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Canon 5D Mark IV Review
Canon 5D Mark IV Review
Canon 5D Mark IV Review

the time has come for me to finally publish a Canon 5D Mark IV review. thing is, i ended up sending mine back because taking on a new system in the throws of wedding season is a very bad idea.

however, my girlfriend Nessa K just published hers and frankly she’s a lot more qualified to write it. she started off a nikon shooter (D700), switched to the canon mark iii when that was released, shot dual body with a nikon d750 when that was released, and completely upgraded to the canon mark iv after that. jump over to her blog to read it!




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  • lol – nice! This by far the most in-depth review I have ever read!

  • Gotcha!

  • Haha

  • Been waiting for this!

  • What a click bait, haha!

  • I feel like I got rick rolled.

  • You are hilarious. Total click bait! But I love her review! Super informative, non-biased, and I even learned something I didn’t know! Like Nessa, I was shooting in auto for white balance inside. I’m excited to try the white priority! And tell her there’s no judgement for taking lots of photos… I tend to overshoot too. We just want to make sure we don’t miss a thing, right?!

  • Great review…Nessa! 😉

  • Great post. I’m team Nikon but that was a hell of a review

  • That’s very comprehensive Sam.

  • Love my mark iv. Nice review.

  • Haha

  • Worth reading just for the Brendan Fraser reference.

  • You fool

  • Brandon Hirsch

  • What the f…? LOL

  • And I thought you had an inside bet about that haha

  • Nessa’s article was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

  • Akshey Arun Shah time to update your camera lolll

  • This is the most comprehensive real world review I have ever seen. Everyone should click through.

  • I’ve been meaning to ask you if you switched back after the 50mm podcast.

    • gonna give it another whirl in the new year, yup

    • Rumours say there is a new baby D5 coming with the D5 sensor (tweaked for more low ISO DR) and D5 AF system in a D810 pro body. Add the 105/1.4 and you have a reason to stay with Nikon. Colors with the CFA on the D5 sensor are more similar to Canon, too, than before, imo. Question, is it the dual pixel AF which would make you jump ship?

    • I’ve been wrestling with switching back to Canon ever since I switched to Nikon two years ago. Right now the D5 is the only full frame camera Nikon makes that can compete with Canon’s amazing autofocus. I miss how sharp my Canon photos used to be on a consistent basis where I didn’t have to chimp to make sure I got it constantly. I grabbed a 5d mark iv and it’s a great camera but losing a ton of money switching systems has held me back from taking the leap entirely. There’s not much of a point from a business perspective.

      I have stuggled with the D750 colors though it’s gotten progressively easier over time, but when I open Canon files form the 6D or 5d iv I’m blown away how clean it all looks, Nikon just has a yellowish muddy look that drives me nuts. It’s not bad all the time though. Haven’t been able to get the same clean, whitish skintones I used to as well, so my editing style had to change a bit.

      What I miss most is the L lenses, I have Nikon’s best glass and it’s good but I don’t love it. There’s no shimmer in the bokeh, it’s just smooth blur. The 85L and 50L had shimmer and mixed shapes that gave the photos character. The 24-70 ii is amazing and the 70-200 ii was also very good and way cheaper than the new Nikon 70-200. The VR II that I have just doesn’t do it for me either, the focus breathing doesn’t allow the same compression and I just don’t use it unless I have to (ceremonies). The 14-24 however, cannot be replaced, it’s a gem.

      Client’s will never know the difference, but I feel like you should shoot what you enjoy because if you’re not loving it then it sucks the fun out of the job.

      The Dual pixel AF/touch AF and video focus tracking is insanely good. I don’t think Nikon, at least this year, will be able to put anything that can compare to it. But I wouldn’t switch systems just for that.

  • Jay Henington

    Haha. Love it. Nessa is amazing.

  • Nessa is taking over!! Haha

  • Good review, had me (heavily invested in D810 and four 1.4 primes) looking at Canon prices… Why (honest question) would anyone, slate wiped clean scenario, prefer the MkIV over an 810?

