10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Canon 5D Mark IV

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As you may have noticed from our weekly Featured Photographer blog posts, a lot of photographers are big fans of Canon, and especially the 5Ds. We’ve seen dozens of professional photographers coming in and upgrading their 5D Mark III for the latest and greatest, Mark IV. Besides all of the obvious reasons why the Mark IV is a superior camera to the Mark III, (such as the LCD touchscreen, built-in wifi, 4K video capability, and higher megapixels) we want to go over a few things you maybe don’t already know about the 5D Mark IV.

If you are lucky enough to own the 5D Mark IV, these tips will help you maximize your use of the camera. Some of these functions are hidden deep in the menus, but can drastically improve your shooting process.

1. Auto ISO and Minimum Shutter Speed

The EOS 5D Mark IV allows you to set an Auto ISO and also a lower limit shutter speed to ensure the shutter speed will not become too slow that it induces camera shake or subject blur. This is particularly useful when shooting in P or Av mode where the shutter speeds have free range of adjustment. When setting the Auto ISO speed range, you can also select the minimum shutter speed to ensure it never goes too slow. With this set, you may sometimes find the shutter speed drops below the lower limit you set. This is likely because the correct exposure could not be achieved within the Auto ISO range and with the lowest shutter speed you selected, so the shutter speed will be shifted to adjust. If you have to ensure the shutter speed does not change below a certain level, then you should set it manually instead.

2. Image Size Setting

When setting the image recording size in the Image Quality screen, you may notice the pixel dimensions and also the number of possible shots on the free space of the memory card in the camera. While shooting, and afterwards, you may notice a difference in the pixel dimensions or that you achieved substantially more images than expected. If this is the case, it is likely because you shot with an Aspect Ratio setting that is always less than the full sensor 3:2 ratio that the pixel dimensions and capacity calculations are based on – regardless of the Aspect Ratio settings you may have made elsewhere.

3. Frame Rate

The EOS 5D Mark IV features a maximum frame rate of 7fps. If you need to achieve the fastest frame rate possible but are finding it slower than you expect or need, check your camera settings. Most notably, the Digital Lens Optimizer setting. With this turned to Enable, the frame rate will greatly reduce, especially in conjunction with Dual Pixel RAW. Turning either, or both, of these two settings to OFF will dramatically increase your frame rate.

The EOS 5D Mark IV features up to 5-stops of exposure compensation when shooting, to account for very bright or dark subjects. When you are shooting in Live View or Movie shooting mode though, you will find only 3-stops of range are possible. If you wish to access the full five stops of range, either exit Live View, or if you’re in Movie mode, switch to manual and manually set the exposure as required.

If you are shooting in Auto ISO using P, Tv or Av and have set exposure compensation, then if you switch to M, be aware that any exposure compensation set in any of the previous modes will be translated to M. If you wish to cancel this, you should reset the exposure compensation to 0.

When shooting a timelapse, it is likely the camera will be active for a long period of time, and as such battery life becomes important. In normal shooting conditions, with a shooting interval set to 1sec, the EOS 5D Mark IV with a fully charged LP-E6N battery should last around 3h50mins. For timelapses lasting longer than this, either a battery grip with two batteries (double time) or a mains adaptor should be used. At lower temperatures, the shooting time will reduce.

The EOS 5D Mark IV features a timelapse movie function that will automatically compile a timelapse movie from still images. When setting up timelapse movie, you can adjust the interval between shots and the number of shots to be captured. The maximum number of shots is 3600, which will give a final movie clip time length of around 2mins for NTSC and 2m24s for PAL. To create a longer timelapse – say with a shorter interval between images – you should use the normal intervalometer function within the camera menu and then compile the timelapse yourself afterwards.

The Lock Switch has been a feature of EOS cameras for several generations, but in the EOS 5D Mark IV it has gained new features – instead of simply locking the Main or Quick command dial, it can be configured to lock various other functions too. One such function is the touch screen. If you normally use the touch screen but would like to disable it quickly, instead of searching in the menu for the setting to disable it, simply configure the Lock Switch to do so. This will help avoid accidental touch screen presses when shooting.

Dual Pixel RAW is a feature that allows you to adjust the area of maximum sharpness in the image after capture, using the included Canon Digital Photo Professional software. Dual Pixel RAW will work on all images to a greater or lesser degree. To maximize the effectiveness of the post processing, you should use a lens of 50mm or longer, an ISO of 1600 or less and an aperture of f/5.6 or lower. Settings outside these parameters will still exhibit some adjustment capability, but it will be reduced.

The EOS 5D Mark IV can use both LP-E6 and LP-E6N batteries. Both will power the camera. However, if you wish to achieve the fastest frame rate possible, you should use an LP-E6N as this will allow the 7fps shooting speed. With the LP-E6 battery, the speed will drop to approximately 5fps.

So there you have it! Ten things you probably didn’t realize the 5D Mark IV was capable of doing!

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