London based portrait photographer Nyla Sammons pitches the Canon EOS 5D Mk IV against her trusty 5D Mk III.
My first substantial investment as a professional photographer was a Canon EOS 5D Mk II, which later I upgraded to a 5D Mark III. I found the upgrade of the 5D Mk II to the Mk III to be a significant difference due to the photo quality, sharpness and adaptability to photos in low light with the increased ISO capabilities. I’ve been impressed with my Mk III for three years now, however the thought of a new camera upgrade will always make my heart skip a beat! Would the Canon 5D Mk IV be a game changer?
I had a sports shoot lined up and Fixation kindly lent me a 5D Mk IV to test. It looks pretty much the same as its predecessor; the button layout is nearly identical and a lot of the menu options are similar, so it felt comfortable having the camera in my hands. The battery and charger are the same as the Mark III, so no extra expenditure there, if you are upgrading. Music to my ears…
The camera has Dual Pixel AF at 30 megapixel resolution, a noticeable upgrade from 22.3 megapixels, giving you a lot more room to create very large, high-quality prints. Other noticeable improvements include the touch-screen, GPS and built-in Wi-Fi. The video capabilities have also been improved significantly, but I’m a stills photographer at heart, so I was less interested in the improvements there.
With the introduction of Dual Pixel RAW in the Mark IV you can use Canon’s digital photo professional image micro-adjustment to help increase sharpness in detail areas and reduce flare & ghosting. There has been a lot of fuss over this, and at some point I should take a crappy photo and see how well it can be salvaged in post-production.
For those who are interested, the specifications can be seen here
I can’t say that I saw much difference in the final images compared to my Mk III, but what I particularly liked about the Mark IV, is the built-in Wi-Fi. I’ve been on jobs where the client has asked to see some of the photos while on set, which has meant me downloading the images to my laptop, selecting the best ones and then emailing them over to the client. The Wi-Fi capability, allowed me to transfer the images without any fuss, using the Canon Camera Connect app. A huge bonus in my books!
However, one of the downfalls of the Mark IV – and possibly thanks to the WiFi – is the battery life and I found it seemed to drain a lot quicker compared to the Mk III. We all know how essential it is to carry spare batteries and the three I own are always in my camera bag. I would say as long as you own at least three batteries, that should be enough to see you through a day’s shoot; I went through two batteries during my test.
Overall I’m still happy with my Mk III. It delivers clean images, I can shoot in low light and not worry about noise and I can print large images and not lose quality. When I switched from the Mk II to the Mk III I saw a huge improvement in most areas, but nowhere near as significant on the Mk IV. I have my eye on a new lens, so for now I’ll probably stick with my Mk III and invest in the glass. Ask me in six months time, after I’ve bought that ridiculously expensive lens and the answer would probably be yes, my next investment will be the Mark IV. There is no denying the technology has improved both in terms of photography and video capabilities.