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Le présent article n'est pas disponible en Français
November 2009

By David Newton

The EOS-1D Mark IV is aimed squarely at the professional photographic market and incorporates a host of features designed to make the camera a solid picture-taking tool. Rather than incorporating a raft of new technology Canon’s designers have concentrated on four key areas – image quality, AF accuracy, responsiveness and performance.

By listening to, and incorporating, feedback and employing a long testing phase in the development, the camera has been designed to suit serious professional photographers working across a variety of photographic genres.

Key specifications:

  • 16.1 Megapixel, APS-H CMOS sensor
  • Dual “DIGIC 4” processors
  • 10fps shooting
  • ISO 100-12,800 (50-102,400 with expansion)
  • 45 point AF system with 39 cross-type AF points
  • Full High Definition Movie shooting with user selectable frame rate
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • 3-inch Clear View II LCD panel
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System

CMOS Sensor

The EOS-1D Mark IV features a newly developed APS-H CMOS sensor to produce high-resolution images with low noise levels. The sensor benefits from developments in semi-conductor fabrication technologies that allow for a larger photodiode size and optimal construction making it easier to collect light and transfer it, despite the smaller pixel size. This is achieved by shrinking the circuitry around each photodiode so that the diode can take up a larger percentage of the pixel.

The larger photodiodes capture more light, and when combined with the gapless microlens design (first seen on the EOS 50D) and the closer distance between the microlenses and photodiodes (first seen on the EOS 5D Mark II), a greater light gathering capacity is attained for improved signal-to-noise ratio. The result of all these technologies is higher ISO speeds, lower image noise and a wide dynamic range.


The EOS-1D Mark IV’s newly developed APS-H format CMOS sensor.

The camera's photodiodes are not only larger, but they are also more sensitive to light. This increased sensitivity could potentially lead to overloading of the pixels and make it difficult to achieve some of the lower ISO speeds, such as ISO 100. However, the increased size of the photodiodes offsets this potential obstacle and provides a wider dynamic range.

In a multi-faceted approach to combating image noise the designers have also incorporated a new material for the coloured filters above each pixel. This material features a higher transmittance level - this means that more light passes through to the pixels below. Combined with a high gain circuit to suppress noise from outside the sensor, the ability to shoot at ISO speeds up to 102,400 is provided for when light levels are very low.

With 16.1 Megapixels, the EOS-1D Mark IV offers the ability to capture fine detail for large print sizes, or to crop aggressively while still maintaining detail and sufficient resolution for printing. Clearly 16.1 Megapixels produces a large amount of image data, especially when shooting at the maximum frame rate of 10 frames-per-second. As seen on the EOS-1D Mark III, the EOS-1D Mark IV features 8-channel signal reading with a high-speed amplifier and higher reading frequency.

Image processing

High-resolution sensors and high frame rates require a powerful processing engine to ensure the data is dealt with quickly enough. The EOS-1D Mark IV incorporates Dual “DIGIC 4” processors that work in conjunction with the Analogue to Digital conversion processor and front-end processing circuits to deliver fast, accurate image processing. The “DIGIC 4” processor is actually 25% faster than DIGIC III at processing image data.

The processing power available with the Dual “DIGIC 4” processors doesn’t just allow high frame rate shooting. Because the processors handle data so quickly, the algorithms they use to remove image noise can be more complex and more accurate. This has allowed an improved noise reduction capability at higher ISO speeds with no decrease in the maximum burst capability. The noise processing performed in the EOS-1D Mark IV balances both chrominance and luminance image noise to ensure images at high ISO still retain natural, and vibrant, colours as opposed to looking washed out and muted.


The EOS-1D Mark IV deploys two “DIGIC 4” image processors.

“DIGIC 4” processors also bestow other attributes on the EOS-1D Mark IV, like full High Definition movie shooting, Auto Lighting Optimizer, Peripheral Illumination Correction and the option to shooting M-RAW and S-RAW files, as well full compatibility with the recently released UDMA Class 6 memory cards working at up to 133MB/sec.

