Canon 5D Mark IV image

Close up | Canon 5D Mark IV 4K specs for video

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV lists video recording as one of its main features – we take a look at what it offers the videographer.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon 5D Mark IV 

Resolution and frame rate

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is currently one of only a handful of DSLRs that records 4K quality video. This is captured in the DCI 4K format, which records at a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (as opposed to the more common UHD 4K format that records at 3860 x 2160-pixel resolution).

The 5D Mark 4 RAW video setting is made possible thanks to the Dual Pixel photodiode innovation. But with double imaging comes double the usual file size of usual RAW.

The camera offers the user a choice of 24fps (23.98fps), 25fps and 30fps (29.97fps), when recording 4K footage in the PAL format. The camera also offers Full HD (1920×1080) and HD (1280×720) options, at up to 50fps.

High speed shooting at up to 100fps is also possible, and this output at 25fps (a quarter of the speed).

When set to NTSC, frame rates on offer are 30fps (29.97fps), 24 fps and 23.98fps, with an additional 60fps option when recording in Full HD. High-Speed footage, meanwhile, is captured at 119.97fps and output at 29.97fps.

Crop factor

To record DCI 4K footage without pixel binning, the camera only uses a central portion of the sensor. This requires a crop factor of 1.64x, relative to the full-frame. So, using a 28mm lens when recording 4K footage will give you an effective angle of view that’s closer to that provided by a 46mm lens.

When recording HD or Full HD footage, the camera uses the entire sensor (without a crop being applied, and so that angle of view of whatever lens you’re using will be maintained). This also means that if you find yourself limited while shooting in 4K by this, you have the option of switching to Full HD (obviously at the expense of high resolution).

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV SensorThe EOS 5D Mark IV records 4K video using a central portion of its 30.4MP sensor.

Aspect ratio

As the horizontal DCI 4K resolution is slightly higher than that of UHD 4K, the aspect ratio of recorded footage is approximately 17:9 rather than the more standard 16:9 ratio. This changes to 16:9 when recording in either Full HD or HD options.


This Canon camera’s ISO range can be adjusted over a range of ISO 100-12,800 as standard when capturing 4K footage, and ISO 100-25,600 when capturing Full HD videos. In both cases this can be controlled in 1/3EV increments.

If you want the camera to automatically select higher ISOs, this needs to be enabled through the menu system beforehand. The options here allow you to set a range of ISO 100-Hi1 (51,200 equivalent) or ISO 200-Hi2 (102,400 equivalent).

This extended Lo setting, which is equivalent to ISO 50, is not available when recording 4K or HD footage. This means that in the particularly bright conditions in which you may want to use it, you will either need to stop down your aperture or use an ND filter.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVThe camera’s ISO can be directly controlled from a button on its top plate.

File formats

The camera records in both MOV and MP4 formats and is one of only a handful with built in GPS. When recording 4K footage it employs the Motion JPEG codec, which records at a bit rate of approximately 500Mbps. When recording HD or Full HD footage, however, you have the option of choosing ALL-I and IPB compression options, with a further IPB Light option if recording using the MP4 setting.

As there is no way to record 4K footage at a different level of compression, Canon recommends using a CompactFlash memory card rated to UDMA 7 with a write speed of 100Mbps or faster. It also states that UHS-I Class 3 SD-format cards can be used, although these only guarantee a transfer rate of of 30Mbps.

If you use a slower-than-recommended memory card to record video, the camera may display a five-bar indicator as the card fills up, eventually stopping video recording. The camera will also notify you if the sensor becomes too heated through prolonged use.

Card formats

As with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the model is designed with dual card slots: one for SDHC and SDXC media and one for CompactFlash. The SDHC/SDXC slot supports UHS-I cards (but not UHS-II) while the CompactFlash slot supports cards conforming to the UDMA 7 specifications.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVThe camera accepts both SDHC/SDXC and CompactFlash media.

Chroma subsampling

The camera records with YCbCr 4:2:2 chroma subsampling when shooting in 4K, and 4:2:0 when recording in HD and Full HD formats. When outputting HD footage via the HDMI output, this is set to 4:2:2.

