10 Things I HATE About the Canon 5D Mark IV

10 Things I HATE About the Canon 5D Mark IV

Let me preface this post by saying that I personally ordered a 5D Mark IV mere minutes after it was announced, in fact I informed my local store of my intentions several days before the announcement. I’ve owned all the 5D cameras over the years and they have been true workhorses. I think the 5D Mark IV is a good step forwards in many respects, but there’s several areas where Canon not only missed the mark, the mark is so far away from them that they can’t even see it. That’s what we’re going to be talking about here…


1. The SD card slot is only UHS-1

The faster SD card standard, UHS-II, began to be available with cameras like the Panasonic GH-4 and Fuji XT-1 several years before the launch of the 5D Mark IV. In fact, I have a point and shoot camera that uses UHS-II cards now. Putting the older, slower UHS-1 standard in a camera that costs this much money is quite shocking. This is a camera that with its fast buffer and 30MP images, not to mention 4k video, is going to chew through data at a rate that will only be marginally surpassed by the flagship 1D X Mark II. A UHS-I SD card is going to severely slow down any photographer’s workflow when they try and download 100+GB of data from such an old card standard. Canon know how many professionals use these cameras, do they think they don’t value their time?


2. CF not CFast


Sorry, but I’m going to continue on the card rant for a little bit longer. CF is a standard that’s clearly on the way out. I’m stunned that they would put CFast in the 1D X Mark II and only CF in the 5D Mark IV. I know several people who use both 1D and 5D bodies as they compliment each other very nicely. Now those people have to carry two types of card reader and two times as many cards. Yes, I know the 1D X Mark II can use CF, but why would you when it limits the performance of your $6500 camera?!

I wish Canon would have had the balls to put two CFast cards in the 5D Mark IV.


3. 1.74x Cropped 4K Video

Are you freaking kidding me, Canon?!? For a company that basically started the DSLR video revolution, how can you be so blind to the desires of your customers? The very reason that the 5D Mark II started all of that was the “full frame look” and now you give us a camera that shoots 4k video with a bizarre 1.74x crop factor. That’s more of a crop than APS-C cameras! This means that there is essentially no way to get super wide angle 4k video with the 5D Mark IV, and switching back and forth between stills and video will be an exercise in frustration as no lens look will be the same. The internet is real mad about this one Canon! I appreciate the technical reasons why you have chosen to do this and avoid pixel binning, but when Sony can deliver a good 4k full frame video from a sensor with a higher megapixel count that you (A7RII), it makes you look stupid.


4. HDMI 1.3 means no 4K output

Forget about using an external recorder to get a nice ProRes 4k recording from your 5D Mark IV, because the 5D Mark IV uses the old HDMI 1.3 standard instead of 1.4 or 2.0. Of course they are trying to protect their Cinema EOS camera sales…


5. BG-E20 Battery Grip is a stupid design


The BG-E20 battery grip for the 5D Mark IV has the same stupid design as the BG-E16 for the 7D Mark II. I’ve owned that grip, and it sucked, big time. In fact all three of the photographers I know who bought a BG-E16 ended up selling them. The reason?  The button layout is all wrong. On a 1-Series camera when you rotate the camera to portrait orientation, the shutter buttons, focus buttons and joystick feel the same, and are in the same position as when you hold the camera horizontally. It means you can work blindly, no matter how you hold the camera. With the BG-E20 (and BG-E16), the joystick is so far different than its position on the camera, that you are constantly struggling to find it when your eye is to the camera. It’s a truly terrible design.

6. 21 Image RAW Buffer

A buffer of only 21 RAW images in this day and age, on a top flight camera, isn’t really acceptable for a model that they tout as a great option for wildlife photographers. Imagine shooting a lion hunting in the Serengetti and only being able to capture 3 seconds of the chase before the camera grinds to a halt. Yeah it’s 3 more than was possible with the 5D Mark III, but this is 4 years later… If they had gone with CFast as the card format then this wouldn’t be a problem.


7. No Freaking Zebras or Focus tools!

The fact that Canon say that this camera is good for filmmakers is an absolute joke. I have a Sony point and shoot camera that has focus assist tools like peaking, and exposure assist tools like zebras. When everyone else is offering such simple features, and has been for years, it shows how out-of-touch Canon’s video team has gotten. This isn’t even a hardware issue, such features are simple software programming! This camera has likely been in development for over 5 years and they couldn’t get someone to create some simple features that $600 point and shoot cameras have?  And they still have the gall to call it a camera for filmmakers.


8. Motion JPEG Video Codec

Ugghhh, ok while I’m still on the video thing, let’s talk about this codec… Motion JPEG is the only way to record 4k video in the 5D Mark IV. It produces the most INSANE file sizes! It’s like recording 30 8.8MP JPEGs every second. A 17 minute interview will fill 64GB of CF card, and then because it’s a CF card instead of the potentially faster CFast standard, you’ll then spend an age downloading that to your computer. Now Canon say that they use Motion JPEG so that you can pull still images from the video, and that’s true, it is the best way to do that, but why not provide a couple of options?! You can’t just blindly shoot video and pull stills later from it anyway because you’ll be using a 1/60 shutter for video, so stills will be blurry. If you plan on pulling still frames from a video you need to know that in advance and then shoot video with a higher shutter speed. At this point, the video is going to look like crap anyway, so you really can’t have your cake and eat it. It’s like a restaurant only having one dish on the menu, caviar, and then saying they just serve one thing because it’s the best. Give us some options, Canon!

9. DCI 4K Standard ONLY!

Ok first things first, it’s actually pretty cool that the 5D Mark IV gives you 4096 x 2160 4k video, which is the same resolution as many high-end cinema cameras. The problem is, many other 4k cameras shoot 3840 x 2160 which is a 16:9 aspect ratio. The 4096 DCI 4k standard is a little wider, great if you are only using cameras that shoot this, but a pain in the ass if you have other cameras shooting 3840 x 2160. Again, there is no option to shoot 3840 x 2160 instead, even though it’s a smaller resolution. Options, Canon! People want options!


10. Still only a 1/200 X-Sync

Photographers who use flash really want that extra x-sync speed. It gets said every single time a camera comes out with only a 1/200 x-sync speed. 1/250 would make a big difference to people shooting outdoors with artificial lighting. The Nikon D810 has 1/250, as does the 1D X series and the Sony A7R II. 5D series cameras have been this way since the very first version, you’d think in nearly 15 years of development they could have bumped it up a mere 1/50 of a second, no?


Like I said, I’m super excited about this camera, but someone needs to call Canon out for some of these other idiotic choices. Thoughts?  Have I missed anything else off the list? 

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