Four Things We Want in a Canon 5D Mark IV

September 7, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

Canon’s 5D Mark II and Mark III are the workhorses for many a professional photographer. It’s been three years since Canon updated its 5D lineup and with Canon Expo getting underway this week in New York, we thought it was a good time to lay out a little wish list for what we’d like to see in a successor. 

Of course, we don’t know what Canon is cooking up, nor do we have any idea when said replacement will drop. This list is by no means exhaustive so feel free to chip in your own ideas in the comments. We asked NJ photographer, director and frequent co-tester David Patiño for his thoughts as well. 

4K: While the 5D Mark II was unquestionably a revolutionary device for video makers, Canon’s competitors have caught up and in several arenas, surpassed the 5D Mark III’s video features. One area in particular where Canon is now trailing is resolution. Everything from $500 action cameras to $1,500 mirrorless models are now delivering high-quality 4K video. For the 5D Mark IV, we’d love to see Canon step up with a set of video features that will put cameras like Panasonic’s GH4 on notice. For that to happen, 4K video recording at 30 fps is table stakes. Patiño tells us that 4K at 60p is one of his hoped-for specs.

USB 3.0: The USB 2.0 found on the Mark III is archaic for both tethered shooting and data transfers. USB 3.0 would be a welcome improvement, particularly if Canon bumps up the resolution of the Mark IV (which presumably they will). If Canon were really inclined to push the envelope, it could embrace the even faster USB 3.1/Type-C spec, which is available in the new MacBooks and is slowly trickling out in other laptops from Lenovo as well as hard drives and other peripherals. Embracing Type-C would definitely be controversial, since the majority of shooters would have to buy adapters, but they would take advantage of even faster speeds than USB 3.0. Barring that, upgrading from USB 2 to USB 3.0 would be welcome. 

Faster continuous shooting: Patiño says he’s hoping for 10fps. While not besting some mirrorless speed demons, a 10fps continuous shooting mode would put the Mark IV ahead of its DSLR competition like the Nikon D810 (5 fps) or Pentax’s K-3 II (8 fps). It would have to be paired with a generous buffer, too. 

Dual Pixel CMOS AF: Canon’s method for keeping focus on subjects in lower contrast environments by using dedicated pixels on the camera’s CMOS sensor is slowly making its way through the company’s lineup. It was first introduced on the 70D and has spread to the 7D Mark II and cinema cameras like the C100 Mark II. It’s ideal for low-light focusing and will certainly be a boon to anyone shooting video on the 5D Mark IV or using live view on its (touchscreen!) monitor.