Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review – A workhorse that is excellent in many areas but doesn’t precisely excel in any one area.

The Canon EOS 5D series is perhaps one of the most iconic camera lines of the digital age, and the Mark IV was meant to appeal to the same diverse group of amateurs and professionals as its predecessors did.

It has a nearly identical appearance to its predecessor, but it has received significant upgrades under the hood, including a higher-resolution sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus, 4K video capture, an upgraded AF system, a touchscreen, improved weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, an interval timer, and GPS. Other notable improvements include an improved weather-sealing system, an improved AF system, and 4K video capture. When taken together, these factors result in a camera that is well suited for inclusion inside Canon’s product range as the all-around full-frame alternative.

It utilizes the Digic 6+ CPU and is based on a brand-new CMOS sensor that is capable of 30.4 megapixels. The autofocus system is derived from Canon’s flagship 1D X Mark II and features 61 AF points, 41 of which are of the cross-type variety. In comparison to the system found in the Mark III, the vertical coverage has been increased by up to 24 percent. When shooting in One Shot (AF-S) mode, the center point has a sensitivity of -3EV (in Live View the sensor is sensitive to -4EV with a fast lens).

The ability to shoot a 4K video is a great addition to this camera, and users have the option of recording at 24 or 30 frames per second (with a 1.64x crop). Motion JPEG is the format used to record all of the videos. In addition, the camera supports 4K Frame Grabs, which provides users with the ability to capture still images at a rate of 30 frames per second while maintaining (Dual Pixel) AF. Although we have seen that the camera has a rolling shutter, there is a possibility that it might still be useful in situations when 7 frames per second are not sufficient to capture the key moment.

Canon states that when it was creating the IV, it solicited feedback from users of its 5D-series cameras and discovered that the four most critical areas in which people desired improvements were dynamic range, resolution, autofocus precision, and autofocus speed. On paper, Mark IV appears to do a good job of addressing these concerns.

Key Specifications

  • New CMOS full-frame sensor with 30.4 megapixels and dual-pixel autofocus.
  • Video captured in DCI 4K at 30/24 frames per second using Motion JPEG and 4K Frame Grab
  • 61-point autofocus system with 41 sensors of the cross-type variety (center point sensitive to -3 EV)
  • Dual Pixel AF for continuous Servo AF in stills (first for a full-frame Canon camera) and video (sensitive to -4EV) with Dual Pixel AF (sensitive to -4EV).
  • ISO 100-32000 (expandable to 102400)
  • Continuous filming at 7 frames per second
  • Dual Pixel Raw (image micro-adjustment, bokeh shift, ghosting reduction)
  • 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  • 1.62 million dots on a full-time 3.2-inch touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi w/ NFC + GPS
  • interval timers built directly into the bulb timers
  • Enhanced protection from the elements

When it comes to autofocus, the fact that the coverage area has been expanded is one of the factors that contribute to the significance of the improvement. After all, it is the same AF technology that can be found in the company’s most advanced sports camera. The 150,000-pixel RGB-IR metering sensor is carried over from the original 1D X and is responsible for feeding scene information to the autofocus mechanism. This brings increased subject recognition (including faces) and tracking (‘iTR’), as well as improved metering and flicker detection.

Because of the way that Dual Pixel AF operates, the focus is typically quite accurate, especially when using fast lenses, and the 5D Mark IV is the first full-framer from Canon that has the capability of constantly focusing in Live View while the camera is capturing still images. It does a remarkably decent job of maintaining focus on the topic (or face) that you first brought into the frame, and in the “Face Detect+Tracking” mode, it is simple to designate your subject by tapping on it on the touchscreen when the feature is active.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV also has some new features up its sleeve, including an option called Dual Pixel Raw, which is a cool feature that could come in handy in certain shooting situations. It accomplishes this by capturing two 30-megapixel pictures, one from each of the photodiodes that are “looking left” and “looking right” at each individual pixel.

In previous Canon models, these two signals were mixed at each pixel, but with the Dual Pixel Raw feature, you have the choice to keep them distinct. This ends up producing a file that is twice as huge, but it is one that allows for ‘image micro-adjustment,’ ‘bokeh shift,’ and ghosting reduction in the Canon-supplied Digital Photo Professional program (you can learn more about these features on our Features page).

In comparison to its contemporaries

There is currently a selection of full-frame models available from Canon. At the very top of the line is Canon’s sports and action-oriented 1D X Mark II camera, which features a 20.2-megapixel sensor and continuous shooting at 14 frames per second (with AF).

The company’s high-resolution alternatives include the 5DS (and the ‘R’ model), which both have sensors with a resolution of 50.6 megapixels. The Canon 5D Mark IV is designed to be an all-purpose camera and has a resolution that falls somewhere in the middle of its two predecessors. Four years after its initial release, the Canon EOS 6D continues to be a viable option for individuals with limited financial resources.

When contrasted with the Mark III.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV maintains its traditional appearance, with only a few minor changes made to its overall design. In point of fact, you would have to examine it in rather great detail in order to differentiate it from the Mark III, but the enhancements are still present.

When contrasted with the Mark III.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV maintains its traditional appearance, with only a few minor changes made to its overall design. In point of fact, you would have to examine it in rather great detail in order to differentiate it from the Mark III, but the enhancements are still present.

