Skip to main content

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 25

Class Introduction


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 25

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

All right, welcome, everybody, to the Canon 5D Mark IV Fast Start. And so what we're going to be doing here is we're going to be doing a full walk-through of the camera. I know that there's, you know, places that'll give you a few tips on how to do this and that, and this class is really for the people who are hardcore, you're kinda like totally into your camera. You wanna squeeze as much out of this camera as possible, and this camera has a ton of stuff, arguably more than any camera that I've seen before because this class is the longest class. It has the most stuff that I've ever had to put into a class up to date, at this point now. So this is going to be, this is going to be for the people who are willing to sit down, go through the videos, practice with their camera, get their settings right. If you're rushing out to go shoot a wedding right now, this is not the class to be watching for 10 minutes of quick tips, 'cause we're gonna be going in-depth onto these features. Now, I hav...

e a particular style with the camera, and a lot of it has to do with how do I get the highest image quality out of the camera, and I don't like to play games. I don't want the camera doing a lot of funny stuff. And so that's how a lot of my recommendations go, but I realize there's a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, so I'm trying to let my own bias about how I personally like to use the camera, on how everyone else should use it. So I'm gonna try to be very open about you could use it this way for this and use it this way for that. And I am a very visual person and I like to see the entire menu laid out on one page so that I can just scan and find all the items on here. And so this has the entire menu that pages and pages of information, here on one simple page. Now, on the PDF that you get with the class I have this on two pages. The first page has my recommendations, and these are recommendations if you didn't know what you were doing and you just wanted a good basic setup. The second page on this has it blank so you can write in your own, or add in your own ideas about what you want to have in there, 'cause I know everyone is gonna customize their camera differently. I don't think you will run across two people who have this camera, that have it customized exactly the same by the end of one of my classes, because there are so many different options on how you can do this, and I wanna encourage you to customize it to your liking. That's one of the things that I've done in my photography is try to customize everything from my tripods, to my bags, to the settings in my camera, and that's why I wanna give you really good information on it. All right, so let's get into this class. We have a lot to go through today. So the way we've broken this class up is into little sections. The first little part I just wanna give you a class overview. We have some people who are moving into the Canon world from other places; I wanna give them a little introduction there. It's probably completely unnecessary, but I have a section called Photo Basics, and it is inconceivable to some people that I would be talking about that in this class because this is arguably now, or soon to be in the future, the most popular camera among professional photographers. But we do have people who are getting into photography, they have the budget, and they know exactly what they wanna get, and I wanna provide them with a little bit of information. For many of you, you can just skip right on past this onto the camera controls. This is where we're gonna spend a good deal of our time, going through all the buttons, styles, ports, features on the camera, talking about what they can do, how to set them for different types of photography. The Menu Sections is arguably the largest part about this class. This is gonna be the second half of the class, and we're gonna be very detailed. We're gonna go through the Menu items, line item by line item. We're not gonna spend a lot of time on each one for the most part. We're gonna go through 'em quickly. I'm gonna explain what they do and where you would set them for various different types of photography. And then to finish it all off, in Camera Operation I'll give you some tips and hints on how I would set the camera up for different types of photography. And so we got a full day ahead of us. Let's go ahead and get started on our overview. Now for anyone who has one of these cameras, they know that the instruction manual is rather large on this camera, and I could easily see spending 28 hours going through that instruction manual. I have been through it, page by page of course, for preparation for this class, and this class is gonna be in the five-plus hour range. How is it possible for me to get everything in 28 hours into five hours? I can't. I am focusing on things that are most important to getting the highest quality images, and there are other things that I'm not gonna spend as much time. For instance, you could hook this camera up to a printer, and you can select what size of print and how many prints you want and different details about that, and we're not gonna go into that. And so there is a number of areas where you may want to drill down and get some more information by diving into that menu system, or by into that manual system, into the manual. And so it's not completely something that you should throw away, but my hope is that by the end of this class, you probably don't need it, except for maybe one or two items that you really wanna find out more about. And there is, and you may not know about this... The printed manual that you get in the box has an abbreviated version of the Wifi manual. If you want the full Wifi manual, you have to go to Canon's website and download a PDF. And so if you do a lot of Wifi and you wanna figure out more about how that works, you need to go to Canon's site to get the full PDF for that. Now as we go through this class, you might be wondering well, John, isn't lighting and composition also important in photography? And it absolutely is but we don't have time to cover it in today's class. We're going to be concentrating solely on the Canon 5D Mark IV. If you are interested in other photography classes, I have short ones, I have long ones, and of course here at Creative Live, we have not just dozens, we have hundreds of classes on photography. All right, so for those of you who are getting into the Canon world, Canon, of course, has been around for a very long time. They got started with little rangefinders, very simple, basic cameras. They got into their SLRs in 1959, and then they started... and these were kind of cheap SLRs, they were real simple, basic ones, but then they kinda went pro in with their very popular F-1 and various versions of that. In 1987 is when they made their big lens mount change and this was revolutionary at the time