The Mark IV delivers a few main upgrades
from its Mark III predecessor. The first is a new,
higher-resolution sensor: It’s a 30.4-megapixel
CMOS chip with a native ISO range of 100-
32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400).
The AF system has been updated with
Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology
for improved AF during video recording
and live view. The Mark IV has 61 AF points
(all effective at f/8 and all user-selectable)
including 41 cross points. The camera can
meter in low light down to -3EV when using
the viewfinder or - 4 EV in live view. The
camera’s 3.2-inch display is now fully touch-enabled, including for AF point selection.
There’s also a new 153,600-pixel, 252 zone
RGB+IR metering sensor to improve face
recognition and subject tracking.
Another big upgrade comes on the video
front. You’ll be able to record 4K video at
4096 x 2160 at either 30p or 24p in
camera with an option to pull 8-megapixel
stills from your 4K video files during
playback. 4K video will be recorded as a 1.7x
crop of the sensor. The video is captured at
4:2: 2 with 8-bit color. You can record full HD
at 60p or 1280 x 720 footage at 120p.
What’s also notable about the video
features on the 5D Mark IV is what Canon did
not include. There’s no focus peaking or zebra
stripes during video recording. The camera
doesn’t offer a Log mode, like rival Sony
cameras, or even Canon cinema cameras,
for that matter. And, while the 5D Mark IV
supports HDMI output, it will only push
through a 1080p signal, not 4K.
Finally, Canon added Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS
to the Mark IV.
Design-wise, the 5D Mark IV is virtually
indistinguishable from the Mark III, so
experienced 5D owners will be up and
running instantly. The camera is rugged,
comfortable and familiar. At 31 ounces,
the Mark IV is about 2 ounces lighter
than its predecessor and on par with
Nikon’s full-frame D810.
There have been a few small
design upgrades, however. The 3.2-
inch display is now a touch screen,
though it’s fixed to the camera body
and can’t be tilted (darn). There
are a pair of memory card slots, one
for SD and the other for the aging
CompactFlash format. We’d have
preferred to see that second slot awarded
to CFast 2.0 to support higher frame rate 4K
(or a better 4K codec).
We turned the 5D Mark IV over to N.J.
photographer and director David Patiño
( www.davidpatino.com) who shot the 5D
Mark IV for several portraits, both in his
studio and on location. Patiño was a 5D Mark
II owner who upgraded to a 5D S before
adding a pair of Sony a7 R II’s to his gear bag,
the later primarily for video work. He tells us
that Canon shooters won’t be disappointed
with the 5D Mark IV’s image quality.
The ISO performance delivered surprisingly
clean headshot results at ISO 1600, Patiño says,
even if the camera’s low-light performance was a
bit underwhelming given the long wait between
the Mark III and Mark IV. There’s some noise
in RAW files at 3200 but they’re still generally
clean, without the splotchy color-shift, and easy
to remove in Lightroom, Patiño says. JPEG noise
is very well contained through ISO 6400 and you
can even skate by at 12800 if you’re not afraid of
a little grain. On balance, the Mark IV represents
a very nice step up from the ISO performance
of the Mark III and should be a boon to
anyone battling low-light environments.
Color rendition, long a Canon strong suit,
is unsurprisingly excellent in the Mark IV and
while the company has kept a low-pass filter
gear & techniQues PrODuct reVie Ws
canOn 5D mark iV
We go hands-on with Canon’s long-awaited 5D Mark IV; Sony’s barn-blazing
a6500 and Yuneec’s high-flying Typhoon H. BY GREG SCOBLETE
There’s no doubt that when the history of digital photography is written, Canon’s 5D
series will loom large. The bigger question for many photographers is the camera line’s
future. When the original 5D debuted, Canon was ascendant and the photo market was
buoyant. The follow-up was a path-breaker, ushering in the era of DSLR filmmaking—
even if Nikon could lay claim to having the first HD video-recording DSLR.
But that was then. With the 5D Mark IV, Canon faces a very different world.
Smartphones have collapsed the market for almost every form of digital camera, while
Canon’s fortress of professional cameras is under siege like never before. It’s fair to say
the 5D Mark IV has a lot riding on it.
abOVe: The 5D
Mark IV advances
full-frame DSLR with better
ISO performance and 4K video recording.
belOW: Canon didn’t go back to the drawing
board for the design of the 5D Mark IV, not
that we’re complaining.