In comparison to its predecessor, this model features a greater number of seals and gaskets, which ought to result in improved protection against the elements and the environment. Particularly, weather sealing has been improved around the lens mount, the shutter button, and the door that houses the battery.

Additionally, the ports for the headphones and microphone have been repositioned to be closer to the bottom of the camera. When utilizing headphones and an external microphone at the same time, this should make it easier to keep cords out of the way and out of sight. A mini-HDMI connector and a USB 3.0 plug may be found hidden underneath them. Both of these allow for much-accelerated data transfer.

In Hand

Additionally, the body of the Mark IV is approximately 10 percent lighter, or 75 grams, when compared to its predecessor. Customers upgrading from the Mark III to the Mark IV will probably be able to tell a difference as soon as they pick up the new camera. We did.

Place at the top of the camera

The three buttons located just above the top plate LCD govern the same operations like those found on the Mark III; however, Canon has rearranged the sequence in which the tasks are performed by each button. Aside from this alteration, the Mark IV has an identical appearance to a Mark III when viewed from above.

The rear of the camera

In keeping with the general trend of making only minor adjustments to existing designs, the rear of the Mark IV has an appearance that is very comparable to that of the Mark III. The display on the back is a modern 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD with 1.62 million dots.

Not only does this screen have a higher resolution than its predecessor’s screen of the same size (1.04 million dots), but Canon is also the first company to include a touchscreen with extensive functions in a full-frame body camera (although the touch capabilities of the 1D X Mark II are not always accessible or available in all shooting modes).

Also, as was mentioned up top, a new button for selecting the AF region has been placed just below the AF joystick, which has also been given a new finish that has a more “toothy” appearance.

It is nice to see a new method for quickly changing focus area modes; however, existing users may still find it easier to hold down the familiar AF area selection button on the shoulder (which can’t be reassigned anyway) while turning the main dial to rapidly cycle through area modes (you can enable this behavior in ‘AF area selection method’ in the menu). This can be done to quickly change focus area modes.

However, in typical Canon fashion, you will only find a limited number of assignable tasks accessible, which is frustrating. Thankfully, you may reassign this new AF area button to perform anything else (such as exposure correction), but it is important to note that this feature is not available.

Battery

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV takes advantage of the same LP-E6N Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that is found in more modern EOS DSLR cameras. This is backward compatible with the somewhat less powerful LP-E6 batteries that were used in the 5D series devices that came before this one.

According to the criteria of CIPA, the camera can take 900 pictures on a single charge when equipped with an LP-E6N, however, it can only take about 300 pictures while using the live view mode. In comparison to the Mark III, this represents a performance decrease of 5 percent when shooting via the viewfinder but an improvement of 50 percent when shooting in live view.

Controls and Working Mechanisms

The EOS 5D IV will perform almost identically out of the box to any other Canon DSLR, with direct access to the majority of features available via buttons that are specifically designated for that purpose. However, some degree of customization is required in order to get the most out of the camera, particularly with regard to its autofocus capabilities.

Reading the instructions or playing about with the camera won’t necessarily make it clear that some parts of the camera can be customized in a degree of detail that isn’t immediately apparent to the user. We explain the nuances of the various customization options so that, once you have an idea of what you want the camera to accomplish for you, you will be able to discover a method to configure it to meet your needs.

Q Menu

In spite of the presence of a touchscreen, the Canon 5D Mark IV is largely operated through the use of its numerous direct-access buttons, as it is anticipated that the user will have their attention focused on the viewfinder. It does, however, come equipped with Canon’s Q Menu, which is an interactive control panel that displays the camera’s current settings to the user.

You have the ability to customize the Q menu, much like you can with more modern high-end EOS cameras. This allows you to choose which choices display and where they do so that you have the quickest access possible to the settings that you need to review and alter. In addition, in contrast to the 1D X Mark II, the touchscreen may be used not only to set up the Q menu but also to pick a parameter for changing if you so like.

Controls Tailor-Made

On the Mark IV, there is a large number of programmable buttons; nevertheless, the number of functions that may be assigned to some of these buttons can be painfully limited.

The custom controls feature on Canon DSLRs is a potent tool for personalizing the buttons and dials on the camera. There are a total of ten buttons and dials that may be customized on the 5D Mark IV. Additionally, you have the opportunity to personalize the Fn button on any Canon lenses that have it.

You have the ability to repurpose the following buttons to varying degrees: the shutter release, AF-ON, AE lock, DOF preview, M-Fn, SET, the multi-controller (joystick), the new AF area selection thumb button, and both the main dial (front) and rear wheel.

Note, however, that various buttons provide differing degrees of customization: for example, the multi-controller button only offers a simple on/off option, but the DOF preview button allows you to add a very complete range of functionality to it. In a practical sense, the shutter button and the multi-controller joysticks are not modifiable in any way other than having the ability to be activated or deactivated.

Not only do we believe that the restrictions that appear to be arbitrary in regard to what functions you can assign to any particular button are restrictive, but we also believe that they are extremely confusing. Because of these restrictions, you are required to keep track of which functions can and cannot be assigned to any particular button.

Customizable behavior for the customized buttons

There is granular control over the behavior of custom buttons via three of the options (each of which is denoted by a footnote number in green) that may be provided to those buttons. Because of them, it is able to describe in exact detail what the button will do when it is pressed.

Metering and AF start

If you assign the function “Metering and AF Start” to a user-defined button, you will have very precise control over the numerous autofocus behaviors that may be accessed very quickly. When one presses a button that is allocated to this option, AF is automatically turned on.

