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First 4K Canon 1D C Footage Hits the Web, How Does It Hold Up to Grading?

06.30.12 @ 7:07PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

It looks like some of the first footage has hit the web from the Canon 1D C (outside of Shane Hurlbut’s short film), and the results are interesting. This is footage from the pre-production camera, so just like the first footage from the Blackmagic Camera, there is a lot more to come from the final firmware. I’ve taken stills from the original file and have done some color correction below. Thanks to the log profile, the 8-bit 4:2:2 MJPEG holds up a lot better than I would have thought and retains a tremendous amount of information. But what about sharpness at 1:1?

First, here is The Ticket, the film that premiered at NAB and was shot on the 1D C in 4K by Shane Hurlbut:

Thanks to EOSHD for posting the video online as well as the raw file, and Greyfus for sending him the footage:

Below is a 1:1 crop before and after color correction/slight sharpening:

As you can see, sharpness looks a bit below the full resolution still image, which is in part to the heavy compression (since the original still file from the camera is well over 8-bit and MJPEG compression). It’s also possible that they’ve maximized the optical low pass filter for this 4K video as opposed to the 4K still image. While that is complete speculation, it’s quite a bit easier to remove moire from a still image than it is from a video. It’s also certainly possible that the imaging pipeline is mostly unchanged from the 1D X, and what we’re seen comes down to the user and what settings or lenses they were using for the video.

If you’re curious about the full stats from the video file (which did not play very well on my 3-year-old Macbook Pro), here they are:

  • Resolution: 4096 x 2160 (1.896 aspect ratio)
  • Codec: MJPEG (MPEG-4 Quicktime)
  • Bit Rate: 500 mbps (Variable)
  • Audio: 2 Channel PCM – 1,536 kbps (16-bit 48.0 KHz)
  • Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

It will be interesting to see what the final price will be for this camera — because at the moment it stands at $15,000. One thing is certain: this 4K image delivers a fantastically sharp and detailed 1080p image, far more than any of the other DSLRs that Canon makes. This will be the first full frame 35mm/APS-C DSLR to deliver a true 1080p image. It’s an important step for DSLRs — not just in its ability to finally output almost the full resolution in video mode, but also the fact that it can deliver a nice downscaled 1080p in post. In many cases, this 4K file will deliver a much better-looking image than almost any of the DSLRs out there — though it is hurt slightly by the fact that it’s only 8-bit, which is somewhat low for a 4K file.

I had already expressed at NAB that I thought the image from this camera looked a bit soft at 4K (compared to the C500), and that seems to be confirmed by this file — though Shane Hurlbut did use some softening filters in front of his lenses, so that could also possibly have contributed to the look. Of course, we know that a 4K file from the camera will not resolve 4K in resolution because of debayering, just like a RED camera shot at 4K will also not be able to resolve 4K. However, color correction and post-processing can do a great deal to increase the apparent sharpness of the camera, and if you were fortunate enough to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on a 4K screen, you’ll know that even a file shot at 4K can look great on a 4K screen. Above all, though, the image is absolutely stunning at 1080p — it’s just unfortunate that it’s going to be out of the price range of many filmmakers.

Below are the uncorrected and corrected files scaled down:

You’ll find the links to all of these original files in the links section below:

Link: 4K Canon 1D C File & Ungraded Full Image & Graded Full Image

[via EOSHD]


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Description image 53 COMMENTS

  • It’s funny, i’m not psyched about this camera at all. At that price range i would buy a scarlet, without a doubt.
    Even for rent this camera doesn’t appeal to me at all, canon always seems to want to deliver too much too fast and when said cameras get released they are great but not downright spectacular due to missing features. Canon should go slow on the 4K and first try to give true 1080p on their other new dslr. The BMC “only” offers 2.5K and yet many dslr users are in awe with this little 3K camera. Why? 2.5K Raw and true 1080p with good professional codecs, they offer resolution and proper containers for what you record, not this 4K in MJPEG 8 bit crap. Not trying to rant, what i guess that i’m trying to say is better start small but good than big and flawed.

    • I am, fully psyched :-)

      • PS: But I generally agree that the price is high. A lot of units will never be sold to certain potential customers. It will be a loss for Canon if they will keep the street price so high.

        • +1. I like the images I am seeing out of this so far it but would be more likely to consider purchasing this if it was below $10K. Still, I’ll likely rent it for projects that can benefit from it, and full 1080p resolution with shallow DOF in a small form factor like this is still impressive. This camera interests me more than either the C300 or C500.

