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

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 (4096×2160) 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.

Comments closed
    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 4 years ago

    hmmm…. think it’s time to upgrade from my 5Dmk2. 😀

    • Captain Ned
    • 4 years ago

    $3,500 plus the megabucks for proper (i.e. very fast) glass? No wonder everyone uses their phone and doesn’t care a whit.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 4 years ago

      Good lenses will last for decades.

      My current kit:
      Canon EOS 5D Mk. III
      EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
      EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
      EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
      EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

      Jeff didn’t mention that Canon also released a pair of new lenses along with the EOS 5D Mk IV:
      EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
      EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

      The best place to price new gear is at [url<]http://www.canonpricewatch.com/prices/[/url<]

        • Airmantharp
        • 4 years ago

        Hell, you’re using newer kit than I am JAE, but you’re damn right: glass is forever 😉

        And those two lenses look very good for their respective niches!

          • nexxcat
          • 4 years ago

          Hopefully the new 24-105/4 L will be far less terrible than the old 24-105/4 at 24mm, but since Nikon’s 24-120 is also pretty abysmal at 24mm, I seriously doubt it will be awesome. It’s amazing how much better the 24-70 (both f/4 and f/2.8) are at 24mm. Holy cats the distortion and corner softness.

          My current kit for completeness:
          Sony A7R II
          Metabones EF-E adapter
          Sony FE-28/2
          Canon EF 70-200/2.8
          Canon EF 24-105/4
          Hartblei 2.8/80 TS

          If I were in the market for a new DSLR, this new 5D would be on my short list, but the Sony A7R II is pretty good.

            • Airmantharp
            • 4 years ago

            It’s very possible. MTFs have been posted, and they show an improvement, but the real improvement will be largely measured in terms of distortion and vignetting at the wide end and acuity and transmission on the long end (lens dropped to T5.0+ at 105mm). New coatings should certainly help too.

            Of course, better build, faster AF, and more efficient stabilization all join the party as well, but if you want a great 24-105 you can just skip to the Sigma which may remain optically superior to this new lens (and heavier and larger and not weather sealed).

            • nexxcat
            • 4 years ago

            Totally agree with every single point you made, but since I already have the 70-100ish range covered by my 70-200/2.8, I can instead grab one of the absolutely excellent 24-70 lenses from various people.

            • Airmantharp
            • 4 years ago

            No doubt, though many still prefer the 24-105/120 lenses because the long end makes a great portrait tool over the 24-70s, and that can be done while keeping the standard zoom on the lens.

      • drkskwlkr
      • 4 years ago

      Everyone except at least a couple of hundred thousand people who will buy that camera before the end of this year alone 😉

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    $3500 just for the body!?!?! My Sony a6000 spec sheet looks better than this thing. I don’t see the value in 4k video recording. Does the twice as large sensor make that big of a difference?

      • funko
      • 4 years ago

      DSLRs are one of the many product types that spec sheets are no where near comprehensive enough to judge the quality of any given product. the a6000 camera, as wel las sensor, (and a whole slew of other things) are just not in the same category as the 5D Mark IV. it is at least 2 steps down in product categories. one example of why: full frame sensor on the 5d, your sony only has a aps-c cmos sensor which is inferior by a large margin

      • nexxcat
      • 4 years ago

      The large sensor does make a huge difference when isolating subjects from their backgrounds.

    • mbutrovich
    • 4 years ago

    Seems like a rather ho-hum update to the 5D series, and one that’s sure to disappoint the pro video people. Seeing this iteration of the 5D validates for me the decision to dump my 5DIII and Canon glass and downsize to mirrorless.

    Different photographers put different demands on their equipment, but I’m much happier shooting Fujifilm now and the only thing I really miss from the Canon glass is the TS-E 24 II.