You are able to adjust four different characteristics of the behavior of the autofocus system that is altered when you hit the button labeled “Metering and AF start.” You have the ability to customize as many of these features as you see fit. For example, you can tell the button to only switch from AF-S (One Shot) mode to AF-C (Servo) mode, or you can tell it to also change the AF-C behavior case and jump to a pre-registered AF point when the button is pressed if that is what you would rather do.

OptionDetail set.
1. Metering and AF startNote these sub-options aren’t available for the shutter buttonAF start position (manual, registered)AI Servo AF characteristics (Cases 1-6)AF operation* (One Shot, Servo, maintain)AF area selection mode

Functions of shooting registration and recall

The register/recall shooting function provides you with the opportunity to choose from a number of different camera settings and provides you with the choice of whether or not to provide values to which the camera should leap when a custom button is held down. If you know you’ll suddenly need to photograph portraits while you’re in the middle of shooting sports, you may quickly switch to a model with a certain shutter speed, ISO, and white balance setting.

This gives you more flexibility. You are also able to adjust the AF behavior by configuring the ‘Register/Recall shooting fun or ‘Switch to registered AF Func’ options; however, the latter option cannot be used to engage autofocus; thus, you will still need to assign an AF-ON button or connect focus to the shutter button.

It seems as though the “Switch to registered AF Func” option is a simplified version of the “Register/recall firing func” choice, and we aren’t exactly clear why these two choices are shown as separate choices. You may basically fine-tune the AF behavior while the button is pushed with the registered AF Func option; but, the amount of control afforded by the ‘Register/recall shot func’ option is not available with this option (it can only change AF settings, not activate AF).

Take note that any one of these functions, or all of them, can be used to alter the setting that is connected with them.

OptionDetail set.
2. Register/recall shooting funcNote that any or all of these functions can be activated to change its associated settingShutter speedApertureISO speedMetering modeExposure compensationWhite balanceAF area selection modeTracking sensitivityAccel./decel. trackingAF pt auto switchingAI Servo 1st image priorityAI Servo 2nd image priorityAF start positionAF operation* (on/off)
3. Switch to registered AF funcAF area selection modeTracking sensitivityAccel./decel. trackingAF pt auto switchingAI Servo 1st image priorityAI Servo 2nd image priority

You are only able to provide a single behavior for the ‘Register/recall’ option and a single value for the ‘Switch to registered AF fun option, in contrast to the ‘Metering and AF start’ option. If you assign more than one button to one of these two choices, all of those buttons will act in the same manner when assigned to that option.

The fact that ‘Metering and AF Start’ and ‘Register/recall shooting func.’ can only be assigned to the AF-ON and AEL buttons is particularly unfortunate. This means that these are the only two buttons that you can assign – even on a camera from the 1D X series – to instantly activate a pre-selected AF mode.

You can assign other buttons to ‘Switch to registered AF func,’ but they will all only ever switch to one other AF mode, and you will still need to combine that button press with another button press to actually engage AF. You can assign other buttons to ‘Switch to registered AF func,’ but they will only ever switch to one other AF mode (e.g. AF-ON or the shutter button). When it comes to the personalization of buttons, Canon might stand to profit from a complete rethinking of their current system because it is too difficult and unnecessary. A decent first step would be to give each button access to all of the available options.

*Note: the ‘AF operation’ option, which is available under Register/recall, does not toggle between AF-S and AF-C modes like the ‘Metering and AF start’ option does; rather, it just selects whether or not an AF acquisition is conducted.

Auto ISO

When compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV features an Auto ISO implementation that is identical to that of the 1D X Mark II. This is a major improvement. There are customizable upper and lower ISO limits, just like its predecessor. However, the minimum shutter speed threshold now includes faster shutter speeds, and the focal-length aware ‘Auto’ option can now be biased faster or slower in 1EV increments. Both of these improvements were made possible by the newer version’s redesigned shutter mechanism. The Canon 5D Mark IV now has fully programmable Auto ISO, along with a complete selection of minimum shutter speed thresholds and an adjustable ‘Auto’ option for the threshold.

It is a nuisance that one must navigate to the menu or their own menu in order to adjust the minimum shutter speed setting, which may be a bit difficult. When utilizing Auto ISO in full Manual exposure mode, the default configuration does not have a straightforward method for accessing exposure compensation. If you wish to alter the image brightness, you will need to either remove your eye off the viewfinder and utilize the Q menu, or you will need to program the SET button or the ‘AF area selection’ thumb button in order to regulate exposure compensation.

When recording video, the use of Auto ISO is required in all exposure settings with the exception of Manual, where it is voluntary. Because there is no minimum shutter speed threshold for Auto ISO in the video, you will need to shoot in Manual or Shutter Priority mode in order to have complete control over your shutter speed.

A simple change of the back dial-in Program exposure modes enables exposure compensation to continue functioning normally with auto ISO when shooting video. Because the Q menu does not have an exposure compensation option, you will need to attach the exposure compensation function to a custom button (either SET or ‘AF area selection’).

Features

Dual Pixel AF

In addition to an upgraded phase-detection AF sensor for use when shooting through the viewfinder, the 5D Mark IV is equipped with Canon’s ‘Dual Pixel AF’ system for use in Live View. This system made its debut in the EOS 70D and has since been implemented in the majority of Canon’s higher-end DSLRs. However, this is the first time that Dual Pixel AF has been implemented on a full-frame sensor while also enabling Servo AF for still photography. This new feature promises to bring much enhanced – and precise – autofocus when shooting live view video as well as stills.

