First 4K Canon 1D C Footage Hits the Web, How Does It Hold Up to Grading?
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?
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:
- First Sony PMW-F3 Footage Hits the Web
- Canon Improves Video Resolution with the 1D X, but is It Better Than the Mark III?