Low Light Event Photography with Canon 5D Mark IV

October 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Just wanted to share my first impressions of Canon 5D Mark IV performance in low light with high ISO settings. This is a field test of the new camera and my thoughts on how it compares to my 5D Mark III that I’ve been using for the past 4 years.

 

I photographed an annual Love in the Garden event in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden Sculpture Garden using the new camera with one lens - Canon EF 35mm f2 IS USM.

 

5D Mark IV ergonomics is basically the same as 5D Mark III, so there was no learning curve for me. I didn’t use the extra button below the joystick yet, but I can see that it would be useful for changing different types of focusing. I know some people configure it as their ISO button, but I’m so used to having “Set” button in combination with the Main Dial for changing ISO on my 5D Mark III that I configured it the same way on the Mark IV. The new camera is a little lighter, and I don’t know about others, but I can tell a difference.

 

The first thing that was truly striking about this camera was focusing speed in live view. Compared to the older model, it was night and day difference. If you shoot in live view mode, this will be enough to buy the 5D Mark IV. I was so used to using the joystick for moving the focusing point in live view that I kept forgetting about the touch screen focusing functionality. Even then, I was still impressed how much faster I could focus.

 

As far as single point (non-tracking) viewfinder focusing goes, I could also tell that there was improvement, although not as dramatic as in live view. I would say it’s about a 20% better than 5D Mark III, which is quite good. It is not as apparent until there is practically no light in the scene, then, you can tell that 5D Mark IV grabs focus better and faster.

 

High ISO performance is about the same as 5D Mark III or a little better. In practical use, I couldn’t tell a difference. The fact that the files are larger will make a greater difference for how much you can enlarge the photos though. Overall a good thing for people who make large prints.

 

One other thing that I’ve been waiting for, which is very important for my wedding work, is a faster SD card slot that was a problem for me on the Mark III. Since I shoot to CF and SD cards simultaneously, there have been some candid moments that I had missed with the Mark III because it would lock up while dumping its buffer through a slow SD slot.

 

I will add more observations to this post as I spend more time with this camera. Would I recommend buying 5D Mark IV? If you use live view and need larger files, definitely YES. Otherwise, 5D Mark III is still a very good camera.

 

Photos below have been processed with Adobe Lightroom CS. No noise reduction or sharpening applied. Several photos exposure adjustment was increased by half-a-stop or a full-stop.

 

 

Venue: Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Organizer: New Orleans Museum of Art

Music performances: Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Mojeaux, and DJ Nikki Pennie

Photographer: Roman Alokhin

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  ISO 5000, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom

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   ISO 3200, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 3200, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_021420160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0214

 

  ISO 2500, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_022020160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0220

 

  ISO 8000, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_023320160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0233

 

  ISO 6400, +1 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_023520160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0235

 

   ISO 6400, +1 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 12800, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 12800, +1 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 12800, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_030620160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0306

 

  ISO 8000, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_032320160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0323

 

  ISO 12800

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  ISO 5000, +1 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 6400, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom

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  ISO 3200

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  ISO 8000, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_044120160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0441

 

  ISO 12800 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_051620160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0516

 

  ISO 12800 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_057920160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0579

 

  ISO 12800 20160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_059620160924_Love_in_The_Garden _RAlokhin_0596  

  ISO 12800, +0.5 Exposure in Lightroom

 

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