The Dual Pixel AF sensor basically divides all of its 30 million image pixels in half, with one side of the sensor absorbing light from the right-hand side of the lens and the other half absorbing light from the left-hand side of the lens. When creating the final photos, pairs of pixels are merged to produce files with a resolution of 30 megapixels. These files sample all of the light that is captured by the lens. In spite of this, the camera is still able to provide phase-detection focusing even when the mirror is in the up position because it can compare the light coming from the left and right sides of the lens. Read our review of the EOS 70D for a more comprehensive breakdown of this topic.

Due to the advancements made to the Dual Pixel AF system when shooting in live view, it is now superior to the viewfinder AF of the camera in a number of areas. When it comes to photography a small depth of focus, it provides more comprehensive coverage and a high degree of precision. You can choose your topic by touching the screen, and you can quickly switch amongst identified faces by touching the joystick. Both of these options are available to you. After that, the camera will confidently follow and refocus on that subject wherever it travels inside the frame, which will free you up to concentrate on framing the shot and capturing the moment.

This combination of strong hardware and processing with ergonomic simplicity will be an advantage to both still photographers and videographers, including photojournalists, candid portrait photographers, documentary filmmakers, and wedding videographers.

Dual Pixel Raw

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV will have the capability to save double-sized Raw files for the very first time. These files will hold data from the left- and right-facing cameras in a distinct manner. After then, this knowledge may be put to use in a number of different ways.

Image micro-adjustment

It is feasible to make use of this tiny gap by making use of the fact that the left-facing pixels and right-facing pixels observe the picture from slightly different perspectives. In the same way that the light captured by the Lytro’s light field camera was divided over many pixels in order to determine where the flight originated, the Canon is able to glean a minuscule amount of information on the direction that the light came from.

And similarly to the Lytro, this then enables you to render the image as if it were focused on a little different point, but with a completely different trade-off being established between the resolution and the degree to which the camera can be refocused.

Consequently, as you work your way through the processing steps in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional program, you will have the ability to generate an image with a very slightly altered point of focus. With the Lytro, the degree of refocusing ability was dependent on a variety of different criteria, including focal length and subject distance, and we anticipate that a similar connection will hold true for Canon’s “picture micro-adjustment.”

The Canon EOS Mark IV is capable of sending photographs to a smart device, as well as transmitting images directly via Wi-Fi to a computer, between cameras, a DLNA device, or a printer. In addition, it can push images to a DLNA device. In addition, the camera is compatible with EOS Utility, which allows for remote captures to be taken using a computer.

Bokeh shift

The two perspectives, which are just slightly distinct from one another, can also be used to observe the portions of the image that are blurry or out of focus depending on which viewpoint is used. You have the ability to make a minute adjustment to the location of the bokeh, moving it from one place to the other. Although we aren’t completely sure why you can, you certainly can.

Reduced occurrences of ghosting

The application of Dual Pixel Raw that seems the least intriguing might really be the one that makes the best use of its capabilities. Flare is typically caused by light that enters the lens from only one side, which implies that it can only be seen by the pixel that is facing to the left or right. Because of this, information from the other half of the sensor may be utilized selectively to cancel out the impact of the flare (on those times when you didn’t intend to include it as part of your capture.)

Wi-Fi + NFC

The Canon Connect app is compatible with the Mark IV, and the camera may be used in the same manner as more contemporary Canon DSLRs such as the Canon 80D. With the use of NFC, connecting the camera to a smart device is a breeze (and only a little more involved with Apple devices, despite not being able to use NFC.) Outside of the exposure parameters, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to control the camera, but the view/transmit option is very easy to understand.

Both in terms of Performance and Autofocus

In terms of both performance and focusing, the 5D-series has gone a very far way since it was first introduced. When it was first released, the original Canon 5D only featured 9 autofocus points, with just one of those points being of the cross-type variety. In comparison, the 1D-series cameras had a total of 45 focusing points.

In addition, the highest frame rate it could achieve was 3, which is a rate that is generally acknowledged as being inadequate for many sports shooters. The Canon 5D Mark IV is easily capable of becoming a photographer’s only camera because to its current focusing technology and its ability to shoot at a burst rate of 7 frames per second. However, this assumes that the photographer does not require the crazy burst rate or buffer of the Canon 1D X Mark II.

Overall performance

The 5D Mark IV is quite quick to use, with just a few insignificant deviations to this general rule, as is characteristic of current DSLRs. It turns on very immediately, responds to your inputs as quickly as you can twiddle the control dials, and both browsing through the menus and playing are smooth processes, regardless of whether you utilize the touchscreen or not.

When you couple this with a very snappy touchscreen interface for both Live View stills and video shooting, the 5D Mark IV provides you with an experience that is as well-rounded for “conventional” DSLR photographers as it is for those who are lured by the greater Live View performance.

The CFast 2.0 slot seen in the 1D X Mark II is unfortunately absent from the Canon 5D Mark IV camera. Instead, the 5D Mark IV makes do with the more traditional CompactFlash and SecureDigital slots. When filming at 7 frames per second, even with the fastest cards that can be purchased, it is possible that some users may yearn for a greater buffer. If you want to film any 4K videos in the future, you will need almost the quickest CF and SD cards that you can get your hands on.

