The Canon 5D Mark IV Will Be Very Controversial If These Specs Are True. 4K Included.

Feb 23, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

The Canon 5D Mark IV Will Be Very Controversial If These Specs Are True. 4K Included.

Feb 23, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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A list of specs supposedly belonging to a test camera has found its way to the web, and despite certain similarities to the 1D X, reports deny it is the 1D X Mark II.

The 5D Mark IV is expected towards the end of the year and hopes are high that the test camera is a draft of sorts.

But while 4K video, super high ISO and a substantially boosted burst mode will be greatly appreciated by some, a possible decrease in the sensor’s megapixels could rain on their parade.

According to Canon Rumors, the following specs belong to a test camera that may or may not reach production in its current form:

  • 18mp Full Frame CMOS
  • ISO 100-204,800
  • 61 AF Points (all cross-type)
  • 12fps
  • Dual CFast
  • 4K Video Capture

The first feature in the list is the core of the potential controversy. We have seen a fierce megapixel war in recent years, with Canon having the last word for the moment with the 5Ds and 5Ds R. Obviously this led us to expect a MP increase, slight as it may be, in the upcoming replacement.

Not only does this camera not increase the camera’s MP, it actually takes a few away. Most people will agree that the difference between 18MP and 22MP is negligible, but it is still a move in the “wrong” direction.

The high ISO is obviously a welcome upgrade from the current 102,800 found in the 5D Mark III, though some people will be upset about the base ISO changing from 50 to 100.

The one feature that does not draw too much attention is the 61 AF points, though it’s great that they are all cross-type. The 5D Mark III, 5Ds/R and 1D X all have 61 AF points, so this was very much to be expected.

Doubling the firepower of the Mark III and almost matching that of the flagship 1D X, the test camera is said to be capable of shooting 12 frames per second. This might not faze some users, but it would be a Godsend to sports and wildlife photographers.

Canon 1D X
Could the 5D Mark III replacement be a mini 1D X?

Dual CFast is the other unforeseen feature, and an unwanted one for some. CFast cards promise a significant bump in read and write speeds, but come at a substantial cost. CFast cards are considerably more expensive than CF memory cards, and if both the camera’s slots will be dedicated to CFast cards, the cost has just doubled.

True, this move will mean you will not be able to use any your current memory cards, which is why I doubt Canon will opt for dual CFast, but it will introduce a new technology that is expected to last for a while. I hated the extra cost of CF cards when I got my D300s, but I’ve never looked back. Personally, I’m very much looking forward to the introduction of CFast memory cards.

You must also keep in mind that their price will drop once they become more popular, just as the price of SD and CF cards has plummeted over the years (though this wasn’t solely due to their popularity).

Many video features can be found on users’ wish lists (did anybody say focus peaking?), but 4K video is without a doubt the most debated request. I recently mentioned that Canon might be motivated to announce a 4K DSLR if it senses Nikon’s video capabilities are closing in, and I’m confident this is something we will see in the relatively near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 5D Mark III replacement will be the first affordable DSLR to have it (opposed to the only 4K DSLR on the market today – the $8,000 Canon 1D C).

What If and If At All

The most important thing to keep in mind is that these specs refer to a test camera. It is unknown for how long the camera has been around (which might explain the 18MP sensor), or if it will ever make it to the market.

It also seems entirely possible that the camera could be testing various features that would not necessarily be bunched in the same camera later on.

Theoretically this could mean that the dual CFast slots could be tested for the 1D X Mark II, the 12fps with the 61 cross-type AF point for the 5D Mark IV and the 4K video for an entirely separate camera to be released in the 5D lineup.

Now, what if the 5D Mark IV will have an 18MP sensor?

Honestly, while I have a hard time believing Canon will lower the MP count; it could be a good move. Sure, the marketing team will have a hard time selling ‘less is sometimes more’, but the benefits of the move could greatly outweigh the downside of losing a few megapixels.

I’ve mentioned in the past that the 5D Mark IV is supposed to be a low-light beast, and if it means Canon will have to lower the MP count in order to offer superb high ISO, super fast AF and a very impressive 12fps, how many people will really miss the extra megapixels? If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that the camera will have a relatively low MP count, considering Canon’s low-light flagship weighs in at 18MP and Nikon’s D4S at just 16MP.

We’ve also seen Canon lowering the megapixel count when the 1D X replaced the 21MP 1Ds Mark III, so such a move would not be unheard of.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the high-megapixel sensors. I swear by my Nikon D800, and I’m dying to get my hands on a Canon 5Ds. That being said, in most cases I’d be willing to settle for fewer megapixels in exchange for better high ISO, more fps and faster AF. They are far more important, in my opinion, for most uses, once you reach a certain amount of megapixels. While 18 megapixels might be a tad low, it is pretty close to the point at which I’d start caring more about the other factors than how many extra pixels I get.

If you absolutely need every pixel you can get, the 5Ds and 5Ds R will be you new best friends. Practically though, most people (present company included) will do just fine with something in the 20MP neighborhood.

