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Canon's 1D C: Under the Hood, is It Really the 1D X's Twin?

10.20.12 @ 10:43PM Tags : , , , , , , , ,

There’s been some speculation recently that the yet-to-be released Canon EOS-1D C is internally identical to the $6800 Canon 1D X, and that the 1D C’s 4K resolution ability is simply a matter of superior firmware. Note the $7000 more you’d pay for the 1D C, and it becomes easy to see why this notion could be upsetting to some Canon shooters. Of course, given the limited experience the camera community has with the 1D C, speculation is about the best we can do at the moment. A recent post at Canon Rumors, however, may offer some insight to prospective 1D C buyers who might be disheartened by the “twin” rumors. Read on for more details.

Here’s an excerpt of Canon Rumor’s post on the subject:

I have spent considerable time trying to find someone at Canon to clarify the reports as well as someone to open their EOS-1D C (no one would do that for me!). The information I have received backs up what Canon said at the development announcement of the EOS-1D C, it does in fact have a different hardware configuration inside. While the DIGIC V processors, image sensor and AF module are all identical to the EOS-1D C, there is in fact “reworked circuitry and design to dissipate heat for the 4K recording”.

Interestingly the hardware that is the same, according to the post — particularly the sensor and processors — may be the first pieces you’d logically think (not that all of us are video engineers here or anything, but bear with me) would differ between 4K-capable and 1080p-maximum cameras. After all, if those same processors and imager can perform at a 4K level within a different camera, you’d think the 1D X could theoretically also achieve 4K video — and then probably just overheat or maybe even melt something important really quickly.

I understand why it may be frustrating to own a camera whose innards could be shooting 4K, but can’t given the current configuration. Keep in mind — regardless of what hardware, or firmware, is necessary for allowing the sensor and the DIGIC Vs to achieve their full potential in spatial resolution — Canon seeks to put a 4K DSLR in our hands. I’d say it’s almost unfair to criticize them for how they’re doing that, or for not enabling a less expensive camera with some key shared traits to achieve as much. I don’t think it’s about what parts are the same, or what new parts or new firmware we’re paying for: what we’re paying for is the final product — the ability to shoot 4K video.

Personally (not that I can afford it), I think the difference between 4K and 1080p is worth at least $7000. Does anybody else feel the same way? Or do you think the 1D C is really just an unfairly priced, superficially-upgraded 1D X?

Link: The Canon EOS-1D C is Different Than the EOS-1D X on the Inside — Canon Rumors


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Description image 60 COMMENTS

  • unfairly priced, superficially-upgraded 1D X . Yeah that’s canon innovation for you.

  • I think at 13 grand its not bad, I think alot of people complain saying that why have the 1DC when the scarlet is there for the same. Well its not and not anywhere close to 13 grand. I think the 1DC is great really I mean you get a High End photo camera and a 4K digital Cinema Camera for 13 grand.. not to bad really.

  • I’m with Russell. It’s not too bad because it’s 4K internally in a DSLR body. You get to put this bad boy in crazy spots and still capture 4K. Also keep in mind you also have one of the best stills camera if you get this.

    My only issue with Canon is they need to make a true 1080p DSLR priced well.

  • with the BMCC being priced at around $3k and with the knowledge that most of the inner workings of the 1D C are identical to the 1D X why would I pay $13k for it? why would anyone? I believe the whole 4k res technology needs a price drop and obviously it won’t be Canon or Sony leading the way of making cameras more affordable. A DSLR for $13k? at least $5k too much if you ask me. I also think the 1D X is about $2k overpriced for that matter. like Russell said before me I’de spend a little bit more and grab a scarlet (I say spend more because you obviously need to buy more then the scarlet brain to use it).. these prices will drop and I’m waiting till christmas 2013 to pick something up, for now i’m happy renting or borrowing.

  • I am a Canon user and i have no complaints about the stuff i own, but i really have to say that i dont get why they are putting such these price tags in their “new” products,

  • when is this thing ever coming out anyway??

  • If you’re buying a Canon 1D X, I don’t think money is that much of an issue for you.

  • “Canon seeks to put a 4K DSLR in our hands.”

    Well, that depends on who you’re referring to with “our.” At $15k, the 1D C is out of the price range for a good number of indie filmmakers, brought up on the significantly lower price points of the 5D/7D/550D cameras. Obviously, the 1D C is intended for a different audience.

