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Making sense of Canon's 4K cameras with EOSHD

By dpreview staff on Apr 14, 2012 at 01:16 GMT

The announcement of Canon's 4K EOS-1D C DSLR, have caused a lot of uncertainty about what the company is trying to achieve and who they're doing it for. Andrew Reid at EOSHD has taken a look at the camera's capabilities and omissions and what they mean for professional cinema production and how it sits alongside the EOS C500. We also spoke to Canon about how it sees the two models co-existing and who it sees at the audience for each camera.

Canon statement:

'Thanks to its 4K RAW output, the EOS C500 will used as a main camera by cinematographers for high resolution  broadcast TV and cinema production. However, the inclusion of all the same Full HD features as the EOS C300 provides the flexibility to suit many broadcast productions. The EOS-1D C will also be used by the film production industry professionals, possibly as a ‘B’ camera and particularly in situations where a conventional camera, even one as small as C300, won’t fit. We also believe it will be used by independent cinema productions as a standalone camera.

'Because of the EOS 1D C’s ability to act as a film and stills camera it also has an ideal application in journalism, allowing a single reporter could produce high quality video and capture stills for broadcast. Overall the unique feature set of the EOS 1D C means it will be suitable for diverse shooting scenarios.'

Comments

Total comments: 225
12
Ceesprof
By Ceesprof (Apr 14, 2012)

Photo journalists become movie makers at the same time? This seems very good news for the newspaper owners, able to reduce the production costs ( many newspapers also use moving images on their web sites) Only one person needed for a combi-job that needs at least 3 people now. Who is the winner? Any idea how stressful both jobs can be already at this moment? The new "visual news gatherer" gets the stress for three, with a chance of early death. In turn this death is very advantageous to the pension scheme. Who wins?
CANON START THINKING OF THE HUMAN ASPECTS OF YOUR PRODUCTS!!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Almeida
By Almeida (Apr 14, 2012)

Machines create unemployment! OMG how will this end?

5 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Apr 14, 2012)

Hopefully with technology so advanced few, if anyone has to work anymore to produce all the things we need and there is no longer any need for money at all.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Apr 15, 2012)

Someone feel like throwing their wooden shoes?

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Apr 14, 2012)

I don’t care where Canon wants to place its steps. They are a private company and I don’t own their shares.

What I assume will not go down well with traditional Canon PHOTOGRAPHERS ( who supported the company through decades of their purchases and their feedback into Canon research into DSLRs), is that Canon believes that the resulting pace of development on single frame processing should be directed at guys who can be charged higher by performing a weird DSLR/Videography gymnastics.

For this commercial Canon gymnastics to succeed, it is trying its luck on three fronts:

1-Trying to convince these photographers that video is good for them

2-Trying to sell these new weird concoctions as a new line for a brand new need

3-Trying to convince traditional videographers that photography is good for them

It is a big gamble by Canon. So ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 14, 2012)

HDSLR video is not some weird new fangled concept that Canon is pushing to photographers. There's already a huge community of filmakers, and a large cottage industry of accessories. Canon is just continuing the natural progression of HDSLR video.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Apr 14, 2012)

DSLRs are pretty awful for video shooting, just the wrong form facto and gazillions of compromisesd overall. So forget that branch right away.

That leaves 2 other product niches from down-on-its-luck Canon:

(A) Video camcorders. It's called the XF-series. Little consumer/prosumer jobs with fixed lenses and 1/3-inch diagonal mini sensors. Priced all the way up to a mind-bending $8,000. Need we say more?

(B) "Hollywood by Canon" blind aspirations with the "Canon EOS Cinema" products. The first of these, the EOS C300 is receiving worldwide ridicule for a multitude of reasons. So Canon had just announced development of the C500 -- that looks identical to the C300. Makes sense, huh?

What's Canon is aiming to break into next, the IMAX market?

0 upvotes
Kate Baldwin
By Kate Baldwin (Apr 14, 2012)

one of the best i ever used.

