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Canon 5D Mark IV Official Review | Gear Talk Episode 13

September 8th 2016 8:22 PM

Whether you are a fan of Canon technology or not, the release of the 5D Mark IV marks a historic milestone for camera innovation as a whole. Now, should you purchase the new Canon 5DMIV, particularly if you already have the 5DMIII?

[REWIND: CANON 5D MARK IV | THIS IS IT, FINALLY]

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 1/160 sec at f/11, ISO 100 39mm Focal Length

I’ve had the chance to take out the 5DMIV for several shoots, professional and personal, prior to its release. Having logged over 5,000 clicks on the camera, I’ve gotten a firm grip of what aspects I love about Canon’s new workhorse, and potential drawbacks for some uses. Plenty of reviews will provide you with tech specs, but we want to give you hands-on, practical information from real-world professional shoots.

Evolutionary vs Revolutionary

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The 5DMIV represents an evolution in the 5D series versus a revolution like we saw with the 5DMII’s introduction of video, and the first 50 megapixel full-frame DSLR with the 5DS. The 5DMIV represents an improvement over almost every aspect of the 5DMIII, but outside of its new AF system, I am not seeing that the camera necessarily set any new “high bar” standards.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fantastic camera; I absolutely loved it, and I will be making the upgrade immediately. But, it might not be for everyone.

If you are an enthusiast who loves high-quality photos, and the ability to shoot video, then it’s probably worth saving the money and sticking to the 5DMIII. One of the best things about the 5DMIV is that it will drive prices down for the 5DMIII, which is already a fantastic full frame camera system.

But, if you are a still photographer or an enthusiast who is capable of shooting at the limits of the camera, the 5DMIV is packed with features that you are going to love; Features that make it absolutely worth the upgrade. Let’s talk about my favorites, in order:

Dual Pixel AF – Canon’s Statement Piece

This is by far my favorite feature of this camera because it brings the AF control and precision up to a Canon 1D Mark II level. Seriously, in comparison to the 5DMIII, the 5DMIV’s AF system is like jumping from a Honda Accord up to a Porsche 911 GT3-RS. For those that don’t speak car, it’s a huge improvement; a noticeably massive improvement. In fact, I haven’t used a DSLR with a better overall focus system.

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Along with a snappy quick-and-accurate AF, comes the new touch screen live-view AF, a 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor where you can touch the screen and the camera’s focus detection system jumps in, helping you to accurately track the focal point right in live view!

While you might think of this as a gimmick, it’s not. In fact, it’s so useful that I found myself using it constantly throughout my shoots, especially when I am shooting macro, or placing the camera in low/awkward positions. Also, this makes for gorgeous rack focus for video. Canon has smashed it out of the park with Dual Pixel AF, and this is the one feature that I would dare say is the revolutionary part of this camera.

It should be noted that the Dual Pixel AF functionality is for Live View focusing, however standard viewfinder focusing has been significantly improved from the 5DM3 as well. You will notice a major difference in the all around AF system.

Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light Sensitivity

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 35mm f/1.4L II 1/4000 sec at f/1.4, ISO 100

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 24mm f/1.4L II 1/800 sec at f/1.4, ISO 100

We have begged for this, and Canon has indeed done a good job in boosting Dynamic Range and ISO sensitivity. We are releasing this video before Lightroom/Photoshop/Capture One can edit the raw files, so we can’t really do a lot of side by side comparisons at this point. But, we are seeing a pretty big improvement from the files themselves.

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 1/160sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400

We see visually around 1 to 1.5 stops of dynamic range improvement, and around 1.5 – 2 stops of low light performance in the noise when compared to the 5DM3. Again, this is a rough estimation from simply eyeballing the files as we don’t have the ability to process RAW files at the moment. Still, I feel like the sensor trails a bit behind other industry flagship cameras and sensors.

I would have loved for Canon to set the new bar for dynamic range and low light performance, but the marked improvement over the 5DMIII is an upgrade that will be much appreciated for those like me that love the 5D system.

30.4 MP Resolution – Nice But Is it Necessary For You?

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 50mm f/1.2L 1/250sec at f/1.2, ISO 100

A nice boost in resolution provides shooters with full raw files that are just north of 30MP, and medium RAW files at 17MP. This makes for a very nice enhancement in overall image detail and resolution, without making the files too large.

