Canon 5D Mark IV Might Feature 4K Video

by Barry Andersson31 Comments

The latest rumor from is hinting that the Canon 5D Mark IV might ship with the ability to shoot 4K video.

The questions we should be asking are:

#1- Is the rumor credible?
#2- If the Canon 5D Mark IV doesn't have the ability to record (internally or externally with a recorder) 4K video what does that mean for the flagship DSLR video camera?
Let's start with #1.

I am always wary of rumors. Especially when they are far in advance of any possible announcement. The further away a rumor is from a potential launch usually means it is more wishful thinking than fact. I have no insight as to what may or may not be the feature set for the 5D Mark IV but I don't put much stock in these sorts of rumors at this point.

The reason I wanted to talk about this rumor is more because of question #2.

When the Canon 5D Mark IV does indeed get announced I think the bigger story will be if there were no way to record 4K video (again either internally or externally).

As of today the following competing cameras offer the ability to record 4K video:

And this doesn't cover the rising number of prosumer camcorders that shoot 4K video. Outside of Canon's 1DC ($13,000) both Canon and Nikon are now behind the growing curve of 4K.

That makes me ask the question: What happens to Canon if their flagship DSLR the 5D Mark IV doesn't allow users to shoot 4k will that be the beginning of the end?

The vast majority of paying gigs are still not shooting 4K and it doesn't seem likely that that will change in the near future. However, for the first time paying jobs are moving toward 4K. We cannot avoid it. I think in the real world Canon could maybe get by another couple years without a 4K camera at a lower price point than the 1DC.

Even though I think they could doesn't mean they would. When we buy cameras we need to know that our investment will work for the life of the camera. I think if the 5D Mark IV is announced in early 2015 then that means it will most likely not be updated until 2018. If Canon thinks they can wait that long for their flagship camera to not shoot 4K video until 2018? That would be a huge mistake.

Canon does have another option. They could possibly release a camera that doesn't record 4K video but have a mid cycle firmware update to allow the camera shoot 4K. I think this is very unlikely though because I think from the engineering side in order to shoot 4K the insides need to be right from the get go. That would mean Canon would in essence disable the 4K recording and open it up well after they start selling the cameras. I think Canon survived launches like that in the past but I think the market would be unhappy with that again.

I guess this boils down to I think it is likely that the Canon 5D Mark IV will shoot 4K video. If not Canon will cease to be the leader in the space and will lose significant market share. So Canon if you are listening…

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video?

Just recently a rumor surfaced stating that Canon may announce the EOS 5D Mark IV at the beginning of 2015. Now I have been told (thanks) that the successor of the EOS 5D Mark III could feature 4k video. The feature is going to be implemented, so the source, to further push the 5D into the videographers domain.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video

Currently Canon is featuring 4k on the EOS-1D C (Adorama | B&H Photo). It would be a more than welcome move if the 5D Mark IV would deliver 4k! Canon added HD recording to the EOS 5D Mark II, let’s hope the EOS 5D Mark IV will make the next step. Just to remind: full HD has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4K has a resolution of 4096 x 2160.

Also Read this article on CanonWatch “Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video?”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from CanonWatch)


  1. I have very little doubt the 5D4 will shoot 4K. In fact I think we will see 4K this fall with the announcement of the 7D2. 

    I think Canon has spent their time these last few years developing a set of new sensors and possibly a new Digic chip with H.265 encoding. I believe Canon will be putting their money on H.265 pretty heavily for all of their new cameras, including their Cinema series which will probably sport the higher end 10bit 4:2:2 and 12bit 4:4:4 versions of that codec. We already know Canon has contributed these specs to the H.265 codec. 

    If I had to take a guess I think come next year (if the 5D4 is released next year which I think it will be) we’ll see forum and blog posts asking the crucial question “Should I shoot 4K H.265 on the 5D4 or 1080p raw on the 5D3?” 
    Somehow I think the 5D4 will not have the datarate to the CF card necessary for Magic Lantern to do raw 4K and they may even have difficulties getting regular 1080p off the new camera in a raw format. But maybe not. Who knows. This is all just a guess. But considering we never get everything we want and there are always concessions, I can see this as being a possible concession.

  2. Given that the Japanese tend to load cameras with every conceivable feature (whether or not it’s useful or desired), if only to keep up with competition, it’s highly unlikely Canon would omit 4K capability on the 5D4.
    4K would also offer the theoretical advantage of downsampling to 1080p for users who have no intention of releasing 4K videos.

  3. arielmalagoli Chris Santucci Yep. I know all about it, but if they want to improve the 5D – they could build in more color depth. Don’t need 4K.

