+JPEG pairs at 10fps, at full-resolution. Advanced processing algorithms underpin the camera’s HD movie recording capabilities and improve overall camera responsiveness.


Canon’s EOS-ID Mark IV replaces the popular Mark III model at the top of the company’s ‘APS-H’ professional DSLR line-up, adding Full HD video capture, higher resolution, a new image processor and an improved AF system to the features of the previous model. HD video augments the extensive stills capabilities of the Mark IV, which include refined image quality, advanced workflow, customisable controls and fast response times.


Front view of the EOS-ID Mark IV body without a lens, showing the mirror box and grip. (Source: Canon.)


Rear view of the EOS-ID Mark IV body, showing the LCD monitor, folder LCD screen and main control buttons. (Source: Canon.)


Top view showing data display, control dials and button controls. (Source: Canon.)

Photo Review has already published an extensive ‘First Look’ detailing the differences between the Mark IV and its predecessor so we won’t re-run that information here. Interested readers can CLICK HERE (INSERT LINK) for that report. Canon USA has also published a detailed White Paper on the new camera, which can be accessed at www.usa.canon.com/uploadedimages/FCK/Image/White%20Papers/EOS-1D%20Mark%20IV%20WP1.pdf. It’s a 123-page, 7.57MB file so broadband internet access is recommended.

We’ll begin this review with the changes Canon has made since the Mark III, covering the physical differences between the two cameras and the handling characteristics of the new model. We’ll also cover the totally re-designed autofocusing system, the improvements to the JPEG workflow and the new Full HD video capabilities before reporting on general performance and the results of our Imatest analysis.

At a glance, the Mark III and Mark IV models appear very similar and both camera bodies have the same dimensions and general configuration. Both use magnesium alloy for the chassis, mirror box and exterior covers and both come with extensive dust- and moisture-resistant sealing (the Mark IV has six more sealing points than the Mark III). The new body is 25 grams heavier and, like the Mark III, it only accepts EF lenses, applying a 1.3x focal length crop factor.

The only visible changes to the Mark IV’s body are the new name plate, the three-hole microphone just below the EOS-1 logo on the front panel, the four-hole speaker grille on the battery bulge on the rear panel and the modified ports and cover panels on the side. Switching the camera on reveals the major improvements to the 3-inch LCD monitor on the rear panel, which now has a resolution of 920,000 dots (equivalent to VGA resolution).

Canon has also improved the viewing qualities of the screen in several ways. The plastic protective cover has been replaced by a tempered glass coating that is more rugged and scratch-resistant. In addition, the gap between the cover and the LCD panel has been filled with a photo-elastic material that has the same refractive index as the protective glass. This ‘no boundary technology’ eliminates back-scattered light, providing a much clearer view of the screen in outdoor sunlight, where internal reflections can affect clarity.

The new screen also provides a ten-degree improvement in viewing angle in all directions, covering 160 degrees vertically and horizontally, where the Mark III only offered 140 degrees. Screen brightness is adjustable across seven levels to accommodate to different ambient lighting conditions.

A couple of changes have been made to the bundled accessories, the most significant being the omission of the ACK-E4 AC adapter kit, which allowed the camera to be operated with mains power. Although the camera’s battery holds plenty of charge, there are sure to be photographers who will regret the loss of this facility. The video cable has also been swapped for one that is stereo-enabled; in this case a good move.

The camera body is supplied with a standard shoulder strap, LP-E4 lithium-ion battery pack and LC-E4 charger, AC-E4 AC adaptor kit, DR-E4 DC coupler, EG eyecup, plus USB 2.0 Hi-Speed and video cables. The supplied software disks include the latest versions of Digital Photo Professional (Win/Mac), ZoomBrowser EX (Win), Image Browser (Mac), PhotoRecord (Win) and EOS Capture (Win/Mac).


The EOS-ID Mark IV body kit. (Source: Canon.)
Photographers upgrading to the Mark IV will find most aspects of the new model familiar. Like its predecessor, the Mark IV is large, with a solid feel and substantial heft and the camera’s superior ergonomics and excellent balance make it comfortable to use hand-held in the field with many lenses.

The main grip is generous and not unlike the 5D II’s, although the large battery compartment in the lower section of the camera body provides greater vertical depth and a rest for the user’s little finger. The vertical grip is identical to the previous model’s and the second shutter button is nicely placed for comfortable shooting. Both grips have textured surfaces.

The six shooting modes – P, Tv, Av, M, Bulb and E-TTL II Program flash AE – are accessed via a button on the top panel. The other button controls are in the same positions as they were on the Mark III body and access the same functions. The AF/on and AE Lock buttons protrude slightly higher to improve usability. So does the multi-controller key, which has also been redesigned to provide an improved shape.


