Canon’s 5D camera line has a rich heritage – the original EOS 5D made full-frame photography accessible to the masses, the Mark II enabled full HD video shooting on a DSLR for the first time, and the Mark III didn’t quite have the groundbreaking features of its predecessors, but its improved AF system made it one of the most complete DSLRs in recent memory, beloved by enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Even though the lineup has changed a bit since then, with the launch of the 50.6-megapixel 5DS, which offers even more pixels, the new generation 5D is a big deal. The 22.3MP sensor in the 5D Mark III was already looking a bit dated compared to some of its competitors – the resolution was only slightly increased compared to the 5D Mark II – so it’s nice to see a significant jump to 30.4MP here.
That’s not quite up to the 36.3 MP of the Nikon D810 or the 42 MP of the Sony Alpha 7R II, but the files are still 6720 x 4480 pixels, which means the native size is just under A2 at 56.9 x 37.9 cm (22.4 x 14.9 inches) if you want to print at 300 dpi, while those who need even more pixels can use the 50.6 MP of the 5DS. The 5D Mark IV uses the same latest-generation sensor technology as the 1D X Mark II and 80D, with on-chip digital-to-analog conversion said to provide better noise performance and wider dynamic range.
But that’s not all when it comes to image quality. Dual Pixel Raw technology gives photographers the ability to fine-tune the range of maximum sharpness. Since each pixel consists of two photodiodes, a file can be created that contains a pair of images with two slightly different points of focus.
The file can then be opened in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software and Image Micro Correction used to shift the sharpness slightly – not massively, but Canon is confident that some shots can be salvaged with this technology. As you’d expect, the file size increases dramatically, from 37MB to 67MB – and you have to use Canon’s somewhat clunky DPP software.
Native sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 32,000 and is expandable to 50 to 102,400. While impressive, this expanded range is actually identical to that of the 5D Mark III, though Canon claims to have improved the noise processing algorithm to produce better results at higher sensitivities, while it’s also a step up from one of this camera’s closest competitors, the Nikon D810.