1 upvote
New Guy Wanna Learn
By New Guy Wanna Learn (Apr 14, 2012)

Yeah, i think Canon didnt make a mistake after all...they're pretty smart people and got it all pre-calculated long before the launch...

Especially those d*mn wealthy people (and there's plenty of them around even in my so called 3rd world country) who are video and photo aficionado will be ever willing to part with their cash...after all i see they are ever willing to keep buying Ferraris, Porsches, renovating their mansion and collect all the latest Rolex watches...this Canon 1DC is just peanut to them.

Most certainly, we who are cant afford...just cant afford. Canon definitely wont be aiming to make our money on this one...yes, the T4i / 650D we will be willing to buy, but not this this guy. :-P

Nevertheless, imho, this is a very good way for Canon to boast of its capabilities...especially with Nikon currently threatening them with their own 2012 DSLR releases. :-P

5 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (Apr 14, 2012)

boast? it means nothing when the 5DmkIII can't even resolve true 1080p and lacks an clean 4:2:2 HDMI out. They should boast by actualy delivering competitive products at competitive prices. Nikon could easily deliver a similar DSLR and canon are outgunned in the high end market. look at the fs700. cheaper, better and is getting a lot more press.

boasting isn't what they need. they need to deliver.!

1 upvote
Jun2
By Jun2 (Apr 14, 2012)

4K basically is about 8M per image. For most of purpose, you don't need to take still. Just take the video and extract 8M still from that.

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Apr 14, 2012)

I am not video expert but video's frame contains more motion blur for smooth motion

if all the frames are as sharp as still, your video will look like "Saving Private Ryan"

6 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Apr 14, 2012)

Take a still from any good quality HD camera, then take the same shot with a still camera and downsize it to the same resolution. You will be surprised how bad the video still looks.

Grabbing stills out of a video has never been a good idea. It's much worse than shooting in low quality JPG mode.

You also have little control over shutter speed in video mode. No phase detection AF, no viewfinder, ...

3 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Apr 14, 2012)

Focus will be slightly off, composition won't be as good, motion blur would be stronger, and it will be noiser.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Apr 14, 2012)

Even 4:2:2 video, better than broadcast and DVD, has only half of the color resolution of luma (B&W) channel. So we are not talking about a 8 MP video frame grab, but 4 MP one. Besides, video is lossy compressed down to about 2% of the original size, so no wonder frame grabs look like trash. Add to that the fact that video needs to be shot at slow shutter speeds (if it is intended to be used as video), and action photos at fast speeds.

2 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (Apr 14, 2012)

Guys these cameras have much less compression than the stuff from your still-video camera. Even GH2 with hack is very detailed.

1 upvote
Jun2
By Jun2 (Apr 14, 2012)

These cameras have raw output, may not equals to still-image raw. But not too much compression for sure. These images are design to be blow up at movie theater screens.

0 upvotes
Karl Burke
By Karl Burke (Apr 14, 2012)

This debate is already moot. High-end fashion shooters have been shooting magazine covers for the likes of Vogue using framegrabs from the Red One and Red Epic for some time now. The future's already here.

1 upvote
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (Apr 14, 2012)

Still I wondering where the photo's from the Movie Once Upon a Time (1968) in the West come from. That was more than 40 years ago. The Movie was made on film. I´ve great respect for the quality of that Movie.

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Apr 14, 2012)

@Karl Burke

Who says they're good? More money doesn't equal better art. ;)

2 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Apr 14, 2012)

@Jun2

Canon EOS 1080p format is very soft, not designed for broadcast quality output. GH2 beats it by large margin. No wonder they need direct 4K resolution.

And the output is not "raw" by any means.

1 upvote
LSE
By LSE (Apr 14, 2012)

not if you care about quality.

0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (Apr 14, 2012)

Your Canon 5D II, probably 5D III skipping lines. That's why GH2 beats 5D II in resolution. These 4K ones don't skip lines. The resolution is much higher than GH2.

