Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has been around since August 2016. Equipped with a higher resolution full frame sensor, dual Pixel technology and 2 DIGIC image processors, this camera is capable of producing some very sharp and detailed images that hold up well for print.

The LCD screen is also finally equipped with touch sensitivity, and the model has been slightly redesigned to ensure ultimate user comfort, without having to re-learn a completely new camera if you’re transitioning from an older 5D model.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

PROS

  • Full Frame CMOS sensor 30.4 MP
  • Large files suitable for prints
  • ​Dual Pixel Technology
  • Touch screen LCD
  • Sturdy weather sealed body

CONS

  • Heavy body
  • No articulating screen
  • Not the highest resolution in the price range
  • Expensive compared to rivals

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV detailed review

Although at first sight the 5D MIV might not look very different from its predecessors, there has been quite some upgrading going on inside the camera.

CMOS Sensor

With the 5D M III getting behind on its rivals regarding sensor size and resolution, the MIV has made the step forward to 30.4MP.

Still not as high as the Nikon D810 with 36.3 MP or the mirrorless Sony Alpha 7R II with 42,6MP, but I’m glad they finally made the jump from 20MP.

Adding to this increased resolution is the on-chip digital to analogue conversion, as seen on the 1DX MII and 80D.

This handy feature does an outstanding job at noise reducing, and enables a broader dynamic range.

The files this new model produces also come out a bit larger at 6720 x 4480 pixels.

This means that if you want to print your work at 300dpi, the original file is only slightly smaller than A2 format at 56.9 x 37.9, ensuring some very high quality prints!

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Dual Pixel Technology

Canon has also implemented its popular Dual Pixel technology into the 5D series with this model, using the technology not only for a speedy AF, but allowing you to fine-tune the area of maximum sharpness in post-production as well.

With each pixel being made up of two photodiodes the final file will contain two images, each with a slightly different focus point.

This allows you to manually shift the focus point ever so slightly in post, using the Image Micro-Adjustment option in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software.

Apart from this the Dual Pixel technology is also used to ensure a very fast and accurate autofocus, using the phase detection points on the imaging sensor itself – very useful if you want to capture the occasional bird flying by!

Another factor enabling some great AF as well as accurate light metering, is the use of two processors in the 5D M IV; the DIGIC 6 and the DIGIC 6+.

The first one is used solely for metering, so that the second one is completely free to focus on everything else, such as the 61-point autofocus system

Camera Body

Overall the body feels exactly like it should – which is to be expected from a camera that has already been re-designed a numerous amount of times.

Moving on to the actual body, you will notice a slight drop in weight compared to other models, although this is still far from being a light-weight camera with a body-only weight of 800 grams.

But, in return for carrying this brick around, you do get a very sturdy build and ergo-dynamic design.

The body is made up of a magnesium alloy and polycarbonate construction, with an added glass fiber prism cover.

It is completely weather sealed and dust resistant, perfect for when you’re out shooting in rough weather.


Control Buttons

Compared to previous 5D models, the 5D Mark IV has undergone very little changes in design, ensuring a seamlessly easy transition if you decide to upgrade from one of the older models.

This will save you a lot of time re-learning an entire camera, since the only real change is a beefier grip for more comfort and some new placements of a handful of buttons.

The camera still has the customizable button on the rear of the camera, though it has been slightly redesigned. It can be set to a huge list of features, the most convenient of which being control of ISO sensitivity.

Adding this fast-access feature would mean all your exposure-related setting are within easy reach, eradicating the need to take the camera away from your face when shooting handheld or having to get close to any menu.


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LCD Screen

The 2.3” LCD screen has also been improved, by finally adding touch sensitivity. I am a huge fan of touch screens, because they speed up your workflow in the field so much.

From setting the focus on exactly the right spot using nothing but a tab of your finger, to easily swiping through your images – everything just becomes so much easier

All-in-all the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV proves to be a very suitable camera for the landscape photographer.

There are, however, some minor setbacks.

First of all, although the sensor on the 5D M IV performs very well and is capable of producing files large enough for print, it is not the highest resolution sensor available for this price. The 5DS for example has a higher resolution, and so does the Sony a7R II.

Unlike the Sony, Canon also has not implemented an articulating screen, which would have been very useful for shooting from strange angles.

Lastly, the price of the 5D M IV is a bit higher than prices of similar cameras from rival brands, that offer the same if not better image quality.

Alternatives

Canon EOS 5DS

Photography Ambition

A very similar camera in build, but with a slightly different focus.

With a much higher resolution sensor of 50.6MP, this camera is aimed at those who need the best detail, dynamic range and image sharpness possible – this, of course, includes landscape photographers.

The camera delivers some of the highest quality images, in return losing some of the AF and continuous shooting speed the 5d MIV does have available.

Not major drawback if you shoot landscapes though and all in all this camera is more suitable than the 5D M IV if you are a professional photographer solely focusing on landscape.

Nikon D810

Photography Ambition

This high-end DSLR comes with a full frame, 36.3MP sensor that is capable of capturing some stunning images.

It uses improved micro lenses for better light gathering, and lacks the Optical Low Pass filter.

Adding even more to image sharpness are the electronic front curtain shutter and improved mirror mechanism, designed to prevent any image softening caused by the camera’s mechanisms.

Nikon also released a similar model, completely optimized for astrophotography: the D810A.

Although not recommended for any other kind of photography, this camera is a dream for anyone attempting to capture the night’s sky in as much detail and glory as possible

Check out the detailed review here

​Pentax K-1

Photography Ambition

A full frame camera with a 36.6MP sensor, like the Nikon lacking the OLPF.

This camera does however include a OLPF simulation, to avoid any moiré forming without losing image sharpness.

The movable sensor is also capable of a number of other features very desirable for the landscape photographer, such as the Pixel Shift resolution mode to increase colour saturation, the Horizon Correction mode to correct slight camera tilt by slightly rotating the sensor, and a Astrotracer system capable of eradicating star trails when shooting the night sky with a long exposure mode.

This camera is also a bit cheaper than both Canons mentioned, but is less suitable for all-round photography experimenting than the 5D M IV.

Here is the detailed review​

Conclusions

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a very nicely designed camera with many desirable features for the landscape photographer and all-round photographer alike.

The camera comes with an improved sensor and two image processors to really make the most out of Canon’s amazing dual Pixel technology.

The body has also been redesigned ever so slightly, offering a beefier grip and easier handling while still ensuring an easy transition from older 5D models.

Although not the highest resolution full frame out there, this camera does meet all the requirements needed to capture a good landscape photo, while also being very suitable for other kinds of photography and even video making.

A great camera if you want to have the freedom to experiment with different kinds of photography, and don´t mind paying a little extra for a good quality product

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

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About the Author Luca

Hi, I am Luca, founder and editor in chief at photographyambition.com. I am crazy about photography and I always have a camera with me. When I am not busy with my day job, enjoying my family or taking photos, I am on Photography Ambition to share what I have learnt so far.

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