The 5D Mark IV has Canon's latest cutting-edge technology packed into it raising the overall performance from its predecessor, including a 30.4MP Full Frame CMOS sensor and 4K video output giving professional photographers beautifully crisp detail in every shot. The EOS 5D Mark IV's high-speed readout technologies and DIGIC 6+ processor mean you can shoot at 7 fps at full resolution, with full AF / AE tracking. An ISO range of 100-32000 (expandable from 50-102400) is combined with enhanced noise processing algorithms to further improve low light shooting. A truly versatile camera, EOS 5D Mark IV delivers DCI 4K shooting at up to 30 fps and the ability to extract 8.8MP JPEG images from 4K videos. 61-point (41 cross-type) AF covers an expanded sensor area and delivers focus at EV-3 in viewfinder shooting mode, or EV-4 in Live View mode. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC enables remote operation and secure file transfer (FTPS/FTP) via smart devices using the Canon Camera Connect app. Take creative control of time - speed things up with built in time lapse movie mode or slow things down with Full HD 60p and HD 120p movie recording. Dual Pixel RAW file format allows photographers to fine-tune images in post-production such as adjusting or correcting the point of sharpness. The high resolution 3.2-inch LCD with full touch panel operation is combined with a new AF area selection button providing quick AF point selection.
4K Video Recording
100 - 32,000 (Expandable to 102,400)
100% Coverage Intelligent Viewfinder II
Wi-Fi & NFC
SD/ SDHC/ SDXC Memory Card
3.2" Capacitive Touch LCD Screen
150.7mm(w) x 116.4mm(h) x 75.9mm(d)
AF Control System
Secondary Image-Registration, Phase Detection AF
Focusing Point Selection
61 Point Auto Focus
Sync Speed 1/200 sec
100 % of 100
Write a review
"...A DSLR at this level cannot be underestimated."
| byCAMERA Magazine
100 % of 100
It’s a little over a decade since Canon introduced the EOS 5D and both the original and subsequent versions have consistently been hits with both photographers and video-makers. Back in late 2005, Canon described the EOS 5D has heralding a “new category of D-SLR”, but it’s unlikely that even its makers appreciated just how important this category would become. The original packaged a full-35mm sensor in a more compact and affordable body than had been seen before, while from the Mark II onward (launched in September 2008), the EOS 5D became the go-to D-SLR for videographers. Despite the changes in the marketplace since then – mostly notably the rise and rise of mirrorless cameras – the 5D has steadfastly maintained its popularity, making it collectively Canon’s best-selling D-SLR… and almost certainly the best-selling D-SLR full stop. Even with the continued inroads of mirrorless designs into the higher-end categories of interchangeable lens cameras – and the best efforts of rival Nikon to steal the crown – the EOS 5D remains a hard-to-beat combination of size, features, functionality, performance and affordability. And Canon builds on all of these with the Mark IV (known affectionately internally as ‘ivy’) which probably faces stiffer competition than any of its predecessors, both as a stills camera and a video camera. Yet once again, the 5D IV has that intangible ‘something’ that transcends mere specifications to create a camera which is perfectly in harmony and at one with its user. Right now, Nikon’s D500 has the same magic, and it’s very hard to pinpoint whether it happens by accident or design, but it’s always immediately evident from the moment you pick it up.
On the outside Canon has largely stuck with the same mid-sized bodyshell and control layout as the previous model, but with an upgrade to weather sealing and the relocation of several ports to make for better management of the cables when they’re being used.
Most of the body panels are magnesium alloy, but the top cover is made from GRP. The monitor screen is still a fixed 8.1 cm LCD panel, but now with 1.62 megadots resolution and, significantly, extensive touchscreen controls. Usefully too, the monitor screen is adjustable for colour balance via four presets called Standard, Warm, Cool 1 and Cool 2.
