Review Of The New Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera
I’ve been postponing this review for a while now, waiting to see if there are any problems or issues with the new body just like the Nikon had with D600 and D750 spraying oil all over the sensor and stuff like that. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty reviews already and you have a general idea how the body performs and what to expect. I’ll just try to summarize all of those reviews into one big one and come up with a general and overall score for the new camera.
It is by far the most popular series Canon has ever made and it is a tried and tested workhorse for photographers around the world. The expectations are high for the next 5D DSLR installment and so is the price tag. Every one of the series is a proven performer and a leap from the previous in terms of features and upgrades. The first Canon 5D was the first full frame digital camera to hit the market. The second was the first DSLR to offer video capabilities and it was widely accepted amongst videographers around the world. Even a featured TV series was shot on the 5D Mark II. It was a groundbreaking performer.
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The Canon 5D Mark III wasn’t as revolutionary and groundbreaking as the first two were, but it still offered significant improvement over the Mark II – much better sensor in terms of ISO, colors, and contrast, much better and color correct screen and a vastly improved autofocusing system. It fixed most of the problems the Mark II had and it was too well accepted amongst the professional photographers guild. It offers solid video capabilities as well, although not as groundbreaking as the Mark II installment.
So here comes the Canon 5D Mark IV. Let’s see what has been improved and what hasn’t changed from the 5D Mark III:
|Canon EOS 5D IV||Canon EOS 5D III|
|Native ISO range||100 – 32000|
|100 – 25600|
|Focusing System||61 (41 cross-type)|
|61 (41 cross-type)|
|Live View Focusing|
|New ‘Dual Pixel’ AF phase detection system||Contrast detection|
|Metering Sensor||New 150k pixels RGB||63-zone dual-layer RGB|
|LCD||1.62M colors LCD|
|1.04M colors LCD|
|Continuous Shooting||7 frames per second||6 frames per second|
|Video Recording||DCI 4K Video at 30p and 24p||1080 Video at 30p|
|Card format||Compact Flash and SD Card|
|Compact Flash and SD Card|
We have to agree that there isn’t anything revolutionary to the Mark III just as the III wasn’t revolutionary to the Mark II. There are some major improvements though and let’s see how they perform and what they really are.
Here is a quick review from a guy that I find interesting:
Here are the most notable changes from the 5D Mark III camera:
5D Mark IV New Features
The Mark comes with a brand new latest tech high-resolution 30.4 megapixels sensor. Ok, given it is not in the league of its direct competitors – the Nikon’s D810 with its 36.3-megapixel sensor or the Sony’s Alpha 7R II with 42 megapixels, it really isn’t that far off and it is a decent upgrade from the Mark II 22.3 megapixels.
The 5D Mark IV is boasting the same cutting edge technology that was featured in its big brother – the Canon 1DX Mark II. It sports on-chip DAC to help improve the signal to noise ratio and the dynamic range of the new sensor. On big plus that the 5D Has going for it is the new “Dual Pixel RAW” technology found in the new camera. It gives the opportunity to the shooter to focus and fine tune the exact area of focus for maximum sharpness of the end photographic result.
The tech is pretty interesting – each pixel on the sensor consists two separate photo diodes which allow the camera to record a file who has the information from two close, but different focus points. The Canons own Digital Photo Professional software can read this information afterward in post production and it lets the photographer adjust the image and shift the focus slightly to achieve maximum sharpness and image quality. The downside of this is that we all know that DPP software can be a bit slow and clunky sometimes, but if it lets the photographer save an image that is out of focus I think it is a small price to pay to save the photo. Another issue is that the size of the file rises significantly and it can reach the upwards of 70 megabytes.
It is not a coincidence that DXO gave the new 5D Mark IV the highest score of any Canon camera up to date. The Dual Pixel tech is revolutionary, although a bit clunky yet, and it definitely puts it on the radar for the professional photographer. The new 30.4 megapixels sensor provides an exciting level of detail, almost on par with the studio version of the 5D – the 5Ds camera. Prints up to A2 shouldn’t be a problem for the new camera even at 300ppi. With the increase in the number of pixels comes the question with noise. Usually, high-resolution sensors do produce significant levels of noise but, fortunately, that is not the case with the new 5D Mark IV even at high ISO. Photos at ISO 800 are literally noise free and the results at 3200 are more than impressive as well. We all know that the usable limit for the Mark III was around the 3200 ISO at low light but now it is even better with the 5D Mark IV – 6400 and even 12800 in certain cases is completely usable with the new camera. I am sure many wedding photographers will be happy with this, especially for low light churches and reception venues.
As you’d expect from a 5D camera the body is built from a solid magnesium alloy and polycarbonate, just as the rest of the 5D bodies are. It is a solid construction and it is built to last, just like the rest of the series. It is very similar in looks and feels to the previous body – the Mark II – and the there is a good reason for that. Canon said it doesn’t want the photographer to have to learn how to work with a new camera and to shorten the adjustment period they made it as close to the Mark III as possible.
There is not to say that they are identical bodies – there a few noticeable improvements in the new 5D Mark IV. For starters, the hand grip is enlarged so the new body is easier to handle. Another notable difference is that the viewfinder is lifted slightly upwards in order to accommodate the newly featured GPS sensor that comes installed with the camera.
The new body is lighter with 50 grams compared to its predecessor despite all the new technology that is incorporated. It is still weather sealed like the Mark III.
The new 5D series DSLR has a brand new and improved focusing system, borrowed from the big brother 1DX II. It is not completely identical to the 1DX AF but it shares a lot of the major components and accuracy. The 5D’s autofocus is not one to disappoint. It is as accurate as Canon can get and it is a true pleasure to use. The system is linked to the camera’s metering system and they together work to track objects as well as a solid face recognition functionality. The focal points are still situated more towards the center of the picture like they were in the Mark III camera, but nevertheless better than the latter.
The AF system performs marvelously as you’d expect from a system featured in the Canon’s flagship camera – the 1DX Mk II. You can tailor the system to work with six AF case studies to let you track the subject you’re photographing without missing the focus.
Live view focusing is vastly improved as well, especially compared to the 5D Mark III. The Dual Pixel AF in live view mode is almost instant and one of the best in class. Movie Servo is a welcome improvement for video operators around the world allowing smooth transitions between objects as you record live video.
While it doesn’t sound like the new 5D is a vast improvement over the previous camera, that is not exactly the case. A lot of photographers might hold out a bit and see what the competition had to offer or for the prices to go down a bit. However, nearly every aspect of the new camera has been improved and reworked while keeping the camera familiar to the Canon lineup series. It features the best Canon image sensor up to date, the second best focusing system Canon has to offer, 4K video, GPS and NFC sensors and the new Dual Pixel tech, which is too early to say if it is worth using or not. Time will tell but it seems that a lot of photographers swear by it already.
Compared to the competition it doesn’t look too bad, to be honest, but it certainly it is not class leading as the first two 5D bodies were. The Sony’s A7R II and the D810 are solid competitors, especially the Sony’s sensor is still unbeatable in terms of image quality and high ISO. Lots and lots of videographers are transitioning to Sony due to the amazing low light capabilities it offers.
Let’s see the PROs and the CONs for the new camera:
|New 30.4Mpx Sensor|
Improved Focusing System
150000 pixel RGB Metering Sensor
High Precision AF all the way to F8
Dual Pixel Raw
Not enough improvement over the 5D Mark III
Can’t link spot metering to AF point
Still using the old CF and SD card
4K video limited
4K/30 video needs an SD card
Overall Rating – 4.5*