4K Cameras from Canon at CCW

Canon provided an update on its 4K and HD cameras at CCW, but the star of the Canon show was not a camera but a wide zoom ratio 4K lens for cameras with a Super-35 sensor.

The Canon EOS C100 camera has been around for some time. At CCW, Canon was showing the new Mark II version, which has significant upgrades over the earlier version. The C100 cameras use a single 4K CMOS sensor with a total pixel count of 4206 x 2340 pixels (9.84 megapixels) and an effective pixel count of 3840 x 2160 pixels (8.29 megapixels). Note that while the sensor has a UHD pixel count, the internal recorder will not record images with higher than HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. This oversampling at the image sensor allows recording of HD content in greater detail and with fewer spatial artifacts.

Sensor size is Super 35, which means 24.6mm x 13.8mm (28.2 mm diagonal) with a 6.4 µm cell pitch. This large size sensor is preferred by cinema production 346 because it gives a shallow depth of field, like they were accustomed to in 35mm film cinema cameras. The television community prefers smaller sensors because the larger depth of field keeps everything in focus. This large depth of field is especially important in electronic news gathering (ENG) applications. The C100 is optimized for one-person use and compatible with the full range of Canon EF, EF-S, and EF-mount CN-E Cinema lenses.

Key features of the upgrades to the Mark II version include:

* The Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor in the Mark I was replaced with the more sophisticated Canon DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor

* The camera’s dual codec capability supports simultaneous AVCHD and MP4 recording, including 59.94P capture along with slow and fast motion recording

* Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus and face autofocus

* Wireless FTP video transfer

* GPS support

* A re-designed 270 deg rotating 3.5″ OLED panel, and a tiltable large-size EVF.

* Built in microphone

The Canon C100 Mark II is available for pre-order now and will ship in January at a price of $5,499. This price does not include a lens.

Canon also showed its new CineServo 4K lens, which is available in either PL or EF mount. This lens will cover a Super 35-sized sensor so it could be used on the C100 camera. Its zoom runs from 50mm – 1000mm focal length and the lens has a built-in 1.5x extender. With the extender in place, the zoom range is then from 75mm – 1500mm. According to Canon, this is a first-in-class lens, with its 4K image quality and wide zoom lens with servo control. This lens will be available in February 2015 at a price of $78,000. The price of the lens compared to the price of the C100 camera shows why camera owners want new cameras to be backward compatible with older lenses, since their investment in lenses is normally significantly more than their investment in cameras. The Canon representative at CCW said even he had not seen one of these lenses in person, hence the use of a slide to illustrate this part of the article.

Canon also showed its new XF 205 HD camcorder with >900 lines of resolution. The camera has a non-interchangeable lens, a Canon 20x HD L Series Zoom, with 3.67 – 73.4mm focal length range (35mm equivalent 28.8 – 576mm) and a f/1.8-2.8 aperture. This camera is targeted specifically at ENG and has a single 1/2.8” image sensor. This camera is available now at a list price of $4,500 or a street price of about $4000. – Matthew Brennesholtz