0 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (Apr 14, 2012)

The low resolution in HD video from EOS cameras could be from overly conservative processing to reduce moiré? Also the JPEG images from DIGIC processors always look soft but oversharpened with a too large radius and threshold. You don't see it that well in shallow depth of field shots but normal scenery lacks detail. The 1080p stills from 5D III look just as soft as full resolution JPEGs (only 10 MP of information in those), any fool downsizing full resolution to HD size should get a better result than Canon. It seems they cripple it on purpose? Why don't we demand a firmware fix from Canon? That Panasonic GH2 with hack looks really good and exactly the quality I would expect.

0 upvotes
healer81
By healer81 (Apr 14, 2012)

Canon is making this camera for people with huge budgets. Its a smart move if this camera can perform. No point in whinning if you are a consumer. They rather go after the people with big time money. Dont worry people canon will eventually make a camera like the 5D III with higher resolution.

0 upvotes
Ubarhd
By Ubarhd (Apr 14, 2012)

Me as a cinematographer i would switch towards SONY FS700 Than Canon 1D only if the price of Canon 1D is about $5000-$6000 !!!

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Apr 14, 2012)

Forget the 1D, it is a DSLR body, not good for videography at all. Canon had started out at $20,000 for the "EOS Cinema" C300, now it is at $16,000, needs to drop down to under $8,000 for anyone to be half-serious about it.

Instead, Canon's C500 is now priced at $30,000!!!

What a joke, huh?

0 upvotes
Ubarhd
By Ubarhd (Apr 14, 2012)

What the use of Canon 5D mark III to videographers nothing really impresive still GH2 better with 1/2 price !!!!

9 upvotes
solarsky
By solarsky (Apr 14, 2012)

The GH2 isn't "HALF" the price of a 5DMark3, it's literally only a 7th of the price. And the lenses are A LOT cheaper, too. So it comes out at a SMALL fraction of the FF-setup-costs, when using the GH2 for a project; and that at TRUE 1080p, not only resolved 720p, as in the 5DMark3.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (Apr 14, 2012)

For my purposes I need to have high quality stills from video (e.g. when filming a tornado or capturing a nice lightning strike) - this is important because Canon can't offer full resolution photos while video is being used, except with the penalty of pausing the video for one second. HD video quality as offered by the GH2 is something we all should demand from Canon at their high price!

0 upvotes
Ubarhd
By Ubarhd (Apr 14, 2012)

I think eos 1D is away expensive is suppose to be $ 5000 max
Also all people waiting to see the new panasonic lumix GH3 which i hope will have much higher video resolution than Canon HDSLRs with low price

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (Apr 14, 2012)

Which media can playback (= make visable) 4K Video ? Not my LCD laptop screen. Along with 4K recorded video there should be also 4K playback devices for max viasable quality.

0 upvotes
blinsc
By blinsc (Apr 14, 2012)

That's assuming you're playing this video on a computer. But imagine you are playing it on a much larger screen (eg, theater) that doesn't have the same resolution limitations as a standard computer.

Or, and more likely, the high resolution footage is for archival purposes. It's the same concept as shooting on high-quality 35mm film, which you can easily extract several megapixels of data. Think about those classic movies you've seen that have been re-released on Blu-ray in hi-def and actually look stunning, even though they were filmed at a time when "hi-def" wasn't around and most TVs had the same resolution as a Gameboy.

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Apr 14, 2012)

Realize that you kinda just implied that all still cameras that shoot more megapixels than the largest size you ever print, are worthless cameras. Or that 16-bit still capture is worthless because you only post and print 8-bit images.

Also realize that the music industry masters albums at 96KHz 24-bit, which are specs far beyond your CD player or MP3. Are they wasting bits too?

"Extra" data is often used to preserve the quality during mastering and production, in all media.

