This year, I had only $2,000 to spend on a way to upgrade my camera setup and prior to mid-December I was dead set on FINALLY purchasing a Canon 70-200mm lens. I was even going to stoop to F/4 territory if I had to. I wanted a lens that superseded the ‘zoom with your feet’ rule because by the time I get close enough, the moment is over OR the subject is aware of my existence and the moment is interrupted. I’ve found candids when I rent a 200mm lens are always more natural, rich and easy. The subjects always give their best photo to my sensor because I’m over 50 feet away.
I still want to eventually purchase that lens and maybe that’ll finally happen this year. The other lens I want is to sell my ‘kit lens’ 24-105 f/4 and purchase the 24-70 f/2.8. It’s built better and has a much better sharpness to it and that extra Bokeh. Sigh….another $1500 lens. I don’t do this professionally so I have to piecemeal these things out.
I purchased a new camera body this year. I really didn’t need to but it happened. July of 2015 is when I acquired the 5D Mark III and while the body still has more capability than I’ve yet to unlock, it was getting a bit long in the tooth. I bought it on its last year of production because in 2016, the Mark IV came out and rumors indicate a Mark V will be coming out next October but each 5D costs a little bit more. The Mark IV was $3200 and the V will probably be $3500 which is way outside of my price range on day one. Buying professional cameras on their last year of production will probably end up being my way of doing business.
A year ago and even 2 years ago, I wanted the 5D Mark IV but it always hovered around $3,0000. Too rich for me. Then on Black Friday this year, it dropped to $2499. Amazon was doing a 15% back offer for Prime members so out the door price would be $2150. I still waited….the 70-200 lens was still a better purchase for my aging 3rd gen body.
Then mid-December, the price dropped again to $1999 with the same 15% statement credit available to me. I started thinking “Okay, I’m going to do it”
I clicked Buy Now but ended up cancelling that order a day later because I found yet another deal.
Canon’s Refurbished site had the body for $1799. My 3rd gen was refurbished and gave me no issues. Only had 5 shutter clicks when I received it so I did some Googling and found Canon had a loyalty discount of 20%. I called up with my serial number of the Mark 3 and they applied 20% off and an additional 10% off for Black Friday so I was charged $1300 for a Canon 5D Mark IV body. Enough left over that I went ahead and bought their battery grip for $200 and the 4 year Canon service plan against accidents and repairs for $3xx. $1850 for a brand new Canon 5D Mark IV with batteries, grip and 4 year warranty.
It arrived with only 13 shutter clicks on the body when I got it. Barely used. Basically new. Looked brand new too!
The camera arrived and the transition was truly seamless. On went my PeakDesign strap, the battery grip, my memory cards and tripod mount for the Manfrotto tripod. The lenses of course fit and while there’s still an empty hole in my life for the 70-200, my 50mm f/1.2 is exceptional and leaves little desired in its ability to take stunning photos.
The Mark IV, it’s a true refinement to the camera I loved so much. They managed to shave 50 grams off the weight but kept the dimensions nearly the same. My favorite new feature is GPS. Finally my full frame images won’t be sitting alongside iPhone pictures in my photos library without a location attached to them. It does take 30 seconds to get a lock so if you are turning the camera on the first time that day and of course, you’re indoors then there’s no GPS lock where the iPhone will use WiFi / Cell Towers to approximate the location.
In addition, this device has WiFi now but when I tried transferring 73 RAW images from the 5D’s CompactFlash card to my computer via WiFi, it was transferring a photo every 20 seconds on average. REALLY slow so the first thing I did was order a USB-C cable that had the special super speed USB 3 mini connection on the other side. Canon didn’t use a standard USB cable this is one you see on a lot of Western Digital Hard Drives like the EasyStore models. I still have an SD to USB-C reader from Apple but it’s nice to also now have a direct connection.
They added a touch screen and honestly, big whoop! But the implementation is great. No more messing around with auto focus points. I point and if AF screws up, I can just black away from the view-finder and tap the screen (after switching to Live View of course). It works really fast and doesn’t save that AF point forever. I’m not locked to it like I am when setting up the focus points manually the old way.
Speaking of live view, the shutter is insanely quiet. Well…it’s nothing compared to mirrorless but it’s really quiet compared to my Mark III. Yeah, you still hear it but it’s not brutal anymore. Looks like the settings have a mode that’s even quieter but then you lose the 7FPS when shooting high speed. I rarely ever use multi-shot anyway allowing my index finger to be the speedy shutter clicker so I could easily use the quieter shutter but given how quiet it already is I’m okay with it.
The Canon official battery grip is a perfect fit. It’s SO much better than the Chinese battery grip I had on my old 5D. The thing is, the Chinese battery grips are $35 and come with 2 batteries. Canon charges $200 (normally $300) and gives you no batteries. I know why younger me opted for the Chinese one and honestly, it worked great for 4 years and 40,000 shutter clicks in 15 different countries and 25K miles of motorcycle road trips but the Canon grip is superior in every way. The buttons are an exact copy, the grip texture is great and they feel built for each other.
Looking at some of the initial photos, wow. The body was an upgrade. It’s not just megapixel it’s the ability to boost ISO past 2000 without any significant noise added compared to the Mark 3. It’s the ability to focus on a subject even faster and then crop out everything but a face and still have a usable image thanks to the jump from 22 to 30 megapixels.
I’m on my way to Florida for Christmas. Looking forward to sharing some photos with you.
Here are some photos on my first day out with the new camera.