Will There Be a Canon 5D Mark V?

Will There Be a Canon 5D Mark V?

While the 1D series has always been Canon's flagship line, the 5D series is the camera of most working photographers. As the industry moves toward mirrorless cameras, the release of the 5D mirrorless equivalent, the R5, leaves us wondering: will we see a 5D Mark V, or was the 5D Mark IV the last Canon 5 Series DSLR?

The 5D series has long been one of the most popular for a wide range of photographers. The original 5D Classic came out in 2005 and was the first full frame DSLR with a normal body (as opposed to a built-in grip) and was offered at a significantly affordable price among such cameras at the time (with an initial list price of $3,299). The 5D Mark II followed in 2008 and was groundbreaking for its video features, which was the first full frame camera to offer 1080p video, revolutionary for the time. In fact, the season 6 finale of House MD was shot entire on 5D Mark IIs, as their small size made them able to fit into tight spaces that other cameras could not reach.

The 5D Mark III followed in 2012 and quickly became the workhorse of choice for numerous photographers. The most notable improvement in this model was the introduction of a robust 61-point autofocus system (41 cross-type, 5 dual cross-type) borrowed from the 1D X, the first time a flagship autofocus system appeared in a non-flagship Canon DSLR. Combined with its serviceable burst rate of 6 fps, the 5D Mark III could be found in the bags of many photographers, becoming a particularly popular choice for wedding shooters.

Then came the 5D Mark IV (with the 5DS and 5DS R in between) in 2016. The Mark IV improved on the Mark III in several ways, including the introduction of 4K (albeit with a severe 1.74x crop), a decent bump in resolution (from 22 MP to 30 MP), and a dynamic range improvement of almost two stops, again making the 5D series a popular choice for lots of photographers across a range of genres. 

As you have probably noticed, Canon refreshes the 5D series about once every four years, which means we have about reached the point in time when the 5D Mark V should be making its appearance. And rumors of its appearance are generally absent. In fact, the last we heard much of anything about it was a rumor from October of 2019 that said it was on Canon's internal roadmap for release in late 2020 or early 2021. Normally, we would start to see more rumors start to trickle out by now, but things have been uncharacteristically silent. 

And of course, what is majorly different compared to 2016 is that the industry is undeniably deep into the transition to mirrorless. Canon now has the EOS R, EOS RP, EOS R5, and EOS R6 and a stable of RF mount lenses. Canon has ceased development of new EF mount lenses. They have confirmed that the R5 is the 5 series mirrorless equivalent. All this leaves the question: is there still room for another 5D DSLR? 

Canon did release the 1D X Mark III earlier this year, but it is important to remember that 1D X releases generally coincide with Olympic years (this was pre-pandemic), as the Olympics are where a lot of the latest and greatest camera equipment is shown off in a variety of challenging environments occupied by the world's top professionals. You can also see aspects of Canon's mirrorless cameras in the 1D X Mark III. On the other hand, the 5D series occupies a different space: not the flagship, but the competent and versatile workhorse that satisfies the needs of 90% of pros. 

But now, we have the EOS R5, and let's be honest: in between its 8K raw video, 45 MP resolution, 20 fps burst, and more, it camera probably fills the needs of 99% of pros. Does it make sense for Canon to release a 5D Mark V, particularly when they have stopped developing new EF lenses and are pushing the development of RF lenses so strongly? With the R5 being such a strong performer, Canon may be hoping to entice lots of EF shooters over to the RF mount to set up a larger customer base for RF lenses. 

What is particularly important regarding that last point is that there is essentially no performance penalty (in fact, there is sometimes a gain to be had) when using an adapter. This is crucial, as it makes it easier for Canon to push photographers toward the RF mount by making the transition far, far easier both in terms of logistics and cost, as users can continue to use their EF lenses as long as they want to. 

There is no doubt that back in 2017 and 2018, Canon had a 5D Mark V in its plans at least to some degree. It is entirely possible that the company continued development of the camera contingent on how quickly the mirrorless side of the industry evolved and took over market share and how the EOS R and RF lenses were received. Development may have then been canceled once mirrorless reached critical mass. They may even be waiting to see how the R5 sells before making a decision. 

Personally, I do not think we will see a 5D Mark V. Canon is clearly taking mirrorless very seriously now and aggressively chasing market share. Even if they announced a 5D Mark V today, it would pretty much be 2021 by the time it made it into the hands of most photographers who intended to upgrade, and given the average lifespan of such a body, that puts us at 2025-2027 when these photographers would be ready to upgrade. I doubt Canon wants to wait that long to push a big part of their professional base toward mirrorless when they are investing so much in the RF line. With many users invested deeply in the EF lens library and the ability to seamlessly adapt that glass, Canon knows it can leverage that inertia to keep users in their ecosystem during the biggest technological transition in the camera industry since the move to digital from film. 

