Canon Eos 5d Mark Iv Camera Review
The latest version by Canon, the EOS 5D Mark IV, is indeed something to watch out for. This full-frame DSLR features a 30.4MP sensor system in contrast to the 22MP sensor that was a part of its forerunner. You get quite a lot of appealing things with the new sensor, including the latest raw converter software, Dual Pixel Raw images, and Digital Photo Professional 4. Dual Pixel CMOS AF forms part of the new sensor as well. This feature first made its appearance in Canon EOS 70D. It proves to be of immense help when you want to record videos or shoot in live view mode.
A new Autofocus system forms part of this latest Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, wherein 61 AF sensors form part of it. Among these, 41 sensors function as cross-type sensors. Five sensors present in the center of the image operate as double-cross type sensors when f/2.8 lenses are used. Similarly, when f/1.8 lenses are used, a minimum of 21 sensors function as cross-type sensors. These sensors, along with the combination of phase and contrast detection, make the AF system immensely powerful and responsive. While conducting tests, we shot at a soccer game and took some photos. We did not have to face any challenge in getting the accurate focus of the action happening in all the scenes. The DSLR incorporates the feature of high-speed burst mode offering around seven frames per second along with an unlimited series of images in JPEG format. This makes it a highly appealing option if you want to indulge in action photography or do sports shooting. This is in contrast to the previous models of Canon’s 5D-series DSLRs that were designed to cater to the requirements of landscape, portrait, and wedding photographers.
You can easily configure the AF system as well. All you need to do is press the AF area button present on the back or the “M-Fn” button located on the top. Using these buttons, the photographer can make adjustments in the AF system in various ways. You can even select the group of AF sensors for defining areas that have to be focused on.
You would not have to face much trouble with the handling of this model. The design is quite intuitive and comfortable, featuring a setup dial on top along with another large one featured on the back. A set button also forms part of it, which is used for confirming current settings. Other features of the model include a small joystick and multiple function buttons on the back. The model is also provided with a large status display present on the top. The best thing about this DSLR is the placement of the functional elements. They are exactly where the photographer would want them to be. Setup dials and joysticks make navigation easy, and the body is well-sealed and balanced, ensuring that you do not have to think twice before taking it out in rough weather conditions.
Two card slots form part of the Canon 5D Mark IV, for video and still recording. You are provided with a CF card that includes the latest UDMA 7 standard along with an SD card slot meant for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and UHS-I cards. The camera can be used for recording 4K video at quite high bit rates of up to 500 Mbit/s. Interestingly, a lot of people expected the model to have CFast 2.0 media. However, it uses the standard card systems. A fast USB 3.0 interface forms part of the camera for feasible data transfer and additional interfaces. The model also features a standard sync interface for studio flash systems along with HDMI output that is excellent for video and image presentation.
Some additional features also form part of the model. These include a Wi-Fi system and NFC technology, among others. These features are quite helpful ids the user wants to connect with a mobile device quickly. Wi-Fi connection can be used for remote control of the camera and data transfer. No additional Bluetooth connection is required.
The DSLR features a bright and large viewfinder having multiple overlay elements. The photographer can select these overlays from the menu. Furthermore, live preview is also offered on the LCD screen, the size of which is the same as the LCD of the 5D Mark III. However, this one has a higher resolution of 1,620,000 RGB dots. One notable point is that the screen is fixed, which is a downer. A swivel LCD would have made things more interesting for low angle stills and videos.
Comments on Image Quality
Color: the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has passed the color tests with distinction. In standard mode, the average saturation might be a little higher compared to the photos taken with professional SLRs. However, it offers quite impressive reproduction of 103.2% instead of 100%. There is a slight shift into the bluish area of the color space in the white balance system. Similarly, a small shift can be seen in the direction of the yellow color area in the brightest neutral tones. There is not much error you will find in the level of colors. However, there seems to be a bit of exaggeration in the red nuances which show a shift into the yellow/orange direction. This appears to be the case for most Canon cameras. However, all things said and done, the differentiation is impressive even in the saturated red nuances. This is apparent in the clothing of the model as well as in the red spool of the standard test box shot.
- Sharpness: The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV did not give us much reason to complain about its performance in our resolution test. 4285 lines per picture height were produced out of 4480 in the reproduction of the ISO 12.233 chart. This implies that the images you take with this camera will have precise detailing as the nominal sensor resolution will be converted. Similar to other models of the Canon series, this one also makes use of the intense sharpness filtering system to produce improved contrast lines, which you can see in the test chart and the elements featured in our test images.
