Upgrading to the Canon 5D Mark IV from a Canon 6D

I recently upgraded my camera from the Canon EOS 6D to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. When I was doing my initial research, I didn’t see many people talking about their transition experiences – so I thought I’d write something up.

GPS Mode

One of the handiest features for me whilst travelling is having GPS tagging on my photos. On walks, I tend to take a quick snap of markers (like direction markers or informative boards), so when I can load up the photos from the trip in Lightroom’s Map view when I get home and re-trace my steps.

My 6D was the first DSLR I’ve owned that has had GPS built in. It served its purpose well but Canon made one interesting design choice: the GPS stays active (and drains precious battery) even when the camera is switched off (including via the physical switch). Many times, I’ve woken up in the morning with a flat camera battery because I’ve forgotten to fiddle through menus and turn off the GPS during the previous evening.

On my 5DMkIV, there are two modes for the GPS feature. There is Mode 1 which acts exactly like the 6D (where the GPS is always-on as long as there is life in the battery), and then Mode 2 which switches the GPS off when the physical power switch is set to Off. Mode 2 is perfect for a day of travelling and photography. You do need to be aware of the drawback, however, which is that the camera may not have a GPS lock when you got to take a photo immediately after powering up.

Touch Screen

I didn’t really think I’d be using the touch-screen much when I first decided to upgrade. However, even on Day 1, I found myself using it quite a bit – both for toggling AF point modes during shooting, as well as pinch-to-zoom for previewing photos. It’s honestly very refreshing (though I probably do need to play more with the physical controls – which I’ve read can be quite a bit faster).

ISO Button Placement

When shooting in manual mode, I tend to use the ISO button on the top of the camera to change ISO. On the 5DMkIV, I noticed that the placement of the buttons varies just enough, with muscle memory trained on the 6D, to have me pressing the “DRIVE AF” toggle instead. It’s something I’ll get used to in a few more hours of use, but just a small source of (temporary) frustration for a new user.

You can see this illustrated somewhat in the photo below:

That’s it for now, but I’ll keep updating this post as I have an opportunity to use my new camera more!

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