What the 5D MKIV Needs to Have For Me to Buy It

I’ve been shooting with a Canon 5D MKIII since its release, and while I love the camera, I feel like next year I will be ready for an upgrade. Since the 5D MKIII was released, Nikon has upped its game with the D810 and D750, and Sony has come out with some incredible sensors. Most of these newer cameras have better low light performance, dynamic range, and overall image quality than the 5D MKIII. Here’s what the 5D MKIV will need to have for me to consider buying it:

Has to have:

  • Better dynamic range. According to DxO Mark, the 5D MKIII is rated at 11.7EV. The D750 and D810 are 14.5 and 14.8, respectively. That’s a big difference.
  • Lower noise at high ISO and lower shadow noise.
  • 18-24mp. I’m not picky on this – whatever helps keep the noise down, while still providing excellent image quality.
  • Better focusing in low light.
  • UHS-II for the SD card slot. Or dual-CF instead.
  • DIGIC 7 processor.

Awesome to have:

  • Larger burst. 7-9fps vs. the current 6.
  • 4K video. Nice to have, but I’d also take better codec in 1080p / RAW video.
  • All cross-type AF points. 61 of ’em.
  • I’d like them to stick to CF cards, as CFast is expensive and unnecessary for this camera, but I could see them going with CFast to stay ahead of the curve, especially if 4K video is involved.

And that’s it. I’m not asking much, really. It doesn’t need to be 36mp. It doesn’t need a redesign. It just needs a better sensor and better image quality, and a few other tweaks. If Canon can do that, they’ll keep me as a customer. If they can’t, I’m going to have to look elsewhere.

An Open Letter to Canon

I love Canon cameras and lenses. I’ve been shooting Canon for almost ten years, starting with the Rebel XT. I currently have a 5D MKIII, 60D, two L lenses, flashes, and various Canon accessories. They get the job done, and I enjoy using them, but I’m not sure I’ll stick with Canon if they don’t start improving their products.

Here’s the thing — any modern DSLR will take great photographs. All major manufacturers have great cameras and lenses. At this point, mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X-T1 are set to take a huge chunk out of DSLR sales, and video-focused cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera are taking the video world by storm. Through it all, the two leading camera makers, Canon and Nikon, have made several stumbles and have conceded market share to companies once thought to be out of the game. So if any camera can take a great photo, why choose Nikon or Canon?

Nikon and Canon have the most mature product lines, with lens lineups that cannot be matched. The vast amount of accessories made for these two brands, coupled with their reliability and support, make many hobbyists and professionals remain loyal. Most people seeking a great DSLR stick with Nikon and Canon, and that’s what I’ve done. I essentially put my whole crop-sensor kit for sale (50D, 15–85mm, 18–55mm, 18–135mm, 55–250mm) and I was ready to buy whichever camera stole my heart. At that time, it was the Canon 5D MKIII, and I still love using it. But lately, with all the advancements other companies are coming up, my eye has been wandering. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Canon”