August 25, 2016

Meet the Canon 5D Mark IV Official Release—with Surprise HDR

5D Mark IV with Battery Grip
The newest version of the camera that started it all proves that, to Canon, video remains an afterthought.

When we covered the leak of Canon 5D Mark IV specs last week, some small part of us hoped that maybe Canon might surprise us again with something that was as surprising as the Mark II. After all, these were only leaks. Maybe they had managed to hide the real features we are hoping for from whoever was leaking specs early.

4K was a given, of course; in 2016, that's table stakes. The key would have been an improved codec option beyond the Motion jpeg, which we didn't get, but there is a hint of something interesting in a spec nobody else seems to be talking about: the video HDR mode, available only in 1080p.

To not bring H.265 into the Mark IV is a big missed opportunity. 

Canon has focused on a lot of great improvements for still photography, including internal wifi, dual-pixel raw (for fine-tuning focus in post), and a host of new auto-focus improvements. These sound very useful, and if you are a hybrid who is focused mainly on stills with just a little video on the side, this camera is worth a look.

But if you are 100% filmmaker, the lack of H.265 or other advanced codec support is possibly a deal breaker.

5D Mark IV Open Body
5D Mark IV Open Body.Credit: Canon

Canon uses its own XF codec for recording 4:2:2 50mb/s video wrapped in an MXF format on the C line of cinema cameras, offering Canon Log as well for higher dynamic range. To keep differentiation between platforms, it's understandable not to bring that over to the 5D. The internal processing and record speeds, especially for 4k, aren't what the camera was designed to do. But to not bring H.265—a format available from Samsung on the NX-1 since 2014—into the Mark IV is a big missed opportunity. Most tests see something like half the file size for equivalent image quality with H.265 files versus earlier codecs, which would be a big help as the camera moves to 4k.

The fixed crop is frustrating but understandable, in order to keep processing requirements (and thus heating and cooling problems) within reason. While pixel-binning (and using the full sensor) was always frustrating with the Mark II and III, it does allow you a pretty wide selection of lenses, and the 1.74 crop of 4k on the Mark IV will limit lens selection quite a bit. It would be nice to switch between two modes, like the A7R II from Sony, to use your normal lens selection pixel binned but be able to switch to cropped when you need the low light sensitivity, or when you are shooting particularly moire-prone subjects, like a plaid-suited actor.

How Canon is enabling HDR remains to be seen. RED has long done HDR through multiple exposure durations, which leads to double the file size on your disk and some post-compositing magic to bring the images together; for certain very high-contrast situations, it's well worth it. Since Canon has limited the HDR video format to 1080 only, it seems a reasonable assumption that they are doing something similar, and not simply remapping a broader dynamic range image into the original file. Considering how long RED has had HDR and how little it seems to be used by most filmmakers, who knows if it will be a big draw. But hopefully once indie folks get their hands on it, they'll be able to do some interesting things with all that extra exposure room.

Bandit by Chris Hargety is the first video to be released shot on the Mark IV. The camera is on shelves early September for around $3,500 (body only). 

Tech specs

  • 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor powered by a Digic 6+ processor
  • 7fps burst for up to 21 frames of RAW and unlimited JPEG
  • QuickTime MOV Motion JPEG DCI 4K (4,096 x 2,160) 2160/30p @ 500Mbps, 720/120p; 1080/30p HDR
  • Dual Pixel AF
  • 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  • WiFi, NFC, and GPS
  • ISO 100 to 32000, expandable to 50-102400
  • 890 grams (60 grams lighter than the Mark III)
  • 1 CF slot, 1 SDXC slot
  • 1865 mAh battery life
  • 3.2 in/8.1 cm Fixed touchscreen 1.62m dots

Your Comment

45 Comments

Here is a full video that should be added to the article.

https://youtu.be/XGAzK8euzcE

August 25, 2016 at 3:57PM, Edited August 25, 3:57PM

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Caleb Rasak
Camera Operator / AC
266

AHHHHHHHHHH

August 25, 2016 at 4:27PM

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BD
668

4K at 1.5x crop, C-Log, 4K HDMI, the XC10's 305mb/s XF codec or h.265 - imagine what kind of beast it could have been.

No words, Canon!

August 25, 2016 at 4:32PM

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I knew the codec was going to be the same but no C-Log and no 120fps at 1080p is a real bummer.

