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EOS 5D Mark IV stops recording as if SD card is full



I have a 5D Mark IV and with a SanDisk 256GB Extreme Pro SD card. After filling the card with photos and videos, I formatted it both through Windows and the camera body, so it ideally should behave like an empty card. However, when recording videos, the camera will stop after about 20 or so seconds of recording as if the card is getting full.

I understand vaguely that the card will still retain files even after they're deleted, so this must be what's prompting the camera to think the card is full. What should I try to do? I've formatted the card several times without avail.



Are you sure you're recording video to the SD card slot and not to the Compact Flash slot?  Perhaps your CF card is full?

When you formatted the cards in the camera, did you specify a low-level format?

Do you have additional cards you can try?

You may want to consider capturing video to the CF card anyhow since it would be offering a higher sustained write speed.  Especially crucial if capturing DCI 4K with the MJPEG codec which creates massive files.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Yep, I'm recording to the SD card. I have no CF card in the camera, though I'm considering buying one to dedicated to video recording 

I did not specify low-level formating when doing so in camera. I had it do the fullest format option available, whatever it was labeled.

I've previously switched out to brand new SD cards and have never had the issue with them.

Sounds like a CF card may be the route to go.



When the card is formatted in camera, the camera adds folders it needs for photo and video storage.  The remaining space is marked as free and is made available for image and video data.  

There is no need to format a card you intend to use in your camera on a PC or MAC.  Storage media should be formatted in the camera.  

It might be helpful to review the 5d4's manual.

eos5d-mk4-im7-en.pdf (

Supported media:

CF Express UHS1 - Mode 7

SD/SDHC/SDXC - UHS1 (full size cards only, without adapters)


Page 73 - 75 has information about formatting your card(s) in camera.

If video recording stops after 20 secs, confirm the following.

Can images be recorded to the card?

Is the card damaged?

Test with another card (same behavior)?

Consider resetting the camera's main and custom settings to defaults and retest.


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Thanks for the quick response, shadowsports. I typically only format using the camera as I know that it is the camera that adds its own files to the card, however I gave formatting through Windows first a try to see if it would clear the issue. It did not.

Yep, the card records images fine, and there is no damage to the card from what I can tell. Other cards don't seem to have the same behavior, but I have only tried with brand new SD cards. I will format a different old one soon and see if it behaves the same.


Is the camera capable of video snapshots?

"The right mouse button is your friend."


Also keep in mind that there are fake SD cards being sold by "less than reputable" online vendors. 😵


There are quite a few variations of the Sandisk Extreme Pro SD cards with different speeds for read/write. If you are shooting in 4K or even high frame rates in FullHD then you may have a card that is not fast enough to support continuous writing at high speeds that is what video requires. 

As a test, set the camera to FullHD record in IPB as this is less demanding. If the result is the camera records longer then it's your card.

When I owned an EOS 5D Mark IV I used a Sandisk UDMA 7 card and never ran in to limitations even when shooting high frame rates or 4K. 

Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
I use British not American English, so my spellings may be a little different to yours

The speed on this particular card is 170 Mb/s and I had no issues recording 1080p with it when it was brand new. I will likely just retire this card and will see if I get the same issue from one of my other old cards. Thanks!

The 170 MBps value is the theoretical maximum read. You’d need to check the V-rating (e.g. V30, V60 or V90) to know the sustained write speed. A V30 card would provide 30 MBps sustained writes.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers