Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Review
The EOS 1D Mark IV is one of the latest high end cameras introduced by Canon in December of 2009. It's one of the fastest performing cameras in the market today, and definitely meant for serious photographers at at a price of $5000 (listed market price). Though the 1D Mark III, which is the predecessor still is an excellent camera by all standards, the Mark IV introduced some important upgrades.
For starters, the resolution of the Mark IV is now increased to 16 megapixels. The ISO sensitivity is also increases and goes up to 102,400 at the highest, which makes it the highest ISO sensitivity range among all Canon cameras.
The autofocus system is new and improved in the Mark IV as well. It features a 45 point autofocus sensor with 39 cross type points, which is about twice as much as the Mark III's. The LCD screen is 3 inches, which remains the same, but it's sharper and more clearer.
You can pair the Mark IV with many lenses, but for this review we stuck with the stabilized L series 24-105 mm lens since it supported so many different focal lengths.
Holding the Mark IV in our hands, it felt quite heavy - it was like holding a small tank in our hands. The body is pretty tall, which makes sense since the battery is huge as heck. Whenever we bring the Mark IV with us to casual events like sporting events, or concerts, we always get that look from other people, as if we're brining a small war machine to shoot photos. People will definitely be impressed when you wield this camera, that's for sure.
The body is sturdy and durable as you'd expect - weather resistant all the way. We know people who've used this to shoot during snowstorms without any problem. It'll last you a long time, that's for sure.
Even though the Mark IV is a pretty heavy camera, it's ergonomic and a pleasure to use. The grip is very comfortable, and after using it for prolonged periods of time, it won't feel uncomfortable and you won't feel any strains. All the controls are laid out in an intuitive manner. The menus and settings are very straightforward, and any regular DSLR user should be able to get used to things quickly. There are a few settings that may require some digging around. One note: make sure you study the default settings and change some of them. For instance, the camera won't turn itself off when the power is on automatically - you have to enable that. We learned that the hard way when our battery died one day.
The LCD screen is 3 inches, and unchanged from the previous model. However, it is noticeably brighter. We did struggle to see in it with bright sunlight. It's a good quality LCD screen, but the live view experience isn't perfect. Since this camera is marketed towards seasonal professionals, you shouldn't be using the live view anyway, so we're quick to dismiss this weakness.
The viewfinder is excellent and as good as it gets, offering 100% coverage.
On to the important stuff, like performance! Whoa... we were very impressed with the shooting performance of the Canon EOS Mark IV. By default, when you first turn on the camera, the sensor will clean itself so that'll take 3 seconds or so. You can disable this of course if you want. Shutter lag is almost nonexistent at .02 seconds, among the best in class (only the DSLR A550 seems to beat it).
Press to capture, with no pre-focus takes .18 seconds, the best in class. Continuous shooting is 10.7 frames per second, by far the best in class. It's crazy how fast the Mark IV is, and it's perhaps a bit overkill for many people. However, if you find yourself shooting fast action sports, the Mark IV will come in extremely useful. We've captured shots of football games with the Mark IV, and the results came out excellent.
The autofocus system in the Mark IV is perhaps the most sophisticated you'll find in any camera. It features a 45 point autofocus sensor with 39 cross type points.
On to the image quality. First, we had to increase the default sharpness setting in the Mark IV, as photos turned out to be softer than we wanted. But once we did so, all our images turned out to be excellent quality. All of our photos had excellent, pleasing, and accurate color renditions. White balance was very accurate as well.
As mentioned, the Mark IV featured a huge ISO range. You can go as high as 102,400. We tested the camera in all the ISO ranges. With low ISO, you'll notice no noise until you reach ISO 800, but even then it's hardly noticeable. It isn't until you reach an ISO of 6400 when you really notice some degradation, and more so in 12,800.
Having an ISO of 102,400 makes for great bragging rights but in reality, it's not useful. The great benefit of the high ISO range is that it offers more opportunities to get a good shot in dim lighting... more so than than average DSLR.
One last thing to note: there is no built in flash in the Mark IV, but a hot shoe is there if you want to use an external flash. Image stabilization is not built in as well. Battery life is excellent at 1500 shots. Using live view of course will drain most of it.
- 16.1 megapixels
- Supports ISO 100 - 102,400
- 1080p HD video
- Magnesium alloy body
- 3 inch LCD screen with 920,000 pixels
- No built-in flash, has hot shoe
- Supports HDMI
- Durable and solid build
- Excellent Photo Quality
- Excellent ISO range
- Very expensive
- Bulky and weighs a lot
In conclusion, we have no complaints over the Mark IV - it's an excellent, high end camera that is perfect for the serious photographer. It's definitely not for the casual user, or even the prosumer.
It isn't cheap by any means, costing more than $5000, and that's just for the body. The L series lenses will probably put you back $1000 more. It's a heavy but durable camera hat offers the best in class performance, a wide array of settings, and outstanding image quality. Video quality is offered 1080p and is top of the class as well. It all comes down to whether you want to spend a $1000 more for a few incremental upgrades.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Prices last updated on: Mon, 22 May 2017 08:24:24 PDT