Canon 5D Mark IV Review – Real World Video Samples and First Impressions

August 26th, 2016 Jump to Comment Section 85

The wait is finally over and here’s our Canon 5D Mark IV Review. It’s a whole 60g lighter than its predecessor. But will it satisfy the hungry DSLR video user who has been waiting for Canon to come up with a better priced 4K DSLR camera? What’s more, will this camera bring back all those users who once owned a video capable Canon DSLR camera, but ended up looking elsewhere? I will let you decide for yourself. But in the meantime, here are my thoughts after spending a short day with this new camera. 

Perhaps the most important feature of the Canon 5D Mark IV is its ability to shoot 4K video internally and its advanced autofocus system. However, in my eyes, there’s no doubt that this feature-rich photo camera, with its 30.4 MP and Dual Pixel RAW, is mainly targeted at photographers. When it comes to video recording, it looks like Canon has decided once and for all to make a clear definition between their EOS line of video-enabled photography cameras, and their EOS C line, featuring large sensor cameras that shoot high quality video. Don’t get me wrong, this camera is capable of producing gorgeous-looking video, but lacks some essential features that would make the life of the occasional video shooter a lot easier.


Findings in our  Canon 5D Mark IV Review: 

Canon 5D Mark IV pros (in no particular order):

  • DCI 4K (4096×2160) internal video recording in very nice 4:2:2 8 bit quality, with the texture we love from Canon. My video above was shot in very harsh lighting conditions and yet the camera preformed nicely. No overheating or shutting down.
  • World camera with a large selection of frame rates and resolutions: 4K up to 30p, Full HD up to 60p and HD Ready (720) up to 120p.
  • Dual Pixel AF with touchscreen functionality. It is also easy to control how fast the change between focus points happens.
  • Dual CompactFlash and SD memory card slots for your choice of video recording.
  • Full control of audio with the included headphone and mic jacks.
  • To my eyes, very clean video image in all frame rates. We will review this in detail in our Lab tests.
  • Recording in 1080/50,60p is possible, an important setting for broadcasters and moderate slow-motion lovers.
  • In-camera realtime down convert from 4K to full HD.
  • When picture style is set to “Neutral”, sharpness is already dialled all the way to minimum.
  • Individual frames from 4K video can be saved as new 8.8MP still image files.
  • Higher resolution LCD screen than the Canon 5D Mark III.
  • Same old trusty batteries. Nice for everyone who is replacing their old 5D Mark II and III.

A photo extracted directly from the 4K video footage

Canon 5D mark iv video crop factor vs. full frame still

Canon 5D Mark IV video crop factor vs. full frame still

Canon 5D Mark IV cons (in no particular order):

  • 1.64x crop factor in 4K video mode. While in Full HD and 720p you can shoot in full frame.
  • No C-log. If it was missing on the Canon 1D X Mark II, I did not expect the cheaper 5D Mark IV to surprise me here.
  • MJPEG compression type. Be ready to purchase a bunch of memory cards as it will chew through them fast!
  • Like with other Canon DSLRs that shoot video, there is a 4GB file limit. The camera will automatically create a number for files based on the time of recording. (this apply for cards lower then 256gb).
  • No peaking.
  • No punch in zoom while recording.
  • No screen overlays to help with simulating 2,35:1 or any other ratio but 16:9.
  • Rolling shutter is noticeable. Full measurements coming soon in our lab test.
  • High frame rate 100/120 fps is limited to HD Ready quality only (720p).
  • HDMI output is full HD only, although this time also with embedded audio.
  • Maximum recording time: 29:58 minutes.
  • Canon continues with its tradition of not including an articulated screen in their 5D cameras.

Yet to be tested: HDR video mode (full HD only), and time lapse recording.

Canon 5D Mark IV HDR on vs. HDR off

Canon 5D Mark IV HDR on vs. HDR off (functioning in FHD 25p/30p IPB mode only)


In my opinion, the new Canon 5D Mark IV is first and foremost a photo camera that can shoot high quality 4K video, and by doing so, helps the professional photographer in his work. As customers, we have to realize that Canon is making a clear definition between its product lines, and if you are in the market for a video camera that shoots high quality video and has all the usual functions from Canon, then you have to look at their EOS C line.

We will continue to explore the new Canon 5D Mark IV in the next few days. We will put the camera through its paces in low light situations, check how good the audio quality is for run & gun documentary work, and publish our Lab tests, where we will evaluate dynamic range and rolling shutter. Stay tuned.

Camera Picture profile for this video: Neutral. Edited in Adobe Premiere latest edition. Footage from the 3 available resolution was used (4K/1080/720).  Slightly color corrected with FilmConvert. (Canon 1D C Neutral preset applied).

Music supplied by Art-List, “The Monkey Funk by Yanivi


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