The performance of continuous shooting was measured

This is what the burst shooting looks like when using a 32GB Lexar Professional 1066x UDMA7 CF card with a 64GB SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I U3 SDXC card. Both of these cards have 64GB of storage space. All of these were shot at 1/500 of a second with an ISO setting of 100.

QualityBurst rateBuffer depth
Raw + Large fine JPEG on CF7 fps~20 shots
Raw + Large fine JPEG on SD7 fps~18 shots
Raw only on CF7 fps~33 shots
Raw only on SD7 fps~28 shots
Raw + Large fine to both7 fps~16 shots
Large fine JPEG on either7 fpsUnlimited

Unlimited

Now, statistics like those are likely to be absolutely appropriate for the vast majority of general shooting, which includes gatherings, weddings, and even certain action sports – and if you’re predominantly a JPEG photographer, you’re in the clear.

However, if you are one of the committed few that shoots long bursts of both Raw and JPEG files, you may find that you reach that buffer much more quickly than you anticipated (we certainly did with our bike tests – more on the next page). In addition to this, before you can examine your photographs, you are going to have to hold off for a few seconds so that the buffer can empty completely.

One other point worth mentioning: taking pictures at higher ISOs does result in a drop of about 20–30 percent in those statistics. Therefore, if you are photographing indoor sports at an ISO of 6400, you will be able to fit around 15 Raw+JPEG shots onto a CF card, but only approximately 13 into an SD card. This helps to further emphasize the fact that if you want high burst performance, particularly in lighting settings that are less than ideal, you may want to consider upgrading to the 1D X series of cameras. This is especially true if you plan on shooting in low light.

Overall autofocus

The autofocus system of the EOS 5D Mark IV is quite similar to that of its older sibling, the EOS-1D X Mark II, which in turn is very similar to the focusing systems of the previous 1D X Mark I and 5D Mark III cameras. The vertical dispersion of its 61 points is significantly bigger as compared to those of the earlier versions. There are 41 of them that are cross-type, and the central point has sensitivity down to -3 EV.

The five points in the middle, which are dual cross-type and are positioned vertically, promise an even better level of precision when used with lenses faster than F2.8. The 1D X II utilizes a 300k-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor to assist with subject tracking in the viewfinder, but the 5D Mark IV makes do with a sensor that has half the resolution of the 1D X II’s sensor. This is one of the key differences between the two cameras.

The focusing mechanism of the 5D Mark IV is sophisticated, and it takes some time and expertise to master its ins and outs. This is similar to the situation with the 1D X Mark II.

To put it another way, if you discover that you are not happy with the number of images that are sharp and in focus, you may need to experiment with a variety of AF case and AF area settings until you find the optimal combination for your camera. If you are willing to put in the work, though, you will discover that the system is capable of handling virtually every photographic circumstance that you may find yourself in.

Notably, the 5D Mark IV is the first full-frame Canon DSLR that is capable of shooting continuously while employing Live View servo autofocus. This makes it a significant advancement in the company’s line of digital single-lens reflex cameras (the APS-C Canon EOS 80D does this as well). This mode works very well, is pretty accurate, and may be beneficial for allowing the camera to track a subject with a little less input from the user. Even though the camera will lower its burst rate to a maximum of 4.3 frames per second when in this mode, it still works extremely well.

When using Canon’s Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) through the optical viewfinder, we discovered that the 5D Mark IV’s subject tracking in Live View was even more sticky.’ Furthermore, because the camera reads focus directly off the image sensor, shooting with wide-aperture lenses still results in consistent focus accuracy.

Autofocus presets

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, like other recent high-end Canon DSLRs, comes with a total of six different ‘case modes’ that may be used to optimize the performance of the focusing mechanism. We’ve seen how even small adjustments to any of these presets can have a meaningful impact on how the camera behaves in relation to moving subjects. This method is a simpler alternative to asking users to manually dial in values for tracking sensitivity, acceleration, and deceleration tracking, and AF point auto switching.

The choosing of autofocus points

The option of autofocus area modes is another feature that is distinctive of Canon DSLRs. These modes are meant to further allow you to adjust the behavior of the camera’s focusing on the subjects you are photographing.

You have the ability to manually choose a single point with Single-point Spot AF, and the camera will only focus on a very restricted region around that point. It is excellent for achieving pinpoint precision, such as when photographing a subject’s eye, even when looking through obstacles such as a motorbike helmet, or while photographing a little bird that is surrounded by trees. When dealing with changing issues, you should avoid doing so.

The functionality of single-point AF is identical to that of the preceding mode; the only difference is that the focus area is wider. It is better suited for focusing on a still life or an eye while performing classic portraiture (Single AF), or for constantly focusing (AI Servo) on a subject that is easy for you to follow. This is the way of concentrating that is selected by default.

The AF Point Expansion feature allows you to choose between four and eight extra autofocus points to be placed around the point that you have manually selected. If you accidentally let your chosen AF point slip off your subject, the camera will (depending on the case you’ve chosen) attempt to use the additional four or eight ‘helper’ points to intelligently determine whether you wish to keep the focus on that subject or re-focus onto a new subject. This mode is ideal for shooting sports because it allows the camera to intelligently determine whether you wish to keep the focus on that subject or re-focus on a new subject.

