CANON 5D Mark IV Resource Page: Setup, Performance & Review

This Page is dedicated to the Canon 5D Mark IV. Here you will find information about how to set up the camera, ISO performance a settings guide, video tutorials and any reviews that I do.

I hope that you enjoy your new camera!



The 5D Mark IV is a phenomenal tool for image making. To ensure that you get the most from your new camera you must be sure to first set it up correctly!

The purpose of this guide is to help you to set up and understand the features, functions and settings of your new 5D Mark IV. I have tried my best to simplify things and make the choices clear. In some cases the best setting is an obvious one. Other times there are options based on personal preferences. In each case I have tried to make this clear and provide the information that you need in order to get the absolute most out of your new camera.

This guide is for you if you want to:

  • Quickly set up your 5D Mark IV exactly like mine
  • Ensure you have the correct settings
  • Learn to use your camera to its full potential


  • Please note that this is an E-book and there is no printed material.
  • The book can be downloaded as a PDF file and then transferred to use on your favourite digital devices.
  • If viewing on a desktop computer or laptop I recommend the 2 page view (exclude cover)
  • If viewing on an tablet I recommend using Adobe Reader in single page mode. Ibooks should also work well.


To place an order simply click on the link at the top of the page. Once you make payment by Paypal you will receive a confirmation email and download link.



$5.00 USD

Add to Cart



  • New 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. More megapixels and better performance than the previous version is impressive!

  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and smooth AF during video or Live View shooting.

  • 61 AF points and AF at f/8 (can use 2x converter on 600mm f/4).

  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.

  • Improved ISO and Dynamic range.


1 - 4K 60P and Full HD 120P video

2 - Movie Servo AF via Dual Pixel CMOS sensor allows for focussing on moving subjects

3 - 4K Frame Grab for 8.8 mp USABLE still JPEG images from 60 fps capture

4 - Touch screen LCD for focusing in video mode





When the new Canon 5D Mark IV was announced a few weeks back I looked at the press release and the specifications that were listed and began to wonder if this might be the first full frame body that I would want to own. The camera seemed to promise better high ISO performance, enhanced dynamic range, and a significantly higher megapixel count that either its predecessor or the 1DX Mark II. All those extra megapixels were very appealing as they would, in theory, allow me to crop the full frame images down to a similar size as my trusty 7D Mark II.  A few weeks later I saw that DXO Mark had conducted its laboratory testing and given the 5D IV its highest score ever for a Canon camera. This had me really thinking that a 5D would soon find its way into my camera bag.

You may wonder why I had never been interested in a full frame camera before this? The reason relates directly to the type of shooting that I do. I am a wildlife photographer that focusses almost all my efforts at capturing images of birds in the field. Much of my shooting takes place in the tropical forests of South America where birds can be difficult to get close to. For this reason the 1.6x crop sensor cameras have always been my weapon of choice.

For the most part I have been very happy with the performance of cameras like the Canon 7D Mark II. When shooting in decent light it is a fantastic tool that has allowed me to capture the images that I am after of these special birds. With that said, there is no doubt that I have often hoped for better high ISO performance when shooting in the dark forest understorey where very little light is available.

While I am in the tropics chasing after birds in the rainforest I often find myself confronted with scenarios that make capturing a satisfying image almost impossible. When the shutter speeds start to slow to 1/15th of a second at ISO 3200 I generally am forced to put the camera away for the day. For me, having a camera that could shoot at 12800 and achieve a usable image at 1/60sec would be a tremendous advantage over the 7D Mark II. In other words, what I am looking for is a camera that has two full stops better noise performance than the 7D II.

B&H Photo Video was kind enough to let me borrow the new 5D Mark IV for a few weeks to test it out in Costa Rica and I set off into the jungle with high hopes indeed!



If you have shot with the 5D or 7D series of Canon cameras then the controls and menus of the new camera will feel like home to you. Very few ergonomic tweaks have been made and those that have been are welcome additions.

One of the reasons why I was initially really hopeful that this camera would work for me was that it is so familiar to the 7D series. It makes switching between bodies a piece of cake. Another bonus is that the new camera is backwards compatible with all of your old batteries and flash cards. That means no need to go buy new c-fast cards and no need to travel with two different sets of chargers and batteries. If most of your shooting takes place close to home this may seem like no big deal. But if almost all of your shooting involves international flights and trekking through the jungle I can tell you that it is certainly a nice bonus!


The files that this camera produces are very nice indeed! The shot above is at ISO 3200.



To be perfectly honest I feel like autofocus technology has gotten to a point that new cameras no longer bring quantum leaps in performance. The new 5D Mark IV autofocus felt similar to what I have experienced with my 7D Mark II. I don’t feel like this new camera brings anything to the table that would enable me to capture any different kinds of images.

I will say however that when your subject is smaller in the frame (as it will be on a full frame camera) that it is much harder to focus accurately on a subjects eye. In my opinion any minor gains in autofocus technology (if they are present) are immediately nullified by this fact. Furthermore, the frame rate on this camera is MUCH slower than the 7D II (7 frames per second vs 10).


No issues with autofocus. The camera focusses well on birds in flight. No surprises here...which is good!



ISO performance was BY FAR the most important aspect of this new camera for me. What I wanted to know was would this camera allow me to capture images more successfully in the dark rainforest. Put another way I wanted to know if this camera would allow me to shoot in conditions that the 7D mark II would not and come away with a better quality image.

On my first day shooting with the new camera I was really impressed. I took pictures of some beautiful birds coming in to a feeder set up using ISO speeds ranging from ISO 3200 all the way up to ISO 12800. The results on the back of the camera looked impressive indeed!

