The Canon EOS 5DmkIV is here – my Hands on Test as well ;-)

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Dear fellow Photographers, i´m sorry. I´ve been lying to you for weeks and months now. And i really feel reliefed, now that i can finally tell you the truth: Yes, i´ve been one of only 5 people that have already been working with the Canon EOS 5DmkIV already this summer. And i might be the only one who was crazy enough to shoot film & stills at a time.I definitely wouldn´t recommend this and i´ll explain in a second why. First of all – again -sorry for lying and here are my first impressions of the 5DmkIV on both sides – Photography & Film.

The “Gamechanger-Family” 5D

Honestly, i don´t like the word gamechanger. But the 5D deserves it. The 5DmkII came out in 2008 and it really changed everything. All of a sudden, it was possible to shoot film and photo on a really high level with one camera.

Then, the 5DmkIII was a great update, amazing Autofocus, much better ISO performance, etc. It was a great camera as well. But somehow we all were waiting for Canon to do the “next step”, to deliver the next big thing. Something we wouldn´t expect, right? To be honest, i was thinking about what this could be, but nothing came to my mind. Now that it´s here, i wonder why it didn´t come to my mind. Maybe because i didn´t expect that to be possible?

Canon approached me and 4 other Photographers who are part of the Canon Ambassador Programm to work with the 5DmkIV long before anyone knew it would be coming. Usually i really don´t recommend shooting photo and still at a time. But this time it felt like a challenge i had to accept. At least i wanted to shoot photo with one body and stills with a second body. Because using a DSLR for video requires a different setup then using it for stills. I put on a Matte Box, ND Filter and also a Zoom H4n Audio recorder on the hot shoe. And for more stable shots i´m usually using the Zacuto Rapid Fire Rig as well. All of this is useless (or worse) when you want to shoot stills.

However, i should have been using 2 cameras. But one of them was travelling with Ulla Lohman. Into a Volcano. Jep, you got that right, into a Volcano. Ulla is an amazing photographer and a really nice person, but also a bit crazy. The camera almos caught fire, some parts were melting, but here comes the most amazing fact – it is still alive and working! The only problem was – the viewfinder got pretty dark and we had no time and material to replace it in time. So i was forced to shoot with one camera instead of 2.


Wait … what?

When i finally had the 5DmkIV in my hands, it was exactly what i expected. More of the same, more megapixels, better noise performance, better ISO performance,…  Also buildt in WiFi and Gps. Very nice. But to be honest, somehow this was what we could expect in 2016, right?

And then, at one point, i heard the words „Dual Pixel RAW and refocussing in post is really lovely ….“ … i didn´t hear the rest. „Wait, what?“ was the only thing on my mind that came directly out of my mouth. „Cool, huh?“ What an answer. Cool? That is … i hate the word … but that is a gamechanger like Video in a DSLR was in the 5DmkII. Holy cow, i can refocus in Post? So if got one of these Portraits, at f1.2, 1.8, 2.4 or whatever, when i juuuuuuuuuust missed focus a bit but still love the shot, you mean i can still use it and refocus … i have to try. NOW!

Ok, shooting on a film location is stressful, shooting video and stills at a time with one camera is even more stressful, so i didn´t have a chance to try it with every lens and try it with real closeup portraits etc … however, i decided to give it a „real world test“ and just started to shoot as if there was no thing called „Dual Pixel Raw“ and refocussing in post.
Back in our hotel room, we made a quick selection. And guess what, of course there were 2, 3 shots that we all liked a lot, but where juuuuuuuust a bit out of focus. Like this one.

As these pictures where promo shots for the 5DmkIV, of course the Logo saying 5DmkIV had to be 100% sharp. But it wasn´t. It was juuuuust out of focus. Finally i had a chance to try. And guess what happened. Right. They were 100% sharp and used for the Campaign.

Again – everything is better. The sensor is amazing, it is the same sensor like in the 1DxmkII, 14bit Dynamic Range, amazing ISO performance, the noise looks even better than in the mkIII, but there is no color noise left, 4k Video, 120fps at 720p (ok, i also wanted it to be 120 at 1080 but i can live with 60fps at 1080p as well) … all of these specs are great and i love them. But refocussing in post is just incredible.


And what about filming?

The 5DmkIV also comes with a lot great features for filmmakers. For example an amazing autofocus system that offers 3 types of focussing. One of them is “motion detection”, or “face detection”, which does exactly what it says – it detects motion and keeps tracking it. Forever it seems. We did some shots for a minute or so, walking with an actor under these arches, about 1m in front of the camera – it held focus for the whole time. Which no focus puller on the planet will be able to track that good. I didn´t use manual focus once while we were shooting these 2 days. Which is pretty awesome.

4k movie was of course what we expected. This 4k is pixel for pixel off the sensor, so there is no moirée at all. You also can shoot HDR Video, which is a nice feature but i didn´t test that really so far. There are however 2 or 3 clips in the Music Video that were shot HDR and they look pretty amazing. ISO performance is the best i´ve seen so far in Video mode and you can easily use it up to 6.400 ISO without thinking about noise. I´m pretty sure for most clips you can go even higher without getting in trouble with your clients ;)


All in all i really like the 5DmkIV a lot. Same sensor as the 1DxII, beautiful 14bit Picture, great ISO performance, no color noise anymore in the high ISO, 4k Video pixel by pixel, no Moirée, Slow Motion, HDR Video, Autofocus in Video and the most amazing feature of all  refocussing in post. You really got me this time Canon ;)

Watch the Behind the scenes Video i´ve been shooting with the EOS 5DmkIV and what Director Mark Rodway and DOP Matt Taylor have to say about this new Camera:

To be updated …


Canon Sweden invited me to the release Livestreaming event in Stockholm Central Station where i was showing some of my experience with the 5DmkIV:

After that i will update this post with some photos and videos

One Response to “The Canon EOS 5DmkIV is here – my Hands on Test as well ;-)”

  1. Andreas Binder

    Danke für diesen tollen Bericht! Du gastlich neugierig und zugleich auch ungeduldig gemacht. Beste Grüße, Andreas.


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