Canon has already proved (on paper, for now) that it is capable of creating a megapixel behemoth. That weight has been removed from its shoulders, and now that the pressure is off I think Canon can allow itself to take a break from the megapixel war and focus on improving other features.

Leaked Canon 5DS
The undisputed pixel king. Canon 5Ds.

Canon does not have to reassert its megapixel dominance with every model it releases, so fanboys should not lose too much sleep over the fact that Nikon’s D810 possesses double the amount of pixels.

If the 5D Mark IV will be similar to the mentioned specs, Canonists need not worry that it is not the perfect answer to the D810. Why does it need to be? As great as I think it is, the D810 is by no means the perfect camera, and Canon can produce a better camera overall even if it has fewer megapixels. At the very least, owners will be able to rest assured knowing that their lenses are fully capable of resolving the sensor.

D810
The 5D Mark IV should strive to be better than the D810, not the same as it.

It is not a completely fair comparison, but have a look at Sony’s decision to produce the 12.2MP a7S. Sony dropped the megapixels drastically and created a low-light wonder. You will be correct in saying that they also offer the 24.3MP a7 Mark II and the 36MP a7R, but Canon offer a higher MP solution and the potentially ‘low megapixel’ camera is conveniently positioned between Sony’s low and medium megapixel cameras, with what I regard as a totally acceptable amount.

a7S
Lowering the megapixel count worked for Sony. a7S.

If This Is Not The 1D X Replacement…

The specs of this camera could lead one to believe that it might be an upgrade of sorts of the current flagship, though it was specifically stated that is not the case.

In fact, Canon Rumors were told that the 1D X replacement will provide a “quantum leap in fps, dynamic range and a bump in resolution”. If true, it would make it more possible for some of the current high-end features of the 1D X to trickle down to the 5D line.

More importantly though, I’m now curious to see what the 1D X Mark II will offer!

[Lead Image: Ms. Glaze]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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34 responses to “The Canon 5D Mark IV Will Be Very Controversial If These Specs Are True. 4K Included.”

  1. Martin Reisch Avatar
    Martin Reisch

    i definitely don’t want 4k h.264, so a huge PASS if that’s what they’ve got coming…

  2. Jay George Avatar
    Jay George

    The #Canon 5D MarkIV is likely to be #Controversial if these specs are to be believed: http://t.co/V9wCcSfxdu (via )

  3. Casey Braunger Avatar
    Casey Braunger

    Take my mps as long as it means creamy low light shots!

    1. Fabian Avatar
      Fabian

      you want creamy low light shots? buy a nikon

  4. Neil Schulman Avatar
    Neil Schulman

    99% of the cameras users will down-rez all these pics to 1024px wide & show them on Facebook or similar. Enough w/megapix!

    1. Shifty303 Avatar
      Shifty303

      I’m pretty sure most consumers wouldn’t buy this camera.

    2. Luca Avatar
      Luca

      I don’t care if most users will resize the photo, they can take photos with a cell phone for all I care. I composite and print in the GigaPixel range and to me a 40-50MP 5D Mark IV would be most useful.

  5. Jitesh S. Mistry Avatar
    Jitesh S. Mistry

    I don’t see an issue with this.

  6. KTX Avatar
    KTX

    Base ISO on the 5DIII has always been 100, not 50. ISO 50 was an expanded mode, just like the 51,800 and 102,800 settings. This is just computed ISO 50, which was shot at 100 and ‘underexposed in post’ before it was written to the card. Effectively losing 1 stop of highlight dynamic range.

  7. Daniel Lowe Avatar
    Daniel Lowe

    If you want excellent High ISO performance, then you’re going to have to sacrifice some megapixels. More megapixels is bad for low light. You want each pixel to be as “large”, physically, on the sensor, in low light. So Full Frame with low megapixels is the way to do that.

    They need h.265 or something better than h.264 for video.. but then again they are 2-3 years behind Sony and Panasonic on offering lower end 4K cameras…

    p.s. I really thought base ISO on the Canon’s was ISO 160, and base ISO on the Nikon / Sony Sensor was 200. (I’ve been avoiding ISO 125 and multiples, also, especially for video)

    Lots of confusion on the base ISO numbers, I see.

  8. newworld666 Avatar
    newworld666

    Good news .. let’s hope we will get a helpful dynamic between 11 to 12EV between 800 to 12800 iso.
    Most people here are unable to understand that high iso are not necessary for low light situation but much more to get a perfect DOF and still be compatible with frequent live situation. What a good news to shoot living tight portrait at 1/400 @ 10p/s and still get both eyes in the DOF at F5.6 or F8 without the help external additional lights.
    Definitely, why high iso for sport and wildlife ? why not just for shooting with the appropriate aperture and speed for any living situations. the Canon 1DFx was areal game changer, and probably the 5DMKIV will be a perfect child.

  9. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    I guess it kinda makes sense after how much Sony A7s was praised.
    Still waiting for that a7sII though….

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      dont hold your breath… that thing is going to implode soon.

  10. Ted Gamron Avatar
    Ted Gamron

    Sounds like a 1DX.

