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Thread: 5d mkiv first impressions

  1. #1
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    5d mkiv first impressions

    After a few days with the new body I thought I might share some initial thoughts.

    Keep in mind this is totally subjective with no scientific measurements and also I can only compare to other cameras that I have, which are:
    -Canon 1DX
    -Canon 7D MKII
    -Canon 1D MKIV

    Also note: I have no Nikon experience so no comparisons here.

    1. Build Quality: very similar to the other Canon bodies, feels solid and the control layout is nearly identical. Easy to handle if you are a Canon shooter.

    2. Set Up & Menus: if you been through the menus on Canon bodies you will have no issues here except finding the Movie Recording menu is weird. It seems to me you have to activate live view and be set to Movie before the menu even becomes visible. I cannot find it any other way.

    3. Shutter: crisp and much quieter than the other bodies I have. Frame rate very noticeably slower however and buffer much smaller. This is even more noticeable in dual pixel mode. You can check other reviews for exact numbers.

    4. Auto-Focus: with short and medium lenses it is very fast and accurate: comparable to the 1D bodies. Even my 500mm with the 2X converter focuses very quickly and accurately as long as it doesn't have to drive the lens a long distance. If the lens is at infinity and you need to go to minimum distance it is a lot slower than the 1D bodies. The 61 focus points are all active at f/8...Love that! In AI servo mode focus tracking is excellent as well.

    5. Low ISO shadow noise: in my brief attempts to process images it is easy to push shadows up to 4 stops in some instances without serious issues

    6. High ISO noise: seems at least as good as the 1DX to me, much better than 7DMKII, don't know about the 1DX MKII

    7. Crop-ability: better than 1DX as would be expected as the resolution falls between the 1DX and the 5DS(R)

    8. Image Quality: it's stellar, I believe they hit a home run with this one. Color, contrast, detail etc.....as good as the 1DX or better in my opinion, blows away the 7DMKII.

    9. Image Processing: Canon's DPP does great as a converter and then I use Photoshop. The big files really process much slower with my 2010 MacBook Pro with 6gB RAM. Images take sharpening and other processes such as curves and levels adjustments as well as various Plug Ins quite easily.

    Summary:

    This will be a wonderful camera for travel, landscapes, portraits and slow moving wildlife but some folks might miss the rapid fire and large buffer of the 1DX if they need to shoot fast action.

    You may need to upgrade your processing hardware but otherwise for about 1/2 the price of the 1DXII this is one heck of a camera.

    Hope this was helpful .... looks like I will be keeping this one and hoping I can get my card paid down before Christmas
    Last edited by Joel Eade; 09-12-2016 at 10:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Thanks Joel. Please keep the impressions and images coming. Even if it just makes me more tempted....

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    So, I was able to borrow the 5DIV. I didn't get to shoot it as much as I would like (too busy with work), but I did get to try it in a couple of different situations comparing it to the 5DIII. As for first impressions:
    • The Low Light AF is significantly enhanced. I thought AF sensitivity down to EV -3 on the 5DIV vs EV -2 on the 5DIII would not be that big of a deal. But it is. I was able to AF is much lower light than 1 stop comparing the two side by side with the same lens. I have sharp pictures taken in the near dark. Not that I want to take many pictures in the near dark, there are a couple of rooms of different family members dimly lit enough where AF with the 5DIII has been a problem. But I have several shots with the 5DIV where the 5DIII never locked AF.
    • White balance. This is subtle, yet I am finding it to be a bit profound. I would not have said I had an issue with the 5DIII auto WB, but in comparing side by side shots with the 5DIV, I like the 5DIV's better. Felt more accurate and more real. I just finished processing a shot and it took me 5 tries to get the 5DIII's image to where I think it matches the 5DIV's.
    • Weight. I was surprised by how much you could feel the 150g weight difference.
    • Resolution. As expected, more resolution allows for better cropping. Perhaps a bit more perceived sharpness.
    • AF speed. This is the one I was most excited about. I wanted to set up a formal test but ran out of time. But generally the 5DIV might be a little faster, but not much. I was hoping to catch my pug running around, but at least in low light, the 5DIV was not keeping up.
    • Shutter/mirror noise. The 5DIV is much quieter, also it sounds much more like the machine the new mirror mechanism is compared to the slap of the older spring. But I enjoyed the sound.
    • I've heard about battery life issues, but I didn't see it. I had run ~700 pictures (lots of the pug running around) and, I forget the exactly where it was, but I remember not thinking the battery drain wasn't that big of an issue. Maybe 40-50% remaining after 700 pics as well as a good amount of time looking at the LCD and a few videos.
    • Overall IQ (afterall, that is the point, right). I need to compare the images a bit more, but I very much like the IQ from my 5DIII and very much like the IQ from the 5DIV. So far, the more accurate WB is the IQ aspect where I have seen a couple of instances of the 5DIV bettering the 5DIII. But the 5DIII is no slouch in that department.


