Canon C500 4K Camera Gets Price and Release Date, New Cinema EOS Lenses Announced
The lower-cost and somewhat less featured version of the C300, the C100, was not the only announcement from Canon today. We've also got a list price and release date for the new 4K shooting C500: $30,000 and October. While the actual price could be lower -- much like the higher initial list prices of the C300 and C100 -- this camera is more than likely going to be a rental for a lot of people. Canon also announced new EOS Cinema lenses, a 14mm T/3.1 and 135mm T/2.2, and (re)announced two cinema zoom lenses, a 15.5-47mm T2.8 and 30-105mm T2.8.
Here is a little bit from the press release on the cinema prime lenses:
As part of the Cinema EOS System, the lenses will be compatible with standard sensor sizes including Super 35mm, the standard format in the motion picture industry, as well as HD-compatible EOS Digital SLR cameras using 35mm full frame, APS-H and APS-C image sensors. The 14mm T3.1 and 135mm T2.2 EF cinema prime lenses are expected to be available in the first half of 2013, and will be showcased from September 6 – 11, 2012 at IBC2012 in Amsterdam.
The C500's price is to be expected (especially coming from Canon), but since most projects will be renting the camera rather than buying it, it's not as big of a concern. It's a little strange that Canon did not develop their own 4K recorder (though from an R&D perspective it makes sense), but either way users will have to rely on third part products like the AJA Ki Pro Quad (which will be released in December) to actually record in 4K. Image quality will be superb with the C500, and even though it's not resolving a true 4K (because of debayering), it looked fantastic when I saw it on the big screen in 4K at NAB. This camera will excel in a professional shooting environment, and the price tag reflects that.
As far as lenses go, the new EOS Cinema lenses are very interesting, and although they don't have an interchangeable mount, they are as fast or faster compared to Zeiss's CP.2s. The 14mm T/3.1 would go very nicely with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, except it will cost more than the camera body itself! The 135mm T/2.2 is also a nice addition to the lineup of full-frame lenses (meaning they cover the 36mm x 24mm frame size of the Canon 5D Mark III) that already includes a 24mm T/1.5, 50mm T/1.3, and 85mm T/1.3. No word on availability or price yet (probably somewhere around $5,000 each), but I wouldn't expect these for a while considering the other cinema lenses have taken almost a year to be released.
Canon is also introducing two new cinema zoom lenses that will certainly be out of the price range of most people Here is Canon on those lenses:
The Canon CN-E 15.5-47mm T2.8 L S/SP wide-angle cinema zoom lens is expected to be available in November 2012 and the CN-E 30-105mm T2.8 L S/SP telephoto cinema zoom lens is expected to be available in January 2013, both for an estimated list price of $24,500 each.
If you're looking at cinema lenses, Canon is definitely an intriguing option, but it would have been nice to see them offer the prime lenses in a PL mount as well.
What do you guys think of the list price of the C500 and these new lenses?