Hands-On Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Technology

After some time I got my hands on the top model from Canon, the 1DM4. This camera is very interesting, outside is same as 1Ds Mark III, but components are different … better. I haven’t ever hold the 1Ds Mark III, so I cannot compare these two cameras when you will use it. One thing I can tell you, it kicks!

Some technical stuff

The dimensions are the same as previous model, how I already sad, it uses the same batteries. The main difference is the sensor. It has APS-H type, not FullFrame. The APS-H has crop factor equal to 1.3 so it is right in the middle between FullFrame and APS-C. On one hand I don’t understand, why there is this sensor, but on the other hand the camera is designed for photojournalists. With that crop of 1.3 they can get closer to subject, that is the truth. But they could get close even with the FullFrame model.

What is absolutly new is this 45 point AF system designed by Canon. Each of this points you can select. Focusing is very fast and precise with good L-series glass. It is also great with tracking the subject even in worse conditions. In combination with 10 FPS (Frames Per Second) it is deadly weapon in hands of sport photographer.

ISO can go from 50 – 102 480, but on the highest setting the shot will look like it was taken using a cell phone. In range of 100 – 400 the shot is noisefree, for more tests in low-light performance you can check out DPReview or DIGITALRev’s video Canon 1DM4 vs. Nikon D3s.

Sample image

I didn’t test this camera on pixels or anything like it, but on the most important thing for me and that is noise. There was just one HUGE trouble … I was inside so I couldn’t get a sharp shot on ISO 100, but I tried. I was working my way up in the ISO menu and stopped at ISO 4000. To be honest, I could see the noise even on the LCD screen and that wasn’t a good think.

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Noise Performance

Shots were taken with Canon EF 17-40mm f/4, mostly @17mm. This is a great lens for landscapes and it’s wideness you can see especially inside some house.


This camera is really doing great in low light situations and you can make shots in a dark room lit only by candles. But there is also a big BUT, and for me it is the sensor. Why APS-H!? Why not Full frame? This is one place where Nikon kicks Canon’s ass, the D3s if Full Frame and it’s noise reduction is great, even better in comparison with 1DM4.

So is it worth it? If you are a studio photographer, then yes. Otherwise I’d rather go for Nikon.


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