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Canon Latest Game Changer in Underwater Photography with EOS 5D Mark IV

Underwater microscopic organism
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, ISO 200, f/18, 1/160 sec

As a user of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III over the past few years, I have captured a variety of challenging subjects in the most difficult underwater conditions. The arrival of the 5D Mark IV has brought exciting advancements under the hood with minor external changes, and underwater housings like mine are still compatible with the new model. So when I had the opportunity to try out the 5D Mark IV, I jumped at the chance.

My first stop was Lembeh, Indonesia’s macro mecca. I immediately noticed the 5D Mark IV’s amazing autofocus speed. The increase in sensor resolution from 22.3 to 30.4 megapixels was also hugely significant, as it gave me even greater latitude to crop images and maintain enough pixels for large prints. Moreover, shooting with the 5D Mark IV’s new Dual Pixel Raw feature, which allows you to shift focus very slightly after taking a picture, I was able to perfect my shots of the tiniest critters.

microscopic parasite on fish

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, ISO 125, f/18, 1/200 sec

extreme close up of fish eggs in fish lips
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, ISO 200, f/18, 1/160 sec

Moving on to Manado, I was invited to photograph some freedivers, which meant using strobes was not an option. I found the increase in dynamic range of the new full-frame sensor brought out details in the images that would have been impossible without the use of strobes. Despite the big jump in sensor resolution, continuous shooting speed has been increased up to an incredible 7fps, making it even easier to keep up with the action.

The 5D Mark IV takes video to a new level with 4K capture at up to 30p. Underwater videographers will also appreciate the camera’s ability to shoot in Full HD at 60p, giving the option of creating smooth slow-motion video in post-production. The model also boasts a number of smaller refinements that impressed me. The improved LCD resolution, from 1.04M to 1.62M dots, coupled with Dual Pixel CMOS AF providing very accurate continuous autofocus in Live View mode, make an already excellent screen even better. The new Wi-Fi and NFC features are another great touch, as I can now transfer and review files seamlessly. It is also nice to be able to check the GPS location if I need help recalling where shots were taken.

The 5D Mark IV’s performance and features make this a game-changing DLSR. I would recommend any serious photographer to consider it for their next upgrade.


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