Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot
  • 30.4-Megapixel CMOS Imaging Sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
  • 3.2-Inch, 1.62-Million Dot LCD Screen
  • Canon EF-Mount
  • Dual Pixel Technology
  • 61 AF points
  • iAuto mode
  • 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering
  • 4K and Full 1080p HD video recording
  • 7pfs continuous shooting
  • GPS
  • WiFi with NFC
  • Dual Card slots - SD, CF
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
Pros
  • Incredible image quality in all shooting modes, with easily adjustable settings and color profiles
  • Very low noise relative to ISO settings throughout ISO range
  • Outstanding speed in both image capture and AF
  • GPS and WiFi add some great accessibility without adding extra attachments
  • 4K video produces fantastic quality
  • Dual Pixel Tech allows smooth transitions between AF points with just a touch of the LCD screen
  • Incredibly high-resolution 3.2-inch Touch LCD
  • Audio input for increased audio quality
  • HDMI output
  • Good Battery Life (double with battery grip)
Cons
  • Very large body
  • 4K video requires CF UDMA7 (100MB/sec. or faster); SD UHS-I (90MB/sec. or higher) - New cards to purchase
  • Screen does not move, which would be helpful when shooting video at difficult angles
  • $3,500 is out of most price ranges
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 0.9 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 1/10 to 5/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 0.34 seconds
  • High Speed Burst = 7fps
  • High Speed Burst = 6fps Continuous AF
  • All of our tests were completed using a SanDisk Extreme UHS-1 32GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO 6400, Single AF and all other settings at the factory defaults, unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is exactly what we expected form Canon. The addition of a few new features, 4K video and a boost in performance enhance an already fantastic camera.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking to make a switch to Canon as a professional or looking to jump to your first Full-Frame camera and already own Canon lenses.
Canon's EOS 5D Mark IV, the 4th generation of a fantastic and powerful Full-Frame DSLR, features some great improvements and long-awaited updates for this professional level camera. A few features like built-in GPS and built-in WiFi, and 4K video recording, which have become mainstream on most consumer and prosumer DSLR cameras, are finally standard features. The Mark IV also includes a new 30.4-Megapixel CMOS imaging sensor with an increased standard ISO range, DIGIC 6+ image processor, 61 AF-point system and 3.2-inch TFT LCD screen top of the major features of this powerful camera.

ERGONOMICS

Much larger than most cameras found out there, the EOS 5D Mark IV is definitely a handful. This is common with the professional level DSLR cameras, especially from Canon and Nikon, so this will not be a surprise most buyers. While Canon has made an attempt to make many of their consumer level DSLRs smaller, they have not changed the size here at all. This makes a difference during a long day of shooting when wielding the camera can get tiring.

The ergonomics are very comfortable, placing a large majority of the shooting settings at your fingertips and ready to go. The touch LCD also adds a great deal of ease, giving access to the quick menu to your fingertips. The control settings are very customizable, allowing you to set up the camera just about any way you would like, to make your shooting as easy as possible for multiple situations.

The optical viewfinder provides approx. the full 100% field-of-view, so there is no guessing as to the edges of your images. This true view of your subject/scene is a shrinking commodity, but still preferred by many pros. A translucent LCD screen provides shooting and AF-point information available inside the OVF. A small feature that is missing from the OVF is the eye-level sensor, which is a great feature if you use the LCD screen while shooting. These sensors detect when the camera is put up to the eye and automatically turn off the distracting screen.

The high-res 3.2-inch Touchscreen LCD screen provides a very detailed image, as well as showing you your exposure changes in real-time, which has its benefits as well. This is also the only way the camera is capable of capturing video. Unlike most DSLR and Mirrorless ILCs, the 5D Mark IV features a fixed screen that does not assist in shooting without the camera right in front of your face. This takes away one of the benefits of shooting with the LCD, as it does not assist you in composing images with the camera in awkward places at tough angles for both still images and video. The touch-screen, combined with the dual-pixel imaging sensor does add a fantastic video feature, however. The camera allows you to change the AF point slowly and smoothly just by touching a new point of the LCD screen. This provides a fantastic and accurate AF change without the need for extra equipment or manual adjustments.

