Tuesday 15 November 2016

First 2 weeks with the Canon 5DMkIV

Gear isn't the be all and end all, and most of the time its not the only way to up your game.

How ever after 3 years of hard service ( and I mean hard ) my 5DMk3 was starting to flag. Nothing critical but the odd thing that was just a bit weird and showing its age, time to retire it to the job of back up. Step in the new Mk4. Tiny bit smaller, Tiny bit lighter ( very welcome ) and a fair bit more punch.

Video Nerds! Now when I got my Mk3 it was a camera I used it for two solid years to shoot both photos and video. I now have the amazing Sony FS5 for video, and so this new camera is much more a photo only body for me. I will add a bit on at the end for video though so skip down there if that's what your after. Back to photo stuff...

Nothing too life changing specs wise, but a few very nice improvements. Ive had the camera for a good few weeks now and shot with it pretty much every day since I got it, but mostly on a few jobs I cant show the world for a few months yet ( *Cough* Deathgrip *Cough* ) so I sadly cant show you loads of images that would really show what I am on about ISO/DR wise etc. 

How ever I have just got back from a few days in Spain shooting for old friends of Aspect RoostDH and now have one or two shots I can use to put this post up. Read on below for my few things I think are worth the upgrade:

The new toy. Small steps better than than a giant leap.

Low Light: The old Mk3 found its upper limit at around 1600 for Clean images, 6400 in a pinch and not above if you wanted to use the images for anything other than Instagram.

The new Mk4 pushes those limits way up. Now 6400 is Clean! , 8000 is more than ok, 10,000 is still very usable, and much above that I haven't even needed to use. With fast glass and ISO 10,000  you can shoot in the dark pretty much, great for the dark woods Im in all the time.

One thing to note is the ever annoying trade off in Dynamic Range vs ISO. Amazing in this new camera as ill mention below but only up till about ISO 1600 when it looks much like the older Mk3 at low ISOs.

Amazing steps up in ISO and Dynamic Ranger

Dynamic Range: This is the big one. I would say along with the ISO these two areas make it a worth while upgrade if your in the market for one anyways. If your Mk3 is all good, for now I wouldn't jump ship. ( wait for the price to come down a bit then jump )

If you shoot below ISO 1600 this new body now rivals Nikon and Sony in the DR stakes. If you use LR and PS well you can now pretty much do away with flash in a lot of place where you would have needed some fill flash before with the Mk3. Just makes all the images look so much crisper and more vibrant.

Nice bump in resolution as well.

Auto Focus: The new auto focus system was dubbed before release as a small step up, but in real world use its far better. Much more accurate especially noticeable at wide open apertures. On the shoots I have done so far with it I would say a solid 20-30% more shots tack sharp when using servo focus with a rider coming right at me. That's a pretty bold claim, but it is a good deal better.

Mega Pixels: Not a huge jump as 23MP was more than enough, but still nice to have that extra 7MP. Shots are that bit sharper, can crop in that bit more. Welcome but not revolutionary. 


A pretty big improvement even from my very limited testing. I have only shot a hand full of shots on the Mk4 video wise and only looked at them in Premiere, not actually edited or exported anything but its a huge step up over the Mk3 off the bat.

Sharpness was always an issue with the Mk3, when you put it next to anything from Sony or Panasonic it looked like you had butter smeared over your lens but the new Mk4 is on par with a C100 sharpness wise. You have the ever amazing Canon colour space, no Clog but you can flatten off the PP in camera and it looks great.

No real video stuff like peaking or zebras which is a shame, but it does have Mic in and Phones out, it shoots in the All-I codec as well as the lower res you will know from the Mk3 and all in 8bit colour, and in 4K @ 30p ( Motion Jpeg codec ) , 1080 @60 and 720 @120. So not bad at all and if I was going off grid into the mountains and needed one body for stills and video it may well do the job.

If you have any other questions let me know, but so far so good.