    • john jeffreys on 06.30.12 @ 9:32PM

      Okay BMC guy, enjoy your super limited lens selection (I hope you like tokina 11-16′s and nothing else) because of the tiny sensor.

  • I think that will be the best DSLR video when it ships of course, but for the money, I would rather have the C300 right now unless I was planning on using a lot of cropping in post (e.g. for stablization).

    I think (and don’t know, I would like expert clarification) the pipeline internally goes lens -> OLPF -> sensor -> demosaicing (aka “debayering”) to 18MP -> downsampling to 4K (involving usually a digital, not optical, LPF and then some sharpening) -> compression -> memory card, with additional DSP for sharpening, color adjustment, noise reduction etc. sprinkled in amongst those stages in places I am not sure of.

    So if that is right, the OLPF is going to combat aliasing and moire at the 18MP level not the 4K level. Any aliasing artifacts at 18MP would likely damage quality downstream, but they can’t change the properties of the OLPF (it’s some sort of polarizing filter on glass, right?) for the different modes of stills vs. film. It’s conceivable they use the bayer filter to go directly from the sensor to 4K, skipping the 18MP image, but I wonder if they would find it worthwhile to do extra implementation work that way. I would think they’d re-use a lot of the existing 18MP technology rather than implement an entirely separate pipeline at 4K.

    As for sharpness out-of-camera, downsampling filters need digital LPF’s to minimize aliasing and moire, but generally there is a tradeoff with sharpness even in those, and I suppose Canon decided to let you determine how much sharpening you want in post rather than burning in a full dose of sharpening during that stage. Having sharpening burned in may also trip up artifacts in compression more, I don’t know, but once you have the image in post you can control for that at your leisure. So I’m not concerned so much about sharpness out-of-camera, but instead absolute resolution attainable, which is probably below 2000 lines here but we’ll have to wait for test chart shots to know.

    Anyway if an expert sheds light on this for us I will be happy to spread the knowledge far and wide, though at the end of the day, whether a particular filmmaker is happy with the results for their dollar or not is all that matters.

    • They aren’t doing any downsample to any of the cinema modes, it’s just a crop of the sensor, so anything that is affecting the sensor at the full 18mp (5184 x 3456) would also affect it at the crop resolutions as well. There’s also the IR filter in there.

      This shows you what the sensor pipeline really looks like, though it’s not as detailed as I would like it to be:

      • Thanks Joe for that helpful link. I had forgotten (i think I read it here or somewhere) that the 1DC just crops down to 4K. Which is actually going to be a lot poorer output than if they did what I thought they were doing, which is taking the full frame image and downsampling. The FF image gathers more light and offers shallower DOF, and when you downsample your signal to noise ratio improves at the expense of a little detail and aliasing. This footage will only gain those benefits once downsampled to 1080p.

        If they are just cropping then yes the OLPF is the primary anti-aliasing measure as the pixels will be the native resolution of the sensor. Generally the better cameras do not work at native resolution. I was initially excited about the t3i’s native 3x zoom mode as it has very little aliasing compared to the line-skipping full sensor picture, but sadly has serious artifacts. I would expect this native 4K footage to look quite ugly at 400% on resolution chart shots, lots of chroma artifacts etc. or brute force measures to suppress them.

        Canon still doesn’t have a DSLR that gets it all right, not for any price. They instead give you a series of tradeoffs to consider…honestly from the T3i through the 5D3 and 1DX to this 1DC each entrant in the line has its own plusses over all the others in specific situations and none of them are great for even a majority of situations. And it’ll be another three or four years before they can change that. Will anyone still care about DSLR video by then?

  • john jeffreys on 06.30.12 @ 9:26PM

    Want this camera so fucking bad. I just wish it was like 8k instead of 15.

  • Who is this camera for?

    • Hollywood?

      • I meant in what situation is this camera the best option? Form factor alone it doesn’t stand up to Alexa-M or Epic at least in Hollywood, 4k on cf cards is no longer wow with low cost Redmags coming out, with at least an i7 processor RAW is as easy to work with as 4:2:2, Why not get more for the same price. Whats the gotta have with the 1dc?