Most professionals will love the new megapixel upgrade as well, but enthusiast and amateur photographers may find that the 22.3 megapixel 5DM3 is already more than adequate.

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 35 f/1.4L II 1/500 sec at f/1.4, ISO 100

For the professional, or the enthusiast that is shooting at the limits of the Canon 5D Mark III, these 3 improvements in and of themselves justify the upgrade. At least, they did for me. Add on Canon’s massive array of professional glass, along with Canon Professional Services, the industry’s best professional customer support service, and we have a solid winner for professionals.

However, there is no flawless hero, here are some reasons why you might want to think twice about making the leap from the Mark III or another camera system to the 5D Mark IV:

A Raw Deal – The Magnitude of Dual Pixel RAW

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro IS 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO 800

Now, although we can’t edit to demo Dual Pixel RAW just yet, the Mark IV’s Dual Pixel RAW (which is the same left eye/right eye system utilized for the Dual Pixel AF) allows you to capture a RAW file where it’s possible to make AF adjustments in post.

Keep in mind a few things, though, these AF adjustments are mini to micro adjustments, meaning you might be able to shift focus from the eyelashes to the eye, but not from the ear to the eye.

Also, shooting full 30MP RAW files with Dual Pixel RAW enabled is going to eat up your memory cards like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos as you shoot close to 100 MB raw files. This means you will get just over 350 shots off a 32GB memory card, a weak standard for wedding photographers working 10+ hour days. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review and comparison once Lightroom/Photoshop/Capture One update their software to enable editing of these files.

One Small Stop for Low Light, Doesn’t Mean A Giant Leap for Mark IV

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Canon 5D Mark IV on Canon 24mm f/1.4L II 1/200 sec at f/1.4, ISO 800

There is a significant improvement in dynamic range and low light, but if you are on other flagship camera systems, like say the Sony A7s Mark II or Nikon D810 then you aren’t going to be convinced to switch in and of itself.

Great video, but not without limitations

The 5D system has always been designed as a high-quality stills machine, with the ability to do video. It was designed as the photojournalist’s weapon, for those that need to capture stills, but then every now and then capture video in short bursts.

The 5DM2 was so popular, that it became many cinematographer’s weapon of choice, although it was never really designed to become that. Hence when the 5DM3 came out people were surprised that Canon didn’t build in every video option and tool needed for cinema professionals. Instead, Canon released specific Cinema line cameras designed to be cinema workhorses.

The changes made to the 5DM4’s video system seems to further that division. The 5DM4 can do 4K video, but in 1.7x crop mode and using an MJPEG video format that is going to fill your memory cards very quickly, not to mention require you to have the fastest possible memory cards available.

It lacks true video features like focus peaking, multiple file formats and other software/firmware components that a cinematographer will need and want, features that many other still/video camera systems already have.

Granted, the Dual Pixel AF is awesome when doing video (we are certain this will be built into the future line up of cinema cameras as well), but the 5DM4 and Canon, rather, seems to be making the statement that if you are looking for a serious video workhorse, you need to step to Canon’s Cinema line-up of cameras. That being said, this camera will still capture beautiful video clips so long as you deal with its quirks.

Product Highlights:

30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
61-Point High-Density Reticular AF
Native ISO 32000, Expanded to ISO 102400
Dual Pixel RAW; AF Area Select Button
Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
7 fps Shooting; CF & SD Card Slots
Built-In GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC

From a still photography standpoint, here are some of the things I wish made it to the final production unit:

– RAW/Low Light to rival other camera makers (a new bar being set)
– True dual card slots, dual CF would enable faster writes, this means we need to buy the fastest SDs available, and still we are probably going to run into buffer issues
– Built-in wireless remote transmitter for 600EX flash systems
– Spot metering over independent AF points

Should You make the Jump from III to IV?

The only people that might be disappointed in this release were those expecting the 5DM4 to be a revolutionary full-frame camera that does it all and does it all better than everyone else. The 5DM4 is primarily a still photographer’s camera, with the ability to do great quality video clips. It’s dynamic range and low light performance boosts are fantastic upgrades to catch the camera up to other industry leading sensors. Who knows, when we have the ability to edit the RAW files and compare side by side, we may even see more latitude and performance, right now it’s just too early to tell. For many (like myself), it’s revolutionary AF system along with the boost in dynamic range and ISO performance are already enough to 100% justify purchase. It’s a fantastic camera.

