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The Canon C300 (DeVito) Gets a Genetically Superior Twin, the 4K C500 (Schwarzenegger)

04.12.12 @ 3:12PM Tags : , , , ,

A $15,000 DSLR? Now we’ve seen it all. No, wait — we haven’t seen it all, as Canon is just getting started with their Cinema EOS line. And they’re also just getting started with 4K acquisition: their latest addition is to be the Canon C500 (pictured), which is essentially a 4K version of the C300.


No word yet on pricing, but given the C300 is $20k, rumors of a $30k price tag make sense (which would probably work out to be $25k street, in the U.S. at least). However, what’s more important than the price tag are the features and image quality, since at this price point we’re talking about renting rather than buying for most people. Also, given how fast the camcorder market is changing, it makes even more sense to rent these days — I bought a RED SCARLET and have only used it myself to shoot a test short, and now new cameras are coming out already.1

Canon also announced two new cinema zoom lenses, a 15.5-47mm T/2.8 and a 30-105mm T/2.8, both of which will probably cost about as much as the C300. Again: rental items for most of us.

Okay, so onto the Canon C500 itself:

As you can see it’s the same form factor as the C300, which is to say it’s a very compact camera with a removable monitor and built-in viewfinder around the back. It even uses the same 8.3-megapixel Super35 sensor as the C300. The big news with the C500 is it is the camera most of us thought the C300 would be — it has “uncrippled” outputs, as it can output the 4K, 10-bit raw sensor data over SDI. The 4K images can be recorded from 1 to 60 frames per second, and it can simultaneously record 50 Mbps proxy files to a CF card. There are some limitations — you can get 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 only with 2K output, but if you switch that 2K to 10-bit 4:2:2 you can get up to 120 FPS slow-motion. It also has two monitor outputs (for on-board and on-set monitoring).

More to come about this camera at NAB… full press release below.

Oh, and if you think my Twins reference is a bit dated… get ready for a sequel, apparently titled Triplets. If the C300 is Danny DeVito and the C500 is the Schwartzenformergoverner, I guess that makes Eddie Murphy the EOS-1D C? I know better than to read into that one. But will the C500, as played by Schwarzenegger, terminate the RED SCARLET? Now I’m just getting my movies mixed up. So many cameras, so little time.

Thoughts on this one?

[via Engadget]

C500 Press Release

CANON ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF 4K DIGITAL CINEMA CAMERAS

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 12, 2012 – Canon Inc. is developing two digital cinematography cameras as part of its acclaimed new Cinema EOS System of professional cinematography products. Designated as the Cinema EOS C500* for use with EF-mount lenses, and the Cinema EOS C500 PL* for use with PL-mount lenses, the cameras will be capable of originating 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) resolution digital motion imagery with uncompressed RAW output for external recording, in response to growing expectations for higher levels of imaging performance in premium Hollywood films and other production markets requiring the utmost in picture quality.

“With the unveiling of our Cinema EOS System last November to great acclaim, Canon marked our full-fledged entry into the motion-picture production market,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “To further serve the needs of Hollywood’s premier filmmakers, Canon is developing the Cinema EOS C500 and Cinema EOS C500 PL digital cinematography cameras, which deliver the added benefit of full 4K motion-image capture to the Cinema EOS System.”

The 4K imaging format is emerging as the new standard for advanced effects and post-production in Hollywood, and it is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras will not only support 4K-resolution video but also outputs this as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream with no de-Bayering. The cameras offer the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. The cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format during 2K output, which can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. If switched to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, the camera can operate up to 120 fps.

The Cinema EOS C500 simultaneously records in-camera a 50 Mbps HD proxy video to a CF card that is immediately available to support offline editing. Equipped with a newly developed Super 35mm-equivalent approximately 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, the cameras will be compatible with Canon’s wide range of interchangeable EF Cinema and PL-mount lenses and EF lenses for Canon SLR cameras. Highly mobile and compact for filmmaking versatility, the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – like Canon’s Cinema EOS C300/C300 PL cinematography cameras – provide all of the same ergonomic features, except for the rotating hand grip.