        • It’s still smaller than an unrigged Epic or Scarlet (not to mention it never needs a fan), I think that’s what they’re looking at. It’s got great low-light performance (pretty clean around 3200-6400). This could be a good crash camera or a camera to replace the DSLRs they’ve been using on a lot of Hollywood sets – except it’s a little too expensive for that usage. I know what you’re saying though, and I’ve been arguing the same thing. If they’d removed a lot of the unnecessary still camera functions, they should be able to sell it for a similar price as the 1D X, since they are the same camera. At $6800 it would actually be something many filmmakers might consider – but at $15,000, it’s a far worse value than the C300.

      • Hollywood won’t bother with it. as a main camera I wouldn’t think. The only place I could see them using it is replacing where they currently use the 60D/7D/5D cameras, as extra camera taped to cars or run around by assistants to get supplementary action sequence shots. But again at the 15K price point they are hardly “disposable” like the smaller cheaper canons.

    • My guess is that it’s probably aimed at being a B camera for someone using a C500 as an A camera. Smaller, cheaper, footage that will hopefully intercut, lighter, easier to rig and put in strange places, but where you’d be shooting MOS or doing dual system sound. Pretty much exactly the way I use my GH2 alongside my AF100, but scaled up somewhat, at least in terms of price if not-so-much in terms of physical size. I’d rather put a GH2 on a car rig than an AF100, physics being what it is, but if I’m building a cinema-style rig and running it on a fluid head (or hopefully soon a Steadicam rig, but that’s another story), I’d rather have the user interface of a ‘real’ cinema/video camera, along with all the subtleties that go with that. It’s more than just image quality — it’s just nice to have a waveform monitor, peaking, color bar generator, proper inputs and outputs, HDSDI, usable audio quality, etc., rather than have to fight the limitations of a DSLR.

    • It might appeal to japan’s news & doc peeps. Wasn’t there something saying that They were moving to 4k broadcast in a year or so? (could be wrong, can’t remember where I read it) . Canon would ride the gravy train for news.

  • 500 mbps? Is that correct?

    • Yes it is. Opened it in MediaInfo. It’s actually quite a bit higher than the JVC 4K camera, which is only 144 mbps max.

  • Seems like the dynamic range is somewhere around c300 range or a bit lower.

  • Hmm, everything I’ve seen from the 1DC so far is pretty par for the course, in terms of the Canon DSLR look. Maybe we just need to see the right kind of footage, but this isn’t any more impressive than the 5D mark III… in any way. I mean it’s obviously not “real” 4K, and only 8bit at that…

    I just don’t understand, at least for video purposes, what the point is of spending a penny more than the price of a Mark III or even a GH2, to get this would be.

  • I wish someone would move this camera around a bit so we can get an idea about rolling shutter.

    • Joe Marine on 07.1.12 @ 3:35AM

      The scene in The Ticket when they run out of the clothing store – it looks like it might be slightly stabilized but it’s a pretty rough shot, and it seems like the rolling shutter isn’t bad. Honestly anything based on DSLR technology won’t be great. The more expensive digital cinema cameras are going to be the best at it.

  • In terms of value and features the Sony FS700 with a future 4K upgrade possible sure seems like a much better investment right now. For $15,000 you could get a FS700 plus a ton of accessories and/or lenses etc. not to mention the ability to shoot at much higher frame rates. I’m curious to see just what the 4K option for the FS700 will look like… Or rather, how much will Sony price their 4K recorder and how will that ultimately compare with the likes of the C300, IDC and Scarlet?

  • I downloaded the footage, graded it and added a bit of sharpening. It holds image quality pretty well with heavy grading but all I can see is that it’s so soft. Even downscaled to 2048*1080, I really don’t think the camera resolve thiner details than a GH2 at 1080p for example and it’s far from resolving 1080p in my opinion…
    We’ll have to wait to a definition test but this camera doesn’t worth the price at all.

  • I think the main thing that bothers me about this camera is just how LAZY it feels. It’s suppose to be a “Hybrid” DSLR video camera, but it’s really just their current DSLR + one 4K feature. For $15K, at least re-design the body a little bit and add a flip-screen, peaking, etc…. or maybe even a cinema style EVF that can tilt up and down like the C300.

    Instead of just implying that it’s some type of Hybrid camera and giving everyone the same old camera, do something that is truly Hybrid and make the form factor / software features a bit more suited for video.

    At least with the over-priced C300, Canon took the time and effort and came up with a new body. The 1D-C just feels like a very minimal effort went into making the camera, yet it has a maximal price tag.

