Before the 5D Mark III was released, we heard rumors that the camera would feature 4K video. Of course, that seems silly now given Canon’s conservative approach in releasing new DSLRs and video products in recent years. And in the Twilight Zone of the camera industry we live in now, Canon is the one that started this whole HDSLR craze after all with a groundbreaking product in the 5D Mark II.
Of course, Canon didn’t know what it had with the 5D Mark II. Canon would have almost certainly neutered it or rebranding the model with a much higher price tag if it knew that it would be the catalyst to the democratization of filmmaking.
The 5D Mark III was released as a very solid camera and a proper successor to the 5D Mark II. Great low light performance, much better AF and a respectable upgrade in the video department. However, it wasn’t groundbreaking. It was a calculated, incremental upgrade. It was solid and it was safe.
In the mean time, Canon has released a series of EOS Cinema cameras geared toward the professional filmmaking and video industry. The C100 currently runs about $5000, while the top-end C500 runs $20,000.
Canon and the 4K Dilemma
If you want to shoot 4K with a Canon camera, you have two choices: the C500 or the HDSLR-style Canon 1D C, which rings in at $12,000.
Just a couple years ago, we were all talking about who would be the first company to break the 4K for $10k barrier with a Super 35 or larger sensor. We’ve got those is spades now.
4K cameras and delivery systems are primed and ready for a complete onslaught. It’s happening. Consumers are going to buy into it. It won’t be long before 1080p is no longer a “good enough” feature.
The Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S have beaten Canon to the punch with solid 4K offerings. If Canon rolls out another incremental upgrade in the 5D line without 4K video, HDSLR customers are going to jump ship in droves. There is just too much great tech out there for Canon to stay out of the affordable 4K market for another generation.
It makes sense then that we’re hearing tips that the Canon 5D Mark IV will feature 4K video capabilities. It’s a feature I expect and would be shocked to see Canon leave out of the 5D Mark IV.
CFast Card Slots and Storage Options
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Canon dropped the aging CF card format and jumped on the CFast bandwagon in the 5D Mark IV. In fact, I will be disappointed if Canon doesn’t go with CFast.
The SD card slot from the 5D Mark III received a whole lot of eye rolls because it was not only inferior to the speed of the CF cards, Canon crippled it from the start by failing to support UHS bus standards.
The maximum theoretical speeds for CFast 2.0 specifications are 600MB/s. Lexar already has cards that deliver 510MB/s speeds. While compressed 4K video can be captured at much lower data rates than that, Canon has previously committed to the CFast 2.0 standard and 4K video is a prime opportunity to set itself apart from Panasonic and other manufacturers’ highly compressed 4K footage with a solid 4K codec.
And then there’s the CF card pins. Who doesn’t hate the pins in the card slot of your camera for CF cards? If you’ve ever bent a pin, then you know it’s about a $250 fix and time without your camera while you ship it to Canon.
The CF card is just a terrible design. They were fast and served the purpose during the rise of the DSLR, but it’s time to put CF out to pasture for good. Including the CFast 2.0 card slot on the 5D Mark IV would put a stamp of approval on the standard and further encourage prices to drop on new CFast 2.0 cards.
5D Mark IV Still Photography Specs
This is something that’s quite open for speculation still. We are waiting to hear more tips and rumors about the still image features for the 5D Mark IV.
The Mark III is a solid still photography camera. Of course, there can always be incremental improvements in sensor technology and overall image quality. That’s a given expectation on camera lines of this caliber.
But, what’s going to encourage Mark III users to upgrade to a Mark IV? The Mark III is so good, that the Mark IV is going to have to knock our socks off with something much better to invest another $3000 or so into the new body.
What about some easier bracketing and intervalometer features? Nikon has always had a major leg up on Canon in this department. If Canon made these tasks easier to accomplish in camera, the convenience alone would be a nice incentive to upgrade.
Of course, Dual Pixel AF, which we saw in the Canon 70D, should arrive in the next 5D. While this is a great video feature, it is a great live view tool for still photography as well.
These are just a few features that come to mind. What do you guys want to see on the still image capture side (or video side) of the 5D Mark IV?