Frame grabs

While it’s not possible to capture images while recording movies, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV allows you to extract individual frames from 4K footage and save them as JPEG files in camera. This happens at a resolution of around 8.8MP – slightly higher than other 4K-enabled cameras on account of it recording in the DCI 4K format (rather then UHD 4K).


The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV follows the EOS 1D-X Mark II in offering a touchscreen on its rear, and this can be used for a variety of purposes when recording video.

At a basic level this can be used to select options on the screen, such as ISO and the Q menu that brings up the audio recording level and volume for external monitoring although, perhaps more usefully, this can also be used for focusing (explained below).

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVThe camera’s touchscreen can be used for a range of purposes, including shifting the focusing point while recording.


One of the advantages of the camera’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is that it can continue to focus using phase-detection AF (performed on the main imaging sensor) while recording videos. This also allows for continuous autofocus while recording, with control over tracking speed and sensitivity offered to better suit your subject.

The partnership of this technology with the camera’s touchscreen allows for two key things. First, you have the option of keying the subject on which you want the camera to focus on the screen, prior to recording. It has 61 AF points selectable distributed on the viewfinder. Here, it focuses it swiftly but fluidly, much more so than with a standard contrast-detect AF system. This also means that you can use it in live view while capturing stills.

Another benefit of this is that you can use this touchscreen functionality while the camera is recording videos, which means you can shift focus from one subject to another simply by touch. This means that you don’t need to physically pull focus using the lens.


The camera is equipped with a monaural microphone, which is positioned just beneath the camera’s name badge on the front plate, although any professional that wants to record sound at its best possible quality will no doubt use an external microphone. This can be connected to the camera though a 3.5mm stereo mic port at its side.

Both wind-cut and attenuator filters are selectable through the camera and control over audio levels can be set to manual (over 64 levels) or auto options. A headphone socket is also provided for monitoring audio, and the camera allows you to adjust volume here too.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The EOS 5D Mark IV is compatible with external stereo microphones such as Canon’s own DM-E1 model.

HDR movie function

A feature that appeared on the recent EOS 760D and EOS 80D is HDR Movie Recording, and this has made the cut here too. The Canon 5DMK4 video specs is designed for the same kinds of conditions as you would use it when shooting stills – ie. scenes with a naturally broad dynamic range, which may exceed the sensor’s capabilities. This option records at 60fps and outputs footage at 25fps (PAL) and 29.97fps (NTSC), although only at Full HD resolution.

HDMI out

The camera is equipped with a Type C, HDMI mini port around its side, and this allows you to output clean (uncompressed) footage to an external recorder. The only caveat here is that this is only possible at a maximum full HD resolution, as opposed to 4K.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVThe camera is fitted with a The Canon 5D Mark iv ports: The camera is fitted with a Type C HDMI mini port, along with USB 3.0, microphone, headphone and flash-sync sockets.

Time-lapse footage

You can also use the EOS 5D Mark IV to for time-lapse recording, with the individual frames stitched together in camera and output as Full HD files.

As with the HDR movie option, this is output at 25fps (PAL) and 29.97fps (NTSC), and control is provided over the interval between each frame and the number of images captured in total. Usefully, as the camera is stitching together the time-lapse video itself (rather than just capturing the individual images), it will also inform you of the length of time required and the length of the final movie in advance, as well as whether you have enough room on your card to achieve this.

Time limits

As with other DSLRs, the maximum length of footage than can be recorded without interruption is 29mins and 59 seconds. When using the camera’s High Frame Rate mode, this is reduced to 7 mins 29 seconds.

Close Up: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Video Settings image

Close Up: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Video Settings

Looking at the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for video? Here’s what to expect using our short Canon Mark IV tutorial

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV is the first model in Canon’s long-popular EOS 5D line to feature 4K video, a feature that has been rolled out over many cameras in recent years.

An important thing to remember, though, is that not all 4K cameras are equal. Aspects like compression options, frame rates and output possibilities all vary from camera to camera, and all have an impact on the kind of footage you can produce.

