excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Canon EOS Grows

Canon is rumored to be expanding the EOS Cinema lines at NAB 2012. The rumor of a 4K DSLR has floated around since the announcement of the C300 back in November of 2011, partly fueled by Canon itself. Now the current rumor is that Canon will talk about 2 cameras at NAB, a C100 and a C500. One of these cameras is supposedly 4K.

This makes way to much sense not be true, in my opinon. Here's my speculation: the C100 will likely be a DSLR-style body, with some similar limitations (i.e. no XLR inputs, poor metering, or something), clock in at around $7-$10K, and likely be full HD. The C100 will likely be stacking up against cameras like the FS-100, AF-100, and the RED SCARLET-X. I expect many of the optic/sensor qualities from the C300 will be inherited so it'll be a monster in low-light conditions along with the reduction of moiré and rolling shutter, so common to DSLR's. The non-profit, corporate, wedding, and indie markets will most utilize this camera.

The C500 on the other hand, will target the high-end production market, namely, RED EPIC and Arri Alexa. I expect the C500 to be a 4K capable camera and likely clock in around $40K.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Canon announces (hopefully releases) a Canon RAW format. I've already noted that Canon has been developing a RAW codec. Now I would expect the EOSRAW format to be available on the C500 for sure. That market will demand a 12 or 14-bit RAW codec. Especially if Canon plans to compete with Alexa and EPIC, it'll be a must have feature at launch. EOSHD has a great write up about the pending announcement of a RAW format and the C500,

This is called EOSRAW and it will be efficient enough to be recorded to CF cards.

It is capable of up to 12bit 4K (as the new AVC Ultra format from Panasonic is expected to do).

It [C500] is 4K out of the box but from a 8K sensor. It downsamples for TRUE 4K unlike the Epic, in a similar way the C300 does 1080p from a 4K sensor. This immediately puts it ahead of the 2K Alexa and native 5K Epic for resolution at the sensor side.

Now the C300 may get the RAW codec as a firmware update, but I wouldn't hold my breath. And the C100 I wouldn't expect to see it on there at all. Ever.

So here' my hope/speculation:

C500 - 4K, RAW, $40K

C300 - 1080p, RAW (as an update?), $16K

C100 - 1080p, MotionJPEG, $8K