DCP 198: No Country for Old Men with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV's

On August 25th, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - was officially announced amidst a cacophony of both praise and disappointment - depending on whether you are primarily a stills photographer or videographer. Ben Bruton-Cox of the Our Week In Video podcast helps me work through my own angst over Canon. Is the Mark IV right for me?

“Expectation postponed makes the heart sick, but a desire realized is a tree of life”
— ancient proverb

After 8 years of unrequited love and anticipation, Canon has slammed the door closed on the convergence market that they gave birth to. When the 5D Mark II was released, it had the most basic of video features. But, O!, it was the loveliest HD video ever seen (only 30fps in the beginning, moire, poor dynamic range, and rolling shutter notwithstanding) from a camera costing less than $3,500. With that camera, Canon accidentally created the “convergence” market, and with it, hope and expectation that  Canon would continually improve the video features of the EOS 5D line.

Sadly, I feel that if Canon could go back in time, they would never approved video capability in any of their DSLRs. However, the genie is out of the bottle. The convergence market’s expectation was that their desires for pro video features would be built into 5D Mark IV. They thought “surely after 8 years we will have the ultimate convergence camera!”

Alas, that expectation - at least by those who consider themselves convergence photographers and filmmakers - was unrealized. They are the ones most disappointed in the EOS 5D Mark IV because Canon has the capability to deliver and meet the needs and wants of convergence creators, but have deliberately hobbled these features. What makes this sting even more is the marketing language Canon used to announce the 5D Mark IV gushes with phrases such as: 

“see legendary"

“builds on the powerful legacy of the 5D series"

“amazing refinements"

“creative videographers will appreciate the brilliance and power that the EOS 5D Mark IV delivers"

You certainly have to have a creative imagination to believe that.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Frankly, the EOS 5D Mark IV feels like an intentional hobbling of features that – I believed if were reversed – would see Canon crush it over and beyond what they are doing now with the sale of mid range DSLRs.

The EOS 5D Mark IV is no doubt a superb still camera with competent - though mostly outdated - HD video baked in.  It’s a camera I want to like. I personally haven’t bought into other convergence cameras by Sony and Panasonic yet.

I love Canon.

I love Canon gear.

I love the Canon image.

I love the Canon ergonomics.

I love Canon lenses.

I get it that my love for Canon is unrequited and they probably don't want me – a convergence creative – as a customer. It hurts a bit in part because I and so many other convergence bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers have resulted in the sales of tens of thousands of Canon DSLRs to convergence creatives - all to Canon’s benefit - and all without any compensation to us whatsoever.

Some folks make the claim that we should all just trust Canon’s marketing department, that they are smart, and know what they are doing. This is a dubious claim. Many large companies have marketing departments that have been clueless about their customers - resulting in massive failure for those companies. The same can happen to Canon.

It’s a serious mistake for Canon to jilt the very market they created – albeit accidentally. 

Mentioned in the episode:

CrumplePop's website

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Ben Bruton-Cox and Our Week In Video podcast

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Official Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Introduction

Introducing the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Jared Polin “Fro Knows Photos” Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Preview

Planet 5D article by Mitch Anger - RANT: “The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Doesn’t Have…”


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