As a user of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III over the past few years, I have captured a variety of challenging subjects in the most difficult underwater conditions. The arrival of the 5D Mark IV has brought exciting advancements under the hood but only minor external changes, and underwater housings like mine are still compatible with the new model. So when I recently had the opportunity to try out the 5D Mark IV, I jumped at the chance.

My first stop was Lembeh, Indonesia’s macro mecca. I immediately noticed the 5D Mark IV’s amazing autofocus speed. The increase in sensor resolution from 22.3 to 30.4 megapixels was also hugely significant, as it gave me even greater latitude to crop images but maintain enough pixels for large prints. Moreover, shooting with the 5D Mark IV’s new Dual Pixel Raw feature, which allows you to shift focusvery slightly after taking a picture, I was able to perfect my shots of the tiniest critters.

Moving on to Manado, I was invited to photograph some freedivers, which meant using strobes was not an option. I found the increase in dynamic range of the new full-frame sensor brought out details in the images that would have been impossible without the use of strobes. Despite the big jump in sensor resolution, continuous shooting speed has been increased up to an incredible 7fps, making it even easier to keep up with the action.

The Mark IV takes video to a new level with 4K capture at up to 30p, a first for a Canon DSLR. Underwater videographers will also appreciate the camera’s ability to shoot in Full HD at 60p, giving the option of creating smooth slow-motion video in
post-production.

An up close picture of a fish in the muck using Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, f/3.2, 1/200s, ISO100 (Photo by Jonathan Lin)

The new model also boasts a number of smaller refinements that impressed me. The greatly improved LCD resolution, from 1.04M to 1.62M dots, as well as Dual Pixel CMOS AF providing very accurate continuous autofocus in Live View mode (another first for a Canon DLSR), make an already excellent screen even better. The new Wi-Fi and NFC features are another great touch, as I can now transfer and review files seamlessly. It is also nice to have the option of checking the GPS location if I need help recalling where shots were taken.

The 5D Mark IV’s performance and features make this a game-changing DLSR. I would recommend any serious photographer consider it for their next upgrade.

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