Canon EOS 5D Mark IV offers more pixels and better autofocus

— 11:39 AM on August 25, 2016

Canon's EOS 5D series is a seminal line of cameras in the world of DSLRs. The original 5D offered amateurs one of the first accessible full-frame (36- by 24-mm) sensors, and the EOS 5D Mark II became famous for its popularity among pro videographers. By all accounts, the EOS 5D Mark III is a great camera, but it was overshadowed somewhat by the ultra-high-resolution sensor in the 50-MP 5DS series. Now, Canon is updating its evergreen all-rounder with the EOS 5D Mark IV. This camera blends high resolution and speed with a 30.4-MP sensor capable of capturing still images at seven frames per second.

The sensor in the 5D Mark IV recieved most of the attention in this upgrade. Though the 30.4-MP resolution is a nice increase from the 22-MP sensor in the 5D Mark III, that number alone doesn't tell the whole story. The Mark IV's sensor is Canon's second full-frame unit (after the professional-grade 1DX Mark II) with the company's dual-pixel autofocus (AF) technology, meaning that it can perform fast phase-detection autofocus even in live-view mode.

Most other DSLRs (save Canon's own EOS 70D and 80D) have had to rely on the slower, less-reliable contrast-detection autofocus technique in live view until now. DPReview notes that this sensor also has on-die analog-to-digital conversion, a move that might improve the historically weak dynamic range from Canon sensors compared to the Sony units found in that company's cameras, as well as many Nikons.

Canon also improved the AF capabilities of the 5D Mark IV for traditional stills shooting. This camera gets a 61-point AF sensor with "expanded vertical coverage" and 41 cross-type points for better performance with more subject types. DPReview confirms that this AF sensor is the same as the one in the 1DX Mark II, and it's a major feather in the 5D Mark IV's cap.

For videographers, the 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K (4096x2160) capture at 30 or 24 FPS, as well as 1080p capture at up to 60 FPS. DPReview's hands-on suggests that the camera doesn't offer clean HDMI output for external recorders, however, a move that might disappoint pros. The 5D Mark IV also has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS capabilities for communication with the outside world. Adorama has the 5D Mark IV up for pre-order now at $3500, body-only.

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