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Canon 5D Mark IV Could Be Farther Out Than We Had Hoped…

By Anthony Thurston on March 15th 2015

Now that Canon has officially announced the new 5Ds and 5Ds R, the question on everyone’s mind is, when will the 5D Mark IV be making its debut? The answer is: we don’t know, but it may be farther out than initially anticipated.


According to multiple new rumor reports, it sounds like the Fall of 2015 is the earliest that we should expect to see a Canon 5D Mark III replacement announcement. Included in that rumor is the caveat that Canon could extend the wait longer to try and drive more sales to the new high megapixel 5DS and 5DS R. The rumor specifically states “we won’t be seeing it until the EOS 5DS/5DS R are shipping in reasonable numbers.”

This will be sure to anger many Canon users who are waiting to see what Canon brings to the table with the Mark IV. I know several people, in fact, that are weighing a full move to a Nikon D750 or Sony A7 II kit, but are waiting to see what the 5D Mark IV offers. Maybe Canon realizes this and is taking extra time to get it right.


But I fear it is a plan that is playing with fire. Make people wait too long, while looking like you are doing nothing, and eventually, they will give up, stop waiting, and go with a competitor’s product. I know one person, in particular, who actually already owns a D750, loves it and has bought an entire lens selection to use with it, but before making a full Nikon switch, is waiting to see what the 5D Mark IV brings.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. In the meantime, some more rumored specifications on the 5D Mark IV have come out as well. According to those specs, the new 5D would feature a 28MP sensor, 9fps continuous shooting, and 4K video. The new body would also feature some sort of state of the art new advancement in external speedlight control capability.

Those specs sound enticing, for sure. But I think the question on everyone’s mind is in regards to the sensor performance. How will the camera perform, but unfortunately, that can’t be known until it is released.

What are your thoughts on this 5D Mark IV rumor update? Do you think it is wise for Canon to hold off on the Mark IV so long? How about those specs, do they sound good? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Yucel Yalim

    28Meg is too many. For events, weddings, portraits. Just too much overhead for nothing gained.

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  2. Allan Zeiba

    In my case, I’m jumping ship from Canon to Sony, changing my current 5D mark II for a a7II, I love my 5D but is the smart move, Sony has improved so many points over any dslr and for half the price. With this move I’m improving on all the aspects of the body for almost the same price that I’m selling my used 5D, and for my style of photography I really doubt that the mark IV can’t justify the price difference

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  3. Matthew Saville

    It makes plenty of sense, if anyone is expecting the 5Ds/R to be a success.

    It seems that nobody is hearing photographers when they say, megapixels should come after EVERYTHING else, 90% of the time. (When I say “nobody is hearing photographers”, I’m referring to the fact that there is a 2nd rumored ~50 MP chip out there, and it would probably find its way into both a Sony and Nikon camera, I suspect.)

    We’re getting to the point of ridiculousness now. And if the 5D mk4 doesn’t drop a bomb on the whole dynamic range war, pretty much every 5D mk3-shooter I know (from landscapes to weddings) will either not upgrade, or jump ship.

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  4. Graham Curran

    Well, this gives me more time to save up for one.

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  5. Dave Haynie

    I know it’s not the primary focus here, but I’m interested in seeing if Canon’s ready to up their game on the 5D video, with in-camera 4K support. After all, this is the camera that started the DSLR video revolution, and companies like Panasonic and Sony are really starting to drink Canon’s milkshake there. Sure, they’ve wanted to protect the high price of the 1D C and C500, but seriously, moving away from Canon doesn’t sell these any faster than offering lower cost 4K alternatives within the Canon line.

    Far as Sony goes, they’ve done some nice stuff .. the A7 weighs 7oz less than my 6D. But they still don’t have a 5D class professional body. That alone is going to limit the number of people jumping to Sony. But here’s the thing… not everyone jumps. You can pick up a CSC body for cheap enough that it’s not a commitment, no need to put all that EOS stuff in a bag. But once you have that new CSC, you may really like it. You’ll get an adapter to fit your Canon lenses, and find it’s doing some good stuff. Maybe add a few native lenses, maybe another body… before long, you have two systems. At some point, you start to wonder if maybe the Canon is the “secondary” system now. Does happen.

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  6. Vince Arredondo

    I think this has been one of the most interesting commenst in site so far… :)

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  7. John Nucifora

    Canon’s going to need to work on better pricing. Sony have upped the game for the past year and it’s going to take a hail mary to get a lot those customers back.