It performs best when used with moving subjects in AI Servo since the system can become distracted when used for still life or portraiture in Single AF. For example, it may not acquire focus precisely on a person’s eye if the subject is moving and the camera is set to Single AF.

Again, continuous focusing on moving targets is the goal of the Zone AF mode, which does this by segmenting the camera’s 61 autofocus points into nine user-selectable zones. Because the camera selects where to focus inside the selected zone, Canon suggests using it for subjects that are either larger or moving across a greater region. This would make it helpful. It is not ideal for use in circumstances in which there may be obstructions in the way of your subject.

automatic selection based on 61 points You can probably figure out how autofocus works: it allows the camera to do the job for you. When you choose the Single AF mode, it will choose an autofocus point (or points) for you automatically, taking into account information from both the metering sensor and the AF module.

In AI Servo, it will do the same thing, but it will utilize those same two modules to intelligently alter the AF point(s) to cling to your subject as it travels. This allows it to follow your subject no matter where it goes (and the system will give priority to faces if you have this option enabled in the menus). You may choose the starting subject yourself by changing one of the menu options, then picking an AF point and positioning it over the thing you want to concentrate on before beginning the focusing process.

This is most analogous to how Nikon’s 3D Tracking works in the sense that it enables you to continuously reframe your composition without requiring you to shift the focusing points or manually track the action. In other words, it’s a lot like Nikon’s 3D Tracking.

Tracking of the autofocus

Because it is so similar to the autofocus system of the 1D X Mark II, the redesigned autofocus system of the Canon 5D Mark IV should be able to track moving subjects exceptionally well, both through the viewfinder and in Live View, thanks to the Dual Pixel autofocus technology that is integrated into the camera.

Whether we pointed the Mark IV at Dan on a bicycle, an agitated and erratically moving puppy, or used facial detection for more candid images, the camera worked excellently; yet, there were a handful of limitations to its capabilities.

The Test on the Bike

We chose the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in Case 1 for our normal bike test since it is recommended as having a diverse range of characteristics that may be utilized for a number of subjects. For the most part, it lived up to this recommendation and performed admirably.

Single point focus

The hit rate is really close to one hundred percent when you focus on your target and use a single point to measure the depth of an object.

focusing on the iTR system

The hit rate will decrease when you switch to iTR tracking; however, this reduction will not be significant enough to render the option useless. This is especially true if you are in an unfamiliar environment in which you may not be able to track the movement of your subject. In point of fact, the so-called “misses” in iTR are so minute that they are hardly noticeable when viewed at standard viewing sizes.

Tracking using Dual Pixels of AF

The use of Dual Pixel AF while shooting continuously also resulted in a high number of usable shots, demonstrating that this new technology has certain advantages over our prior experience with the EOS 80D. Due to the fact that the screen on the 5D Mark IV is fixed, it is possible to argue that the system’s enhanced efficacy has resulted in a feature that is less helpful on the 5D Mark IV than it was on its APS-C relative.

When operating at awkward angles, such as holding the camera over your head to follow people at a wedding reception, for example, this limits your ability to utilize the touchscreen to track targets and fire off bursts.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you ‘tap’ your topic, the tracking box will expand or contract as it determines exactly what to monitor based on what you are doing. It may include only Dan’s head or a significant portion of his upper torso, depending on the situation. Therefore, if you discover that you require more fine control over exactly where you need the camera to autofocus, you may have more results utilizing a single point via the viewfinder. This is because a single point gives you more precise control over where the camera should focus.

However, much like any other focusing system, particularly while subject tracking, Dual Pixel AF is not foolproof. This is the nature of autofocus systems. Check out how the camera mistook Dan’s trip for a method of transportation that is a little less kind to the environment.

When shooting via the viewfinder with iTR enabled on the Canon 5D Mark IV, the camera worked admirably in its default Case 1 AF setting, despite the presence of weaving movements as well as fast acceleration and deceleration.

iTrail Recognition in addition to Dual Pixel Face Detection

Face identification can be used for shooting from either the viewfinder or Live View, and when used for candid photography at events and other such settings, it performs exceptionally well. When you combine this with the fact that you can attach iTR capabilities through the viewfinder to a single push of the AF-ON button while leaving your shutter button active for, for example, Single Point AF, you end up with a setup that is rather adaptable.

Unfortunately, as we found with Canon’s other implementations of iTR, it simply isn’t as accurate as we found some of its competitors’ systems to be. These competitors’ systems, such as Sony’s Eye AF and Nikon’s 3D Tracking, will effectively track an eye if you initiate autofocus on it. Canon’s implementation of iTR isn’t as accurate as of its competitors’ systems.

Note that in the video that follows, the system is not fooled by any other distracting elements (or other faces that are far away) in the scene; however, the points float around Sam’s face, sometimes focusing on his eye and sometimes focusing on other parts of his face, which results in some slight misfocus.

Image Quality

The most recent version of our test scenario emulates photography in both daytime and low-light conditions. You may switch between the two by pressing the ‘lighting’ buttons that are located at the very top of the widget. When shooting in daylight, the white balance of the picture is adjusted manually to produce neutral grays; however, when testing in low light, the camera is kept in its default Auto setting.

Raw files require human editing to rectify errors. We provide three distinct viewing sizes, which are referred to as “Full,” “Print,” and “Comp.” The latter two viewing sizes allow “normalized” comparisons since they use matching viewing sizes. The ‘Comp’ option selects the camera with the highest possible resolution that is also shared by the other cameras being evaluated.

