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Is The New Canon 5DMkIV for You?

Published: 30/08/2016

Canon5DMKIVNormally I don't do posts on camera gear unless there some feature that is important for real estate photography. But I decided that I need to bring up the new generation of Canon 5D's that was announced last Thursday (August 25). Not that the 5DMkIV has any features that make it super significant for real estate or interior photography; it's just that from polls we've done about 25% of PFRE readers use a 5DMkII, 5DMkIII or 6D (the target audience for the 5DMkIV). At the same time, there are many real estate photographers and videographers moving away from the Canon 5D line of gear. All the more reason to carefully analyze this body compared to the alternatives.

There is a huge amount of coverage going on now in the photographic online world about this new body and the new lenses announced with it. I ran across this unusually in-depth video review by Tony Northrup of the 5DMkIV and how it compares to the other alternatives available today. I think Tony does a remarkably good job of putting the new features in perspective. It's long (close to 35 minutes) but I think it's something to watch if you are even thinking about a 5DMkIV.

I have a 5DMkII that's getting long in the tooth, so I'm in that target audience. I could make a case for upgrading to the 5DMkIV but there is a lot I like about Sony too. After you use a body for 8 years it's hard to give up an old friend. My guess there are others that feel as conflicted about this as I do.

Update: A great question was raised, "Can the 5DMkIV do more than three brackets?" The answer is: yes, according to the Auto Exposure bracketing on the 5DMkIV is +/-3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV) which is the same as the Canon 5DMkIII and 6D but significantly better than the 5DMkII which is +/-2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV).

Larry Lohrman

11 comments on “Is The New Canon 5DMkIV for You?”

  1. I still find my 5DMKII a great camera for Real Estate. It’s also seems the average competition in our area of Marbella Spain are using their phones more and more now, which is great for us. It does seem a huge investment to upgrade to the Mark IV. Maybe worth saving up for, just in case my 5DMKII suffered an expensive breakdown.

  2. I like the mix of features. The Wi-Fi will be useful if it will work for tethering. The GPS will be good for other work that I do. I currently use an app on my phone and tag photos with coordinates in post.

    Dynamic range will be a big factor and Adobe support of the DP RAW files. I don't currently do any video production, so I'm not worried about the crop on 4k video. I'd likely get a Canon or Black Magic video camera if I get into shooting video. The Sony does look very good and I'm going to rent a body at some point to have a week to put it through my paces.

  3. I have a 70D and I was thinking to buy a MK iii when the MK iv was announced, $1000 more expensive, I will wait a little bit more to get the MK iv. The big appeal for me is the 4K feature and I do Video also.
    As such as Larry I have a lot I like about Sony as well and it is creating thousands of doubts.

  4. I've been shooting with the Canon 5DMII along with the Canon 17mm T/S lens for years. I also have a Sony A6000 which I use for pole photography and other exterior shooting situations. I love the lightness and versatility of the camera and find that when I shoot with a camera off a tripod, my creativity kicks in.

    With a few apps on my iPhone for remote firing, a 10-18mm and 18-105mm Sony lens I am almost where I could replace the Canon 5DMII altogether. However, the Tilt/Shift lens is a critical part of my magical equation that I cannot do without.

    Unless Sony comes out with a Tilt/Shift lens (doubtful), I am stuck with the heavy DSLR. If you haven't shot with a Tilt/Shift lens then you don't know what you are missing. Being able to stand up close to buildings to capture the entire building including the peak of the roofline is truly magical. You can capture shots with the 17mm T/S lens that no other lens can capture.

    I didn't upgrade to the MKIII or even considering the MKIV because the MKII is doing just fine and not having the latest is not bothersome. I would prefer to put my money into a drone or video gear. Perhaps my head is in the sand, but unless new gear will help me to produce higher quality images or significantly reduce my processing time, then I'll save my money and forgo having the latest and greatest.

  5. I use to use Canons since XL-1s back in the days when I did filming. I later got a T2i for photos and got back into filming from it and upgraded to 5D2 and then eventually 5D3. They were all very small upgrades and I enjoyed them. Eventually I started learning about the Sony Cameras and got my first one which is the A7. Ever since I made the swap, I've been very very very happy with it as far as shooting still images. Back when I was shooting still images with the 5D, to get sky replacements or finding extra details, I'd have to take multiple exposures to get all the dynamic range in my raw and it took a bit of time and effort, having to use a tripod all the time. Now with the A7, I don't deal with bracketing anymore. You can get the sky and clouds back from adjust exposures in Camera Raw. The sharpness is incredibly too. I used the kit lens for awhile and compared to 5d3 with the 24-70 2.8, the Sony kit lens with the A7 body not only had more dynamic range, but it was sharper! Now I have multiple lens and shoot a lot of stuff with 16-35 F4. That lens is incredible, it hardly has any disortions! I don't have to worry about fixing vertical or horizontal lines much if at all in post like I did with my Canon set up. The newer Sony A7 bodies also have in body stabilization, which allows you to completely stop using Glidecam to get smoothe videos. I've rented them and shot some videos for fun and now I'm waiting for an A7 body to be annouced while I collected the new expensive lens.