      • danny e.
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Seeing this iteration of the 5D validates for me the decision to dump my 5DIII and Canon glass and downsize to mirrorless.[/quote<] I see comments of this nature a lot on canon rumors and never can quite figure out if the person is just trolling for trolling sake or actually doesn't have a clue.. or what the deal actually is. It's basically saying "As a non-race car driver who has never actually gotten over 100mph in any car and drives mostly to and from work, the new Corvette just doesn't meet my expectations. I'm feeling confident now that purchasing my new Ford Taurus was the right call." Edit: And I'm not saying the ford Taurus isn't a great car.. I'm saying it's odd to hear "because product X doesn't live up to my pipe dreams, I'm going to downgrade to product Y"

        • mbutrovich
        • 4 years ago

        Maybe you missed the part where I acknowledged “Different photographers put different demands on their equipment” ? Canon doesn’t make gear that appeals to my needs anymore. I’m sure if I was still shooting sports I’d like the 5DIV.

        For what I shoot now, Canon’s bodies hold little appeal. Their sensors have consistently fallen behind in the realm of dynamic range and until see 5DIV RAWs I’m not convinced they’ve recovered much ground in that area. I mostly just miss their glass.

        I’m sorry that the 5DIV’s bullet points don’t meet my satisfaction, but that’s hardly an absurd opinion to express.

          • danny e.
          • 4 years ago

          I get the part where even a point and shoot is fine for most people. I’m confused by “product x doesnt live up to this standard i have, so ill downgrade to something else and be happy.”
          Not sure if that makes sense… basically why even talk about cameras designed for basically the pro wedding shooters? Just say “mirrorless camera y does everything i need”. Just sounds odd to say X doesnt do such and such, therefore ill pick up something that does even less. Does not compute.

            • mbutrovich
            • 4 years ago

            Fujifilm doesn’t do less for my purpose though, that’s the point I’m trying to get across. I get more dynamic range out of my landscapes than I did with my full-frame Canon sensors. I have a more compact, comfortable camera to hike with all day.

            My point was that Canon seems to be taking the 5D line in a direction that doesn’t really align with my shooting preferences. The 5Ds line is an interesting idea that had me questioning dumping my $10,000+ dollars in Canon glass, but the dynamic range was still lacking.

            • Airmantharp
            • 4 years ago

            Canon has implemented on-sensor ADCs- which improves *base* dynamic range. In both the 1D X II and 80D, cameras that you can go read reviews on and download RAWs for yourself, this has been a great improvement, and the 5D IV uses the same technology. Not quite PeNikony levels (all using Sony sensors) but within a stop as measured by DxO.

            Your complaint thus falls rather flat, as you have clearly not bothered to research before posting.

            • danny e.
            • 4 years ago

            If any camera meets your needs, that’s all that matters.

            The new canon sensors have made significant improvement in dynamic range.
            What Fujifilm camera?

        • nexxcat
        • 4 years ago

        [quote=”danny e.”<]I'm saying it's odd to hear "because product X doesn't live up to my pipe dreams, I'm going to downgrade to product Y"[/quote<] Not sure if going to mirrorless is specifically a downgrade. You make [i<]different[/i<] tradeoffs, but the Sony a7R II and a6300 are both fantastic cameras. Life is about making the correct tradeoffs for yourself.

      • Airmantharp
      • 4 years ago

      This camera (and all other Canon DSLRs) are great at video- if you want to do Cinema work, you get a Canon EOS Cinema camera :D.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 4 years ago

    Let’s agree that the best camera is the one you have with you. If your D810 and 24-70 F2.8 are at home, a cell phone is capturing the shot better. That being said, let’s also differentiate between people who take photos and photographers/enthusiasts. This lady who shot my brother’s wedding had over $10k in Canon gear and hadn’t a clue how to use any of it, which is evident by the photos and EXIF data. Even the cheapest DSLR’s will beat a cell phone under any condition. Those who are comfortable with cell phone quality shouldn’t speak in generalities.

    Here is also a fun site to visit.

