Studio Scene Comparison

Our latest test scene simulates both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget switches between the two. The daylight scene is manually white balanced to give neutral grays, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests. Raw files are manually corrected. We offer three different viewing sizes: 'Full', 'Print', and 'Comp', with the latter two offering 'normalized' comparisons by using matched viewing sizes. The 'Comp' option chooses the largest-available resolution common to the cameras being compared.


The Raw files show that the 5D IV is capturing a high level of detail compared with the Canon 5D Mark III with the greater pixel count helping it show more detail when compared at a common output size.

The lower pixel count and inclusion of a low pass filter means it can't match the Nikon D810, especially if you're looking at the native output size. However, the low pass filter does its job and means the Canon shows much lower levels of false color aliasing which is especially visible with high-contrast, high frequency patterns. And this aliasing remains visible if you downscale both images.

It's a similar story if you compare the 5D Mark IV with the higher resolution EOS 5DS R or even the EOS 5DS, whose low pass filter appears to be weaker than the IV's.

At high ISO the EOS 5D IV's images are directly comparable with most of its peers. Whether compared with the Nikon D810, the Sony a7R II, or Ricoh's Pentax K-1, it does very well. Better, certainly, than the EOS 5DS.

As you head into expanded ISO range, the EOS 5D IV it even creeps a little ahead of the Nikon.


The EOS 5D IV's JPEGs are very much what we've come to expect from Canon DSLRs. The default sharpening is a little heavy handed, though the Canon allows an unusual degree of control over this: letting you adjust strength, fineness and threshold to get the result that works best for your workflow. The low levels of false color that appear in the Raw are successfully suppressed in the JPEG, too.

JPEG color appears to be essentially unchanged from the EOS 5D Mark III, with more subtle skin tones than the Nikon D810, which can only be a good thing.

Noise reduction is generally fairly well handled but it doesn't retain fine contrast as well as Sony's context sensitive noise reduction. Like the Nikon's JPEG engine, some fine detail is smoothed away but the Canon manages to suppress more chroma noise while maintaining this level of detail retention. At very high ISOs, the detail level drops further, compared with the best of its peers. Overall, then, these are very usable JPEGs, especially if you take the time to tweak the sharpening.