Areas in which changes have been applied to improve usability are shown in the diagram above. (Source: Canon.)
Although most control buttons have improved stroke characteristics, we found the joystick multi-controller on the review camera somewhat ‘tighter’ than the similar controller on the EOS 5D Mark II at the start of the review period. Although it had loosened up slightly by the second week of usage, a hard push was usually required to change settings and even that wasn’t always successful. We often had to work from the right to the left in order to shift from tab to tab in the menu.

The menu is divided into nine tabbed sections. The table below provides details of the colour codes that make it easier to find where to look for different settings.








Shooting-related items




Image playback




Camera functions

Custom Functions



C.Fn settings




Registry for frequently-used menu settings and Custom Functions

The Live View function has been designed for press, studio product, architecture, fashion, portrait, nature and landscape photographers; in other words, for photographers who shoot static or slow-moving subjects. It’s easier to use when the camera is tripod-mounted than for hand-held shooting and users of this mode benefit from the high-resolution monitor.

Shooting video, which requires use of the Live View mode, is possible when the camera is hand-held – but not 100% successful, even with stabilised lenses. This is mainly because the design of the camera favours use of the viewfinder for framing shots – particularly with moving subjects.

One handling issue that concerned us – given our experiences with other video-capable DSLRs – was how long it would take to switch between shooting stills and recording video clips if you started in stills mode. With a camera designed for speed, this seemed to us to be quite important.

Unfortunately, Canon hasn’t included the direct switch for selecting between stills and video recording that it provided on the EOS 7D, along with a dedicated start/stop button for triggering video recording. On the Mark IV, The flash exposure lock (FEL) button doubles as a trigger for video recording. However, unless you’ve re-set certain Custom Functions beforehand, swapping between stills and video capture can be a laborious process. The procedure is as follows:
1. Open the menu and toggle along to the second page of the setup category and toggle down six items to Live View/Movie func. set. Press the Set button.
2. The top item in this sub-menu is LV stills/movie set. Hit the Set button and select Movies.
3. Turn the Quick Control dial to toggle down three items to the Movie rec. size. Press the Set button and select the size and frame rate combination you want. (1920 x 1080 at 25 fps is the top item.)
4. Press the menu button to exit the menu.
5. Now press the Set button to display the Live View image and select a shooting mode other than M.
6. Focus the subject.
7. Press the FEL button to start recording video.

From the default camera settings, this sequence involves 19 button presses before you reach the point where you focus the image plus another press to start the recording. When we timed this operation, the fastest we could swap from stills to video mode with this sequence was just over 15 seconds.

Imagine a situation where you have been shooting stills of a bird, animal or athlete and you suddenly need to swap to video capture. By the time the 15-second changeover time had elapsed, the event you wished to record in video would probably be over.

You can get around this problem to some degree by setting C. Fn IV-11 to Quick Start (<FEL> btn.), which lets you trigger movie capture by pressing the FEL button, even if you’re not in movie mode. But there’s still a delay of approximately 0.3 seconds before recording actually starts – and you may still need to go back to the menu for some additional toggling to configure other settings for movie capture.

This situation is common to all the DSLR cameras we’ve tested, although some can make the toggling sequence shorter. But all video-capable DSLRs require you to use Live View in the movie mode, and swapping can be time-consuming if you prefer using the viewfinder for shooting stills.

New Autofocusing System
All components of the AF system in the EOS-1D Mark IV – sensor, firmware and mechanism – have been re-worked to provide greater precision and improved operability. The AF sensor itself is a new, low-noise unit with 45 user-selectable points and improved functionality. (With the Mark III, only 19 AF points could be selected manually.)

Focus processing calculations and lens driving calculations are shared between a dedicated AF CPU and the camera CPU. Both processors are high-speed microchips, with a 48MHz 32-bit RISC used in the AF CPU and a 40MHz 32-bit RISC for the camera.

Although the AF sensor’s basic configuration and focusing optics are similar to those of the Mark III, AF precision has been substantially improved. Some of the AF points’ f/5.6-sensitive sensors now have two lines and the sensitivity of the f/2.8-sensitive line sensors has been boosted. The diagram below shows where these areas are located on the AF sensor.


The new AF sensor in the EOS-1D Mark IV. (Source: Canon.)

While the Mark III’s system also had 45 AF points, in the Mark IV, 39 of the 45 points are cross-type points, compared with 19 in the Mark III. The cross-type AF points are distributed throughout the sensor area to improve focus tracking.

As in the Mark III, the central AF point is the most sensitive with a new double-line design that can detect subjects even when they are grossly defocused. This minimises the need to drive the lens to find focus and makes AF control significantly faster.