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    • Graham Curran

      They do seem to have had a lot of cash-back offers recently (at least in the UK) but they cannot rely on special offers to maintain market share. With the arrival of Yongnuo to the flash market Canon’s speedlites look hideously overpriced. While people might claim that Canon’s products are much better quality you can bet that the Chinese will not be resting on their laurels and will make substantial improvements in that area.

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  8. Jeremy Huynh

    Nikon’s dynamic range is impressive. The noise is really low at all iso settings.
    But cross-type AF spots all around the sensor, more accurate/faster AF system (for what I do, and compared to a D800) is why i own a 5d3.
    Higher dynamic range and better high iso performance are indeed parts of what I wish in future Canon cameras.
    But I tend to hope for some features that are not that much about being a Nikon or Canon guy.
    Like having a -3/-4 EV sensitive central spot (or even better : all spots), illuminated buttons (I mostly shoot in the shade), more detailled pictures (as those incredible Foveon files from Sigma).
    If I could get a Foveon-like picture at the same noise and in the same shooting conditions as what I do with my 5d3 : That would be a better deal for me than 2 more stops in DR.

    So I guess I won’t switch to Nikon anytime soon :
    – As I believe it is a matter of time before Canon gets the dominant position again in terms of image quality (position that they used to have, not so long ago).
    – And as I don’t care that much about Nikon’s pros over Canon for now.
    – And perhaps because I don’t have enough money to afford myself another camera right now (or switch all my glasses), even if it would be for a killer 5d4 that would feature all that I want.

    But all that said appart. The more logical switch to make from any camera brand, if anyone would want Nikon’s image quality, or so, without risking too much, would certainly be Sony’s mirrorless. As the sensors are about the same as Nikon’s, and as you can still use your former brand’s glasses. IMO.

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    • adam sanford

      Jeremy, sure — if we’re going to build our 5D4 wish list, here’s mine (from most to least important):

      * Better sensor (I’m happy at high ISO, I really just want more DR)
      * Wireless flash controller on-board (Stop laughing)
      * Spot metering at *ANY* AF point (to date, a 1-series exclusive feature)
      * Wider spread of AF points
      * The 7D2’s neato AF selector-knobby-thing
      * Interchangeable focusing screens for easier MF lens use
      * -3, -4 EV AF functionality (would be great for concerts)
      * More tune-able Auto-ISO (In Av use, min shutter could be dynamic based on the what focal length your zoom is *at that moment*)
      * The much better nicer in-viewfinder level from the 7D2
      * Illuminated buttons on the back

      More will hit me later, I’m sure…

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    • Anders Madsen

      I actually considered switching to Sony before deciding on Nikon, but found that using adapted lenses wasn’t all that practical – autofocus through the adapter was extremely slow, although very precise.

      So, for anyone considering this path, please be aware that it definitely has some rocks on it…

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    • Matthew Saville

      Ironically, a DPReview test concluded that in extremely negative EV’s, the D750 performed better than the 5D mk3 at off-center AF.

      Of course that’s not to say, I don’t scold Nikon often for lagging on putting cross-type AF points further out around the viewfinder. They really need to.

      Honestly if you ask me, there is still no camera that competes with Canon’s 1.3x crop flagship AF layout. Not only did the 1.3x crop put the AF points beautifully spread out, but there was a ring of cross type AF points all the way around the outer edge.

      Nikon and Canon both need to spread out their AF points, and improve the off-center low-light reliability. Especially if they expect us to nail precise focus on these new tack-sharp f/1.4 Art primes on 36-50+ megapixel cameras. Oy…

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  9. Dennis Rogers

    Part II

    Because of some reviews out there, the above conclusion might confuse some readers. I’m particularly referring to Michael The Mentor’s Ultimate Shootout between the D750 and 5DIII on YouTube (though there are certainly many, many other reviews and comparisons). It’s an excellent review if you haven’t seen it, and if you are deciding between these two cameras, its’ a must see. Part of his review is a blind color portrait test/comparison between the cameras, and nearly everyone tends to prefer the colors from the D750.

    His test is valid but ended up not being relevant to me. Let me explain. I’ve always used Kelvin WB on the 5DIII except rare occasions when I use my ExpoDisc to do a custom WB. When I used the D750 on Kelvin, I didn’t like the colors at all. I eventually decided on Auto2 WB, as the D750 does an excellent job on Auto WB. Since I had never shot the 5DIII in Auto WB, when I compared the two, I came to the same conclusion as Michael The Mentor. The D750 does indeed have a better and more accurate Auto WB and I prefer it to the Auto WB on the Mark III. However, when I shoot the Canon the way I shoot the Canon (Kelvin only with occasional custom), the colors are consistently more pleasing to me than from the D750 in Auto or in Kelvin.

