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Hands-on with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV *updated*

By Marcus Wong - 26 Dec 2016

First looks at the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Note: This article was first published on 25th August 2016.


Hear, hear! The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is here!

The Canon EOS 5D series has always been one of the most popular line-ups for Canon, appealing to both professionals and serious enthusiasts alike. However, Canon seems to have ignored this target group recently, as the 5D Mark III was launched way back in 2012, and between then and 2015, the only additions to the 5D family were the 5DS and 5DS R, two 50.6MP monsters clearly developed for professionals only. 

A full set of ports for video accessories can be found down the left side of the camera.

But no longer. The EOS 5D Mark III finally has a successor, and that's the just announced 5D Mark IV. Designed for both stills and video, the new 5D Mark IV comes with a brand new 30.4MP full-frame sensor and the latest Digic 6+ imaging processor first seen in this year’s EOS-1DX Mark II. In fact, this is paired with a second Digic 6 that’s tasked with improving focusing accuracy and speed. 


Better range for adjustment

The 5D Mark IV has a native ISO range of 100 to 32,000 that’s expandable to 102,400, and comes with an in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) that will allow you to process and optimize your JPEG files to remove chromatic aberration, peripheral illumination, and diffraction correction.

DPRaw looks to give you that final bit of control you need to get your images just right.

The EOS 5D Mark IV is also the first camera in Canon’s stable to come with Dual Pixel Raw (DPRaw) . This is a new feature that allows you to make fine adjustments to your images. Using information gathered from the camera’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, DPRaw allows you to make micro adjustments to the position of maximum sharpness based on the depth of the subject. 

In addition, you can reposition the viewpoint to horizontally shift the foreground bokeh and reduce the effects of flare and ghosting, thus getting the best possible version of the image captured. We’re told that the RAW file is twice the normal size in this mode, but adjustments can be easily made using sliders. 


Improved speed in every way

The EOS 5D Mark IV is clearly built to be faster than its predecessor, with a top continuous shooting speed of 7 frames per second. It also comes with a brand new 61-point all-points selectable reticular AF system that has 41 cross-type AF points, with a wider coverage area than before and an extended vertical coverage of approximately 24% at the sides and 8.6% at the center. All 61 points are compatible to f/8 or faster, allowing for autofocus even with the use of teleconverters.

When using Live View, the EOS iTR AF (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Auto Focus) is capable of focusing down to light levels of just -4 EV (-3EV via the viewfinder), giving you steady autofocus performance even in extreme low light situations.

4K frame grab can offer a great option if you need to catch an exact moment.

In terms of movie quality, the EOS 5D Mark IV is capable of shooting DCI 4K (4,096 x 2,160) video at the 17:9 aspect ratio, making it a perfect match for cinema screens. You’ll have the option of shooting to .MOV or .MP4 format, and the camera will also do 120p high frame rate HD movies, giving you greater flexibility in terms of capture.

Another new feature is the option to extract 8.8MP stills from the 4K video using the camera’s in-built 4K frame grab feature, so you can grab decisive moments when even the 7fps continuous shooting won’t cut it. There's also an HDR movie function, which does HDR in real-time on 30p video. This helps reduce the need for things like Neutral density filters and definitely adds the range of scenarios you can use the camera while further reducing the need for additional lighting.


Familiar design

Dual card slots will allow for better flexibility. Note also the new focus point selector and focus mode lever.

In terms of physical features, the EOS 5D Mark IV shares the same design as the 5D Mark III before it, but is some 60g lighter, weighing in at just 800g (body only). It’s been built with enhanced dust and water-resistance, and now comes with in-built GPS support for accurate geo-tagging. Wi-Fi and NFC features are also built in, allowing you the option of remote shooting for both stills and video via the Camera Connect app on your smart device. For professionals, there’s also added support for secure FTPS transfer so they can securely get their assignments in while out in the field. 

Touch support for menus makes a huge difference to the usability of the camera.

The rear LCD now supports touch for focus, capture and throughout the menus, meaning you can navigate the camera like you would your smartphone. There are also two new levers on the camera for focus - a focus selector lever and a focus mode slider. These let you easily shift focus point and change the type of focus even when the camera is up to your face.

Overall, the EOS 5D Mark IV will feel very familiar to anyone who has used a EOS 5D series camera before, and we like that they’ve added these small interface improvements to the camera. Certainly on paper it seems like a much improved camera in every aspect, so we’re looking forward to putting a review unit through its paces to see how it truly fares.

But wait! In addition to the 5D Mark IV, Canon has also unveiled two new lenses: the EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM and EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM. We've got more on these lenses on the next page.