Further details regarding the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – including specifications and pricing – have yet to be decided. Plans call for these new products to be launched later this year. In addition to targeting a swift launch of these cameras, Canon will continue to enhance other components of its Cinema EOS System product lineup, which is designed to contribute to the continued advancement of tools for visual expression and the development of cinematic culture.

Canon will display a prototype of the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography camera at the 2012 NAB Show in booth C4325 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 16 to 19.

  1. Buying a camera is not just about using it yourself, however — you can also rent it out to others, which I’ve done, and the RED SCARLET, Sony F3/F5, and Canon C300/C500 are all significant investments that can and should make a return — either from your own use or renting to others. More on this later. []

Related Posts

  1. Canon's Historic Hollywood Announcement is the Canon Cinema EOS C300
  2. What's that DSLR with a Cinema EOS Logo Doing at the Canon Hollywood Event?
  3. The Canon Cinema EOS C300 Has a 4K Sensor but Outputs a Maximum of 1080P

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  • it seems that the the c500 is what the c300 should have been from the beginning but for the double price…

    • Jordan Carr on 04.12.12 @ 3:55PM

      In Canon’s defense – 4k (and 5k like red) is VERY intensive and nothing to sneeze at. But are film makers asking for 4k when we don’t even have decent 12bit 2k yet?

      The Alexa looks AWESOME on the big screen (Hugo, in Time, Anonymous) – we still don’t have something similar with its dynamic range and color – and the Alexa is 2.5 years old.

      Cheers!

      • Same question i have been asking myself….iv been waiting for these cameras to give us affordable 2k raw… and now they jumped to 4K

        • I actually think the 3k for $3k scarlet RED were working on is partly to blame there in that it probably prevented anyone else developing.a budget replacement for S16mm / 2 perf techniscope. This is the camera I’d own as opposed to hiring.

          In defense of RED though… they aren’t profiteering through product differentation and planned obselence. If Canon junked the other C series models and ramped up production on this one… the costs per unit would plummet and almost everyone could gain access to a capable cine camera. I’m not personally interested in who makes the tools so long as they’re up to the job and affordable.

      • Actually, we do have something similar in DR and color to the Alexa. It’s called the Sony F3.

  • wtf.. new cameras everyday, its a war this thing will collapse

  • The C300 is really impressive– really gorgeous 1080 visuals, great workflow, Canon mount– in fact the only things wrong with it on paper are: HD resolution, 50 mBps codec (which looks good but is the bare minimum for any kind of deliverable), lack of frame rates over 60 fps, and that price point.

    The C500 seems to have addressed all of these things– 2K or 4K resolution gives us room in post to reframe, 10bit 4:4:4 out would be pristine, and fps up to 120 at 4:2:2– except that price point.

    Still, it looks very much like “the”– or at least “one of the top”– ultimate independent film acquisition tool(s). If it’s anything like C300, its quality will or exceed the F3 with S-Log, and will rival the Big Boys (Alexa, Epic, maybe even F65). This is really the camera I was waiting for. Ideally the price point should be about 20K, and I know it’ll be way more than that for a while, but other than that… I’m not sure what else any indie filmmaker could ask for.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.12.12 @ 3:49PM

      But remember that this C500 isn’t even out or PROTOTYPE phase yet. Canon are trying to milk the $16,000 C300 for the rest of 2012.

      We WILL NOT see the C500 before 2013. Even the 1DC won’t come out till October (at the earliest).

      That being said, if it is around $20k – it will be awesome no doubt. But Canon’s recent history of poor Cameras (MK3) and failure to deliver (where is 1DX?) isn’t inspiring confidence in film makers. Not to beat a dead horse but NOBODY rents the C300 where I live (LA) – for the same rates you can get an Sony F3 and or Red Scarlet. And if few people even rent the C300, fewer still are buying it. Hence the reason there is no price for the C500 yet.

      $10 says Panasonic will have something special at NAB, and Red is close to a Dragon release as well.

      • More announcements, or actual cameras that are in production? As much as I covet the idea of 4k raw, my current work doesn’t require it, nor do I expect it to for the next year or two. By then, Canon will be on the road to 32-bit floating point color space at 16k spatial resolution – and GoPro will sell 4k cameras for $400…

      • Jordan, I’m just curious as to where you gather the adjective “poor” from in regards to the MKIII. Yes it is soft in video mode due to a low pass filter, but I don’t see the world bulking at it in anger.

