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What's Coming from Canon on November 3? A Roundup of Super35 Rumors

10.9.11 @ 5:59PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Since Canon’s original announcement of something “historic” coming on November 3rd, there hasn’t been any hard and fast information about what kind of history they’ll be making. But rumors have been flying about a Super 35 4K camcorder, and as someone with an upcoming feature to shoot I’ve certainly been curious about what Canon has planned. RED will release SCARLET on the same day, and it’s very likely that many upcoming independent features over the next few years are going to be shot on one of these new cameras (in addition to existing RED cameras and the Sony F3). Again, no one knows for sure, but what seems likely?

Here’s what’s been said on Wide Open Camera and Canon Rumors, who have had an ear to the ground:

One will be EF mount, the other will be PL mount. They will be both be higher end cameras, and could reach the price point of $10000+. It has also been suggested that the EF mount camera could fall under the “EOS” banner.

  • A Super 35mm sized CMOS sensor.
  • PL and EF mounts.
  • 4:2:2 at either 8 bit or 10 bit. 50MBPS
  • Top Mount LCD monitor. Possibly detachable.
  • 10-12K price range. Possibly more.

The Canon Expo takes place once every five years, and as Jared Abrams (who is currently running a Kickstarter campaign of his own, check it out here!) points out on Wide Open Camera, this video from the last Canon Expo is relevant and almost guarantees a 4K future for Canon:


As Dan mentioned in response to my original post, “if [this new camera] is $15k I’m not interested.” But if a camera is $15k and ready to shoot that’s entirely different from a $15k “brain” that ends up costing $50k once you add [cheap] lenses and supporting gear. I think Sony had the right idea with their Sony PMW-F3K kit, which ships for under $20k with three prime lenses included — however, once you add in the $3.5k S-Log firmware upgrade and a $6k uncompressed external recorder, suddenly you’re looking at a $30k + package. Plus, while the optics on Sony’s bundled prime lenses are a good deal for the price, their plastic housings have been criticized as unserviceable. I’m still enamored with the F3, but I wonder if Canon comes out with a S35 camcorder — and if RED’s SCARLET ends up shipping with a S35 sensor instead of the originally announced 2/3″ chip — if the $30k uncompressed price point of the F3 will seem too high when there are 4K competitors out there for less.

Also: while I don’t think cameras need to be “priced to own” — indeed, most serious features rent cameras — there’s a large gap between the $3-5k “ready to shoot” highly compressed DSLR and the $30k-$50k “ready to shoot” uncompressed F3 (which, it’s worth noting, I would love to see included in Zacuto’s next shootout — with the S-Log firmware). Currently the Sony FS100 and Panasonic AF100 are the main cameras filling this gap at $5k.

Filmmaking as we know it is not as feature-centric as it used to be. Very few filmmakers are making a living solely from features — most are probably shooting commercials, web series, interviews, and other content as well, and in the independent arena owning a camera helps with these projects. Especially if it’s a camera that has pro audio inputs and is ready to go without the need to attach all sorts of accessories and without worrying about aliasing and overheating. Which is why I like the idea of something like the F3 — shoot an interview or short on the stock $13k camera and some adapted still lenses, then rent good glass, an uncompressed recorder, and upgrade to S-Log for a feature. The camera has “range.”

This FS100-F3 market is what Canon and RED are presumably shooting for — a “serious” filmmaking camera but priced to own, somewhere between $5k and $20k. Interestingly enough, unlike Sony and RED, Canon does not have a higher-end model to protect — they could theoretically throw everything they have into a $10-15k camcorder without worrying about cannibalizing sales of their higher-end EPIC and F65 (which RED and Sony have to consider, respectively). They could also ship a cheaper version at the $5k price point to compete with Sony and Panasonic’s existing offerings, though they wouldn’t want to go any lower given that’s territory well-served by their HDSLRs.

We’ll see on November 3rd…

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  • It seems like everyone on reduser has lost their minds knowing that the scarlet is finally coming out. On the other side we have people that couldn’t wait for Canon’s next installment after the 5d mark Ii. Jim seems pretty confident with the scarlet so lets assume they have a sensor that can fight the super 35 rumors.”Whoever wins we lose”

    • “It seems like everyone on reduser has lost their minds knowing that the scarlet is finally coming out”
      This line made my day!

  • Part of me is really hoping Canon have been secretly beavering away doing their homework, listening to what the DSLR community and the wider S35 community have to say about cameras and actually make something that we want. I think it’d be great for a manufacturer for once to take the lead and actually deliver what people want for once rather than dictating a camera system that isn’t quite ideal. But we’ll see. Exciting times for sure.

  • Bruno Chansou on 10.10.11 @ 8:29AM

    Red and Canon announce their camera on the same day because it’s the same camera. A Red camera, manufactured and distributed by Canon. The result it’s a pro 4K camera for the price of a prosumer camera. Dream, rumor or reality ?