But, here’s my recommendations for you all :

If you are an amateur photographer and you love high-quality photos, one of the best things about the release of this beast is that it will push down the prices of the Mark III and II – two very affordable, high quality, full frame camera options. These two cameras are a great place to start until you are actually able to shoot at the limits of the 5DM2 and 5DM3. When you start desiring the additional focus and sensor performance, move to the 5DM4. But, most users are not even going to be able to shoot at the limits of the 5DM2/5DM3, hence spending the extra money right now may not make sense.

For cinema professionals, the Mark IV may not have the right tools as a primary workhorse camera. It simply wasn’t designed to be a cinematic workhorse, but rather to offer nice cinematic clips in addition to it’s still functionality. But the Canon Cinema Line may be your salvation here.

For enthusiasts or professionals that are shooting at the limits of the 5DMIII sensor quality, then this upgrade is absolutely 100% worthwhile. Professionals and enthusiasts are going to go crazy over the ease and simplicity of the new AF system, and you will appreciate the expanded dynamic range and the additional low light performance. All-in-all, this camera makes for a fantastic evolutionary upgrade for 5D line-up of cameras.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, LJP Studios and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Comments [83]

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  1. Dan Sifuentes

    I wrote my own review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Check it out and write a comment so I know what you think. Here’s the link: https://www.digitalcamcentral.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-4-review/

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  2. Susie Hewson

    I pre-ordered the 5D mk IV – I have a 6D and a 7D mk II, and I do a lot of event/party/wedding reception photography under artificial light, which can be fluorescent or other timed light and is also often at poor levels. Venues are often village and church halls and gigs using LED and other less than optimal lighting. I’ve always thought the 6D was severely underrated and loved the picture quality and excellent low light capabilities. The 7D is great in good natural light and the much-improved AF and quicker FPS are fantastic but at higher ISO levels I found it unacceptable.

    As such, my deciding factor was anti-flicker, which was a must, and I thought the other specs promised to combine and exceed the best elements of the 6D and the 7D mk II.

    So far I’m really pleased. The 5D IV’s low light results are much better than the 6D’s and interestingly, I can get similar results in the same environment (a regular gig using the same LED lighting at the same levels) at several stops less than with the 6D and a lot less noise) – and I’ve not only got the anti-flicker but the greatly enhanced AF of the 7D mk II.

    So to those of you with a 6D, I would say go for it. It’s also a step up towards the 5D RS if you want more detail in a studio environment, where higher ISO capability isn’t going to be an issue. I was concerned that more mpg was going to mean more noise but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I traded in a different camera and its lenses to help fund the IV; I’m hoping the 6D Mk II will be a good second body, I don’t think I would be able to afford a second 5D mk IV…

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    • Sandor Nagy

      Hi Susie, did you try to compare your 7D Mk II’s image to the crop of 5D Mk IV?

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  3. Shawn Herbert

    Is the MJPEG video format used when shooting at 1080 as well or only 4k video? I would most likely use the camera and shoot in 1080. The giant files are a huge concern for me.

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    • Josh Valdez

      MJEPEG is the standard format for all video recordings on the 5D IV. I highly recommend buying the proper camera for video. The a7s II is the best in that price range that can take both pictures and video. You can always go for a Canon 1DC with is better that the mk4.

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    • Wayne D

      Wrong! Mjpeg is for 4K recording . 1080P records in MP4.

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    • Shawn Herbert

      I already have a 7D Mark ii so I would like to have a full frame camera that could also be used as an additional second camera when shooting video.

      It doesn’t make sense if the 1080 files are crazy huge compared to my 7D. I may be better off buying the 5D Mark iii.

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  4. Siddhartha Siddhartha

    I just hapenned to see the DPREVIEW’s 5DM4 review. The comparison chart shows that the RAW files from 6D are better than 5DM4 and they even claim the 6D is better in high ISOs than M4. *mind blown*

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  5. Dan Szpakowski

    A great review/comparison for wedding & portrait photographers! I’d love to see an image quality comparison to the 5dsr/d810 and A7rii from a landscape stand point!

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  6. Steven Gotz

    A friend of mine got the Mark IV the day after it was released. (Must be nice to be on that kind of list!)