        • I also don’t see how it is much of an improvement over a model they released 4 YEARS ago. And yet costs $1000 more.

        • Jordan Carr on 04.13.12 @ 4:09PM

          If it can’t out resolve a $700 GH2, and still has 8 bit color, jello (not reduced) and costs $3500 – what more needs to be said? I rented a MK3 it apart from moire it is nothing more than a $3500 FF 720p DSLR. Very lame.

  • Canon cheated people big time. If people knew the c500 was coming on Nov 3rd, no one would have bought a c300, no one.

    So “the world was not ready for 4k” canon says on Nov 3rd 2011 , but it is April 12 less than 6 months later!!!!

    • Jordan Carr on 04.12.12 @ 4:07PM

      wow – forgot about that.

      Good point.

    • I disagree. Unless you shoot features/commercials that rely heavily on VFX work, you don’t need 4k or raw. Wants versus needs, that’s the thing here…

      • Lance Bachelder on 04.12.12 @ 4:23PM

        I agree – how about a DSLR that shoots 1080p with HDMI or SDI output in the same price range as the D800 and MkIII? What happened to that simple request Canon? Avatar was 1080 – biggest movie of all-time. And how big is the market for $15,000 DSLR let alone a $30,000 c500?

        If you’re shooting 4k don’t you want RAW, proven high-end workflow? Isn’t there already a 4k camera that shoots RAW without a 3rd party recorder already on the market and tested in dozens of films and TV shows?

      • i understand you logic about 4k but not about RAW, having a larger color gamut than rec 709 and metadata manipulation is a benefit regardless.

        • I’m not saying that working with raw provides a ton of more possibilities – whenever I shoot stills, I shoot raw. Always. Thankfully, Adobe allows for editing of this software (BTW why haven’t you guys covered the release of CS6 yet here at NoFilmSchool?), but a timelapse is only a small segment in most of my productions.

          Shooting raw requires you to invest in much larger disk arrays, and much like the new cameras Moore’s law seems to have gone akward over the last 6 months. Most HDDs are still 80% more expensive than they were a year ago.

          • The inflated price of storage is mostly due to the floods in Thailand… but when talking 4k / raw you really need to be comparing it with the costs of shooting on celluloid.

    • Daniel Mimura on 04.13.12 @ 5:45PM

      The fact that the c300 had a 4k sensor was the tip off to me that they were doing the same lame bs car manufactures have done forever. They release the new beetle or new mini…but not an “S” model, and no turbo…so then they have something to announce next years or next car show.

      I understand many brands do this, but it doesn’t exactly make you appreciate them.

  • Canon has RED in their sights.

    • so does RED

      • I agree, it’s Red that is hunting here. Canon, Sony, etc are just trying to catch up in the 4k world. Well done Red. I’m tired of the former industry leaders (Sony, Canon, JVC, Panasonic) doling out old technology at inflated prices.

        Got to love Jim Jannard at Red, even if he is outspoken and emotional. Red isn’t perfect, but I like their passion. Jim posted this a few days ago (but it was removed 24 hours later, probably because it was considered too controversial):
        ——————————————–
        Why the other guys suck.

        So Canon releases the C300 in November. 1080P and an RGB codec. Really? $16K (or $20K depending on where and when you bought one).

        Then Canon releases the 1Dx (1080P and 18MP stills). This obsoletes the C300. Now they will obsolete both the C300 and 1Dx in one fell swoop… just months later. They are ready to announce a 4K motion DSLR that obsoletes all of the above. Only problem is that it won’t shoot motion RAW. Which means that you will have to buy their next camera… after you have bought one of the others… or more. Let’s add up the cost. And the next one won’t have frame rates… but maybe the one after will?

        Sony sold some of you on the F3 (1080P) camera. But they knew they were going to obsolete those before you ever bought one. The NEX 4K will be announced. But it doesn’t shoot RAW. That will be sometime after you buy one of the previous. For less. And then you’ll need to buy a special recorder. For more.

