Canon 5D Mark IV Review

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Canon 5D Mark IV is no doubt one of the best full frame DSLR cameras on the market today, offering an ergonomic design and takes some incredible stills, but how does it perform overall? Let’s find out.

When I started out film-making and taking photos, the thought of using a DSLR was very daunting and whilst that gap has been bridged over time by smartphones and entry-level DSLR cameras, there’s still a space for a prosumer level camera like the 5D.

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Amongst photographers, the 5D is very popular, and while the Mark IV is the latest in the series, it’s a great all-round camera that shoots amazing still photos, but lacks some things that I’ve come to love about the likes of Sony’s A7RII in both still photos and video mode.

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For example, focus peaking and zebra features aren’t built in, and although you may be able to use something like Magic Lantern firmware to counter the issue, it still baffles me as to why Canon did not include it.

Focus peaking can save you from taking a tonne of out of focus shots especially in bad lighting situations and it just gives that extra confidence that you’ve taken the sharpest images possible.

Canon 5D Mark IV Design And Features – What can it do?

If it’s your first time using a Canon DSLR camera or moving over from other brands, even older models like the 600D, you may find the controls a little complicated at first and that’s absolutely normal, but once you have them figured it out and made the controls your own, the rest is history.

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Buttons are conveniently placed for easy access and reach when shooting on the go, however, you still have a couple of times where you would need to press a combination of buttons and the scroll wheel to adjust things that could be annoying at times – again it just takes getting used to.

Although you don’t get an articulating screen to see yourself if you were to be filming or taking selfies, you can attach an external display via HDMI on the side and for convenience. With a touch sensitive display present, you can tap on menu options which I found easier – it’s also useful when focusing or trying to follow focus when filming.

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The 5D Mark IV is one of the most versatile cameras there is today, you can use it for sports/action, wedding, nature, portrait, landscape etc. with no issues at all. With 7fps fast shots, you can take decent shots of fast moving subjects.  Compared to its predecessor, it’s been updated too, and the updates I feel are necessary to bring the 5D range into a new era for social media photographers.

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Besides being a 30 full-frame megapixels camera (fantastic for printing and post capture cropping), 4K video capability, you have GPS,  WiFi for use with Canon Camera Connect App (very useful for transferring your pictures to your phone for sharing online or quickly sharing with clients),  NFC, some correction features (In-camera, as-shot distortion, and diffraction correction) and Digital Lens Optimizer.

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There’s a new programmable control button to suit your shooting style – you may want to set one to quickly switch shooting modes or set focus modes or white balance and more. As mentioned already, you now get a touch screen display, a welcomed addition.All 61 AF points work at f/8; 41 of these are cross-type as well.

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For better photography, all 61 AF points work at f/8, and  “Dual-Pixel RAW,” Canon’s own created system that allows post-capture touch-up focus; a bit like what you see on the likes of Huawei smartphones’ aperture mode where you can adjust focus after you’ve taken the shot.

There are some more updates, but without boring you with all the minute details, the 5D Mark IV is definitely one to reckon with. It may not be one to upgrade to from its predecessor, but if on the market for a new DSLR that is versatile, ergonomically sound, then it’s one to add to your list for consideration.

Canon 5D Mark IV Menu System and Usability – How easy is it to use?

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The 5D Mark IV is one of the easiest cameras you quickly familiarise yourself with. The menu system is clearly laid out in sections so if you need to modify any of the camera settings for photography, it’s straight forward and if you need it for videography it’s also easy.

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You can control the system using the dials, but although I often forget that it’s also a touchscreen interface,  but once you get used to it, you can also use it to manipulate the settings.  The controls aren’t just about settings, though, you can also use the touch for things like focusing on your subject and more.  I also like the quick info display on top of the camera so you can easily see what setting you have.

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Something worth mentioning also is its capability to handle two storage locations; you can save RAW + Jpeg for example or use as extra storage if one runs out, or other combinations. That’s saved me many times from having to delete images on a shoot.  It’s also great for when recording 4K to one card and storing just images on the other too.

Canon 5D Mark IV Image And Video Quality – Is it worth the price tag and who is for?

When it comes to taking stills, the 5D Mark IV shines.  It captures every detail and it’s such a fast camera so you will never miss a moment; I do advise that you use a memory card for with fast read/write speeds.  Using a fast memory card means you won’t suffer from waiting for the camera to write data before you can playback content.  When shooting a 4K video, it also makes it very stable.

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You can take a 30MP image or tone it down for whatever the purpose of your photography is. You can even crop it to 16:9, 4:3, or even to square Hasselblad 1:1. Changing the crop settings used will result in a different max MP you can use, for example, a 16:9 crop will mean you can go to 25MP, which is still large.

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For shooting movies, as mentioned before you can shoot in 4,096 × 2,160 (4K), however only at 29.97, 24.00 or 23.976 FPS. If you want to shoot slow-mo, you will need to step down to 1,280 × 720, then you can shoot at 119.88 FPS.

Image samples:

Canon EOS-5D-MarkIV Image Sample

Canon EOS-5D-MarkIV Image Sample

Canon EOS-5D-MarkIV Image Sample

Canon EOS-5D-MarkIV Image Sample

Conclusion – Would I buy one?

The 5D Mark IV is no doubt one of my favourite DSLR cameras on the market right now. It’s fast (shutter, focus etc), it feels ergonomically safe in hand and if you have compatible Canon lenses already you have nothing to worry about.

Canon EOS-5D-MarkIV Image Sample

If you’re new to the world of DSLR cameras, then this one may be too advance for you and would advise looking at simpler models.  Users coming from other brands like Sony will find it easy to pick up the settings and menu layout and although some of the terms are different from brand to brand, you can still easily grasp what they mean with Canon.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR’s  estimated retail price of $3,499.00 for the body only.


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Tomi Adebayo

I write about all things tech!