because they completely changed their lens mount, rendering it obsolete, and everyone had to go get new lenses and new cameras. But this camera will use the same lenses all the way back to 1987. So all of those will work perfectly well, fully compatible on this camera. And their first digital camera came out, the D30, which, you know, interestingly it sold for about the same price as the 5D Mark IV currently sells for, but that had a crop sensor, and it was three megapixels (chuckles). And the menu system, the class on that camera would probably be about an hour and a half compared to this class, just by the number of features in the camera itself. And so, you might see a few of those floatin' around eBay for about a hundred bucks these days. So one of the great things about having a 5D Mark IV is you're part of the Canon family of cameras, and so they have a huge number of cameras available that fits a wide variety of needs. They have a huge number of lenses and a very complete flash system. So pretty much anything you need, there's a good chance that they make it right there or it's available for it, possibly from another manufacturer. Now where the 5D Mark IV fits is near the high end, and we do have the 1DX, which is kinda their sports and photo-journalistic camera; lower in megapixels, but faster frames per second. The 5DS which is based off of the 5D Mark III, but with 50 megapixels. And the 5D Mark IV, as I said before, the 5D Mark III, from what I have seen just, I don't have any official stats on this, has been the most popular camera for professional shooting photographers. You know, just watching classes here at Creative Live, more instructors owned and use the 5D Mark III than I saw anyone else using. And 5D Mark IV is still very new out on the market. Right now I think people are slowly making that change over, but I think over the next few years, this is the camera that you're gonna see more professionals using than anything else. It's a good in-between camera as far as megapixels and frame rate, and all the features that it has on it. So the original 5D, which is the first, quote unquote, affordable full-frame camera, came out in 2005, and I have owned, used, and primarily done my photography with this entire lineup of cameras here, and so I am, I'm kind of an original 5D baby, you might say, in my history. And so I've gone through the entire line of 'em here, and so, it's been interesting watching this camera grow and improve and change along the way. They were all very good cameras in their time, and this is just the latest, greatest in its generation. So if you do get into the instruction manual, there is a number of pages and all the warnings which just get to be a little bit ridiculous on. These are obvious things, don't be stupid with your camera. The question that a number of people have, that I think is a very valid question, is, Canon claims it is a dust- and drip-repellent, resistant camera. But they also say this camera is not waterproof and cannot be used underwater. Okay, so I think we all get the underwater bit. The question is, is, if it's raining outside, what should I do? This does have a lot of weather sealing, and it has essentially the same weather sealing as the Canon 7D Mark II. I think, and they're not real clear about this, it's a little bit less than their professional 1DX series. I could stand here with a bottle of water and just drop water all over the camera. Now one thing to keep in mind is that there is a connection between the lens and the camera, and the lens needs to be weather-sealed too, if you wanna have that properly sealed off, so you need to have a weather-sealed lens, which is another issue. But as far as the camera goes, my general recommendations are, if you are shooting out and it gets a little wet, there's a sprinkler or it starts to rain a little bit, don't sweat it. That's not a big deal. If you're gonna be out shooting in the rain, let's say you're shooting a football match and it starts to rain and you're thinking, okay, it's probably gonna rain for the next two hours, you should probably get the camera under some sort of cover system in that case, so I would not spend prolonged periods of time out in the rain. I don't think that's a good idea. I would try to avoid getting, you know, blasted with a police water cannon. That might be a little too much pressure on it, so I would avoid those situations. If you know you're gonna be out in the rain for a long period of time, look into some of the many different rain covers that are available for cameras. But a light, moderate rain, for a moderate amount of time, 10, 20 minutes, you're probably gonna be fine, not gonna be a big problem. The other question that some people have is, Canon is not liable for damage if used with non-Canon accessories. Canon, of course, doesn't wanna be held accountable if you're gonna hook your camera up to some crazy contraption or something that changes the software or the electronics in the camera. In general, you are totally fine using Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and many other brands of lenses. There might be a few features, and we'll talk about them when we get into the menu system, where the camera... Right now, this Canon camera can correct for barrel distortion in Canon lenses, which some of them have, and it can fix it. Now if it doesn't know what lens is on the camera, it won't know how to fix it. So there's a few features that it can't go in and fix those issues with the lenses. There may be lenses that don't communicate properly. Sigma lenses, in the past, didn't have the right chip system, and it wasn't reading correctly. So that sort of thing may happen. In general, I would stick with Canon flashes because I think the communication is a lot better. If you're in the studio or if it's just a simple synchronization, use any flash you want. But if you wanna do TTL work, for convenience reasons, not technical liability problems, I'd stick with Canon flashes. I would probably stick with the Canon batteries, for the most part. There are some cheap, aftermarket ones out there. It's possible you can use them, but they can have some potential downsides. So you can use pretty much any of the memory cards in there. I prefer Sandisk and Lexar. Those are the two main brands and the main accessories that you would use. So some common sense when accessories are hooked up to the camera. So let's make sure my camera and your camera is ready for today's class. You're gonna wanna have a charged battery in the camera. It takes about two and a half hours. You're gonna get around 900 shots, maybe 300 if you're in live view. You need to have a lens on, which we do, and I do have it in autofocus. The autofocus magnafocus is on all the lenses, if it has it. I've got two memory cards in mine, so I'm good either way. I've got the camera turned on. It kills me to do this, but I'm gonna throw it into the A plus auto mode, just 'cause I want it to be really, really simple. I will take a picture of our studio audience here. There we go, all in one shot, good, got it.