Although Auto Lighting Optimizer may seem to be a feature more commonly associated with the consumer market, feedback to Canon has shown that many professional photographers working in the news and sports genres need images that are ready to send straight out of the camera. While selecting Picture Styles does some image processing, Auto Lighting Optimizer adjusts the contrast and brightness of an image automatically to provide a better-looking result straight away and is especially useful when using flash or shooting backlit subjects.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV explained: the camera that delivers high speed and low light shooting

In the news market, the image that looks best on-screen at the newsdesk will often be put in as a placeholder. If no better image comes in later in the day, the placeholder image will often be used. Clearly, sending an image in that looks better on-screen can lead to increased sales and this is why it has been incorporated in the EOS-1D Mark IV.

Because of the way many professional photographers shoot, Auto Lighting Optimizer will also function in Manual exposure mode as well as with Bulb exposures. In a backlit situation where the exposure is set to avoid blown highlights in the background, Auto Lighting Optimizer will help to even out the exposure and so minimise underexposure on the face of a subject.

Like Auto Lighting Optimizer, Peripheral Illumination Correction can be carried out in-camera with Canon lenses to help to minimise corner shading that may be caused in some situations. Correction data is provided in-camera for 29 lenses, while up to 40 can be stored in-camera by using EOS Utility software (supplied with the camera) to add them.

Peripheral Illumination Correction is also available in the Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software supplied with the camera. Here a greater range of adjustments can be made where the results of changes can be previewed. In-camera processing will be around 70% of the maximum provided by DPP if lens distance information is available. If the lens does not provide this data, then the camera will only perform a maximum of 50% of the correction level available in DPP. At higher ISO settings the correction levels are reduced to minimise image processing noise at the corners.


Peripheral Illumination Correction allows photographers to store lens info to help to minimise corner shading in images.

Picture Styles are another feature in the EOS-1D Mark IV that have been tuned for use by the professional market. While the EOS-1D Mark III images were tailored for post-processing with the default Picture Styles, the EOS-1D Mark IV has been set up to produce ‘ready to go’ images straight away. In conjunction with Peripheral Illumination Correction and Auto Lighting Optimizer, the EOS-1D Mark IV can produce images that are ready for use straight from the camera.

In previous models, the Standard, Portrait, Landscape and Monochrome Picture Styles were set up for direct printing to inkjet printers. However, feedback has shown that many professional photographers require more sharpening for their images. With this in mind, these settings on the EOS-1D Mark IV now have an increased level of sharpening so the images look better when viewed on a computer screen or in print. This streamlines the process of getting images from the camera to a print ready state for publication and it could mean the difference between getting a picture to the picture desk in time or not.

If you intend to post-process images then the Neutral and Faithful Picture Styles are still available and these are unchanged from the EOS-1D Mark III.

As with the EOS-1D Mark III, the EOS-1D Mark IV features 14bit analogue-digital conversion for smoother tonal gradation and more natural and vibrant colours.


The EOS-1D Mark IV’s Picture Styles settings feature an increased level of sharpening.

First included on the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III DSLRs Highlight Tone Priority is also included in the EOS-1D Mark IV. Enabling this mode will shift the dynamic range from the mid-tones to the highlights to capture smoother tonal gradation in highlight areas. This is especially useful when you are shooting bright subjects such as a bride in a white wedding dress. Because the dynamic range of a camera is fixed, the extra data points for the highlights are taken from the shadow areas. For this reason it is not advisable to use Highlight Tone Priority when shooting dark subjects or subjects with lots of shadow areas as there may be an increase in image noise. It's also worth noting that with Highlight Tone Priority enabled, the ISO range of the camera will be limited from 200 to 12,800.