    “what we’re paying for is the final product — the ability to shoot 4K video.”

    I don’t want to sound prude here, but that’s exactly what Canon’s marketing department would most likely say if you asked them to justify the pricing of this camera.
    Consumers are the ones potentially providing justification for pricing schemes; Canon will price their cameras at whichever price they think will make them the most money. If we as consumers are aware that the only barriers separating two products with a disparity of $7,000 in price are firmware tweaks, a headphone jack, and extra cooling, and we tell the company making that product that we’re fine with that, then there will be little incentive for that company to change their prices. All that is left is sitting and waiting for the competition to step up to the plate… I mean, if overheating is truly an issue for 4K recording, then okay, the necessity for a different model of camera may be justified. Other settings, though, like Cannon Log Gamma, a clean HDMI signal, the S35mm crop mode, and perhaps even focus peaking, are ones that could conceivably be passed along to the 1D X.
    Now, it’s not like the $6,700 1D X is necessarily considered “affordable by most of that indie audience I mentioned earlier, but my point is a broader one than pertains just to the 1D X/C issue — it’s about pricing in general.

    “I think the difference between 4K and 1080p is worth at least $7000″

    This seems to, then, be an issue of perspective. Whereas I seem to be focused on the physical and technical differences between the two, you seem to be more focused on the effective and practical differences.

  • Why canon didn’t care prices and quality of BMCC? Canon havn’t an idea to affordable price for their customer. I love Canon but…,

  • …one of the first things that pop into my mind is: WHY would these indie filmmakers need 4K? most films they shoot aren`t worth being shot at all or at best simple HD is more than sufficient. I see it this way: robert rodiguez shot on normal 16mm (even less than HD) shane carruth on Super 16mm (approx HD) and gareth edwards shot on HD…all this 4K hassle for just smoke and mirrors.

  • Stu Mannion on 10.21.12 @ 2:58AM

    Canon can charge what they like for their camera because they don’t have competition in that space. It’s their privilege for being ahead of the compitition. Lets hope others catch up and the prices come down. As much as i’d like it Canon don’t owe us a cheap camera just because they could do it.

  • Canon is being greedy, look how much better the 5D3 is with magic Lantern hack. And those guys work for donations.
    Someone else will come and pull the rug under Canon’s feet, (BMD? Sony? ) and they will be left like Kodak.

  • I’m still trying to understand what Canon may be doing. They seem to be mentally stuck in a market which existed 5-6 years ago and are charging accordingly for ‘innovations’ such as 4k and 1080p at 422@50mbits.
    What they’re offering, and are insisting on offering is embarrassingly substandard.
    At this point, there is a competitive product which outclasses every single one of their cameras by a HUGE margin.
    4k is NOT worth an additional $7000. Not when it’s rapidly becoming the standard. The GoPro3 can do 4k, albeit at 15fps. They added $100 to the price for that. Maybe the Gopro4 will be fully 4k. Or they may release a firmware upgrade unlocking faster framerates. But 4k is no longer an innovation OR a magical setting which allows one to charge double for.

  • fred boyadjian on 10.21.12 @ 5:29AM

    There’s much talking about money but actually few people can make money out of their tools. That is why evreyone, me included sometimes i must admit, is talking about prices.
    I do make money with my video projects, I can afford paying 15k for a camera, but my projects won’t go to the theatre for now so I stick with 5D or EX3, and when higher level is needed, i just rent better cameras.
    Why is this situation so exciting at this moment ? Just because companies like BM release beautiful tools at just 3000 ! Everyone can afford a BMCC, but only few will make money out of it, and these people are buying tools just for their pleasure so they won’t be willing to pay 7k or 15k for their new toy !

  • Another 8-bit $10,000+ camera from Canon…no thanks.

    • The F3 is 8-bit, yet no one seems to complain about that….

      • No, the Sony F3 can, via it’s dual-link HD-SDI ports, output to an external recorder in 10-bit 4:2:2 or 10-bit RGB 4:4:4. The F3 is also a lot older then Canon’s 1DC and C300.

        • absolutely correct!
          by the way, 1080p 48fps with raw is more advantage than 4k, i think.

          • Mr Scruffles on 10.27.12 @ 12:58PM

            I absolutely agree. I much rather have a full frame 1080 raw, over 4k any day. IF cannon did that, it would have a camera that has a ‘Film look’ camera than the c300, f3, fs700, and c500; and, would give red and Alexa a run for their money. A raw full frame 1080 would have a better film look, then any expensive 4K S35 as the c300, c500 and F3 have shown.