August 26, 2016 at 10:05AM

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Honestly, at this point, why are people so surprised at Canon's intentional gimping and lack of progress/innovation?

August 25, 2016 at 6:27PM

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The C100MKI is a better option for video if that's your focus... It's cheaper than this camera and produces much better images.

August 25, 2016 at 7:28PM

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Mark Austin Heim
Producer
85

Some people are still looking for a hybrid and don't want to buy Sony. Could've been easy for Canon to fill that gap.

August 25, 2016 at 7:38PM

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So the idea of a camera that can *both* take good pictures and shoot video is too much to ask for as a Canon shooter?

August 25, 2016 at 7:39PM

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I think the 1Dxii should do that, but no on budget...

August 25, 2016 at 11:14PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
415

It's called 1DX Mark II and I had to order one after seeing the specs of this camera. More expensive but I think it's what the 5D4 should have been. I work with photo and video and having a camera that can do both it is a must for my workflow. Sadly it's 6K USD so probably it's way out of budget for most people. It was that or moving to having an A7RII, A7SII, adapters and all the learning curve of moving to a new whole new system. Hope the 1D pays the investment.

August 25, 2016 at 11:28PM

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Uriel Santisteban
Wedding Photographer & Videographer
81

Other than 60fps 4k what does the 1dx MarkII camera have that the 5d4 doesn't? They both use horrible codecs that eat hard drives at only 8bit 4:2:0. No clean 4K HDMI to recorder for decent editing codec, and no canon log.

August 26, 2016 at 1:17AM

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One significant limitation when shooting 4K video with this camera is that you can't use a SpeedBooster adapter like the Pansonic and Sony mirrorless cameras can use to reduce their crop factor.

So the crop factor for the 5D Mk4 will always be 1.74, where the Panasonic GH4 4K crop factor can be reduced to 1.47 with a Metabones 0.64x SpeedBooster adapter.

With a 0.71x SpeedBooster the Sony A6300 camera has a 4K 24p crop factor of 1.06

August 25, 2016 at 8:18PM, Edited August 25, 8:22PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30061

Crop factor is 1.64
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-first-impressions-...
which is very close to APS-C and will allow you to use Canon APS-C EF lenses

August 25, 2016 at 8:58PM

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It is actually 1.74.

August 25, 2016 at 9:23PM

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Edgar More
All
1178

Wrong, the aspect ratio of the sensor is 3:2 or 1.5. The aspect ratio used for 4K DCI is 4096/2160=1.896:

Sensor resolution for full frame video: 6720 x (6720/1.896) or 6720 x 3544

4K crop diagonal.. i.e. sqrt of (6720^2 + 3543.75^2)

sqrt(6720^2 + 3543.75^2)/4630.64 = 1.64x

August 25, 2016 at 9:30PM

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You are referring to DCI recording. But in UHD the crop is a roughly 1.75.

August 27, 2016 at 2:55PM

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Edgar More
All
1178

A swing and a miss. I have to believe that I'm not the only one shooting both stills and video for business. If the gh4 was full frame it would be completely game over. As it is, I shoot wide open on my full frame and can't see moving to apsc. Or m4/3 for my stills work.
As a stills camera I'm happy, not impressed, but happy enough. The video codec is a joke. I don't understand how they can't see the XLR, ND filters, etc. are enough to differentiate a DSLR from the cinema line. Sigh....I guess I'll be waiting for the Sony A9

August 25, 2016 at 9:10PM

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and don`t forget to pray this time it is not overheating

August 25, 2016 at 9:24PM

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Dear Canon.
I hope this letter finds you well.
....I'm lying.
Byeee.

August 25, 2016 at 9:28PM

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Edgar More
All
1178

Dear Sony, I'm writing this to let you guys know an ex Canon customer (Me) is coming your way.

August 25, 2016 at 9:40PM

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Alvin Nyemah
Director, DP & Editing (Filmmaker)
256

As an ex canon, now red and sony a7s shooter (bcam and low light) this is disappointing. As neat as the sony line is, they cannot compete with canon for a more intuitive menu system and nicer color right out of the box. Takes a bit of work to bring sony into line with red color. Canon and blackmagic not so much. How did they not give 60fps in 4k on this and the c300 mk ii!!!! Sadly it's not unexpected. That said specs arent everything. I really like canon images. But in 2016 I want (semi-need) 4k. I shoot DSLR mainly for the compact form factor at times and also with the A7s and 5D;s, for fullframe... disappointing that I can't do that in 4k with this camera... Maybe they are planning a 1DC Mk ii to fulfill those features??? Thoughts?

