It’s been a while. 4 years, exactly. That is the time it took Canon to update the Canon 5D Mark III to the brand new Mark IV. But is it a game changer and up to the competition?
The Canon 5D Mark iv sports a brand new, full-frame, high-speed CMOS sensor with whooping 30.4 Megapixels. According to DxOMark it is THE best Canon sensor ever. It features 61 AF points, 41 of those being cross-type and DUAL Pixel AF for fast and reliable focus in live-view or video. The new Digic 6+ cpu enables a nice 7fps burst shooting, for sports and faster stuff. The back LCD display measures 3.2″, is touch capable and features 1,620,000 dots. The 5d Mark iv supports dual cards (CF + SDHC), which is nice to have. And, with regard to video, Canon made the jump to 4k in their DSLR line up! Hurray!
Although the sensor is the best Canon could come up with, the Nikon D810 and Sony A7Rii still beat it, according to DxOMark. Don’t get me wrong, all current sensors are amazing, but if you are a Canon shooter you will always have that little voice in the back of your mind, reminding you that other sensors do better. And to be honest, the sensor is the heart and soul of a camera for me.
With regard to video, it is nice to have the 4k capabilities. But honestly, Canon, what have you been thinking? The codec is Motion-JPG, literally a collection of one jpg after the other compressed into a huge video file… This takes up so much space compared to the competition who use H.264 and some are even implementing H.265! File size matters when handling and editing the footage. Also, as the center of the sensor is only used for reading the 4k images for video, you get a hefty crop factor! Your ultra-wide angle lens will be not that ultra wide when recording video!
Furthermore the LCD screen is neither tilty nor swively. When you hit the record button, the viewfinder goes black and you have to use the LCD, even in bright sunlight. A big disadvantage of the classic design of DSLRs. The Sony A7 series scores here big times.
The most, let’s say annoying, thing to me is the price point. I can (currently, as of 2016-09-15) pre-order the 5D Mark IV for about 4.000 Euro. I can also get the Sony A7R Mark II for 3600 euro (even more Megapixels and great video features) or get the D810 for roughly 2800 Euro and buy some nice glass for the money I saved!
So, who wants a 5D Mark iv? Honestly, if you are a Canon shooter and own a lot of glass and stuff, this is a dream camera. I made the switch to Sony some years ago and never looked back… Which road will you take?