One of our readers wrote an informative and comprehensive article about the new Canon Mark IV. Based on speculations, thoughts, message boards and Canon's history Reza Sadeghi Moghadam compiled a thoughtful analysis of Canon's new superstar. Let us know your thoughts!



Expected specifications of canon 5d mark IV

It is always a joy for photographers to guess about features and specs of new cameras. Especially new models of hot series like canon’s lovely 5. As a photography technology expert and teacher who is monitoring the market, here I have my analysis and expectations of the upcoming hot model of canon: 5D mark IV. The analysis is based on needs of professional photographers’ needs, the new technologies, market and competitors. Please notice that these specifications are NOT based on rumors. I give you my reasons about each expected specification:

            Still Image Resolution: 26 to 30 megapixels

Resolution is the ultimate battlefield of camera manufacturers. I believe the resolution of Canon 5D mark 4 is somewhere between 26 to 30 megapixels. Not less. Not more

Logics: The previous model, 5D mark III didn’t have a big improvement over 5D mark II so it’s about 8 years that Canon is sucked around 21 megapixels. The fight became hotter when the lovely big rival of the camera, Nikon D800 shocked the market with huge 36 megapixel sensor. High resolution is needed for larger prints with higher quality. On the other hand it won’t be higher than 30 megapixels because of two reasons:

1. It is years that they are winning most of low noise high iso fights so very high resolution which means smaller pixels and more noise is not logical for this camera.

2. For the sake of large prints and megapixel maniacs, Canon has the great 5Ds and 5Dsr with 50+ megapixels and it’s expected that they continue this policy with announcing 5Ds mark II in following year.

Still Photo autofocus system

There are two theories here: From one aspect we saw the focus system in 1DX mark II with same 61 autofocus points but with faster and more accurate performance. So expecting canon to have more points and better autofocus performance than its flagship is a little dreamy.

From other aspect, this market is all about competition and with Nikon’s superb 153 points, it’s not far from logic that Canon adds more points to the competition to regain advantage over its classic rival. It’s really logical for Nikon to put same autofocus features as D5 and D500 in D900 and it makes competition a little harder for new 5D. The other reason that ends to more autofocus points is that after knowing about Nikons ACE card, Canon had more time to work on the new 5 than the time they had for the new 1!

The camera will also be able to autofocus on subjects in very low light maybe in -3 EV. Reason: They did it in 6D!

The servo performance will be improved as they have better processors available. 

It is time for autofocus points to be cross type. All of them!

Video Resolution: 4K DCI 60 fps

After Canon changed the game of videography by announcing 5D mark II and its breathtaking video quality, many professional film makers, event photographers and wedding photographers started using DSLRs for video. In 5D mark III we had some advances but when the 4K resolution started the new revolution, things changed. Videographers started using limited non complete cameras like Panasonic GH4 and of course the great Sony A7sII. When Nikon entered the scene with UHD video on its D5 and D500 beloveds, it was time for canon to think 4K. Of course Canon has 1DC from 2012 which is somehow even better than 2016 D5 in video but it’s a super expensive gear. By announcement of EOS 80D we were disappointed by seeing the lack of 4K video but it rang the bells for a great video performance of new 5D mark IV. On the other side we still have no good 4k DSLR, Mirrorless or even affordable video cameras. Panasonic has GH4 but it has a super tiny sensor, limited but expensive optics and limited photography performance.

The Sony A7SII is great in 4k performance but has poor still photos, limited and expensive lenses and of course some problems like annoying Full HD crop and very bad rolling shutter effect which is caused by its internal stabilizer. 

The Nikon D5 has a big crop effect, lack of good video autofocus, lack of good video lenses and of course lack of 4K DCI which is more professional than UHD. Same about D500.

Most of small and affordable video cameras have poor lowlight performance or autofocus issues. 

So here it is a historical opportunity to have a super cool 4K DCI camera and trust me, it will happen in 60fps like the 1DX mark II. The camera will also have nice 120fps slow-motion frame rate even in lowlight. 

Video autofocus: 80 shades of Great!