    • way way way better high iso performance

    • Thnx for replying Sam! Yes, it sort of stops at 2000ISO with the 810 for my eyes

    • Personally, I moved from Nikon to Canon because the L series glass is really lovely.

    • I’m not a pro, far from it, but find the 24, 35, 58 and 85 1.4G Nikkors to give excellent rendering.

    • It’s totally comparable. They’re fine. To each his own, but the bokeh on the L series glass is what I wanted for my work. 🙂

    • Michiel Faro yeah – the L series are dreamier lenses – I hate to admit it!

    • I find the 58/1.4G pretty dreamy!

    • If the 58 had not come along I would buy a sony mirrorless just to buy canon primes.

    • Michiel Faro oh, it is! but the 50 1.2 L…. is so so fantastic.

    • Yes, that one, the 85/1.2 and the new 35/1.4L… Choices, choices… I’m sticking with what I have methinks… 😀

    • 810 is not designed for high ISO performance, it shouldn’t be used at weddings. it’s a studio camera.

    • For me it’s an/my allround camera

    • Michiel Faro You’ll be better off with the d750. better higher iso, better dynamic range, lower MP. working on 36mp files for all around photography can slow down your workflow

    • Thanks Peter, from a quantity point of view my workflow isn’t impressive at all. I rarely come home with more than a hundred images. 36Mp is sort of a sweet spot for me. My laptop handles the files well.
      I tried the 750 when it came out. Body too small (pinky hanging off), AF unsatisfactory spread

    • awesome! i’m coming from a wedding point of view with 4000+ sometimes and 16mb was perfect. kinda bummed the 5d is 20 🙁 but one of my 2nd shooters used an 810 at a wedding and it looked awesome

    • Yeah but I’m not a pro, don’t get paid for my photography!

    • I switched from the 5DMKIII to the D750 and love it. The focus is much better. I use my 50 sigma art for all my portrait sessions.

    • I would prefer the Mk4 over the D810 any day… and I have owned both

    • Nessa Kessinger yes! I recently switched from Nikon to Canon and the 50 and 135 took part of my soul with them. The 58 is making up for it but I still have a hole where my 135 used to be.

    • Sam Hurd in your 58 1.4 review from a few years back you clearly state you dislike the render of the canon 50 1.2 😀

    • Uuuuuuu damn, burn!

    • Paul Marbrook opinions change buddy!

    • Paul Marbrook also – you’re making the classic internet mistake of taking one phrase completely out of context. i still don’t like the 50 1.2 in comparison with those other photos, but it is a fantastic lens!

    • Douglas Polle I wish I made any money on those. they take a long while to write up!

    • If you were to go read my D750 review from 2 years ago, my thoughts are completely different now. Opinions def change.

    • Jay Cassario indeed

    • Sam I know you’re not getting paid hahaha, but I hope you watched my Dave Chappelle reference! But every time I think about writing something I don’t because of the time and effort.

    • Sam Hurd I personally think people expect the 50 1.2 to be the best 50mm because of speed and price but it is simply a lens to be used on the correct occasion. Other times the Sigma 50 Art is a better alternative… its nice to have choice.

    • The 50L 1.2 is a fantastic lens, you get some of the best out of focus shots ever with it.

  • Incredible review Sam!!

  • good review … ! … now i have to make a decision … *g*

  • I do miss the 50 1.2 at times

    • Such a great lens (the Nikkor right?) but best for b&w film photography I think. 36Mp taxes it quite a bit.

      But but… you meant the Canon!

    • Michiel Faro haha I did

  • Seriously thank you tho for the link to hers! I’ve been looking for something like this and hadn’t found a useful review (for me) yet.