        My problem is that these companies string you along. They give you part of what you want. Just enough. Then sell you the next one… almost there. Then the next one. By the time you are done you could have bought a real camera.

        I was personally plagued with this scenario for years. It is the reason I decided to start RED. I couldn’t take it. The seduction turned to frustration. But it seems like these companies can’t help themselves… they continue to do it. At your expense.

        Just venting…

        Jim Jannard
        —————————————–

        • facepalm

          • I know Red takes a lot of grief for delays, but they are still ahead of the others when it comes to 4k cameras. When will you be getting your 1D-C or C500? Late 2012 or 2013.

        • Is he talking about his own company?First you buy the camera then you wait for all the parts that are on backorder. When you have all the parts for your camera they announce a new module and an upgrade. If he cant see the irony then……

          • Well that’s probably why the thread was deleted. RED clearly don’t have the manufacturing capacity of Sony or Canon and their Scarlet is going to need an upgrade to stay ahead of the game. At least they plan to offer a hardware upgrade for the Scarlet… what are C300 buyers supposed to do?

            You can knock the guy all you like, makes himself an easy target when he shoots from the hip like that. Ultimately (because I think he’s genuinely trying to deliver the best camera he can to as many people as possible), I can forgive him rants like that moreso than Canon trying to pass off an XF300, sans optics with a single chip sensor and 8bit s-log as a $15,000 cine cam. Facepalm indeed eh guys?

            For the record, since I sure as hell am not a RED fanboy – if Canons C500 came in around $10k I’d be considering it.

          • Most of the Red components are out of backorder. And when will you be picking up your 1D-C or C500?

          • Consider the size of RED compared to Canon, Nikon, Sony, you have to cut them some slack on the backorder shit, which they are mostly out of. They provide jobs here in the states, I think their gear is about 95% manufactures in the states. That is respectable, and although there might be upgrade paths( the fact that your paying for an upgrade and not a new camera is itself unprecedented) doesn’t mean you can’t shoot feature film quality stuff with the scarlet, epic, or redone (MX or not) today. All three are in stock. When will these cameras be available again?

        • I was going to post this in a separate post… Jim has the habit of venting and then deleting. Always interesting, for better or worse…

          • any news on the digital bolex? they seem to have it right

          • Makes his company much more personable than the huge corporations of Canon and Sony. Is Canon’s president/CEO even aware what kind of cameras his company is producing?

    • Canon may have Red in their sights but, their gun doesn’t have any bullets in it.

  • So, what was the point of the C300 again?

    • this made me lol, asked myself the same question…

    • Price and purpose, was the point. Canon’s answer to the broadcasting format was the C300… It looks like the C500 is really aimed at film.

      • Ah I see, could be good for reporting in the field. Anyhow I’m waiting on the Dragon sensor, next generation of Alexa, or a dark horse like Apertus/Kineraw. Fun times for the cinema market :)

      • And considering the new Dslr EOS 1D C can do the same as C300 and more for less, i repeat the question, what was the point of the c300 again?

  • Ah! It’s an arms race… but for no budget people like me I guess I’ll have to make do with my GH2. I held/operated a C300 a few months ago at a DC video expo. It looked and felt excellent. Very nice form factor. But alas, no money means no c300, no c500 :D

  • I’d say Red has the upper hand again. When it comes to films shot on Red and the current state of the rental market, more productions and professional are pushing RED. Perhaps Canon can capture the broadcast and costumer market. I’d say on head to head tests, on a full HD monitor, not Vimeo, that RED has a filmic l

  • I’d say Red has the upper hand again. When it comes to films shot on Red and the current state of the rental market, more productions and professional are pushing RED. Perhaps Canon can capture the broadcast and costumer market. I’d say on head to head tests, on a full HD monitor, not Vimeo, that RED the filmic look down, where Canon seems to be sharp on the video look. It’s really a question of consumer vs professional grade. Once you’ve seen the difference in hand and on screen you’ll know the difference. Blogs can’t teach you that.

    Hard to debate Fincher and Jackson. You could, but why?

    One note, Alexa is indeed leading on the commercial side. RED on features.