    The difference in color rendering from Adobe’s ACR was enough for me to decide that I’d rather travel with my Canon gear than the Nikon gear, and that I had a preference for Canon skin tones. Yes, the ISO performance of the D750 is awesome ~ fine luminance grain and nearly no color noise. Impressive indeed. But after using the entire system for nearly 5 months, this impressive performance is not as alluring as it once was. I’m happy with the high ISO results from the 5DIII even though the results are not as good as the D750 and even though I hope Canon improves noise performance in the future.

    Lastly, while the Sony sensor in the D750 has more stops of dynamic range, I never realized any practical real world results from the type of shooting that I do. I’m not experiencing any significant limitations with my current setup. (Yes, I know…. If I accidentally underexpose a shot by 4 or 5 stops and need to raise the exposure that far, the Canon will look awful. I realize that. However, when I return home from six weeks of traveling, I tend not to have a single shot that needs to take advantage of that type of DR). I welcome more DR from Canon in the future, because having more is better than not having it, but for my day-to-day shooting, whether professional or casual, I was realizing no obvious benefit.

    Cheers and happy shooting!

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  10. Dennis Rogers

    As a long-time professional 5DIII user (weddings, portraits, events), I’m actually perfectly fine with this timing. I know that people get anxious about what other manufacturers are doing and sometimes start itching for a switch. You mentioned, Anthony, that you know of one Canon shooter who has purchased the D750 with a number of professional lenses but is still waiting to see what Canon does next.

    Well, I also purchased the D750 and a set of professional lenses and used it as much as I could for nearly 5 months. Over the previous two weeks, I sold all of it. Now I’m more fond of my 5DIII than ever. I would have no qualms whatsoever recommending the D750 to nearly anyone. I particularly loved it for walk-around nighttime travel photography, when I find myself reaching ISO 12,800 on occasion. The camera really rocks up to that ISO. However, I should note that I do the same thing with my 5DIII. ISO performance is clearly not as good, but is still very good indeed.

    Ultimately, I didn’t like the cramped cross-type focus points of the D750 compared to the 5DIII and, although the D750 locked focus quicker in super low light, the 5DIII still locked focus quickly and just as accurately. The 5DIII has vertical dual cross-type points with f/2.8 lenses and wider, and seemed a tad more “aggressive” in grabbing and locking focus in most lighting situations. Ultimately, apart from the pretty awesome 3D tracking of the D750, I didn’t see any real advantage in practical everyday professional and casual use. So neither camera had any real advantage over the other in focusing except for the greater spread of the cross-type points in the Mark III, which I really appreciate for shooting processionals and recessionals.

    I originally had designs of using the Canon and Nikon side by side at weddings and switched the aperture to the rear dial on the D750. This ended up not working so well, as the rear dial on the Nikon has no locking option like it does on the Canon, and it was easy to accidentally move the rear dial, whether with my thumb or just when the camera was against my body while carrying it. One Nikon user suggested that I move the aperture again to the front dial since I change aperture less than shutter speed. I do agree this seems a very workable solution for a Nikon-only shooter, but since my brain thinks in terms of Canon controls, it didn’t really work for me.

    I’m also tied into the Canon wireless speed light system, which I love, with the 600EX-RTs. If I were to try to use the Nikon in a similar way, it would be a larger investment since I’d need to purchase external triggers and receivers to fire Nikon lights (or any brand lights), as using the Nikon Creative Lighting system is definitely not an option at a large and busy wedding reception.

    Nevertheless, all of the above stuff was pretty easy for me to overlook, especially since I was also testing the D750 to be my primary travel camera, since I travel internationally quite a bit and wanted a lighter full-frame option if it could produce results similar to my 5DIII. One thing I learned about myself during the process of shooting these cameras side by side for nearly 5 months is that I do indeed have a preference for Canon color, not just in skin tones, but in nearly everything (reds, greens, blues). I’m very much locked into the LR/PS editing platforms and was advised by numerous Nikon shooters to invest the time to create my own camera profiles to tweak the colors to my taste. I tried a few of these and was unsuccessful. I was also shown example of how other RAW converters actually do a much better job rendering colors from Nikon cameras than Adobe ACR. In looking at comparison images, I’m convinced that’s true. But for me, switching to another RAW converter just wasn’t in the cards. LR is an integral part of my entire workflow and is one of the best workflow and editing platforms available. Unfortunately, it renders Nikon colors as rather drab and neutral with a brownish color cast (moving the temperature slider in LR tended to have a more yellow/brown effect than the warming effect I was accustomed to from Canon RAW files).

