Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Around 9pm tonight we will be getting the first pictures of the new Canon large sensor camcorder more importantly the first specifications and pricing in fact Chris Hurd from DV Info Net has had an email from Canon…

“We are pleased to have you attend this historic Canon event on November 3, 2011. The exclusive unveiling and exhibit at Paramount Studios will showcase Canon’s commitment to play a larger role in the film and television production community.”

Why is this news so momentous, so far all we have is teasing from Canon themselves…here is my take on this news.

Canon have been a major player in the DSLR race with the 5D Mk11 being the first camera to have HD video built alongside the photographic part of the camera setting a new benchmark in video/photography.

Until the announcement of the 1DX this year Canon have done little to amend the inherent problems that dog the DSLR from being a truly professional filming tool but even the 1DX has built in flaws that were explained by a Canon rep as being a part of the pro video input in other words “we are just about to launch a large sensor camcorder and would prefer if the 1DX was not a competitor”.

Why is this even newsworthy…Canon have a knack of looking at a marketplace and introducing camcorders that don’t need add on’s to make them broadcast friendly. They also want people to buy lots of Canon glass as they have had the best two years of all time because of the DSLR phase.

Canon also recognise that cameramen/women do not care for expensive add on’s like NanoFlashes etc in order to “make the grade” with the likes of the BBC etc thats why Sony missed the boat big time with the PMW-F3 making it 35Mbs claiming to speak to the “right people” when they clearly got it so wrong.

Thats why this Canon announcement is so important, professionals may at last have a large sensor camcorder that will be fit for purpose straight out of the box and the other most important point is the EF lens.

The Canon community have been waiting for an electronic solution for almost a year without success or delivery for the Panasonic and Sony large sensor camcorders, MTF are bringing out 3 adapters later in November for the AF101, FS100 and PMW-F3 but only to control the iris.

Many users have been disappointed with 8bit 4:2:0 processing which can cause banding in certain circumstances, I predict the Canon will come out of the box with 10bit 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 processing once again giving the competition a major headache.

What about that all important sensor…I think the Super 35mm sensor is just fine on my Sony FS100 but some people are predicting a 4K sensor which would be fantastic as long as you have the choice to still shoot 2K as for the majority of us 2K is as much as we need without a major rethink in the editing department.

My prediction : Firstly we will see a minimum spec camera as follows : 10bit, 4:2:2, CF cards, 50Mbs, EF mount, Super 35mm sensor, HD SDI, Hi Res viewfinder…beyond this we might get a second camera with 4:4:4, 12bit, 100Mbs, PL mount with EF adapter, 4K sensor. Pricing £6500 and £12,000.

This will have Sony and Panasonic in a major panic as they will be forced to show their hand on any new development for a PMW-F5 or an AF201, RED are also announcing Scarlet specs and pricing this evening but if Canon pull out the trump card as I predict then RED will have a lot less customers banging on their doors.

It’s all about “GLASS” the majority of Canon users have Canon glass now remember Canon may not introduce a specific EF mount camcorder but they will have an adapter for EF glass similar to Sony’s LA-EA1 that allows the Alpha lenses to be fully functional with the E mount seen on the FS100.

If Canon have been clever they will have designed their EF adapter to be controlled externally with a pull focus unit…only my thoughts.

You can be sure we will have all the specs and pictures as soon as Canon post them later on today.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

4 thoughts on “The Canon question “Why is this important”

  1. In your analysis, you claim that a 4k might be too big to accommodate EF lenses. That’s completely wrong. The 4k refers to the resolution of the sensor which is irrelevant to the sensor’s physical size. Actually the EF glass is compatible with 24X36 full frame sensors, which are bigger than the expected S35 type sensors of the new camcorders.

  2. Thanks Emmanuel I have adjusted my text accordingly my 12-2am time slot for updating the blog sometimes catches me out and I had been looking at a very large Canon sensor just before I added that comment.

  3. Firstly, I agree 100% with your view that-
    “cameramen/women do not care for expensive add on’s like NanoFlashes etc in order to “make the grade” with the likes of the BBC etc”
    For me that goes-for viewfinders as well. I’m hoping for an announcement from anybody that is prepared to build a large sensor video camera with a proper ENG style viewfinder.
    As for codecs. After the great reception that the Canon XF series got, I think that Canon firmly understand that these cameras are used for all sorts of applications including broadcast and that a pro-sumer codec like AVCHD does not make the grade.
    Panasonic has AVCIntra and AVCUltra. Canon will have to future proof with similar “master” type codecs. I think the Canon 1DX camera hopefully points us in the direction of an aquisition AND edit friendly codec. Intraframe is IN.
    HDV has only really just started to fade into history and 4K and 4:4:4 is on many lips even though few can view 4K and broadcasters worldwide haven’t completely converted to 2K.
    I just hope this won’t be a 4K camera that crops the frame to 2K. It’s bad enough that our EF glass if used by this predicted S35mm camera will have a crop factor. A 50mm lens will see the frame as 75mm.
    The lens question is more difficult. Hopefully we can use auto focus on our EF glass for the predicted video camera because I’m not sure that current EF lens design is up to that task. Will we also see a new autofocus capable large sensor video lens range announcement?

  4. 4:4:4, 12bit, 100Mbs? Really? That would be a very high interframe compression and still years behind RED. The RED ONE already shoots 12bit 4k RAW at 28-42 MegaBYTES per second. The EPIC shoots in 16bit, and don’t forget the very high frame rates.

    My prediction: it’s RED that will pull the trump card. Again.

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