  • The more and more I think about this the more angry it makes me. Yes there are markets for these cameras, small but an existent markets, but I’m frustrated with the lack of ingenuity, innovation and compliance with customer requests with canon. There is no innovation here, just like the c300, they aren’t bringing anything substantially new to market. Red brought 4k, Red brought Raw. Arri brought 14 stops of dynamic range. Arri brought onboard prores recording. Sony brought 8k subsample to true 4k, Sony brought a color gamut bigger than FILM! Sony brought 240 frames under 10k,
    What has Canon introduced that is substantial?????!!!! Form factor? 4k 8bit jpeg video, give me a break 4k RAW over 3g hdsdi, fs700 beat you to it at a better price point.
    You can’t describe their cameras without saying well you don’t need 4k, or 8 bit is fine, or no one needs 4:4:4, RAW is overrated, what happened after the 5d that made them give up innovation, the cutting edge?

    • SALT IN THE WOUND. REDONE MX’s, 4.5K 120fps RAW cameras sell for less than Canon Jpeg 4k cameras. INSANE

    • I don’t even think the 5D was an innovation… I think it was an accident. If they would have known the potential it would have been priced way more than $2500! That’s what we’re seeing now… they realize they screwed up big time by giving that out for so cheap and are now they’re trying to fix it. Problem is now they’re going too far other other way in my opinion… $15,000 is the upgrade path from the $2500 mark ii? It’s like they put a bunch of prices in a hat and let a monkey draw them out.

  • Making movies is for rich people or Son of Rich… Canon just gave us some hope and made us dream a lit bit with DSLR cameras. Now we are going back to the real world ….hihihihi

  • yeah all these cameras coming out i feel a bit overwhelmed and kinda sounds like your feeling buyers remorse koo lol.

    • Mean spirited or good natured comment? The Scarlet still looks like a good buy to me (hint: dragon upgrade), the C300… not so much.

      Besides which, I’m not so excited by the cameras as the potential for great cinema!

    • No buyer’s remorse, just… good lord there are a lot of cameras out there. I guess it’s a question of monogamy vs. polyamorous relationships…

      • I think you chose the right horse…. but we bought a Scarlet too, so we’re biased. :) Editing in 4k RAW is fun!

  • i don´t understand the headline of the article. de vito can act (well, for a höllywood actor he´s not bad, in europe or asia they would both never get a single job because we have since the invention of movies a higher level because movies are considerated as art here, while in the usa it´always been considered as a business), schwarzenegger can´t. do you mean the more muscles and the less brains means better?

    • E.M. Taboada on 04.12.12 @ 9:49PM

      Ralf! Do not tell me you have yet to experience the cinematic delight that is “Twins” http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0783226926/nofilmschool-20 . I haven’t watched it in a long time, but I really loved that film as a kid, DeVito+Schwarzenegger+Reitman, it’s like the 80′s trifecta of American action/comedy :) Just thinking about it makes me want to watch it again… (for old time’s sake)

  • i think i’m just going to be renting for a while. too many dramatic changes in the camera landscape to justify dropping big money on a camera right now.

    if the FS700 took PL or even canon mount lenses then i’d happily buy one of them as a workhorse camera. but, frankly i’ve got no interest in e-mount lenses.

    • Sony E mount was made for PL, EF, F and even M adapters… the only e-mount lense I’ve seen was at a trade show.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.13.12 @ 1:01AM

      Still shocked how many people DONT get the e-mount – every Sony thread there is someone who says “love the camera but don’t like the Sony e-mount because of a lack of lenses.”

      Not picking on you, Sony is the one that needs to advertise it more.

      But imo the e-mount is AWESOME. Almost every apsc or larger lens ever made works well with it. Can’t ask for more then that.

      • You’re absolutely right – another reason I don’t understand why Sony is sticking with the Alpha mount on their DSLRs. They should just abandon it and move on – make their whole line of lower end cameras use the E-mount, and it will all be compatible, and you’ll be able to use any lens you want – which would be a huge advantage for their DSLR cameras.

      • i know that adapters exist, i’m just the kind of person who prefers to use a native lens over one that requires an adapter. before the FS700 i never had reason to want to go through the bother of getting an adapter, as the FS100 didn’t do much to impress me. i’ll be more inclined now, though, to try some of my canon glass on the super slow mo of the 700.