Class Description


  • Leverage the new customized viewfinder and quick menu options for superior customization
  • Use and understand the new 4K video recording with frame grab and Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Use Wi-Fi with NFC and GPS for remote operation and location tagging
  • Understand Canon camera features that cross over to several Canon EOS models
  • Control the camera from the biggest tools to the smallest details


The Canon® EOS 5D Mark IV is a workhorse Canon camera, hauling features from the 30-megapixel full-frame sensor to the 4K video and 7 fps burst speed. But the 5D Mark IV’s long list of features is just money wasted if you don’t actually know how to find them and put them to use. Skip the floundering through menus and join photographer John Greengo exploring the camera’s many features, from customizing the camera to understanding dual-pixel autofocus.

This class is designed for the photographers using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, from those just pulling it out of the box to photographers that just haven’t found all the camera’s features yet. The class can also serve as an in-depth look if you’re not yet sure if the EOS 5D Mark IV is the best Canon camera for you.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is considered one of the best Canon cameras on the market -- but it's no Canon Powershot, which means a big learning curve. The latest updates bring tools that may be unfamiliar even for photographers that previously used an older Canon camera, with several firsts across the entire 5D series. The dual-pixel autofocus allows for small focus adjustments after the fact -- but only if you shoot with the right image format and work with the right software. The 5D Mark IV is the first Canon digital camera to incorporate FlexiZone Multi autofocus, a new setting inside the powerful updated dual pixel CMOS AF system. The updated viewfinder has new warning signals and custom controls. And of course, there’s that new 4K shooting.

This Canon camera class covers the camera from understanding the controls to customizing the menu.

What's packed in this Canon camera Fast Start? Learn the vital information in less time than it takes to analyze the menu -- and have more fun doing it too.