  • magic lantern has to crack the 1dx :D

  • These comments make the commenters come off as “amateur”. Judging cameras based solely on specs is ridiculous, especially since most of the readers can’t afford the cameras they’re judging.

    • Well, then you enjoy your DVX100b. Specs mean something. Also, “especially sinemost of the readers can’t afford the cameras” is precisely the point most of them are making. Too much money for misplaced upgrades.


    • Define “amateur”. This isn’t a secret handshake society and just because somebody earns a living from film making doesn’t mean they’re automatically imbued with technical knowledge unobtainable to hobbyists. Serious DSLR film makers are working to a standard that was unachievable outside the realm of Hollywood financed projects just 15 years ago with color grading and compositing being the norm.

      So… neither professional nor “amateur” shooters ever asked for 8bit s-log to be downscaled to 1080, we asked for an affordable camera that shoots a minimum of 10 bit 4:4:4 1080P with minimal compression artifacts.

      • Asking for a 10 bit 4:4:4 camera with minimal compression artifacts at an affordable price is like going to Lamborghini and ask them to make a car like a Murcielago with a little less HP for half the price. It’s just crazy! Expensive cameras are made for renting.

        • How are things back in 2002? Here in 2012, this level of technology isn’t expensive and doesn’t attract a premium. vimeo and youtube are a larger market than cinema and broadcast ever were and even beginners expect to be able to grade and composite footage.

          I was once told by a car salesman that I couldn’t afford a vehicle. I laughed and corrected him – the asking price was higher than I was willing to pay. If you want to pay Lamborghini prices for a sedan, be my guest!

          • Maybe what you do not understand is that people do not care if you shot this on Alexa or 550d. On the web you can’t tell, so enough of this fake Hollywood attitude. You want the big toys, you pay for them. Btw people are compositing and keying with DSLR footage since the 5D mk II.
            If you think your camera of dreams is cheap and simple to create go out and do a little research on technology. Maybe you don’t even know how a camera works. People like you think that technology grows on trees, that companies make cameras at will without any project behind. Why you think stuff from china is cheap? Beacuse they do not create, they copy.
            4:4:4 10 bit “as you like it” can be achieved with an F3, through an external recorder for less than 20,000$. If you want it, this is the price for now. And one last thing: HIger demand, Higer prices, it’s the law of buisness.

          • Very funny. Great to know I have a “fake Hollywood attitude”, should “do some research on technology”, “don’t understand how a camera works” and apparently have curious ideas about how capitalism is supposed to work. Could be much worse, I could be happy with paying over market value for a camera with truncated sensor readout that sacrifices a half or quarter it’s chroma information to some crappy codec.

            The very existence of reasonably priced products like the Black Magic camera and the Atomos range already proves you wrong.

          • If you cant tell the difference between alexa and 550d footage youre in the wrong industry, I dont care if its on an iphone screen the difference is huge.

        • People have to understand that electronic cost does not follow more traditional hardware like cars, houses, etc. Think at what you were paying for ten or even five years ago for a computer and now. So these comparison are never valid and the BMC is the proof of that. A 2.5k raw camera for $ 3000. I think that in two years time when the S35 BMC 2 comes out, all these debate will be just futile.

    • john jeffreys on 10.21.12 @ 9:47PM

      Pretty much. sure lives up to its name ;)

  • Most readers can’t afford an FS 700, yet you ‘d be incredibly hard pressed to find any critisism of the Sony from a price/value standpoint. What is very alarming is the amount of people I imagine who would rather choose the aforementioned Sony over a c300, even if the canons price was dropped by $5000. Anyone agree?

  • Assuming your maximum budget was $10k, and (vey hypothetically!!!) Canon dropped the price of its C300 by $6k, and your only options were the FS 700 and the C300, which one would you go for?

    • Tough call – I’ve used both cameras and really enjoyed each of them. They are very different, that’s for sure. I guess it would come down to what you were tasked to shoot. IF it were docs and run and gun stuff, no one can argue the c300′s ergonomics and low light abilities. If it was more stylized stuff, the fs700′s frame rates are unstoppable. They’re both fantastic cameras.

      If we were talking about the lower level cameras, c100 vs FS100 – FS100 is the clear winner in my opinion, though I’ve yet to use the c100.