        • Jordan Carr on 04.13.12 @ 4:11PM

          Try renting an FS100 (about $350 a week from lensrentals.com) – it does EXCELLENT 1080 60p and they have adapters for your lenses.

          Take care!

        • Daniel Mimura on 04.13.12 @ 6:08PM

          The PL mount comes with the F3. RIght out of the box. I know it’s PL and not Canon, but it’s just to show that it’s natively designed that way. It’s not aftermarket hackery.

  • by the way, the C500 is confirmed at $30k from Canon

    • Jordan Carr on 04.12.12 @ 10:48PM

      HOLLLLLY CRAP !

    • Well it is obvious: C300 competed with Scarlett, C500 fits in the middle between Scarlett and Epic. Let’s remember, an Epic that is usable is 80k. Here you have a C500 that can hit 120FPS at 2k, has 444, pretty good. Canon has proven with C300 vs Scarlett that low light and noise/grain is VASTLY superior to RED’s imaging system.

      So I look at the C500 as less than HALF the price of an EPIC. Is it as good? Not in DR and RAW ability and 4k high FPS. But it is LESS THAN HALF the price. So even with renting, it should save you on your daily shoots.

      I think what people are really saying continually and even Jim J. wrote in his deleted post, is the issue is now about RAW workflow (funny though now with 4k from other people, RED changes their advertising mantra. But at least they can. If RED didn’t have RAW they would be done).

      • For me it is so sad that RED who came in on the camera landscape in less than 10 years is today the target of all these big companies who have been there for decade. If it was not because of RED cameras, we would have never seen all this happening.

        Canon was just surprised by the 5D mark II .. If they knew trust me this 5D would have been 5000 dollars more expensive.. Shame on all of them …hhaahahaha

      • 80K?? No….

  • Blah blah blah 4k, blah blah blah Canon sucks/RED rules… and so it goes on and on again. I’m getting bored with it all to be perfectly honest. Who really needs 4k? Maybe in 5yrs?

    Until then I think I’ll continue to love playing with my $900, lovely, old-fashioned, aliasing, jello-inflicted, moire suffering Canon 60D.

    btw, is there anyone out there who still cares about engaging people with good storytelling or have you all lost your minds to the whole codec, mbps, frame-rate, clean hdmi, high iso, low noise nonsense?

    • FYI: You could sell your 60D and pick up a GH2, which would solve 90% of the 60D’s problems…at no extra cost.

    • Daniel Mimura on 04.13.12 @ 6:17PM

      I think precisely *because* some of us care so much about good storytelling we don’t wanna make it on something crappy. 4K now appeals to any independent filmmaker who plans/dreams of any sort of theatrical release. And the value of greater than 1080 is immediately apparent to anyone who owns a 27″ iMac. It made me realize…yeah, 1080 is already dead.

      If you’re doing a web show or something…yeah, all this camera battleground can be left behind and we can shoot with current d-slr’s…but I think many of the filmmakers (and spec/stat/hardware oriented forum geeks who will never “get” the story in the first place b/c of their obsession with technology) want to be able to do something great. The French New Wave filmmakers were almost all using 35mm, and many of them cinemascope as well, and they were their generations “low budget filmmakers”. Very few of them said, hey, lets accept shooting on something lesser.

      Well…don’t get me started on Goddard’s foray into video…but that’s not the late 50′s, early 60′s French New Wave I’m referring to…

      • Wow! 1080′s dead, huh? Now I gotta go out and buy a freakin’ new 4K TV.
        Hey, Daniel Mimura, where did you get yours?

      • I just shot my first feature on Red MX at 4K. It has theatrical release in the UK and Australia and will premiere this September in Toronto.

        Here are my thoughts on these cameras for film making:

        4K RAW is a mixed bag, the cameras are more cumbersome and requires babysitting = more people = more money on set. Then moving into post you can cut in premiere natively but I don’t know any film editors that like to work in anything other than Avid or lightworks. I’m working with Jamie Selkirk (look him up) and Jonno Woodford-Robinson. We needed about 9 billion hard drives for the RAW footage and then all the intermediate files – it ended up insane. Having said that the 4K RAW was great in other areas – I was able to hugely reframe shots giving us many unexpected options in the edit. With RAW its nice to be able to bring in a blown out sky without having to do a sky replacement. Another downside is that you better light EVERYTHING Red loves light and treats it well but its hates the dark and looks like a old dot matrix printout if you push it.