The 39 points only operate as cross-type points during manual AF point selection. For auto AF point selection, the cross-type points are the same 19 points as on the Mark III. During manual AF point selection, the six AF points with linear sensors (or 26 points in auto AF point selection mode) work as horizontal line-sensitive detectors for maximum apertures up to f/5.6.

The AF points can be selected in groups comprising 45, 19 or 11 points or the inner or outer nine points. The cross-type AF points in the central row of sensors also include a line sensor that can detect vertical lines with EF lenses faster than f/2.8, improving focusing with low-contrast subjects. The new AF sensor can also detect vertical lines up to a maximum aperture of f/4 and horizontal lines to a maximum aperture of f/8. This makes precise autofocusing possible with the central point with horizontal-line detection for lenses whose maximum apertures lie between f/4 and f/8.

Firmware improvements centre on a new AI Servo II AF algorithm, which is used to calculate predictive focus. During predictive focusing, the AF tracking system will now ignore brief gaps in continuous focusing and skip to the next obtainable continuous focus point. This enables subject tracking to continue even if an obstacle, such as a post or branch, gets in the way. Predictive control will be based on the focus just before tracking was interrupted and resumes as soon as focus is regained.

The redesign of the CMOS sensor in the AF system has also aimed to minimise the effects of inherent noise, which can contaminate the focusing signal and make low-light focusing difficult. As with the EOS-1D Mark III, the sensitivity range of AF extends from EV -1 to EV +18 and the pattern of AF points seen in the viewfinder is unchanged. However, performance and functionality are substantially better with the new system.

The new AF system will also automatically detect and correct slight focus shifts due to different colours in light sources, resulting in more consistent performance. A dedicated light source detection sensor on the back of the pentaprism is used for this purpose. It’s especially useful with fluorescent lighting and mercury vapour lamps.

New AF Settings
The new AF system provides scope for considerable customisation so it’s no surprise to find EOS-1D Mark IV sports a few new focusing controls plus some tweaks to the controls provided in the previous camera. Release/Tracking priority has been added to the selections available in C. Fn III-3, enabling photographers to prioritise stable focus tracking of the subject.

This setting, which was offered on previous EOS-1D models, was absent on the Mark III. It prioritises stable focus tracking in the continuous shooting modes, engaging from the second shot in the burst. Many photographers will welcome its return in the new model by.

Spot AF has been added to C. Fn III-6, which controls Lens AF stop button functions. When C.Fn III-6-7 (Spot AF) is selected and a telephoto lens with AF Stop buttons is in use, the active area in the focusing line sensor is reduced for higher focusing precision, as illustrated in the diagram below.


This mode is useful when you want the lens to remain focused on a small part of the subject, such as an athlete viewed through a wire barrier or birds moving between branches. Spot AF works in all AF modes, regardless of the AF point selection method chosen. It is particularly effective when used with manual AF point selection. The selected AF point will blink brighter than usual for focus checking.

A new AI Focus AF setting has been added to the focus mode selections and the AI Servo AF function has been improved to provide better tracking of moving subjects with macro lenses. In addition, C. Fn III-16 lets you link selected AF points to vertical and horizontal camera orientations. The default setting is the same for both orientations. Users can also set different AF points for vertical and horizontal orientations.

AF point expansion (C. Fn III-8) options have been increased by the addition of an option for selecting all 45 points, a new feature in the 1D series. This increases the camera’s ability to track and focus upon moving subject anywhere it moves within the 45-point Area AF detection pattern. If the manually-selected AF point is unable to achieve sharp focus, this system increases the chance of focus being achieved quickly with one of the adjacent points. The diagram below shows some options available via this function.


AF point expansion options. (Source: Canon.)

When C. Fn III-8 is set for all 45 points to be used and AI Servo AF is selected, up to 18 AF points adjacent to the manually-selected AF point are called into play. Whenever the subject moves from one point to the next, the expanded AF points will also move with it and focusing will continue as long as the subject remains within the Area AF frame. With this facility, all 45 AF points can be accessible for high-speed continuous shooting.

C. Fn III-9 separates out the ability to enable/disable using the Multi-controller. C. Fn III-11 has been expanded with the addition of an option for switching to the registered AF point only when the AE Lock button is pressed. This is useful for photographers who want to alternate between two manually-selected AF points without changing the camera’s orientation. The setting name for option 1 has also been changed to Switch with Multi-controller.
Sensor and Image Processing
The sensor in the EOS 1D Mark IV is a brand new CMOS chip developed and manufactured by Canon. Measuring 27.9 x 18.6 mm it boasts an effective resolution of 16.1 megapixels. Each photosite has a surface area of approximately 5.7 microns, making them somewhat smaller than the 7.2 micron photosites on the 10.1-megapixel sensor in the EOS 1D Mark III.