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Apr 14, 2012)

Its a way off, but you can see the trajectory, with "Retina" displays on the way, 100Mb broadband, downloading would seem to be viable for formats beyond HD, logically 4K, already supported by you tube. the only question would seem to be how much true quality do you chuck away to make 4K 3D bandwidth and display viable.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 14, 2012)

MediaDigitalVideo is correct, there are very few monitors or projectors that can play 4K video. And the ones that can are $25,000 and up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

0 upvotes
DPRchallenger
By DPRchallenger (Apr 14, 2012)

i think it is good that Canon is working on at what they are good at....going back to their core business (video camera) is the right thing to do...why insist on making still cameras when it is not really your core your strength?

focus on video cameras and photocopiers, Canon! stop humiliating yourself by insisting that you can make decent still cameras :)

3 upvotes
Andy G
By Andy G (Apr 14, 2012)

Canon's upper management team is floundering and failing to capitalize on the huge upgrade potential from 5D MK II owners.

First, they should learn from Apple - iPhone, iPad 1, 2, 3 etc - new features - same price!

Second, they're price gouging they're higher end models because they mistakenly think they can get away with it. The C300 is way over-priced, the upcoming D1C is ridiculously over-priced and the 5D Mark III is simply under-whelming when it comes to video resolution.

Nikon is making a dent, but Sony is going to eat them for lunch!

Everyone is talking about buying the FS700 while virtually no one will buy their 15K Cinema DSLR.

The Sony FS100 has been out for awhile, but now is receiving so much revived interest which is a testament to Canon's recent short-comings.

On a brighter note, they will now sell a heck of a lot more T4i's as people want to get the Digic 5 low light sensitivity in a less expensive body.

6 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (Apr 14, 2012)

correct. canon is outgunned by sony and the next generation reds are just going to increase the pressure. canon is simply too late to the high end video game and prices aren't competitive while lacking features. the dissapointing 5DmkIII video quality also means they need to watch out in the consumer area for sony/nikon are both playig strong cards and will only improve over time.

canon is no longer the defacto name for indi fim makers. the FS700 for the price is really a game changer.

1 upvote
offtherecord
By offtherecord (Apr 14, 2012)

Some strange explanations in Mr. Reid´s article. Coming from the industry, this is not a camera that is to compete with RED or Alexa. If you can´t create LUTs, control colour and levels through the process, it is not something any DP would go for. Grading possibilities? Building the light for the film is something completely different from doing dslr video today. Audio? If it is a B, why audio monitoring. It´s not being done on B. This is interesting, but it is not THE camera to be used as a B, at least not with RED-s or Arri-s.

5 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Apr 14, 2012)

very true.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Apr 14, 2012)

This camera is going to be a complete flop.

8 upvotes
Matt
By Matt (Apr 14, 2012)

Wouldn't those cinematographers for high resolution broadcast TV and cinema production use VIDEOCAMERAS rather than using a klutzy DLSR?

2 upvotes
kadarpik
By kadarpik (Apr 14, 2012)

World is evolving, there is not too many 4K video cams in the market, it is possible that most of the 4K footage is distributed via internet and other new media - so the broadcaster are new as well not willing to focus on one media only.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MaikeruN
By MaikeruN (Apr 14, 2012)

lol

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Apr 14, 2012)

meanwhile for the rest of us, i'd like to see Canon Log Gamma (curve) control for an improved Full DR customization in ExpSim LV (still missing for 'stills' on lower models like 5DMkIII).

i've asked for 'Gamma Curve Customization' via ExpSim LV (previewable DR) so we could better choose what ideal contrast to dial back in rather than having it preset dialed in for us (limited contrast sensor capture of current models).

aka: Full DR Curve Custom control (for dSLR stills in JPEG and RAW)

i hope they offer at least for the rest of us who can only afford 5D/7D (or 1D/s/X)

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Apr 14, 2012)

Even though this camera is not aimed at the sports photographer market, I expect quite a few of them to use it. Basically, this camera gives the sports photographer 24 frames per second capability, compared to 11 fps for people who use still cameras like the D3, D4 and D1-X. Sure, this camera is not full frame, but the 24 fps capability is simply a godsend for them. I expect those people who realize the usefulness of this camera for sports to show up at the summer Olympics and other sports events with this camera, even if they don not use the movie feature in their work.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Apr 14, 2012)

its FF and APS-C crop for 1080p
even though it is only APS-H crop for 4K...