On the inside, however, it’s all-change with a new sensor and processor, new metering system, upgraded autofocusing system, faster continuous shooting, a 4K video capability, both built-in WiFi and GPS (hence the need for the GRP prism cover), and a number of significant new features such as ‘Dual Pixel RAW’ capture (more about this shortly). The 5D IV’s sensor is an all-new device with a total pixel count of 31.7 million, giving an effective count of 30.4 million and a maximum image size of 6720x4480 pixels at a 3:2 aspect ratio. An optical low-pass filter (OPLF) is retained. The pixel size is a healthy 5.36 microns which gives a comparatively high signal-tonoise ratio, translating into a native sensitivity range equivalent to ISO 100 to 32,000 with extensions to ISO 51,200 and 102,400 (plus a one-stop ‘pull’ to ISO 50). These higher sensitivities are actually realistic at this pixel size.
For JPEG capture there’s also the choice of 4:3, 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios with five image sizes each and three compression levels. RAW images are recorded with 14-bit RGB colour in one of three sizes while any combination is actually available for configuring RAW+JPEG capture.
The new ‘Dual Pixel RAW’ capture is made possible via the sensor’s ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ architecture which has two side-by-side photodiodes at each pixel point – enabling them to perform phase-difference detection autofocusing in either live view or when shooting video.
‘Dual Pixel RAW’ (DPRAW) uses both photodiodes for image capture so these files are twice the size of the standard RAW files, but the very slight variation in perspective between the two sets of image data is used to enable some slight adjustments. The processing options are called ‘Image Micro-Adjustment’, ‘Bokeh Shift’ and ‘Ghosting Reduction’, and they all use the offset at any given point in the two images to enable small corrections to be made by applying shifts of varying magnitudes. These adjustments are performed post-camera using the latest version of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. ‘Image Micro-Adjustment’ is used to shift the plane of focus forwards or backwards, although in practice this adjustment is very small and measured in millimetres. ‘Bokeh Shift’ does the same with the out-of-focus areas. ‘Ghosting Reduction’ is obviously pretty selfexplanatory and used to reduce both ghosting and flare. Not surprisingly, the effectiveness of these micro-adjustments depends on a number of external factors, including the lens focal length and the aperture setting as both relate to the depth-of-field. The shallower the depth-of-field, the more noticeable these corrections will be, particularly to the focusing point. Depending on the content, a processed DPRAW file is going to be sized somewhere between 65 and 75 MB after the two sets of image data are combined (they exist as separate – but linked – files up to this point) so they’ll chew up more storage space, but this is probably a small price to pay if a ‘just missed it’ image can be rescued. Don’t expect miracles, but the DPRAW adjustments do have the potential to make small, but still potentially significant corrections.
The EOS 5D Mark IV employs two processors – a ‘turbo-charged’ DiG!C 6+ chip which does most of the heavy lifting and a DiG!C 6 chip which is devoted solely to auto exposure control duties. There are quite a few demands on processing power, including 4K video (see the Making Movies panel for the full run-down on the camera’s video capabilities), continuous shooting at up to seven frames per second, and the aforementioned ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ focusing operations.
The 7.0 fps shooting speed is delivered with full AF/AE adjustment between frames and a burst length of 110 frames when shooting maximum quality JPEGs. With RAW capture the burst limit is 21 frames, and the Mark IV retains the same memory card slot combination as before – namely one for CF type cards and one for the SD format which supports the higher-capacity HC and XC versions and now also the UHS-I data transfer speed. A ‘silent’ continuous shooting mode is available and operates at up to 3.0 fps, but in reality it’s quieter rather than being completely noiseless.
Continuous shooting is possible with live view – although the top speed slows to 4.3 fps – and continuous AF with subject tracking is also available. ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ provides 80 percent frame coverage (although all the sensor’s pixels are actually split types) and the touch controls allow for the subject to be quickly selected by simply tapping the monitor screen.
‘FlexiZone – Single’ and ‘FlexiZone – Multi’ modes are available for manual focusing point or area selection in live view along with face detection.