The basic construction of the IR-blocking low-pass filter in front of the sensor chip is unchanged from the Mark III. However, Canon has added a fluorine coating to the upper surface of this filter to prevent dust from sticking to it.


The sensor unit in the EOS 1D Mark IV showing the overlying low-pass filter that vibrates to remove dust particles. (Source: Canon.)
The sensor in the 1D Mark IV uses gapless microlenses to optimise light-gathering capabilities and the distance between the microlenses and the photodiodes has been reduced to improve light-capturing efficiency. The diagram below shows the differences between the structure of the pixels in the 1D Mark IV and its predecessor.


The light transmission ability of the colour filter array covering the sensor has also been boosted and the internal structure of each photosite has been reconfigured, enabling Canon to place ISO 12,800 within the ‘normal’ sensitivity range of the camera. Whereas standard sensitivity range of the EOS 1D Mark III was from ISO 100 to 3200 with expansion to ISO 50 (low) and ISO 6400 (high), the Mark IV has a standard ISO range of ISO 100 to 12,800. It maintains the ISO 50 (low) but pushes the high sensitivity options upwards with three additional settings: H1 (ISO 25,600 equivalent), H2 (ISO 51,200 equivalent) and H3 (ISO 102,400 equivalent).

Achieving the maximum sensitivity level has posed some challenges for Canon’s designers and engineers who have used several strategies for drawing out the maximum light-capturing capabilities of each photosite. Developments in semi-conductor fabrication technologies have enabled Canon to shrink the circuitry around each photodiode so that the diode can take up a larger percentage of the light-capturing element. This improves photoelectric conversion efficiency.

According to Canon, the gapless microlenses, the higher photodiode area ratio (photodiode area divided by pixel size), the new colour filter material, the reduced microlens-to-photodiode space, the improved external noise suppression and the high-output preamp all enable the improved S/N ratio that underpins the higher ISO speeds, low noise and wide dynamic range of the Mark IV.

Signal conversion is now handled by individual amplifiers at each pixel site, reducing the time taken for the digital signal to reach the image processors. As in the EOS-1D Mark III, the sensor provides a one-line, 8-channel readout. It’s coupled to a circuit board containing two DiG!C 4 processors via circuitry that reads each photosite’s signal before sending it to the A/D converter, which has eight input channels. Canon claims the raw files leave the sensor with significantly less background noise than in the previous model.

Use of Dual DiG!C 4 chips was introduced with the EOS 5D Mark II to provide support for 14-bit raw file processing. The processors in the new camera have been purpose-built to complement the 16.1-megapixel sensor and Canon claims they operate at 30% faster speeds than the DiG!C III chips in its predecessor. The diagram below shows the workflow structure of the imaging system.


The diagram above shows how imaging data travels from the sensor, through the image processors to the memory cards. (Source: Canon.)

The DiG!C 4 chips work with a high speed DDR-SDRAM image buffer, which is large enough to support continuous bursts of up to 121 large JPEGs, 28 CR2.RAW files or approximately 20 RAW+JPEG pairs at 10fps, at full-resolution. Advanced processing algorithms underpin the camera’s HD movie recording capabilities and improve overall camera responsiveness.

The new processors underpin the 1D Mark IV’s live view shooting and video recording capabilities (more on this below). They also support new functions like face and motion detection, continuous subject tracking and Intelligent Contrast Correction. Significantly, they also enhance the dramatic extension of the camera’s sensitivity range.

Image Size/Quality
Like its predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark IV records images with a 3:2 aspect ratio and supports both CR2.RAW and JPEG still capture. There are four image sizes to choose from: 4896 x 3264, 4320 x 2880, 3552 x 2368 and 2448 x 1632 pixels. The S-RAW file originally introduced with the EOS-1D Mark III is provided and a new mRAW file format is added for photographers who require medium-sized raw files with full control over image processing.

As in the EOS-1D Mark III, ten selectable compression rates are available for each JPEG image size. Typical file sizes are shown in the table below.

File format


Image size

Recorded pixels

File Size

Maximum burst




4896 x 3264






3672 x 2448






2448 x 1632






4896 x 3264





4320 x 2880





3552 x 2368





2448 x 1632






















































HD Video Recording
Although video capture has become relatively commonplace in DSLR cameras of late, it remains rare in professional cameras. To date, only the ‘pro-sumer’ EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D and Nikon D3S models support video capture (with the D3S offering a lower 720p resolution than its rivals).

