47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
A huge step up from the mk III,
This review is from: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV 16.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and 1080p HD Video (Body Only) (Electronics)
(Edited to fix my poor grammar and reword a few things to be more clear)
The 1D mk III was my first 1-series body. Before that I had, in reverse order, a 5D, a 20D, and 300D. Each step along the way was nicer and nicer. I couldn't imagine a better camera than my 1D mk III, but now I have it.
Over time (mostly through reading about the camera) I learned that my mk III had poor autofocus. I had an early version with the defect, but also because the mk III apparently did not live up to the autofocus of the 1D mk IIn. I had the defect fixed, and my auto focus was better, but still not as good, or so I had read, as the mk IIn autofocus. I can attest that I certainly felt frustrated with the mk III autofocus on a regular basis.
I haven't been to a sporting event yet, so I can't speak to that kind of focusing, but in good light with a stationary subject my gut feeling is that, yes, focusing is better in the mk IV than it was in the mk III. I can also attest that in near darkness conditions, such as when I can't even see my subject (and a 1.2 lens), the autofocus is astounding. Astounding there is relative; in this case I mean it often acquires focus, which is quite a feat in near total darkness.
This camera is 16MP instead of 10MP, but so far I haven't noticed much of a different in quality from the smaller photosites. Canon said the microlenses were an improvement, and I'm quite willing to believe them.
My ReallyRightStuff L-bracket from my mk III fits perfectly, which is a nice bonus. It uses the same batteries as my mk III was well. The mk IV doesn't come with a wall adapter like the mk III did, but I have a mk III so it wasn't a terrible loss for me.
The battery life is supposedly down with the larger sensor. Canon claims something like 1200 shots I think, while the mk III supposedly got 1900. I know I usually got 7000 per battery if I drained a battery over a few months, or about 12000 if I shot a major event in a single day. While the battery performance still seems good (I didn't start with a fresh battery, and I've been out in the cold a lot with it), it is definitely not as long-lived as in a mk III body. The battery smart-logic only understand shutters, and doesn't keep track of video, so shooting movies will play havok with matching up a shot count to the battery life.
The aesthetics of the menu system are much improved. It is basically the same menus as the mk III, but they feel more polished now.
The high iso is, well, high. I won't lie to you: at H3 you get something barely above garbage out of the camera; but you get something! It's absolutely astounding to be able to shoot in that much darkness. H2 is pretty bad, and H1 is kind of all-right. And I haven't found anything that needed any of the H modes; 12800 has been more than adequate for playing around in. I'm quite happy with the exended ISO, and noise at that level is something I expect. The camera can be pushed further with H3 than I even pushed B&W film, and the results are quite good for the circumstances.
When you stick to ISO 12800 or lower the results are quite spectacular. My gut feeling was that 12800 is about as good as 3200 on the 1D mk III, but I hadn't specifically compared them to see. I've uploaded a comparison picture to Amazon showing two shots that compare the ISO. The mk IV 12800 definitely seems to be better than the mk III H1 (6400).
I like the new rotation-selectable AF points. I like the new corner brightening options.
The video I've barely played with. Auto focus in video sucks, so you need to manual focus. The lack of a level control on audio-in is a serious deficiency. The video does look good though. I've barely played with it though, and I've never owned a video camera (I've only owned a film-based movie camera), so I'm not sure what I can say about it. I do know that it takes a long time to upload a minute of Full HD to YouTube.
I guess that is all I can think of at the moment.
I like my new camera.
Location: Socorro, NM USA
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