a number of improvements that make it a highly competitive full-frame Digital SLR. For the working professional, the updates, including IPTC meta-data, Wi-Fi (with FTP support), and GPS, will be extremely welcome, and the 5D Mark IV is likely to find itself equally popular, and extremely desirable for many. 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Pros

  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • 30 megapixel FF sensor
  • Excellent colour and white balance performance
  • Dual Pixel Raw optimizer can help with some scenes
  • 3.2 inch touch-screen
  • 4K CINE video recording
  • Very good noise performance
  • Impressive focus speeds

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Cons

  • Screen doesn't tilt
  • Price of new model 
  • Competition offers higher resolution

Overall Verdict

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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Details#136. Ivy Sniper142, practice runDon't Forget To Clean Behind Your EarsCentral ArcadeFulmarLeopard Chilling out.May Blossom on the Cut#135. Elfin#134. The Vault.#133. LaburnumBird of NightOralndoPassing ThroughAn angel

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25 Aug 2016 11:02AM
Surely the 1Ds was the first full frame Canon. Introduced end of 2002.
sherlob Plus
16 3.3k 133 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 15 2.3k 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 9 16 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 9 16 1 United Kingdom
27 Aug 2016 11:08AM
You're quite right, the 1D was APS-H, the 1Ds full frame.
karl Plus
18 656 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
11 927 1 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2016 10:02AM
Full review now live
Techno Plus
13 6.4k 8 England
7 Oct 2016 9:29AM
it's a shame that the screen doesn't tilt....................Why?
joshwa Plus
11 927 1 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 9 16 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
13 6.4k 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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