Like its ‘pro-sumer’ cousins, in Live View/Movie mode the EOS-1D Mark IV can record Full HD video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels in 16:9 aspect ratio with a frame rate of up to 30 frames/second. Frame rates are set automatically, depending on the NTSC/PAL video format setting, with 30 fps for NTSC and 25 fps for PAL. An additional 24 fps option for Full HD video, requested by photographers in the film industry, has been provided for users who wish to simulate the appearance of movie recordings.

Progressive scanning is used for all video capture, including the alternative lower resolution settings of 720 p (1280 x 720 pixels) and VGA (640 x 480 pixels). During recording, the picture is displayed on the screen in the aspect ratio for the selected recording quality. Typical clip sizes are shown in the table below.

Movie resolution


Frame rate

Recording time

File size

4GB card

16GB card

1920 x 1080

30, 25, 24

12 minutes

49 minutes


1280 x 720

60, 50

12 minutes

49 minutes


640 x 480

60, 50

24 minutes

1 hour, 39 minutes

165 MB/minute

C. Fn IV/11 (Start movie shooting) lets users select one of two ways to engage video recording, with the default being from the Live View shooting mode and an alternative Quick Start via the FEL button (which doesn’t require users to be in Live View to start recording video clips).You can’t use the viewfinder for shooting video because the mirror is locked up. Users must also set the Live View mode to Movies before they can access the movie recording settings. When a Live View is displayed, pressing the FEL button starts and stops video recording.

To shoot video clips you need memory cards with read/write speeds of at least 8MB/second. This means Class 6 or higher for SDHC cards or UDMA CF cards. File size is limited to a maximum of 4 GB per video clip and a single video can be no longer than 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
As in previous Canon DSLRs, video clips are recorded in the popular MPEG-4 AVC format with variable bit rate, using H.264 compression. Soundtracks are recorded monaurally using linear PCM (pulse code modulation). A built-in wind shield reduces wind noise automatically during outdoor shooting and there’s also a control that automatically suppresses aperture drive noise in video clips recorded with the camera’s microphone

Stereo soundtracks can be recorded by connecting an electret condenser stereo microphone with a 3.5mm stereo plug to the mic-IN terminal located under the cover on the left side of the camera body. Dynamic and phantom-powered condenser microphones cannot be used and the wind shield and aperture noise reduction features are disabled when an external microphone is fitted.


Movie capture in Live View mode. The elapsed time is shown in the top left corner of the screen. (Source: Canon.)

Most shooting modes can be used for video capture, and photographers have full control over aperture and shutter speed settings as well as recording sensitivity when the mode is set to M. User-selected settings for the Picture Style, Auto Lighting Optimiser and Peripheral Illumination Correction will be applied to video clips but noise-reduction processing is disabled.

ISO Auto can be selected or the ISO speed can be set manually, with an upper limit of ISO 12,800. The fastest shutter speed available is 1/4000 second, while the slowest is dictated by the frame rate, with Full HD recording limited to 1/30 second and the other resolutions 1/60 second. (Shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/125 second produce the smoothest recordings of moving subjects.)

Autofocusing is only available in the AF Live and Face Detection Live modes but only by manual activation. It’s pretty slow so photographers are advised to focus the lens before switching on video recording and the inability of the system to track fast-moving subjects has led us to downgrade the video performance of the Mark IV, even though the quality of focused clips is as good as those from the EOS 5D Mark II.

If the AF Quick mode has been selected, the camera will default to AF Live mode to enable autofocusing while a clip is being recorded. However, this may disrupt recordings or change exposures. Face Detection remains active if selected.


Autofocusing options in Live View shooting mode. (Source: Canon.)

Continuous AF is not supported during video capture and the focus confirmation beeper sound is suppressed if focus is lost and regained. Image stabilisation remains functional when an IS lens is fitted to the camera. The metering mode is not user selectable, with centre-weighted average the default mode. Exposure compensation can be set for up to +/-3 EV in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments.

Still pictures can be captured at the pre-set resolution and quality (including RAW+JPEG) by pressing the shutter button while a movie clip is being recorded. The one-second (approx.) gap in the video sequence can be patched-over with post-capture editing. A built-in ambient light detector controls LCD brightness and counteracts any white balance shifts during video recording.

Video clips recorded with the camera can be played back on the LCD monitor. A speaker is now provided for playing back video soundtracks and also voice memos recorded with the camera. (Audio tracks could only be played back via computer with the Mark III). The camera body has a built-in monaural microphone but a stereo jack is provided for connecting an external stereo microphone. In-camera trimming of clips is supported in playback mode.

JPEG Workflow Improvements
Canon has refined the JPEG workflow in the EOS-1D Mark IV to enable photographers who shoot JPEGs (either through desire or necessity) with the ability to produce the image characteristics they require straight from the camera. Few of the functions for improving JPEG workflow are new – but all provide photographers with the ability to obtain the best possible JPEG images without having to resort to raw capture.

