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EOS 5D Mark IV Video Features

Video Features in the EOS 5D Mark IV gradient

Video Features in the EOS 5D Mark IV

By: Brent Ramsey

August 25, 2016


Ever since the EOS 5D Mark II was introduced — when Full HD shooting was first made possible on an SLR camera — the EOS 5D series cameras and EOS Movie have become essential assets in the production industry — everything from YouTube uploads to Hollywood blockbusters. Now, with this new model, the much anticipated EOS 5D Mark IV, video shooting inherits not only the rich 5D tradition, but also continues to build on its video legacy. The 5D Mark IV also incorporates some of the best video acquisition features from several of the latest EOS camera models — integrating those into its design and operations like no other model to date.

The 5D Mark IV employs many ‘firsts’ for the 5D camera series that significantly improve its video production capabilities: it is capable of shooting high quality 4K video, Full HD up to 60fps, and includes a high speed movie mode of 120fps. It’s the first 5D with 4K frame capture, and built-in Wi-Fi® for easy file sharing; the first with an interactive LCD touch panel; and the first to employ Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus. Many ‘firsts,’ for sure, but it’s also packed with many more extras to meet demanding video production requirements.

Read on to learn more about how the EOS 5D Mark IV captures video, and take a closer look at its significant video capture functions, improved operability, and important feature upgrades over its popular predecessor.

30.4MP Full-Frame Sensor

The EOS 5D Mark IV’s sensor has 30.4 million effective pixels on its full-frame (approx. 36mmx24mm) sensor. This newly-developed sensor – manufactured in-house by Canon — not only contains more pixels, but has also been improved from the 5D Mark III with new photodiode construction and new color filters. Overall, it achieves a good balance between a high pixel count, high resolution and high-speed signal reading.

New noise reduction processing enables higher sensitivity; the ‘normal’ ISO speed settings are 100 – 25600 for Full HD and 100 – 12800 for 4K — and ISO settings are expandable, up to 102400!

4K Video

The EOS 5D Mark IV shoots DCI 4K  -- which is (4096x2160) or (17x 9) high-resolution video at 23.98p, 24.00p, 25.00p and 29.97p.

The 4K files are recorded as Motion JPEG, the same 4K compression method found in the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS-1D C. This CODEC produces a separate JPEG image for each frame of video. It’s a very high quality file recorded at approximately 500 Megabits per second.

The 4K movie area is 4096x2160, and this is recorded off the center of the full image sensor. So, as with the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS-1D C, when you record 4K video, you’re in effect cropping the full-frame view.  However, it should be pointed out that the 1D X Mark II and 1D C both have a different pixel size than the 5D Mark IV, which results in a different 4K field-of-view, even if they’re shot at the same focal length.

Because of the pixel density on the 5D Mark IV’s 30.4MP sensor, which results in a smaller pixel, its 4K  ‘crop factor’ is equivalent to that of a lens with approximately 1.74X the indicated focal length. Shooting 4K would be similar to what you’d see while shooting on an APS-C sensor size camera like an EOS 7D Mark II. As an example, a 50mm lens in Full HD video mode  will roughly be equivalent to a 85mm lens when shooting 4K.

HD Movies

Full HD, 1080p video, remains a very important recording medium for many camera operators. The 5D Mark IV Shoots MPEG 4 AVC/H.264 FHD (1920x1080) video at 23.98, 29.97P same as with the 5DIII, but it adds “true” 24P, and 60P (the equivalent PAL frame rates of 25.00p and 50p are available as well).

And now you can shoot in either MP4 – which is another first for the 5D series — or .MOV format. ALL-I, IPB, and IPB Light compression methods are available, and for everyone asking for a good slow motion frame rate, it includes an HD High Frame Rate movie shooting mode of 120P (NTSC) or 100fps (PAL) @ 720p

Here is the complete list of movie-recording options available.

LCD Panel

The 5D Mark IV has an advanced LCD monitor with a full touchscreen control system. Unlike the recently released 1D X Mark II which offered only autofocus adjustments on its touch panel, the 5D Mark IV goes a step further and includes full menu touch panel controls. We also added something that makes shooting video so much faster; a “Q button” user interface display for quick access to main camera settings like AF method, card slot selection, resolution, frame rates and their compression methods, white balance, f-stop, ISO, shutter speeds, magnification, even picture styles, right off the LCD. You can also adjust shutter speeds, f-stop, ISO, and audio levels –silently and with very little disturbance to your motion — while recording.

However, with the addition of Dual Pixel CMOS AF to the camera, it’s the ability to make autofocus adjustments that truly make the LCD shine. Simply touch the screen to define where you want the AF system to focus. Then swipe through to select and play back images, or just pinch and expand to look around the frame (like on a smartphone), check magnified focus, or to zoom in or back off, from a playback image.

