First, I have to give a huge thank you to Adorama and Canon for inviting me to come play with the highly rumored 5D Mark IV. I'm completely blown away that they asked, and truthfully, I'd be lying if I didn't do a few skips at the thought of getting in on the new toy ahead of time.
Before we get into the camera, I did want to point out that the two lenses that are coming out along with the camera shouldn't be overlooked. Canon has introduced the third version of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L and the second version of the EF 24-105mm f/4L as well. As a prime shooter, when they told me about these two new lenses, I sort of shrugged and thought I wouldn't add them to my collection of primes. However, after using with them on the 5D Mark IV and seeing the improvements in image quality and sharpness, I know these two will end up in my gear bag for sure. OK, on to the camera.
You can read about the full list of specs on Canon's website, like the 100-32,000 native ISO, dual card slots (CF and SD), and the 30.4 megapixel sensor (or better yet, watch me go through most of them in the video in this article), but below were the highlights for me and what I know I'll be using it for in my wedding photography career.
First off, let's just get it out of the way that this camera is not a C-series camera. I was recently having a discussion with my husband, Filmmaker Rob Adams, about this. He was going on about how the cinema world is disappointed in this and that, but this camera was never meant to be a C-series camera for the 5-10+ years of cinema experience that audience has. Whenever you create a product or write a speech even, you have to think of your audience. That's exactly what Canon did here. This camera is meant for the established professional photographer and emerging cinematographer.
Onto the video capabilities. I don't think you can make a camera with video in it anymore without having true 4K resolution in it. It's here, it's gorgeous, thank you, Canon. But, that being said, the cinema folks are a little disappointed that it's a 1.74x crop. For me as a photographer (primarily), I'm ok with that, but that may be a bit annoying for the advanced cinema crowd who want to get the most out of their lenses.
In-Camera Image Grab
In addition to being able to film in 4K, you can also play the video back in-camera, choose any frame of that clip, and pull an 8.8-megapixel JPEG from it, saving it to the memory card. Pretty nice if you ask me, particularly for a photographer like me that simply doesn't want to be bothered with the post-production involved for grabbing stills from video. It's done in camera and that's that.
You've got two options here for working with slow-motion video: 60 fps (frames per second) at full HD (1080p) and 120 fps at HD (720p). Do we wish the 120 fps was at full HD? Of course, especially if I'm comparing it to a certain Sony camera. As a photographer, am I OK creating slow motion at 60 fps at 1080p for what I'll mostly use it for (weddings and events)? You bet.
This baby has 61 points on the AF Grid, but that's not what I'm most excited about. If you're a Canon user, you know that you have to take three pictures with hopes of one hitting the focus point that you want. So, with that in mind, what I'm loving is the expanded vertical coverage that gives me a bigger span across my image where I can select focus. This helps tremendously by eliminating a lot of the need for focusing and recomposing my images, which typically result in out-of-focus images.
Oh, I'm sorry. You're just not going to get it in this camera. Disappointing, sure, but realistic, because some things do need to be unique to the top-of-the-line cameras. If you're a fellow photographer, this isn't going to mean much to you. You'll just be happy with the amazing Canon colors that come out of this camera.
When I was first told about the embedded Wi-Fi capabilities, I thought, "Fun, but not practical." I was wrong. Think about being able to shoot tethered, wirelessly, and control all of your exposure settings, focus, and shutter release right from your smartphone. Awesome! And yes, also fun for a selfie.
Now, from what I saw of this setup, it's not going to quite replace tethering, which I know studio photographers are eagerly wanting to know about. But for wedding professionals like myself, especially ones that enjoy doing same day edits like I do, you're going to really love how quickly you can get your images on your smartphone via the Canon Camera Connect application. Personally, I'm excited to use it to have a quick photo to post on Instagram with the couple's wedding hashtag for quick social media buzz.
Dual Pixel Raw
Here's where the big hype is with this camera: the Dual Pixel Raw that gives you the ability to make minor focus adjustments in post and shift bokeh slightly. This is really cool, but I'm not going to use it. Don't get me wrong, this is awesome, but you have to use Canon's software to do it, which for me is a major hiccup in my workflow, both for same day edits as well as my workflow for proofing. Personally, I wouldn't add it in unless it was my only hope of saving the picture of the first kiss or something along those lines. Is it a super cool function that's great to have for just-in-case missed moments? Heck yeah! Will I be using it otherwise? Probably not.
Overall, I love the 5D Mark IV and think it's so great an upgrade from the 5D Mark III that Canon is going to have trouble fulfilling orders. Definitely pre-order ASAP if this camera is for you.
All images in article were taken with a beta version of the Canon 5D Mark IV and edited with Lightroom and Far Green Country Actions.