    I'm mainly a portrait and fitness photographer so thats where my speciality is, but I want to be able to get consistent work with real estate, and the gear I had was perfect for real estate. 🙂

  6. I personally think the Nikon d7000 is the perfect real estate camera. It's 16 megapixels gives you about just enough of a buffer to still be able to crop down in situations where that may have been necessary.

    Not sure what the canon equivalent it.

    Let's think about the hours that you waste every week downloading the extra data, rasterizing your raw files, saving files out, uploading them, archiving files if you are using say a 24 megapixel camera vs a 16 megapixel. And, what sizes are we delivering to clients? Maybe 3000 pixels at the most (which would correspond to about 6 megapixels).

    As always, just my opinion, but yeah just seems like a waste to me. If you need more megapixels for more discerning clients, two bodies seems like it would be the way to go there.

  7. I have just started migrating away from Canon (6D) to Fuji. The new 24MP X-T2 which also shoots 4K video is $2,000 cheaper than the new 5D Mk4. The new X-T2 will start shipping in the next few weeks but in the meantime I have purchased two additional lenses that are now on sale. I tested the Fuji X-Pro2 back in the spring and the image quality compared with my full frame Canon super impressed me with color, file quality and better dynamic range.
    I am also trying to scale down the weight and amount of equipment I am carrying around. I think the days of needing huge full frame cameras is gradually coming to a close. I think the 5D Mk4 is an amazing camera for a shrinking market. BTW; in purchasing two X-T2 bodies versus two Canon bodies I just saved enough for a trip to Italy next year.

  8. I don't see the need to buy top of line brand new equipment as long as I am just shooting real estate stills. Like Andrew said his 16 mp D7000 works great, and Wayne does most of his stuff on a A6K...
    An interesting development but it looks like the low light ISO performance is way pretty good... ISO 2000 looks usable to me.

  9. @Andrew Pece, my 5D Mark II does have a setting to produce medium and small raw files, so if I shoot in medium raw format, I believe the files are about 10MP. Assuming the 5D Mark IV has that ability as well (why wouldn't it?), I'm with @Ken Brown that dynamic range would be a significant factor for me in choosing to upgrade, as would built-in tethering functionality. I'm finding more and more that the CamRanger is a novel yet very imperfect solution as it tends to freeze up a lot or cause my camera to throw memory card error codes, sending me into a panic and requiring a complete restart.

  10. Currently I own the 6D and have a 5DII as backup. I really wanted to upgrade to the new 5DIV as I was planning to do more Video stuff with it.
    I was really disappointed when I saw the lack of important video features. I hoped it would get a better codec (motionJpeg creates incredible huge files, which take long to render and to transfer). I don't understand why they didn't include at least UHS-II or CFfast slots, like this we could at least transfer the files faster and probably have a bigger buffer (not that important for RealEstate but for other stuff). Still no c-log mode for Videos. The 1.74x Crop makes it very tough to use for Real Estate as you will have to a good UWA lens ( that Canon 11-24/4L is quite an investment). In the ned you will need an extra set of lenses that fit with the 1.74x Crop if you plan to shoot still and video. Considering it has a shelf life of ~ 4 years and is already behind competition in some features, I am not so eager anymore to invest in one.
    DPAF is great for Video and a feature that I would love to use.
    I don't really need the 30MP.
    I don't expect dramatic improvements in DR. Probably a bit better than the latest models.
    The AF is a real improvement coming from the 6D. I also read somewhere that now the 5D IV has a 2 axis level mode on the display (which is quite handy for RE Work and no need for that hot shoe level anymore).
    GPS & Wifi I already have in the 6D, so no big surprise there that they included this as well in the 5DIV. The Wifi feature I use quite often to check images quickly on the iPhone or iPad or just quickly transfer a shot to the iPhone for Social Media.

    The lack of more practical and serious Video features (after they introduced the 5Ds I thought that now finally they would focus a bit more on better video features on the 5DIV, but no....) and the quite high price (I was expecting and ready to spent 3.300-3.500 Euros like the 5DIII, but now it costs 4.065 Euros here) made me change my plans a bit.

    So now I stick with the 6D and see what they come up with the 6DII end of the year or early next year.
    Just before the summer holidays I bought a Panasonic GX80 to play around with it and film some stuff on vacation. I am really happy with it's features. The 5 axis stabilisation is amazing. Video quality is amazing (way better than my 6D). Now I am looking forward to see the GH5 and maybe I am gonna get this one for Videos.

    So in the end for the higher price Canon is asking now, I don't really see a point in investing in a new camera for the next 3-4 years that lacks certain features and is behind competition.

  11. @Terry : second that re: the Canon 17mm TSE : couldn't operate without it: the time you just save in post, not having to straighten verticals, soon adds up. Sure it's a punchy investment but I am confident it will outlive many of my cameras. Just like you, I am working very happily with the 5D mk II (two bodies). When the MkIII came out, I bought one of the last MkIIs Calumet were stocking at knockdown price as a back up for my original one. So the best thing for me about the release of the MkIV (whose refinements and even pixel count are well beyond my stills-only/ A3 @300dpi repro requirements) will be the inevitable drop in price on the Mk III ! I don't like coming in at the start of a camera release anyway, as there always seem to be teething problems/ firmware upgrades etc required. Buying a late model ensures you are getting a version with all the faults etc addressed. Bit like vehicles!

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