Lower end camera could cut into DSLR use for filmmaking
By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Canon announced today a pair of new C Series Digital Cameras which will certainly rock the independent video production world. The first is the C500, which brings high-quality 4K image capture while the second, the C100 offers similar capture to the C300, but at half the price. Both can record uncompressed to external recorders (the C500 at 10-bit uncompressed RAW). And while the C100 doesn’t offer RAW capability, it can output via HDMI at 1080p 24Mbps at 4:2:0.
The C500 is meant to appeal to the upper level of the independent world, while the C100 hopes to compete with lower budget options like the Sony FS700. And according to some, may represent serious competition to HDSLRs for independent production.
“As we said in November of 2011, the C300 was just the beginning to our Cinema EOS system and we now offer a more complete system of imaging solutions with a range of cameras for every level of production,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
We’ve known about the C500 since April when Canon announced it’s development at NAB. In addition to being able to shoot 4k at 50mbps, it’ll also 3K (or “quad full-HD” as Canon puts it) of 3840 x 2160, 2K (2048 x 1080), and full HD (1920 x 1080). But here’s the thing. It costs $30,000. It’s 4K DSLR Cousin, which was announced at the same Spring morning, does 4K as well, for half the price. But the C500 offers the advantage of recording to that external video deck, with 12 bit, 4K, 4:4:4 MXF Codec or Full RAW up to 60p. That gives it great advantage for studio work, which is what will be very attractive for television productions. Will those issues prompt shooters to forsake their HDSLRs for it? Not likely at that price point. But it’s baby sister may get a good long look.
The C100, has the same censor as it’s Jan Brady predecessor, the C300. But since it costs only $8,000, it’s missing several upper level features including RAW recording (it saves in H.264 AVCHD), and captures at half the data rate (24MBPS). However, it does allow for uncompressed video capture via an external recorder thanks to it’s HDMI out port with 4-2-2, and can stay filming for nearly 6 hours continuously via 64GB Cards, whereas it’s DSLR cousins run into a 10-30 minute time limit due to overheating that can occur with DSLRs.
And shooters like Vince LaFloret (who caught attention with his short film Reverie, that was shot on the 5D Mk. II), believe that the C100 may just be the camera that causes DSLR shooters to move up to a higher end option.
“I think this camera will likely put a noticeable dent in the use of mid- to upper- range HDSLRs for video production,” wrote LaFloret on his blog, “given that the C100 meets a lot of the ergonomic needs of filmmakers that HDSLRS lack (EVF, LCD, Built in ND) and a superb sensor behind it that generates an extremely sharp, wide dynamic range, and low noise image at high ISOs, off of a super-35 size 16:9 sensor. As you know my history is deeply tied to the Canon 5D MKII and HDSLRs – and I feel like that chapter in camera history, when a camera like the C100 is available, might just be coming to a close.
LaFloret goes on to say it depends a lot on how the H.264 compressed footage looks by comparison to the the uncompressed footage recording through HDMI to an external recorder. And since it’s capturing at half the resolution (24mbps) than the C300 or even the Black Magic Cinema Camera which shoots at 2.5K for $3,000 but has to cope with a 2x lens crop factor because of it’s censor size.
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K Digital Cinema Cameras are scheduled to be available in October for an estimated list price of $30,000, while the Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera is scheduled to be available in November 2012 for an estimated list price of $7,999. And word is that Canon may showcase both models at PhotoKina next month, which means we should have video footage really soon.
One way or another, the C series now has two more options for shooters to consider, and frankly, the field is getting pretty crowded.
Canon U.S.A. Adds Two New Cameras To The Cinema EOS System: The EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera And The EOS C100 Digital Video Camera
Two New Camera Models Fill Out a Well-Rounded Cinema EOS Line-up with High-End 4K and Entry-Level HD Camera Solutions
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 29, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, continues its commitment to the advancement of tools for visual expression and expand its contribution to cinematic culture with the introduction of the new EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera* and the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera*. The C500 will take its place as the flagship camera model in Canon’s Cinema EOS System while the C100 provides another option for beginning filmmakers working on a budget. The C500 is Canon’s high-end professional 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) cinema camera capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording to meet the demands of premium cinematic productions and other top-quality production markets. The C100 digital video camera is a compact, affordable entry-level model delivering full 1920×1080 HD video and integrating the popular AVCHD codec for universal compatibility with laptop and desktop editing systems. The C500 will be available in both EF- and PL-mount versions; while the C100 will be offered in EF mount only and will be compatible with the more than 70 zoom and prime lenses in Canon’s EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lens lineups. All products in the Canon Cinema EOS line are engineered to provide exceptional image creation capabilities for professionals in the motion picture, television, and other diverse high-resolution digital production industries.
