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Canon's Historic Hollywood Announcement is the Canon Cinema EOS C300

11.3.11 @ 6:21PM Tags : , , , , , ,

We’ve all been wondering what Canon’s video division has been up to since their 5D Mark II HDSLR unwittingly ushered in a low-cost, large sensor video revolution. The answer three years in the making: the Canon Cinema EOS C300. There are two cameras, the C300 and C300PL, which are identical except for the PL lens mount on the latter. Via DV Info, here are the official specs:

  • 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor
  • Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots
  • Canon LOG gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series
  • Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no automatic exposure or autofocus
  • Sold as a system, including LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, and battery charger
  • Headphone jack (first EOS-branded camera to have this, though it’s obviously necessary
  • Uses existing BP-955 and BP-975 batteries
  • Lacks dual-link HD-SDI for native 4:4:4 output, though ships with LOG Gamma unlike the Sony F3
  • Available January 2012
  • Price: $20,000

Yes, the sensor’s native resolution is 4K but the C300 outputs a maximum of 1080P. More on that here: how the C300′s claimed resolution stacks up to other cameras. You can see from the form factor that DSLR accessory manufacturers should be rejoicing, as this camera’s going to need the same kind of rig for shoulder-mount shooting. In addition to the new pro technology center in Hollywood, there are a bunch of new lenses on the way too:

  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S (wide zoom, EF version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP (wide zoom, PL version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S (telephoto zoom, EF version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP (telephoto zoom, PL version)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-029 (24mm) (EF)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-030 (50mm) (EF)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-031 (85mm) (EF)

Hit the link below for more details. In the meantime, here’s a video from Zacuto, who already has accessories for the C300:

<embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="300"></embed>

While the camera reportedly pulls in 12 stops of dynamic range, there are questions about its bit depth — someone said it was only 8-bit, which is confirmed by the PDF spec sheet at the link below — but even if it were 10-bit, Canon certainly has the RED SCARLET-X, which pretty much wipes the C300 off the map specs-wise, to worry about.


[image via Wide Open Camera]


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Description image 51 COMMENTS

  • Still 60p at 720? Darn it!

  • Camera looks awesome, although WAY out of my budget.

    Regardless, I don’t understand why it’s an extra $3k for the PL mount?

    I understand the difference between cost based pricing vs. value-based pricing, but c’mon!

  • darn it i was hoping for the speed of a RED one but i am dying to see the scarlet!!!

  • Does it really compete with the other options at that price? Somebody tell me

  • Even if it was the same price as a 5DMKII I wouldn’t buy it. At least the 5D has magic lantern. Was it worth 3 years for 10bit? Too much money

  • The specs given are relatively underwhelming. However, if the dynamic range, low-light performance and image quality are as good as it sounds like they might be I think this might be very competitive.

  • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 6:36PM

    Meh. Not enough features to justify the price tag, IMO. I’ll wait for confirmation, but if this is it I’ll stick to my plan of upgrading to the xf305 for now and I’ll either take the DSLR route or wait couple of years to buy a cine camera.

  • I’ll give it a subjective chance, Planet5D is saying the noise response in low light looks amazing and filmic in comparison to digital noise.

    I’m a little underwhelmed that it’s not pushing 60fps at 1080. The fact that it’s not 2K doesn’t bother me since 1080 holds up very well in theater projection.

    I’m also a little baffled as to why the PL variation is $3000 more when PL adapters are a few hundred and even REDs titanium mounts are only around $2000.

    Regardless, my next short will probably begin principal before Canon ships so I’ll be going for a Red One rental if budget allows.

    • Dang it, post updated with new specs. The line pair spec is promising, makes me feel if I need to upres a master to 2K wouldn’t be a problem if a spec called for it.

  • I think Jim is rolling around on the floor laughing his arse off right now – this is a joke right? 1080p 30 and the only overcrank is 60p at 1280*720??? Are these bozos for real???

  • Will it Blend?

  • No specs have been released yet. DVinfo is bullshit, if Canon didn’t say it, it’s not ture.