    I did run some noise tests and will be looking at those in more detail. And I will finish processing my side by side images.

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    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    ... I was hoping to catch my pug running around, but at least in low light, the 5DIV was not keeping up.
    This made me laugh. But it is also a pretty revealing comment that the A/F could not keep up with a Pug.

    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by conropl View Post
    This made me laugh. But it is also a pretty revealing comment that the A/F could not keep up with a Pug.
    AF tracking depends on a lot of variables. Focus tracking at short distances is hard. Hopefully Brant can fill in some extra details on what sort distance and lens combo was failing. A pug is on the smaller side, so may require an even longer focal length to fill a reasonable portion of the frame without being "too close to track" for the same zoom lens.

    From my 7D, 7DII, and 1DsII experiences, tracking a dog running towards the camera, in good light:
    with a 50mm lens... missed AF is expected.
    with a 85mm lens... AF is hit and miss.
    with a 200mm lens... missed AF is unexpected.

    From my experience with a Rebel T1i, tracking a dog running towards the camera, in good light:
    with a 50mm or 85mm lens... missed AF is expected.
    with a 200mm lens... AF lags. Expect blurred heads and sharp tails.
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    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    AF tracking depends on a lot of variables. Focus tracking at short distances is hard. Hopefully Brant can fill in some extra details on what sort distance and lens combo was failing. A pug is on the smaller side, so may require an even longer focal length to fill a reasonable portion of the frame without being "too close to track" for the same zoom lens.

    From my 7D, 7DII, and 1DsII experiences, tracking a dog running towards the camera, in good light:
    with a 50mm lens... missed AF is expected.
    with a 85mm lens... AF is hit and miss.
    with a 200mm lens... missed AF is unexpected.

    From my experience with a Rebel T1i, tracking a dog running towards the camera, in good light:
    with a 50mm or 85mm lens... missed AF is expected.
    with a 200mm lens... AF lags. Expect blurred heads and sharp tails.
    Actually, it was you and your dogs that I was thinking of. As I was reading that, I was picturing the Pug running with you dogs on their agility coarse. I know that is letting the imagination get the best of me, but that is what made it seem all the more funny.

    Regarding the statement from Brant, I also assumed there was some expectation that the AF should perform in the conditions he threw at it (although he did say it was low light), or he would not have made the statement. But I was reading into it and making an assumption.

    My daughter has her dogs at my house, and one of them is crazy fast. It took me a few burst on the 1Dx to somewhat get the hang of it, and was eventually able to get a couple of decent shots (70-200mm at f/2.8). Having said that, I must admit I did not get near the kind of shots you get and probably not the keeper rate. But a pug? Cute... debatably yes; but athletically fast... I don't think so. I guess I agree, in that I would be curious as to what lens was used, but the 5D IV should have better focus than any of the cameras you listed.

    By the way, the ability to move focus points around and have the metering follow your focus point would really be great for you when shooting your dogs. The 1Dx does that. If you are interested in a low shot count 1Dx, I have one I could be talked into parting with. I think your dogs could even stress the abilities of the 1Dx.

    Pat
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Ha....I didn't realize this would cause much debate.

    First...don't underestimate pug puppies. Etta James is 10 months old and runs circles around the bigger dogs when they play. Think small, shifty, and maneuverable. Second, definitely low light. Playing with an EV calculator I would say somewhere around EV 2-4. Of course, AF does much better with more light. I just tried to find it in PopPhoto's review, but on the 5DIII, for example, they saw a shutter lag of ~1 sec at EV 0 and 0.51 sec at EV 12. 1Dx 0.99 sec at EV 0 and 0.33 sec at EV 12. Does not look like they ran that test on the 5DIV, at least, I do not see it referenced in their review. Third, close quarters, typically <10 ft. Fourth, my shutterspeed of 1/100 was likely too low. Finally, can't forget user error , which could include more than shutter speed.