    We tested the heck out of it, and I have yet to see anyone mention the one thing we thought might be wrong with the camera.

    We often shoot at the zoo and get shots that are often both too dark and too light. So we expose for just below where the blinkies start in the highlights and in post we bring the shadows up and the highlights down.

    We were pleased with the detail in the shadows, and that is what everyone seems to be testing, but we were appalled at the
    lack of detail in the highlights.

    We would really appreciate hearing from someone who could possibly explain what we did wrong, or verify our findings.

    People keep writing about the great high ISO, and how you can take an underexposed photo and have it come out right. But what about the overexposed part. Not blown out, believe me when I say we know the difference. Too bright but no blinkies ought to come down easily with the highlight slider.

    By the way, for those who want to play around with raw files, be aware that the Digital Photo Professional 4.5 software, free from Canon (if you have a Canon serial number) was released last week. In fact, it has a “Transfer to Photoshop” command in the Tools menu that will convert it to TIF so that you can use the Camera Raw filter with it.

    I would be happy to discuss this with anyone who has ideas for further testing and I can share some of the raw files if necessary.

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    • Jill Schindel

      Curious to hear responses to this. I shoot with a 6d and my main issue has always been detail in the highlights. I don’t need insane dynamic range, but it seems like I need to have a pretty stormy/moody day to get much detail in my skies, even when I purposely underexpose a bit for my subjects. I suspect for me it is as much or more technique than gear but it is interesting to hear someone else with a similar issue. I would have thought the 5D4 would perform much better in this area.

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  7. Josh Valdez

    I really like the new af feature but I don’t think it’s worth investing against other cameras on the market. I’m going to switch to either sony or Fuji. I hear fuji has a medium format camera coming out soon. :)

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  8. Tony Williams

    Excellent review and very informative. But, how is this review official?

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  9. Rob Gipman

    Thanks for the review. Love this 5DIV! https://www.flickr.com/photos/gipukan/29572747011/

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  10. Kailash Gyawali

    Just for fun, did some enhancements :)

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  11. adam sanford

    https://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-IV-Sensor-Review-Game-changer

    And there it is. +2 stops DR at base ISO.

    On-chip ADC for the win. It’s not EXMOR good, but it’s a massive step towards parity with the Sony sensors.

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  12. Zeid D

    Are you sure it doesn’t have built-in support for triggering the 600ex rt?

    Canon’s spec page states

    Radio transmission wireless flash shooting
    Optical transmission wireless flash shooting

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    • adam sanford

      Wireless master is not an onboard feature. You have to use a wireless transmitter product in the hotshoe to command a 600 EX-RT.

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  13. Swapnil Hatkar

    Hey thank u for this review
    I am a proffesional wedding photographer , i mostly shoots candid shots in wedding and shooting ambient lighting.
    so which camera is better for me,5d mark iii or mark iv ,please tell me ,
    Thank you .

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  14. mark arnold

    Good stuff Pye and crew. Well done and articulate with the video. Nice and refreshing to hear a review from an actual shooter.
    Thanks you.

    Shot a wedding yesterday (Sunday-9/11) with the 5DmkIV & 5DS.
    Observations:
    -Love the new back rocker switch. I used it for ISO adjustment. Really easy-n-fast to adjust ISO while shooting without taking camera away from shooting position.
    -Buffer clears very nicely when needed.
    -The 5DmkIV takes the ready to shoot 5DmkIII and moves it up a notch.
    -AF is good.
    -The screen is tight. As in a very well integration. The touch aspect is fast, responsive… a really nice surprise.
    -Shutter sounds good, solid – not sloppy.
    -I shot gripless (I will add later) – battery life was Aprox 1000 images.
    AWB appears to be more accurate. Will need to verify.

    Were I would top out at 3200/4000 iso with the 5DmkIII, I went with ISO 5000 and the files look pretty-darn-nice. Like everybody else… will need to wait for Lr update to understand the real use model for this camera.
    In photomechanic, the files remind me of nikon images out of the camera…. in respects to blacks and shadows.

    Pretty impressive camera. I am seriously thinking about selling my 2 5DmkIII and getting a 2nd 5DmkIV. Might dump the 5DS too.

    The 5DmkIV: What a fun camera to go to work with and be creative and document weddings with.

