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Is Canon Producing a Truly Budget Cinema EOS Camera in a 7D Sized Body?

12.27.12 @ 10:23PM Tags : , , , ,

Canon 7D HDSLR DSLR VDSLRIf you want to get a truly high quality cinematic image that can hold up on the big screen from Canon (without a ton of post work), there currently aren’t any options under $6,500. While I think the Canon C100 is actually a better deal than one might think at first glance, it’s still well above the price range for many people, especially those who are moving up from cameras like the T2i or T3i — jumping up to almost $7,000 just might not be realistic. There is still a missing camera in Canon’s Cinema EOS line, between $2,000 and $6,500, and there is word it may be coming in a DSLR-type camera.

Keep in mind this is a fairly unreliable rumor at the moment, but I think it’s worth a conversation about what people might want in this budget range and this body size. This is from Canon Rumors:


There have been a few mentions of a new Cinema EOS DSLR body being announced in 2013. It would take on a smaller form factor than the EOS-1D C and would not shoot 4K video.

It wasn’t mentioned which DSLR it would be built around, but I think an APS-C Cinema EOS based around the upcoming EOS 7D replacement would be a good place to start.

With the release of the Canon 1D C just around the corner, I think this is an interesting rumor, especially since many believe that camera and the C100 are both overpriced for their capabilities. Canon has a huge hole in their product line to compete with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera from a budget standpoint, so it would not surprise me if Canon was working on something else to slot right in there with better image quality than the 5D Mark III. That camera is still a photography camera first, and what Canon is missing is a camera like the BMCC that compromises on certain aspects but doesn’t compromise on image quality.

I think approaching 2013, it makes sense that we will start seeing better image quality from the DSLR form factor than we’ve seen previously. The 5D Mark II was recently retired from the Canon lineup, and we haven’t seen a tremendous improvement in image quality from the DSLRs since that camera came out in 2008. One could argue that it’s a case of using the right tool for the job, but as technology gets better, I would think most of us might expect things to trickle down to the lowest end sooner or later.

Canon would be wise to offer a direct competitor to the BMCC, if not in codec quality, at least in similar image quality. If they put it in a Canon 7D sized body — or even a Mark II/III sized body — I would hope they don’t just port over the still image sensor and the rest of the hardware, because we’ve seen that Canon can’t even come close to matching the image quality of the bigger sized cameras, like the C100/C300/C500, unless they are recording the full resolution of the sensor like the 4K mode on the Canon 1D C. Since it’s not likely for a budget camera to have 4K like was mentioned above in the rumor, I would hope this means a possible porting over of the Super 35mm sensor of the larger cameras.

So here’s what I would like to see from Canon, which I think would compete very well: remove all the still image capability from a camera the size of the 7D, put the sensor from the bigger Cinema EOS cameras inside, and give it the same codec as the C100. This camera wouldn’t have ND filters or an uncompressed HDMI, but if it was priced between $2,000 and $3,000, you’ll actually get a lot more people to move up from DSLRs, because spending a few hundred more is an easier pill to swallow than a few thousand. I think that is realistic and it would actually fit into their product category without cannibalizing their higher end too much. It’d be nice to have more, but just like Sony, they have R&D and other considerations to protect. This “Canon C50″ could certainly save money on the rest of the internal hardware by only including the bare essentials to make a cinema quality image.

What do you guys think? Is this a camera you’d buy for $2K-$3K? What would you like to see from Canon — keeping in mind that we’re not going to get BMCC codec quality or RAW at that price level in the near future (especially from a company like Canon or Sony)?

Link: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1] — Canon Rumors

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  3. Canon Announces New Budget Full-Frame DSLR Camera, the 6D

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  • Canon makes a camera called the 5d.

  • Think I’ll just get the Blackmagic -

    • Augusto Alves da SIlva on 01.3.13 @ 9:01PM

      If a camera like that is released I will not be interested…No ND no HDMI out? No thanks

  • Such a camera Is something Canon should release ASAP.
    I disagree with some of the initial suggestions though, it should have clean HDMI out and it should be able to take stills too, however the sensor choice should be focused on video and not stills.

    It should have a resolution as good as the C100, no aliasing issues and come with a very decent codec.
    It should also do at least 50 fps in full HD.
    Raw acquisition should be possible through HDMI:

  • Given that a suped up, hacked and fairly cheap GH2 captured better video than a 5D mark II, Canon will have to really improve their line of cinema oriented DSLR’s. If Blackmagic can do it at $3,000… and include expensive image software in the bundle, it will have to meet or beat BLD’s camera in all categories.

