Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Assessment

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV ($3,499, physique solely) is the corporate’s newest mainstream professional SLR. For probably the most half it seems to be and handles like its predecessor, the 5D Mark III ($2,779.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) , a plus for veteran photographers who know their digital camera by coronary heart. Inside there is a model new 30MP sensor that makes use of Canon’s Twin Pixel AF tech, an improved picture processor that helps 7fps seize, and a video engine that may file footage at 4K high quality. The Nikon D810 ($1,889.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) has been our prime decide for professional shooters since its 2014 launch, and whereas it is nonetheless a formidable digital camera in its personal proper, the 5D Mark IV leapfrogs it in some ways, and is our new Editors’ Alternative.

Design and Controls

Should you’ve picked up a 5D Mark III or a 5DS R ($1,295.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) earlier than, the 5D Mark IV ($2,699.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) will appear very acquainted. It is a reasonably sized full-frame physique, measuring 4.6 by 5.9 by 3.0 inches (HWD) and weighing in at 1.8 kilos. It is smaller than our bodies with an built-in vertical taking pictures grip, just like the Nikon D5 ($5,064.95 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) (6.2 by 6.3 by 3.6 inches, 3.1 kilos), however you will have the choice of including the BG-E20 battery grip for $349 if you happen to desire a beefier digital camera.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The grip permits you to use two batteries to energy the digital camera. CIPA charges a totally charged battery to internet 900 pictures by way of the viewfinder and 300 utilizing the rear LCD. These numbers do not all the time translate into real-world outcomes, however are helpful for evaluating in opposition to related cameras because the testing methodology is constant from mannequin to mannequin. The battery life is not fairly pretty much as good because the 5D Mark III when utilizing the optical viewfinder (950 pictures), however is healthier by way of Stay View (200 pictures).

The optical viewfinder is shiny and clear. It covers 100% of the body, so what you see is what you shoot, and is kind of shiny as a result of its glass pentaprism design. It is also giant, delivering a 0.71x magnification score, nearly customary for this class. There’s a variety of info displayed within the viewfinder. Publicity settings and variety of pictures left within the taking pictures buffer are displayed in inexperienced on the backside, under the body space. The define of the autofocus space is proven in black, together with the main focus factors, they usually mild up in pink when lively for higher visibility.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The 5D Mark IV suits comfortably in your hand, due to a deep, accommodating grip that gives comfy entry to the depth of area preview button (subsequent to the lens mount) and shutter launch (atop the grip), even for these with brief, stubby fingers like myself. The lens launch is the remaining button on the entrance.

The Mode Dial sits on the far left aspect of the highest plate. It is a locking design, so you might want to maintain its heart button down as you flip it. The On/Off change is nestled behind it. The new shoe sits atop the viewfinder hump, centered behind the lens. The 5D Mark IV does not have a built-in flash—no present full-frame Canon fashions provide one. That is not an enormous deal for most experts, who typically depend on studio lighting or a extra highly effective, versatile exterior Speedlite. However it must be famous that the Nikon D810 features a pop-up flash, so it isn’t an unheard-of function on a professional physique.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The appropriate aspect of the highest plate is dominated by a big monochrome info LCD. It is backlit and shows quite a few particulars, together with the present white stability setting, aperture, shutter velocity, EV compensation setting, ISO, GPS and Wi-Fi standing, metering sample, drive and focus mode, and battery. A small button, marked by a lightbulb icon, sits simply forward of it and toggles the orange backlight.

It is joined by three dual-function buttons—White Steadiness/Metering, Drive/AF, and Flash Energy/ISO. Forward of them is the highest management dial, which is used together with stated buttons to regulate settings, and the M-Fn button, which locks flash publicity when held down by default. Its operate might be reassigned by way of the digital camera menu system.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Rear controls embody Menu and Information, which sit slightly below the On/Off change. A column of buttons run under them, to the left of the LCD—Image Fashion/Cut up View, Price, Zoom, Play, and Delete. The Image Fashion menu enables you to select the best way photos look, in addition to set the digital camera for double publicity (Wi-Fi should be turned off for this to work) or HDR mode, and the opposite features are self-explanatory and all associated to reviewing photos.

The Begin/Cease toggle button for Stay View taking pictures sits on to the suitable of the viewfinder eyepiece. It is surrounded by a change that modifications between nonetheless and video seize—when set to video mode, the rear LCD is routinely turned on and Begin/Cease is used to set off and finish recording. To its proper are the AF-ON, Publicity Lock, and Focus Level Choose buttons.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Under the video toggle is a small joystick that is used to navigate by menus and manually choose an autofocus level. It is joined by a brand new management, a small button that rapidly toggles by focus modes. It’s essential to allow it within the Customized Controls part, and you may assign it different features if you happen to’re not one to alter focus space settings that usually.

The button replicates the operate of the main focus choose lever on the EOS 7D Mark II ($598.95 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) . When taking pictures shifting motion, I like with the ability to change between a large space, a single level, or a bunch of factors with ease, and was stunned that Canon omitted the management on its professional flagship EOS-1D X Mark II ($4,499.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) .

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

However the button here’s a little bit of a disappointment. It is smaller than the 7D Mark II’s lever, and it simply feels mushy. All the different controls on the digital camera have glorious really feel—you may let you know’re urgent them, they usually’re giant sufficient to push comfortably. However the small button, which falls underneath your thumb, is just a bit much less nice to make use of. It is definitely not an earth-shattering challenge, but it surely’s price mentioning when all the pieces else feels so good in all different points.

Different rear controls embody the Q button, which brings up an on-screen financial institution of settings that may be adjusted utilizing the rear joystick or by way of contact, and a flat management dial with heart Set button. The wheel dials in EV compensation when taking pictures in Aperture or Shutter precedence mode, and adjusts the f-stop in Guide. A Lock change sits under it; when set, the Lock prevents you from inadvertently altering publicity settings or shifting the main focus level.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The rear LCD is 3.2 inches in dimension with a 1,620k-dot decision. It’s totally sharp, and delicate to the touch enter. It is attainable to navigate menus by way of contact, swipe by and pinch to zoom on photos throughout overview, and faucet to set your Stay View focus level (or tag a topic for monitoring). Canon has achieved the SLR contact display screen proper; my solely criticism is that it isn’t a vari-angle, such as you get with the 80D ($1,199.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) , which is helpful for tripod images in addition to videography.

Options and Connectivity

GPS and Wi-Fi are each built-in. You will have to allow GPS in order for you location metadata added to your entire photos. It is a useful gizmo for panorama photographers, because it lets you already know precisely the place you have been whenever you captured a picture. Simply make sure you set it so it does not function when the digital camera is turned off, so as to maximize battery life.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Wi-Fi enables you to beam photos from the 5D to a smartphone by way of the Android and iOS Canon Digital camera Join app. Most mavens in all probability desire to edit photographs on a pc, however for journey photographers with a powerful Instagram model and following, with the ability to share photos from the sphere is an enormous plus. You possibly can select to switch JPG photos at full decision or a smaller model (2.5MP), and if you happen to shoot Uncooked format solely the digital camera will convert and resize the photographs on the fly for fast switch to your cellphone.

Along with switch, you may set star scores for photos, which can translate to Lightroom ($9.99/Month at Adobe)(Opens in a brand new window) when photos are offloaded to a pc. And you’ll delete photos from the reminiscence card.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Remote

The app additionally works as a distant management. It is a very strong distant. The Stay View feed shows in your cellphone’s display screen, and you may faucet any a part of the picture to set a spotlight level, simply as you’d with the digital camera’s rear display screen. Add full publicity management, the flexibility to make handbook focus changes by way of your cellphone, and change to video seize if desired. 4K video cannot be transferred wirelessly, nevertheless.