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  15. Vinay Aravind

    Thank you for this review. Seems to be the first solid review that’s out for this camera. I’ve been shooting weddings professionally with the 6D for a couple of years or more (5D Mk II before that, now my backup body), and I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera. I don’t do video at all, and for a wedding photographer this sounds like a dream camera. I went through the manual for it, and I can see myself doing a lot more live view shooting with this one (and that allowing me a lot more latitude in my composition, without having to crop in post). Thanks again!

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  16. Alex Barroso

    Def some obvious bias in your review. Any reviewer that had the camera months prior isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds them.

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    • Ray Mas

      Woah…relax dude. I’ve worked for software and manufacturing companies and no one gives out pre-production stuff with an agenda (they’re actually taking a huge risk in case their competitors get a hold of it). They do that to get precious feedback from real world usage, it’s part of product development. Try to appreciate the hours of work that go into such testing for the free benefit of us lot who visit these sites. Or perhaps you prefer reviews based on opinions without actual usage?

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    • Alex Barroso

      Not trying to be stand-offish but then you would also know that of course NDAs are utilized and Canon is the one with the leverage. CPS which more than likely he is a part of is not the one to give you a camera without them already knowing you will not be very impartial about it and if you were, probably wouldn’t be sending you new tech in the future. The language he specifically uses is great though and well written but understandably bias.

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    • mark arnold

      Alex,
      I can easily back up Pye comments.
      No fluff…. The camera is really nice – solid and sophisticated. There is an improvement in the sensor. You can see it in the jpg’s.

      Is it perfect… no. Like the file naming structure. I still find it stuck in the 90’s.

      While the camera can do video… It is not a camera I would chose to do professional work with. Many other more capable cameras out there. The camera has been limited by Canon in this regards.

      Therefore Pye was pretty much spot on.

      Just for a little reference. I have been shooting for 9 years.
      I am also a Mechanical engineer in the semiconductor industry.

      IMHO … I do not see the bias or the drinking of the cool-aid.

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  17. Ray Mas

    Awesome review. I just tested the 5DM4 this weekend, and I can agree with Pye on everything mentioned. Feels like we now have focusing superpowers! Found myself looking for excuses to do live-view shooting.

    Pye, amazing SOOC images! Can’t wait to see a follow-up article with edited images from this wedding.

    I’ve been using the 6D for the past few years and will definitely be upgrading to the 5DM4. Once you use the AF on this camera (both OVF and LV), it’s hard to go back to anything less.

    One of things that isn’t being talked about which I found really useful is the new LCD screen together with the touch functionality. It’s a real time saver, much more natural in this smartphone age. The LCD feels bigger and clearer (sorry, didn’t compare the specs). I know I know, I shouldn’t trust the LCD, but I did appreciate the improvement. I do a bit of product and commercial work, and found the 5DM4 touch screen and LV made shooting so much quicker and easier when the camera was on a tripod.

    My wishlist from Canon after my brief testing is:
    1. Tilty/flippy/etc. screen – whatever helps get lower or higher held shots more easily.
    2. Allowing spot metering in all regions of the focus grid.
    3. Some decent connectivity over bluetooth/wifi/nfc. It’s 2016 already Canon! Why can’t we have decent wireless tethering and downloading in the age of airplay and streaming from much smaller and cheaper devices?
    4. Modern menu system (PhaseOne-like?). Canon’s menu system is better than most, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Tony Northrup recently said that Canon needs to focus more on software to prevent others like Magic Lantern from having to hack the camera just to show what the hardware is capable of. What would the iPhone be if Apple had ignored the early iPhone jailbreakers and app community?

    All in all, awesome release from Canon. For those still wondering, rent one out, you won’t regret it :)

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  18. Ralph Hightower

    As an enthusiast, if I hadn’t bought the 5D III in 2013 as my first DSLR, then I probably would buy the 5D IV. Some of the changes are incremental like the boost in FPS and megapixel; others eliminate add-on accessories like GPS (which I would like) and WiFi (probably not use).
    But I tend to hang onto cameras; I still shoot with my 36 year old Canon A-1. I will probably skip two or three generations before considering an upgrade.
    In May 2016, we visited a friend and he noticed that I have the III. He asked me about the differences between the II and the III. I couldn’t name the differences because I didn’t know the 5D II, but I told him to hold off until the 5D IV was released.