The following functions are available to JPEG shooters:
Peripheral Illumination Correction, which provides in-camera correction for edge darkening that can match the characteristics of more than 85 Canon EF lenses introduced over the past 22 years. Data for up to 40 lenses can be registered in the camera and each camera body is supplied with pre-loaded correction data for approximately 29 lenses, which can be edited with the supplied EOS Utility software.
The Auto Lighting Optimiser function provides automatic adjustment to compensate for AE underexposure, flash underexposure, low contrast, or backlit underexposure (face detection). This is the first time the feature has appeared in an EOS-1 series camera. The default setting is Standard; optional settings include Low, Strong and Disable.
Highlight tone priority has the same specifications as it did on the EOS-1D Mark III, with two settings: Disable and Enable.
Picture Style is unchanged from the previous model and includes six pre-sets (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome) plus a memory bank where three User Defined settings can be stored. Canon has tweaked the Standard, Landscape, Portrait and Monochrome to produce sharper, higher-contrast images in response to user feedback.
For all settings, sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone can be fine-tuned across eight levels. For Monochrome, users can apply filter effects (to replicate yellow, orange, red and green filters with B&W film) and toning effects to apply sepia, blue, purple and green toning.
High ISO Noise Reduction. C.Fn II-2’s [0] setting has been changed to [Standard] so noise reduction is now applied by default. Processing levels are unchanged with Standard, Low, Strong and Disable selectable. Unlike the Mark III, where processing reduced burst sizes during continuous shooting, only the Strong setting reduces the maximum burst in the Mark IV.
Improved Auto white balance provides better colour fidelity when shooting under light sources with a strong red cast, such as tungsten and some mercury vapour lamps. Otherwise settings are the same as in the Mark III.

Playback and Software
Post-capture functions have changed little since the Mark III, with four playback modes: single image display, single image display with image size data, histogram display and histogram plus shooting information. You can scroll through recorded shots by turning the Quick Control Dial, which produces a movie-like effect when you do it quickly with a burst sequence. You can also zoom in and magnify part of the shot up to 10x by pressing the AF point selector/magnify button and zoom out again by pressing the AE lock/reduce button beside it.

Highlight alerts and AF points can be set for all modes. You can also call up index views showing four or nine thumbnails and jump in increments of one, 10 or 100 shots as well as by screen, shooting date or folder. Shots can be marked for erasure and then erased as a group. Full-screen views are reasonably sharp, thanks to the high display resolution.

The software bundle includes Canon’s EOS Digital Solution Disk V. 21.2. For Windows users it contains Digital Photo Professional 3.7, ZoomBrowserEX 6.4, EOS Utility 2.7, Photostitch 3.1, Original Data Security Tools 1.7, Picture Style Editor 1.6 and WTF Utility 3.0. Macintosh users get Digital Photo Professional 3.7, ImageBrowser 6.4, EOS Utility 2.7, Photostitch 3.2, Picture Style Editor 1.6 and WTF Utility 3.4. An electronic copy of the software manual is provided on a separate disk.

Not unexpectedly, the review camera’s performance was at least as good as – and often better than – its predecessor. In the absence of a new Canon lens to test, we carried out our Imatest tests with our own EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, which has been shown to be a good performer. Most action shots were captured with our EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens, which was lighter and more comfortable to use hand-held and provided a greater reach (equivalent to 390mm with a 35mm sensor).

Imatest showed resolution to be up to (and, at times, beyond) expectations for both JPEG and Raw files. Subjective assessment of JPEG files from the test camera showed them to be clean, detailed and colour accurate. Raw files had all the data photographers need to make top-quality images and delivered significantly higher resolution in our Imatest tests than JPEG files.

Resolution was highest at ISO 100 for both file types, with only slightly lower figures for ISO 50 and ISO 200. From ISO 200, a slow and gradual decline in resolution set in. This flattened between ISO 3200 and ISO 12,800 before continuing down to a sizeable drop at ISO 102,400 – particularly with JPEG files. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests at different ISO settings.


Our low-light test shots for both long and short exposures confirmed the Imatest findings. Image noise only became visible in long exposures at ISO 3200 and, even then, it could just be detected. Noise became obvious in long exposures at ISO 6400 but pictures were still printable at A3 size without it becoming intrusive. By ISO 12,800 and for higher sensitivities, both pattern and colour noise could be seen in test shots with long exposures but were much less visible in short exposures at the same ISO settings.