ISO capabilities

Fitting for the market at which the EOS-1D Mark IV is aimed, the camera features a very wide ISO range that allows you to make the most of any shooting situation. As a professional photographer, you can’t simply stop shooting when the light levels happen to fall below the optimum. For this reason the EOS-1D Mark IV features an ISO range from 100 to 12,800 as standard. This range can also be extended down to 50 (L) at the low end and all the way up to ISO 102,400 at the high end with the three expansion settings - H1 (25,600), H2 (51,200) and H3 (102,400).


The EOS-1D Mark IV offers an ISO range of between 50 and 102,400.

Expansion settings are provided for when it is imperative you get a shot. A photograph with some image noise is better than a blurred image caused by camera shake or subject movement, so while the expansion settings do not quite meet Canon’s high image quality requirements for standard shooting, they are provided as a solution to a problem. This again shows Canon’s commitment to the professional market by incorporating features that have relevance to professional photographers.

These high ISO settings have been made possible because of the CMOS sensor technology and processing ability of the Dual “DIGIC 4” processors.

Noise reduction processing is a personal choice for most photographers. The EOS-1D Mark IV offers the same Long Exposure Noise Reduction settings as seen on the EOS-1D Mark III, but the High ISO Noise Reduction settings have been changed to offer four levels – Standard, Low, Strong and Disable. The Standard setting offers better noise reduction than the EOS-1D Mark III's ‘enable’ setting. Only when the Noise Reduction setting is set to ‘Strong’ will the maximum shooting burst decrease.

Drive System

Like the EOS-1D Mark III, the EOS-1D Mark IV features the ability to shoot at up to 10 frames-per-second for capturing fast moving action. To achieve this high frame rate, two motors are used – one to drive the shutter mechanism and one to drive the mirror. Because the camera will see use in a variety of environments, the motors have been designed to still function correctly even at low temperatures when the load on the motors is increased.

To provide a stable viewfinder image and also improve the camera's autofocus accuracy, there is an active mirror stopper that is capable of removing mirror bounce from both the main and secondary mirrors. Combined with construction of the shutter and mirror mechanism, this has helped to remove any unwanted vibrations within the system.


The EOS-1D Mark IV’s shutter system.

To provide a customisable shooting experience, the camera can be set to Single shot shooting, Low-speed Continuous shooting, High-speed continuous shooting and Silent single shooting, as well as two-second and 10-second self-timers.

The Dual “DIGIC 4” processors enable the camera to deal with the large amount of data generated when shooting at 10fps with 16.1 Megapixels. Because of this, the maximum burst capability is similar to the EOS-1D Mark III despite the much increased resolution. When shooting in RAW, the camera will be able to capture 26 frames in a burst. In Large JPEG, the figure is 85. If you use a UDMA Class 6 memory card, these figures rise to 28 and 121 respectively.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV explained: the camera that delivers high speed and low light shooting

AF System

The autofocus system in the EOS-1D Mark IV has been completely re-built from the design to the manufacturing with the aim of increased stability, reliability, precision and function. Starting with the sensor, the EOS-1D Mark IV features a new high-speed, high-precision sensor with 45 user-selectable focus points of which 39 are cross-type. Compared to the EOS-1D Mark III, which featured 19 cross-type AF points, the EOS-1D Mark IV offers more flexibility in composition, especially when tracking moving subjects.

As with all EOS models, the central AF point is the most sensitive. It has a cross-type sensor that is vertical line sensitive at f/2.8 to f/4 and horizontal line sensitive from f/5.6 to f/8. With any lens that features a maximum aperture of f/4 or faster, high precision cross-type AF is available. With a lens or lens-extender combination that has a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster, autofocus will still function at the central point using horizontal line detection.

The remaining thirty eight cross-type AF points are vertical line sensitive at f/2.8 and horizontal line sensitive at f/5.6. If the lens in use has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster, high-precision focusing with cross-type sensors will be possible. If the lens’ maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster, the AF will still function with horizontal line detection.


The EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM is one of six new lens or lens/extender combinations that will now function with cross-type AF at all 39 cross-type AF points.

