Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

The Mark IV weighs 1.4kg, packs a 16.1-megapixel image sensor, dual DIGIC IV image processors and a 45-point auto focus system

  1. Editor's Rating
  • E-Mail
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV The Mark IV is easy to handle thanks to its sculpted magnesium alloy body
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  August 11, 2010

Ratings Breakdown

Editor's Rating:
  • Performance:
  • Features:
  • Value for money:
  • Overall:
Key Specs

Display: 3-inch
Lens included: Y
Live View compatible: Y
Memory type: Compact Flash
Price: $5831

Display complete specs ›

Canon introduced the world to its EOS-1D line back in September 2001 and now, with the launch of the EOS-1D Mark IV, the line gets its fifth member. Being a professional SLR this camera is priced at a staggering US $5831.

Photographers that worked with the older EOS-1D Mark III aren't in for a shock in terms of design and handling because the Mark IV is nearly a carbon copy; the body is built from magnesium alloy and is carefully sealed to protect from environmental damage. Thankfully, weight hasn't increased at all so, as before, the Mark IV with its battery weighs in at 1.4kg. The camera is very easy to get comfortable with and is fully customisable, so you can set it up to your preferred style of shooting.        

One area Canon focused on with the Mark IV is with its AF (Auto Focus) system. This isn't a surprise considering the main fault with the Mark III is AF related. With the Mark IV Canon introduces a completely new AF system though the company hasn't made any changes to the layout pattern of the camera's 45 AF points. Of those points 39 are setup to be cross-type points that are sensitive to both the horizontal and vertical axis. (The Mark III only featured 19 cross-type points.)

In terms of photo quality the Mark IV is spectacular. The photos we captured over our two week test period were absolutely brilliant; we observed fantastic colour and an incredible amount of detail whether we shot in JPEG format or RAW. This Canon's a fast worker too, we were able to take advantage of its capabilities and shoot 121 JPEG shots in quick succession before the camera needed to empty its buffer. If you prefer shooting in RAW the Mark IV is equally impressive, here it grabbed 28 shots before needing to clear its buffer and write to our CF card.

The Mark IV blows its predecessor out of the water when it comes to ISO performance. Whereas the Mark III struggled to maintain detail and quality at an ISO setting of 6400, the Mark IV returned professionally-useable photographs at the very high setting of 25,600. Beyond this we noticed quality degradation, with the top most settings being completely useless.

Beyond grabbing still images the Mark IV can capture movies. Unfortunately the shooting experience here lags behind what the camera delivers when shooting in still image mode. The first problem we have is that the body while great for grabbing still images through its viewfinder, is clumsy and awkward to work with when shooting movies. This is a bit of a shame because it actually sports some powerful features. The second issue is that these features, while great, feel a little too tacked on, rather than integrated. Still, if you can work around these hurdles the EOS-1D Mark IV captures excellent video footage at Full HD resolution.

For: Fantastic photographs regardless of outside conditions, quick 10fps shoot performance, ergonomic champ, stereo microphone input, great video quality.
Against: Movie mode could be better integrated, serious battery drain when using live view or shooting video.
Verdict: There’s nothing that holds a candle to the Mark IV's still image captures. Its superbly detailed, high resolution images will blow you away.

Your Review

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Performance Features Value for money

Tell us what you like about this product. This field is optional

Tell us what you don't like about this product. This field is optional

Explain to us in detail why you like or dislike the product, focusing your comments on the product's features and functionality. This field is optional

Security code