I’ll save you some time and give you the short version. If you thought the 5D Mark III was awesome, then you’ll think the 5D Mark IV is awesome. It’s at least as good as its predecessor. It has a few significant new features, but overall, it may not be worth the cost for 5D Mark III owners to upgrade. But it might. If you want to know a little more, keep reading and watching.
In this set of videos from Jim Goldstein at All Things Photo, we get a great in-depth look at the 5D Mark IV’s features. There’s a lot of videos, so you might want to sit back with a large drink, and schedule a bathroom break. There’s a big review, a quick review, and a look at some of the 5D Mark IV’s most asked about features.
If you don’t have time to sit back and watch through the whole thing, here’s Jim’s “Speed Review”, quickly going over the most important features, what’s good, what’s not so good.
From watching both of these, it strikes me that it’s probably not worth upgrading from the 5D Mark III unless you have a need for Wi-Fi or GPS. If you were planning to buy both of those for your 5D Mark III, than that essentially knocks around $1,200 off the cost of the 5D Mark IV.
If you bought the 5D Mark III along with the WFT-E7 and GP-E2 units, it would actually cost you more than the 5D Mark IV. With the Mark IV, you’d also get the convenience of not having to bolt extra things onto your camera. They’re both contained within the camera itself.
The dynamic range has increased on the 5D Mark IV, and Jim says it even beats out the 1DX Mark II. Jim suggests that it’s now on a par with competitors Nikon and Sony, but it’s nothing really special. Both Sony and Nikon are expected to release new body updates fairly soon. So, this may see the 5D Mark IV lagging further behind.
Another new feature of the 5D Mark IV is the built in intervalometer. This is something Nikon shooters have had since at least the D2 generation. My D200 had it, and the D2h released in 2003 has it. It’s surprised me that it’s taken Canon so long to start implementing this feature as standard. None-the-less, Canon’s implementation seems quite impressive. It also has a built in anti-flicker feature to help prevent aperture flicker from interfering with your viewing pleasure.
One area where a few are disappointed with the 5D Mark IV is ISO performance. The base ISO has been expanded a mere third of a stop, now capping at ISO3200, while the expanded range stays the same at ISO50-102400. But how does each ISO value compare to its predecessor?
Jim also looked at extreme long exposures, with some shutter durations lasting for as long as an hour and a half. Obviously, for this, you would need to use an external shutter release. Like pretty much every other DSLR out there, the longest exposure built into the camera itself before bulb mode is 30 seconds.
The two big things shouted about with the 5D Mark IV’s launch were the dual pixel features. Dual pixel raw has been complained about already quite a bit. It’s certainly not the post-focus saviour many believed would come. That’s not really much of a surprise, though. This is a DSLR, not Lytro, so you can’t really expect the same kind of post focusing abilities.
You basically get micro adjustments. It allows you to fine tune the focus, but it doesn’t let you drastically alter it. One feature that is quite cool with dual pixel raw, though, is the ability to control the “bokeh” of the out of focus background areas. With the technology in its current state, I could see this being a little more useful than the ability to slightly adjust focus in post. You’re also limited to using canon’s DPP software.
The other advantage of dual pixels is the new dual pixel autofocus system. This seems to work incredibly well for video. Tracking moving subjects seems a lot more reliable than we’ve seen in the past. It may have trouble focusing on subjects that may be running toward or away from the camera, though, especially with older lenses.
As I said at the top, if you were impressed by the 5D Mark III, you’ll easily be impressed by the 5D Mark IV. But, unless you have a specific need to step up to the 5D Mark IV, it’s probably not worth upgrading from the Mark III. If you occasionally find yourself wanting a feature it offers, you may be better off simply renting for those shoots. If you’re still clutching onto your 5D Mark II, or another previous generation or lower level body, then it certainly seems worth going for the Mark IV.
Do you have the 5D Mark IV yet? What did you upgrade from? If you went from the Mark III to the Mark IV, has it impressed you as much as you’d hoped? Or are you feeling a little underwhelmed? Did Jim miss out any important features of the 5D Mark IV? Let us know in the comments.