Canon 5D Mark IV Field Test Part I: A wealth of useful upgrades in a familiar shell


posted Friday, October 21, 2016 at 1:56 PM EDT


Canon's long-running 5D family turned four earlier this year! The aptly-named Canon 5D Mark IV sports a raft of technological upgrades, including an all-new 30-megapixel CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a fully functional touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4K video recording. However, it's not all brand new; the body design is practically identical to its Mark III predecessor, which I think is a great thing.

In my just-published Field Test Part I, I take a look at the new Mark IV and discuss the camera's not-so-new design. For me, the familiarity of the 5D Mark IV is one its biggest strengths. For those long-time Canon EOS photographers, stepping up to the Mark IV should be a simple process without any steep learning curve.

Could Canon have gone for a more revolutionary redesign? Sure. I mean, the 5D Mark IV is another big and bulky DSLR -- though I, personally, didn't have any issue with the camera's size and weight, much to my surprise. I think for the camera's target audience, the ease of use and familiarity trump all else. The 5D-series is a workhorse, professional-level camera, and tried-and-true ergonomics is key. That being said, it's nice to see more modern features like full touchscreen functionality and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity make its way to a pro-level Canon DSLR, and I'll explore these in detail.


I also go in-depth with the camera's real-world image quality performance, at both low and higher ISOs. Though not as high-res as some other competing cameras, the 5D Mark IV's 30MP images strike a nice balance between detail, high ISO performance, and manageability.

Canon 400mm f/5.6L: 400mm, f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 2000, +0.3EV

I'm certainly not done shooting with this camera, as I plan to investigate the 5D IV's performance, for both burst shooting and autofocus, in my upcoming Part II installment. I'll also dive into the camera's interesting new Dual Pixel RAW technology and its 4K video recording capabilities.

For all the details about my shooting experience so far, head over to my Canon 5D Mark IV Field Test Part I. Also be sure to browse through the updated Gallery Page for more real-world photos from a variety of Canon lenses and at various ISOs.

Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS: 24mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 100, +0.3EV
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: 70mm, f/8, 1/250s, ISO 100, -0.3EV

Canon 5D Mark IV Field Test Part I