In an upgrade from previous camera models, the following lenses and lens/extender combinations will also function with cross-type AF at all 39 cross-type AF points, even though the maximum aperture is f/4.

  • EF17-40mm f/4L USM
  • EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM + Extender EF1.4x II
  • EF200mm f/2L IS USM + Extender EF2x II
  • EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM + Extender EF1.4xII
  • EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM + Extender EF1.4x II

In automatic autofocus point selection all 45 points will be used and the camera will select the AF point automatically to suit the shooting conditions. In manual AF point selection you can manually select any of the 19 cross-type AF points. Additionally, by using CFn. III-10 you can choose to limit the number of AF points that are manually selectable from a choice of using all 45, 19, 11, 9 inner points or 9 outer points.

If you use manual AF point selection, the six AF points that are not cross-type sensitive will function as horizontal line sensors with lenses featuring a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster. They have the same performance as the EOS-1D Mark III assist points working with f/5.6 or faster lenses.

The AF points immediately above and below the central AF point feature improved performance and precision due to the use of two sensor lines from which to detect focus.

As part of the improvements in sensitivity at the central AF point, the camera can detect the subject even when it is completely de-focused. This has the effect of reducing the lens hunting while trying to detect the subject with the effect that the AF system functions faster and is easier to control.

Like lenses, the autofocus optical system can be subject to some form of chromatic aberration. Under some lighting situations, most notably artificial light sources, this can lead to focus inaccuracies. The EOS-1D Mark IV features a dedicated light source detection sensor at the back of the pentaprism. This allows the camera to determine how much, if any, aberration there will be in the autofocus optics and correct appropriately for it. This results in more consistent autofocus performance.


Like all EOS-1 series models, and the EOS 7D, the EOS-1D Mark IV features a dedicated autofocus microprocessor for handling AF calculations. To cope with AI Servo running at 10fps, the autofocus processor shares this processing with the camera processor, thereby improving the speed of AF calculations.

Having a redesigned autofocus sensor would have little effect if the designers had not adjusted the autofocus algorithm as well. The algorithm in a camera determines exactly how the autofocus performs. It can be tuned for different responses. In the EOS-1D Mark III, the algorithm was programmed to offer a fast response and high sensitivity. The EOS-1D Mark IV however, has a more balanced response that has been tuned to offer a more stable autofocus operation.

AI Servo II autofocus functions in a similar way to the system found in the EOS 7D – when tracking a moving subject it will predict where the subject should be based on current trajectory and speed. If the camera obtains an autofocus reading that is substantially different to what is expected, it will ignore that reading and continue to the next predicted position. This also works effectively when an obstacle passes in front of the main subject. In this instance, the camera will continue to track the main subject basing the focus on the results calculated immediately before the obstacle passed between the camera and the subject. The changes in the autofocus system and algorithm mean that AI Servo II AF can now be used accurately with close-up subjects as well.

To enhance this stability, the camera uses a modified lens drive. If there is a sudden change in the autofocus results from the sensor, the camera will not jump to the new focus distance because it is likely to have been caused by erratic subject movement rather than a deliberate change by the photographer. In this instance, the camera will not jump to the new focus distance immediately. Instead, it will slowly drive then lens towards the new focus distance. This means that as soon as you put the AF point back onto the subject, the lens is unlikely to be a long way out of focus and autofocus will be able to continue accurately.

Like the EOS 7D, the EOS-1D Mark IV features an immediate response to subject movement. With previous EOS models, the camera required time to lock onto the subject and track it accurately. With the EOS-1D Mark IV, this is not the case – as soon as subject movement is detected, it will start to track accurately and efficiently. This improves the chance of capturing rapid movement, as there is less need to wait for the autofocus system to lock onto the subject.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV explained: the camera that delivers high speed and low light shooting

Professional photographers work in many different genres and in many different ways. To suit this diverse group of working methods, the autofocus system features a variety of custom functions to allow the camera to be tailored exactly to the situation. In the same way a racing car will perform at its best when tuned to suit the track, so the EOS-1D Mark IV will provide the best results when set up to suit the situation.


