Speculation of a 4K video shooting, higher megapixel entry into the 5D Mark-series of full frame cameras has been fomenting since March, but the rumor mill is churning anew with a few more 'details', while a Canon exec confirms the company is indeed developing higher resolution models.
[Editor's Note: This is the usual disclaimor that comes along with any RUMOR story. Take the following with a grain of salt or, if you prefer, the whole bag.]
Reporting on rumors comes with the aforementioned caveat and, when dealing specifically with Canon rumors, we're doubly skeptical of advance 'info' until the rumors really get a head of steam. When rumors surfaced last year of a 7D Mark II with 2.5K video shooting capabilities, we relayed the story. Of course, as you probably know by now, the 7D Mark II did arrive, but capped video recording resolution at 1080P (at 60 fps). We'll never really know if Canon experimented with higher resolution video recordding for that model and determined that there were too many hurdles for implementation, or if the rumor had any merit at all. That's the risk in reporting rumors; sometimes (often?), reality doesn't coincide with the hype.
When news surfaced back in March of a possible 5D Mark IV and 4K recording, we held off reporting it until more information came to light. Since then, that story has been picked up by several media outlets throughout the summer and fall, although details remained scant. But in the last few weeks, 'info' about the 5D Mark IV has been dripping out into the media (or leaking, if that can be believed).
According to Northlight Images, a camera news and rumor site, and later relayed by Canon Rumors, the upcoming "high resolution camera coming from Canon will be based on the 4.2 micron pixel design of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, not the long-in-the-tooth 4.3 micron design of the 18mp APS-C sensors. When translated to full frame, that totals about 52mp."
There are conflicting reports that the branding of this camera could be either EOS 3D or the much-rumored EOS 5D Mark IV.
Will a 52 megapixel Canon 5D Mark IV that shoots 4K be released at CES, NAB or sometime in between? Well, we only have a few short months, or perhaps just weeks, to find out, when speculation yields to fact. But in an interesting aside to all of this rumor hokum, Masaya Maeda, Canon's Senior Managing Director, Image Communication (Business Division) recently sat down with Japanese site Digital Camera Watch and confirmed that the company is working on higher resolution cameras. The following is a translation into English, contributed by a user of the Canon Watch forum:
We are currently making efforts toward high-resolution cameras. User needs are broadly divided into the two areas of high-resolution and high-sensitivity. Canon has been progressing the high-sensitivity side more, but we feel that we also must respond to graphics-related users (hoping for high resolution) and increase resolution numbers.
We are thinking of a high-resolution camera for users wanting high resolving power, and it will be out soon. It will be a camera preserving pixel quality while boosting resolution figures. We are extending interchangeable lens groups. We want to add one line to our EF lenses…I can’t say any more than this. Please don’t ask anymore (laughs).”
This quote from Maeda doesn't outright validate those 5D Mark IV rumors, but it does put them in perspective in regards to how the company sees its own development future. He also remarked that "the days of the annual product cycle are over, new models will come with big advancements in technology" (from the Canon Rumor forum).
So, Canon may be gearing up to unleash an awesome, high megapixel, 4K shooting full-frame DSLR onto the world very soon. Or maybe not. Some sites are now suggesting that there may be 3 versions of the next 5D, possibly incorporating each of the above possibilities. Either way, RedShark News will cover whatever camera Canon puts out that could be of interest to film professionals, whether the actual, physical product disappoints or astounds.