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  19. Siddhartha Siddhartha

    Do you think the low light/high ISO performance of this new camera is better than the 6D? Because i found that the 6D was better in low light than the 5DMIII in many cases.

    Thanks!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yes, it will be significantly better than the 6D. We will know more tho when we can do side by side processing tests.

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    • Jermaine Parker

      I have been using the 6D for the past 2 years and it definitely performs better than the mark III. I used my brand new 5D IV at a wedding this weekend and was instantly in l love. The 6D was cool… But the difference is kinda mind blowing. The IV feels like a machine and the focusing is amazing. So, to your point… I didn’t do “tests ”, but I had No issues even in low light. So I will say it performed at least equal to my 6D.

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    • Siddhartha Siddhartha

      Thanks for the comments guys. I just hapenned to see the DPREVIEW’s 5DM4 review. The comparison chart shows that the RAW files from 6D are better than 5DM4 and they even claim the 6D is better in high ISOs than M4. *mind blown*

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  20. Justin Moon

    Great review Pye. As both a photographer and video producer, it’s great to see someone recognise that they differ and require different tools for the best results. The era of DSLR video has unfortunately produced a large group of people who simply don’t know better. I’ll be getting the Mk IV but will be sticking with the C100 Mk II for video. The right tool for the right job :)

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Haha, love seeing that at least a few get what i’m saying ;) Honestly, I think the only people upset right now are the ones expecting the 5DM4 to be the “everything” camera. But, what they don’t understand is that current “everything” cameras like the A7 series cameras may do everything well, with the exception of be reliable in professional use. They overheat, they break down, they have poor ergonomics, etc. There isn’t a single “everything” camera on the market, and the 5DM4 wasn’t designed to try to be that either. If people can see past that, they can see it for what it is, a great improvement on something already great.

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  21. michael prudhomme

    As a Nikon shooter this wasn’t really on my radar, and then the spec sheet fell (along with the sample images on DPreview) and it was a “hell no”. But that AF, oh man! Just put this in my BH cart, along with the 35/1.4 II, a card, and flash; $6K just to play!

    But Nikon Photokina rumors are silent so I don’t see a D750 upgrade coming and even if it did, I’ve shot with both the D5 and D500 and the AF was not improved (not that I could tell).

    I think I’ll hold off on the buy button until I can rent it and see with my own eyes but your enthusiasm was obvious and I’m itchy.

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  22. Michael Shea

    Wait…What?! Lightroom’s not ready to edit 5D Mark IV Raws? Seriously? I just got mine today and I love it! I was going to use it for a wedding tomorrow. Anyone have a guess on how long it will take Adobe to push it out based on past camera releases? 2 weeks I could deal with but not a month. Thanks

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    • Pye Jirsa

      It’s usually not more than a week or two.

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    • Michael Shea

      Thanks! Two weeks isn’t bad. This camera is amazing! A HUGE upgrade for me. I’m coming from a Mark II. My wedding tonight could not have gone any better because of the Mark IV. I am thrilled with the focusing system. I was shooting in almost darkness and the thing would still lock focus. I no longer had to worry about cranking up my ISO’s. I felt very confident that every shot I took was solid and that is a great feeling! I almost bought into the hate hype and cancelled my pre-order…glad that I didn’t.

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  23. Hagos Rush

    Would the 6D not be a better purchase for someone who is not a photographer and looking for full frame quality? – Curious

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    • Pye Jirsa

      6D is already more than enough camera for most users yes

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    • Jill Schindel

      Love my 6D. The only thing I don’t love is that it is still only a centre cross-type AF point. Otherwise I LOVE the image quality, the ISO performance, the really well laid-out controls (super quick to do things like change your white balance or metering mode without having to dig through any menus). You won’t be disappointed!

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  24. adam sanford

    Thanks, Pye. Nice work. A different perspective on AF might be considered. The 5D3’s AF is pretty beastly as it stands — minus the exclusive tracking processing mojo, it’s the same AF setup as the 1DX you’ve seen on every sports sideline the last 4 years. There is absolutely *nothing* Honda Accord-like about using a 5D3 AF to nail your subject.