August 25, 2016 at 11:27PM, Edited August 26, 12:25AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
598

I'm super happy with this release.
I wanted a still camera that can also shoot proper video for a long time and I think this is it. I can surely live with 1.64x with the 17:9 ratio of the DCI 4K. Too bad no C-log but hey, there's the Vision Tech picture profils to play around with. Also, having used the A6300 and A7 series for sometimes now, I never took a single photo with them 'cause I can't stand the electronic EVF and the poor battery life. If my primary focus in live was video, I wouldn't buy a still camera that does video.

August 25, 2016 at 11:37PM

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Danny T
Photographer
475

If this did fullframe 4k without too bad aliasing I would buy it. If it did 60fps in 4k full frame I would consider buying two... I may still get one but it'd be mainly for stills. The autofocus could be great for gimbal work at 24 - 30 fps.

August 26, 2016 at 12:26AM, Edited August 26, 12:27AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
598

I wonder if the folks at MagicLantern will touch this camera and give it a tune up?

August 26, 2016 at 12:15AM

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I think the ML team is currently quagmired in the Axiom Apertus saga, so it may take a while.

August 26, 2016 at 7:46AM

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Saied M.
1221

The fact that Canon didn't give Cfast or at least UHS-II card slots will limit the possibilities of Magic Lantern enormously.

August 26, 2016 at 9:07AM

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Suck..... Old blackmagic camera much, much better because of dynamic range... In now days we need 14-16 bit picture. Who need 8 or 10 bit now?

August 26, 2016 at 3:02AM

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You can't compare just one component of a camera. There's so much more to it. With horrible low light and noise throughout No built in ND. It's huge in comparison, and has horrible audio even with XLR inputs. It also doesn't shoot 30mp raw photos, no auto focus, the list goes on and on. Your comparing apples to a browning banana man.

August 26, 2016 at 9:45AM

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Overpriced.

August 26, 2016 at 5:33AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1069

You can't blame Canon too much, the truth is simple: they don't have the technology to put 4k and 120fps without downgrading something in the specs. If they had it available, they would give it to us, even c300 mark ii crops to give slow motion. So, or they start buying sensors and cpu's from Sony or Samsung, or they'll loose videomakers. Last night I bought a used nx1, for the meantime it does the job pretty well, at a low price and without overheating.

August 26, 2016 at 7:02AM, Edited August 26, 7:04AM

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I don't think it's wrong for Canon to put all their efforts into making this one of the best cameras for photography. If they start taking out photography tech and replacing it with video tech they are going to start loosing int he photography world which is a diversion from where their main market is.

That said, I wish they would create some sort of 5D-Cinema camera that is stripped of it's photography specs and has a focus on video with photography as it's secondary function. This is probably too much to ask. They had the right idea with the 1DC but it's based off of the wrong camera line and thus way too expensive.

August 26, 2016 at 10:09AM, Edited August 26, 10:09AM

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Man. So many of you guys are jokes when it comes to things like this.

This is a still camera that does video. Canon makes video cameras, too. The whole "5d is great for video" was an accident back when other camera options weren't really cheap or available to people.

I've shot a feature on the 5dmkii, and a web series on a 5dmkiii. Both are AWESOME cameras for a lot of different reasons than the C line, Red cameras, or Sony A series are awesome cameras.

I totally understand being pissed about Canon's lack of pushing specs in smaller price packages, but that has never really been their MO.

What Canon makes is cameras that are incredibly dependable, quick run and gun, with great menu systems and some of the best ergonomics. And then throw in there that they DON'T OVERHEAT, have very good battery life, have really pleasing color science to a lot of people, etc etc.

This is a DSLR. Sure, you can't make a future-proof 4K slo-mo movie that Netflix will want... but could you make a great movie? An awesome music video? A no-budget web series that takes the world by storm?

Yeaaah. You COULD. Or you can sit around and complain about compression codecs and features that would maaaybe make you consider buying this camera, but naw. Maybe you'd buy three if only Canon had made a good camera, but naww. They didn't impress you enough.

Whatever. Just make something you're proud of that challenges you, or get out of your own ass and buy a video camera that has everything your heart desires. I'm sure that camera will make you a great filmmaker.

