Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Reviews

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has been announced and is expected to hit the streets in early September! This review page will be updated as more information becomes available/is clarified and, when my camera arrives, a full review will be completed at a high priority

As with all EOS 5-Series models before it, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV arrived to great fanfare and a strong demand.

The Canon EOS 5D series is arguably one of the most recognizable camera lines of the digital age and the Mark IV is designed to appeal to the same wide range of enthusiasts and professionals. Nearly identical-looking to its predecessor, it receives substantial 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. All this adds up to a camera that fits into Canon’s product line nicely as the all-around full-frame option.

It is built around a new 30.4MP CMOS sensor and uses the Digic 6+ processor. The AF system is from the flagship 1D X Mark II and contains 61 AF points (41 of which are cross-type) with up to 24% expanded vertical coverage compared with the system in the Mark III. The center point is sensitive to -3EV in One Shot (AF-S) mode (in Live View the sensor is sensitive to -4EV with a fast lens).

4K video capture is a welcome addition to this camera and users can record in either 24 or 30p, albeit with a 1.64x crop. All footage is captured as Motion JPEG. Additionally, the camera allows for 4K Frame Grabs, effectively giving users 30 fps stills shooting with (Dual Pixel) AF. The usefulness of this may depend on how well-controlled the camera’s rolling shutter is, and how acceptable 8.8MP, ~17:9 JPEGs are to you, but we’ve been impressed by how effective 4K/60p video capture on the 1D X II has been for capturing the decisive moment still.

Summary of Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Specifications

    • 30.4 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS Sensor
    • 7 fps continuous shooting and silent shutter mode
    • 4k 30fps video with 8.8 mp still frame grab, Full 1080p HD 60 fps
    • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and smooth AF during video or Live View shooting
    • Dual Pixel RAW
    • Built-in GPS
    • Built-in WiFi, NFC (Near-Field Communication)
    • 3.2″ (81.1mm), approximately 1,620,000 dot Clear View II LCD monitor with full touch-screen interface, including selection of AF area
    • DIGIC 6+ image processor
    • 61-point High-Density Reticular AF II system (like 1D X Mark II) including up to 41 cross-type AF sensors, with EOS iTR, f/8 AF
    • AF sensitivity in low light is EV-3 and EV-4 when in Live View mode
    • 150,000-pixel RGB+IR, 252 zone metering sensor for improved precision
    • Zone, Spot and AF Point Expansion focusing modes
    • ISO 100-32000 with expansion to 102400, 50
    • Short 58ms shutter lag
    • Flicker Mode adjusts shutter release timing to avoid flickering light issues
    • Dual Memory Card Slots supporting one CF (UDMA Mode 7) and one SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card
    • HDR shooting in-camera
    • Upgraded Transparent LCD viewfinder with 100% coverage
    • Dual-Axis Electronic Level with dedicated viewfinder display
    • Time-lapse Movie function
    • EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
    • Peripheral Illumination, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion and Diffraction Lens Correction in-camera
    • Magnesium alloy body, Shutter durability rated up to 150,000 cycles, dust and weather resistance
    • Mirror Vibration Control System to reduce mirror vibration blur
    • Customizable Quick Control screen
    • +/- 5 stops of exposure compensation
    • Super Speed USB 3.0 for high-speed tethering and image/movie transfer
    • In-camera Multiple Exposure and HDR modes, HDR 30 fps video
    • Improved custom controls with built-in Intervalometer and bulb timer

Compared to its peers

Canon now offers a range of full-frame models. On the high end you have the Canon’s sports and action-oriented 1D X Mark II, with its 20.2MP sensor and 14 fps continuous shooting (with AF). The 5DS (and ‘R’ variant), with their 50.6MP sensors, are the company’s high resolution options. The 5D Mark IV splits the difference in terms of resolution and is positioned as Canon’s all-rounder. For those on a budget, the compact EOS 6D soldiers on, four years after its introduction.

So how does the 5D Mark IV stack up against its closest sibling and predecessor? Take a look for yourself:

Canon EOS 5D IV
Canon EOS 5D III
Canon EOS 5DS
Sensor 30.4MP 22.3MP 50.6MP
ISO range
(expanded)
100 – 32000
(expandable 50-102400)
100 – 25600
(expandable 50-102400)
100 – 6400
(expandable 50-12800)
AF points 61 (41 cross-type)
over expanded region
61 (41 cross-type) 61 (41 cross-type)
Live view/video AF ‘Dual Pixel’ phase detection Contrast detection Contrast detection
RGB metering sensor resolution 150k pixels 63-zone dual-layer 150k pixels
LCD 3.2″ 1.62M-dot touchscreen 3.2″ 1.04M-dot 3.2″ 1.04M-dot
Burst rate 7 fps 6 fps 5 fps
Video DCI 4K/30/24p 1080/30p 1080/30p
Headphone socket Yes Yes No
Card format 1x Compact Flash
1x SD
1x Compact Flash
1x SD
1x Compact Flash
1x SD
Built-in Wi-Fi/NFC Yes No No
 GPS Yes No No

Sensor and Image Quality

That is changed again with the EOS 5D Mark IV (disregarding the side-stepping 5Ds models), with this camera getting a big, much welcomed upgrade to 30.4 megapixels.