    Consider: improving the AF was on each and every 5D2 owners’ wishlist for the 5D3 — it was the #1 thing to improve (along with a headphone jack, lol). But the 5D4 wishlists from 5D3 owners were all about absorbing exclusive tech (anti-flicker, DPAF, etc.) and getting a fundamentally better sensor. Improving the AF (at least AF through the viewfinder) was only talked about by the folks who wanted teleconverter compatibilty or -3 EV sensitivity — other than that, the system was top of the line.

    Don’t get me wrong, DPAF is a huge add for the 5D4, but it doesn’t do a thing for traditional OVF shooters.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Correct, I actually called the tech rep and confirmed after filming the video that DPAF is for live view only. So that was reflected in the article, but I don’t think I clearly stated it in the video.

      However, the improvement in AF was what I was noticing, and it was a significant improvement. When I used the viewfinder AF on a 1D series camera, I always felt like it outperformed the 5D, including the 1DxM2 vs 5DM3, it didn’t feel comparable.

      This actually felt on point with the 1DxM2, and the live view focusing was out of this world. But you are right, for traditional OVF shooters, they aren’t going to benefit from that as much, but they can still make use of just a generally improved AF system.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Oh, I also like cars and car references… and exaggerations, lol =)

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  25. Umar Junaid

    Thanks for the review Pye! Ugh, now I’m torn between the 5DMkiv or a 5DSR…mostly shooting studio so the video features are all but useless for my purposes.

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  26. Sean DeWitt

    Great review, Pye! I took your advice and waited. Mine arrives on Monday. I can’t wait to put it through it’s paces.

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  27. Panagiotis Giannakopoulos

    Hahahahahahaha…i am just laughing about what you said… 2 stops improvement in noise! Lol so if you were shooting for example in church with mark iii at 2500 iso now with mark iv you shoot at 10.000 with the same amount of noise…Man, iso values are not like candys!!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I specifically mentioned 6400 ISO looked like 1600 ISO on the 5DM3 with two example images. Also mentioned we can’t do exact testing because of the inability to process RAW files at the moment. Everything is an estimation right now. Yes, non-native ISOs don’t perform the same either. But, laugh away? ;)

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    • Panagiotis Giannakopoulos

      Oook ok so because i was a nikon d750 shooter before and the difference in iso noise with mark iii is 2/3 of a stop as i’ve seen and as we know it is one of the best low light cameras this moment, you are telling me that Mark Iv has better low light capabillities than D750!! Hmmm…i am confused! I only agree witn you and i believe you for Dr difference!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I was specifically making a comparison of ISO 6400 on the 5DM4, to ISO 1600 on the 5DM3, hence the reference of 2 stops. Has nothing to do with Nikon or any other system. In addition, I specifically state these are estimates as we can’t process anything at the moment. But, we will do side by sides later.

      Trying to give you the best info possible, with what’s available right now. Take it or leave it.

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    • Panagiotis Giannakopoulos

      Oook i understand what you are saying but i am saying, just not to be absolut! We have to wait and see side by side true comparisons!! I admire your work very much but i want true opinions about gear.. 👍😉

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    • Pye Jirsa

      By the way, did you miss the part where I state that the camera seems to lag behind other brands of flagship camera sensors, ie Nikon D810 and Sony A7s M2? Because that was stated multiple times, video and article.

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    • Panagiotis Giannakopoulos

      Yeah i’ve heard it but d810 (that’s what i am saying) isnt 2 stops better in noise…only in DR

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Did my best to not state absolutes by the saying things like “we can’t process or do side by sides, it looks like, from eyeballing, etc” I apologize if that wasn’t clear.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yes, I mentioned roughly 1.5 to 2 stops better in noise than the 5DM3, and roughly 1 to 1.5 better dynamic range than the 5DM3 which was rated at 11.7, this means the 5DM4 would be around maybe 13 which still puts it lower than Nikon/Sony. But, I also said we really need to be able to process to truly see the differences. Anyway, just trying to provide you all with information, take it or leave it amigo.

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    • John Vito

      Shooting weddings I’m at ISO 6400 a lot with my 5D3 and 6D. It’s great to know there’s less noise with the 5D4. As it is ISO 6400 with my “old” cameras is very nice. There’s only a handful of images per wedding that I wish had less shadow noise. Usually pushing shadows.

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  28. Jeremy McLean

    You’re the best, Pye. Thanks for the review.