August 26, 2016 at 10:33AM

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Most people take some time and research before making $3,500 purchases. Nothing wrong with treating it coldly and analytically.

It is just a camera after all. It doesn't require your sympathies.

August 26, 2016 at 10:58AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

I'm not sure what you're responding to, Luke. Would you clarify?

August 26, 2016 at 11:05AM

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More to the last couple of paragraphs. Basically, I think it's good to nitpick this stuff.

I know what you're saying but it's a Catch 22, of sorts.

On one hand...it doesn't matter what you shoot with. On the other, if you buy it you are a consumer and you should nitpick a $3,500 purchase.

August 26, 2016 at 11:17AM, Edited August 26, 11:18AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Of course, man. heh My point is this is a stills camera DSLR and people are trying to make it out like it failed at being that. It didn't. It's a stills camera that shoots very decent video. It has some really incredible video features for that type of camera (DP AF?), in this price range, be it 2012, 2014, or 2016, etc.

If someone doesn't like the camera, that's cool. I won't buy it because I have a 5dmkii and a c100 at the moment for still/video work. But my point is that nearly 100% of the comments on this page aren't critical of the actual camera, they're whining that it's not ANOTHER camera.

By all means research the shit out of purchases and pick the best thing for you. Just everyone saying things like, "Well!!! You lost THIS GUY, Canon!" First of all, who cares? Secondly, if that's how you feel about this type of hybrid camera then you're looking at the wrong camera. Doesn't matter the company.

People just love complaining. So I'm complaining about people complaining, I suppose.

August 26, 2016 at 11:29AM

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Ha! Another Catch 22.

I know what you mean though. :)

August 26, 2016 at 12:10PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

It's very important for people to voice their complaints and grievences. It allows the manufactuers and their competitors to listen to what (some) people are asking for and hopefully build and supply a camera at a competitive price to meet that demand. It's one of the ways we (potential customers and customers) make our voices heard. The other way is by choosing our purchases.

August 26, 2016 at 12:11PM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
598

Cody- Well said....if people want all the key features of a cinema camera, simple get a cinema camera....move up to a MUCH easier, functioning camera....spend the money... invest in your career. The 5D4 is a great still camera that happens to shoot really good video but to expect or demand all the features that come with, say a C300 MK II, is delusional. I understand the idea of "twice the stuff for half the money" but, as the old high school physics teacher taught us, you never get something for nothing.

August 26, 2016 at 2:02PM, Edited August 26, 2:02PM

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Jim Martin
Director of Sales - EVS
173

I want a canon dslr with canon color with sony specs. Ya got one coming Canon??? Why can't I have it all

August 26, 2016 at 12:13PM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
598

OG 1dc is looking tastier and tastier.

August 26, 2016 at 1:11PM

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Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
1005

Really disappointing for video, 1.64 crop on a fullframe camera, it totally loses the point of using fullframe. How are you supposed to frame a shot with the optical viewfinder? And no 4K HDMI output? really?

August 27, 2016 at 1:09AM

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Fail............. The whole purpose of buying a dslr for video is the full frame sensor. For photos this camera can be good but for video its outdated and useless. Its so sad to see the 5d line fail...

August 27, 2016 at 2:48PM

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Only Magic Lantern can save this Canon camera !!!!!

August 29, 2016 at 12:36PM, Edited August 29, 12:36PM

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Vincent
74

I guess for big corporations it is just a matter of numbers… if cannibalizing or not their own products… Therefore I’d have loved to read some data estimations about how many less videocamaras would Canon have sold because of a good-featured 5D Mark III. Would have in worth to sell more DSLR and less videocameras? Would that be more profitable for the stakeholders?
A GH4-like 5D Mark III would have wiped out the rest of the competition. We had to wait for others to innovate and in the process somehow we all lost about 5 years because Canon didn’t fully embrace the revolution they stared as Panny or Sony did years later.
I guess they didn’t understood that for some buyers who need a hybrid that takes stills and video, it doesn’t matter how good their videocameras are. And that for other people, they just can’t afford more than $2k-3k for a full system.
I had to get rid of my Canon bodies and some of the lenses and jump into the Sony wagon and somehow it feels more sad than disappointing, that such an historical chance was wasted by Canon. They would have make our lives much easier and we would have achieved the point where we are today much earlier, if they had consulted some kids who record their pals skateboarding.

September 1, 2016 at 11:19AM

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Jupiter de la Bâtardise
writer/filmmaker
230