    So editing my D750 files was a more labor intensive process than editing my 5DIII files. (Of course, for anyone with a preference for Nikon colors as rendered by Adobe ACR, this would be reversed, in that they would not like the Canon files as much and would need to spend more time on them). It was primarily the color rendering in Adobe ACR that was the final straw in my decision to stay exclusively with Canon. I take too many “one in a lifetime” photos when traveling and it’s important to me to start with an image that’s closer to my liking straight out of camera.

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    • Herm Tjioe

      Well done write up and highly informative. Thank you

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    • Kevin Cucci

      I can honestly say this explanation is exactly why I am holding on to my 5d3 and not making the jump to any other system just yet! Thanks for the great write up!

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    • Anders Madsen

      BANG! Hammer, meet nail. This is why I never bother with the DPReview forums anymore but go here instead. :)

      – and I’m surprised to hear that ACR does such a lousy job when converting Nikon RAW files. I’m using Capture One and did not notice any major color shifts when going from Canon to Nikon (skin may be a hair more pink from the Nikon).

      I still have my 1Ds as a backup – perhaps I should try a direct comparison, just to see if there really is no significant difference and satisfy my own curiosity. :)

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    • Graham Curran

      Although many of us like to have the latest technology, most of us don’t have more dollars than sense and need to stick with the system we know and have invested in. If a camera is doing the job you want then it has to be something major to make you jump ship.

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      Dennis, your comment has confirmed my inner strife. I’m going on my 3rd year with Nikon DSLR’s. I started video while in college using Canon gear so I had a preference for Canon based on that experience. When I got married, my wife and I wanted to purchase a new camera which ended up being Nikon since that’s what her family had and also what she was use to as a backup wedding photographer.

      We started with a d7000 and since then have used the d700, d610 and now also own a d800. I always struggled with color and white balance with the d7k to get the “look” I was after. After using a full-frame d700 I said “this is it!”. The camera had that “look” and seemed I could go in so many different directions with a professional looking result almost SOOC. I then bought a d800/24-70 combo and would rent a 610 with a 70-200 from time to time. The 610 seemed to easily give pleasing color and white balance and really rendered things well. Post processing for the 610 files seem easier than the d7k. My d800 on the other hand is sometimes a bear when it comes to colors. Your comment was the first to nail my experience with trying to “warm” a D800 file only to make it more yellow. I’ve found If I don’t nail white balance in-camera, it’s a PAIN to get it accurate in Lightroom.

      While browsing the web, my wife will show me an a great photo and 99% of the time, I guess the brand that it came from just by seeing the color. Most of the time the greens give it away. Outdoor shots are the easiest to spot as Canon seem to give a sagey looking green where Nikon goes yellow-ish . It’s an inner struggle and really messes with my decision to continue to invest or jump ship. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some great shots and love certain aspects of my Nikon gear. Most of the time I think it’s my personality of believing the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and being hard on myself as well. Half the photog community says it’s the guy behind the camera and the differences are so minor it’s subjective. The other half are making decisions like you did.

      Anyhow, I had to get that off my chest. Thanks for your comparison.


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  11. Anders Madsen

    I think Anthony is right – any substantial delay will be playing with fire indeed.

    I see an increasing amount of Canon gear hit the second hand market here in Denmark with a statement from the current owner about the equipment being fine but being sold on account of a system change.

    I have a distinct feeling that this trend is going one way only.

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  12. adam sanford

    Consider the gap the 5D4 must fill. The *5Ds* rigs are basically 7D2 sensors stretched out to FF (testing is not out yet, but this has been all but confirmed by Maeda and a number of Canon Explorers of Light) — they are ‘good light cameras’ in comparison to the 5D3 — they will have a ton of more MP, but this camera will not shatter frontiers for IQ. It’s just more pixels for those that need it.

    So the 5D4 represents the best chance for improving Canon’s #1 perceived weakness — dynamic range. The 5D4 will keep the MP count reasonable to try to push limits on IQ — more low ISO DR, better high ISO performance, etc. The 5D4 sensor will be the long-awaited reply to Sony’s dominance in the FF sensor world, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

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  13. adam sanford

    This is a vital camera for the Canon faithful. The 5D3 is their go-anywhere, do-anything brand — their most important brand, I believe.

    That said, I don’t anticipate it this year. Canon is slow and methodical with FF bodies, and I see them using 2015 to push the high-res 5Ds/5DsR bodies. So I see a 1DX and 5D3 replacement coming out *next* year.

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  14. Greg Silver

    Yes – now that’s what I would call a worthy upgrade!

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