        Canon’s format offers light, fast setups – you can get through far more in a day with less crew. It loves low light which again allows you to work faster at night and hire smaller faster-to-set-up lights. The main thing I like about this aspect is that it gives your actors more freedom than a Red where they are confined to the blocking and prelight. The canon offers cheaper, faster post workflow where you don’t have to have five billion drives and rocket cards and 4K all over the show. You can push in on a 1080 image 15% in post and not loose resolution to DCP. The draw back is that you can’t reframe in post more than 15%, you’re fucked if you don’t know how to colour balance or expose properly and you can’t push colour too much in post without introducing some noise (thought there are some great noise reducers out there now – dark matter?).

        Interestingly people always talk about 4K as necessary for cinema – its not. We watched my film straight out of avid with 1080 MXF files in the cinema and Park Road Post Production and it looked flawless, beautifully sharp etc. The other interesting thing is that Park Road (owned in part by Peter Jackson so does a whole lot of Red work) takes my R3D files and spits them out as 2K DPXs before doing anything else with them – including grading. The only images that will be output in 4K are the ones that go through VFX.

        I’m working on my next project and need to toss up whether I want to go Red again or try something else like Canon or Sony… for some reason I don’t like the look of Sony weird, not sure why. They have the worst ads too by the way… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osSmHL1jaAs&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLB05792AA08DFB113

        Haha. Anyhow I guess its easy to get obsessed with gear, choose what you think will help tell the story best – I like to work fast with a streamlined crew and like anything that allows the actors to feel less restricted and allows me to get more setups/takes/options.

        I didn’t mean for this post to be an epic essay, I just thought that some of this hands-on experience from someone who’s gone through to cinema out might help someone decide what they want to shoot their film on too.

        anyway thanks for the great website!
        t

    • @Neil When 99% of successful films are not shot on sony/arri/red/panavision camera, I’ll stop caring about them.

      And DSLR filmmakers stop it about story please, FILMMAKERS TELL STORIES WITH CAMERAS, IF YOU DON”T KNOW YOUR CAMERA, SOME ONE ELSE CAN TELL YOUR STORY BETTER THAN YOU CAN. I’m sure you can tell me at what IRE you like middle grey to be placed and at what picture profile to preserve maximum highlights, or which two colors the 8bit h264 codec will render incorrectly most, or at what kelvin ranges skin tones become inaccurate on the 60d. You may want to be an artist and ignore the technical aspects. But a good filmmaker knows that there is a balance and also knows their shit.

  • For some one that never had the chance to really use RED for any long shoot, I still believe they are the right guy and sincere in producing high quality camera. They also provide jobs in the States (hell why should I care since I am in Malaysia right?) which is very important if I am a US Citizen. Bring back your stuff to your country and don’t let those greedy people ruin your economy.

    And, RED was on the 4K long time before Canon even considered to upgrade the 5DMkII. That’s how they really serious in providing the right camera. And yes, back-orders is the only loosing point at this stage for them….and Jim rantings…heheehehee

  • For me it is so sad that RED who came in on the camera landscape in less than 10 years is today the target of all these big companies who have been there for decade. If it was not because of RED cameras, we would have never seen all this happening.

    Canon was just surprised by the 5D mark II .. If they knew trust me this 5D would have been 5000 dollars more expensive.. Shame on all of them …hhaahahaha

  • I’m waiting to see the external 4k RAW recorders.

    • Me too. Seems like everybody’s chomping at the bit for 4K and RAW (or, a least some kind of fat codec) but, If you had a camera that produced it, how do you plan on ingesting it? Then, you’ll need massive drives to store and service it. Careful what you wish for…

      • check the 4k RAW gemini

        • I did see the Gemini and, of course, there will be 4K recorders but, at what cost? This is what I was alluding to in my post above but, after reading it again, I wasn’t very clear that I was coming from a price point of view. These recorders will cost as much as some of the cameras and the extra storage for the footage will be another added cost. Just things to consider when looking at acquiring a 4K system.