  4. Here’s my “guess” or perhaps what I would do if I was the grand pooh-bah at Canon.  Add 4K to the new 5D Mark IV but only via a separate recorder, like the Sony a7s.  Then add 4k to the “C” line of video cameras…Leave the C100 the way it is, lower the price because it would be HD only.  Add 4k output only to the C300 and give the C500 internal and external 4K capabilities.

  5. stantod There is no reason to hobble 4K on the 5D4 simple because of the cinema line. Therea re plenty of other benefits the cinema line adds that woudl compell people to purchase them. Ergonomics, audio, built-in ND filters, potentialy higher bit rates and color sampling, EVF (or beter EVF if the 5D4 gets a hybrid OVF/EVF), professsional data conntections, etc. 

    I don’t think Canon is the type that would require a separate box for doing 4K on a prosumer camera. I think they would want everything buttoned up really tight.

  6. How about some simple things first that would make the camera more like a “real” video camera:

    1. allowing the power-on/off and video-on/off switches to be mounted on the pan head handle?

    2, picture cache

    3. mirror-less shutter box.

  7. Charles O Slavens Nahhh, that’s what the C series is for. I doubt Canon would ever bother to implement video features on the EOS cameras much beyond what they have now. The improvements to the 5D were pretty weak in my opinion and I think shows where their heads are at with the EOS line with respect to video.

  8. Charles O Slavens  The problem is that the 5D is a still camera that can be used to make movies. It is not a movie that can be used for stills.
    My gut feeling (which could be dead-wrong) is that the more you make the 5D “look” like a movie camera, the less appeal it will have to those purchasing it primarily for still photography. Canon could potentially destroy the 5D’s market (which will probably remain still photographers).
    As for removing the reflex viewing system (which I assume you’re suggesting)… That wouldn’t be a good idea for such a large, bulky camera. I’m accustomed to holding SLRs against my face. I would not want to have to hold a 5D in front of me so I could see the LCD. That isn’t what a full-frame DSLR is “about”.
    On the other hand, I could see replacing the swinging mirror with a pellicle mirror, * which would cause about a third-stop light loss (at the film plane).
    * Which Sony stupidly, idiotically, moronically calls a translucent mirror. AAACCCKKK!

  9. William Sommerwerck 
    I’m curious why you didn’t mention just replacing it with an EVF?

  10. Good point. But I’m not sure I see the advantage of an EVF in what is a fundamentally bulky camera. (I own a 5D2.)
    I’m bothered by electronic viewfinders because they require the sensor to be “nekkid”, which does not give the sensor much protection. (It was not unheard-of for Leica shutter curtains to receive a “sunburn”.
    Over 40 years ago, I suggest the EVF to Bert Keppler as a means of previewing the actual results you would get from the film loaded in the camera.

  11. William Sommerwerck Charles O Slavens  I made my living behind 16mm movie cameras and 35mm still cameras the sixties and seventies, shooting mostly documentary style.
    What I miss most when shooting video today, with my 5d2, is that I have to take my hand off the panhead handle to turn the camera on. Putting those controls on the handle would make a world of difference to me and I assume others who shoot documentary style – meaning limited crew, quick set-up, and run-and-gun shooting. In regard to the mirror, I think we could all live with the 1/3 stop loss if we gained auto-focus.

  12. roxics Would someone care to discuss in greater depth the issue I implicitly raised earlier — that it might not make sense to try to design a product that tries to “do everything”?
    When it comes to consumer products, the Japanese place “feature set” well-above simplicity or elegance. A DSLR that also makes movies is dangerously close to being an optical Vegomatic.

  13. I would be ok without 4K if they just added, peaking, time left on the card, time recorded, longer battery life, sharper image, no moire on all cameras (quit holding it hostage, you did it with 5D mark 3), volume control on headphones, , internal time lapse capabilities and everything else their competitors are putting in or ML has had to develop because Canon plays games with firmware.

    The GH4 has all theses features and I love it.  The only reason I am keeping my 5DM3 is low light and shallow depth of field.  If Panasonic had done that in the GH4, I would have bailed on Canon big time.

    Canon just likes to play games and keep people on the edge.  The problem is, the competition is chipping away at them while they toy with their consumer base about hopefully having one additional feature.

  14. William Sommerwerck
    Except that DSLRs do make movies and have since 2009-ish. This this is nothing new. Desiring 4K is just asking for better quality movies. I don’t think Canon willl throw every bell and whistle at the 5D4. That’s more Panasonic’s style. But it would be nice if they did add certain things that would make video a little easier. Mostly menu driven things that could be more elegantly arranged to convey simplicity even with a lot of functionality.