- Noise: the luminance noise level of this model is higher compared to other canon SLRs. However, since the color noise is on quite a low level, it does not impact the smoothness or cleanliness of the images. The images can be called near to noise-free in all shots taken from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. It is at ISO 3200 that you would notice unobtrusive color noise effects. However, these remain discreet till ISO 12800. From ISO 25600, the noise artifacts, along with color noise, lead to the creation of color clouds in the darker and homogenous areas of the image. But they wouldn’t give you much reason to complain at even ISO 32000. It is in higher modes of up to ISO 102400 that color noise effects become too apparent.
The 5D Mark IV also yields excellent results in the dynamic range tests. It managed to achieve a maximum of 11.5 f/stops. The results were the same, even at images taken at up to 400 ISO speeds. It is still quite high at ISO 1600 with 10.8 f/stops. The dynamic range witnesses a drop to 8.9 f/stops at higher ISO speed.
Comments on Video Functions
You can record videos in various image resolution and file format settings with this model. Real 4K videos can be recorded with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and resolution of 4096×2160 pixels. The absence of UHDTV formats with 3840×2160 pixels is somewhat surprising. To ensure high-quality results with low image compression, recording via the camera is presented in MPEG-2 format. We shot our sample scene at 500Mbit/s at high-quality mode, and the file saved was quite large. The clip was not longer than 11 seconds, and the file size was around 726MB. This is because the recording of the camera for 4K video is via 4:2:2 subsampling. However, the real broadcast quality, which is the 10-bit mode, is missing. Therefore, if you want such high-quality video recordings, it is imperative that you have fast CF cards with ample capacities.
There is more than the Canon 5D Mark IV offers than the 4K mode. It is also capable of recording full HD videos using various compression settings and MP4 compression technology. When these modes are used, the videos created are at 30 to 180 Mbit/s. the frame rates offered at full HD mode are up to 60 frames per second wherein it is 50fps for PAL production and 24 fps for cinema or Blue-ray production. 4K movies can be recorded with up to 30 frames per second.
The absence of the second video record button in the camera is noticeable. This implies that the photographer has to switch to a video position from the live video button. The live video button is subsequently used for starting and stopping the recording. During this time, the LCD screen shows a live preview with an aspect ratio of 16/17:9.
Standard exposure modes are offered by the model for video recording, which can be selected via the mode dial featured on the top. The user can use it to set the ISO speed as well. In photo mode, the standard maximum is ISO 32,000, while in video mode, it is up to ISO 12,800. The camera can also be used for recording high video modes with ISO 25,600; 51,200; and 102,400.
The performance of the camera in AF mode is impressive. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF offers a highly responsive continuous AF mode. The face detection and tracking modes ensure that you do not face any trouble in keeping the moving objects in focus. The feature of manual sound level control also forms part of the camera. It is provided with a microphone jack along with an additional port for headphones to ensure that you have direct sound control.
Comments on Video Quality
The camera yielded good results in video tests as well. The sample scene shot at 4k is crisp and clear even though the maximum resolution of 1,629 lines per picture height in 2160p mode and 931 lines per picture height in 1080p mode cannot be considered high. It is the low compression settings along with the high data rate that makes sure that the video clips created are smooth and precise.
The results of the color are similar to that of still images. The colors created by the camera were quite natural, and there was merely a slight shift into the blue color area in case of darker neutral tones. In comparison, the shift to yellow direction was also minimal for brighter neutral tones.
The noise results in the video mode are better compared to photo mode since a group of pixels can be used by the camera for luminance information. There is low noise at ISO 100 to ISO 6400. Color noise artifacts can be noticed at videos taken at ISO 12,800. It is at ISO 100 that the dynamic range result is as high as photo mode at 11.4 f/stops. There is a significant drop in the dynamic range if you record at higher ISO speeds.
In video mode, the noise results are even better than in photo mode because the camera can use groups of pixels for luminance information. The noise at ISO 100 to ISO 6400 is very low; in videos taken at ISO 12,800 mode, we noticed some color noise artifacts. At ISO 100, the dynamic range result was nearly as high as in photo mode, at 11.4 f/stops. Recording with higher ISO speeds will drop the dynamic range noticeably.