    They might be able to pull it off since it looks like the currently unhacked GH3 from Panasonic has gone cheap with a Sony-based sensor with slightly less detail and moire/alaising issues in order to increase dynamic range and low light capabilities rather than improve their in-house multi-aspect sensor. A step back in image quality even as the body construction improves… when they should have gone head to head with BMD at a lower price point in pure video quality.

  • William Tuke on 01.3.13 @ 3:58PM

    I would like to see a version geared towards video – and not using the DSLR camera format, but more a traditional camcorder. I also think that it should have ND filters – I don’t really understand why this is such a problem! Also, an optional XLR attachment. I know this goes against the grain of many, but I would not mind if it had a fixed lens so long as it covered a good range with a low/bright aperture setting. Maybe there could be two versions – one with a fixed lens and another with changeable lens mounts. Anyway, just a few quick thoughts!

  • I’d love to see a large sensor body from Canon that takes EF lenses but retains AF. Such cameras used to be standard fare for Canon but no longer. I realise that MF is the way to go for many situations but for some instances (wildlife, fast sports etc) AF is just so useful.

  • At my first impressions ,I agree with your idea, but isn’t it better to have a good hybrid camera which can shoot 2k at a price range of 4000 pound.I think Canon should make an EOS with 2k recording and EF mount which will cost the above mentioned price.Because every year new format and better cameras are introduced. so according to me it would be better idea to spend a little bit more to have a 2k camera which will help you to stand up with time. please visit http://www.visakhleelagopinath.com to read my article

  • Hi Guys,

    Have you seen the Sony NEX VG20. 16 meg APS-C sensor Camcorder. Changeable lens. RAW stills capable as well. Seems to be heading in the direction of the post.

    http://www.cnet.com.au/sony-nex-vg20-339329912.htm

  • I would like to see a headphone jack, an override for the automatic gain control, 2 SD card slots and allow automatic switching from one card to the other, interchangeable lenses, full frame sensor with less or no moire problems, cinema style lenses (won’t get that one I know), clean HDMI out and built in 2, 4 and 8 stops of ND. Of course none of the overheating problems of the T2i (that problem I think they’ve already solved in their newer cameras) oh and native ProRes recording..

  • I’ve never found much appeal in a bigger than APS-C sensor in A HD format.
    If that camera will not give is 4K I don’t really see the point for bigger than APS and remember that 35mm film is much nearer to APS than FF.

    Anyway. I’ve already seen a presentation of BMCC and let me tell you that after seeing what a RAW codec does it’s impossible to go back.

    I was planning to buy the GH3 (I’m GH1 and GH2 owner), and forgot it as soon as I laid my eyes on the BMCC image. Yes I’m aware of all the drawbacks but none of them surpasses that final image output when this is a priority for your work.

    I would not trade the BMCC even for a C100!!! So I certainly would not consider buying a 2/3000USD Canon without a RAW codec.

  • My question would be where would this fit, what can Canon drop from the C100 to make it cheaper, without just making it a 5D Mk3?
    I hear a lot of people putting the C100 down, it’s to expensive, it doesn’t have X Y or Z feature. But I still see no other camera like it other than maybe the more expensive FS700 so I am not sure what people are complaining about.
    I am hoping to rent a C100 soon and hope to be as impressed in person as I am by what I have seen and read.

  • I never understood why would anyone shoot a movie with a DSLR. Yeah I have several of them but it just not worth the hassle when I want to shoot video and I shoot it with a vid-cam. As for BM images, I have not seen any that is better than a $3K Canon XF100 for example. Am much more interested in the story telling than all those tech things everyone is in love with. Am sure a lot of you will pound on me for saying all this, but ya know… the public could care less if you shoot it with a $3K or a 300K camera. They want to enjoy a GOOD story told on the screen. All you have to do is look at the bombs Hollywood makes for millions of dollars, so they are not impressed with gorgeous images and so on. Something to think about.

  • Make it truly compete with the Sony FS100. Give it 1080 60p. Give it XLR inputs. Give it under and overcranking. Otherwise, I’d stick with an FS100 in that price range.

  • All I want in life is 2K RAW 50fps (100fps if possible) for $2500. Then I will die happy.

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