Are you trying to decide which camera to get, the Canon EOS R5 vs the 5D Mark IV? In this article, I explain everything you need to know about these two cameras: what they offer, how they differ, and why you should buy one over the other.
By the time you’re finished, you’ll know which Canon camera is right for you. Let’s get started.
Canon EOS R5: Overview
I go deeper into the technical details later on in the article, but the EOS R5 features a 45 MP full-frame sensor and records uncropped 8K/30p video.
Unfortunately, many videographers have reported overheating issues during 8K recording that causes the camera to shut down. Another drawback is the high price tag (the EOS R5 retails for around $3900, body only). If you frequently do high-end professional jobs, you’re probably used to spending this kind of money (or more) on a camera.
However, if you’re an amateur or even a professional who doesn’t need 45 MP of resolution, the R5 is overkill.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: Overview
The 5D Mark IV is a full-frame Canon DSLR released back in 2016. Again, I get into more technical details later on, but note that the camera packs 30.4 MP and records 4K/30p video; hence, it is aimed at experienced wedding, portrait, and nature/wildlife photographers, as well as videographers.
The 5D Mark IV constitutes the fourth generation of the 5D series, and it does represent a big improvement over the previous models. You get a touchscreen, Dual-Pixel RAW technology, and upgraded video quality.
The 5D Mark IV has a few drawbacks, however. The 4K video doesn’t use the entire sensor but instead adds a 1.6 crop factor. And it uses a Motion JPEG codec with a bitrate of 500 Mbps – which offers great quality but creates extremely heavy files.
Finally, if you’re an action photographer, you may be frustrated by the AF system, which doesn’t perform very well in low light without plenty of contrast between the subject and the rest of the scene.
All in all, the 5D Mark IV is an excellent camera that delivers high-quality RAW files with a very good dynamic range. It represents a natural next step in the 5D series.
Canon EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Build
While the 5D Mark IV and the EOS R5 feature similar sizes and designs, the EOS 5D Mark IV is bigger and heavier than the R5. Take a look at the EOS R5 specs:
- Weight: 1.63 lb/738 g
- Volume: 72.6 in3/1190.11 cc
- Width: 5.43 in/138 mm
- Height: 3.86 in/98 mm
- Thickness: 0.31 in/88 mm
And compare them to the specs on the 5D Mark IV:
- Weight: 1.96 lb/890 g
- Volume: 81.25 in3/1331.4 cc
- Width: 5.93 in/150.7 mm
- Height: 4.58 in/116.4 mm
- Thickness: 2.99 in/75.9 mm
Rear LCD screen
Both the 5D Mark IV and the EOS R5 sport rear LCD screens, but while the size is identical, the screen resolution on the R5 is better (2100K dots of resolution versus 1620K dots on the 5D Mark IV). Additionally, the R5’s screen is fully articulating, while the 5D Mark IV’s screen is fixed in place.
Neither electronic viewfinders nor optical viewfinders are obviously better than the other; each type of viewfinder has pros and cons.
The EOS R5 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF). So when looking through the viewfinder, you’ll see a small screen, the quality of which depends on the resolution and refresh rate. The EOS R5 has a 5.76M-dot OLED display that refreshes at 120 fps but can be used at 60 fps (if you want to save battery).
The 5D Mark IV has an optical viewfinder (OVF). That way, you can see the scene you’re shooting as it actually is (not based on a digital image). It doesn’t depend on high-level technology, only on your lens optics, and it requires no battery.
Memory card slots
The EOS R5 has two memory card slots. One is for SD cards – the most popular type of card among amateurs and professionals – while the second slot is for CFexpress cards and is aimed at a narrow niche of professional photographers.
The EOS 5D Mark IV has two memory card slots: one for SD cards and the other for CF cards. It accepts UDMA 7 with a write speed up to 167 MB per second.
EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Sensor
While both cameras feature a full-frame CMOS sensor, the image quality and resolutions do differ.