    I was using the 70-200 f/2.8 II. Most shots were 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 6400 and they seem ~1 stop under exposed.

    I would expect better results in better light. I did shoot a few of her outside, but at the time I had the camera, the snow was taller than she was, so there wasn't much room for running. Pretty high hit rate outside with the biggest issue of trying to hold the camera and her leash at the same time.

    Bear in mind, having heard that AF was "much better" I really wanted to see for myself. "Much better" AF is something I would pay for. But, my impression is that the AF may be a little bit better than the 5DIII. Maybe under the right conditions it would be "much better" but I did not find those conditions or at least perceive the difference.

    So, please do not take me messing around as meaning too much. Really I was just testing the bounds of what is practical to see if a new product was suddenly a physics defying wonder camera. Not surprisingly the 5DIV does not perform miracles. Overall, I was very impressed with the 5DIV. Amazing camera. Not sure I was impressed enough to pay the cost difference between buying it new and selling my 5DIII. I'll decide that after processing more photos.

    EDIT....by the way, I did also test the f/8 AF points. Turns out I do not have a perfect way to test this. The closest I have if a Sigma 1.4x TC and my 70-300 L in an extended position. But, still, with the sigma TC, I do not think the information as transferred correctly. Anyway, I was AFing really well with the center point, maybe a bit slower. The AF became less consistent with the side AF points, but was still very usable. A very nice feature, especially when you consider the 5DIII is f/8 only at the center point. But, this would only be a benefit if I started changing other parts of my kit.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 03-02-2017 at 08:40 PM.

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    Pat, I'd love a 1DX... but my wallet can't take it, unless you're feeling really, really generous. But, I'm curious how the 1DX would handle an agility event.

    Depending on your framing your meter can do very odd things. If the dog doesn't fill the majority of the frame, the exposure is based on a lot of background. A black dog loses detail, which on a crop body isn't very recoverable. A white dog clips to unrecoverable super-white levels. A black and white dog in a mix of full sun on it's back and shadows below clips on both ends of the histogram at once!

    You can throw on some EC (I have EC tied to the AF-mode switch lever thingy so I have fast access to it), but if the black dog starts filling the frame, you start getting a very bright black dog and clipped surroundings. If a white dogs start filling the frame, you start to get a very dim grey dog and blackened surroundings.

    In the end I tend to just set everything manually, and do a slight + or - adjustment between dogs, based on the brightness of the last image, and the color difference between the two dogs. I do get it wrong sometimes, and add in mid-run light changes due to clouds, and I definitely miss shots that should be awesome, but I lose less this way than using the meter.

    The 1Ds2 had an interesting difference from the 7D bodies. It seemed to understand highlights. It would expose such that highlights wouldn't clip, or not much. In an image with a bright reflection or highlight, it would underexpose, which, on a more modern full-frame sensor you could bring the shadows up and recover that detail. A 1DX, if it behaves the same way, would be nice... It's like an over-exposure safety-net. If the 5DIV behaves the same, AND you get its improved dynamic range and shadow-boost capabilities along with highlight smarts in the meter, that would be a killer combo. But, I'm guessing the highlight thing is 1D specific. I heard (so could be wrong), that the 1D series does the gain processing in analog, while every other body does it digitally. It could be that the 1D analog circuitry can detect the highlight and compensate in ways that the other camera can't.

    Brant, I would say that wasn't a fair test of the AF. People will blur at 1/100. A fast dog stands no chance. Typically for a fast running dog, we aim for 1/1600s as a minimum. If the dog is running sideways across the frame, you'd best be panning to match them, too. This shot is at 1/1600s (85mm, but AF isn't taxed because it is sideways action, not front/back). I was panning to match Zuni. Note the level of blur on the grass and hind leg. If I weren't panning, Zuni would be as blurry as that grass... Potentially more, as the dog's leg moving forward is moving faster than the dog as a whole, and would would blur more.