How about you? Do you think we will see a 5D Mark V? Do you want to see one, or would you be happy picking up a camera like the R5 along with an EF-to-RF adapter? 

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38 Comments

Robert Nurse's picture

Where would a 5D Mark V fit in the lineup: between an R5 and an R6 or be superior to the R5? Perhaps a 30MP EOS R?

Jared Last's picture

The battery life is still so poor on these new cameras, that is my only real issue with moving over to them from my DSLR. 250 shots when using the 120fps setting on the EVF is abysmal.

Sam Edge's picture

Release the 5DMV as there are sufficient number of us who do not desire to move to mirrorless for a variety of reasons.

Kirk Darling's picture

I doubt those numbers are "sufficient" for Canon's profit expectations.

But only they know those numbers.

Sam Edge's picture

That is a distinct possibility but for those of us that need to shoot a lot of frames a second (1Dx Mark III) it would be nice to have a similar frame rate as an R5 with the 40 megapixels so we don't have to crop so much on birds in flight. Perhaps Canon has solved the delay issue in the viewfinder in the R5 but they sure didn't in the R.

The additional advantage is there are millions of 5D users so if they base technology - same sensor and autofocus system in the R5 is used in the 5DMV then the development cost can be easily amortized.

The bigger issue is simply Canon attempting to push people to their mirrorless bodies and thinking that they are better off to do that. However, seeing the 1DxMIII released gives us some hope.

Tony Clark's picture

I agree with your thoughts, Canon is moving away from the 5D Series and committing it's resources to Mirrorless. This doesn't make my 5DIV's or L lenses obsolete as they will continue to produce quality images for my clients. Canon has probably developed their last pro DSLR with the 1DxIII and it will be the flagship until they release a mirrorless camera that surpasses the performance that the 1DxIII offers. Let's just wait and see how the R5 performs out in the real world.

Sam Sims's picture

Trouble is, Canon had to move into FF high end mirrorless to stay competitive and there are a number of significant advantages (like no more lens calibration!!) although with still a few areas lacking (like battery life). It’s questionable now if the majority of photographers would keep using DSLR over mirrorless. Professional photographers are still adequately served by DSLR if they do everything they need to get their job done and the second hand market does help keep costs down although this doesn’t help sell brand new DSLR’s. I’m really not sure if there is much of a future for brand new DSLR’s though.

Doug Birling's picture

I would love to know that as well! Because it's a question of do I invest in more glass or not. In many industries it's common practice to let the users know a product line will be discontinued and they should plan to move to another platform, it would be great to know Canon's vision for the next few years.

Martijn Kolen's picture

My guess is they'll keep selling the mark IV for a while for all the people that have to have a dslr. And there's of course the 1dx III. But unless people aren't happy with the R5 I don't think we'll see a new dslr.

Maxmilion Sperlich's picture

I fully understand that you can get a connector to attach ef lenses to the mirror-less. but this new push towards mirror-less and the production of ef lenses. Makes me wish i had the money to upgrade sooner rather than later so i can still get some money out of the expensive lenses i have now. Unfortunately. They might die with me. With covid going around I cant really afford new toys even tho they sound so amazing.

Klaus Enrique's picture

If Canon does not release a 5DV, anybody who wants a high-megapixel professional DSLR will simply move to the Nikon D850. With it's share of the full-frame market declining, Canon would be really dumb to let that happen.

John Green's picture

I couldn't afford to switch to Nikon after buying two Canon EOS5d Mk 4s and associated L grade lenses. Switching to another brand is unrealistic for most Canon users unless you have a magic money tree. I certainly don't.

Dixon Wilkinson's picture

It seems like Canon is perfectly happy with ceding new FF DSLR sales to Nikon if it means they are positioning themselves to lead in the mirrorless market. They’ve clearly said that mirrorless is their future, why is this so hard to comprehend for some of you?

Ron W.'s picture

Hmm. Let's see.

R5 mirrorless "advantages" over 5DIV DSLR: 1. no significant weight or size savings, 2. poor battery life, 3. painfully slow EVF lag, 4. expensive body and lenses, et al. Not to mention 5. the many THOUSANDS of dollars already invested in excellent L-Series lenses, just so I can use them with an image quality reducing and weight-adding ADAPTER!

Oh, yeah! Please give me some more of that mirrorless Kool-Aid, Reverend JIm!

Lee Christiansen's picture

Amazed that you've already had hands on experience of the R5 whilst the rest of us are still waiting. Otherwise how do you know of the "painfully slow EVF lag" and what is this image quality reduction from the adapter - first I've heard of it.

And for mirrorless, the key advantages have rarely been about saving weight when we consider the whole package.

Rick Rizza's picture

Perhaps he fills the air gap of the adapter with smoke, otherwise it does not make any sense of image quality reduction.