We found a huge difference in image quality – and noise visibility – between the Hi1 and Hi3 ISO extension settings. Whereas shots taken with Hi1 sensitivity were printable at A4 size with little visible noise, we wouldn’t recommend using the Hi3 setting, which produced blotchy pictures liberally sprinkled with coloured dots. Engaging Strong high ISO noise reduction processing reduced the visibility of the dots and made the pictures look marginally better when they were printed but tended to soften images.

For JPEG shots, the auto white balance setting failed to remove the orange cast of incandescent lighting but came closer to the desired neutrality than many cameras we’ve reviewed. Shots taken under fluorescent lighting showed little or no colour cast. The manual pre-sets over-corrected slightly but it was easy to pull colours back into line with the in-camera adjustments provided. CR2.RAW files were easily corrected in Digital Photo Professional.

We used a Kingston 32BG 266x CF card and a Verbatim Premium 4GB Class 6 SDHC card for out timing and video tests. Camera response times were as good as the Mark III’s. Despite its higher resolution, the review camera powered up ready to shoot in approximately 0.1 seconds.

Autofocus lag was consistently below 0.1 seconds and shutter lag was too brief to measure. It took 1.3 seconds to process each high-resolution JPEG and the same for each full-sized CR2.RAW file. RAW+JPEG pairs were processed within 2.1 seconds.

Both continuous shooting modes performed to specifications, the high-speed mode recording 10 frames in one second, regardless of whether they were JPEGs, CR2.RAW files or RAW+JPEG pairs. The low-speed mode managed just under the three frames/second specifications.

Burst mode processing times were the same for high and low burst speeds and dependent on the size of the image files. It took 3.4 seconds to process each 10-frame burst of high-resolution JPEGs, 6.0 seconds for a 10-frame burst of high-resolution CR2.RAW files and 10.1 seconds for 10-frame burst of RAW+JPEG files at maximum resolution.

We measured a lag of just over 0.3 second before video clips would start recording after the FE lock button was pressed. But recordings were generally very smooth, regardless of whether the CF or SD card was used to store the video clips.

The camera had some difficulty tracking fast-moving subjects in movie mode, which is to be expected as continuous autofocusing isn’t supported. In our tests, roughly 20% of each of the clips we shot of moving subjects was noticeably unsharp, with a higher percentage of errors occurring with subjects moving towards the camera.

The camera defaults to Live Mode AF when clips are being recorded and, although you can re-focus the image while shooting by pressing the AF-ON button, the lens still has to hunt for focus and a few frames are often blurred. Manual focusing is preferable for videos of moving subjects.

Like its predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark IV is a great camera for shooting fast-moving subjects with telephoto lenses. The improvements to the AF system appear to have delivered some genuine performance benefits. Focusing for stills capture is fast, accurate and able to be tailored to the photographer’s requirements. The new LCD screen is a pleasure to use and makes focus and exposure checking straightforward.

Handling has been improved without making huge changes to the control layout, enabling owners of the previous model to upgrade to a new body without having to re-learn where everything is. The image processing system does a great job of recording accurate skin tones in JPEG files, which contain all the delicate nuances you’d find in a typical portrait subject.

The video capability is a ‘nice to have’ addition that will be useful for some photographers – at some times. But most photographers will be purchasing this camera for shooting moving subjects, an area where the Mark IV’s focusing is patchy for video capture.

Essentially the EOS-1D Mark IV is most suited to stills capture, where it’s a top-flight performer. It will reward all photographers who are prepared to spend time learning to use its many capabilities and delight many professional shooters, regardless of whether they capture raw files or JPEGs. For sports and wildlife photographers, it’s the best camera we’ve used thus far.

Buy this camera if:
– You want a capable and versatile DSLR camera for sports or wildlife photography with telephoto lenses.
– You require fast burst speeds and a generous buffer capacity.
– You’d like the ability to shoot both still pictures and HD video clips with the same camera and would appreciate the jack for fitting a stereo microphone for video recordings.
– You could make use of the extended sensitivity range for still photography and video capture.
– You require a durable, weather-resistant camera for outdoor work.
Don’t buy this camera if:
– You require a 36 x 24mm sensor.
– You’re not prepared to explore and use the multitude of user-adjustable functions this camera offers.
– You require more automation than is provided with the available shooting modes (P, Av, Tv and M is all you get).
– You’re only interested in shooting movies.

JPEG images


Raw images converted to 16-bit TIFF format with Digital Photo Professional 3.7




Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.


Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


30-second exposure at f/5.6, 35mm focal length, ISO 400.


15-second exposure at f/9, 35mm focal length, ISO 3200.


8-second exposure at f/11, 35mm focal length, ISO 12,800.


8-second exposure at f/16, 35mm focal length, ISO 25,600. No noise reduction.


5-second exposure at f/18, 35mm focal length, ISO Hi2. No noise reduction.