    • I love the designs of 1D C, it’s incredibly portable and rigid, has the best weather sealing so far, I believe it can function perfectly in the north pole, i don’t think C300 can.

      • The Nikon D600 was taken to snow capped mountains in Alaska…. I know that is still very different, but not sure how rugged you are thinking.

        Between the C300, FS700, F3, and DSLR, DSLR is still hard to beat in form factor for more discreet documentary situations. I would like a true video hand held form though. Maybe the size of a 1dc with a rotating side grip, rather than the fixed solid body style. I like the idea of the GH3/NEX5 since they are so small, but they verge on too small to be used handheld, and then more rigging comes into play, so their size benefits get that trade off. But they do have a good low profile, and even with a discreet butt-stock or bracket they demand sometimes less attention than a sexy dslr. But I am not doing spy work, just want to not have a monster on my shoulder.

        Of course in a production or ENG situation, I like a good shoulder mount with all the controls where they should be. Though, lugging around a shoulder mount during the DNC in Charlotte, chasing after the protestors, I could’ve gone for something smaller and lighter than even the PMW-350. Plus, I could’ve gotten much better reactions from the protestors with a smaller camera. Also, with all the commotion, I felt having my whole right blindsided by the camera was unsafe. Good thing I had a guy spotting me.

  • any news on those new canon pl primes those look much more appealing

  • I guess I’m in the camp that don’t want my footage to be crazy sharp. The GH2 can be too sharp imo. I love this camera because 4K is internal, it records on cheap CF cards, has the DSLR form factor I’m used to, and I just love the way Canon renders color.

    I think some comments are looking at specs etc. Specs are important but I look at practicability, image, and feel a bit more.

    FS700 is the best value, but I prefer this camera for several reasons. However, it’s priced too high for me.

    • john jeffreys on 07.1.12 @ 10:19PM

      You know, the original RED ONE’s with the M sensor recorded to CF cards as well. And you can get one used and fully rigged out for 10-12 grand on ebay. Not saying is a “better” camera (unless you think 90 second boot times are a good thing), but just wanted to throw out some things at the same price point

    • I may be wrong here but 500mbs per second will require a cf card that is faster than 60MBs/sec, 90MBs per second 64g cards will cost you just under $400 per card and wont last you 20 minutes. SSDs on 4k recorders will be cheaper, and 32GB Lower Cost SSD Redmags will be under $500. I personally like that it records 500mbs, thats packing a punch, but I don’t think cheap cf cards is a founded argument for the 1dc. The image is great and in fact the specs are great, but in a dslr body with dslr features its weak sause at the price.

      • Fairly cheap compared to other storage formats. Lexar UDMA 7 32gb is about $230. You say “but in a DSLR body” like that’s a bad thing. I want a DSLR body lol. Here in New York I get away with a ton because I use DSLRs. I used a FS100 before and was kicked out of places I shot in with no problem using DSLRs.

        The price isn’t really that bad. It’s bad if you’re never going to do stills. For the price you get 4K internally (not True 4K I know) that stores on easy to find cards, amazing low light ability, low profile DSLR body, an A+ stills camera, and for me I can use all the accessories I have for my current DSLRs.

        Not weak to me. Everyone has different needs. My point is I think people just look at spec sheets too much. They overlook how the cameras will fit into how they shoot. This camera will be perfect for what I do. For others not so much. I’m a firm believer in “there is no perfect camera”.

        The C300 is one camera that showed how spec sheets don’t always tell the whole story. I just honestly love the image out of this bad boy.

        • The card you speak of wont work with this camera it has a write speed of 20MB/s you’ll need more than 60MB/s to use with the 1dc. You’re much better off with sandisk,more reliable, higher read write and the 64gig is under $400 vs the $230 for 32 gigs. Plus 32 gigs won’t even get you 10 minutes! Given what card you were gonna use for this camera, you might want to rethink some stuff.

          My point was that this camera is not what it seems as far as cf cards are concerned and its only useful for paradoxical productions. You want to film without permits, but you want to film with a 15,000 camera. Yes the image is great, but it is not practical. Yes you’re paying for a stills camera, a stills camera that only a very small fraction of professional photographers need. Unless you’re a video guy and professional sports photographer it doesn’t really make sense.

          Right now digital Images are reaching a marginal utility, paying a premium for a camera that has stills functionality but not basic video functions for digital cinema seems only right for specialty productions.