Raw

The Raw files demonstrate that the Canon 5D Mark IV is capable of recording a higher degree of information than its predecessor, the Canon 5D Mark III. This is because the 5D Mark IV has a higher pixel count, which allows it to display more detail at the same output size as its predecessor.

It is not possible for it to compete with the Nikon D810 due to the lower pixel count as well as the addition of a low pass filter. This is especially true when considering the native output size. However, the low pass filter accomplishes its job, which means that the Canon exhibits significantly lower amounts of false-color aliasing. This effect is particularly noticeable in patterns that have strong contrast and high frequency. This aliasing will still be noticeable even if you reduce the size of both photos.

If you compare the 5D Mark IV to the EOS 5DS R, which has a better resolution, or even the EOS 5DS, whose low pass filter seems to be less effective than the IV’s, you will find that the results are the same.

The photographs produced by the EOS 5D IV at high ISO are directly similar to those produced by the majority of its competitors. It performs quite well in comparison to other cameras such as the Sony a7R II, the Nikon D810, or even Ricoh’s Pentax K-1. In comparison to the EOS 5DS, unquestionably superior.

As you get into a wider ISO range, the EOS 5D IV really pulls ahead of the Nikon a little bit more than it should.

JPEG

The JPEGs produced by the EOS 5D IV are fairly similar to what we have come to anticipate from Canon DSLRs. The default sharpening is a touch too forceful; however, the Canon gives an exceptional degree of flexibility over this, giving you the ability to alter the strength, fineness, and threshold to achieve the effect that is most suitable for your workflow. The very low levels of artificial color that are visible in the Raw version have been effectively removed from the JPEG version as well.

The fact that the JPEG color reproduction looks to be virtually identical to that of the EOS 5D Mark III yet has more nuanced skin tones than the Nikon D810 is unquestionably a positive development.

The noise reduction is handled reasonably well, although it does not preserve the fine contrast, as well as Sony’s context-sensitive noise reduction, does. While the JPEG engine of the Canon manages to suppress more chroma noise while keeping the same degree of detail preservation as the JPEG engine of the Nikon, some fine details are lost during the smoothing process.

When compared to the finest of its competitors, the detail quality reduces even further when the ISO is increased to very high levels. In conclusion, then, these JPEGs are pretty acceptable overall, especially if you take the time to adjust the sharpness as needed.

Video

Canon informed us that one of the most prevalent applications for the 5D line of cameras is filmmaking. With the release of the 5D Mark IV, the firm looks to be staking a claim on this market and making a fresh attempt to reclaim its share of it.

The camera’s usefulness for video makes a significant leap ahead, although it does have certain limitations when it comes to shooting film as well as limitations on the content of the clip itself. Because of this, the camera is likely to appeal to those for whom video is a secondary rather than main need, or individuals for whom the ability to take still frame captures from 4K is a must.

Video Features

When compared to the 1080p resolution of the 5D Mark III, the 5D Mark IV is capable of recording 4K video at both 24p and 30p, which is a significant upgrade over the previous model. Since Canon’s implementation of 4K is based on the DCI standard (4096 x 2160), rather than the more widespread 16:9, UHD standard (3840 x 2160), this indicates that 4K video has a little wider aspect ratio than UHD footage, which may be appealing to filmmakers.

We have just a little experience with the camera, but based on that and our previous work with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II (which has many of the same video characteristics), we anticipate that the 4K video will be of high quality. However, there are costs and benefits associated with possessing this characteristic. a menu with options for selecting the frame rate, resolution, and codec.

Take note that in addition to the NTSC-based 23.98p, the camera is also capable of shooting in the more modern real 24p.

For 4K capture, the Canon 5D Mark IV takes advantage of a natural crop of the sensor, extracting a portion of the sensor with dimensions of 4096 by 2160 pixels. This results in a crop that is 1.64 times smaller relative to the entire width of the sensor, or 1.74 times smaller related to the whole 3:2 portion of the sensor.

Due to the fact that this is somewhat less capacious than Canon’s APS-C sensors, shooting wide-angle 4K video may be challenging (particularly considering the fact that you cannot attach EF-S lenses that are designed specifically for use with APS-C cameras on the camera). Because of the crop factor, the effective focal length of the lens will fluctuate dramatically throughout the process of switching between taking still images and video. This might be a problem for someone who regularly switches between taking still images and video.

In addition, the only format that can be used for recording in 4K is motion JPEG. This format has the advantage of producing high-quality video since it preserves each frame as an individual picture. Because of this, it is possible to extract still images from the video, but because it is also rather inefficient, it is necessary to record at a bit rate that is close to 500 Mbps.

The camera comes come with additional compression algorithms, such as All-I, IPB, and IPB Light variations of the widely used H.264 format; however, you can only use these while recording video in 1080p resolution. As a result of this, the maximum amount of 4K footage that can be stored on a quick 64GB CF card is around 17 minutes.

And you should definitely use a CF card because even the quickest SD cards (with ratings of 30 MB/s ‘U3’) aren’t reliable enough to keep up (the camera will let you use them, but it may abruptly indicate that it’s stopped recording).

Motion JPEG, on the other hand, may give you fantastic results if you want to extract photos from the video and essentially gives you the means to capture stills at 30 frames per second with 8.8 megabytes of resolution and complete autofocus. After shooting a 4K clip, you can easily scrub through the frames while the video is being played back and choose the one that you like best to use as a frame grab. This function operates exactly the same way as the 1D X Mark II.