0 upvotes
mkln
By mkln (Apr 14, 2012)

no AF while recording

0 upvotes
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (Apr 14, 2012)

you mean continues AF during recording ?

0 upvotes
healer81
By healer81 (Apr 14, 2012)

professionals almost never use AF while filming

4 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Apr 14, 2012)

24 fps would be a video still .. the resolution of that would be questionable compared to 8MP still camera resolution. Given 4K video is recorded to SD (too slow for a true 4K stream), there would be some kind of compression/skipping involved with 1D 4K video.

Plus if the camera was panned too fast in video, there would be jello effects.

I don't believe anyone is going to use the camera for 4K still in sports.

And remember the camera can't AF in video mode either.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
LSE
By LSE (Apr 14, 2012)

that is just ridiculous. have you ever seen a broadcast of sports at 24fps? this ain't movies boy. nobody wants to see sports at such low fps. no broadcaster would take it.

0 upvotes
IEBA1
By IEBA1 (Apr 14, 2012)

This allows companies to fire half the staff and put that money into these cameras, and then have the other half do double duty.

Actually, they are already doing this. Newspapers have video on their web sites shot and edited by the still photographer who goes out to cover an event because they want to keep their job. If they don't, there's a dozen art school graduates waiting in line for the opportunity to "make movies" to a pittance.

4 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Apr 14, 2012)

This is the reality.
If we don't cut the cost and maintain a reasonable profitability, the company cannot survive too; then all the staff will be fired.

5 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Apr 14, 2012)

According to Canon, this is why video was added to the original 5D in the first place. It was a request from news organizations so they could send one guy instead of a crew.

What we are seeing today won't lead to that, because it's what has already led to this.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Apr 14, 2012)

Not only websites - newspaper owners like Murdoch also own TV companies

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Apr 14, 2012)

Frankly, no one like to fire people and push people to work overtime, but today's competition is so severe; cutting cost becomes an effective way to improve company's profitability.

I like to improve employees' working condition by introducing new technologies and know-how to the company. I like Canon's concept in keeping down the prices of the tools (in this case the camera) which in turn helps the companies (especially the SME) to reduce their outsourcing costs and improve the total efficiency of the employees hence achieving win-win situation between employer and employees.

I think Canon knows who is their target customers and knows how to add value to their products in order to benefit their customers.

We are waiting to see more such products from different suppliers.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Apr 14, 2012)

Kind of funny how this camera needs that amount of explanation to experienced and intelligent people like photographers.

The issue is not that we 'don't get it', it's more that this camera combines features, functional design and a price in a way that makes little sense in this specific mix.

3 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Apr 14, 2012)

It will help us to save a lot of money in doing marketing promotion materials. Now, we can own our cameras and let our own staff to do the job. Reduce outsourcing cost and better control in production time.
This is what we need.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 14, 2012)

There comes a time and a situation where the camera being produced by the manufacturer is just out of bounds from the common market...

.

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Apr 14, 2012)

Usually that means it's either a flop, or the only product that "gets it" when nobody else did (like the "it's gonna fail" iPhone). We don't know yet for this one.

1 upvote
David Carr
By David Carr (Apr 14, 2012)

24FPS = 1/48 sec shutter speed. This alone limits the possibility of taking useful frame grabs for stills.
That revolution (and it will be a revolution and mark the demise of much still documentary work) will begin to come when we can shoot 4K at at least 50 FPS. That would give us 1/100 sec shutter. Cartier Bresson was at 1/125...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 225
12