If you’re thinking of picking up a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, it’s worth knowing exactly what the camera is capable of accomplishing. In addition to the usual Canon EOS 5D picture quality, there are a host of options for video that make it a compelling buy. Here we take a look at some Canon 5D Mark IV tips for what it can do.

The Basics

Like the recently announced EOS-1D X Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark IV records in the 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) resolution, rather than the more common 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution.

The difference? 4K DCI is the standard for professional cinema production and digital projection, putting out a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160. However,  4K UHD refers to Ultra High Definition and is essentially the next step up from Full HD. If you’re planning on shooting video to professional standards then 4K DCI is a must.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

It’s worth being aware, however, that the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV only uses a central portion of its sensor to record 4K footage (ie without pixel binning). This means that there is a crop factor of around 1.74x to consider. You’re changing the effective focal length you’re using, just as you would if you were using an APS-C-designed lens on a full-frame body.

When recording Full HD and Standard HD footage, the camera returns to using the full width of its sensor so there’s no crop factor to worry about. However, one thing to bear in mind is that the aspect ratios of 4K DCI and Full HD are slightly different, the 4K DCI being 17:9 and Full HD recorded at the more common 16:9 aspect ratio.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IVYou can set separate sensitivity ranges for 4K and HD videos, with a base ISO as low as ISO 100 and a top speed of Hi2 (equivalent to ISO 102,400). This is useful if you want to limit the maximum sensitivity to reduce noise from appearing in footage.

Noise reduction is only possible when recording footage in Full HD, and is on by default when set to the Auto exposure mode. Otherwise,  it can be adjusted over their levels for optimal noise performance. It is not possible to use noise reduction when the camera is set to record in 4K quality, however.



Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system has made autofocus during live view and video recording much more usable than on previous cameras, opening up new possibilities for shooting fast-paced video with accurate focusing

Best of all, the live view focusing marries perfectly with the 5D Mark IV’s touchscreen. You can simply press the screen where you want the camera to focus, and the camera will acknowledge your selection with a white box. The camera will now be able to track this the subject as it moves around the scene.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

You can adjust both the tracking sensitivity and speed of the Canon 5D Mark IV autofocus video if you wish, meaning it can be customised to exactly the right settings for your subject.

For more considered shooting, many videographers will no doubt be using manual focus instead. It’s worth being aware that focus peaking, a feature that’s found on an increasing number of other systems, isn’t natively available on the Canon 5D Mark IV. If you want to use focus peaking you’ll need to get hold of an external display that supports it: something like the Atomos Shogun would work well.

Exposure and lens corrections

You can use Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimiser and Highlight Tone Priority for the Canon 5D Mark iv settings when recording video, and they can prove useful for keeping your exposures balanced and your highlights in check.

You can also enable both peripheral illumination and chromatic aberration correction, although Canon’s other corrections for distortion and diffraction, as well as the Digital Lens Optimiser feature, are not available for video.

Physical Controls

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVIf you’re wondering what a 5D camera is, simply put it was the first model to give full-frame DSLR capability into a standard body camera. With the advent of Mark IV, Canon has made impressive progress.

You can customise the physical controls of the EOS 5D Mark IV, mapping specific functions to specific buttons. The shutter-release button, for example, can be set to either focus on and meter a scene, or just to meter it. Alternatively, you can set the shutter button so that it simply locks the exposure when pressed – essentially, AE lock for movies.


If you want, you can also customise either the SET button and Depth Of Field Preview control to initiate movie recording or cease Movie Servo AF.

On-screen controls

You can also use the touchscreen to control a handful of recording features.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Before to recording, you can adjust things like Picture Style, White Balance and recording quality, either through a combination of touchscreen and physical controls or just through the touchscreen alone.

Once you’ve started recording, your options are more limited, although it’s possible to change adjust aperture and exposure compensation, and also the volume of the audio through the headphones. 

Recording Media

Canon EOS 5D Mark IVIn contrast to other models that support the XQD and CFast formats, the EOS 5D Mark IV sports separate card slots for SDHC/SDXC media and CompactFlash media. Presumably, with a maximum frame rate of 25p in 4K (or 30p in NTSC), one of the newer formats is not required.