5-second exposure at f/22, 35mm focal length, ISO Hi3. No noise reduction.


ISO 25,600, 32mm focal length, 1/21 second at f/4. No noise reduction.


ISO Hi3, 32mm focal length, 1/49 second at f/5. No noise reduction.


ISO 1000, 82mm focal length, 1/21 second at f/8.


Enlarged crop from the above image showing resolution.


ISO 12,800, 82mm focal length, 1/197 second at f/8.


Enlarged crop from the above image showing resolution.


Hi3 ISO setting, 82mm focal length, 1/1579 second at f/8.


Enlarged crop from the above image showing resolution.


ISO 640; 105mm focal length, 1/6 second at f/9.1.


300mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/790 second at f/8.


300mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/1024 second at f/8.


300mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/1024 second at f/10.


300mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/790 second at f/9.9.


Twelve frames from a continuous burst shot with the High-speed mode, showing the AF system’s ability to track a fast-moving subject; 300mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/1024 second at f/9.


A one-second sequence from a continuous burst shot with the High-speed mode; 300mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/1024 second at f/11.


Still frame from 1920 x 1080 Full HD video clip.


Still frame from 1280 x 720 HD video clip.


Still frame from VGA video clip.



Image sensor: 27.9 x 18.6 mm large single-plate CMOS sensor with 17 million photosites (16.1 megapixels effective); 3:2 aspect ratio
A/D processing: 14-bit
Lens mount: Canon EF
Focal length crop factor: 1.3x
Image formats: Stills – JPEG, CR2.RAW, mRAW, sRAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies – MOV (Video: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM)
Image Sizes: Stills – 4896 x 3264, 4320 x 2880, 3552 x 2368, 2448 x 1632; Movies – 1920 x 1080 at 30 / 25 / 24 fps (Approx 12 min); 1280 x 720 at 60 / 50 fps (Approx 12 min); 640 x 480 at 60 / 50 fps (Approx 24 min)
Image Stabilisation: Lens-based only
Dust removal: EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Shutter speed range: 30 to 1/8000 second plus Bulb, X-sync at 1/300 sec.
Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV in 1/3- or 1/2-EV increments
Exposure bracketing: AEB +/- 3EV in 1/3-stop or ½-stop increments
Self-timer: 2 or 10 second delay
Focus system: TTL phase detection AF with 45 (39 cross-type + 6 single-axis) selectable points and AF point expansion; Orientation linked AF point selection and AF point registration; AI Servo II AF algorithm; Automatic point-of-focus compensation for spectral source variation; Spot AF; Subject Tracking AF available
Focus modes: One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual focusing (MF)
Exposure metering: 63-segment TTL full-aperture metering with Evaluative, centre-weighted average, partial (approx. 8% of viewfinder at centre) and spot (approx. 3.5% of viewfinder at centre) modes
Shooting modes: Program AE, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual exposure
Picture Style/Control settings: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Def. 1 – 3
Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
Custom functions: 62
ISO range: ISO 100-12800 (L:50, H1: 25600, H2: 51200, H3: 102400)
White balance: Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom, Color temperature setting (2500-10000K); White balance correction and white balance bracketing features provided
Flash: External flash only
Sequence shooting: 10 fps / up to 120 shots max burst (90MB UDMA mode 6 compatible CF Card – JPEG Large) or 28 RAW
Storage Media: Dual slots for CompactFlash (Types I & II; UDMA compatible) and SD/SDHC memory cards
Viewfinder: Pentaprism with 100% coverage, -3.0 to +1.0 dpt adjustment, interchangeable focusing screen
LCD monitor: 3-inch Clear View II LCD (920,000 dots)
Live View modes: : Quick mode (Phase-difference detection); Live mode, Live face detection mode (Contrast detection); Manual focusing (5x/10x magnification possible)
Video Capture: Yes (1920 x 1080 at 30, 25, 24 fps, 1280 x 720 at 60, 50 fps, 640 x 480 at 60, 500 fps)
Data LCD: Yes
Playback functions: Single, Single + Info (Image-recording quality, shooting information, histogram), 4-image index, 9-image index, image rotate possible; Playback zoom: 1.5x to 10x; jump by 10 or 100 images, jump by screen, by shooting date, by folder, by movie, by stills; highlight alert; histogram; movie playback enabled (LCD monitor, video/audio OUT, HDMI OUT)
Interface terminals: Hi-Speed USB, Video OUT, HDMI, 3.5mm jack, remote control terminal (N3-type)
Power supply: LP-E4 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (wxhxd): 156.0 x 156.6 x 79.9 mm
Weight: Approx 1180 grams (body only)
RRP: $7299 (body only)
Distributor: Canon Australia; 1800 021 167; www.canon.com.au