Why Are Canon Video Shooters Still Waiting On 23.98 A Decade After the EOS 7D?

A firmware update adds 23.98fps video to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. 

Canon released firmware version 1.1.0 to its flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark III, that added 23.98fps, commonly shortened to 24p to its video specs, and it immediately gave me flashbacks to the early days of the EOS 7D and 5D MK II.

For the uninitiated, in the fall of 2009 Canon introduced the EOS 7D, a cropped sensor SLR that shot full HD 1920 x 1080 at 23.976, 25, and 29.97fps. It also recorded 720p at 59.94fps. Cool.

At that time, the 5D MK II had already been out for a year, and it didn't tout 23.98fps video, something video shooters wanted in the camera. Canon didn't see it the same at first. It took 18 months of constant customer feedback for Canon to add NTSC 23.98fps and PAL 25fps in the 5D MK II via firmware update. 

A decade later, for one reason or another, Canon has not fully realized that video shooters who buy its equipment want 23.98fps and 25fps as an option for each resolution as well as straight 24fps. Right out the box. 

Last year, Canon rolled out different cameras that omitted the frame rates in full HD and 4K resolutions. The EOS RP, EOS 90D, and EOS M6 Mark II to name a few. And again, customers requested 23.98fps, 24fps, and 25fps. And again, Canon began to offer firmware updates. 

Is there still a dead horse to beat? 

And I'm not just pointing a finger at Canon. Every manufacturer who makes a camera that has a nominal amount of video specs should include all three frame rates at each resolution. The medium format Leica S3, which is absolutely geared towards high-end photography has specs that include 24p, 25p, and 30p. It's baffling that common frame rates are not automatic checkboxes for modern cameras right out of the gate.

If you're a camera manufacturer not including them, let's fix this. Make it standard. If the thinking is to protect other high-end models in the camera lineup, that's asinine. Make creative workflows easier. Bridge the cameras, don't pin them against one another. Give creators matching frame rates, bit depth, and similar color science, so interpreting footage in post is easier. Workflow matters when budgets are tight and shooting days are shortened. 

Now to Canon's credit, the 1D X Mark II did eventually receive 23.98, 24 and 25fps in full HD, and it did only take a couple of months to add 23.98fps to the 1D X MK III, but for those waiting on 25fps, you might want to send Canon feedback now. 

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Firmware 1.1.0

  • Full HD movies and 4K UHD movies in 23.98fps has been added 
  • The communication speed has been improved when connected via wired LAN
  • The "Browser Remote" function has been added
  • The function to transfer only protected images has been added
  •  Corrects the phenomenon in which, when the electronic level is set to "Show" in the viewfinder display, in rare cases, the camera may freeze when operating the AF-ON button or shutter button
  • Corrects the phenomenon in which the Custom Shooting Mode settings may change when the shooting mode is switched

You can download the EOS-1D X Mark III 1.1.0 firmware update on the Canon support page.      

Your Comment

10 Comments

Perhaps the title of the article should be "1DX M3 Finally Receives 24p via Firmware Update" because I clicked this thinking it would answer the question that the title posed. I thought you were answering the question, not asking us the question. Maybe I'm weird for reading it that way.

April 14, 2020 at 4:06PM

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Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
1009

It seems that Canon's dSLR department got overruled by their cinema camera department right around 2011. Basically, they saw their camcorder dpt going nowhere because everyone was getting dSLRs, so they somehow managed to build up massive internal politics, to the point that every new generation of cameras had FEWER video capabilities that the previous one (or at the very least, STALLED features for years).

The first such indication came in 2011, when they started removing important video capabilities form the P&S digicams. Up to that point, you were able to lock exposure with these cams. They had that ability since 2005. Suddenly, in all their new P&S cams they removed the ability to lock exposure in video mode, making it useless toy (more than it was already was, but people had found ways to make interesting videos with it before).

Then, they started stalling new video features on their dSLR/M lines, and the apotheosis came in 2018, by removing 24p from their new cheaper DSLR/M cameras.

Please NOTE that while the EOS M6 MkII and 90D received firmware updates for 24p, there is a CATCH that it is not mentioned anywhere in their release notes or their manual. If you select Clean HDMI-out while in 24p mode, the camera automatically goes to 30p without telling you! It won't feed a clean HDMI at 24p, even if the new firmware now allows 24p recording. I believe this is done so people don't use these cameras to shoot short films. They still want you to buy a more expensive camera.

Which says a lot about Canon as a company and how out of touch they are. I personally would love an M6 MkII to shoot my next no-budget short film. I have lenses for the M system, I don't want to buy an R or a cinema camera. I like the great AF I get from the EOS M6 that is so trusty that I could use it as a one-man crew to shoot a short! But wait... You can't have an external monitor with it and still record 24p! Making the few times that you need to manually focus, rather impossible.

April 15, 2020 at 12:41AM

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Eugenia Loli
Filmmaker, illustrator, collage artist
260

I can't agree more, you need a camera manufacturer to be on "your side". Because of this and the fact that I was not receving any good or important video updates on the 5D line, I finally switched to Blackmagic.

April 15, 2020 at 1:47AM

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I did much the same. Blackmagic for narrative shooting and Panasonic for corporate work. Canon addressed some of these issues at the end of last year but at this point I'm covered and not interested in going back.

April 15, 2020 at 9:48AM, Edited April 15, 9:49AM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
1001

This article reminds me of that moment in 2015:

When I realized ---- after ending my decade long commitment to Canon for all pro equipment, not feeling the love returned, and moving elsewhere --- that my world had turned to color . . .

April 15, 2020 at 7:44AM, Edited April 15, 7:44AM

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Richard Gerst
Freelance stills + motion work.
105

Hey! Just saw the NFS post on the EOS R5!! Maybe they have come to their senses!? Just Wowza!

April 21, 2020 at 4:09AM

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Richard Gerst
Freelance stills + motion work.
105

Canon 5Dmk ii was the first video DSLR changing game success for filmakers but do you remember that it came out without manual mode for video?? We had to wait for a firmware update... It's just business and sales for them.

April 16, 2020 at 4:15AM

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Claudio Almeida
Filmmaker and Photographer
74

You know which other camera lacks 1080p @ 24p/23.98p? The Panasonic S1 / S1R. Granted, you need to go into 24mbps AVCHD for it, but come on, even the GH5 has 1080p @ 24p/23.98p in their 100mbps .mov/.mp4 offering!!!

April 16, 2020 at 5:36AM

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One of the reasons I dumped my 7D Mark II for Olympus...

April 16, 2020 at 8:32AM

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need to buy one

April 16, 2020 at 8:42AM

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