Individuals who own or are considering purchasing the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV


John Greengo has led more than 50 classes covering the in-depth features of several different DSLR camera models and mirrorless options, including Fast Starts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic. The award-winning photographer is one of the most celebrated CreativeLive instructors, leading classes covering a myriad of topics, including the previous Mark II and Mark III 5D cameras. Greengo has used the 5D series since the first 5D. He's led photographers through the ins and outs of advanced options like the EOS 80D and EOS 7D Mark II to entry-level Canon Rebel cameras like the Rebel T6i and T6.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV


  1. Class Introduction

    Just how wet can you get the dust and drip-resistant 5D Mark IV? Besides the Canon EF lenses, what lenses work well with this camera body? What about third-party flashes and batteries? Greengo walks through some of the biggest questions for the 5D Mark IV in the class introduction.

  2. Photo Basics

    If this Canon camera is your very first DSLR, pay attention to this quick crash course on camera basics, like how a reflex camera works, the difference between a full frame CMOS sensor and an APS-C, and exposure basics. If you're not scratching your head at the terms aperture and shutter speed, then go grab a coffee or skip this four-minute lesson.

  3. Camera Controls: Mode Dial

    Jump into the camera's controls with an overview of the digital SLR camera's control scheme. Then, explore one of the camera's most important controls, the mode dial. Learn the controls from C1 to Av, along with features like bulb mode and exposure compensation.

  4. Top of Camera Controls

    The top of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a rather daunting slew of controls. Greengo walks through why that control seemingly did nothing (hint: there's a unique-to-Canon active button), how to control two features with a single button, and the six main controls that are going to determine if you nailed that image quality or if that exposure and white balance were all off.

  5. Viewfinder Display Overview

    A quick look in the viewfinder displays most of the vital shooting settings, but with Canon updating the intelligent viewfinder options, even seasoned Canon photographers may not know exactly what icons are there and what they mean. Learn what's in the viewfinder, what viewfinder tools you can customize, what viewfinder warnings to look for, and yes, how to get that viewfinder looking sharp (it's not your eyesight, it's the diopter.)

  6. Play Back Menu

    Sure, clicking that arrow button to move through the photos you shot is easy, but what about using dials to flip through images quickly, new touchscreen controls, or rating images so that same rating pops up in Lightroom? Learn it all with the nitty gritty on the play back menu.

  7. Live View & Movie Modes

    A DSLR's autofocus system functions in an entirely different way when using the Live View on the LCD screen instead of the optical viewfinder -- Canon's solution to the slower autofocus performance in Live View is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. That dual pixel system delivers several of the camera's biggest features, so Greengo takes students out on a real-world shoot to demonstrate how to use the feature, what Dual Pixel CMOS AF can really do, and what it can't so you don't wind up looking at soft photos. The same feature is also essential for shooting video.

  8. Autofocus Options

    The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has more than one way to focus --- the tour of the camera continues around back, where Greengo walks through the different autofocus options and how to adjust each one quickly. Learn not just what each autofocus option does, but what the camera will default that focus to in each scenario.

  9. Quick Menu Overview

    The quick menu saves you from digging deep into the camera menu. The quick menu also creates easy touchscreen access to a number of different controls, including file format, how those images are saved to the SD and CF cards, and picture styles.

  10. Left & Right Sides of Camera

    Advanced digital cameras like the 5D Mark IV tend to have several ports -- so what is each one for? Greengo walks you through the different ports, along with making sure those CF and SD cards are compatible and ready to shoot.

  11. Bottom & Front of Camera

    The bottom and front of the camera are often overlooked in most guides -- but that's where features like the depth of field preview and the option to add an accessory to plug the camera in the wall to shoot time-lapses for days are hiding.

  12. Canon 5D Mark IV Lens Options

    The Canon 5D Mark IV can use any EF lens -- but what lenses are the best options? Greengo walks through the lenses with high-end features to match the high-end body.

  13. Shooting Menu Overview

    The camera's menu is where much of the customization options come in -- and much of the confusion. Greengo walks through the shooting menu basics.