Model  FOVCF Sensor Pixel Size Pixels/Megapixels Viewfinder DLA
Canon EOS 80D 1.6x 22.5 x 15.0mm 3.7µm 6000 x 4000 24.2  .95x 100% f/5.9
Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1.6x 22.4 x 15.0mm 4.1µm 5472 x 3648 20.2  1.0x 100% f/6.6
Canon EOS 6D 1.0x 35.8 x 23.9mm 6.54µm 5472 x 3648 20.2  .71x 97% f/10.5
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R 1.0x 36.0 x 24.0mm 4.14µm 8688 x 5792 50.6  .71x 100% f/6.7
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1.0x 36.0 x 24.0mm 5.36µm 6720 x 4480 30.4  .71x 100% f/8.6
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 1.0x 36.0 x 24.0mm 6.25µm 5760 x 3840 22.3  .71x 100% f/10.1
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 1.0x 35.8 x 23.9mm 6.4µm 5616 x 3744 21.1  .71x 98% f/10.2
Canon EOS 5D 1.0x 35.8 x 23.9mm 8.2µm 4368 x 2912 12.8  .71x 96% f/13.2
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II 1.0x 36.0 x 24.0mm 6.6µm 5472 x 3648 20.2  .76x 100% f/10.6

The 5D Mark IV ‘s 30 megapixels is a significant amount  far more than any other EOS cameras to date. Obviously this is a new sensor as Canon has not offered a full frame camera with this resolution prior to now.

File Size and Media

There is no doubt that 30 megapixel files are going to be large For an ISO 100 image, you can typically figure about 1.3MB in RAW file size per megapixel of resolution. So, plan now for your storage requirements.

Image files can be written to a CompactFlash (UDMA 7) and/or a SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card. Files can be written to both cards simultaneously (for redundancy) or sequentially (for increased capacity).

Battery Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV uses the same LP-E6N Rechargeable Lithium-ion used in recent EOS DSLRs. This is backwards compatible with the slightly lower capacity LP-E6 ones used in the previous 5D series models. With an LP-E6N the camera is rated at 900 shots per charge by CIPA standards or around 300 shots in live view mode. This is a 5% drop compared to the Mark III when shooting through the viewfinder but a 50% increase in live view performance.

As always, these numbers are meant to be comparable, rather than a representation of how many shots you’ll get. 900 shots per charge should be plenty for heavy stills and video use.

Summary

Canon has addressed many of the concerns of 5D-owning stills and video shooters. We expect significant, though not class-leading, improvements in dynamic range that narrow the gap in shadow recover-ability between Canon and Sony sensors. Resolution has taken a reasonable step forward as well. If it isn’t already apparent, we love Dual Pixel AF and are very happy to see its capability extended to stills shooting of moving subjects. In fact, it’s so good we want to use it all the time (save for sports), but alas no hybrid OVF/EVF. The lack of a tilting or articulated LCD limits the utility of the otherwise excellent live view implementation.

Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6720 x 4480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 30 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 32 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor size notes sRaw suppoorted in all aspect ratio. Size between 5 and 7.5 megapixel.
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Digic 6+
Color space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100-32000 (expands to 50-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 50
Boosted ISO (maximum) 102400
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v.2.3)
  • Raw (Canon CRW, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 61
Lens mount Canon EF
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 1,620,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
  • Bulb
  • Scene Intelligent Auto
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash X sync speed 1/200 sec
Drive modes
  • Single shooting
  • Continuous hi/lo
  • Silent single shooting
  • Silent continuous
  • 2/10 sec self-timer / remote control
Continuous drive 7.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Partial
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 Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 4096 x 2160 (29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1920 x 1080 (59.94p, 29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (119.9p)
Format MPEG-4, Motion JPEG
Videography notes 8.8MP stills can be grabbed from 4K video; camera supports ALL-I, IPB and IPB Light compression.
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types CompactFlash + SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I enabled)
Connectivity
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n + NFC
Remote control Yes (wired, wireless, or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description LP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 900
Weight (inc. batteries) 890 g (1.96 lb / 31.39 oz)
Dimensions 151 x 116 x 76 mm (5.94 x 4.57 x 2.99)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS Built-in

Dual Pixel AF is a no-brainer for videographers, making otherwise complex video shoots a one-man job. Dual Pixel Raw is a clever new idea   it’s a slice of ‘light field’ technology in a consumer DSLR, which speaks of things to come. Unfortunately, our initial impressions of this iteration are poor: actual re-focusability is extremely limited, and unlikely to be of real practical use .

Our largest concerns are around whether or not the 5D IV will be seen as a serious video tool for years to come, due to its Motion JPEG limitation and lack of Clean HDMI output in 4K (not to mention its 1.64x crop), as well as its lack of video support tools like zebras and Log gamma. The extremely high bitrates and CF card requirements may steer many towards shooting 1080p, which we’d expect is soft-as-usual. Finally, we wish Canon’s viewfinder AF were more versatile and less situation-specific, capable of following subjects around the frame as well as its own Dual Pixel AF system. But none of this detracts from the solid improvements and innovative features this iteration brings, one that will surely be a workhorse camera for many in the years to come.

We’ll be diving deep into the features and performance of the 5D Mark IV once one arrives at our offices. Stay tuned and, in the meantime, share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Picture

Compared to the Mark III
Compared to the Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in Hand
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in Hand
Back of Back of 5D MARK IV Camera
Back of 5D MARK IV Camera