Before getting too excited though I remembered back to my initial testing of the 7D Mark II. I can recall thinking that the images looked easily a stop and a half better on the back of the camera than the original 7D. Later on when I got back to the computer and looked at the RAW files I decided that they were more likely only about 2/3 of a stop better. I would need to check these images out on the computer before really passing judgement.

Golden-hooded Tanager - A 100% crop of a ISO 6400 shoot that is looking pretty sweet!

Monkeys - 100% crop at ISO 1600 shows very little noise

The second thing that occurred to me was that this was not really an accurate test. I was shooting at artificially high ISO speeds that I would normally never use. For example I was shooting at ISO 6400 when ISO 800 would have been fine.

In order to really test this camera I decided to head in to the understorey of the rainforest at the end of the day. Next I set up an appropriate test subject (a birds tail feather that I found on the ground) and took an image at ISO 3200, 6400 and 12800 with the 5D Mark IV, the 1DX Mark II and the 7D Mark II. It is important to note that it was DARK! At ISO 3200 I was getting 1/15 of a second. This is EXACTLY the type of situation I often find myself in and I feel was a very accurate test of the cameras performance.

The next step of the test was to convert the files using DPP. No adjustments were made to the default settings. I then cropped the two full frame images to cover the same area as the 7D Mark II file. The resulting images were smaller in size than the native resolution of the 7D (the 5D IV only slightly smaller and the 1DX II considerably smaller). Therefore the final step was to up-size the cropped files to the same pixel dimensions as the 7D Mark II. Now we are comparing apples to apples!

The results surprised me and I am sure will surprise many of you. Personally I would say that the 1DX II files looked the best followed by the 5D IV and then the 7D II. I have to say though that the difference to my eye is MINIMAL.  I was hoping for 2 stops better noise performance when I started. This new camera (as well as the 1DX Mark II) is lucky if it shows even half a stop better performance once the files are cropped and the file size normalized.

It seems to me that when shooting in the dark forest understorey where photons become few and far between this cameras ISO performance becomes less and less impressive.



1DX Mark II

5D Mark IV

7D Mark II



1DX Mark II

5D Mark IV

7D Mark II




The new camera is certain to continue the 5D series legacy of being a huge hit with amateur movie makers. Many new features have been added – most notably 4K video recording.
Because my primary interest is still photography the most useful new feature is the ability to pull still images from a 4K video clip. These extracted jpg images wind up as approximately 9 megapixels and are of surprisingly good quality!
Practically speaking there could be certain opportunities where shooting a video at 30 frames per second may allow for a definitive moment to be captured. Imagine for example a scenario where a rare bird is flying in and out of a nesting cavity. By pre-focussing on the nest hole and filming a 4K video you can capture a whole series of images of the bird in flight. To be honest I did not have a good opportunity to test this technique in Costa Rica. But the possibility is indeed appealing.



The above is a frame grab from the 4K video. It is pretty impressive!



ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800







  • Very capable autofocus
  • 30MP great for landscapes
  • Improved ISO performance and dynamic range over previous 5D III
  • Excellent new Video Features
  • Dual Pixel Autofocus may come in handy for some (perhaps especially for macro?)
  • Uses same battery and charger as other 5D and 7D cameras


  • No significant improvements in ISO performance once files cropped and sizes normalized over 7D II
  • 4K video is zoomed in making it challenging to frame video clips through the viewfinder
  • Much slower frame rate and smaller buffer than 7D II
  • Cost – More than twice the cost of the 7D II


Those who know me and my approach to photography know that I am not obsessed with gear or having the latest and greatest equipment. Instead I try to make practical decisions about what “tool” will allow me to capture the images that I dream of. Lab tests and internet hype are one thing. Real world testing on the subjects that I am interested in and in the environment I will actually be shooting in is another thing altogether!

The Canon 5D Mark IV produces some very nice image files straight out of the camera. However, the real world improvements for the type of shooting that I do are not as significant as I had hoped for. Furthermore these gains were nearly wiped out once the files were cropped in to the same size as a 1.6x sensor and the file sizes normalized.

To be clear - I am not saying that the 5D Mark IV files are inferior to the 7D II. If you can get close enough to your subjects then this camera produces gorgeous files!

So what does all this mean? It means that if you are able to get satisfyingly close to your subjects on a consistent basis or if you almost always shoot in bright open conditions then the 5D Mark IV or 1DX Mark II would be an excellent choice. Unfortunately that is not the reality for me most of the time and this camera fails to meet the needs that I have. Therefore I will be sticking with my 7D Mark II for another generation of Canon upgrades where I will hope for some REAL improvements in ISO performance.

For the record I think this is a fantastic camera. If you are a generalist nature photographer who shoots a variety of subjects from landscapes to birds to macro to mammals then this could be the camera for you! It’s just not the one for me…

As a complete side note do you know what I would really love to see Canon make? A 1.6 crop body with about 12 megapixels that had 2 stops better noise performance than the existing 7D Mark II. Now that would be a camera I would buy in a heartbeat!! Or what about a full frame camera like this one that has an electronic viewfinder and enables the user to crop in the viewfinder to 1.3, 1.6 or 2x crop mode? That would also be very sweet!

As always this review is just my opinion. I hope that you will find it valuable and that you find the right camera for you that allows you to capture the images you are after and, more importantly, to have fun doing it! If you are interested in looking at the RAW files that I took with the 5D Mark IV I am happy to provide them at the links below.

All the best everyone and happy shooting!




Click above to view my short video review on Youtube