There's always lot of new mirrorless cameras coming out, so why now in Spring 2020 is the Canon 5D Mark IV still my go to every day camera?
When this camera first came out it got a lot of hate and most people thought that it was extremely overpriced at $3,499, the specs were lacking and that Canon had killed the 5D line. Now I admit at first I was one of these people because it’s really easy to get caught up in the specs of a camera, but there’s a few things that make so much more of a real world difference than any outrageous specs can.
Number one is the ease of use. This camera is so easy to use, the autofocus is some of the best around, the menus are extremely easy to navigate and the straight out of camera colors usually look great and take hardly any post processing to get the look that you’re going for. When you’re shooting on a camera that doesn’t have great autofocus there's a lot of shots that just aren’t possible without reliable autofocus and you have to really know how to work with manual focusing. Which is totally fine, but sometimes you just don’t want to, or you’re looking for a gimbal shot that doesn’t allow for it.
Number two that’s the build quality. In my opinion there aren’t many tougher cameras out there than the 5D Mark IV. I use this camera every day so it is in my hand a lot and it just feels so solid in the hand. You know you're holding a quality piece of gear that can take the everyday wear and tear of working photographers. I’ve dropped this thing, it’s tipped over and fallen down lens first on the tripod, its got scratches all over it, I’ve even taken some falls with it in my hand down on some wet ocean rocks in the rain and it never stops.
The cold is never an issue, I live in New Hampshire so sometimes I’m using it in negative degree weather and it never freezes up, my Panasonic freezes up all the time especially in the cold. Even in normal weather there’s also been quite a few instances where the camera will just stop working, I’ll have to actually take the battery out and restart the camera and I have to completely re-do the previous shot, this is one of my biggest complaints about the S1. That really can’t happen especially in run n gun situations. But this, it starts right up in a couple of seconds and it’s ready to go.
One of the other most important things to me is the Dual-Card slots. I know I hear it all the time people saying that it’s 2020 you don’t need dual card slots because they’re all pretty good now and they “hardly ever” fail. And that’s not really something that I’m okay with. People say “I’ve been shooting for X amount of years and I’ve never had a problem.” Which is great for them, but let’s be honest. Cards do sometimes fail, certain files do get corrupted and lost. If I’m using my camera for any type of professional work, dual card slots are non negotiable for me.
If you’re shooting weddings, you’re shooting events, are you willing to say “sorry I just lost some of the most important moments from your wedding, or I know you paid me to take pictures of your important event but the card actually broke so I don’t have them." This one I won’t even argue with people. It’s like saying, I’ve been wearing a seatbelt for X amount of years and I’ve never needed it yet. You don’t need it, until you need it. This has been the biggest thing that's kept me from buying an EOS R. They’re already so close as it is, but to me this puts it in a completely different category. I personally would not use a camera that only has one card slot on a job that I’m being paid for.
Now with that all being said, every camera has it’s drawbacks. Would I recommend this camera in 2020? Yes but it depends on what you intend to use it for. I think its a little bit different if this is a camera you use every day vs something that you maybe just use once a week. You just have to make some tradeoffs and find the one that works best for what you need it for. If dual card slots aren’t an issue then buy the EOS R. It’s essentially the same camera for a much greater value at this point.
I use this mostly for real estate, some people would say it is a little overkill for real estate but I love the images that come out of it and I’ve actually been using it on a lot more commercial video shoots for gimbal work because of the autofocus and everyday photography because i love the way the images look, and I love the straight out of camera look from the video.
To me, I still love the look and feel of a DSLR the solid click of the shutter is unmatched by mirrorless cameras. The 5D Series typically comes out every four years so we could be seeing a new one this year which will be interesting to see how it compares to the rumored EOS R5 and 1DX Mark III. Those specs seem a little too good to be true, but we will see soon! This was just a reminder not to get too caught up on specs and realize that sometimes the simplest things go overlooked. Let me know what your go-to “everyday” camera is and why down in the comments.