Is Canon's 4K DSLR, the 1D C, the Perfect Hybrid Photo/Video Camera?
A lot of the talk around the 1D C has been the somewhat high price for a camera that has only a slight advantage in specs compared to the 1D X, which is far cheaper. Price aside, it's important to talk about this camera in a way that might make more sense than as a 4K motion picture camera. The 1D C may very well be the the most affordable and the easiest to use hybrid stills/video camera in existence. We're not talking about a camera that shoots great stills and HD video, like most hybrids, but a camera that shoots great stills and 4K video which photographers can use to pull still images from. Click through to check out a video showing off exactly that aspect of the camera.
Here is what Abraham Joffe from Untitled Film Works said about the camera and the video above:
We realized that the best and harshest critics to show these motion-acquired images would be photographers themselves. So on the 19th of December we invited some of Australia’s leading photographers to Sun Studios in Sydney Australia for a look. Reactions from each photographer varied from shock and amazement to almost disbelief. Understandably the discussion of would this negatively affect business was raised, but after some reflection everybody agreed that this is simply and exciting new tool for photographers and should not be feared. The art and skill of a photographer is still required when using a camera like the 1DC. Understanding and harnessing of light, composition and interaction with your subjects are all vital skills of a photographer and are not replaced by the idea of motion image capture. Photographers also use a variety of techniques to obtain unique looking images (like long exposure times and the use of remote flashes) these times of images would not be reproduced in video. I see the biggest step forward using motion image capture the ability to record many individual moments in time, all the while silently as there is no shutter being released. This could have great benefits in situations where you may want to remain more candid. Subjects could also feel more relaxed not knowing “photographs” are being taken.
Here is one of the still images (click for larger). Head on over to the Untitled Film Works website to see more of them:
This is some sort of strange revelation that I can kind of see what is going on inside Canon to create some recent products, like the somewhat underpowered Canon C100. While again I may not think a particular product is competitive for the price, if you really look at it, nothing quite matches what Canon is doing at specific price points. As of right now, the only other camera that realistically could be used for stills and video is the RED SCARLET and EPIC, but even with price drops, they are both a lot of camera for just photographers to be taking around with them -- not to mention there is a lot more that goes into operating and maintaining those cameras than just turning them on and off.
I hadn't really thought of the 4K mode as something a stills photographer could use, especially since this has been marketed as a cinema camera all along. Even though you're not getting RAW stills, for people who need both stills and video in the same camera, a RED just may be too much camera, and really, there aren't any other options. Of course, there are limitations, like anyone who has shot stills/video for RED knows. In order to get tack sharp photos, you might have to use a higher shutter speed, which may make your video look a little strange -- otherwise, you can just shoot video as normal, and pull stills when there is an acceptable amount of motion blur.
I think as a motion picture camera, it's a tough sell for anyone without a lot of money to spend. For $12,000 your money can go a lot further, and the best looking video format on the camera, the 4K MJPEG 4:2:2 mode, is going to use a ton of card space, not to mention that there are other video cameras in this range that can shoot 1080p video that looks as good, if not better, and won't use nearly the storage space.
As for a stills/video hybrid, it makes far more sense to me, personally. If your shooting requires both at the same time, being able to get them in one camera is amazingly helpful. As mentioned above, it could also be useful for those photographers who want tons of different options to pull photographs without having to snap hundreds of photos -- especially when doing so is bound to get on people's nerves after a while, like at a wedding. Canon might do all right with some wealthy folks and Hollywood with marketing this as a video camera, but I think the best market is actually as a stills/video hybrid. You're going to have to nail exposure more or less for both, but right now it's the cheapest and easiest way to accomplish that task in one easy-to-use camera body. It might be expensive for only being slightly improved from the 1D X, but if you are someone who knows you might need a camera like this, there's a good chance you can make it pay for itself.
You can check out more samples of the 1D C below:
What do you guys think? Did this change your mind at all about how this camera is being marketed? Who do you think this camera is best suited for?
[via Canon Rumors]