“We developed the Cinema EOS C500 digital cinema camera to deliver the benefits of full 4K motion capture to Hollywood’s premier filmmakers, while the C100 is designed for economical productions that need sophisticated HD capabilities and optical lens diversity. As we said in November of 2011, the C300 was just the beginning to our Cinema EOS system and we now offer a more complete system of imaging solutions with a range of cameras for every level of production,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
The EOS C500 4K digital cinema camera and EOS C100 digital video camera join Canon’s Cinema EOS System which includes two other camera models, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera for mainstream HD production and the EOS-1D C 4K Digital SLR cinema camera for 4K and HD filmmakers favoring the SLR form factor. The Cinema EOS System also offers filmmakers optical diversity with seven EF Cinema lens models: the compact and lightweight CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L wide-angle cinema zoom and the CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L telephoto cinema zoom (available in EF and PL versions); the CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L wide-angle zoom and CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L telephoto zoom (also available in EF and PL versions); and the CN-E24mm T1.5 L, CN-E50mm T1.3 L, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L prime lenses for EF-mount cameras, in addition to the more than 60 lenses in Canon’s EF and EF-S lens lines (which include macro, fisheye, telephoto, and tilt-shift models).
4K, 2K, and Full HD Image Quality
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras are designed to provide a versatile high-quality 4K imaging solution to high-end productions. High-quality 4K resolution imaging has become the new standard for advanced effects and is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The C500 and C500 PL cameras output 4K resolution to external recorders as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream, as well as offering the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. When shooting in 2K, the C500 and C500 PL cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. For high-speed shooting and slow motion capture the cameras can be set to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, and can output 4K or 2K video up to 120 fps.
While outputting 4K or 2K video to an external recorder, the Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras simultaneously record a 50 Mbps Full HD video file in-camera to the user’s choice of one or two CF cards. The 8-bit 4:2:2 in-camera recordings can be used as a proxy for offline editing of 4K projects, and they are also suitable for various projects that do not require 4K resolution. Equipped with Canon’s exceptional Super 35mm 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, both C500 camera models are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable Canon lenses – the C500 is compatible with EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lenses for Canon SLR cameras, while the C500 PL is compatible with PL-mount EF Cinema lenses and other PL-mount lenses. Highly mobile and compact, the C500 digital cinema camera provides the same ergonomic features as the C300 model, with the exception of a fixed hand grip that incorporates a pair of 3G-SDI ports for 4K video output and another pair of video ports for monitoring purposes. Canon is working with several independent manufacturers of external video recorders to support smooth workflow options, and these recorders are expected to be available by the time the EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K digital cinema cameras ship to authorized dealers later this year.
One-Person Full HD With Automatic Functions
A cost-effective camera solution for a wide range of everyday users, the EOS C100 digital video camera is ideal for many full HD applications such as:
Low-budget television production and independent moviemaking
Museums, galleries, and film schools that utilize Full HD video
Wedding, corporate and event videography
The EOS C100 digital video camera is approximately 85% of the size of the EOS C300 model, for maximum mobility. Designed for professional operability, the C100 includes a push auto iris function, one-shot auto focus (or full manual focus and exposure control), a multi-angle 3.5-inch LCD control panel, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), built-in ND filters, dual XLR inputs, and a locking HDMI output. These features combine with such advanced technologies as reduced rolling shutter artifacts in 60i mode, enhanced gamma modes (including Wide Dynamic Range (DR) Gamma and Canon Log Gamma), cinematic depth of field characteristics, and excellent low-light performance. The C100 records to dual SD cards contributing to the camera’s reduced size and convenience.
Like its C300 sibling, the EOS C100 employs Canon’s uniquely designed Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor that captures individual R, G, and B channels for each full HD 1920 x 1080 frame. This high-sensitivity CMOS sensor provides creative depth of field capabilities for an excellent “bokeh” effect, and provides an ISO range of from 320 to 20,000, enabling the capture of images in low light with minimal picture noise. The Canon DIGIC DV III image processor in the C100 helps ensure high color fidelity and smooth color gradations. The camera’s AVCHD codec utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression similar to the codec used in Canon’s XA10 professional HD camcorder. AVCHD features a maximum recording bit rate of 24Mbps in full HD 1920 x 1080 and 4:2:0 color space for sharp, vivid images. Multiple recording modes, resolutions, and frame rates (including 24p) make the C100 creatively flexible for many production environments. The C100 also offers enhanced gamma modes (including Wide DR Gamma and Canon Log Gamma) for a peak dynamic range of 800% and the wide exposure latitude needed for creative post-production image processing, color correction, and contrast manipulation.
Designed for extensive operational versatility, the Canon EOS C100 digital video camera features a mobile core configuration that allows users to flexibly add accessory parts to the main camera body according to their production needs. A removable side-mounted rotating grip with start/stop button and miniature “joystick” menu control provides traditional SLR camera-style operation. A detachable handle unit connects to the top of the C100 and includes dual XLR connectors, a built-in stereo microphone, a bracket for an external microphone, audio-input level adjustments, and a tally light. The C100 records linear PCM two-channel audio or Dolby digital two-channel audio.
In addition to its ability to record to both SD cards simultaneously, or relay-record from one card to the other, the Canon C100 Cinema EOS camera can also output uncompressed digital HD to an external recording device via its locking HDMI connector. This HDMI output includes superimposed time code and 2:3 pull-down marker information. Additional outputs include a USB connector and stereo headphone jack.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K Digital Cinema Cameras are scheduled to be available in October for an estimated list price of $30,000. The Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera is scheduled to be available in November 2012 for an estimated list price of $7,999.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting http://www.usa.canon.com/rss.
* This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.
† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.