Trial Balloon or Baloney: Canon 5D Mk IV, Canon 5D C, Neither or Both?

by Hugh Brownstone12 Comments

These rumors are a little more vague, a little more “trial-balloon-y” than what we usually like to cover. Still, there are important points to be made, so let's make them.

DIY Photography did a nice job of picking up a rumor from Canon Watch and providing their take on it: a 5D Mk IV was rumored to have 4K, lower megapixel count, CFast cards, and a Q4 2015 arrival — and among other things the guys felt the lower megapixel count and CFast cards might cause controversy with potential buyers.

Another rumor has since popped up on Canon Rumors (courtesy of Northlight) that there may be a specialist video version called the 5D C to indirectly replace the 1 DC – and I guess that’s likely to upset a few folks, too.

But here’s the bottom line:

1. Unless there’s a sensor breakthrough that is already finding its way into Canon’s production planning now, I’m guessing Canon can’t match the Sony A7s’ low-light performance by year-end without doing the same thing Sony did (bigger photo sites, necessitating a lower megapixel count given the same sensor dimensions). You want high megapixels? Get one of the 5Ds twins. Want high megapixels, awesome dynamic range, a great codec or RAW and high frame rates? Get a 6K RED Dragon or a 4K ARRI Alexa Mini.

5D Mk IV

2. Canon is seeking to sharpen the differences in its product lines in order to maximize profit.  Selling a lower-priced camera that will cannibalize sales of its higher margin Cinema EOS line without making up for it in volume by cannibalizing its lower margin Rebel and XXD line  isn’t good business – for them.

It makes perfect sense given these  points that Canon might opt to follow Sony’s innovative lead of offering three versions of its mid/high DSLR camera, and Canon is just one camera – a 5D C – away from making that happen.

Even better for them, however – if the market lets them – is to NOT do a 5D C (nor the 5D4 many of us think we want), but instead lower the price of the C100 Mk II to just under $5,000 and add a firmware upgrade to 4K. At that price, it's close enough to the Sony A7s with Atomos Shogun that — given its installed base, glass advantage and built-ND and audio, it would really blunt Sony's move.

And it would move Canon customers into the bottom rung of a much more appropriate (for video) — and what I suspect is a much richer margin — product line than any DSLR.

The only fly in this ointment is Sony's superior high ISO performance and dynamic range — not a small fly! — unless Canon can nullify them by matching them.

Don’t expect Sony to stand still; don’t expect Samsung to stand still; and keep an eye on the Apple eco-system over the next 24 months – it’s getting a little bit nuts (in a good way).

C100 Mk II [bctt tweet= “Canon has a very big decision to make this year.”]


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

Via DIY Photography:

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.

Read full article on DIY Photography “The Canon 5D Mark IV Will Be Very Controversial If These Specs Are True. 4K Included”

(cover photo credit: snap from Canon Rumors)


  1. Poederbach Looks like a great cam!  Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. As much as I would like to see Canon come up with a camera that I actually want to buy, I am starting to be much more impressed with what Olympus is doing recently. The in-body image stabilization is making me really excited.  You see, I stopped shooting with modern lenses about a year ago, unless I absolutely need IS or need really wide (11mm-16mm range).

    1. I will never own another camera without a flip out LCD and I seriously doubt the 5D Mark IV will have one.
    2. The recent Canon offerings seem overpriced  compared to their competition.
    3. My current Canon 60D with Magic Lantern has more functionality than all but their most expensive offerings. (peaking, zebras, overlays, the list goes on and on)

    If you have not seen this yet, check it out.
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II vs Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 Image Stabilization Video Test Comparison:

    So, let me get this straight, I can use my vintage glass and get in-body image stabilization on a camera that is a little over $1,000? If their, soon to be released, higher end offering (E-M1 markII?) does 4k, I will be giving Olympus a serious look.


  3. DSLR Solutions Good points, all. I saw this vid.  Incredible.  planetMitch and I were talking about it yesterday.  When you get to about the 8 minute mark, though, there’s a sign on the right side of the frame, and it’s much more blurred than the GH4 image.  Makes me think it’s a different shutter speed, and I wonder how much impact that has on the comparison.

  4. DSLR Solutions HughBrownstone Deejay and I talked about this on the DSLR Film Noob podcast yesterday –

    Our suspicion is that is possibly a difference in the bitrate. The Panasonic GH4 was shot at 50m and the Olympus was only at 30m – would make a big difference while moving

  5. planetMitch DSLR Solutions HughBrownstone Aha!  What do you think the footage would look like if they were both shot at the same bit rate?

  6. HughBrownstone planetMitch DSLR Solutions 

    It will be interesting to see more examples of the in-body image stabilization as more people get their hands on the new Olympus camera. Perhaps one of your site visitors who owns both cameras can do a more definitive test of the E-M5 Mark II vs. the GH4 image stabilization?

    BTW, I do like the looks of the new C-100 Mark II, but the price, and lack of 4k at the price are what gets me. I am betting that they add 4k as a factory firmware upgrade similar to what they did to add the dual pixel focus on the C-100.

    I get feeling though that Canon is not after my business.

  7. DSLR Solutions HughBrownstone planetMitch We need a three -way with the Sony A72!

  8. planetMitch HughBrownstone DSLR Solutions You had to say it, didn’t you?  :).

  9. HughBrownstone DSLR Solutions planetMitch
    I completely agree. But, I have never really liked Sony’s colors though. Not sure what it is, but I prefer Canon’s color over them all. The GH4 and E-M5 Mark II are pretty close as they both have nice colors, but just not as nice as Canon has, at least to my aging eyes.

    Bottom line: It is going to be a really amazing year for new cameras. I am looking forward to the Planet5D NAB coverage.

  10. DSLR Solutions HughBrownstone Thanks – we’re going to have 3 of our own reporters at NAB plus a massive NAB liveblog working with many many other sites 🙂

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