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Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 1

Canon’s new EOS 5D IV is a formidable bit of hardware, boasting a 30MP full-frame sensor and 4K video. Our friend Roger Cicala over at LensRentals.com has taken one apart to see how it works. His verdict? It’s harder to disassemble than you might expect…

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 2

Lensrentals.com, 2016

We love it when LensRentals takes cameras to bits for two reasons. First, we’ve always wanted to see what these things look like on the inside, and second, it’s not the kind of thing that our friends at the major camera manufacturers would ever let us do. 

The screwdrive-happy nerds at LensRentals enjoy opening up Canon cameras particularly, it seems, because in Roger’s words ‘the engineering is always nicely laid out and usually pretty’. Ok then. 

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 3

Lensrentals.com, 2016

The 5D IV, however, seems not to be a typical Canon camera in that it proved very difficult to get into. According to the crew at LensRentals, ‘Until now Canon cameras have all been pretty straightforward in their disassembly: you take out screws, that part of the case comes off, repeat for another part of the case’. 

With the 5D IV, on the other hand… ‘to take off any part of the shell, other than the back assembly, you have to take off most of the shell because Canon has added lots of plastic pegs and latches to the various parts of the shell, making it much more interlocking than in previous cameras’. 

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 4

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Part of the reason for the additional latches could be to improve the durability and weather-sealing of the camera, which as you’d hope features ‘lots of foamed seals along doors and joints’

This view shows the inside of the 5D IV’s rear shell. According to Roger, ‘Inside it looks very much like other Canon back covers. There are aluminum shields over the button panel and LCD. The flexes running to and fro over the LCD are more complex than other Canons because of the extra processing for the touch screen.’

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 5

Lensrentals.com, 2016

This is the main LCD flex, which is unusually large. In Roger’s words ‘almost a circuit board’. 

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 6

Lensrentals.com, 2016

From the back, Roger found a couple of interesting things, looking at the EOS 5D IV: ‘First, there are more flexes connecting to the main PCB than most other models. Second, we were very pleased to see a thick, stiff, sheet of rubber covering the back of the PCB’.

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 7

Lensrentals.com, 2016

The EOS 5D IV benefits from the redesigned mirror assembly we first saw in the EOS 5DS/R, and here’s the mirror motor, tucked away to the left of the lensmount.

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 8

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Here’s the EOS 5D IV’s top assembly. And this is as far as Roger is prepared to go, because ‘we’ve learned from long, painful experience not to take these apart unless we absolutely need to. In general, if something is wrong with the top assembly, you just replace the top assembly’. 

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 9

Lensrentals.com, 2016

This is the EOS 5D IV’s main PCB. Unusual, because ‘there are a lot, a whole lot, of flexes connected to the board from every direction. They are thicker and more complex than previous cameras and a lot end up in thick ‘press in’ connectors instead of simple flex cables.’

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 10

Lensrentals.com, 2016

‘Underneath where the PCB was we now see the circuit board of the image sensor, and to the right of that the CF card assembly’.

LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV

Harder than it looks: LensRentals gets inside the Canon EOS 5D IV 11

Lensrentals.com, 2016

What did Roger and his team learn from taking the EOS 5D IV apart? 

  • ‘The weather sealing on the Canon 5d Mark IV appears pretty robust’
  • The multiple pins, clips and screws that hold the camera together might improve weather-resistance but make it ‘kind of a pain to get into’.
  • The extra technology inside the EOS 5D IV mean that ‘there are more chips, and more and heavier connectors moving electrons from board to board than even the Canon 5Ds cameras have’.
  • ‘there’s more air inside this camera than we’re used to seeing. […] In other words, this camera probably could have been a bit smaller but Canon wanted to keep the form factor the same.’
  • ‘Construction is at least as robust as the recent 5 series releases and better than the Canon 5D III’.

You can read the full tear-down, with Roger’s usual detailed analysis and plenty of additional images at LensRentals.com.


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