  • I doubt Scarlet will be in the 5- 6k range. Keep in mind that you will have to get lenses and a rig, making this a 10K+ camera. Most of us small film maker types would be better suited with a DSLR.

  • Lliam Worthington on 10.10.11 @ 12:11PM

    I’ll be almost certainly getting a Scarlet to shoot my first upcoming feature. Possibly two. I’ll be watching Canons offering of course, but codec/workflow for Canon is a big one for me and the dynamic range.

    If Scarlet has the HDRx of the epic – which I think is very unlikely canon will match – I will take that and the likely better frame rates on offer over a bigger sensor and even quite possibly interchangeable. Though I would prefer interchangeable and red mini primes. For my projects needs and workflow this would be great. However I can see where shallow DOF, greater lense creativity/options, and low light sensitivity would be more ideal for other projects. Greater flexibility in post vs greater flexibility on set for my particular micro budget feature makes more sense. Post is largely just me sitting around while I tweak to get what I want. On set… well actors in make up…and prosthetics… plenty of external locations where weather change may play an issue. I believe speed and simplicity with a good raw image will prove much more important, and allow me to focus on getting greater creativity and value in my performances and the project as a whole in the long run.

    That’s assuming it all lines up that way. Who knows.
    But it seems unlikely RED will step away form a 2’3 after all this time intending just that, or yes moebius, that Scarlet will be less than 7k I would think. I’m guessing a shoot out of the box package for around 8K – that with extra SSD’s and batteries will be about 12. If I can have a solid rig for 10k – I’ll be in for two.

    Congratulations by the way Koo on a fantastic kick starter campaign. You must be very excited :))
    And also for your wonderful website. You update articles faster than anyone else. It’s fantastic and sets you apart in my book.

    Best Wishes
    Lliam

  • Just wanted to point out that you can get no aliasing and no overheating for what, about $700 currently? In the form of the GH2. Just saying.

    • GH2!!!
      And its a true HD camera with res that rivals an EX1 in raw image. It can stand to get another stop or two on the range but it is image wise (not feature wise) the best large chip cam under $4k. I just wish it was bigger with a metal/alloy body.

      If you follow Camcorder tech over the years you will have little faith in Canon. They are not innovators and only match features well after the fact .

      The scarlet however will be a winner and I expect it to be at the pricing they have said it would be since the last announcement. At that price Scarlet will be revolutionary and put to death all 1/2 inch 1/3 3ccd camcorders for good HVX/HPX/EX1/3. It will also take awesome stills. I can’t wait to hear what red has to offer and at what price!!!

  • Ryan Emanuel on 10.10.11 @ 6:26PM

    Am I the only one who thinks some people are getting ahead of themselves. I shoot for the internet mostly, thats a 720p world where resolution wise after compression Red epic will cut with 5d. So for the internet filmmaker, I think the f3 is promising. I don’t have to deal with excess resolution work flows, and I have more dynamic range and sensitivity than a red one and I am ready to film for 25k with lenses.

    If canon is gonna wage war in resolution, then as long as the internet is my major distribution channel I won’t care about the camera even if its sub 10k unless it can provide 13 stops of dynamic range, because that contributes more to a high end look than resolution online.

    • I agree, for most low budget film-makers the outlet is Internet and Broadcast/Cable. For many people an F3 may be overkill.

  • Have you seen the Ikonoskop? http://www.ikonoskop.com/dii/ It’s a 16mm Digital Cinema camera. It shoots RAW, that’s right, uncompressed RAW. Check-out the footage http://www.ikonoskop.com/dii/footage/

    • Lucas Adamson on 10.11.11 @ 8:06PM

      12 bit CinemaDNG RAW 4K from a m43 or s35 chip is the future i want. Whether they give it to us or not is quite another matter.

    • Id say ikonoskop will need to add a hell of a lot more features or slash the price come Nov 3. $11k (US) for 1080p and a max of 30fps…the iceberg is approaching boys.

      • Considering what else is currently out there 11k seems about right. We won’t be getting something for nothing folks.

  • Ryan emanuel on 10.11.11 @ 6:05PM

    That camera looks interesting but there’s no way I’m gonna be one of the first to buy it, if there’s are functionality issues am I gonna ship my camera back to Sweden, the camera needs to prove it self in the marketplace. I like many others need brand name assurance to spend 10k

  • If Canon can manage to write 12 fps RAW from a 18MP sensor, my bet is that they could write 24 fps RAW from 8 MP sensor (4K). Hope the storage is fast enough. And the sensitivity of their sensors and noise performance is outstanding. Hope we will see quite a camera, and not just the new 5D Mark III on Nov.3rd. Yet if You have a sharp image even a 720p is reasonable resolution. I often compare 720 vs 1080 and in most cases the difference in nonexistent. In smooth detailed panoramas with tiny details You have an advantage, but how much of Your sequences are such? Still a 16 bit would be useful for greater dynamic range, but yet the 14bit are god enough.