Canon 5D Mark IV

Review of the Canon 5D Mark IV

Overview

The Canon EOS 5D series of DSLR cameras is undoubtedly the finest camera range we’ve seen coming from Canon, with the Mark IV appealing to both hobbyists and professionals alike. Though it shares almost the same aesthetic physical features as its predecessor the Mark III, the Mark IV boasts several new and useful additions.

The camera has a new 30-point 4MP full-frame sensor, capable of providing tons of resolution for demanding situations like wildlife photography. The updated 61point autofocus system covers up to 24 percent more of the frame and includes face detection.

With its 4k DCI video, the 5D Mark IV also ensures that it meets the highest quality for video standards. The camera’s RAW dynamic range significantly improves over previous 5D models.

The new touch screen adds useful features such as tap to focus. The dual pixel autofocus provides reliable face detection, subject tracking and natural looking autofocus in video mode.

Though the video quality is excellent, 4k recording is only possible in motion jpeg format, thus requiring large fast memory cards and possibly limiting recording time. In summary, the Canon 5D Mark IV is a DSLR camera that’s excellent for professionals and enthusiasts who require high quality video, images and a great UI experience.
Ease of Use:

The 5D Mark IV is very similar in appearance to the previous 5D models, weighing about 50g less (890g) and being slightly smaller (150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm). The camera body is aluminium alloy, which is much more durable than plastic- bodied counterparts.

The textured area around the thumb-rest and the deep hand grip provides for a steady grip on the camera while shooting. The 5D Mark IV has an infrared port on the grip, on the front, together with a depth-of-field preview button, a relocated port for a remote shutter, a self-timer, and a monaural microphone port.

It has two control wheels, one smaller wheel on top of the handgrip, and a bigger spinning dial on the back. The back dial is used to apply rapid exposure adjustment. Should you not want to use this feature you can toggle it on or off.

For menu navigation, there is a small joystick on the back, although it is not as positive to work with as your traditional four-way controller. The EOS 5D Mark IV features a touch screen, with a variety of multi-touch gestures.

This model has two LCD displays, the 3.2-inch color LCD on the back and the smaller panel on the top. The bigger LCD screen has a VGA resolution of 1,620 dots. This helps you keep your images sharp.

The 5D has a customizable button located to the rear of the shutter button. Another four buttons for white balance, ISO, LCD backlight and AF models live in front of the LCD. The menu button, info, album delete, and other functions are on the back of the camera. Canon has CF and SD slots for memory cards which can also be formatted using the options in the menu button.

The Canon 5D Mark IV has built-in wi-fi along with NFC, which makes it easy to wirelessly remote control the camera using a computer system or a mobile device. It also has an inbuilt GPS receiver which is very helpful when traveling to different time zones. You can also enable the option to update the camera’s clock automatically.

Product Features:

  • 30.4MP CMOS full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • DCI 4K 30/24p video using Motion JPEG + 4K Frame Grab
  • 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type sensors (center point sensitive to -3 EV)
  • 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252-zone metering. EOS Intelligent Subject Analysis system
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • Dual Pixel AF (sensitive to -4EV) for continuous Servo AF in stills (a first for a full- frame Canon camera) and video
  • Wi-Fi with NFC + GPS
  • ISO 100-32000 (expandable to 102400)
  • Dual Pixel Raw
  • 1.62M-dot 3.2 full-time touchscreen
  • Built-in bulb timer interval timers
  • Improved weather-sealing

In-Depth Analysis

The Canon 5D Mark IV offers excellent performance with a fantastic image quality. It is suitable for nature and landscape photographers who will appreciate the amazing features that it offers. It’s also perfect for wedding and portrait photographers, as well as creative videographers who will recognize the power and brilliance of this camera.

Image Quality:

For image quality the Canon 5D Mark IV really delivers. Images are
vividly sharp with well saturated colors. Images shot on the Mark IV often look cool in tone when shooting in overcast conditions; however, this is easily fixable with a white balance adjustment.

Images are impressively noise free, even those shot at an ISO of 25,600.

Pictures shot at night-time are very accurate. With a shutter speed of 30 seconds and bulb mode providing enough light for most scenarios, it results in impressive pictures with great detail.

Autofocus:

The 5D Mark IV’s AF links directly to the metering system, which helps in detecting and tracking colored objects. AF tracking performs really well as it locks on and follows a subject even while shooting. It features 61 autofocus points of which 41 are cross points.

Coverage is good, with a tendency and a bias towards the center of the frame. Aside from that the Canon 5D Mark IV’s autofocus is sheer brilliance.

ISO Performance:

The CISO ranges from 100-32000. This camera is perfect for low light photography with high resolution, as the low noise floor allows for more light entering the sensor at the time of capture.

Results taken from an ISO of 800 to 2000 still continues to produce images that are impressively noise free. Although there are minor signs of slight luminance noise, images look natural with true-to-life color rendition.

Battery Life:

The battery life of the Canon 5D Mark IV is relatively higher compared to its predecessors. The battery used in this model lasts around 600 to 700 still shots, with video shooting lasting for a longer period of 90 minutes at 4k.

Expect the battery to last for a day under heavy use, while with moderate usage the battery life should last around 5 days.

Common Complaints

Below are some common complaints expressed on using the Canon 5D Mark IV.

JPEG looks soft at default settings
Memory card slots use different formats
29:59 continuous video recording limit
Flash speed is 1/200s
4k video requires CF card and is difficult to play smoothly because of the motion jpeg codec
Over sharpens photographs at times
Low light auto focus accuracy could be better when dealing with low contrast subjects
Optimization of AF settings takes more time and practice

Common Accolades

Some exemplary features in Canon 5D Mark IV makes it an almost perfect camera.

Though the Mark 5D IV has some flaws, it has plenty of good improvement over earlier models.

Excellent image quality with raw files
Enhanced dynamic range
Very high ISO performance
Fast 7fPs burst rate with unlimited JPEG buffer
Built-in WiFi with NFC
Built-in GPS
Dual CMOS AF offers a very good live view and autofocus
Responsive touch screen
Auto focus is faster and precise
Startup time and shutter lag are slow
Accurate colors and beautiful detail rendered

Product & Pricing Options

Model / Name Price Link to Buy
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera (Body Only) $2,799 B&H Photo
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-105mm f/4L II Lens and Accessory Kit $3,699 B&H Photo

Final Words

The Canon 5D Mark IV captures better colors with high resolutions. It also has superior ISO performance and accurate autofocus in any scenario. It sports dual pixel autofocus, increased resolution and increased dynamic range.

Overall, the Mark IV brings a superb user experience.

If you are a beginner looking to buy or rent this camera, or a seasoned professional wanting to move up to a great state-of-the-art camera, go for it. It is also a reliable and satisfying camera to use, which is exactly what a pro-level photographer needs.

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