      • True! I think most people don’t realize how much space 4K RAW uses. It’s MASSIVE! Get ready to by more hard drives.

  • This is what happen when you try use a still camera as video camera

    5DMark III users

    I got that from another blog

    Phenomenon
    In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel.

    Affected Product
    Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera

    Support
    Once the preparations are complete, we will be making an announcement on our Web site.

    This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

    Please register the EOS 5D Mark III. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email when service updates are available. If you already registered, please ensure you are opted-in to receive the notification.

  • So, what was the point of the C300 then?
    lot of confusion

  • Lachlan Huddy on 04.14.12 @ 1:09AM

    Yeah, the C500 does seem to have a nice feature package but I agree there’s no innovation. And the C300 is half the cost but considering how little it offers in comparison both to its new older brother and to other comparable cams it really is grossly overpriced. And as for the talk of it beig a good broadcast cam – the C300 is part of Canon’s Cinema EOS line, not a Broadcast EOS camera. I just think, considering the great alternatives, the C300 missed the mark by a mile, and the C500 announcement only compounds this

  • Can’t we just get a camera that records RAW (in camera) at 1080P at 24-60 fps? Having 4k is nice for re-framing and “future proofing” but as an Editor and Animator, RAW would be a lot more used in my workflow.

  • The way I see it, 1080 and 4k will coexist for many years to come. It’s not like the way SD has literally been ‘dumped’ on the sidewalk. Web 4k still makes little sense and at best is an option for users with super fast net and top notch gfx cards. Ultimately for the filmmaker 4k is a film replacement, and as such is archival, but also is a good cropping tool. As is obvious from the c300 videos online, it’s a pretty nice camera. Will be interested to see if theree’s a price drop or a few on the second hard market once the c500 hits the streets.

  • Brent Duncan on 05.31.12 @ 9:05PM

    As a C300 owner, I can honestly say that I’m very excited about the C500. They are two similar, yet very different cameras, geared at very different markets. A lot of people complained (and still are) that the C300 costs too much, but that’s a load of crap. I’ve been a professional DoP since 2006 as my sole source of income. I have owned everything from the Sony V1 to a slew of HDSLR’s, including the 5D mkii, 7D and 60D. I know, as do many of you who have a kitted out 5D or other HDSLR, that once that baby is tricked out you’ve likely dropped $12-15k on everything from batteries, lenses, mounts, rails, follow focuses, matte boxes etc. My 5D kit was almost $20k all said and done, and for as much as it could do, it was nowhere NEAR what the C300 can do straight out of the box. I was invited in February to a C300 showcase Canon put on and I can tell you that after seeing that image on the big screen, I was sold. We watched four shorts and they all looked amazing.

    But just like the Scarlet is the baby brother to the Epic, so is the C300 to the C500. And getting back to the price issue, if you are willing to drop 10k or more for a tricked out HDSLR, then why not just drop a little more and get yourself a C300? That was my thought process, and I couldn’t be happier. Now I’m not disputing that cameras like the Scarlet or Epic aren’t great, because they are. But as a cinematographer the question shouldn’t be “which camera is better?”, but rather “which camera is the right one for the job or me?”.

    Will I be getting a C500 when they come out? I don’t know. It will depend on if I need it as a tool or not. Beyond the first six rows in a theater it’s hard to see the difference between 1080p and 4k, not to mention most of my clients for commercial work only want/need 1080p at best anyways. Many are still asking for just 720p. When it comes to my own films, would I like to shoot in 4k or 2k? Yeah, sure. But is it worth it for me to drop somewhere near $30k for a camera and then all the additional hard drives I would need to edit that film? That I don’t know. I definitely would love 120fps, but I can always drop $8k on a Sony FS700 and get that same effect for way less money.

    Be a fan of the image, not the brand.

  • Cameras are nice. New cameras every month. Cool. It doesn’t matter how much a camera cost or the quality of a camera even. What matters most and will always matter most is STORY. With all these cameras out we as STPRYTELLERS get to choose what tool is best needed to get the story across. That’s my humble opinion.