Why is Canon Holding Back on Video Features on DSLRs? – On The Go Ep. 35 – Clive Booth, Christian Anderl & Ingo Leitner

Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the audio podcast of ON THE GO on iTunes!


Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE GO coming! Thanks to Hedge for Mac,  G-TechnologyRøde MicrophonesSachtler, in association with Ford Netherland (thanks for the Ford Galaxy car loan!) and Sony Europe (thanks for the 4K Action cam loan!)

Check our discussion with Canon Ambassadors Clive BoothChristian Anderl & Ingo Leitner. After touching on very interesting topics such as shooting a commercial with the new Canon C700 and the advent of 8K video in the last two episodes, our conversation turns once again to Canon, and the reasons why it seems to be holding back video features on their DSLR time and time again.

You may be aware of our growing frustration with Canon holding back video features on DSLRs. This is especially true when you consider that they pretty much created a market with the release of their 5D Mark II in 2008, and even more so when you notice competitors offering so many more features often for a lower price.

cinema5D On the Go discussing 8K video

As our ride with Clive Booth, Ingo Leitner and Christian Anderl comes to an end, we pose the question to these Canon Ambassadors about why this is the case for Canon cameras. As video shooters exclusively, we want the best possible features in our cameras, but perhaps their point of view as both professional photographers AND filmmakers can help us understand Canon’s approach a little bit better.

Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE GO coming! Thanks to Hedge for Mac,  G-TechnologyRøde MicrophonesSachtler and in association with Ford and Sony.


Leave a Comment

You are not subscribed to this post. Follow new comments

Login to comment

Gert Kracht Reply
Gert Kracht October 22, 2016

The post shows an error about the video embeded

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner October 22, 2016

fixed now

Eno Popescu October 22, 2016

“Why is Canon Holding Back on Video Features on DSLRs?”

Because they are avaricious and want the video users to buy into their over expensive C line cameras and lenses.

The 5D mk2 was a mistake which they quickly rectified. :)

 Kenneth Chan Reply
Kenneth Chan October 25, 2016

having or showing an extreme greed for wealth or material gain.

Thanks! I learned a new word today.
Good name suggestion for Canon’s next line of cameras. :)

KC Bassett Reply
KC Bassett October 22, 2016

I feel like they are holding back period even on the cinema line shoot the c300mkii is arguably only marginally better than the a7s2 if at all… I think maybe they just don’t have a team capable enough or something. Maybe they just don’t have the geniuses the other guys got.

Dakota Morton Reply
Dakota Morton October 23, 2016

Comparing a Canon C300MKII to an a7s2 is definitely a showing of the times. This might be a little far reaching but, analyzing your bias, you’ve never even had hands on C300MKII material, have you?

These days, you can’t properly judge/compare quality of cameras online.

Here is why you sound crazy;

C300MKII – Internal UHD & Full DCI 4K @ 10bit 422.

Can the a7s2 do that internally? No.

C300MKII – Full DCI 2K up to 12bit recording internally.

Can the a7s2 do that internally? A resounding fuck no.

C300MKII – 12bit RAW recording in UHD or Full DCI 4K with an external recorder.

Can the a7s2 do output that externally? No.

C300MKII – up to 10stops of ND built in.

Does the a7s2 have ND, at all? Definitely No.

C300MKII – Up to 4 Channels of Audio, two channels available in +48.

Does the a7s2 have audio inputs other than stereo-mini? Definitely Not.

C300MKII – Does the a7s2 have the ability to record in ACES colour space?

Fuck no.

C300MKII – Lab-proven 15 stops of DR

Does the a7s2 have that?

Fuck no.

Gross – low end prosumer camera with the classic “Sony-Green” colour bias?

Oh yep, a7s2 definitely all over that.

For the love of god please stop saying stupid things on the internet.

 Beebee Lestr Reply
Beebee Lestr October 23, 2016

Dakota, then why does the Sony a7Sii have much better low light ability than anything from Canon?

Why does the a7Sii have the ability to do much higher framerates than Canon’s C300 M2?

Canon has built-in balanced audio, but you can get that from a $300 Zoom H5. How does Canon justify the extra $10,000 it charges for the C300m2?

Canon has DCI aspect ratio (marginally wider screen for cinema), which is not much use for television. In fact, the C300 m2 is unsuitable for some broadcast work because it can’t do interlaced, and you can’t fudge it because it’s 4K framerate is limited to 30p. Other cameras can do 50/60p, which you can run through some software to produce a 25i or 30i interlaced image. Canon is plagued by its low framerates.

After saying that, the C300 Mii is not a bad camera, but in some areas it gets spanked by Sony. And I don’t think there are any video users with Canon 5D Mark IVs. Everyone has switched to the Sony a7Sii.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner October 23, 2016

I agree with Dakota that the C300 Mark II is a great camera and that the comparison to the a7SII is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The C300 Mark II should be compared to the FS7, which is its closest match.

But yes, Canon has decided to stop adding professional video features into their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras a long time ago and it will hurt them. There is nothing that compares to an a7SII in the Canon portfolio.