The touchscreen interface seriously improves operability, and should make shooting movies more intuitive.. It offers fast, real-time access to important controls, making it easier to adjust on the fly than ever before. Adjust the touchscreen to select sensitivity of the touch, or even turn it off all together to prevent accidental changes.

The LCD resolution has been improved. There are now approximately 1.62 million dots – over 60% more than the 5D Mark III. It’s made of reinforced glass, is scratch and smudge resistant, and has an anti-glare coating.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF

I think we can all agree that no single camera function is more important than focus acquisition. And this is especially true when you’re shooting 4K – mainly because critical focus is simply more noticeable at higher resolutions.

Canon has revolutionized DSLR video recording with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology.  And in case you have not tried it yet, it’s smooth, accurate, and adjustable autofocus that’s designed for natural-looking video results. The EOS 5D Mark IV is the first 5D-series model to offer Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and it truly opens new doors for many creative video uses. And, of course, just to remind you, it’s autofocus with a full-frame sensor! So, you’re going to see incredible, continuous autofocus with shallow depth-of-field control, while using all autofocus-capable EF lenses.

Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus works in either 4K or Full HD, and with the 5D Mark IV’s CMOS sensor having a higher sensitivity, focusing in low-light situations is improved.

Movie Servo AF

The EOS 5D Mark IV offers Movie Servo AF, which has several customizable autofocus options when recording video.

First, you can employ Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology to continuously focus on moving subjects with Movie Servo AF.  It’s easily activated in the Shooting Menu, once the Movie shooting switch is flipped to the video mode.  When Movie Servo is enabled, focus is continually active over approximately 80% of the image area.  You don’t need to press a button to start AF.  If you do press either the shutter button, or the rear AF-ON button, you’ll momentarily pause the continuous focus.

Disable Movie Servo AF in the menu, and then you define when the camera focuses, by pressing either the shutter button or AF-ON button, in which case focus will lock once the camera confirms focus.  You can quickly re-focus on new subjects, even during actual recording.

Beyond that, you can define how the AF system will read your subject.  The AF method menu provides the following options:


Face + Tracking

Face + Tracking is the default setting, and if faces are detected, it puts sharp focus on the most prominent face in the scene.  Face detection not only focuses on a face, but can continue to follow that face if it moves around the frame.  It helps you hold and track faces reliably. You can switch between multiple faces by simply touching the face on the LCD screen. When no faces are detected, the camera instead resorts to the FlexiZone -Multi autofocusing option — then returns to FACE AF when it again recognizes a face.


*Images may be simulated FlexiZone – Multi AF [ ]


This AF method for video has been proven in cameras like the EOS 70D and 80D, but this is the first time a Canon EOS full-frame has incorporated FlexiZone Multi.

With this setting, the camera focuses over a wide area, covering about 80% of the total scene. By default, the camera will put sharpest focus on the nearest subjects having adequate detail or texture.

With Movie Servo AF active, it does this continuously, even if you move the camera, or the subject moves.

And even though FlexiZone Multi AF initially covers most of the total scene, you can quickly isolate focus by just touching the desired area of the screen.  You’ll see a much smaller white border, defining the area now being covered.  Depress the shutter button halfway and it will give you a fix on exactly where focus is set – indicated with smaller green focus guides. Go back to full coverage by touching an on-screen Return icon.

For even more precise control, you’ll want to use FlexiZone Single AF.

FlexiZone – Single AF

This AF method lets you work with a smaller area for autofocus, instead of initially using most of the image area.  It makes the most out of the EOS 5D Mark IV’s touchscreen technology, also — just touch the screen to identify where you want sharpest focus to be.  And, you can drag the focus target box – even while recording — using just your finger.

With this setting you can also adjust AF Speed and AF Tracking Sensitivity, which makes it the best setting for customizing focus transitions (or ‘racks’) for a shot. Do you want the focus transition between subjects to be super quick or roll in slowly? There are ten settings for adjusting the AF (transition) Speed!

AF Tracking Sensitivity response settings determine the focus transition speed for when your subject moves from the active AF point, or in other situations, how fast it grabs focus onto something else or something or someone crossing frame. There are seven transition speeds available.

Focus Assist Functions

If you prefer to stay in manual focus, you can always focus using the 5D Mark IV’s advanced Magnification tool. Magnification works in two stages, up to 10X – and it includes a cool, touchscreen look-around feature -- making it simple to check critical focus and keep shooting with confidence.

There are many ways to control, pause, and lock focus using Custom Controls along with the camera’s external buttons. One of the best is to make Servo AF work exactly like the Cinema EOS system’s “AF LOCK” camera operation. To do this you simply program the SET button to pause Servo AF, or if you are using the touchscreen LCD, just touch the Servo AF icon on the LCD screen to pause (basically Lock) Auto Focus. 

