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photo by nortonrsx via iStock
The Canon EOS R and Canon 5D Mark IV are two different camera types. On the one side, we have mirrorless while on the other we have a DSLR camera.
Nevertheless, these two models share a lot in common. First of all, they are both full-frame cameras with a 30.4 MP CMOS sensor, while there are similarities in other features as well.
This review has an aim to compare and point out the strengths and weaknesses of these two cameras in order to help you decide which one has the potential to do a better job for you.
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Sensor, Processor, and ISO
As we already mentioned, these two cameras have the same type of sensor (CMOS) and they share the same resolution (30.4 MP). Additionally, they both feature low pass filter which means there should not be substantial differences in image quality between these two models.
The Canon EOS R sports a new Digic 8 processor, while there is an older Digic 6+ processor in the Canon 5D Mark IV. The updated processor in the newer camera allows slightly different ISO sensitivity and it speeds up other features as well.
Because of the difference in processor, the DSLR model allows native ISO sensitivity from 50 to 32000, while the mirrorless camera has a native ISO range of 50-40000.
Overall, you will rarely use high levels of ISO, so this should not be a difference that matters all that much. Both cameras have good grounds for marvelous photography.
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Design
Since we are comparing two different types of camera, there are substantial differences in their design.
First of all, the Canon EOS R is significantly lighter (1.45 lb. vs 1.96 lb.) which is not strange if you take into consideration that it is a mirrorless model.
Additionally, the EOS R is also smaller than the 5D Mark IV (3 x 5.9 x 4.6" vs 5.35 x 3.87 x 3.32" ), so it is a lot easier to carry it around.
The differences in size or weight are not minor, so this might be the key factor in deciding which model to buy. Still, you might want to check other features as well since it is generally more important what is inside the camera than how big or heavy it is.
Editor's Tip: Can't quite afford the EOS R or the 5D Mark IV? Sell your old camera and use the proceeds to offset the cost! In my MPB review, I discuss why it's one of the best places to sell (and buy) used cameras and lenses. Check it out, and see why MPB is a top choice for used photography gear.
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Viewfinder and LCD
As it is typical for mirrorless cameras, the EOS R has an electronic viewfinder. It has a 23mm eyepoint, approx. 3.69 million dots and magnification of 0.76x.
On the other side, the Canon 5D Mark IV uses the optical viewfinder which has a 21mm eyepoint and magnification of 0.71x.
Although the viewfinder on the EOS R seems better, since it is electronic, it will drain the camera’s battery much faster. While you can take 900 shots with the 5D, you can take only 370 shots with the EOS R before your battery runs out (540 if you turn on the Eco mode).
Canon 5D Mark IV
Both cameras incorporate an LCD touchscreen, but the one in the Canon 5D Mark IV is fixed and has lower resolution (1.62M dots) than the one in the Canon EOS R (2.1M dots).
Moreover, the display in the mirrorless model is selfie-friendly and it allows you to take photos from different angles much easier.
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Autofocus, Speed, and Video
photo by guruXOOX via iStock
Both cameras we are comparing in this article feature Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, but the Canon EOS R has much more focus points than its DSLR brother (5655 vs 61).
Additionally, the EOS R also has much better capabilities to acquire focus in lower light. The mirrorless model has a minimum sensitivity of -4Ev, while the 5D Mark IV has a minimum sensitivity of -6Ev.
When it comes to speed, there are no big differences. The EOS R performs a bit better since it offers 8 frames per second, but the 5D Mark IV is not much behind with 7 frames per second.
Both cameras offer 4K video up to 30p (with a 1.7x crop) and Full HD up to 60p.
It is worth mentioning that Canon EOS R has only one SD card slot, which might be annoying if you need a lot of storage space.
Get more information about these two cameras in the video above by Atti Bear.
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Lenses
Although they were produced by the same company, being different camera types – the Canon EOS R and Canon 5D Mark IV don’t use the same lens mount.
The EOS R is a mirrorless camera that comes with a new RF mount. This brand new lens mount has the same diameter as the EF mount (54mm), but it has much shorter flange distance (20 mm vs 44mm).
Canon has produced lenses for the EF mount since 1987, so there are hundreds of different ones to choose from. On the contrary, the RF mount was introduced with the EOS R, so there are only four lenses at the moment:
Recently, however, Canon has announced that they will release six new RF lenses:
Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV – Price
Finally, the price can be a deciding factor when buying a camera.
Although they are in the same price range, the Canon EOS R is at the moment a bit cheaper than the Canon 5D Mark IV.
You can save some money if you buy used, though. While there isn't a massive selection of used EOS R cameras at the moment, you can sometimes find them for about $2,000 for the body only. Since the 5D Mark IV is older, there are usually many more used models available for well under $2,400.00.
Have Canon questions? Ask in the Canon Camera Forum.