NAB 2012: Canon Unveils 4K Cameras
COW Library : NAB Show : Debra Kaufman : NAB 2012: Canon Unveils 4K Cameras
"The Cinema EOS C500 is the big brother to the C300, based on the body style and the fact that they both allow for interchangeable lenses," says Chuck Westfall, Canon Technical Advisor, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division. "The C500 is compatible with multiple workflow solutions." Set to launch later this year, the Cinema EOS C500 is priced at approximately $30,000.
Similar to the C300, the C500 is a small modular camera, with many features of body design and control layout retained. But Westfall points out the differences. "The grip of the camera, which is removable on the C300, is permanent on the C500," he notes. "The 500 is a bit larger in size, and there are four new jacks on the grip to support 4K/2K capability, two being 3G SDI jacks for output and the other two being monitor ports." The Cinema EOS C500 also benefits from a newly developed Super 35mm-equivalent, approximately 8.85 megapixel MCOS sensor.
With cameras such as the RED Epic and the Sony F65, an increasing number of filmmakers are interested in 4K output. With the Cinema EOS C500, Canon is throwing its hat in the ring for acceptance in this realm of big budget, VFX-heavy motion picture production.
In addition to 4K output, from 1 to 60 fps, the cameras are able to output quad full-HD (3840x2160), 2K (2048x1080), full HD (1920x1080) and other imaging options. For 2K output, the cameras utilize a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format, which can also operate from 1 to 60 fps. If the cinematographer switches to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, the camera can operate up to 120 fps.
The C500 also offers features that make for an efficient and practical workflow. "While you output video to an external recorder, you can record a full HD proxy file at 50 Mbps 4:2:2 to a CF card in the camera," says Westfall. "That proxy file is immediately available for offline editing."
Canon U.S.A. is launching another 4K camera at NAB 2012, the EOS 1D C DSLR camera, which also features 4K resolution. "We showed this camera under glass at the launch of the C300 in Hollywood in November," says Westfall. "This camera is based on the EOS-1DX and retains most of that camera's features including image sensor, processors, still photo capabilities and lens interchangeability."
The EOS 1D C DSLR will also be available later in 2012, at a price of $15,000. This camera is equipped with an 18.1 megapixel full-frame 24mmx36mm Canon CMOS sensor and records 8-bit 4:2:2 Motion JPEG 4K video to the camera's CG memory card at 24 fps or Full HD 1920x1080 video at frame rates from 24p to 60p. Once the images are on the CF card, they can be brought into nonlinear editing systems via a 4K-movie player that Canon will provide. Other features, says Westfall, is a built-in headphone jack and a sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 for good detail in low-light shooting conditions.
Since the recent debut of its Cinema EOS C300, Canon has wasted no time diving into the purpose-built video camera market. Upping the ante to 4K means the company is serious about playing in the space. Of course, Canon also recently released the EOS 5D Mark III, the follow-up to the 5D Mark II, which has helped to create DSLR-based filmmaking.
Will users embrace the Cinema EOS C500 and C300 lines as fervently as they have the 5D Mark II? Where will the EOS 1D C DSLR fit in the spectrum of filmmaking choices from Canon.
These are all questions that will soon be answered, as Canon takes orders and when the cameras ship. What's clear is that Canon has provided a tantalizing array of possibilities and has the attention of the industry.