No matter which method you choose, focus control is totally in your hands with the EOS 5D Mark IV.

4K Frame Grab

Additionally, just like we saw in the 1D X Mark II, a 4K Frame Grab/Capture function is included, making it possible to select the exact micro moments you want from 4K movies and obtain approximately 8.8 megapixel JPEG still images directly in-camera. Or if you wish, take the footage to your computer, and using the free Canon software, EOS Movie Utility, extract JPEG or TIFF stills.

Frame grabs represent an especially important video feature for still shooters: 4K video shooting is giving you the extra option of 30 frames per second still capture by letting you go back into the 4K video, shuttling or scrolling through the footage — frame-by-frame — and selecting the exact pay-off frame of the sequence. You can do this with the clarity of a super fast shutter speed as well – up to 1/4000th of a second. JPEG frame grabs are relatively small files at about 2.7 MB (8.8 million pixels and 4096x2160) and are fast and simple to share right from the camera with the free app, Canon Camera Connect APP.

Built-in Wi-Fi®

Connecting to your smartphone, or other wireless device, is possible because the EOS 5D Mark IV includes a built-in Wi-Fi. This is not just for image sharing, but remote control over autofocus, the camera’s shutter, aperture, ISO, movie record settings and movie recording start/stop. If you shoot video in the MP4 format, you have the additional option to transfer movies via Wi-Fi to your connected device, and share them from there. This works with all MP4 frame rates.

The built-in Wi-Fi works from up to about 50’ away when connected directly to a smartphone or tablet, and even further (approx. 100’) when using a central access point.

There’s also the option of a more powerful accessory, the Canon Wi-Fi transmitter WFT-E7, which is a separate, optionally available accessory.  So if you need even greater distances (up to approx. 492’), more connectivity options, or access to functions that are not covered with the Camera Connect APP, the WFT-E7 may be your answer.

Clean HDMI

The 5D Mark IV also offers clean, uncompressed FHD video up to 60P via HDMI with audio, and a color subsampling of YCbCr 4:2:2, 8-bit. This works great for a client monitor, or for an external recorder where you can take advantage of larger capacity drives or a different CODEC should you desire. HDMI mirroring options allow you to continue using the touchscreen LCD panel while outputting a clean HDMI signal.

CF and SD Card Slots

The 5D Mark IV has one CF card slot (Type I and UMDA 7 are supported – you’re going to especially want to use the UMDA7 card for 4K video capture) and there’s one SD card slot (SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards supported). You can also record 4K with a UHS-I Speed Class 3 or higher SD card. As a note, 4K video requires cards capable of maintaining higher sustained write speeds – not always the write speed printed on the card – which may be the peak write speed.


Built-in Time-Lapse Movies

The 5D Mark IV includes integrated time-lapse movie functions, allowing you to choose intervals of one second to 99 hours, and from 2 to 3600 frames in duration. The display shows you the shooting time required to complete the sequence you set up, and the playback duration of the finished shot. Similar to interval recording in a Cinema EOS camera, time-lapse movies are assembled in-camera, and ready to use — producing a finished 1920x1080 movie.


HDR Movie Shooting

HDR Movie Shooting has also been added. It’s a cool feature we’ve seen in other EOS models, like the EOS 80D, and now it is included in the 5D Mark IV. Available for FHD only, it’s a multiple exposure process that records alternate frames of normal exposure and underexposure shot at 50 or 60fps, then combines the bracketed images into a single frame — resulting in either a 25.00fps or 29.97fps sequence. This improves the overall tonality of the shot and especially yields greater protection and detail in the highlights.

Built-in GPS

There’s a built-in GPS and GPS logger function that could come in really handy for establishing where you were when you made a shot, or indicate which unit made the shot, when multiple camera units are scattered around the world working on the same project.

Improved Dust-Proof and Drip-Proof Design

The 5D Mark IV is built to work through harsh conditions – each component has been revised from the 5D Mark III, making it lighter than the 5D Mark III by about 60g. It features improved dust-proof and drip proof performance – sealed much like the 7D Mark II — at significantly more points than the 5D Mark III. It’s built to work through harsh conditions with significantly improved reliability that responds to the demands of pros.

The EOS 5D Mark IV is an all-around performer with well-balanced improvements to the video functions, controls and image quality you were expecting in the next generation of the EOS 5D series. Benefiting from years of development, and inheriting the innovations incorporated into other Canon EOS cameras that preceded it, the Mark IV has responded to market demands as a standard SLR movie model.

The CDLC contributors are compensated spokespersons and actual users of the Canon products that they promote.


The CDLC contributors are compensated spokespersons and actual users of the Canon products that they promote.