planetMitch note: These are Bret's thoughts, I don't necessarily agree with them (and have mentioned that in other posts). But that's why I love having discussions like this online… people get to express their opinions based on their own perspectives and we don't always have to agree. I tend to believe Canon knows exactly what they're doing. But let's see what Bret thinks…
When we discuss the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, most of the time we’re discussing its specs and what we like and dislike.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is at the very least an interesting step forward for Canon’s 5D line, but what I find the most intriguing about its release isn’t even about the camera itself. The 5D Mark IV signifies something very difficult to understand and comprehend about Canon’s brand development. It’s something that I think we’ll be looking at for years to come.
When we look at the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, the features that jump out at us are the 30mp/60mp Dual Pixel sensor, the 4k settings and the 4:2:2 internal video. Which, by the way, are all solid features of any camera. But when I step back and look at everything through a wider lens, I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder what they’re doing.
It seems to me that the release of the 5D Mark IV undercuts a lot of the technology and bodies that Canon has given us over the past four years. They’ve created a situation where they’ve cut across the middle of the market so aggressively that you have to wonder how they’re going to sell other, comparably priced bodies on their line.
If a photographer wanted to buy a Canon EOS 5DS R, a camera priced probably higher than the 5D Mark IV, hasn’t Canon made that decision much harder and against their own best interest by releasing a camera with 60MP files? Either that, or they’re deliberately going to limit the 5D Mark IV’s photos to help sell more 5DS R bodies.
If a shooter was looking to buy a C100 Mark II, with the Canon 5D Mark IV on the market, why would they? You could make an argument about the 10bit, 4:2:2 out of the C100, but how long will that argument hold up now that the 5D Mark IV has 4k and internal 4:2:2?
The C100 Mark II brings up an even more troubling aspect of this conversation.
The C100 Mark II was released a little over a year ago and didn’t add 4k, C-Log or internal 4:2:2. You can make a lot of arguments about Canon’s R&D being slow, but I find it hard to believe that these features, implemented in the 5D Mark IV couldn’t have been considered for the release of the C100 Mark II.But then if you consider that the 5D Mark IV can only shoot 4k with a x1.74 crop, you could make a decent argument saying that maybe Canon’s R&D just isn’t quite there. So what is it? Are they holding stuff back from their customers or are they just that behind?
This is just speculation however, so I will stick to what we actually know and are presented with.
Somehow, in releasing the 5D Mark IV, Canon has created even more confusion as to their future direction.
I’m sure when reading this, there’s going to be a group of people that will argue, “well, you don’t know what’s going to be released, so why are you saying their future is confusing or lacking direction?”
And you’re totally right with that critique. I don’t know what they’re going to put out. But here’s my point:
We waited four years for the release of the Canon 5d Mark III, and then another four years for the release of the 5D Mark IV. This slow progression is what we expect from Canon. Do we really expect Canon, less than a year after its release to announce an upgraded C100 Mark III with all the features that the body will need to compete with the 5D Mark IV? Will they make a new 5DS that will leapfrog the 5D Mark IV in photo quality?
I personally don’t think so. I’d like to think that Canon has something crazy up their sleeve, but what evidence do we have of that? And if they do have something up their sleeve, how long will it be until we’re allowed to see it?
(cover photo credit: snap from source in post)