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Rudy Winston
Rudy Winston

Rudy Winston has nearly 20 years experience with Canon USA's Pro Products team, and has been responsible during that time for training Canon's staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers.

What's New: LCD Monitor Color Tone Adjustments

August 30, 2016

The EOS 5D Mark IV has a new, higher-resolution LCD monitor on the back of the camera, with finer detail than the monitors on some previous EOS models.  Monitor resolution has increased from roughly 1.04 million dots (5D Mark III) to 1.62 million dots on the Mark IV.

Along with these improvements, you may also notice that the images displayed on this monitor seem to have slightly different color tones. This is not a defect.  It’s a product with a completely new LCD monitor, with color characteristics that are not identical to previous Canon monitors.  The Mark IV monitor has a slightly warmer overall color rendition than certain earlier Canon EOS models displayed.

Knowing that critical photographers in many fields may continue to use earlier EOS cameras alongside newly-purchased EOS 5D Mark IV bodies, Canon engineers have added a Set-up Menu option to alter the color tone of the Mark IV’s monitor display.
 

The EOS 5D Mark IV adds a new menu setting you haven’t seen on previous EOS models — the ability to alter the LCD monitor’s color tone.  It’s on the 2nd menu screen, in the camera’s Set-up Menu.  Details are described in this article.
LCD Color Tone adjustments

In the 2nd Set-up Menu screen, you’ll see a new entry — LCD color tone — which hasn’t appeared on EOS cameras before.  Press the SET button, and four distinct options now appear:

  1. Warm tone
    Warms the color rendition even further, compared to the factory-default setting on the EOS 5D Mark IV.
  2. Standard
    The camera’s factory-default setting.  This is its normal color rendition, which again may appear slightly warmer than the monitors of previous EOS models.  It aims to match color reproduction to an sRGB monitor (note that we are not claiming it to be precisely tuned to the sRGB standard).
  3. Cool Tone 1
    Adds a hint of blue (cool tone) to the monitor’s display characteristics.
  4. Cool Tone 2
    Adds a bit more blue (cool tone) — slightly stronger effect than setting #3.

Please note that these adjustments will produce slight overall shifts in the monitor’s color rendition for everything displayed — images, Live View and Movie recording compositions, and Menu displays.

Matching LCD monitor tone to earlier EOS models

Canon is not claiming 100% perfect matching of monitor display characteristics from one model to another, but the following suggestions will provide a good first step, if and when you want to tune the EOS 5D Mark IV display to approximate what you see on some other EOS models.

  • EOS 5D Mark III:
    Cool Tone 1 or 2
  • EOS-1D X:
    Cool Tone 1 or 2
  • EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R, and EOS 7D Mark II:
    These should appear essentially similar to the Standard (#2) setting on the EOS 5D Mark IV’s Color Tone adjustments.  Users are completely free, of course, to consider other settings in response to factors like the scenes or images they’re viewing, the lighting they’re viewing them in, and other factors.
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera and its Fall 2016 firmware upgrade

Canon shooters who use (or may consider using) the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X Mark II camera should be aware that a significant firmware upgrade is being made available for free download in Fall of 2016 for that camera.  One of the changes it adds to the 1D X Mark II is the addition of the same LCD Color Tone menu option in the camera’s Set-up Menu.

The EOS-1D X Mark II with this firmware will behave in the same way as the EOS 5D Mark IV, as described in this article.  The LCD monitor is essentially the same on the two cameras, and the various color tone options can be adjusted to achieve the same results.

Moving forward, new EOS-1D X Mark II cameras, produced from roughly fall of 2016 onward, will have this firmware factory-installed, and have the Color Tone adjustment for their LCD monitors in their Set-up Menu.

A couple of other notes:

Some additional points about the adjustable color tone on the EOS 5D Mark IV LCD monitor:

  • There is no further adjustment of the monitor’s color tone possible in-camera (beyond the four menu settings described above), nor can it be fine-tuned in any way by the user.  The four settings in the Set-up Menu are the extent of the variations possible.
  • In no way do these settings change or modify actual image files themselves.  They only shift the way they’re displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor slightly.
  • Especially for users shooting original JPEG images in-camera, and/or video files, we strongly suggest that they carefully consider not only the LCD monitor color tone settings, but fundamental image settings such as white balance and Picture Style settings, to ensure the results they want.
  • At present, we know of no plans to upgrade previous EOS camera models to incorporate this LCD monitor Color Tone adjustment feature.  Whenever firmware upgrades for any EOS model are introduced, they are announced on the Support pages of Canon web sites, world-wide.
Summary

For anyone who’s a truly critical user, this ability on the EOS 5D Mark IV to adjust the overall color tone of the LCD monitor display will be an appreciated feature.  Even for shooters who are not concerned with matching the Mark IV’s display to correspond closely to that of another EOS model, personal preferences alone may lead users to experiment with this feature.  Along with setting the overall brightness of the LCD display, this adds another measure of control that users can freely apply at any time.

The CDLC contributors are compensated spokespersons and actual users of the Canon products that they promote.

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