  14. Dual Pixel RAW Demo

    A missed focus is traditionally one of the mistakes that simply can't be fixed in post -- but Canon's Dual Pixel RAW can. See a shoot using the feature, an edit, and learn how to use Dual Pixel Raw.

  15. Shooting Menu Options

    Did you know you can fix a lens vignette on every JPEG photo taken with that lens by just adjusting one setting? Walk through the full shooting menu controls to find the hidden gems alongside tools you'll recall often.

  16. Timelapse Video Demo

    Thanks to a built-in intervalometer, the Canon 5D Mark IV can shoot time-lapses in-camera without accessories, unlike the Mark III. Learn how to use the new feature and see that intervalometer in action.

  17. Live View Shooting

    Live view can be an excellent tool -- especially when you have all the controls. Learn how to get the screen to show an accurate exposure, work the touch controls, and more.

  18. Movie Menu Overview

    The movie menu is hidden until you activate the right settings -- learn how to bring that menu out of hiding and what all the movie options mean.

  19. Auto Focus Menu

    Many photographers don't realize that, besides the autofocus modes, you can tweak the way your camera autofocus decides what to focus on. Learn how to tell the camera what subject is most important and how fast that subject's motion changes for a much more accurate autofocus.

  20. Playback Menu

    Don't skip the playback menu -- here's where you can transfer images from one card to the other, rate photos for faster culling later, and more.

  21. Setup Menu

    Every new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV owner should spend some time in the setup menu configuring the camera to their preferences -- Greengo walks you through what's what, from setting up the CF and SD cards to customizing the screen.

  22. GPS Demo

    The 5D Mark IV has a GPS built-in, which can geotag all your photos by location. The settings are key to accessing the feature -- and turning it off for locations that you don't want to be shared.

  23. WiFi Demo

    Wi-Fi is another first for the 5D series -- and opens up possibilities for easily sending images to a smartphone or tablet as well as turning your phone into a remote control.

  24. Custom Functions Menu

    Two photographers shooting side-by-side with the 5D Mark IV probably won't share the exact same settings -- the custom functions menu is tailored to the way you shoot. Customizing this menu allows you to tackle things from setting limits on exposure settings to customizing the physical controls.

  25. Camera Operation

    Camera settings vary wildly based on what, exactly you're shooting. Here, Greengo walks you through several different scenarios and how best to set the 5D Mark IV to tackle them.


Ralph Somma

I was reluctant to purchase this course because I already have the Instruction Manual that came with the 5D Mark IV and am committed to reading it in it's entirely. Nevertheless, after watching a preview of the course, I decide to buy it so I could view it at my leisure, pause and rewind it as needed. I am so glad I did. John Greengo's teaching method is clear and concise. He presents the material in a way that makes it interesting and enjoyable to learn. His effective use of visuals and demonstrations makes understanding every important function of the 5D Mark IV a breeze. I look forward to implementing what I've learned, his recommendations and tweaking the camera's settings to suit my own needs and preferences. Now as I trudge through all 600+ pages of the manual, I'm confident I will more easily grasp the camera's 100+ settings and can always refer back to the course if necessary.


First I have to say that I wanted this camera before it was even released. I had taken some of John's fast start courses and I had some questions regarding this camera vs. the 5D mark III and 7D mark II that I was using at that time. I emailed John and got an "out of office/out on location response". I put it out of my mind assuming that when John Greengo was back in the office, he'd have hundreds of emails waiting and my little question would get lost in the shuffle. I was delighted to receive a response a few weeks later. I was even more delighted when he released this fast start course. I did end up buying the 5D mark IV (love it) and had a pretty good handle on using it. This class opened up some new doors in how to use all of the features and customize things to suit my needs. I can never recommend John's classes enough. He explains things in an easy yet technical way that is useful to both beginners and seasoned photographers!

Byron Bastian

I have never watched one of John's courses, I have watched many videos trying to learn info regarding the new 5D Mark 4 Camera. I learned many new important features available with this amazing camera. John rocks as an instructor, his ability to teach in such informative way was very helpful. I would recommend this coarse to anyone looking to better understand this camera as well as to learn more about photography in general.