The EOS R5 sports a 45 MP sensor and full-frame 8K/30p RAW video capabilities. It features in-body image stabilization that lets you work handheld at slower shutter speeds, and it has a maximum ISO of 51200 (extendable to 102400). It also has 14.6 stops of dynamic range.
The EOS 5D Mark IV has a 30.4 MP sensor and records 4K video at 30 fps. The ISO is also extendable to 102400, but the maximum “standard” value is 32000 (note that, with extended sensitivities, you lose dynamic range and get more noise). However, the sensor is good for lower-light conditions and produces very high-quality files.
EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Autofocus
The EOS R5 features a whopping 5940 focus points. It also has a built-in focus motor that moves the lens when autofocusing, and this lets you use the R5 with a wider variety of lenses (i.e., you can work with glass that doesn’t have a focus motor of its own).
The AF covers 100% of the sensor and uses phase-detection technology for both photography and video. Its powerful tracking capabilities work for humans, animals, and vehicles.
The EOS 5D Mark IV has 61 focus points covering up to 80% of the sensor. Its tracking mode has six customizable settings to adjust sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration, etc. Phase detection is available when shooting photos, but not when shooting video.
EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Lens mount
If you already own Canon lenses, then pay careful attention to the 5D Mark IV and EOS R5 lens mounts, which will determine whether the camera you buy is compatible with your current glass.
The EOS 5D Mark IV uses EF lenses but cannot shoot with EF-S, RF, and EF-M lenses, so if you plan to transition from a mirrorless camera or APS-C DSLR, you may need to purchase all-new optics.
The EOS R5 natively mounts RF lenses, and you can mount EF lenses via an adapter. Only EF-M and EF-S lenses are unusable.
EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Additional features
The R5 and the 5D Mark IV offer many of the features we know and love, such as HDR imaging, Dual-Pixel RAW, slow-motion recording, and time-lapse recording. However, there are some differences worth mentioning:
The EOS R5 reaches up to 12 frames per second using the mechanical shutter and 20 frames per second using the electronic shutter, and you can shoot for up to 350 JPEGs and 180 RAW files.
The EOS 5D Mark IV shoots at 7 fps when using AE/AF tracking. The buffering allows you to maintain this speed for unlimited JPEGs or 21 RAW files. (Using Live View with AF tracking, the maximum shooting speed is 4.3 fps.)
The EOS R5 supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless connections (in fact, it’s the first Canon camera to have built-in 5 GHz connectivity). It’s also the first camera that allows automatic cloud backup – that way, images are synced with your computer. The R5 doesn’t have a built-in GPS, so if you want to geotag your photos, you must connect to your smartphone and add the information separately.
The EOS 5D Mark IV includes WiFi and NFC connectivity options, so you can pair the camera with your smart device or laptop. You can get the EFT-E7 unit to extend the WiFi distance and enhance remote capture. The 5D Mark IV also features a built-in GPS module for geotagging your images.
EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Battery
The EOS R5’s removable battery lasts around 320 shots (according to CIPA figures). To double the battery life, consider buying the BG-R10 battery grip that fits two LP-E6NH batteries.
The EOS 5D Mark IV’s battery lasts up to 900 shots – and if you need to extend the battery life, you can buy the BG-E20 external grip, which holds up to two LP-E6/LP-E6N batteries. Keep in mind that, while the 5D Mark IV’s design is very similar to the older EOS 5D Mark III, their battery grips are not compatible with one another.
Canon EOS R5 vs 5D Mark IV: Final words
The choice between the EOS R5 and the EOS 5D Mark IV is a tough one, especially on a tight budget. The Canon EOS R5 offers superior autofocus, faster continuous shooting, better video, and higher resolution, but the 5D Mark IV features a better battery, an optical viewfinder, and a much lower price (around $2700 versus $3900).
In the end, picking the right camera is about meeting your requirements, so hopefully this article gave you what you need to determine which camera is best for your photography!
Now over to you:
Which camera do you plan to buy, the 5D Mark IV or the EOS R5? And why do you plan to buy it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!