It’s getting to where just about everyone is following the Apple script these days, tossing out obscure and cryptically teases and then letting the internet rumor mill fill in the blanks for several months speculating what new product is coming. Such is the case with Canon, which posted the invitation to the right, heralding what they promise will be a “historical, global announcement.” What’s it all about? Some say the clues lie in the phrase “The Story Begins,” while others posit that having the announcement in the entertainment capital of the world is an easy clue. However, we think it’s safe to say that Canon isn’t going to be showcasing a new copier or BubbleJet printer. It’s a camera, to be sure. And we’re betting a camera with professional applications. But other than that? Here’s a few of the rumors that are flying about to get your imagination running …
The first rumor is that Canon is going to be updating a few platforms including the Canon 5D. The 5D Mk. II shook up the photo/video world two years ago when it became the first DSLR camera to record 1080p HD video in addition to still photography. Photographer Vince LaFloret produced a visually stunning short film called REVERIE with a 5D Mk. II prototype and it became the calling card for what this camera could do. Then, the 5D Mk. II was used by the producers of the Fox drama HOUSE to film their season finale. It changed everything. Since then, RED has dropped their consumer grade 4K camera and chose to stay in the prosumer/professional markets. Now, just about every DSLR has HD video capability and Canon’s 5D Mk. II is in dire need of an upgrade. So the rumor mill says this must be what it’s about – increasing it’s story telling capability. And a Mk. III platform, along with the Canon 1D Mk. IV have long been rumored upgrades. So it could very well be.
The other possibility is Canon is going after RED again by jumping into the professional market with a 4K camera of their own. A prototype was featured last year at Canon Expo in New York, but at the time, they claimed it was only a concept demonstrator and that they had no plans to market it. Still, the rumors persist. But if Canon can make a 4K camera that rivals the RED Epic and the Arri Alexa (both over $30K cameras) for a fraction of the price – it could very well make a huge splash. But it’ll also have to go head to head with the Sony F3, which we talked about here.
Personally, my money is on the 5D Mk III. It’s ready for an update as is the 1D. I’m not really sure what they can push into the platform that isn’t there already, unless they make it 4K which would be a serious thing. They could also lean towards 3d? I hope not. I’m just not convinced that 3D is here to stay. I’d much rather see a 4K capability.
Finally, some are saying it’s just another compact Canon camera. Maybe a micro 4/3s platform. Nikon is getting ready to launch a mirrorless platform, and Canon won’t let that go unchallenged. But if that was the case, would Canon really come out West to the City of Dreams? Doesn’t seem likely.
One way or another, when the announcement is made on November 3rd, you can bet that freelance and independent filmmakers will be paying close attention.