Friday, April 13, 2012

Canon's New Ultra Cameras: 1Dc and C500

The Canon Cinema EOS family with the new C500 and the 1Dc

Yesterday, Canon, Inc. announced two new cameras they will be introducing at this year's NAB - the Canon EOS 1Dc and the Canon EOS C500.  The two new EOS Cinema EOS cameras (Super 35mm) are 4K capable, with support for uncompressed Canon RAW file (still for 1Dc and motion for C500).

After the success of the hybrid 5D MKII and the 7D with Indie Filmmakers, Canon shifted its R&D to its products' video capabilities.  Last year, it created a new product line called Cinema EOS with the introduction of the C300.  Aside from pro-class cinema/broadcast cameras, the EOS Cinema family also features new pro-cinema lenses.  Faced with a shrinking consumer camera base (mainly due to cellphone cameras), the company is clearly shifting its focus to the professional motion imaging market.

The new C500 has a new Super 35mm, 8.85 megapixel CMOS sensor that can be adjusted to 4K, 2K or HD sampling formats.  It's a fast camera that supports frame rates up to 60 fps for 4K, and up to 120 fps for 2K.  It also features an uncompressed Canon RAW output (12-bit RGB 4:4:4) for both 4K and 2K.  Addressing the needs of both pro cinema and broadcast, the C500 offers two forms of 4K origination:  DCI (SMPTE 2048 - 1:2011 standard) or Quad - HD (SMPTE 2036 - 1:2009 and ITU - R BT.1769 standard).  4K output must be captured by an external recorder through the dual 3G-SDI ports, but HD and 2K can be recorded directly to CF cards.  Like the C300, the C500 comes in two variations: the regular C500 has an EOS lens mount while the C500 PL accepts PL-mount lenses.  The current MSRP is around $30,000 (subject to change).

The new Canon 1Dc is the big brother of the Canon 1Dx. The first 4K capable Canon DSLR, the 1Dc features an 18.1 megapixel (Super 35mm) CMOS sensor that offers a wide range of sampling formats: 4K motion (4096 x 2160), HD motion (1920 x 1080) or 18 megapixel still. 4K is recorded as Motion JPEG and HD is recorded as H.264, while stills can be shot in RAW or JPEG. Aimed at documentary filmmakers, wildlife filmmakers/photographers and news/sports filmmaker/photographers, the camera offers incredible low-light capabilites, with optimum image quality even in the most under illuminated environments. Designed for extreme environments, it can capture 4K directly to CF cards at 24p at 8-bit 4:2:0. It is also features the 1Dx's weather-sealed rugged shell, as well as its still camera capabilites.  The current MSRP is set around $15,000 (subject to change).  

The Cinema EOS line of lenses

Aside from the two new cameras, Canon just introduced two new zoom lenses to its Cinema EOS line:  the CN-E 15.5 - 47mm T/2.8 L S and the CN-E 30 - 105mm T/2.8 L S.  Like the other lenses in the Cinema EOS line, they feature geared inner focusing, 11 blade aperture diaphragms, lens markings on both sides of the barrel, control ring resistance with consistent operating torque as well as consistent diameter, rotation angle and front lens diameter.

--all photos taken from

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