“We have stepped into this business and we’re never gonna stop” – Larry Thorpe (Canon USA) The Canon C300 mark II was announced just two weeks ago and it is a camera that comes with some high end tech specs aimed at true cinema production. But what is inside the Canon C300 mark II that makes it so unique? When it comes to talking about innovation at Canon, Emmy Engineering Award winner Larry Thorpe is the man to talk to. In this interview he takes us through a comprehensive journey about the tech inside the Canon C300 mark II and shares a small hint about the yet to be announced Canon C500 mark II. As a reminder, here ate the tech specs at a glance: Canon EOS C300 mark II Powerful new Canon codec (XF-AVC) 10 bit 4:2:2 in 4K mode, up to 12 bit 4:4:4 in 2K mode 225 Mbps Up to 30 fps in 4K mode and 60 fps in 2K/HD mode Totally new image sensor with higher dynamic range and lower noise floor Dual pixel autofocus (with a newly developed “focus guide” and a cursor that can be moved around 80% of the image) Enhanced build in ND filter capability (2-4-6-8-10 stops) Two 2.0 CFast recording slots Improved OLED viewfinder (wider gamma colour and higher brightness) Sturdy handle External RAW recording 4 colour gammas (HD 709, Cinema DCI P3, UHD Rec 2020 and Cinema gamma for serious movie shooting as Larry describe it). Proxy recording on an SD card As with all new cameras, numbers and technical details should be translated into beautiful images. It will be interesting to see how well the Canon C300 mark II will hold up in real world shooting environments.Read more
Wooden Camera has released the Cage NATO Arm for Canon C cameras. Attaching to existing Wooden Camera products on the top and bottom of the camera it adds rigidity to your setup, as well as offering a NATO rail and threaded holes alongside the camera. The Top Plate has been available for some time; a neat little base that mounts to the hot shoe on the C100/C300/C500. This offers a sturdy platform for building accessories on, including the original camera handles/audio modules. The new NATO Arm extends down from the Top Plate, forming a half cage that adds rigidity to heavier rigged cameras. The NATO Arm ships with two lower components enabling compatibility with both Wooden Camera baseplates; the Quick Base and Fixed Base. As you would assume by the name, the NATO Arm complies with the NATO standard used by a variety of companies, opening up a wide variety of compatible accessories such as monitors or recorders. Furthermore it features an array of 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads. If you’re into serious production with one of the C cameras, or just need some extra attachment points and ergonomics, then these new accessories by Wooden Camera might just be the upgrade your camera needed.Read more
With the Canon C100 and the C300, Canon introduced two cameras that have become extremely popular with filmmakers around the world. Not so much with the C500, the C300’s 4K sibling. It started at $30,000 at launch in 2012, and has since dropped several times – now arriving at $15,999 with the latest price drop. The C100 was recently succeeded by the C100 Mark II (our review video here & side-by-side comparison here), with the original C100 still in the market – at a lower price. Canon just dropped the price again to $3,999. These latest price drops are just another sign for some new Cinema cameras to arrive from Canon sometime this year. The C300’s successor is long overdue and it has probably been kept in the market for the massive success it has become – yet with much more attractively priced competitors like the Sony FS7 (review here) in the market, it’s time for Canon to move.Read more
You’ve heard about the new Sony A7s that delivers a very fine 4K at unprecedented lowlight levels. Unfortunately the camera is not laid out for internal 4K recording and only outputs that signal via its hdmi port. Atomos and Sony have worked closely together here to offer a seamless integration in recording the feed to the new Atomos Shogun 4K disk recorder that doubles as a very nice display. CEO Jeromy young gave us the details in the video above. The Atomos Shogun records ProRes 422 in 4K and up to 10bit via its hdmi input and can also record 12bit RAW via SDI, while the Sony A7s delivers an 8bit hdmi stream. The results are never the less very pleasing which you can check out yourselves in the video we posted here. The full HD IPS screen doubles as a field monitor and is factory calibrated to SMPTE Rec.709 with 100% gamut and D65 white point. The Shogun records to hard disks, to a dedicated RAID module or the new Cfast CF cards and can even