Dakota, the “proven” 15 stops of dynamic range of the C300 Mark II were “unproven” by us in independent lab tests before, read here:




 Beebee Lestr Reply
Beebee Lestr October 23, 2016

The question is why.

We all know that Canon’s decision to abandon the pro-video DSLR market will hurt them. Badly.

Not only in DSLR sales, but sales in other categories as Canon loses its kudos and in some cases becomes the laughing stock.

Canon probably hoped it would increase the sales of C-Series video cameras, but the opposite is true. It will cause video users to abandon the brand.

 Beebee Lestr Reply
Beebee Lestr October 25, 2016

I think that Cinema5D report cost Canon a lot of sales. Hopefully they still advertise with you!

 Andy Krucsai Reply
Andy Krucsai November 2, 2016

Your lab test was ridiculed by EBU’s own tester confirming 15 stops of dynamic range on the Canon C300 Mark II.

James Manson November 9, 2016

Enough! The arrogance in the face of the truth is astounding! Time and time again your DR test was proven to be wrong. When are you guys going to admit it?


James Manson November 9, 2016

What in hell are you on about? I shoot interlaced for one particular television show all the time on the C300MKII. Beebe, have you ever actually shot with a C300MKII? Canon is plagued by its low frame rates? What does this mean? Just stop with the false information.

Joel Herrera Reply
Joel Herrera October 22, 2016

I look at it like Apple vs Samsung. Every company is rushing to keep up with technology, but much like Apple, Canon only puts out solid tech.

I’ve only used a Sony A7s and Blackmagic Design Cameras only a handful of times and I can say this about my Canon; it’s never overheated, I’ve never had dropped frames, and my battery life was at the minimum, twice as long as the other camera models.

I trust my canon. But it’s also what I was first introduced to in the camera world. All my friends/colleagues shoot on Canon, so it’s easy to remain in their ecosystem. Plus, Canon’s native glass is superb!!

As for all these arguments I’m seeing against the 1D X Mk II, people forget that it’s a DSLR first and foremost. It’s an amazing stills camera with very comparable 4K video qualities. I haven’t moved on to the Canon Cinema series because I still want to have a stills option. If I could afford to make the jump to the 1D series I would. It offers me what I need. But it might not be for everyone.

 Beebee Lestr Reply
Beebee Lestr October 23, 2016

Canon misjudged the market.

Many people use DSLRs for video to get the full-frame ‘look’. It’s not to be cheap.

Anyway, Canon’s C-line of cameras doesn’t give that same look. I understand the traditional uses for Super 35 format cameras, but I want a dedicated video camera with a full-frame sensor. I want that look.

Canon, if it wanted to, could rush to market a video camera based on the 5D Mark IV. But add in those easy-to-do video features such as waveform, zebras etc. Also, change the 4K video to full-frame. Even if it meant incomplete anti-aliasing. The reason is that the Mark IV’s current cropped sensor defeats the purpose. If I want a cropped sensor I would just use a regular video camera instead.

Canon should be at the forefront of full-frame video, for many reasons. All Canon prime lenses were made for full-frame. Going full-frame will leverage Canon’s large array of full-frame lenses, and increase lens sales. A decade ago, Canon was promoting its full-frame prowess against Nikon, but now Canon is retreating.

And finally, Canon’s dual-pixel autofocus makes focusing easier. DP autofocus can still be improved so it doesn’t lose a face as soon as the subject turns to the side. But Canon is ahead of the rest with autofocus, and it is a platform to build on.

Oh, and a dedicated full-frame video camera shows boldness. Canon is currently building a reputation for building nice video cameras that come to market 2 or 4 years too late. Canon needs to do something bold.

M S December 11, 2016

I too am a fan of the full-frame look. In my opinion, the C line are just camcorders.. not for me.

Canon don’t need to rush a new model, they can add a lot of missing features via firmware upgrade, but they won’t.
Magic Lantern is proof that the 5D3 has sufficient power to shoot full HD RAW, display focus peaking…

Like many, I won’t be upgrading to 5D-IV, and I won’t buy a C camcorder either.

Hopefully, if enough people switch / refrain from upgrading, Canon will get the message (sooner or later).

carl Olson October 23, 2016

Great discussion, Nino. I’ve been accused of whining on my podcast about this by Canon apologists. I believe Canon has a generational issue. Just look at the Canon Explorer of Light roster…they all look like me! Many have white, gray, or no hair. Many of these old dudes don’t get why the rest of us want a “convergence” camera ushered in by the venerable 5DM2.

It’s madness for Canon to ignore or turn it’s back on the very market they created. Unfortunately they seem set on catering to these old men who resist positive change. Sony and Panasonic are hungry and certainly cater to a younger generation of digital media creatives who are open to change. Hey, I’m an old guy so I can say this 😎.

Sony and Panasonic may not have Canon’s beautiful color science yet but they will – they iterate much more quickly than Canon. The thing is, like you mentioned, I don’t want to leave Canon? But, man, they seriously frustrate me with their obstinate refusal to make the 5D the ultimate full frame convergence camera.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner October 23, 2016

100% agreed :-)

Nicola Verdi October 25, 2016

100% agreed too! Canon kids…LOL