(Basket of Driftwood, my first Mark IV image)
I am in Bandon, Oregon and have just received my new Canon 5D Mark IV today. I have spent only a few hours with it and wanted to share my very, very first impressions.
First, it’s pretty easy to learn since it’s so much like the Mark III. That’s a good thing.
But they’ve added several new features that will make my life easier, including:
They have moved the position of the remote control terminal to the front of the camera. This means that you can now use the remote cable release and keep the left side connector covers in place. This is important because previous models have had a light leak on the left side when doing very long exposures. I’m hopeful that leaving the covers in place will now block the light leak.
The Camera now has a long exposure timer, something that they introduced on the 5DS. This means I can use Bulb mode to do very long exposures without a cable release, or more importantly, continue to shoot very long exposures if my cable release fails (as happened when my primary and backup cable releases failed on Easter Island).
A wonderful new feature allows the Mark IV to wirelessly transmit JPEG images to my iPhone. Here’s a Bandon image that I shot on the Mark III and then transmitted with the Mark IV:
My camera is set up to save a RAW and a JPEG, which I then transmit to the iPhone where I can do some minimal adjustments.
And then there’s the Mark IV’s sensor increase to 30 megapixels, which is a 7.5% improvement. I feel this is a more reasonable and balanced increase than what they did with the 5DSr going to 50 megapixels.
Which brings me to the real test of the camera (for me and my applications): how much noise is introduced by the new sensor during a very long exposure (greater than 2 minutes). If you will recall, I had a very bad experience with excessive noise on the Canon 5DS images
So I had the camera shipped to me here in Bandon, where I was hoping to do some long exposure work and put the camera to the test. However we have had two big storms and I’ve only been able to get out shooting twice.
And now they’re saying the storm arriving tonight will bring 80 mph winds, 40 foot waves and rain through the duration of my trip!
The solution? I returned the camera.
The 5DSr is not the right camera for my long exposure work.
(Monolith No. 50 – NOT created with the Canon 5DSr!)
I’m on the road in Utah and Nevada with my 5DSr and I wanted to report in with some first impressions. Unfortunately I cannot post any images until I return home.
The new camera looks, feels and handles like the 5D Mk III and so I was able to get up to speed relatively quickly. That was nice. However to take full advantage of the many new features, I will have to spend some time going through the menus. As always, the number of features is overwhelming.
There are two new features that immediately caught my eye and got me excited for long exposure work, they are:
Delay After Mirror Lockup: You can set the shutter to trigger after the mirror has flipped up and settled down, making sure the vibrations are gone before the shutter opens. I have mine set to 1/2 second.
This means that mirror lockup can now be a one button press just like a regular shutter! I cannot tell you the number of times I had forgotten to turn off the old two-button mirror lockup and then pressed the shutter once thinking I was taking a picture, when I was not. This new feature will help avoid that mistake.
Bulb Timer: You can now set the length of your bulb exposure in the camera! No more using your watch (and forgetting where you started) and I can now ditch the digital kitchen timer that was always going off in my camera bag just as I was going through security.
Now let me combine these two features and show you why I think this is so great for long exposures. I can now press the shutter button once and the following occurs:
- The mirror flips up and settles down
- A half second later the shutter opens
- The shutter stays open for as long as I’ve programmed it for
- The shutter closes by itself
I can still choose to shoot with a cable release, but now if I forget to bring one, lose or break it, I can still shoot long exposures. I had this problem on Easter Island when both of my cable releases went bad and I was really in a pickle.
These new features means that I no longer “need” a remote shutter release (although I still choose to use one for convenience) but the important thing is that I’ll never be stranded like that again.
One issue Canon did not address is the light entering into the camera through the eyepiece which caused internal reflections on the left and right sides of the 5D Mk III images. I had suggested to Canon that they put a small shutter on the viewfinder that automatically triggered during long exposures…but they didn’t.
To address this I had been using a hat to cover the camera during exposure, but in wind this didn’t work too well. So I build a “flap” that mounted to the hot shoe:
Unfortunately the flap doesn’t seal well enough around my Hoodman HoodEYE eyecup and so I ended up using the hat trick again. I’ll need to work on this contraption some more.
Note: Many people point out to me that Canon provides a small viewfinder block that you can slip into the eyepiece. Unfortunately this block does not work with the Hoodman HoodEYE installed and the eyecup is required to get an accurate long exposure meter reading.
Summary: I purchased the 5DSr so that I could print my images larger and so it was an unexpected treat to find some new features that makes long exposure work easier. I like these new features very much!
I’ll not know what the images look like until I get home. I’m curious how the new 50mp sensor does with noise during long exposures since I found the Mk III to be noisier than the Mk II.