PERFORMANCE

Performance from the 5D Mark IV is very good, outperforming both the 5D Mark III and 5DS. It is able to capture its first image in just under 1 second after being turned on. Shutter lag is not at all noticeable once the focus has been set, leaving the timing of the shot solely up to you. Autofocus is also incredibly fast, working in less than 1/10 of a second to 1/2 second; depending on the subject, distance and lighting conditions. In most cases, the 5DMIV was able to achieve focus incredibly fast. In single shot mode, the camera had a shot-to-shot delay of approx. 3/10 of a second; allowing the camera to capture, refocus and capture again. Without a built-in flash, the shot-to-shot delay will depend on the recharge speed of the flash that you are using. Burst shooting was able to capture images at the 7.0fps that Canon claims, passing the previous version by a full 1fsp (Single AF). Switching to Continuous AF, the camera was still able to produce an outstanding-for-DSLRs 6fps. All of our tests were completed using a SanDisk Extreme UHS-1 32GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO 6400, Single AF and all other settings at the factory defaults, unless noted otherwise.

IMAGE QUALITY

Image quality is everything you would expect from an upper-level Canon DSLR. The new 30.4-Megapixel CMOS imaging sensor of the Mark IV provides more resolution for a bigger, more detailed image than the Mark III. The metering and AF systems provide incredibly sharp, well-exposed images with outstanding color. The extended ISO settings allow the camera to shoot in all shooting situations, including low-light settings without the need for extra lighting or a flash. From top to bottom, the camera produces lower than normal noise levels for each ISO setting. This lets you use settings that you would never have considered before. This allowed be to use the ISO Auto setting while out shooting without worrying that the camera would choose a setting that I thought was unacceptable. This is not to say that you will not see some noticeable amounts of noise at the higher settings. On top of helping to produce the 7fps continuous shooting, the DIGIC 6+ processor also works to diminish aberrations and other image flaws while you shoot.

VIDEO QUALITY

Recording video with the 5D Mark IV is very simple once the camera has been set to video recording mode. This is also where Canon has an advantage with their dual-pixel technology, which lets you shoot action with outstanding continuous AF for sharper, easier to watch movies. The dual-pixel technology also allows you to change AF points with just a touch of the LCD screen, providing a smooth and accurate (adjustable) transition between the two. Options for 4K and Full 1080p HD video are available, both with outstanding quality. 4K shooting will require a USH-II speed memory card, allowing it to write at least 250mb/s to keep up with the high capacity videos. While these cards are a little more expensive (SanDisk $65, 32GB, April 2017), they are necessary and will assure that you get the most out of the camera. Our video quality is outstanding, capturing crisp video with outstanding color. The continuous AF works very well, struggling slightly to keep up with faster moving objects. As always, the onboard speakers provide lower quality audio, but an audio input allows for much higher quality audio to be added during recording.

BATTERY LIFE

Powering the 5D Mark IV is the LP-E6N; a 7.2V, 1865mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery gives the camera the ability to capture up to 900 images with the OVF or 300 images with the LCD screen on a single charge. While we did not get an exact count, the battery did do very well during our tests. We did some shooting with and without the GPS enabled (camera on only) and did not see a big difference. This and other features and settings will have an effect on the life of the battery. Using battery grip BG-E20, you have the ability to add a second battery and double your shooting time without stopping. Spare batteries and chargers are available at most photography shops and online, as this battery is a standard for Canon DSLRs.

BOTTOM LINE

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a fantastic professional Full-Frame DSLR (as are all of the rest). A new higher resolution sensor, more powerful processor, 4K video recording and a few long-awaited built-in accessories top off the major changes to the camera; makes it another great addition to the Professional EOS line-up. Both performance and image quality excel, while incredibly low noise at all ISO settings allows you to shoot without a flash in low-light situations that will surprise you. With a MSRP of $3,499 you are looking at a great upgrade from a 5D Mark II or lower or a fantastic first step into a Canon Full-Frame DSLR.

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