Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs 5D Mark III side-by-side comparison

Key Features 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Introduced 2016 2012
Image Processor Digic 6+ Digic 5+
Sensor Size Full Frame Full Frame
Megapixels 30.4M 22.3M
Native ISO 100 to 32000 100 to 25600
Auto-focus 61 points 61 points
Video 4K 30p HD 1080p
Continuous shooting 7 Frames per Second 6 Frames per Second
Chassis Mag Alloy Mag Alloy
Exposure Control 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
Processor/Storage 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Image Processor Digic 6+ Digic 5+
Image Storage 1 CF Type I (UDMA 7 compatible) CF Type I (UDMA 7 compatible)
Image Sensor 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Sensor Size Full Frame, 36mm x 24mm Full Frame, 36mm x 24mm
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Aspect Ratio 3:2 3:2
Megapixels 30.4M 22.3M
Native ISO 100 to 32000 100 to 25600
Extended ISO 50 to 102400 50 to 102400
Color Filter Primary Color Primary Color
Low Pass Filter Yes Yes
Auto-focus 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Total points 61 points 61 points
Cross points 41 points 41 points
Dual-Cross points (f2.8) 5 points 5 points
Light Range EV -3 to 18 EV -2 to 18
AF micro-adjustments Yes Yes
Exposure 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Meter 150,000-pixel RGB+IR, 252-zone 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
Range EV 0 - 20 EV 1 - 20
Compensation +/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments +/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
Flicker Detection Yes No
Shutter 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Type Electronic focal-plane Electronic focal-plane
Low Vibration YES NO
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/8000 Sec 30 to 1/8000 Sec
Bulb Mode Yes Yes
Release Cable RS-80N3 RS-80N3
LCD 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Type 3.2" 1.62M dots 3.2" 1.04M dots
Articulated No No
Touchscreen Yes No
Viewfinder 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Type Optical Pentaprism Optical Pentaprism
Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.71x 0.71x
Focus Screen Fixed Fixed
Stills 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Lens optical correction Peripheral illumination, Chromatic aberration, Distortion correction, Diffraction correction, Digital Lens Optimizer Peripheral illumination, Chromatic aberration, Distortion correction
Max Image Resolution 6720px x 4480px 5760px x 3840px
Aspect ratios 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1 3:2
Multiple Exposure YES YES
Interval Timer YES NO
Video 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
4K Video MOV 30p NO
1080HD Video MOV/MP4 60p MOV 30p
720HD Video MOV 120p MOV 60p
4K Frame Grab YES NO
Flash 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Modes E-TTL II Auto Flash, Metered Manual E-TTL II Auto Flash, Metered Manual
X-sync 1/200sec 1/200sec
Compensation +/- 3EV in 1/3 increments +/- 3EV in 1/2 or 1/3 increments
Bracketing Yes Yes
2nd Curtain Sync Yes Yes
HotShoe/ PC terminal YES/YES YES/YES
Connectivity 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Hardwired SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hi-Speed USB
HDMI Mini out (Type C, HDMI-CEC) Mini out (PAL/ NTSC)
Headphone Stereo mini jack Mini jack
External microphone Stereo mini jack Stereo mini jack
Wifi Internal IEEE802.11b/g/n)(2.4 GHz only) External WFT-E7
GPS Compatibility USA,Russia,Japan NO
GPS Accuracy 30M NO
Power 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Battery Life Approx. 900 shots Approx. 950 shots
Battery Charger LC-E6E LC-E6
Car Charger CBC-E6 CBC-E6
AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6N ACK-E6
Physical 5D Mark IV 5D Mark III
Construction Magnesium Alloy Magnesium Alloy
Environment 0 – 40 °C, 85% or less humidity 0 – 40 °C, 85% or less humidity
Size 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm 152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm
Weight Approx. 800g Approx. 950g

The Canon 5D Mark IV is their latest digital camera to bear the single digit 5 and here we will look at the key differences with the previous Canon 5D Mark III.

canon eos 5d mkiv vs 5d mkiii comparison

10 Key Differences

1. Sensor

The camera sports a new 30.4M pixel sensor that sits well above the previous 22.3M pixels of the Mk III but doesn’t challenge the 5Ds 50.6M pixels. All are of course full-frame 36mm x 24mm in a 3:2 aspect ratio. So a good leap in resolution and it includes a low-pass filter.

The other major change for the sensor is that it is a Dual-Pixel type, proprietary to Canon, that enables fast Phase Detection Auto-focus during live-view or video recording. When the mirror is up the camera cannot use the standard 61 point focus array so this Dual-Pixel sensor enables the camera to keep track of the subject much better than alternative methods. Using the touch-screen the user can quickly select the desired point of focus during recording.

In ISO sensitivity terms the overall range remains the same at ISO 50-102,400 expanded. However, the top native setting goes up from ISO 25,600 to ISO 32,000.

Canon have promised that even given these upgrades the Dynamic Range is an improvement on the 5D Mk III. Example images are tending to support that claim.

2. Processor

Looking at the video breakdown of the 5D Mk IV it appears the camera has several processors, a Digic 6+ and Digic 6 are used to both control the camera and to process and store the images. Another chip is apparently used for the Digital Lens Optimizer. The 5D Mk III was feeling a little tardy in comparison to some newer models. The upgrade of the 5D Mk IV from a Digic 5+ to a Digic 6+ processor will improve speed as well as image quality and noise reduction. Frames per second improves from 6 to 7 fps.