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  29. Rob Dunbar

    A fantastic review Pye! I am patiently awaiting the arrival of the 5D Mark IV. I am still using my 5D2 as my workhorse so I am sure that the upgrades here will be well worth the price. I haven’t used the video feature all that much in the 5D2 but with everything the 5D4 has to offer, I might just start playing around with it. Thanks again!

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  30. Charles Roos

    Great review Pye. I’m still on the Mark II but have reached its limits and will be upgrading to the IV now.

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    • John Vito

      You’ll love the upgrade. I went from the Mark II to the Mark III and it was a huge jump!

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  31. Jill Schindel

    Super helpful review. All it seems anyone else is saying is “this is not a good camera for cinematography.” Thanks for giving a better breadth of a review.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      YuP! Will do great quality video, just like it’s predecessors. But, it’s not intended to be a cinematographers primary camera. Glad you enjoyed Jill =)

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  32. James O

    I wonder if Canon will release a firmware update that will allow 4k to be recorded in another format?

    Edit: Built in trigger for my 600 ET flashes? Am I reading that right??

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    • Pye Jirsa

      No, that’s on my “wish list” that didn’t make it into production.

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    • James O

      I see that now… thanks for the clarification!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Not sure what Canon will do, but what we probably will see plenty of is 3rd party firmware hacks. The 5DM4 has a lot of potential juice within its gear setup, something like a Magic Lantern for 5DM4 wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

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  33. Markus Jöbstl

    Pye, how did you process and deliver the wedding pictures you shot with the 5D Mark IV without Lightroom? Did you export them from DPP via TIF files or JPG or did you edit the photos completely with DPP from Canon?

    I own a 5D Mark IV myself but i don’t know if i will shoot a wedding before Lightroom can process the files.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      All shot RAW, exported directly from DPP as JPG, there is no editing.

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    • Adam Rubinstein

      Oof. I hope for all our sakes Adobe gets on the ball!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yeah, wish we could have processed the images prior to the release of the review. Would have given us much more insight.

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  34. James Hii

    Pye, does the dual pixel AF work outside of live view? I always thought it’s a live view only thing. I really hope you’re talking about the regular focus-through-the-viewfinder focusing!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Apology James, I confirmed this with the tech rep. Dual Pixel AF works only in live view, but outside of live view, the speedy AF improvements I was noticing was just general AF improvements in the 5DM4 system over the 5DM3.

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    • John Vito

      Thanks James for asking this question! That’s what was wondering also. Focus should be awesome! Thanks Pye for the balanced review!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      John, see updated reply above. I just clarified. Dual Pixel AF for live view only, improved AF all around.

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    • John Vito

      Thanks for double checking the Dual Pixel AF! I’m sure the AF is better with the 5D4. At times the 5D3’s Auto Servo (follow continuous focus) misses it’s mark on moving subjects.

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  35. John Hewick

    I will be buying this camera for sure but agree they should have put more R&D into dynamic range (maybe the 6Dmk2). Also I would love to see something like 1/400 sync speed if possible, I’ve heard other cameras have done it. On that topic canon did release a new global shutter on the C700, maybe that could make it’s way into a DSLR stills camera for flash sync at any speed. Think how that would improve the capabilities of a simple speed light. I’m not disappointed about the video features as I consider the 5D line a stills camera that can shoot some video if need be, and it does that well enough, it’s not a dedicated video camera as you noted. I’m very excited about this camera, especially the higher resolution and live view auto focus for stills. Thanks Pye for a real world and honest assessment of the camera, there’s so many poorly thought out and myopic reviews it was hard to find good info. Much appreciated!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Thx John, love the camera, but I can see the target market canon was going for, so I wanted to make that clear it’s not designed to be for everyone.

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  36. Doug Davis

    Great review Pye. Unfortunately for me this Mark IV isn’t a huge jump from the Mark III when it comes to video. If my main focus was Photography I think this would be a smart buy. Who knows, a couple of years from now It might go on sale for the holidays and i’ll try it out then!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Exactly, if you are primarily video, you wouldn’t probably be wanting this upgrade. Better going to a cinema line camera or waiting for the next canon dslr that they intend for primarily pro-video use. This is a still camera that can do video clips.

      Tho once they put this live touchscreen dual pixel AF into a full cinema camera, it’s gonna be ridic awesome. The rack focus is gorgeous and such a powerful focus system

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  37. Greg Noble

    Thank you for the very informative and very thought out review .

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