The viewfinder-based autofocusing system shares the same basic specs as the Mark III model – so there’s a total of 61 focusing points, 41 of them crosstype arrays – but there have been some significant upgrades. Firstly the coverage has been expanded by nearly 25 percent vertically at the sides of the AF area (a little under ten percent at the centre), and all 61 points work at f8.0 while the cross-type arrays work down to f5.6. The overall sensitivity is increased to EV -3.0 (at ISO 100, and to EV -4.0 in live view), but low-light assist relies on a Speedlite flash gun being fitted. As before, the five points in the centre are dual cross-type arrays with additional diagonal detectors which increases their scope for finding a contrast edge on the subject.
Switching between the singleshot and continuous modes can be either done manually or left to the camera when it’s in the AI Servo AF mode. Manual AF point selection can be individually, in groups or in zones. A group – actually called AF Point Expansion – comprises the selected point with either four or eight surrounding points. With Zone AF, all the points are divided into nine zones (comprising either nine or 16 points depending on their position), or there’s the option of Large Zone AF which divides them into just three zones. Of course, automatic point selection and switching is available, with subject tracking regulated by Canon’s ‘Intelligent Tracking is provided for dealing with the switching characteristics of gasignition lighting (i.e. fluorescent types) which can affect both exposure and colour balance when shooting at faster shutter speeds. The anti-flicker capability detects the frequency of a light source’s blinking and subsequently times the shutter release during continuous shooting to minimise any variations.
The shutter assembly has some tweaks to help minimise vibrations and also further reduce lag, but the speed range remains at 30- 1/8000 seconds and the reliability at 150,000 cycles. The reflex mirror mechanism has also been redesigned and is actuated via a micromotor (rather than springs) so its speed can be reduced towards the end of its travel to reduce bounce and the amount of vibrations it creates, but obviously this isn’t quite as critical with 30 megapixels resolution as it is with the 50 MP of the EOS 5Ds/R duo. However, the Mark IV camera has the additional Fine Detail ‘Picture Style’ preset introduced on these models and which processes JPEGs for increased sharpness. It also provides the more advanced manual control over sharpness in all the other ‘Picture Styles’ with three separately adjustable parameters labelled Strength, Fineness and Threshold. These work in a similar fashion to Photoshop’s Unsharp Masking, so Strength controls the amount of sharpening, Fineness determines the size of the details which will be sharpened, and Threshold sets the contrast level at which an edge would be subjected to sharpening. It may look a little daunting on paper, but the idea here is to enable a better matching of the sharpness adjustments with the type of subject. Experimentation is needed though.
The remaining ‘Picture Style’ presets are Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome. The colour presets are adjustable for contrast, colour saturation and hue in addition to the sharpness controls while the B&W preset replaces the colour controls with a set of contrast filters (i.e. red, orange, yellow and green) and toning effects. There’s also an Auto ‘Picture Style’ which adjusts the processing parameters according to analysis of the subject using AF, AE and white balance & Recognition’ (iTR) processing which includes input from the metering system. The 5D IV has the same upgraded ‘Intelligent Viewfinder II’ LCD information overlays as the EOS-1D X Mark II to show the active focus points (with red LEDs taking over in low light situations).
Continuous autofocusing operation – or, more specifically, the tracking – can be fine-tuned to suit particular types of subject movement and also the shooting situation. The ‘AF Configuration Tool’ – which has its own menu – provides a selection of six scenarios which vary the tracking sensitivity, the acceleration/ deceleration rates, and the speed of the point switching. These three parameters are also manually adjustable so, for example, the tracking sensitivity can be varied from ‘Locked On’ to ‘Responsive’ with three steps in between.
