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Night Photography with the EOS 5D Mark IV: A Professional Photographer’s Impressions

The EOS 5D Mark III is well known for its degree of perfection as a camera, excellent balance and usability, and, most of all, the outstanding image quality of its high ISO speed shots. After learning that the high ISO speed performance has been taken a step further on the new EOS 5D Mark IV, I went out eagerly with it for a test shoot. Despite the dark surroundings at night, the camera was capable of capturing both the nightscape and expressions of the people vividly, and shots that were taken handheld also turned out very clear. The rich depiction of the details adds dimensionality to the photos for an everlasting impression. (Reported by: Shintaro Sato)

EOS 5D Mark IV/ EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM/ FL: 25mm/ Manual exposure (f/8, 3.2 sec.)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto
I will go to a fireworks display event every year to take photographs, not just because of the fascinating fireworks but also because I like to capture the people who are enjoying the show. Here, I chanced upon a fleeting moment when the surroundings were brightened by the fireworks in the sky. With a resolution of approximately 30.4 megapixels, the EOS 5D Mark IV is able to reproduce details that meet my exacting demands.

Here are some cool ideas for photographing fireworks:
How to Capture Artistic Handheld Shots of Firework Displays!

Also good for handheld shots at night—pedestrians are captured clearly

Night photography generally requires the use of a tripod and a slow shutter speed, which make it difficult to capture the facial expressions of the pedestrians in the shot. With the EOS 5D Mark IV, you can raise the shutter speed by selecting a high ISO speed setting that you normally would not use, thus making it possible to produce clear handheld shots at night. This also means that you can capture pedestrians or other subjects clearly, and therefore produce a livelier depiction of the nightscape.

EOS 5D Mark IV/ EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM/ FL: 16mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/200 sec.)/ ISO 3200/ WB: Auto
A downward view of a terminal station in Tokyo. While a scene like this usually requires the use of a tripod, I was able to freeze the motion of the pedestrians by selecting a high ISO speed to increase the shutter speed. Needless to say, this was a handheld shot. This is possible only with the combination of the EOS 5D Mark IV and a bright zoom lens that is capable of producing a sharp image throughout.


EOS 5D Mark IV/ EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM/ FL: 16mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/100 sec.)/ ISO 6400/ WB: Auto
An alley located immediately outside Tokyo Skytree. Despite the afterglow in the sky, the lane was very dark. I used a bright lens, set it to maximum aperture, raised the ISO speed and took a handheld shot. Although a slight amount of noise might appear at this ISO speed, the details of the surroundings are nonetheless clearly reproduced.


Need to refresh your basics on handheld night photography? You may find the following article helpful:
Challenging Handheld Night Shots

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EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

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EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

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Shintaro Sato


Born in 1969 in Tokyo. Sato graduated from Tokyo College of Photography and Waseda University (School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I), and worked with Kyodo News before he became a freelance photographer in 2002. He has held many photo exhibitions in the past, including “Tokyo Twilight Zone” and “Tokyo | Risen in the East”.


Digital Camera Magazine


A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.
Published by Impress Corporation