Image storage is similar with dual-slot CompactFlash and SD cards although with the new processor this should see faster read/write times with faster cards.

canon 5d mkiv card slots

3. Dual Pixel RAW Output

One of the newest and interesting features to come with the new camera is the output of RAW data from the Dual Pixels. Effectively making 2 images that can be manipulated in post process to effect certain aspects of the image.

These aspects are:

  • Focus micro adjustment
  • Bokeh Shift
  • Ghosting Reduction

Just how effective these are depends on the lens and shooting conditions so they may prove useful but we will have to wait to try it out. Adjustments can only be made in Canon DPP software supplied with the camera.

4. Auto-focus with Mirror Down

The Canon 5D Mark IV has a 61 point auto-focus system that is similar to that of the 5D Mark III. It still has 41 cross type points but the points now cover a larger vertical area. AF area can now be selected with a new button under the rear joystick control. Canon choosing not to go with the previous 7D MK II toggle switch around the joystick. This presumably requires less movement of the hand to control the switch.

canon 5d mkiv vs mkiii rear controls

The auto-focus now works down to -3EV, the Mk III was -2EV, making auto-focus in moonlight possible.

When using long lenses with extenders the widest aperture often goes out to f8 making most camera auto-focus systems unusable. This camera can now auto-focus at all 61 points at f8 with up to 21 points remaining cross-type with the right lenses. The Mark III could with the updated firmware use just the one central point at f8.

5. In-camera Digital Lens Optimiser and Diffraction Correction

As well as being able to correct for peripheral brightness and chromatic aberrations the same as the previous cameras, the new MK IV can correct for lens distortion and lens diffraction. These in-camera corrections are lens specific for Canon lenses.

6. 4K Video Recording and Frame Grab

DCI 4K video is added at 30/25/24fps rates and recorded at 4096 x 2160 pixels 4K (Motion JPEG). The rates of Full HD and HD have improved to 60fps and 120fps whilst both MOV and MP4 recording formats can be used.

Fresh from the 760D is the HDR Movie mode but here it is in Full HD at 30i/25i. This records at x2 speed and then combines 2 frames to make a single HDR frame with better exposure/contrast. This could prove very popular for church weddings or any other high contrast scenes.

Using the new Frame Grab feature you can easily extract an 8.8M pixel still image from the 4K video whilst reviewing the video playback. These images are of course not going to match the quality of the full 30M pixel still images but can be very useful non the less.

7. Exposure Control

A new meter similar to the 7D MKII with a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252-zone metering. This replaces a 63 zone Dual Layer SPC of the Mark III.

The new AutoWhiteBalance (Ambience priority/White priority) selection is added from the 5Ds/r cameras that either takes its cue from the ambient light or tries to ensure the whites are kept white.

Also first introduced on the 7D MKII is the anti-flicker detection at both 100 and 120Hz to counter problems with shooting sequences in artificial lighting giving unwanted exposure and color variations. Warnings are visible in the viewfinder and shutter delayed until peak light conditions.

8. LCD Touch Screen

The 3.2 inch LCD size has been retained but the screen resolution is up from 1040K dots to 1620K dots for improved image review and analysis. The screen also incorporates ‘reinforced glass’.

At last the 5D gets a touchscreen. This can used for menu functions, quick control settings, image review and touch-shutter. All the features that make it so popular with users of the lower cost models. It also very useful for focus point selection in live-view and video shooting.

From the 5Ds/r there is included a Custom Quick Control Screen that the user can customize with building-block type settings to make the screen of their choice.

9. Wi-Fi, USB3 and GPS Tracking Connectivity

Another first for the 5D is the addition of internal Wifi that adds connectivity for remote control and image transfer. This is made possible by changing the construction to allow for a plastic top over the pentaprism area. This allows for both the Wi-fi and GPS modules to function efficiently.

Using Wi-fi the camera can connect to smartphones, tablets, printers, ftp server Canon Connect Station and Canon Image Gateway. It also allows the camera to be controlled from a remote computer using EOS Utility or Canon Camera Connect App on Apple iOS or Android.

USB3 socket is added for higher speed cable connection but as with the 7D Mk II and 5Ds/r the cable protector provided must be used with this to avoid any damage and warranty issues.

canon 5d mkiv vs mkiii left side

GPS can be used to keep track of your location and added to image file data for later identification on computer mapping software. The GPS unit can receive positioning information from US, Russian and Japanese services, unless the country you are in restricts such usage. A note you must be careful to observe when traveling in foreign countries.

10. Customizable Viewfinder Information

The 5D Mk IV has all the normal out of frame shooting data in the viewfinder but also not includes some customizable in frame information about the cameras settings along with focus points and electronic level. Each available item can be enabled in the relevant menu settings page.

Other Changes.

IPTC file Information

The International Press and Tele Communications specifies a broader range of metadata to add to images in-camera. This data includes 39 parameters such as descriptions for Image Content, Model Rights, Image Rights, Image Status, Contact Information along with Event and Location. This can now be set up in-camera and will no doubt be welcomed by the many press photographers.

N3 Remote Control Socket

The remote socket has been moved to the front right side (as viewed from front). This makes space for the other connections to be grouped together on that side.


So far we have been introduced to a camera that meets the expectation that photographers have of Canon and adds a little extra too. This camera will sell without question to those who can and want to meet the asking price. The second-hand camera shops are already filling up with 5D Mk III as people try to maximize their returns and get their hands on the Mark IV. Only Sony can spoil the Canon Party but that looks very unlikely given their weaker market position.

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