AF micro-adjustment is possible for up to 40 lenses – applied either collectively or individually – and this allows for the correction of either front- or back-focusing. This is when a particular lens on a particular camera body focuses just a little in front of or a little behind the true plane of focus and, in technical terms, what’s being adjusted here is the depthof- focus. On the Mark IV zooms can be separately adjusted at their wide-angle and telephoto ends, and individual lenses can be identified via model or serial number (as even different examples of the same model can exhibition variations).
Exposure control is via a coloursensitive ‘RGB+IR’ sensor which employs 150,000 pixels to give 252-zone evaluative metering which is also linked to the active AF point(s) and fine-tuned by Canon’s ‘Intelligent Scene Analysis’ processing. Alternatively, selective area, centre-weighted average and spot measurements are provided. These drive the usual selection of ‘PASM’ exposure control modes – more precisely ‘PAvTvM’ on a Canon D-SLR – and the overrides for the auto modes comprise an AE lock, up to +/-5.0 EV of compensation and auto bracketing with adjustments of up to +/-3.0 EV per frame over sequences of two, three, five or seven. Automatic flicker detection data. Up to three customised ‘Picture Styles’ can be created and stored in-camera
As on the 5Ds models, the white balance controls include the choice of ‘Ambience Priority’ or ‘White Priority’ modes for the automatic correction. The latter is the standard way of doing things while the former is a development of ‘keep warm colours’, but works with whatever colour cast is predominant in a scene.
Six different types of lighting are covered by presets, plus there’s auto bracketing (again over sequences of two, three, five or seven frames), fine-tuning and manual colour temperature setting. However, again only one custom WB setting can be stored which is a bit stingy by high-end camera standards.
Thankfully, Canon has been much more generous with the rest of the Mark IV’s creative and corrective functions and so, compared to its predecessor, it gains an intervalometer (and timelapse for making video clips), extra in-camera lens corrections for distortion and diffraction, a ‘Digital Lens Optimiser’, a programmable Bulb timer for long exposures (which does away with the need for a remote trigger), and in-camera RAW-to-JPEG processing. These join multi-shot HDR, a multiple exposure facility (for combining up to nine frames), noise reduction for both long exposures and high ISO settings, and the ‘Auto Lighting Optimiser’ and ‘Highlight Tone Priority’ processing functions for contrast control and dynamic range expansion respectively.
The ‘Digital Lens Optimiser’ was previously a post-camera process, but now can be used with both RAW and JPEG capture, and applies a bunch of lens corrections collectively as well as compensating for “… the deterioration of resolution caused by the low-pass filter” (to quote the user manual) via edge enhancement. The HDR capture function operates over three frames and the exposure adjustment can be manually set to +/-1.0, +/-2.0 or +/-3.0 or automatically adjusted according to the brightness range detected in the scene. An auto image align function is available along with the option of saving all the files or just the final merged HDR image. There’s also a set of four creative effects – called Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Embossed – which vary the colour saturation, brightness, tonality and boldness of the outlines. That’s it for any frilly stuff though, so the EOS 5D IV doesn’t have any special effects or in-camera panorama stitching.
The challenge facing the EOS 5D Mark IV is not so much attracting Mark III users or even taking on its D-SLR rivals, but the increasing competition from the next generation of higher-end mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless makes more sense operationally for shooting video and there are the size and weight advantages for all users so the ILC market is just going to get harder for D-SLRs, but like Nikon’s D500, the 5D IV needs to be looked at as a total package and then it represents very much more than the sum of its parts. Also like the D500, it’s the more accessible – and even more workable – alternative to the flagship model and, as such, is a highly desirable combination of features, functionality, performance and price. It inspires confidence in its ability to physically get the job done no matter what, and in the reassurance that visions will be realised.
The ‘reliable workhorse’ aspect of a D-SLR at this level cannot be underestimated and it provides a solid foundation for photographic creativity. Canon has further built on this with many of Mark IV’s key elements, including the sensor, touchscreen and autofocusing.
It is, quite simply, a triumph and just possibly – like the D500 for Nikon – Canon’s crowning moment in D-SLR design.