    [url<]http://youarenotaphotographer.com/[/url<]

      • nexxcat
      • 4 years ago

      [quote=”Srsly_Bro”<]Let's agree that the best camera is the one you have with you. If your D810 and 24-70 F2.8 are at home, a cell phone is capturing the shot better.[/quote<] I totally agree. One of my favourite shots was taken with my IXY 400 compact digital, because my DSLR had run out of space on the card or run out of batteries (it's been a while, so I don't remember which). [quote="Srsly_Bro"<]That being said, let's also differentiate between people who take photos and photographers/enthusiasts.[/quote<] So one thing that I get to do as an enthusiast is to not keep things that aren't home runs. That means of the 1000s of frames I take, I get to make the decision to keep 2-3, and ditch the rest. Professionals would likely have to keep many more, and though the average quality would likely be better on [i<]their[/i<] keep rate, I'm sure the average quality would be closer on my keep rate. But like that site shows, equipment doesn't compensate for artistic skills.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 4 years ago

    It seems like the 5D MKIII just came out. wtf

      • nexxcat
      • 4 years ago

      If 4 years ago is “just came out”….

      If I didn’t buy the a7R II about a year ago, the new 5Dm4 would’ve been a strong contender to be my new be-all kit.

    • shizuka
    • 4 years ago

    > The Mark IV’s sensor is Canon’s first full-frame unit with the company’s dual-pixel autofocus (AF) technology, meaning that it can perform fast phase-detection autofocus even in live-view mode.

    The distinction actually goes to the 1DX Mark II, which was released in February 2016.

    Now if you mean “first AFFORDABLE full-frame”, I’ll have to agree…

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      I even scoured the 1DX Mark II product page and missed that, somehow. Fixed.

      • dyrdak
      • 4 years ago

      I’m just curious how this dual pixel capability affected low light performance. Can it combine both when none of the pixels in particular pair was used for phase-detection autofocus or is the performance degraded across the full frame?

        • Airmantharp
        • 4 years ago

        There are thirty million pairs, and the DPAF system is good to -4EV, which is a stop darker than the PDAF system at -3EV.

        Basically, the only limitations are going to be the same limitations that apply to mirrorless cameras, i.e. passable at best burst tracking and ability to follow fast moving objects will be limited. In dark areas, DPAF may be more competent than the PDAF system.

    • thesmileman
    • 4 years ago

    I keep telling myself “Nothing compares to my SLR” but unfortunately as cell phone cameras get better and better and easier to get amazing shots I have realized I’m lying to myself more and more. Other than at night and specialty shots with some 2k+ lenses this just doesn’t seem to be true anymore and I think I will probably just keep a telephoto and a f 0.95 lens.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      That “other than at night” thing is huge though. That also encompasses indoor shots in less-than-ideal lighting, and the higher sensitivity allows for shorter exposure times, less motion blur, all that stuff. I have a very basic, entry-level camera and there’s a world of difference between photos shot with it and photos shot with my iPhone 6S Plus.

        • DPete27
        • 4 years ago

        The fact that my Sony a6000, even with the standard 16-55mm f3.5 lens, can see better in the dark with no flash than my own eyes speaks volumes. Good luck doing that on a smartphone.

          • thesmileman
          • 4 years ago

          I don’t understand why no one reads my post as I clearly say at night its a totally different situation.

            • DPete27
            • 4 years ago

            My comment was more as a testament of low-light performance. Indoor/Low-Light photo situations are pretty common. Phones may be good for the casual photographer that wants to post pics on instagram, but I won’t be using only my smartphone to capture special family events anytime soon. Even if they’re outside.

            Like I said in my other post, the pixel counts may be similar between modern smartphones and DLSRs, but there is a big difference in what those pixels actually look like when you zoom in on them.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 4 years ago

            You’re quite inexperienced in photography if you believe what you said in your post.

            • flip-mode
            • 4 years ago

            Huh? Night is not a different situation than day?

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 4 years ago

            No, that cell phone and DSLR are “good enough” during the day. They are “good enough” if you don’t care about image quality or other aspects of photograph. If that’s the case, why would a person even compare the two. #paradox

          • derFunkenstein
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, I paid like $350 for my D3200 and it’s a night and day difference, even with the standard 18-55mm lens.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      Cell phone cameras will always be limited in certain regards by the size of their image sensors. I did a lot of quick-and-dirty photography at IDF with my iPhone, but I’m not going to stop carrying my Nikon D810 to events, either. The big DSLR still has huge advantages in fine-detail capture and dynamic range, and I prefer to have those things as a starting point even if I’m publishing to the web.