Like the EOS 7D the EOS-1D Mark IV offers a Spot AF mode, amongst its AF mode options, to help to deliver more accurate AF.

Spot AF is new AF mode first seen on the EOS 7D. On the EOS-1D Mark IV it is available with any of the super-telephoto lenses that feature an AF Stop button. C.Fn III-6-7 activates Spot AF when the lens AF stop button is pressed. This has the effect of reducing the size of area used to perform autofocus to a smaller point. The result is more accurate AF less likely to be influenced by contrast away from the edge of the AF point. Spot AF is not provided as a standard autofocus mode because when tracking moving subjects it may slow the autofocus operation as it uses a smaller area to detect focus from, and is therefore slower to detect defocus and respond to it.

When tracking erratically moving subjects, it can be difficult to keep a single AF point on the subject. In this situation you may find that autofocus point expansion, C.Fn III-8, is a more reliable focusing method to use because if the manually selected AF point cannot achieve focus, the surrounding AF assist points will be used. C.Fn III-8 provides four setting options – 0: Disable, 1: Left/Right, 2: Surrounding AF points, 3: All 45 points area.

If you select option 3, all 45 points, the expansion AF points will follow the selected AF point. If the AF mode is set to AI Servo, then up to 18 AF points surrounding the active AF point will be used. Each time the subject moves to a different AF point, the surrounding expanded AF points will also move to follow. As the subject moves around the frame, the selected AF point will also follow to track – this can be seen by the AF point being lit in the viewfinder. It is similar to using automatic AF point selection, but the AF area is concentrated to a smaller area and it is therefore easier to select a specific area to focus on. It also allows you to choose the AF point to start tracking from. Compared to automatic AF point selection, or the function of the EOS-1D Mark III, where autofocus searching will begin from the central point first, this gives more control over the composition.

AF point expansion will also work in One Shot AF. The camera will first start searching with six, then 18, then all remaining 44 points until focus is achieved.

Many users will like the flexibility of 45 selectable AF points. However, in some situations it can be beneficial to limit the number of selectable AF points to speed up the selection process. C.Fn III-10 allows you to limit the number of focus points from 45 to 19 (the same as in the EOS-1D Mark III), 9 inner points, 9 outer points or 11 points (as found on the EOS-1D Mark II/N).


Like the EOS 7D the EOS-1D Mark IV offers orientation linked AF points for swift shooting even when rotating the camera from horizontal to vertical orientations.

Another feature first found on the EOS 7D that has been incorporated into the EOS-1D Mark IV, is the orientation aware autofocus system. Using C.Fn III-16 you can store three different AF configurations that are automatically switched to depending on the camera orientation – horizontal, grip up or grip down. In many situations you may wish to change autofocus point when you rotate the camera from a horizontal to vertical orientation to ensure you keep focus on the same point. By using this custom function this can be achieved without you having to press a button or select a different AF point manually. It speeds up your working with the system and will mean that you are less likely to miss shots through having to select a different AF point.

Like the EOS-1D Mark III, the EOS-1D Mark IV offers AF Microadjustment so you can tailor the calibration of your cameras and lenses for the most accurate results. The range of adjustment is +/- 20 steps. This microadjustment only affects the AF sensor and not the autofocus performance of Live Mode and Face detection AF in Live View Mode as these use contrast based detection from the image sensor.

Metering system

The metering system in the EOS-1D Mark IV is the same as that found in the EOS-1D Mark III. Many professionals make use of spot metering and so this exposure system is the most logical choice for a camera aimed at the professional market. While other EOS models feature spot metering, the EOS-1 series models have the ability to do multi-spot reading (up to eight spot readings can be taken) for highly accurate exposure measurement. It is also possible to link the spot metering to the focus point rather than having the spot meter in the middle of the frame.


The metering sensor of the EOS-1D Mark IV.