When working in skilled or studio environments, the 5D Mark IV additionally helps picture switch to an FTP server by way of Wi-Fi. You possibly can set the digital camera to giant or small JPG or Uncooked photos, and select between automated and handbook picture switch.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

There are a bevy of bodily connections. The distant management port is on the entrance of the digital camera, with the rest of connectors (PC Sync, Mic, Headphone, mini HDMI, and micro USB 3.0) on the left aspect. All are coated by rubber flaps. The reminiscence card door is on the suitable, together with the NFC sensor. The 5D helps one CompactFlash (CF) and one Safe Digital (SD, SDHC, SDXC) card.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Benchmark TestsThe 5D Mark IV is a positive device for capturing fast, candid moments. It begins, focuses, and captures a picture in about 0.5-second. The autofocus is likewise speedy—the 5D locks onto targets in lower than 0.1-second in shiny mild when framing pictures with the optical viewfinder. The main focus system does sluggish a bit, to about 0.5-second, in extraordinarily dim situations. Stay View focus with the 5D is speedy, locking on in about 0.15-second in shiny situations and 0.8-second in dim mild.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The 5D shoots and tracks topics at 7fps in steady drive mode. When paired with a UDMA 7 (160MBps) SanDisk CompactFlash reminiscence card it could preserve that tempo for 16 Uncooked+JPG or 23 Uncooked pictures. When taking pictures JPGs you do not have to fret a couple of shot restrict—I held the shutter button down for a full three minutes and the 5D by no means slowed down. However the taking pictures buffer for Uncooked photos is a bit restricted, capturing about 3.3 seconds of motion in a clip and requiring about 5 seconds to clear. It is on par with the Nikon D810, which may buffer 18 Uncooked+JPG, 25 Uncooked, or 100 JPGs, albeit at a slower 5fps seize charge.

Related Story See How We Check Digital Cameras

The 61-point autofocus system is similar to the one within the 1D X Mark II. The factors cowl a bigger space of the body in comparison with the 5D Mark II, and 41 are the extra delicate cross-type. Canon consists of the flexibility to customise the main focus system to go well with totally different taking pictures conditions—what it calls Case Sorts—within the menu. The default Case is a jack-of-all-trades multi-purpose setting, however different choices can be found to trace topics whereas ignoring obstacles, to search for topics immediately getting into the body, to lock onto topics that speed up or decelerate with out warning, to trace topics that transfer erratically in lots of instructions, and to trace topics that each transfer erratically and alter velocity with out warning. Every of those might be tweaked to greatest fit your wants.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The Canon AF system is extra customizable than what you get with a Nikon digital camera just like the D810. Nikon has an edge in topic monitoring; its 3D monitoring choice permits you to set a spotlight level on a goal and watch the purpose transfer together with the topic. Canon makes use of its iTR (Clever Monitoring and Recognition) tech to routinely establish topics and observe them; it is a strong system, to the purpose the place it could detect faces when utilizing the optical viewfinder. The newest Nikon AF system within the D5 and D500 ($975.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) makes use of 151 factors and has the sting, however the 5D Mark IV is simply as strong because the older 51-point AF system within the D810.

The 5D Mark IV focuses nearly as rapidly in Stay View because it does when utilizing the optical viewfinder. It is a massive improve over the 5D Mark III, which is relatively sluggish when focusing utilizing the rear LCD. The reason being a brand new sensor expertise that Canon debuted with the 70D ($389.91 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) , Twin Pixel AF. It splits pixels into halves, enabling the identical quick part detection autofocus that the digital camera’s devoted AF module makes use of to be carried out by the sensor itself.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

The result’s a spotlight system for video that is related in velocity and operation to the most effective mirrorless cameras and camcorders. Focus is clean, fast, and correct. Stay View helps topic monitoring and AI Servo (steady AF), with fast sudden modifications in focus when taking pictures stills and slower, clean transitions when rolling video footage. With the 5D Mark IV you get a Stay View autofocus system that is almost as strong because the optical viewfinder, which places the Canon effectively forward of the Nikon competitors.