The SDHC/SDXC slot supports cards up to the UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) standard while the CompactFlash slot supports UDMA 7 cards. You need to use one of these for 4K video recording as the camera will otherwise stop recording after just a few seconds. Interestingly, the camera does not support UHS-II type of SDHC and SDXC cards.


Time-lapse shooting

In addition to time-lapse photography, Canon 5D Mark IV provides time-lapse video. Time-lapse recording is also possible with the EOS 5D Mark IV. Here, you have control over the interval between images (at a minimum of a second and a maximum of a second under 100 hours between frames).  The total number of images that can be recorded is up to a maximum of 3600. This is an upgrade from the time-lapse photography of the Canon 5D Mark III.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Usefully, the total capture time and playback time of the footage at your chosen settings are displayed in advance, as is the time left on the memory card in use. The feature lacks some of the more advanced options seen on other cameras, such as Nikon’s Exposure Smoothing option that attempts to maintain balance between images should there be any sudden changes in the scene. 

Post-capture editing

There’s not much in the way of editing footage in camera once you finish recording. You’re limited when post processing to trimming the beginning or end (or both) of any videos, and you can either save this as a new file or overwrite the original version.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Frame Grab

You can, however, extract 8.8MP frames from 4K footage and save them as JPEGs. Footage can be played back frame-by-frame to help you decide on the most appropriate point. As the camera uses Motion JPEG for capturing 4K footage, images do not display the same kind of artefacts that you tend to find when extracting frames from videos compressed in other ways.

This can be a great way of making sure you capture the exact right moment from a sequence of fast action and continuous shooting even at high continuous shooting speeds.

That said, it’s worth being aware that noise reduction is not available when capturing 4K footage, so any frames extracted from high-ISO footage are likely to show noise.


The camera has a built-in mono microphone just underneath its name badge, and offers the option of attaching a 3.5mm stereo microphone through a port at its side.

Audio can be left to Auto, controlled more precisely on Manual, or disabled if you don’t need it. A wind filter and attenuator can also be accessed through the menu system (although the former is only effective with the built-in microphone rather than external models).

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Thanks to a headphone port you can also monitor audio while it’s being recorded, and you can use the touchscreen to adjust the volume being output to the headphones. Accurate audio monitoring is hugely important, and the EOS 5D Mark IV makes it pleasingly straightforward.


The HDMI port around the camera’s side allows you to output footage at a range of frame rates, including 24p. You can also append the time code to the footage as this happens.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV unveiled

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV arrives with a new 30.4MP sensor and 4K video

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon has refreshed its successful EOS 5D DSLR line with the EOS 5D Mark IV.

Basic feature updates

The new model is a direct successor to the popular EOS 5D Mark III and whilst it shares that model’s form and build, Canon has furnished the new body with a wealth of new and expanded features – some seen in the recent flagship EOS-1D X Mark II.

The EOS 5D Mark IV debuts a 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor, which Canon claims has a wide exposure latitude. This works across a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-32,000, with extended settings either side to ISO 50- and ISO 102,400-equivalent options respectively. This is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 6+ processing engine, whose noise reduction algorithm has been enhanced over previous engines for better image quality.


Auto Focus and Metering

Perhaps the most interesting new addition is a Dual Pixel Raw mode. This uses the same technology behind the Dual Pixel CMOS AF feature (also included) to allow the photographer to adjust the point of sharpness after the images have been captured. It’s also possible to shift out-of-focus highlights and to reduce ghosting effects when using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software program.

As with the EOS 5D Mark III, the camera features a 61-point AF system (above, bottom right) that includes 41 cross-type points, with five of these dual cross-type with a sensitivity of fƒ/2.8. The points themselves are said to occupy a broader area of the frame than before, with sensitivity down to -3EV as standard and -4EV when using live view. 21 of these remain cross-type at f/8, which means they are still as effective when using certain telephoto lenses in conjunction with Canon’s Extenders.