For some users, having the ability to select both the shutter speed and aperture while still retain auto exposure is an advantage. For this reason, the EOS-1D Mark IV features an auto ISO setting. If Auto ISO is enabled, the ISO range will vary from ISO 100-12,800. If Highlight Tone Priority is enabled, the Auto ISO range will be reduced to 200-12,800.

The E-TTL II flash metering algorithm in the EOS-1D Mark IV has been modified to produce more consistent flash results. The algorithm makes more use of lens distance information from compatible lenses. This change helps the flash metering system produce better results that aren't influenced by the size or colour of the subject. It is especially useful when the subject is small in the frame or when the background is dark.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV explained: the camera that delivers high speed and low light shooting

HD Movies

First introduced in the EOS 5D Mark II, and a real technology jump that is changing the face of photography on a daily basis, EOS Movie shooting is now brought to the 1 series in the EOS-1D Mark IV. But the EOS-1D Mark IV takes the technology in the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 500D and improves on it several areas, by offering the features and functions found on the EOS 7D.

The updated firmware for the EOS 5D Mark II included settings for full manual exposure control of the exposure when shooting movies, the EOS-1D Mark IV has this built in from the start. When selecting shutter speeds for shooting with EOS Movie mode the slowest shutter speed is linked to the frame rate.

If you choose to shoot at 30, 25 or 24fps then the slowest shutter speed available is 1/30sec. If you choose to shoot at 60 or 50fps the slowest shutter speed possible is 1/60sec. At all resolutions, the maximum shutter speed available is 1/4000sec. The ISO range in EOS Movie mode can be 100-12,800 by default with manual selection and the AUTO ISO range is 100-12,800. The expanded ISO settings H1 (25,600), H2 (51,200), and H3 (102,400) can be selected via C.Fn 1-3, but note that the lower setting of ISO 50 is not selectable.

If you decide to not make use of the manual movie exposure, the camera can control the exposure for you. The auto exposure will follow the same exposure Program AE line as for still shooting with automatic exposure. To provide some control when using the automatic exposure settings, you can use exposure compensation of up to +/- 3 stops.


The exact EOS Movie recording sizes and frame rates can be manually selected on the EOS-1D Mark IV.

The EOS-1D Mark IV, like the EOS 7D, features user selectable recording resolutions and frame rates. It is possible to record at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution at 30fps (29.97), 25fps or 24fps (23.97) depending on your needs. The lower HD resolution of 1280x720 and the standard definition of 640x480 can be recorded at 60fps (59.94) or 50fps.

When shooting movies, the maximum clip length is 29mins 59secs when shooting in standard definition, or around 12 minutes when shooting in high definition. This 12-minute limit is caused by the FAT 32 file system used to store data on the memory cards, where the maximum file size of one file is 4GB.

Movies are recorded with H.264/MPEG-4 compression as a .MOV file type. This makes them easy to edit in third party editing software to allow complete freedom of choice in putting together your movie.

Sound recording on the EOS-1D Mark IV is the same as in the EOS 7D. There is a built in mono microphone and a 3.5mm mini-jack plug for recording from an external microphone. Sound is recorded at 16bit sampling rate at 48KHz. In addition, sounds created by using the camera, such as changes in aperture, are suppressed in the sound recording when using the internal microphone. It also features a wind-cut filter that’s always on (when using the internal microphone) to help combat the sound of wind moving around the camera during filming.

Live View Mode

First introduced on the EOS-1D Mark III SLR, Live View Mode enables you to use the rear LCD display to see exactly what the camera sees.

When shooting in Live View Mode, you can zoom in on the LCD screen to get a very detailed look at your scene using either 5x or 10x magnification on any part of the screen. This allows you to check critical focus very accurately and is especially useful when shooting landscapes or macro subjects. It can also be combined with use of the depth of field preview button to get a very detailed look at exactly how much depth of field you will have in your image based on your current aperture setting. For all of this the higher resolution of the new Clear View II LCD screen means you can view more easily when in Live View Mode.