Twin Pixel Uncooked

One of many ballyhooed new options is the Twin Pixel Uncooked taking pictures format. Since every sensor pixel is break up into two halves to help part detection focus, every captures a barely totally different view of the scene. Twin Pixel Uncooked enables you to leverage that offset view to carry out minor changes to focus, change the best way the out-of-focus space seems to be, and cut back ghosting.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Dual Pixel Raw

The changes are very minor, and require you to make use of Canon’s Digital Photograph Professional software program. You possibly can shoot Twin Pixel Uncooked and course of photos in Lightroom, however it would deal with them as customary Uncooked photos.
If sometimes utilizing the Canon software program to course of a Twin Pixel Uncooked challenge was all the trouble concerned taking pictures within the format, I would say it is best to use it on a regular basis. However there are some massive drawbacks that come together with capturing Twin Pixel photos, and the advantages are nominal.

The primary is file dimension. Twin Pixel photos weigh in at between 60MB and 75MB every. That is double customary Uncooked photos. The second is velocity. With the format enabled, burst seize is slowed. When taking pictures Twin Pixel Uncooked+JPG, the 5D can solely seize two sequential photos at 5fps earlier than slowing down. A ten-shot burst, which is probably the most it could handle with out considerably slowing, averaged 3.4fps. Capturing in Twin Pixel Uncooked solely nets 7 photos at 5.2fps. You are going to replenish your reminiscence card (and arduous drive) way more rapidly when utilizing the format, and digital camera efficiency suffers.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

My recommendation is to disregard the function. It is extra bother than it is price. The quantity of leeway with focus is extraordinarily minute, to the purpose the place making use of some additional sharpening or readability in Lightroom will internet related enchancment. And, whereas it is intriguing to have the ability to apply shift to bokeh and cut back ghosting in chosen components of the body, the sensible purposes are restricted.

I hope that Canon continues to develop and enhance the Twin Pixel Uncooked format. Whereas the file dimension is one thing there is not a lot to be achieved about—there’s twice as a lot knowledge being saved, in any case—with some enhancements to picture processors, buffer reminiscence, and reminiscence playing cards, the efficiency points are prone to be go away sooner or later. Twin Pixel Uncooked positively has the potential to be a simpler photographic device.

Picture and Video High quality

The 5D Mark IV has a brand new 30MP picture sensor. It is the primary time we have seen this specific decision in a full-frame digital camera, and it delivers on the promise to stability decision and excessive ISO efficiency. The native ISO ranges from 100 by 32000, with ISO 51200 and ISO 102400 out there as prolonged settings.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Imatest(Opens in a brand new window) exhibits that the 5D retains noise underneath 1.5 % by ISO 12800 when taking pictures JPGs at default settings. A detailed have a look at photos from the 5D Mark IV exhibits that picture high quality is excellent by ISO 800. There is a very slight drop in readability at ISO 1600 by 3200, and one other slight drop at ISO 6400 and 12800. I would don’t have any issues taking pictures JPGs with the digital camera by ISO 6400.

At ISO 25600, blur begins to overhaul picture element. ISO 32000 photos look about the identical, with high quality taking one other noticeable hit at ISO 51200. Should you’re taking pictures JPGs, attempt to keep away from pushing the digital camera that far, and positively skip ISO 102400, because the output may be very blurry.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Most mavens will go for Uncooked seize. When taking pictures Uncooked the 5D does not apply noise discount to photographs, leaving it as much as your Uncooked converter. We use Lightroom as our customary Uncooked software program for digital camera testing, which applies modest coloration noise discount to photographs by default, eradicating splotches of coloration, but it surely does not apply any kind of grain discount. When seen in Lightroom, Uncooked photos present very robust element by ISO 12800, with out an excessive amount of distracting noise. Grain begins to eat into very positive element at ISO 25600, and is comparable at ISO 32000. Grain is rougher at ISO 51200, however photos are nonetheless fairly useable. At ISO 102400 the grain may be very robust, overtaking element, however remains to be useable in a pinch.