A 150k-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, which appears similar to the version included in the EOS 5DS and 5DSR but works with its own DIGIC 6 processing engine, has also been included. This uses 252 separate zones for scene analysis and is said to help the camera better detect subjects and track them more effectively as they move around the frame.


The 5D mark IV is the third Canon EOS DSLR to date to offer 4K video recording, after the EOS-1D X Mark II announced earlier in the year and the EOS 1DC which was built on a 1DX chassis and part of the Cinema EOS lineup. This release makes 4K from a Canon system much more affordable, in a lighter body, than any previously available from Canon.

The 5D mark IV records DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) footage at frame rates of 24, 25 and 30fps, with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling and 4:2:0 subsampling when recording in one of the camera’s HD formats (which record at up to 120fps). It’s also possible to output uncompressed footage through the camera’s HDMI mini port, although only at a full HD resolution, while individual frames at an 8.8MP resolution can also be extracted from 4K footage.


Display & Controls

Canon has upgraded the camera’s rear LCD from the 3.2in, 1.04million-dot version found on the EOS 5D Mark III. While the display maintains the same dimensions as before, it sees its resolution jump to 1.62million dots. Not only that, but touchscreen functionality has also been incorporated to facilitate focus-point selection and more.

As with previous models, the user is also able to customise the Quick Control Screen to their liking, and it’s also now possible to adjust the tone of the LCD in addition to its brightness.

The pentaprism viewfinder, meanwhile, has been left unchanged from the EOS 5D Mark III, with frame coverage of approximately 100% and a 0.71x magnification, together with an eyepoint of 21mm.

Build and Connectivity

The camera, which has been constructed principally from magnesium alloy and polycarbonate, boasts dust and moisture protection and is equipped with two memory card slots, one for CompactFlash cards and the other for SD, SDHC and SDXC media. Wi-Fi and NFC has also now been included, as has a GPS system that records longitude, latitude and elevation. Canon has also now made it possible to embed IPTC metadata into images.

The EOS 5D Mark IV has been designed with a USB 3.0 port at its side, together with HDMI mini and flash-sync ports, while sockets for headphones and microphone are also included alongside. The remote port, which was previously included among these, has now been repositioned to the camera’s front plate.

Two new lenses have also been announced alongside the new model. The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM is a second-generation version of the existing EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, with a four-stop Image Stabiliser on board and a weather-resistant construction, while the EF 16-35mm fƒ/2.8L III USM updates the nine-year-old 16-35mm fƒ/2.8L II USM. Additionally, Canon has announced the BG-20 battery grip. This has been constructed with the same level of weatherproofing as the camera, with duplicate vertical shooting controls and space for an additional LP-E6N or LP-E6 battery.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: Specifications

  • 31.7MP full-frame CMOS sensor, 30.4MP effective, with optical low pass filter
  • DIGIC 6+ processing engine
  • ISO 100-32,000 (exp. to ISO 50 and 102,400)
  • Dual Pixel Raw mode
  • 61-point wide-area reticular AF system, including 41 cross-type points and 5 dual cross type points at fƒ/2.8
  • AF Area Selection control
  • 30-1/8000sec shutter speeds plus bulb
  • Approx. 150k-pixel RGB+IR, 252-zone metering sensor
  • 7fps burst shooting, up to 21 Raw frames or unlimited JPEGs
  • 3.2in Clear View LCD II, 1.62million dots and touch sensitivity
  • Pentaprism viewfinder, approx. 100% field of view, 0.71x magnification
  • DCI 4K video (4096 x 2160), 30, 25, 24fps. Full HD up to 120fps
  • 8.8MP Frame Grab from 4K footage
  • Anti-flicker technology
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • GPS
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • Magnesium alloy body with polycarbonate, glass fiber prism cover
  • Dual CompactFlash (up to UDMA 7) and SD/SDHC/SDXC (inc. UHS-I) slots
  • Rechargeable LP-E6N battery (supplied), compatible with LP-E6
  • Approx. 900-frame battery life
  • 890g (including battery and memory card)
  • 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm


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