Admit it, when you first heard about Canon’s Dual Pixel Raw technology found in the new 5D Mark IV, just like me you dreamed of shooting portraits while later in post deciding which eye you liked better in focus. Or at the very least, shifting focus back from eye lashes a few millimeters down to an eye.
If you fantasized about any of things or perhaps something even more extreme being a possibility with Dual Pixel Raw files, thanks to [DPreview], I regretfully inform you the Canon 5D Mark IV is not your huckleberry. Within their testing of it, you’ll immediately notice the limitations, and therefore see its lack of application.
Let’s get real, if this feature was meant to be very useful would it not have debuted on Canon’s flagship 1Dx Mark II?
I Blame Myself
Did I expect too much? Maybe. Do I feel a bit taken? Kinda. Many writers who have not tested this camera have touted Canon’s Dual Pixel Raw feature as game changing and a major reason to upgrade from the 5D Mark III. Unfortunately, once the hype-machine took hold our imaginations went right along with it.
In reality, Canon has, for the most part, downplayed this feature from the moment it released specifications about the 5D Mark IV. Even in [Canon’s downloadable brochure] introducing the 5D Mark IV, Dual Pixel Raw is the very last feature mentioned. Canon, intelligently puts a heavier emphasis on Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and in-camera digital optimizer, and diffraction correction; all very useful new technology that, you guessed it, first appeared in the 1DX Mark II.
[REWIND: Canon 5D Mark IV | This is It, Finally]
Do I Need Duel Pixel Raw?
Canon touts this feature as a “unique post-shooting treatment” including image micro-adjustment to maximize sharpness and bokeh shift. However, the degree of correction appears to be so small that it hardly seems worth introducing increased softness to images (which Canon admits and suggests scaling the image after), doubled file sizes, and adding Canon’s clunky Digital Photo Professional software into your workflow. It’s perhaps surprising Adobe is working on adapting their software for a feature quite like this, though Adobe and Canon have a special relationship.
I’ll just say it. Don’t buy the Canon 5D Mark IV for Dual Pixel Raw. You’ll likely only be disappointed if you do. While the video features of the new 5D are well below class leading, it’s stills image improvements—the primary use of this camera—are definitely worth a hard look.
Was Canon’s Dual Pixel Raw feature included in the 5D Mark IV to boost the feature set of an otherwise modestly upgraded camera? Perhaps. Did many of us overestimate this features usefulness? Most definitely.