        • brucethemoose
        • 4 years ago

        The size of the lens is huge factor too.

        As someone else mentioned, big cameras are just so much better than smartphones at night and indoor shots since they can capture alot more light in the same amount of time.

        • thesmileman
        • 4 years ago

        I definitely agree with your statement about size/sensor limitations and have made those statements for years yet cameras keep getting better and better at an amazing rate and we are already so much better than I thought we would ever be. I am really interested to see how much better cell phone cameras can get.

        I’m not getting rid of mine either but I’m being so much more selective now.

        • cegras
        • 4 years ago

        The HDR+ option on Nexus phones seems to be a feature that didn’t receive very much acknowledgement. It shoots amazing photos.

        • blastdoor
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Cell phone cameras will always be limited in certain regards by the size of their image sensors. [/quote<] They will also always be limited by the size of the lenses. But I think the key is -- to what extent can those limitations be overcome so that the marginal benefit of carrying a DSLR no longer outweighs the marginal cost? With every new generation of cell phones, more and more people are finding that the benefit/cost ratio is moving in the direction of their phone. I am eager to see what Apple does with the purported dual cameras in the iPhone 7. Also... I suspect that "deep learning" is going to do a lot to improve pictures post-processing in ways that photography purists will detest but about 95% of consumers will really appreciate. For example, perhaps your iPhone recognizes that you've taken a picture of your girlfriend, but it's in a low light situation, so the iPhone draws on every single other picture you've taken of her to enhance the new picture (sort of a Bayesian updating thing). Or maybe you took a picture of the Washington Monument, and the all knowing cloud draws on every other picture that anyone has ever taken of the Washington Monument to make yours better. It might sound crazy, but I bet it happens...

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 4 years ago

          Phones have been picking all the low hanging photo fruit. I suspect cell phones will not be making the same size of improvements in the coming few years as they have in the past few years, unless they do it by adding more (larger) hardware.

          Phones have closed by gap by using the latest tech, but the large cameras will also be pickup up tricks that the phones have pioneered.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 4 years ago

      I didn’t know that f 0.95 lenses exist until now. You’re shooting with 5 figures lenses and thinking that it’s almost the same as your iPhone?

        • thesmileman
        • 4 years ago

        I mentioned those are the lenses I will probably keep using because cell phones don’t compare to f0.95 lens nor telephotos.

        Also there are a number of f0.95 lenses that are under $2k. and I think some even less than $1k

          • Voldenuit
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]Also there are a number of f0.95 lenses that are under $2k. and I think some even less than $1k[/quote<] Yep. voigtlander's F0.95 lenses are in the $600-800 range and quite good. No electrical coupling, but you don't need that to take good shots.

            • drkskwlkr
            • 4 years ago

            Yup, at f/0.95 it is so much fun focusing by hand while looking through that awesomely bright viewfinder. Who needs stinkin’ AF.

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      In my experience, when you view your phone pictures on your phone they look great. But if you put the phone and point&shoot or DSLR images up on a computer monitor, there’s no mistaking that phone cameras aren’t matching dedicated cameras yet. I’ve got a 10 year old, 5MP Fujifilm point&shoot camera that would cost less than $200 today and it handily outperforms my Motorola Droid Turbo 2.

      What’s always been the big benefit of phone cameras is their portability. They’re always with you.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 4 years ago

      It’s more a case that top-end smartphone photos are pretty solid even compared to SLRs, *only* in the specific case that you’re shooting outdoors on a nice bright, sunny day.
      Even in that specific case, the bright-sunnyness is quite likely to create a composition that has a huge range of contrast, and most smartphone images will fall flat on the dynamic range and give you blown light tones and underexposed shadows.

      Actually, in that regard I’ve found the HDR mode on the iPhone 6 Plus is actually a decent step forward – it genuinely seems to expand the dynamic range considerably, rather than just applying some hacky filter or something. That said, it still won’t come close to a recent APS-C sensor in that regard.