    • Kevin Harke on 10.22.12 @ 6:28PM

      I would say FS700 for most of my work, I usually don’t do event/Doc stuff and the stuff i do do doesn’t pay well enough for it to influence my decision.

    • I have an FS700 and I love it. I think the image out of the C300 might be a bit better, but with minimal grading, I doubt most people could even tell the difference between the two.

      I think if you only shoot 24p narrative and events, the C300 might be better, but if you shoot music videos, sports, artistic type pieces, fashion, b-roll for docs, the FS700 is so far ahead just because it can achieve looks that the C300 cannot even hope to reach. Not even close. And it’s half the price.

      Plus, the form factor of the FS700 is actually really good if you SHORTEN the loupe. Then it’s great for handheld with no rig. The C300 form factor is so over-rated. The LCD and sound input is a separate unit, and when added the camera becomes huge and clunky. The FS700, the loupe and LCD are one unit, so it much more compact.

      I’m just so happy to NOT have have to deal with Canon anymore. They are the greediest and most frustrating company anyone can deal with, so why support them? At the point with the BMC, Sony and GH3, there is no reason to.

  • Simple choice – slow mo or no ? If you need it Sony, if not Canon..

  • Sure Jim, I know this…just trying to illustrate a point. It’s one that’s mirrored by countless people in countless forums pertaining to canons ridiculous pricings across its range of video featured products.

    • thanks for that… I don’t shoot docs and prefer to light my scenes so I would go with the Sony.. Canon does need to make these DSLRs a lot more affordable.. in any other industry when a product becomes outdated there price drops, and the new replaces the old at that price point or SLIGHTLY higher.. why this isn’t true with DSLRs baffles me.. why the 7D and the 5D cameras remain at there respective price points while newer technology comes in at higher and higher prices is unexplainable.. I’m sure R&D costs and such for a canon 1dC were not 7 times more then they were for the first 7D.. anyways no point in arguing this point. as a consumer all I can do is not buy one and save up a little more for a scarlet .. btw I do own canon cameras and do like using them .. but they just priced themselves out of my league so sayanora Canon.

      • anyway Canon is one of the best cameras. BUT new upgrade features ratio and higher prices ratio are not balance.

  • Josua Fischer on 10.21.12 @ 11:26AM

    who cares how similar it is on the inside. For all I care it contains little pixel fairies making the images as long as the image it outputs is great.

    • I thought the debate here was over the price, not the image quality.
      Unless the price doesn’t matter to you?

  • Without question it is unfairly priced. It is like the 7d and the t2i, yes the 7d cost twice as much but you can get an identical image often because they have the same sensor just different internal features. This is how canon has ALWAYS priced its cameras. The problem is, If it doeskin cost you $7,000 to change a $6,800 camera to enable its 4k potential, then why charge consumers AS much as your competitors (Red scarlet i.e.). They smart and ethical thing to do in this situation is to out price your competitors and capitalize on maybe a $10,000 or even $9,000 or $8,000 price point and sell twice if not 3 times as many. They know this camera will out achieve the C300, which is why they are priceing it the same, I mean the IMAGE quality’s perceived resoulution and actual resolution trump the c300 with the same 4:2:2 color space its going to destroy it in the long run, so its a issue of duality, I think canon is doing whats best for them, and are asking themsevels one selfish question “do we displease the people who can afford and already purchased a c300 by offerieng something better for less, or do we disspaoint those who can’t afford the $15,000 price point at all, and price it cometetively and go for the profit fromthose who are going to want on of these along side their c300″. They will definitly make money off of this camera, but honestly if they targeted a larger market with out cutting the price in half, they could make more money. Like a $1 burger, they can distribute it and profit as long as its a little more then the 1dc. But im sure they would much rather double profit for each and sell less the sell more and make more, too much work for them I guess. Money is the goal here, not making the affordable film maker satisfied. (in my opioion) Which is why im getting a digital BOLEx! 444 color space, resolution a little higher then HD. Its a win win.

    • I have to disagree with just one portion you mentioned (but agree with the rest), which is that this isn’t priced so close to the C300 because the 1D-C will trump the C300. The C300 has many more features (ports, built-in filters, zebras) that you can still put to use that this 1D-C is just lacking, except for 4K resolution and a nice menu layout – the C300′s looks like it’s a throwback to DV cams.