AF in Live View is possible via Quick Mode AF, Live Mode AF and Face Detection AF.

Autofocus in Live View is also possible using Quick Mode AF, Live Mode AF and Face Detection AF. In Live Mode AF and Face Detection AF modes, the autofocus is faster in comparison to that contained within the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 50D DSLRs.

Live View Mode also gives you the ability to preview the exposure of your image before you actually press the shutter button and take the shot. Pressing the INFO button will cycle the display in Live View to show a clear screen with only the image, or a fully live histogram for in-depth analysis of your exposure settings. It is also possible to set either a 6x4 block grid or a 'rule of thirds' grid overlay display on the Live View screen to help you with your picture composition.

Custom Functions

The EOS-1D Mark IV, like the EOS-1D Mark III features a number of custom functions to allow you tailor the camera to suit your working methods. The EOS-1D Mark IV features 62 custom functions, up from 57 in the EOS-1D Mark III. The new custom functions are concerned with focusing, exposure and movie shooting.


Auto Exposure (AE) Microadjustment is possible over a one-stop range on 1/8th stop increments via C.Fn I-16.

C.Fn. I-16 is for AE Microadjustment and C.Fn. I-17 is for FE Microadjustment. These are for autoexposure and flash exposure adjustment and they allow you to modify the exposure metering of the camera over a one-stop range in 1/8th stop increments. This is useful for camera matching if you work with several camera bodies, or when working in a multi-camera setup where slight variations in camera exposure would be apparent. It can also be used to tailor the camera to your personal preferences – some photographers prefer to regularly slightly over or underexpose their images to achieve a specific look. The FE and AE Microadjustment allow this to be done with more precision than exposure compensation and without the chance that it could be changed accidentally during shooting.

Because the EOS-1D Mark IV features movie shooting like the EOS 7D, there is a custom function to allow quick access to the movie mode. But, unlike the EOS 7D, there is no specific switch and button to activate the camera's EOS Movie shooting. Instead, C.Fn IV-11-1 allows you to quick start EOS Movie recording by pressing the FEL button rather than having to enter Live View Mode first.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV explained: the camera that delivers high speed and low light shooting

If you have several different custom function settings that you use for different shooting situations, you can save three different custom function sets ready to recall them as you need them.

Camera settings, including custom functions, can also be saved to a memory card. This is useful for ensuring all cameras you use have the same settings available. You can store up to 10 sets of camera settings on a single card, regardless of the card capacity, and each saved batch of settings can include the three custom function sets within them.


One of the key aspects of the EOS-1 series models is the ability fit into a wide range of shooting situations. For this reason, the ergonomics of the camera are designed to fit the EOS philosophy of ‘Quick and Easy Operation with High Image Quality’.

The LCD screen on the EOS-1D Mark IV has been redesigned to incorporate technology advances first added to the EOS 7D. The screen is a 3-inch model with 920,000 dots, like the EOS-1D Mark III, but the Clear View II construction helps eliminate glare and reflections. It was discovered that glare was caused by a change in the refractive index of the layers above the LCD panel. By filling the gap between the surface cover and the LCD panel with a photo-elastic material, there is no change in the refractive index, thereby reducing glare. For increased durability, the screen on the EOS-1D Mark IV is a reinforced glass version.


The EOS-1D Mark IV’s LCD screen features a reinforced glass cover and the buttons have been modified for a more positive response.

The My Menu function from the EOS-1D Mark III has been retained to provide a quick access screen in which functions that you access regularly can be stored. This speeds up operation and saves you having to look through the camera menu to find the settings that you use regularly. You can store up to six different settings in the My Menu screen and it can be enabled so that the My Menu tab displays first when you press the Menu button.

The buttons on the EOS-1D Mark IV have also been modified to provide a more tactile response. The height, shape and feeling of the buttons have all been modified to ensure they provide a positive feedback when pressed, and are easy to access and press, even when shooting with gloves in cold environments.