    • I just upgraded to the iii so I’m sad to read from her blog that the autofocus sucks 😖

    • Kris Pueyo Fulk 🙁 the high ISO capabilities with the iii vs the 6d weren’t really diff (I’ve read the 6d is better even) so I’ve just kept with my trusty 6ds since that’s important to me….BUT I do love what she says about the autofocus on the iv….I was never too sold on getting a iii. I can’t imagine that the autofocus on the iii is any different (worse) than the ii tho…isn’t that what you upgraded from?

    • Rebecca Ponak Emilson yep. The iv just seemed more video oriented upgrade wise and a bit pricier than what I wanted to spend. I did kind of blink at the 5ds and dsr but many people were saying it is really just a iii with a huge file size.

    • Kris Pueyo Fulk yeah that’s what I’ve seen too. The cost is an issue for me, I’m pretty conservative with my equipment spending…not sure I’ll bite lol, may just keep chugging along with what I have.

    • Rebecca Ponak Emilson can’t blame you. If it’s doing the job and pretty well too, I’d wait for the next body haha. Canon does not wait too long rolling them out. I’m sure this will be my last upgrade for a while. I bought my II while I was still in college so I’m happy to step it down as a back up.

    • Rebecca Ponak Emilson The AF on the 5Diii is fantastic… i’m really not sure how people find it anything less. Its day and night between the MKIII and MKII/6D.

    • Canon is actually pretty dang slow rolling out updates. The iv was 4+ years after the iii

    • Paul Marbrook well, if you think the mark iii is fantastic the mark IV will be revolutionary for you!

    • Ew. Canon af is absolute ewwww. Have fun switching between single and servo tracking on the fly.

    • Peter Gubernat map the DOF preview button and its the easiest thing in the world.

    • Sam Hurd I’m Sony A7r2 now 🙂 and some canon glass 😂

  • please stop making me want one.

  • Are there any good Camera stores in Baltimore?

  • thanks!

    • Wrote this before reading it, you’re a funny gal. Loved the blog!!!!

  • First time I have ever heard of anyone have issues with the autofocus on the mk3 , pretty sure she must of had a dud

    • over the years… between her and i we’ve gone through 4 different mark iii bodies. they’re no good compared to anything nikon, or the canon 5d mkiv.

    • Sam Hurd Photography I use the mk3 for all sorts and find its autofocus flawless , I will have to try the mk 4 now !!!

    • My 5D3 had inconsistent auto-focus for a couple years. I totally couldn’t rely on it and overshot like a mad man. For some reason the AF performance became even worse at the end of 2015. I dropped it off at Canon’s NJ Repair Center and they replaced the whole top section of the camera (even though camera was out of warranty I wasn’t charged). Since the repair the AF has been super reliable, even follow-focus is dang good. It’s really given back confidence that the 5D3 can get the job done.

      With that said… I’m buying the 5D4. There’s nothing like shooting with a reliable focusing camera!

  • I see the same issues with batter life. Definitely more drain with the mark iv. Great camera.

  • LOL thanks Nessa K !

  • I loved Nessa’s blog post. I read it earlier today over my coffee and I appreciated the unbiased, in-depth review.

    It doesn’t hurt that her work is so pretty to look at

  • So will you ultimately switch? I like the Nikons but something about those dreamy effects the canon lenses creates!

    • not sure yet! i’m in no hurry

    • Testing out both this weekend. Still confused. Can’t decide. You are partly to be blamed 🙂

  • Federico Pannacci

    Great Review! Congrats Nessa! Very Very interesting for me! just a question, is use the Spot mod, and you are using af-c the measurement run on all af point of the camera or only on the center point?!

  • Waited for a Boxing Day sale but nothing 🙁

  • Just got one yesterday, love it!

  • I’ve been questioning my life as I know over the mk3 AF. I can’t upgrade just yet, but there is a glimmer in my eye that wasn’t there before…it’s called hope! 🙂

  • I’ve been a lifelong Nikon shooter but got to play around with the 5D4 and a few L lenses, and I must say I was really impressed 🙂 I reckon if I was a rich man, I’d switch just for the 85 1.2 and 135 2.