take slow motion up to 120fps. While the Atomos Shogun was announced together with the Sony A7s it does also work with other cameras like the new Panasonic GH4 or the flagship cinemaEOS camera the Canon EOS C500. The Shogun will be $1995 and start shipping in October. It is available for pre-order here. We reported about another nice product by Atomos, the Atomos “Ninja Star” which is their first disk recorder without a display. The Ninja Star can record in both HD and Apple ProRes to capture pristine, 422 10-bit images straight from any camera sensor directly to inexpensive first generation CFast media with up to 3hrs Apple Proes for $250. It also features Timecode and Start/Stop Trigger along with Audio Line-in. The Ninja Star is available for pre-order and cost $295. More information on atomos.comRead more
Canon recently announced that they would release a major firmware upgrade for the popular C series line of their cameras (Canon C100 / C300 / C500) which would (among other things – read our detailed article here -) would unlock higher ISO values of up to ISO 80,000. So far, the camera topped out at a whopping ISO 20000. IBC 2013 – Canon C series High ISO from cinema5D on Vimeo. I have snuck a CF card into a Canon C500 on Canon’s IBC 2013 booth, where they have set up a dark room to demonstrate the high ISO’s. Of course they are hard to judge on the small screen and with Vimeo compression, so please head over to the Vimeo page and download the original ProRes footage via the Vimeo download link. Personally, I think this can be useful in extreme circumstances for documentary purposes, but of course these high ISO’s come at a price of highly noisy images – although it has to be said that the noise pattern is surprisingly even compared to the noise pattern we have gotten used to from older DSLR models. And that also means that it can be de-noised more easily (to a degree). In the end, it comes down to either getting a shot or not getting it at all. In the 2012 short film “Homophobia”, I have shot one scene at ISO 12,500 and even 20,000 on the Canon C300 simply because the daylight was disappearing quickly and there was no way we could reshoot the winter scene in the snow on another day, let alone light it to make it look like tusk. The scene shot at ISO 20,000 is around 09:00 in the short film – check it out, it’s come out remarkably clean after minor de-noising, and it really doesn’t stick out. With the bare eye it was almost impossible to see where you were walking, the camera already saw more with ISO 20,000. So it will be interesting to see where people will successfully use the ISO 80,000 … Here’s another test by SilvaStreet showing the ISO performance of the C100: https://vimeo.com/Read more
The successful line of cinema EOS camera that currently includes the C100, C300 and C500 will receive some updates during Q4 2013. Here’s what we’re going to see: CONCERNING ALL C CAMERAS: – ISO range will be upgraded to go until 80,000 (currently 20,000, meaning additional stops). – magnify portion will be movable through whole image like on DSLR’s. – compatibility with GPS module.Read more
For this video specifically: All sponsoring income from this video will go to the “rainbow of hope” children’s home in Moldova. The most affordable of Canon’s “cinema cameras” the EOS C100, has been around since late last year when I had a chance to test it in a real world environment (see video above). In the light of recent camera announcements at NAB and the current C100 price drop I’d like to share my experience and tell you why I think the EOS C100 is one of the most important and underestimated cameras of 2013. Everyone tells you that each project requires a different tool. Well that’s certainly true and sounds very professional, but if you’re interested to read about the C100 your budget probably limits your shooting style and choice of camera to only very few valid candidates currently available. In this price range you are like so many others still looking and waiting for a camera that truly supports and helps you express your filmmaking ambition, be it documentary or fiction or anything in between. Here’s a camera I can truly recommend. It has no big red labels screaming things like 4K, 12bit, or 3D for that matter (that was last year’s hype), in fact it has nothing too fancy about it: It’s HD, it does 30p max and has a mediocre file compression system. But don’t be fooled by technical specs, because this camera is superb within its boundaries and a surprisingly strong, well rounded tool from top to bottom. Let me give you some examples:Read more
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