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Customer Review

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon hits one out of the park, February 19, 2010
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)
I have been a Canon shooter for a while now but seriously considered jumping to Nikon with the release of the D3. I stuck it out with my 1D3 which, despite the negative reviews, performed exceptionally well for me.

When the D3S released it was all I could do to resist hitting the "buy" button. I wanted to see what the 1D4 specs looked like before I made my mind up to either stay with Canon or do like many other Canon pro body shooters and make the switch to Nikon.

The 1D4 released and I liked the specs, so I bought the camera. I was one of the first in the US to get my hands on a 1D4, I received mine at the end of January when the first few bodies landed. I've been shooting with it for a month now and I can say, it's an amazing body.

AF:
The autofocus system is noticeably superior to the 1D3's, which was outstanding to begin with. My 1D3 didn't have the sub-mirror problem that plagued other users, so in that respect I was lucky. My 1D3 had its quirks, like losing focus on subjects rapidly approaching or not really doing so well in very low light. The 1D4 not only remedies these quirks of the 1D3, it goes even further and takes an already great body and makes it exceptional. I've shot basketball games in dimly lit stadiums, I've shot outdoor (albeit winter) sports, I've shot birds, I've shot in studio and each and every time I'm impressed with the 1D4's performance.

ISO:
The high ISO is good, but not what I had hoped. I mean, with a little noise reduction in post processing I can easily get beautiful images at ISO 12800. Anything past 12800 and the images are for the most part unusable. There is some chroma noise at ISO 6400 and above, but the luminance noise is more noticeable. Despite having some grain to the 6400+ images there is amazing detail in the high ISO images. They clean up very nicely and produce print quality work. It is about 1 stop better performance than my 1D3, which is good. It's about even with my 5D2 with the slight advantage going to the 5D2. But the fact that it's close is amazing.

Controls:
I really like the new features like being able to register two different AF points based on camera orientation. I also like being able to have two AF points registered for each orientation. I can select two points in the horizontal position for example and while shooting hit the AE Lock button and toggle between them instantly. This is very helpful when shooting sports and other events. The ability to use the joystick to quickly select a new AF point is also a nice touch, one that I use often. The lack of a video button seems a bit odd (such as the one found on the 7D) but I don't really use the video function on DSLR's, so this is a moot point for me. Aside from a few under the hood changes, the controls are quite similar to the 1D3 cosmetically, something that's kind of comforting to long time 1D shooters.

Auto ISO:
This feature finally made it to the 1 series and I LOVE IT. I've never worried about Auto ISO in the past, mostly because Canon never really offered a solid implementation. I've been using it on my 1D4 and all I can say is "nice job!" It's very useful.

Overall:
I would say that the 1D4 is more of a 1D3n release. True, it does have a totally new 39 point cross-type sensor AF system and a vastly improved LCD screen along with some other tweaks, but nothing really all that different from the 1D3 that it replaces. I am very happy with the upgrade from the 1D3 to the 1D4 and would make the purchase again. It's a very solid system.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 12, 2010 3:25:30 PM PST
Bill E. says:
Nice review! How much did you have to pay to get EOS 1D MK IV that early? Are you considering selling your MK III?

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 10:55:18 PM PDT
Turlips says:
Is the auto focusing better than for 5D MK II ? Glad to know that anything over 6400 is noisy.

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 10:55:35 PM PDT
Turlips says:
Is the auto focusing better than for 5D MK II ? Glad to know that anything over 6400 is noisy.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2010 8:04:08 AM PDT
T. Harmsen says:
Now that I've had the camera for a couple of months, I will say this about the auto focus. While it's more robust than the 5D2 and it gives you more cross type sensors (5D2 only has the center point) the 1D4 seriously lacks in low light AF performance. For the weddings I shoot, my 5D2 more accurately and more quickly acquires focus than my 1D4 in low light. This is a bit alarming, and threads on various camera discussion boards like DPReview seem to indicate this is a well known problem with the 1D4. It's almost to the point where I can't use the body for weddings because I can't trust it to lock focus in low light.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 6:38:23 PM PDT
OC Hiker says:
6-29-2011. After over a year and various firmware updates, please update us about your concerns.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 7:59:35 PM PDT
T. Harmsen says:
I've pretty much stopped shooting with my 5D2. The firmware updates I've installed pretty much remedied the concerns I had with the AF system. While it still hunts a bit in low light, its manageable. I would buy the 1D4 again and I have no major concerns about its performance.
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