Professional photographers require a camera that is durable and able to function in a wide range of climatic conditions. Poor weather, cold conditions and dusty environments are all commonly encountered. For this reason, the EOS-1D Mark IV features the same durable build as the EOS-1D Mark III. The body shell, mirror box, and exterior covers are all made from tough, lightweight magnesium alloy.


The EOS-1D Mark IV body shell is made from tough, lightweight magnesium alloy for great durability.

The camera is also environmentally sealed with 76 O-ring seals to help eliminate dust and water ingress at joints around the camera body. When used with a weather-sealed EF lens and the 580EX II Speedlite, the entire camera system will be dust and water-resistant. The external WiFi unit, the WFT-E2 II also continues this weather-sealed exterior.

The shutter unit has the same durability rating as the EOS-1D Mark III, being rated to 300,000 cycles. All mechanical parts, electronics and operation controls have also been designed to be able to withstand this level of use.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)

To help combat dust, the EOS-1D Mark IV also features the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS) was introduced on the EOS 400D in 2006 and works on three principles – to reduce dust generation; to repel dust sticking to the sensor; and to remove any dust that does stick. The system is not just mechanical. There is also a software element called Dust Delete Data that works with Digital Photo Professional – the RAW processing software supplied free in the box when you purchase any Canon EOS camera.


The EICS unit in the EOS-1D Mark IV is improved compared to the EOS-1D Mark III and can remove smaller dust particles.

The EOS-1D Mark IV sensor uses a similar EOS Integrated Cleaning System to the EOS-1D Mark III, however the vibration is a higher frequency than on the EOS-1D Mark III due to the higher resolution – this means smaller dust particles are moved. It also includes the fluorine coating found on the EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II to help prevent dust sticking to the sensor.


The EOS-1D Mark IV is part of a complete system that provides you with the ability to tackle any photographic situation. One of the accessories available is the Wireless File Transmitter, WFT-E2 II, that offers the ability to wirelessly transmit images from your camera to a computer, adds enhanced remote capture and linked shooting.

The transmitter is compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g for high-speed wireless file transfer.

The transmitter offers high-speed wireless file transfer via three transmission modes for connection to other devices. FTP is used to transfer images to an FTP server. EOS Utility mode allows two-way communication between the camera and a computer, and WFT Server allows a web browser to view images stored on the memory card as well as control the camera from a web browser.


The new WFT-E2 II WiFi unit for the EOS-1D Mark IV offers wireless image transmission to a computer, enhanced remote capture and linked shooting capabilities.

The WFT-E2 II provides the EOS-1D Mark IV with a linked shooting ability. This means that a master camera fitted with a WFT-E2 II can control up to 10 slave EOS-1D Mark IV, 7D or 5D Mark II cameras (or a combination of 10 of these cameras) that are fitted with the correct WiFi adapters - they can be triggered from the master camera from up to 100m away. In this way, you can capture an image of a subject from several different viewpoints all at the same time.

With the use of the WFT-E2 II’s built-in WFT Server (formerly HTTP mode), the EOS-1D Mark IV can be controlled wirelessly over an HTTP connection using a web browser. This means that you can see what your camera sees and control the settings and shooting functions through a web browser from distance, or even on a device like a smart phone or WiFi enabled portable music player.

Like the WFT-E2, WFT-E3 and WFT-E4, WFT-E5, the WFT-E2 II has a full size USB port – often used to connect to a GPS device. On the WFT-E2 II though this USB port is compatible with a Bluetooth dongle. Using a Bluetooth dongle will allow you to connect with a small Bluetooth GPS device stored in a pocket or in your camera bag and so ‘geotag’ all images taken on the camera without having to connect any wires between the GPS unit and the camera.

The EOS-1D Mark IV is also compatible with the WFT-E2 (this will require a firmware update) released with the EOS-1D Mark III, and the WFT-E2 II can be used on the EOS-1D Mark III (a firmware update is required), although not all functions will be available.