The EOS 5D Mark IV boasts of a number of improvements from its predecessor, the ever-popular EOS 5D Mark III. These include AF system enhancements that bring the camera almost on par with the flagship EOS-1D X Mark II, such as Dual Pixel RAW recording, an in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer, the addition of the "Fine Detail" Picture Style, Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and so on. Read on to find out more about them. (Reported by: Takeshi Ohura)
AF performance comparable to that of the flagship model
One of the noteworthy points about the new EOS 5D Mark IV is the evolution of the AF system. Like the EOS-1D X Mark II, it adopts the 61-point high-density reticular AF II. Although the number of AF points is unchanged from the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 5D Mark IV is able to establish AF more accurately on moving subjects.
You can choose to display the status of the AF function within or outside the field of view of the viewfinder. The display remains the same as before if you choose to show it outside the viewfinder.
All of the AF points are designed to work at f/8, which exponentially increases the possibility that AF will function even when a 2x teleconverter is attached to a super telephoto lens. The low luminance performance has also been enhanced to handle conditions as dark as EV-3. The capability of the AF to capture subjects is overwhelmingly powerful, thanks to features such as face detection by the EOS iTR AF and the greatly enhanced subject tracking algorithm.
EOS iTR AF allows you to set the conditions for the EOS 5D Mark IV to automatically make use of subject information. When [ON (Face priority)] is selected, the EOS 5D Mark IV automatically selects AF points for focusing by analysing face information in addition to the AF and colour information of the subject.
AI Servo AF III is adopted for the continuous AF function, which further boosts the prediction accuracy. While it is not uncommon to experience a slight deterioration in AF accuracy in the case of phase-difference detection AF depending on the distance of the subject from the camera, this does not seem to be a major cause for concern on the EOS 5D Mark IV.
EOS 5D Mark IV/ EF600mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4x III/ FL: 840mm/ Manual exposure (f/5.6, 1/2000 sec.)/ ISO 200/ AF mode: AI Servo AF/ WB: Auto (Ambience priority)
With AI Servo AF III, the EOS 5D Mark IV is capable of establishing focus on a wild bird in flight.
Dual Pixel RAW format recording for more post-processing options
The EOS 5D Mark IV supports image-plane phase-difference detection AF (Dual Pixel CMOS AF) during Live View shooting. This AF technology employs two photodiodes for each pixel on the image sensor. Image signals from each of these photodiodes are then used for phase-difference detection AF. The AF performance of the EOS 5D Mark IV is extremely smooth even during Live View shooting.
The DPRAW setting screen
Dual Pixel RAW (DPRAW) is a feature that utilises the Dual Pixel CMOS AF mechanism. While images can be recorded only in the RAW format with DPRAW, you can make use of Canon’s RAW processing software, Digital Photo Professional 4 (DPP 4), to perform tasks such as Image Microadjustment, Bokeh Shift and Ghosting Reduction.
For more about DPRAW, read the following article:
EOS 5D Mark IV Tips: 3 Handy New DPP Features for Correcting DPRAW Images
Among these options, Bokeh Shift is a unique feature that allows you to shift the position of the foreground blur sideways. Although the amount of shift allowed is not too large, it nonetheless comes in handy when you want to prevent the foreground blur from overlapping with the subject.
Bokeh Shift: Before
Bokeh Shift: After
Image Microadjustment fine-tunes the apparent resolution based on depth information, and is therefore useful for those who need to ensure high precision in their focusing work.
Image Microadjustment: Before
Image Microadjustment: After
The Ghosting Reduction function also delivers satisfactory results. While it does not eliminate ghosting and flare completely, you will find it useful when you need to minimise their impact on your photos.
However, one possible drawback of DPRAW that you should be aware of is the larger file size. Each DPRAW image takes up as much as about 67MB when a usual RAW image is about 38MB in size.
Built-in Digital Lens Optimizer
Another noteworthy feature of the EOS 5D Mark IV is the inclusion of the Digital Lens Optimizer in the camera for correcting lens aberrations, a function that was only available during RAW image processing with the DPP in the past.
The Digital Lens Optimizer digitally corrects the aberration of the lens you are using by analysing data such as the optical characteristics and aperture size of the lens. This feature can also be used for JPEG images.
To describe it simply, it is a form of super-resolution processing through digital correction, which is carried out based on information such as the optical characteristics of the lens and the aperture size, as well as the characteristics of the image sensor and low-pass filter. As it also corrects chromatic aberration at the same time, the Digital Lens Optimizer is able to provide reassuring support when you need to produce sharper images.