  15. Not including 4K, and an EVF would be a big mistake. I’ve shot Canon professionally for nearly 15 years, and even bought C series cams. But, I just sold all but a few 5D3’s and bought GH4’s and lenses. I figure if Canon does decide to make a full frame mirrorless cinema / stills camera I’ll be first in line.

    But, I’ll never buy another camera that doesn’t shoot 4K, have a built in EVF, 1080p slow motion, and an articulating LCD. What sold me on the switch was actually buying the Olympus OMD-EM1… At that moment I realized I can do a lot more storytelling when I am not juggling big cinema cameras, and all the extra gear it takes to use them. Not to mention that smaller cameras make 3 Axis Gimbal work dramatically easier on the back. And, IS just works better on lighter cams and lenses.

    Don’t get me wrong, I adore the full frame look over M43 in a lot of situations, but I for one am sold on small cameras, and can’t see going back to the old days (last year) of carrying bulky cams.

  16. Charles O Slavens William Sommerwerck I just leave my camera on, with auto off going, and I just wake it with the shutter button. Solved.

  17. Pingback: 4K Video Capture Coming to the EOS 5D Mark IV? [CR1] - The Infinite Studio

  18. Good luck. If there’s one thing the Japanese do not understand, it’s the concept of an elegant interface.
    Related point… I find I too-often have to refer to the user manual for the details of how to use certain features. I remain puzzled as to why cameras do not include operational instructions that can be displayed on the LCD. It’s not as if they would require huge amounts of storage space.

  19. 3thanAlexander Charles O Slavens  What am I missing here? How do you access the shutter button without taking your hand off the pan head handle?

  20. Charles O Slavens 3thanAlexander Switch it to the left, ya?

  21. 3thanAlexander Charles O Slavens Uhhhhh, sorry, I don’t mean to be repeating myself, but I spent most of my life making a living behind a camera (stills and movies). Every camera I’ve ever operated is set up for those of us who are right handed. If you’re a lefty, then it is perfectly logical for you to operate in the reverse. Ya?

  22. Charles O Slavens 3thanAlexander I hear you. I almost forgot how many workarounds I’ve had to go through to shoot on a dslr

  23. 3thanAlexander Charles O Slavens The only reason we use these flawed cameras is because they allow us to create video with high quality imaging and to share our interpretation of the world we see around us.

  24. I guess Canon will introduce us to a new series at Photokina, probably a 5D “C”, that will be optimized for video. I dont think they want to mess with their “regular” 5D, as the majority of the buyers are photographers.

  25. Canon’s attitude of 0 innovation super expensive DSLR has already alienated it to both loyal & new customers.
    It is still in a world of pre digital prices and product lifecycle that has become increasingly irrelevant.
    It will need all the goodies possible, even if not necessarily relevant today such as 4K, plus at least 1 or 2 stops of dynamic range, at a big discount to today ‘s outrageous 5D prices, just not to fall into oblivion.

  26. As the new multi-layered sensor is not even mentioned, commenters sweating on the still camera being a better cine camera etc. i’ll save another 2K and continue with my FF 185MP velvia 50. Thanks bur no thanks to more experimental digits

  27. The DSLR video stage seems to becoming to an end. And I doubt canon will be the camera every indie film maker on a budget uses anymore. Even it came with 4k it would be highly compressed. Let’s also not forget about storage. Unless it plans to create a ssd slot or use it’s HDMI output for external recording.. I don’t see 4k being a easy task. You’d need hundreds if not a few thousand invested in good CF cards just for a wedding or event. People with the gh4k straight out of the box know what I’m talking about. Its fun to play with but not ideal for gigs when 4k cameras are and will be much cheaper than the next canon release. If you’re aiming for 4k with a cinema feel your best options is to focus on that type of camera. The next wave of canon cameras will most likely focus on photography. Nikon has been doing some amazing things with the d800 and D810. Which are still cheaper than the Mark 3. People new to the video world and want to practice should focus on the lower end canon T series. Anyone shooting in 4k for commercial reasons should buy a video dedicated camera. Will the option be available on the mark 4? Most likely. But expect major compression. Basically like the footage you’d get from a 4k phone.

  28. seanmichaelvandeusen I don’t believe that DSLR video is coming to an end… still see it being used all over the place. And the Sony A7s and Panasonic GH4 are perfectly good cameras for cinema at 4k. Tho I contend 4k still isn’t that useful when every delivery method except for theaters is at 720HD or 1080HD

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