    Zuni running for a ball by Dave E, on Flickr
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  9. #9
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    The 1DX (and others) have a "Highlight tone priority" setting that does help to automatically prevent blowing out the highlights.

    If a person understands exposure as well as you do it may not help much as you seem able to compensate when needed.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    Brant, I would say that wasn't a fair test of the AF. People will blur at 1/100. A fast dog stands no chance. Typically for a fast running dog, we aim for 1/1600s as a minimum. If the dog is running sideways across the frame, you'd best be panning to match them, too. This shot is at 1/1600s (85mm, but AF isn't taxed because it is sideways action, not front/back). I was panning to match Zuni. Note the level of blur on the grass and hind leg. If I weren't panning, Zuni would be as blurry as that grass... Potentially more, as the dog's leg moving forward is moving faster than the dog as a whole, and would would blur more.
    As usual, some good discussions on this forum that make me think a bit more about what I am seeing. My sense of AF is different than just what it takes to get a sharp image. And I do not hold AF accountable for times when I do not get sharp images. It is not that simple. Some common factors that go into getting a sharp image:

    • Shutter speed/tripod. I am constantly impressed when pixel peeping at how much resolution and sharpness I have coming off shots taken on a tripod vs shots taken even using the 1/focal length. Shots from a tripod are almost always sharper, when pixel peeping, than hand held shots until you get to very fast shutter speeds. That is with stagnant objects. For a rapidly moving object (BIF, dogs, kids, etc), you really need fast shutter speeds to freeze action.
    • Noise. All sorts of types of noise, but the loss of detail at higher ISOs will affect the ability to get a sharp image.
    • Vibrations/movement due to pressing the shutter, mirror movement, etc.
    • Then there is quality of the pixels, quality of the lens, etc, etc.
    • DoF


    None of those have anything to do with AF. But even within "AF" there are many factors:
    • Sensitivity/type of AF points (f/2.8, f/5.6, etc; Phase detect, vs contrast detect, etc)
    • Light hitting the AF points
    • Amount of contrast of subject at the AF point
    • How rapidly does the camera move the plane that is "in focus". One of the great advantages I continually hear about the 1D series is the more powerful (V) battery and its ability to drive focus faster than less powerful batteries found in smaller cameras. But this also gets down to computational power, etc.
    • For moving objects, shutter lag.


    If I thought more, I am sure I could come up with others. But these will cause a non-sharp image in different ways.

    I do not think any of these are great images, nor was this ever intended to be a well controlled test. It literally is a puppy running around under awful and varied light conditions. But a few examples (no mods to shots, just printed from LR):

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    Actually not awful, not great. My wife just walked in and saw those two and loves them . Technically, moving side to side, much of the blur is likely due to the shutter speed, high ISO, and maybe shutter lag. In terms of the 5DIV controlling the focal plane, probably pretty good. But my 5DIII is about as good here.

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    I have a lot of pictures like this. The focal plane is behind Etta's head. Not surprising, one of those classic's that it is harder to AF on a subject coming straight at you (focal plane has to move more, etc). But, I attribute this to everything that goes into shutter lag, which is greatly affected by low light.

    So, overall, and trying to bring this back around to impressions, this "test," fair or not, did tell me exactly what I wanted to know. The 5DIV isn't that different, under these conditions, than the 5DIII. Maybe a little bit better. It actually performs well, in my opinion. But, I have very similar shots and have had similar issues with the 5DIII.

    If I had the time, the AF test was going to be something like 2 high contrast targets, one set 10-15 ft behind the other. Have a timer right next to the near target and then going and AF back and forth taking pictures and measuring how fast the camera would AF by averaging the time based on pictures that included the timer. Then vary the light conditions. But, I ran out of time for that set up.

    Ultimately, I think the reason that so few review sites measure AF is because so many factors do go into AF. Popphoto was measuring shutterlag, but I didn't see it on the recent 5DIV. Imaging-resource has measured values, which provide some good information, but I have seen some real world differences (the shutter lag of the 5DIII (0.12 sec) is not the same as the M3 (0.126 sec) in the real world). I have both, the 5DIII smokes the M3.

    So, hopefully this is interesting. I also hope that people know the above pictures are not intended to be "great"....just quick tests.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 03-05-2017 at 05:39 PM.

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