  11. dbltax Avatar
    dbltax

    TL;DR: wild speculation.

  12. theSUBVERSIVE Avatar
    theSUBVERSIVE

    The 18MP thing is quite simple, it’s better to make 4K with 1:1 pixel than 22MP or more, just that. What’s the point of getting a worse video doing line skipping and binning if you can do 1:1 pixel count for a better 4K video? Canon’s video is already pretty soft for today’s standards, that would certainly make it worse. But it would need a small crop to actually become a 1:1 4. Although, Canon being Canon, I’m not really expecting internal 4K to be true.

  13. Darren Eagles Avatar
    Darren Eagles

    A page from Nikon’s book. Works for the D4s. Canon finally figured it out.

  14. Phil Philms Avatar
    Phil Philms

    Frame rates please ?? At least 720 at 120 ??

  15. isoruku yamamoto Avatar
    isoruku yamamoto

    “Fewer” megapixels, not “less megapixels.” Also, the past tense of “lead” is “led.”

  16. James Montour Avatar
    James Montour

    The mark IV is going to be more video oriented, where higher megapixels is a bad thing as it kind of trashes low light capabilities in video mode. If you want to complain about megapixels then get the 5Ds or any other camera that has higher megapixels, piece of cake.

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      smart answer… I agree. different tools for different needs.

    2. Luca Avatar
      Luca

      Well, in that case just get yourself a real video camera. Canon makes some pretty good 4K videocameras.

  17. Rahul Dhingra Avatar
    Rahul Dhingra

    Future of photography belongs to Mirror-less and Canon is afraid of its own capabilities in this domain. In 10 yrs dslr will be treated same as we treat film camera today.
    Wake up Canon!!!

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      wishful thinking .. wisssshhhhh full thinking… 4/3s is a fad… it has taken monumental efforts and lets not talk about money to jumpstart this format… the thing is that at the end of the day i dont see a prophotog walking into a studio with a prime client and opening his bag and taking out a micro 4/3s specially when the client is paying top dollars … a medium format or a high end DSLR will definitively fit the bill… sorry man as romantic as we are with gear the truth is that visual in a photoshoot is as important as end product…
      no matter what …. no matter how cool…. when it comes to prime $$$$ they want to see the best gear at their appointment. period. and 4/3s are NOT it.

      1. Guest Avatar
        Guest

        I never mention M 4/3s . I am talking about mirror-less. Canon have technology to create high end full frame mirror-less but they are not interested as it will make their exiting product line useless. And this video might help you understand how companies think :)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJBq0z2Vmu4&index=11&list=LLzZM8Mm7oOT35ANOqXVTw9w

        P.S: I have already switched to sony. they listing to the market at least.

      2. Rahul Dhingra Avatar
        Rahul Dhingra

        I never mention M 4/3s . I am talking about mirror-less. Canon have technology to create high end full frame mirror-less but they are not interested as it will make their exiting product line useless. And this video might help you understand how companies think :)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?…

        P.S: I have already switched to sony. they listening to the market at least.

      3. Rahul Dhingra Avatar
        Rahul Dhingra

        I never mention M 4/3s . I am talking about mirror-less. Canon have technology to create high end full frame mirror-less but they are not interested as it will make their exiting product line useless. And this video might help you understand how companies think :)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJBq0z2Vmu4&index=11&list=LLzZM8Mm7oOT35ANOqXVTw9w

        P.S: I have already switched to sony

    2. Barry Adam Johnson Avatar
      Barry Adam Johnson

      How’s life since you’ve been booted off CR?

  18. rocketride Avatar
    rocketride

    Canon has lowered pixel count in exchange for better low-light performance before. The G-12 had a lower pixel count and better low-light performance than its predecessor. It was a big selling point when I bought mine.

  19. petersson Avatar
    petersson

    4k sounds nice, but lower compression than h.264 would be important. I would actualy prefer 1080p in RAW than 4k in a high compressed codec. I hate the bad possibilites of color-grading I got with the current Codecs in Video used by Canon.

  20. Afraz Avatar
    Afraz

    Wouldn’t expanded video capabilities eat into their EOS Cine lineup?

  21. Grant McCurdy Avatar
    Grant McCurdy

    I’m personally very in favor of these stats – less pixels is probably the only way to compete with the low light video quality of cameras like the Sony A7s, which does SO WELL because it has less pixels (therefore larger pixels?) than its close relatives (A7r). This should also help with the quality of both 1080 and 4k video footage in terms of artifacts/moire and possibly even rolling shutter. I think those benefits will greatly outweigh the slight change in resolution for pictures… and I would recommend nikon for photos anyway. I just hope they give it video compression that doesn’t eliminate all the detail that other brands are managing to retain… canon DSLRs have seemed behind the curve there.

  22. George Powers Avatar
    George Powers

    i hope it comes with wifi for what canon is going to over charge everyone!

  23. Luca Avatar
    Luca

    I want at least an option for no low-pass filter, 40MP, 4K video and possibly shooting RAW video.