Uncooked additionally permits you to modify publicity with higher latitude that with JPG. When taking pictures backlit topics, just like the fisherman above, you will have a variety of management over how the picture seems to be. I shot the picture under intending to indicate it as a silhouette, deliberately underexposing the topic so as to protect highlights. But when I had modified my thoughts later, pulling the shadows as much as present the fisherman in brighter mild isn’t any downside in any respect for the Mark IV’s Uncooked photos.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Video is recorded at as much as 4K high quality at 24 or 30fps, with speeds as much as 60fps out there at 1080p, and a devoted 120fps mode for 720p footage. The 4K footage is cropped by about 1.5x, which limits you if you wish to shoot ultra-wide angle video, however with lenses just like the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ($2,699.00 at Adorama)(Opens in a brand new window) out there for the Canon system, you may nonetheless shoot fairly broad in 4K.

The 4K footage is the broader DCI format, coming in at a 1.9:1 side ratio. That is wider than UHD footage, which is available in at 1.77:1 (16:9). 4K video is compressed Movement JPG, which mainly makes each body an 8.9MP nonetheless picture. The upside is which you could pull a body from video and print it, however the draw back is that video information are big. You possibly can anticipate to eat up 4GB of storage for each minute of video when taking pictures in 4K. Dropping the decision to 1080p permits you to go for ALL-I or IPB compression, which leads to smaller file sizes. You additionally lose the crop with 1080p—it makes use of the whole width of the full-frame picture sensor. Uncompressed output is obtainable by way of HDMI, however solely at 1080p.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : Sample Image

Video high quality is kind of robust, with 4K providing extra decision than 1080p. There may be some rolling shutter evident when taking pictures at 4K, however the impact is lessened when utilizing the upper body charges out there at 1080p. The interior digital camera mic is pretty much as good as you’d anticipate it to be—it picks up voices which might be in shut proximity to the digital camera, but it surely additionally picks up a variety of background noise. For any severe video work, use an exterior microphone.


The EOS 5D Mark IV is an enormous improve for professional photographers invested within the Canon system. It ups the decision, placing it in the identical class with Nikon’s D810, whereas additionally bettering its closest competitor in body charge, video seize capabilities, and Stay View focus. It additionally consists of built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a touch-screen interface, and the rugged construct and acquainted controls which have made the 5D sequence the apple of many knowledgeable’s eye.

The Nikon D810 has been our Editors’ Alternative on this class {of professional} SLR since its introduction, and it is nonetheless a wonderful choice for photographers invested within the Nikon system. However Canon has put a variety of effort into this iteration of the 5D, particularly in the case of its Twin Pixel AF system. However it’s not any single function or specification that makes the 5D Mark IV stand out. The digital camera is a flexible, pro-grade shooter that may sort out nearly any photographic activity with aplomb, and a straightforward decide as our new Editors’ Alternative skilled SLR.


  • 30MP full-frame picture sensor.

  • Quick 61-point autofocus system.

  • 7fps steady taking pictures.

  • Limitless JPG taking pictures buffer.

  • Professional-grade construct.

  • Twin Pixel AF Stay View focus system.

  • 3.2-inch contact display screen.

  • Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.

  • CF and SD card slots.

View Extra


  • Cropped 4K video.

  • Clear HDMI output is 1080p solely.

  • Twin Pixel Uncooked operate slows digital camera and presents restricted advantages.

  • 4K video information are fairly giant.

  • Omits in-body flash.

View Extra

The Backside Line

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV balances decision and taking pictures charge, making it a perfect digital camera for skilled photographers.

Like What You are Studying?

Join Lab Report to get the newest evaluations and prime product recommendation delivered proper to your inbox.

This article might comprise promoting, offers, or affiliate hyperlinks. Subscribing to a e-newsletter signifies your consent to our Phrases of Use and Privateness Coverage. You might unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Supply hyperlink