Digital Lens Optimizer: OFF
Digital Lens Optimizer: ON
The new built-in Digital Lens Optimizer not only shortens the time necessary for image processing. It can now be used for JPEG images as well. Before the release of the EOS 5D Mark IV, there were requests for a model with no low-pass filter, but the introduction of the built-in Digital Lens Optimizer has rendered it unnecessary.
When this function is enabled, the correction options for chromatic aberration and diffraction are hidden and disabled.
When the Digital Lens Optimizer is turned on, the correction options for chromatic aberration and diffraction disappear.
Furthermore, the in-camera RAW processing feature for lens aberration correction is also equipped with the Digital Lens Optimizer. You can therefore make good use of this feature to pursue higher quality in your photographic expression.
Built-in Wi-Fi/NFC and GPS
Yet another aspect that distinguishes the EOS 5D Mark IV from the previous models of the same series is the built-in Wi-Fi/NFC and GPS functions.
The new EOS 5D Mark IV is also characterised by its built-in Wi-Fi and NFC functions, which support the IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard. Remote shooting and image browsing are also possible with the use of EOS Utility.
For users of the EOS 5D Mark III as well as the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R (including this author), it was necessary to use a memory card that supports wireless LAN in order to transfer images via Wi-Fi connection. Also, I needed to attach the GPS Receiver GP-E2 to the hot shoe so as to record the location data. The built-in Wi-Fi and NFC functions of the EOS 5D Mark IV are therefore a great leap considering the convenience that they offer. Moreover, battery consumption for GPS is much lower than before, so there is no need to worry that the number of shots that can be taken would drop drastically.
The Wi-Fi and GPS modules are located inside the pentaprism area while the NFC module is embedded into the camera near the grip.
The GPS function offers two options for selection: “Mode 1” (top), and “Mode 2” (bottom). Mode 1 obtains the location data as soon as you turn on the camera, but it uses up the battery power more quickly.
The GPS Logger feature tracks the route of the camera and automatically records the location data to the built-in memory. By using the Map Utility software, you can display the locations where the shots were taken and the routes travelled in a map on your PC.
For more about the GPS function on the EOS 5D Mark IV, read:
Built-in Wi-Fi & GPS on the EOS 5D Mark IV
Picture Style (Fine Detail) newly added
Other features that have been talked about include “Fine Detail”, a new option for Picture Style. As the name suggests, it focuses on the reproduction of details, and thus comes in handy when you want to express the details more clearly. Also added to the “Sharpness” Picture Style parameter are the settings for “Fineness” and “Threshold”. These work together to broaden the range of photographic expression that the EOS 5D Mark IV offers.
A new Picture Style, Fine Detail, is added to enhance the reproduction of details.
In the Auto White Balance setting, you can now choose either “Ambience priority”, which retains the colour of the light source slightly, or “White priority”, which corrects the colour almost entirely.
Ambience priority (top) or White priority (bottom) can be selected in the Auto White Balance setting. Ambience priority is selected by default.
Example shots of Ambience priority (left) and White priority (right). A modelling (halogen) lamp was used as the light source for both shots, but the two options produced very different results.
Needless to say, the EOS 5D Mark IV is equipped with an Anti-flicker feature, which is extremely convenient for indoor shoots.
In addition to those described above, the EOS 5D Mark IV also offers many other features that are updated from those available on its predecessors as well as brand new ones. I can probably go on endlessly with the list of evolutionary changes that have taken place on the EOS 5D Mark IV if I were to describe each and every one of them in detail. Taking into consideration its wide user base, it is not an overstatement to say that the EOS 5D series represents not merely Canon but also the entire world of DSLR cameras. The release of the EOS 5D Mark IV has helped to further solidify the position of the EOS 5D series.
Receive the latest updates on photography news, tips and tricks by signing up with us!
Born in 1965 in Miyazaki Prefecture, Ohura graduated from the Department of Photography, College of Art, Nihon University. After his career with the editorial department of a motorcycle magazine and a design planning firm, he became a freelance photographer. He writes mainly for photography magazines based on his experience in using digital cameras for commercial shoots. Outside of work, he enjoys looking at photos and makes it a point to visit galleries regularly. Ohura is a member of the Camera Grand Prix Selection Committee.
Delivers daily news related to topics such as digital cameras and peripheral devices, and imaging software. Also publishes articles such as reviews on the use of actual digital camera models and photo samples taken using new models.