    I don’t agree with having an EOS name for a camera hyped this hard but it would be absolute suicide if Canon’s marketing team called a HOLLYWOOD event to introduce 1080p. They can’t be that stupid. Its an intermission now and no specs have been revealed.

    This event is getting a bit long winded though…

    • DV Info is not bullshit. Chris has never trotted out anything that wasn’t official. You can bet he had an NDA in place up until the minute it was published, but had access to official info ahead of time.

  • This strikes me as a really big deal. It’s basically thousands cheaper than the S-Log F3… can it record 4K at all or is it just a 4K sensor spitting out HD?

  • The event is not just to launch the camera, it is Canon’s foray into the cinema market. As a first effort, this looks to be a fantastic camera – and I’m really excited to have another competitor in the market! Especially as I have a ton of Canon glass :)

  • The longer this whole circus remains ‘spec-less’ the more likely it is DVinfo is correct with the specs they put up. Hope Im wrong, even 60p at 1080 would be better than this half HD bullshyte!

  • Jenna Manni on 11.3.11 @ 7:37PM

    Don’t know how to react – Indie filmmakers were looking for a Video replacement for for the 5d Mark II – this looks like a replace for SOny f3. Looks like the 5d Mark ii, Nikon DSLRs, Fs100 and AF100 camcorders are not affected in any way. Would have really loved a 6k pricepoint camcorder – but 16K is just too much for 1080p camcorder… This camera is not for My kind of budget tight Filmmakers…when there are reasonable alternatives.

  • Hey guys, check out that new HDSLR just chillin in the back…

  • Jenna Manni on 11.3.11 @ 7:54PM

    Indie filmmakers embarrassed the 5D mark ii for the low Price point and DOF …. Canon should have targeted the Budget Starved Filmmakers looking for Low Light / DOF / 1080p settings – but with 16k Thats a BIG UPSET

  • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 8:00PM

    Hey guys, look at the upside: this new camera will probably drive the prices down on the XF305 and the DSLRs. Hopefully.

    • Jenna Manni on 11.3.11 @ 8:07PM

      I don’t think there would be a price drop because of this – Canon completely SKIPPED the DSLR Filmmakers

      • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 8:19PM

        Come January, there might be a lot of barely-used xf300s and xf305s on the market as people upgrade.

  • Jenna Manni on 11.3.11 @ 8:08PM

    My fellow filmmakers are just hoping the “THE OTHER CAMERA” in the PICS – is the low price alternative – wishful thinking :)

  • OMFG!!! – its $20 thousand F@#KING DOLLARS


  • Not a bad camera, but there is no way Scorsese shoots on one of these.

  • $20k! wasted my time waiting for this announcement…

  • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 9:30PM

    Hehe – it looks awfully like the original Scarlet mock-ups. Pretty close in specs too, but more expensive and not as good by several margins.

    I think RED will win this battle, even though I haven’t a clue what they’re announcing, perhaps to such an emphatic extent that they actually sell more units of whatever they announce tonight, despite the Canon hype-machine.

  • c.d.embrey on 11.3.11 @ 9:54PM

    I’m not impressed. I can buy 33 Sony NEX-5n s for $20,000.00 and they will shoot 1080p 60fps.

    RED announcement in about 10 min. Hope they have something worthwhile.

  • Honestly, I’d probably get this before I’d get an F3 because of the size & portability. No it’s not 4:4:4 but I’m sure the images hold up very well. The footprint of this cam is very very acceptable. I’d pay 16k-20k for it.
    with the f3 you’d need to buy the s-log upgrade plus the Gemini external recorder(plus drives) which will make it larger and more expensive. The name of the game these days is portability.

  • $47K for the CN-E 30-300mm Zoom + $20K for the body. That’s $67K for their Cinema camera package. Add accessories and that would put this well out of reach for the prosumer and indie filmmaker market. That’s not worth it for only 1080p output

  • Can somebody please tell me why this has to be almost 4 times as expensive as the Eos 1D Mk IV ?

  • 20K? That’s it? Let me just reach in my back pocket and order 2 of them!