Canon Announces A More Affordable Cinema EOS Camera As Well As New Cinema EOS Lenses
With the introduction of the C300 late last year, Canon raised their flag in the professional motion picture camera space. With the great success of the C300, they have since added the 1D C and C500 – both capable of capturing 4K resolution (4K RAW capture for the C500). But for many indie filmmakers, the significant barrier for entry in the Cinema EOS space is price. The C300 has a list price of around $16,000, the 1D C is around $15,000 and the C500 is approximately $30,000, which is way out of range for most low budget filmmakers. It was inevitable that Canon would eventually release a more budget friendly camera targeted towards DSLR shooters looking to step up to the Cinema EOS space.
Today Canon has announced the latest entry in their Cinema EOS line – the C100, which is a more compact version of the C300 in looks and delivers full 1920 x 1080 AVCHD. The big news is that the C100 cuts the C300’s list price in half with an MSRP of $7,999.
According to the Canon press release, the C100 is 85% of the size of the C300, yet still designed for professional operability. Notable features of the camera include 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-res EVF, a built-in ND filter system, dual XLR inputs, and a locking HDMI output. In terms of camera technology, the C100 also has reduced rolling shutter artifacts in 60i mode, enhanced gamma modes like Wide Dynamic Range Gamma and Canon Log Gamma, cinematic depth of field characteristics, and excellent low-light performance. The enhanced gamma modes give you a peak dynamic range of 800% and give you a much wider exposure latitude for post. Canon Log alone makes this camera a significant upgrade from a 5D Mark III.
What’s also exciting is that the C100 contains the same Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor as the C300, providing an ISO range of 320-20,000. It also employs the same DIGIC DV III image processor, giving you excellent color fidelity and smooth gradients. On paper, the biggest drawback on the C100 is its 24-Mbps 4:2:0 AVCHD codec, which is used in Canon’s more consumer-like XA10 camcorder. (The C300 uses the 50-Mbps 4:2:2 XF codec)
In terms of the body, the C100 looks to be a well designed compact system that is even more ideal for run-and-gun shooting than the already handheld-friendly C300. The camera has a removable side-mounted rotating grip with a start/stop button and a mini “joystick” menu control that gives it more of an “SLR-like” operation. There’s also a detachable handle at the top of the camera that contains dual XLR connectors, a built-in stereo mic, a bracket for an external mic, audio-input level adjustments and a tally light. Again, something a DSLR won’t give you.
In terms of capture, the camera records full HD to dual SD slots. In addition to capturing to both SD card slots simultaneously, you can relay record from one card to another and you can also output an uncompressed signal to an external recording device via the C100’s locking HDMI connector. With HDMI, you can also output superimposed time code and 2:3 pull-down marker info.
The camera will be available in November. Although not in the same pricing category as Sony’s popular FS100U, which goes for around $5K, with Canon Log capture, EF lenses, and much better handheld ergonomics, the C100 is perhaps the most intriguing indie filmmaking camera to date. We’ll be doing a hands-on review in early 2013.
Announced at this year’s NAB show, Canon is finally set to release two Cinema EOS zoom lenses designed for professional shooters and their camera crews. The CN-E 15.5-47mm T2.8 S/SP wide angle zoom lens and the CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L S/SP telephoto zoom lens are designed to resolve both 2K and 4K and are both light enough for handheld and Steadicam shooting. Both zooms also offer compatibility with the industry-standard Super 35mm image format, as well as APS-C sized sensors. They also both feature industry standard zoom, focus and iris markings so your camera assistant won’t have to adjust to using a new lens system. Both zooms are expected to hit the market in January 2013 for an estimated list price of $24,500.
Today Canon has also announced the development of two new prime lenses in their Cinema EOS lens lineup – the 14mm T2.1 and the 135mm T2.2. Both primes will be available for the first part of 2013 and will be on display at IBC.
For more information, please visit Canon’s Cinema EOS website at http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com.