    • The 7D cost twice as much as the T2i because of its professional photographic features…. from a photographers perspective the 7D is leagues ahead of the T2i, and that is what DSLRs are made for, to take photos…. the video is merely a byproduct…. This is something people keep forgetting about…. I guess Canon believes that it is giving you, in the 1Dc, both a top of the range Photographic AND Video camera…. in one small package…. So since you only need to buy one instead of two cameras, you might as well pay for both…..

    • john jeffreys on 10.21.12 @ 9:51PM

      The 7D costs more than the t2i for a LOT of reasons. Mostly the more advanced photographic features (AF, a built in gyroscope, etc), also the magnesium body, better batteries, body size and features, and the sensor, albeit the same as the t2i, has more readout channels than the t2i, as well as better heat dissipation and algorithms and stuff. The t2i is a plastic toy

  • Dave Mueller on 10.21.12 @ 1:39PM

    I don’t think its unfairly priced, but I don’t think its very intelligently priced. It makes you wonder: just who are they going to attract with that? Is it really that much better for still frame shooters to make it a better value than the 1D X? It seems its geared toward video, and at that point-if you have $13K to spend on a camera-just pony up and buy something like the Scarlett or the C300.

    I was looking at a camera a few months ago, but this doesn’t seem like the time to buy. Its definitely a time to rent. The projector market was like this a few years back. They had just broken through the 2000:1 contrast barrier, and then were developing the dynamic iris for killer contrast. It seemed that every couple of months there were just these HUGE jumps in technology in performance-much more than a normal curve for this sort of thing.

    That’s where it feels like cameras are now. There’s just too much changing too quickly-and will probably continue that way until next year. Personally (and I’m just saying personally) I am holding off on actually purchasing anything right now. The BMCC, 5D Mk. III, and 1D X are available for really good rental rates right. Until the market settles down a little that’s what I’m going to do.

    • agree 100% time to rent and save up money until things settle down around the holidays of next year

    • Dave Kendricken on 10.21.12 @ 4:02PM

      Thanks for the comment Dave! You bring up great points, not least of which is your first, about intelligent pricing. It will definitely be interesting to see which owner/operators spring for the 1D C, and why — plus, what they do with it and how its footage differs from that of a potentially smarter purchase, such as the Scarlet, just as you said.

      • I interpret the Canon pricing as “if money is an object, you don’t want this camera.”

        It’s their 1st gen 4K DSLR and even if people just bought it at the 1DX price they would probably be disappointed. “Stay away while we work out the tech” is a good thing to say to the price conscious in this case.

        Those seriously contemplating 4K workflow right now probably shouldn’t be so price conscious anyway.

  • $7000 for some better heat dissipation is totally insane. Rearranged internals and some thermal paste should cost less than $50 extra.

    Anyone defending Canon has stockholm syndrome.

    Gopro have shown that 4K can be done for less than $500 dollars. No new sensors are needed. All you need is more DSP grunt for the compression and a fast enough storage system. Given the DSP chips (or complete SOCs) can be got for less than $50, there is no excuse for any camera manufacturer to charge extra for 4K. They should be adding it free via firmware to their existing cameras.

    That videographers and filmmakers are used to being screwed over does not excuse them.

  • If 4K is 16 times the resolution of 1920×1080 HD it might seem to be worth the extra $7000(?) cost over the 1DX, but at the same time, somehow it seems outrageously priced for a camera that looks identical. Very curious what is under the hood that causes this huge jump in price. Of course early adopters of tech often have to pay more so some of us will probably have to sit on the fence for a year to get the same quality at half the price.

  • Is 4K needed? 1DC could be over kill for most?

    How about the 1DX or the Leica M for video? Both do pictures so no argument there. Now with the Leica, it will be around 13 stops. It will be 422 mjpeg. If the video image is top notch, then why the need for 4K? The 4K workflow is alot more intensive than 1080p. Leica M coming possibly in January. Keep an eye on developments. Also watch December for another camera…and don’t forget about Oct.30, which could be the 4K F3? Lot’s of competition arriving on the scene. Think about this. Buy a Leica for $7K. Wait a year and there will be alot of 4K options for the difference in the price between the 1DC and the Leica. Get 2 cameras for the price of the 1DC? $13000 – $7000 = $6000. In one year the $6000 should get a 4K camera. Just something to think about.

  • Magic Lantern this mofo asap

  • I would go with 5 BMCC’s for the price or if I feel I need to be
    more professional, it would be the Sony FS700.

  • I would not buy any CMOS Video camera for 13K.