The 5D Mark IV includes all of the interfaces that are customary for DSLR video cameras, including a microphone, headphones, and an HDMI-out connector. Sadly, the highest resolution that HDMI-out can handle is just 1080 pixels, not 4K.

Additionally, there is support for clean HDMI-out, however, just like the 1D X Mark II, the maximum resolution is just 1080. Full HD recording is now accessible up to 60p, and it is even possible to record 720/120p, but doing so may result in the loss of audio. For those who do not require a 4K resolution, there are still important enhancements.

Autofocus

Dual Pixel autofocus is a technique that we have lauded on other Canon DSLRs for its precision and natural appearing focus transitions. This technology is included in the 5D Mark IV as well, as was discussed before. It works pretty well for still photographs, but it works absolutely wonderfully for moving pictures.

Face detection using Dual Pixel AF has shown to function very well and is quite accurate, and subject tracking, whether it’s a face or another subject, is among the finest we’ve seen in other cameras. The tracking of depth is similarly effective, and there is no hunting during the shifts of focus; they are seamless. You are able to personalize the focus speed of the 5D Mark IV in FlexiZone-Single-mode by adjusting it in 10 different increments.

This gives you the ability to tailor it to the pace at which your subject is moving or to the appearance that you want to create. In Movie Servo AF, the autofocus speed can be modified in 10 different increments, giving you the ability to personalize AF based on the pace at which your subject is moving or the appearance you wish to create.

In addition, the camera features a fully interactive touchscreen, much like the one found on the EOS 80D. This touchscreen gives you the ability to adjust all of the video settings directly onscreen, and it also supports tap-to-focus. It is equipped with the same three autofocus modes as the 80D, which are Face+Tracking, FlexiZone-Multi, and FlexiZone-Single respectively.

The upshot of all of this is that subject tracking, focusing, and shooting may be accomplished by a single person, producing images that are quite appealing and predictable.

HDR Video

HDR video is a feature that makes the 5D Mark IV an intriguing camera. In principle, high dynamic range (HDR) video should be able to accomplish for video what high dynamic range (HDR) approaches have been able to do for still photography: expand the dynamic range that is recorded in a picture such that highlights are maintained without crushing the shadows.

Shooting in 1080p at 60 frames per second allows it to capture two interleaved 1080p clips, one of which is designed for the highlights and the other for the shadows. In-camera combining of these results in high dynamic range 1080/30p video that has been compressed using IBP. Therefore, 1080/30p with IBP compression is the only mode in which HDR support may be enabled, in case this isn’t already evident.

It is not the first Canon DSLR to include this feature; the Rebel T6s/760D supports HDR video, but it only works in a small number of preset modes such as “landscape” or “sports,” is limited to 720p, and does not have an option for manual control. This new model is the first Canon DSLR to include this feature. In comparison, the 5D IV provides users with total control over all exposure settings. This is something that will be crucial to videographers who take their work seriously.

Rolling shutter

The significant 1.64x crop (relative to the whole width of the sensor, 1.74x compared to the 3:2 area), as well as the camera’s usage of the inefficient Motion JPEG compression technique, were two of the primary sources of initial worry over the video quality of the EOS 5D Mark IV (which limits the ability to use SD cards with any dependability).

However, when we tried to use the camera to take pictures, we discovered that it had a substantial rolling shutter. We have demonstrated the effect using both the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, whose sensor can be read out quickly enough to produce relatively low levels of rolling shutter, and the Sony Alpha 6300, which produces a relatively high level of rolling shutter when shooting at 24 frames per second but a lower level when shooting at 30 frames per second.

Specifications

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6720 x 4480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels30 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors32 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor size notessRaw suppoorted in all aspect ratio. Size between 5 and 7.5 megapixel.
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 6+
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-32000 (expands to 50-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v.2.3)Raw (Canon CRW, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points61
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,620,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManualBulbScene Intelligent Auto
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingle shootingContinuous hi/loSilent single shootingSilent continuous2/10 sec self-timer / remote control
Continuous drive7.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions4096 x 2160 (29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1920 x 1080 (59.94p, 29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (119.9p)
FormatMPEG-4, Motion JPEG
Videography notes8.8MP stills can be grabbed from 4K video; camera supports ALL-I, IPB and IPB Light compression.
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesCompactFlash + SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I enabled)
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC
Remote controlYes (wired, wireless, or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)900
Weight (inc. batteries)890 g (1.96 lb / 31.39 oz)
Dimensions151 x 116 x 76 mm (5.94 x 4.57 x 2.99″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSBuilt-in

Pros & Cons

Good For
    Need Improvement

      REVIEW OVERVIEW
      Build quality
      Ergonomics & handling
      Features
      Metering & focus accuracy
      Image quality
      Low light / high ISO performance
      Viewfinder / screen rating
      Performance
      Movie / video mode
      Connectivity
      Value
      Canon has made significant improvements to its semi-professional full-frame all-rounder with the release of the EOS 5D Mark IV. Even though it does not revolutionize the 5D line in the same way that its predecessors have, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV will be more than enough camera for many people thanks to its sturdy build and improved weather sealing, faster burst speed, increased resolution, increased dynamic range, updated autofocus system, and Dual Pixel live view functionality. Even though it does not revolutionize the 5D line.

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