in place, the 30-megapixel sensor offers
plenty of detail for tight cropping. If you’re
interested in coaxing a touch more sharpness
from the camera, particularly when shooting
at wide-open apertures, a new Dual Pixel
RAW mode lets you shoot RAW files that
can be tweaked using Canon’s Digital Photo
Professional software. You can sharpen, or
adjust the bokeh or ghosting of the image.
The effect isn’t that substantial, certainly not
on par with the specialized high-resolution
modes incorporated into Olympus and
On the video front, Patiño says the 4K
video quality was excellent though the lack
of a Log format was a turn off, he says. “It
would be more useful to me if I can have the
Canon be as flat as the Sony’s so it would be
easier to combine” their footage, he says. Even
shooting in the 5D Mark IV’s neutral color
profile with saturation and contrast dialed all
the way down, it’s still a much more colorful,
contrast-y file than Sony’s S-Log.
You’ll get a fairly jarring 1.6x crop when
shooting 4K video. That’s not unusual—
Nikon’s D5 gives you a 1.5x shave—but it’s
something to be mindful of.
Like the 1D X Mark II, the 5D Mark
IV employs the Motion JPEG codec
when recording 4K video so that you
can easily pull an 8-megapixel still file
from the video footage in camera. It’s an
interesting feature but the Motion JPEG
codec is much less efficient than H.264 or
the newer H.265, which means you’ll be
burning through memory cards that much
faster (and remember, you can’t use an
external recorder for 4K footage).
The 5D Mark IV hits 7 fps with AF fixed at
the first frame for up to 170 RAW files or
820 large JPEGs. This makes it one of the
speediest full frame cameras at this price
point—outpacing Sony’s a7R II, Nikon’s
D810 and the (much) less expensive Pentax
K- 1. Like the 1D X Mark II, the 5D Mark
IV offers an extremely extensive array of
autofocusing options—while they can take
a while to learn and master, they afford
an impressive amount of customizing and
fine-tuning for any conceivable shooting
situation. AF tracking was excellent,
particularly in low light. The addition
of Dual Pixel CMOS AF with the touch
screen enabled very seamless focus point
adjustments in live view and smooth AF
operation during video recording.
You’ll enjoy about 900 shots on the
battery before it taps out. That’s good, but
not as impressive as Nikon’s D810, which
delivers nearly 1,200 images on a fully
The 5D Mark IV is a rather conservative
camera, at least on the video side. Where
Panasonic and Sony have generously
poured cinema-friendly features into their
mirrorless cameras from their pro video
divisions, Canon seems more interested
in keeping those two worlds apart. Given
the 5D Mark II’s role in birthing DSLR
filmmaking, that’s more than a little ironic.
But if it doesn’t quite check off every
video box, the 5D Mark IV is unquestionably
a welcome addition to any Canon shooter’s
arsenal and is a worthwhile upgrade for still
photographers looking to upgrade from a
Mark II or III. Had it arrived in tandem
with the 5D S, Patiño says he would have
bought it instead. It offers improved low
light and high ISO performance, vastly
better video and live view autofocusing,
higher resolution stills and video and better
connectivity—all in a design that is as battle-tested and familiar as ever. For still shooters
in the Canon camp, it’s a no-brainer.
YUNEEC TYPHOON H
The drone market hasn’t quite reached the
point where users can engage in the kind of epic
Canon-vs-Nikon flame wars that have made the
photographic Internet so entertaining (don’t lie, you
love them too). But if we were inclined to start one, a
Yuneec vs. DJI battle would be a good place to start.
It’s true that Yuneec is the David to DJI’s
Goliath but the former has been steadily building
a very respectable fleet of flying cameras.
With the Typhoon H, they’ve embraced more
advanced object avoidance technology to make
the drone’s autonomous flying features that
much safer. We paired up with N.J. photographer
and director David Patiño to take it for a spin.
Our Typhoon H was equipped with the CG03+ 4K
camera. The camera sits on a 3-axis gimbal and
records 12-megapixel still images and 3840 x 2160
video at 30 fps via a ½.3-inch CMOS image sensor.
Full HD can be recorded in several frame rates up to
120 fps. The camera sports a 98-degree wide-angle
lens and stores footage and stills to a microSD card.
Object avoidance is now standard among
a growing number of drones and Yuneec uses
Intel’s RealSense 3D camera to help it navigate.
The camera helps the drone avoid forward-facing
objects and you’ll have a visual read-out of
potential obstacle distance on the H’s controller
during navigation. The sophisticated RealSense
camera operates by building 3D maps of its
environment and is able to store where objects
are to avoid hitting them in the future (say, on
a return trip).
The H also has its own retinue of intelligent
flying modes. There’s Orbit Me, to command
the craft to fly a circular path around a subject;
Point of Interest, to send the camera to orbit
an interesting object; Journey Mode, which
commands the H to fly up and out to capture an
aerial selfie (aka a dronie). There’s also a Curve
Cable Cam mode, which lets you trace a path on
the display to have the drone fly automatically
while you focus on operating the camera.
For all the latest news and reviews on cameras, lenses
and film-making equipment, visit pdnonline.com/gear
BELOW: While it’s missing a few desirable pro video
features, Canon succeeded in building a very
Canon 5D Mark IV
PROS: Dual Pixel CMOS AF delivers
excellent video AF; excellent low-light capability; fast and accurate
autofocusing for stills; familiar and
comfortable body design.
CONS: Lacks Log profile for video; no
focus peaking or zebra stripes in video;
HDMI outputs only 1080p video signal.