          • N.K.Osborne on 07.3.12 @ 8:26AM

            Umm no the card I’m talking about is 129mb/s and is the same card Shane used shooting the Ticket. Only 10mins is fine for me. I already have people who’s job is to dumb footage as we change scenes etc.

            Yes I don’t want to go through the permit system all the time. Have you ever shot in NY? This city isn’t too indie filmmaker friendly and the permit process is ridiculous. Sure If I was going to shoot a short I’ll go through the process, but excuse me for wanting a low profile camera with high quality results.

            I do all kinds of jobs, so the still functions will be a great addition. I shoot sports events too. You’re talking to me like I’m speaking for everyone. I’m talking about myself and for me, this camera will be ideal.

            I don’t care how much you see it as a bad investment. I know what will work for me.

        • I’m With You On This One, I feel That The 1dc is Amazing! Its Awesome in Low Light, The Image’s Are Clean and Looks Totally Like Film. To Be Honest, This Camera’s Quality Looks As Good As The C300 and The Epic If Not Better! Plus As You Mention, Being Able To Record 4k Internally is Amazing! FORGET BUYING A SEPERATE RECORDER, THAT’S WHACK! And Just Like You, I Love Filming Without Having To Get Kicked Out With Some Camera That Looks Like I’m Shooting A Film On Their Property! LOL. Permits Are Out Of The Question For Me! I Already Have The Canon 5d Mark ii, Canon 5d Mark iii, Canon 7d, 2 Canon 60 ds, and Canon T3i, So You Already Know I’m About To Snatch This Up ASAP! This Is Perfect Timing, Since I Start Shoot My Feature Film In 4 Weeks! LETS GO!!!!!

  • Lance Bachelder on 07.2.12 @ 1:01PM

    While I agree that the price is too high, you really need to see the footage projected on a big screen in 4K – it really is a great camera and one that you could use on ANY project in any budget range whether theatrical or TV. While the price is similar to a Scarlet, it’s still the DSLR form factor that I love and it’s ready to shoot right out of the box, no building a rig just to hold the body and monitor etc. Let’s hope they adjust the street price by the release date.

    • Joe Marine on 07.2.12 @ 4:43PM

      I saw it in 4K on a big screen, as did many others. While the image is technically 4K, it did not hold a candle in any way to the image from the C500 – it was much softer. Shane Hurlbut was using softening filters at times and also added grain to the final image, so I’m not sure how much that contributed, but it was definitely softer than I would have liked.

      • And didn’t you feel the same soft outcome from C500, Joe? Did you find C500 sharp enough to you?

        • I mean, 4K (theatrically) sharp enough…

          • Joe Marine on 07.4.12 @ 1:25PM

            Nope, I thought the C500 looked beautiful. Granted, it wasn’t a gigantic screen – but I liked it. Jeff Cronenweth is also a fine DP, so it wasn’t just the C500, it was his direction about how the image should look.

          • Lance Bachelder on 07.6.12 @ 3:32PM

            I agree the C500 short looked fantastic. At Cinegear we got to see both in 4K on a 50 foot screen in the Paramount theater. I think the difference in the footage was based on the content and the shooting and lighting styles of the 2 DP’s and not the quality of the 2 cameras. I think if they had switched gear both shorts would still look fantastic. That said – I still think the rumored prices are ridiculously high especially with the FS700 priced so aggressively.

            • Joe Marine on 07.6.12 @ 3:58PM

              It’s possible but there’s no reason not to expect better results from the C500. It is built to be a video camera, whereas the 1D C is more of an afterthought. 8-bit 4:2:2 MPJEG vs. 12-bit RAW can make a huge difference. There’s a lot more color information coming from the C500.

  • At $5,000, this camera is a definite ‘maybe.” But at $15,000, it’s a global item of ridicule for Lost-Its-Way, Greedy Canon.

  • Looks beautifully sharp. It is getting closer to the RED, being 4k. It is as if DSLR users aim to shoot with a RED in the end. Why spending this much money on a Canon DSLR when then RED is still superior to it? I love Canon DSLRs. I make more money with them than with the RED, but from an artistic point of view, I would rather work with the RED ONE. Nowadays it is possible to get good deals on the RED ONE. Regards and good creativity to all.

  • Seems like Canon could have worked on this a bit longer prior to release. Rather have the Ikonoskop in 12 bit RAW.

  • The ticket at 0:45
    Notice the horizontal dark lines on the white wall.
    Excatly the same nasty feature as in all other canon dslrs…