Dixon Wilkinson's picture

Isn’t that the truth about mirrorless form factor. The only system that has gotten close IMO is Sony A series with the excellent Tamron 2.8 lenses. The Sony lenses are too heavy and bulky to leverage the mirrorless form factor benefits.

Dillan K's picture

What a load of ignorance.

Dixon Wilkinson's picture

It’s not, and I’m a Sony shooter. There is no real practical difference in size between a Sony a9 with 70-200 and a Canon 5DmIV with 70-200.

Put the Tamron 70-180 on there, and now there is a noticeable mirrorless size/weight advantage.

Ron W.'s picture

No, I've obviously not had my hands on a Canon R5. All EVFs are painfully slow, however. I know that from first-hand experience with other mirrorless cameras.
Anything you add to a lens (front or back) results in image quality degradation -- it's just a matter of how much.
One can't dispute the poor battery life (a characteristic of mirrorless cameras). Nor can one dispute the extremely expensive price tag.

Michael Dobson's picture

Personally, I'd love to see a mk5 5d, naturally it very much depend what it was offering. There are a number of things that are present in Dslr that mirrorless can't touch at the moment, ie battery life for one. I also feel that with the 1dx mk3 being so bulky, a 5d mk5 would offer very up to the minute functions with giving too much bulk and weight. If canon can produce the type of technology they have in the R5 and 6, then this type of thing in a Dslr would give you virtually everything! I think it would be a huge disappointment and shame if canon don't produce a 5d mk5.

Michael Dobson's picture

I read some while back, that canon had confirmed they working on a 5d mk5, of course they may have changed course with this, but i sincerely hope not. The 5d series tended to offer a huge amount without the weight and bulk of larger cameras. I also think there are enough customers, both professional and private, who would very much appreciate a mk5. We're not all mirrorless converts!

Nada Ivanova's picture

i am wondering to get R5 with adaptator for my lenses...now this is because for me , there is no hope for a 5dmark 5 ... its hard enought to have to jump in a new system without getting offer a way to step back in the end

Mohammed Almutlaq's picture

For me, I planned to upgrade my 7D to 5D full frame.
It is true that this transition has a vast difference in specifications, but it is time to get a camera that has new technologies and started reading about 5D Mark 4 and also read about the release of the 5D series cameras every 4 years and now we are 4 years since the release of 5D Mark 4, so I liked to wait for the release of 5D Mark 5, and I am optimistic that Canon will not stop the 5D series without notice. The 5D Mark 5 may be the last.
Canon was surprised, why don't you make any statement about the 5D Mark5, will it be issued or not.

Pedro Pulido's picture

the one reason to make it is the immense nr of EF lenses available and mostly for events like the olympics or other sports. Specially as we have yet to see a 7D mirrorless replacement. for everything else, the EOS R5 is more than enough , imho.

Madison Paige's picture

Canon has a very lage DSLR base network of users who rely on durability, speed and performance but not at the mirroles cost. Mirrorless are excellent but uses lot of engery to run electronics and once they get over those limitations and still make it compact that will be great. Creating the 5D Mark V is still an option and would be a great fit. Still using the Mark IV focus system and up the pixel to 45. Having a DSLR in the field with those specs would be reasonale and also reliable and still continue to use my current lens arsenal. Maybe 2025 is not that far away but Canon has the resource and marketing to develop a M5 for many large base DSLR users who still live for it. For me, it's about balance. Holding a DSLR with good size lens and getting as many shots I want without seeing a battery indecator is wonderful.

Jonathan Verman's picture

I'm assuming when you refer to the M5 you are not talking about canons mirrorless apsc M5 but you are referring to the 5d mkV?

Lots of people mentioning battery life as an issue? Does anyone carry spare batteries with them? We have at least 10 spare batteries when shooting weddings so it really isn't an issue.

When canon switched from the FD mount to the ef mount the same arguments were shared because people didn't want to upgrade. I'm sure no one even thinks about FD mounts now? In 10 years time everyone will be happy with the RF mount because technology evolves! Things get better and have to change.

There are so many benefits to using mirrorless over DSLRs, the autofocus is so much better, realtime view of what the final.image will look like. The fantastic new lenses and mount, and so much more! When the price drops of these new cameras I will be selling my 1dx mkii and 5dmkiii bodies to upgrade. Embrace the future guys!

Dixon Wilkinson's picture

Completely agree, everyone arguing against converting to mirrorless will look back at their hesitation with slight embarrassment in 5-10 years.

Once Canon makes an APS-C RF mount mirrorless camera, its end of the road for DSLR.

Andrew Broekhuijsen's picture

Although it's pretty niche, having spare batteries doesn't help much when I'm shooting astrophotography, and stopping to pop out the battery means I have to completely reset my mount.

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