Poor video Autofocus was a big pain which started to heal by announcement of EOS 70D and is cured by outstanding video autofocus performance of EOS 80D. Maybe some people say that professionals do use manual focus but it’s not true. In many situations like weddings, events and etc, video autofocus is vital. If it happens in 5D mark IV as good as canon 80D, canon can capture the market of professional and semi-professional videography and have the 1st complete 4K affordable camera. If they don’t, they will regret it. PS: They will do!

Other Video features

One more expected feature about video is new developed sensor that does not become hot when it’s recording video. We saw the same effort on 6D.

About record time Nikon lost the game with 3minutes 4k video and Canon will work for longer records maybe up to 29:59. 30 minutes or longer records won’t be possible because if they do, they will have to pay the tax of video cameras to Europe Commission.  

Clear HDMI output is also expected as it was a hot discussion recently. 

Crop in 4K video is expected to be 1.3 as it is seen in 1DC. If they do this they will win this fight as Nikon D5 has disappointing 1.46 crop in UHD Video.

Improved Dynamic Range

It is expected to have a nice and improved dynamic range in both still and video field. We have two reasons: From one aspect dynamic range has been the Achilles heel in Canon cameras in recent years in competitions against Nikon so they will do anything to bridge the gap. From other aspect we know that they are working hard on this and are doing great because we saw good improvements in dynamic range in recent cameras like 80D, 5Ds and 5Dsr. 

Improved Low light low noise

Canon is the winner of this field for years and we saw they did it again in 1DX mark II and even in cheap full frame named 6D. As we said before they do not have to go wild on resolution because they have 5Ds and 5Dsr so we expect great lowlight low noise high iso performance. 

Improved Color depth:

In fight of color depth, if we trust analyzer websites (Which I don’t), 5D mark III lost the game to Nikon D810 for 2 bits (24 vs 26) so it is expected that they develop colors to somewhere about 26.

Frame Rate: 7 to 8 fps

After slow frame rate in 5D mark II canon worked well on 5D mark III with 6 fps but it’s expected that they will improve it again to 7 to 8 frames per second. Of course they won’t go wild to faster frame rates because if they do they lose one part of 1DX mark II market which has more benefit for the company. About buffer, it’s expected to see infinite JPEG burst in 5D mark IV as we saw it in 1DX mark II. Alert: If they don’t they may lose the fight to Nikon rivals. 

Memory Slot

With 4K video Canon 5D mark IV has to use fast memories so one CFast 2.0 Slot plus one or two SD slots are expected.


USB 3.0: For transferring heavy Raw files and 4K videos.

HDMI: For clear video output to external recorders.

3.5 mm microphone jack for recording better audio.

3.5 mm headphone jack for monitoring the audio.

Wi-Fi: It’s a key feature in recent DSLR Cameras which made useful possibilities for remote shooting.

NFC: For fast and trusty connections to devices and recorders.


It’s expected from canon to put the 3.2 inches screen of 1DX mark II in new 5D with resolution of 1,620,000 dots on Clear view II TFT LCD. Fixed and touchscreen


We expect a design like 5Ds but with one or two additional buttons.

Very good environmental sealing is always expected from Canon in this series.  

Other Expected specifications: 

Flash X sync speed: 1/250 sec. It is expected that they improve this feature over 1/200 sec in previous version to compete against Nikon. 

New built-in HDR and time-lapse features. 

Optical pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage and 0.71x magnification. As same as 5D mark III

Built-in flash: No. Canon is famous for its environmental sealed cameras so a pop-up flash is not expected. It is kind of a culture in Canon’s Full frames.

Iso: 100-51200 which is expandable to 50-409600 like 1DX Mark II

Maximum Shutter speed: 1/8000 sec: Not hard to guess!

External Flash: Yes Hot-shoe which can be used as wireless trigger for other flashes. 

A Message from the Author: Reza Sadeghi Moghadam, is a professional photography teacher and market analyzer. This article is about expected specifications of Canon 5D mark IV. This article is not based on rumours. All guessed specifications have their logics and reasons based on my analysis and monitoring the market and professional photography world. Follow Reza on Instagram!