      I’d certainly not deny that the quality a modern smartphone can turn out is pretty staggering considering what it has to work with, but I still reckon they’re a long way off being good enough to ditch my proper camera.

        • nexxcat
        • 4 years ago

        [quote=”GrimDanfango”<]It's more a case that top-end smartphone photos are pretty solid even compared to SLRs, *only* in the specific case that you're shooting outdoors on a nice bright, sunny day.[/quote<] But they're really not. Once you start to print them at bigger sizes, their limitations come out pretty starkly. The details that get squished in name of noise reduction is pretty terrifying. Now if all you're doing is publishing them so they'd look good as small web-sized photos, sure, a phone is great. However, once you start to go for even desktop wallpaper size, even my 10yr old pocket camera outperforms my iPhone 6.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Some people are photo-takers, others are photographers. If you can’t discern between cell phone and DSLR quality photos, there is no reason for you to possess an interchangeable lens camera.

        • flip-mode
        • 4 years ago

        Sheesh. I think a lot of comments here are too harsh. If you think that “thesmileman” literally thinks that there is no difference in photo quality and photographic capabilities of a cell phone camera compared to a DSLR camera then you are simply failing to use common sense to grasp the general idea of his comment.

        The simple point he is making is that phone cameras have become so decent that the need to carry a DSLR with you everywhere you go is drastically diminished. And he is correct to say that. I used to keep my DSLR in the car so I’d have it at all times. That is not necessary these days. Unless I’m taking important pictures, artistic pictures, or pictures in challenging conditions, the DSLR just is not necessary.

          • blastdoor
          • 4 years ago

          Agreed.

          I certainly know and appreciate that a DSLR is better than the camera in my iPhone. But is it better enough to warrant lugging one around? Well… sometimes. But generally not. And when it is, I try to talk someone else into doing it so that I don’t have to.

          • thesmileman
          • 4 years ago

          thank you for getting my comment! I am trying to say that I used to put a hard line stance too but its getting to the point that I can accept the compromises in many cases but not all. I find that more and more people (Even those crapping all over my comments and defending SLRs for all situations) will eventually realize this too just as I did.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 4 years ago

          This isn’t a photography website and many people aren’t photographers, but casual users.

          My point is if you’re just taking snapshots you don’t need a DSLR, so of course you’d use a phone. Why would anyone carry a 5 lb combination for poorly executed snapshots? DSLRs aren’t for snapshooting, unless cats.

          You don’t need a dual Xeon server to check email when a $300 laptop will check it just fine. The parallels should be obvious. DSLRs are for specialized uses, not general use where a cell phone will work just fine.

          I agree with your post, but his post is pointless. Reading camera posts on here must be like reading MacForum posts with other normies talking about PCs.

      • ludi
      • 4 years ago

      By way of support, my FIL is a freelance (formerly fulltime) newspaper photographer and also shoots for hobby and events. For pro events he uses a high end Canon kit, but for hobby and even some of the newspaper stuff he found a 4S, and now a 6s, to be plenty adequate.

      I notice that some of the folks here are focused heavily on technical specs. But a better tool doesn’t make you a good photographer, and a good photographer has to work with the tool he actually has at the moment when the light and composition are “just so,” not the one he might like to have. And my FIL has won prizes at the county fair with iPhone photos.

      • Airmantharp
      • 4 years ago

      Let me say that ‘I get you’- I’ve taken photos even with my OG Note that surprised me in sharpness and color in ways that I didn’t expect, and for most (web) uses in good light a phone will certainly do.

      One thing I’ll point out is that it isn’t all just cellphones and DSLRs; mirrorless kit gets better over time, but even now we’re getting a plethora of 1″-class point-and-shoot cameras that are extremely competent and usually very well connected for cellphone/web sharing, and many can fit in a pants pocket easily.

      • nexxcat
      • 4 years ago

      They’re great, until you try to use them as something larger. I find the loss of fine detail makes it hard to even create a desktop wallpaper with my iPhone 6. Sure, my A7R II and literally thousands of dollars’ worth of lenses and accessories don’t make me a better photographer, but when I bring the camera (and I do almost always), I do take better photographs because there are fewer compromises in the shots.

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