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February 12, 2013

Is Canon Introducing a New Cinema Camera Priced Between the C100 and C300 at NAB?

While the internet seems to be looking for a specific camera from Canon that they haven't quite delivered yet, their digital cinema cameras -- specifically the C300 -- fly off the shelves and are consistently the most rented (if you don't believe me, ask anyone who runs a rental house). That, of course, won't stop the company from releasing new models, and it seems we may see a brand new camera along with some new cinema lenses at the yearly NAB show in April. Click through for more details and analysis.

Here is what Canon Rumors is saying:

Canon will be announcing new cinema lenses and a new cinema camera for NAB 2013 we are told.

The camera will sit somewhere between the EOS C100 and EOS C300, but will not be a direct replacement for the EOS C100. It will have both a PL and EF mount option. At present, no specifications for the camera have been given. Canon may also show a prototype that would come above the C500, but apparently that has yet to be decided internally.

It's not clear how accurate this is, but it's not listed as a rumor. CR also mentioned that there will be a zoom and a prime cinema lens announced at the show, and they both may be lower quality or slower versions similar to Leica's new cine lenses. Finally, they mentioned that no DSLRs would be announced at the show, which is not terribly surprising (unless the new cinema camera is a DSLR form factor).

So could this be that perfect blend of specs and price that people have been looking for? Well, historically Canon has built one sensor and then made a number of camera bodies around that same sensor. They did this with the Canon 7D 18MP sensor and the C300 4K sensor, which also finds itself in the C100 and the C500. So what's coming, and why should we care? I think that's a great question because it's unlikely they would create a camera better than the C300 (currently at $16,000) when it would retail for less.

One easy way this could be differentiated from the other two would be for them to create a 1D C type DSLR camera without 4K. The Super 35mm 1080p mode on that camera is pretty good, and while it's not quite as good as the C300, it's still much sharper than any of the current Canon DSLRs at 1080p. I think that should actually be their budget cinema camera (under $5,000), but it wouldn't surprise me to see them release something like that in the $8,000 range.

So how else could a new camera fit in? They could do what Sony did, and create a similar model to the FS700, except it would retail for around $10-$12K. Sony already had the FS100 and F3 as their budget and low-end professional cine cameras, and the FS700 fit right in the middle with its onboard 8-bit AVC codec. The big addition was super slow motion options. The only real slow motion cameras Canon offers are the C500 and the 1D C, otherwise it's mostly a compromise -- 720p 60fps is all you get (though you can create slow motion from 1080i 60, but it's just not quite the same).

Sony also introduced its new 4K sensor with this model, and so that is very likely something Canon could be working on. They could introduce the next generation sensor with high-speed modes in a model between the C100 and C300, and keep the onboard recording to 24/28 mbps. Since Canon Rumors also mentioned that there could be a cinema camera above the C500, I don't see why that new camera would still use the same sensor, which must be 4 years old at least since they began designing it. To me a slow motion camera is the only thing that makes sense and fits into the price range without destroying sales for either the C100 or the C300 -- that is, unless they are planning on phasing out the C300 and this new camera would actually be the replacement.

I think what would make the least sense is if they made it a "better" C100 with CF cards and HD-SDI but the same recording format. Sure, they could add 720p 60fps, but are all of those things really worth a few more thousand? If that's the case, a C300 is probably the better deal, with its 50mbps 4:2:2 internal codec. A souped up C100 would not look like a better deal to me than a C100 with an external recorder. In any case, I would expect a new camera to still be 8-bit, unless they've developed a new sensor or a new codec.

The lens situation is also a little puzzling, and I honestly don't know what the point would be of introducing just two lenses if they are going to be a part of a new budget line of cinema glass. A budget zoom in a Canon mount could make sense (as they are currently $20K or more per lens), but their lineup of prime lenses is already filled up with most focal lengths anyone would need (14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm -- Update: Einar mentioned below that they don't have a 35mm cine lens yet, that makes sense as a possible announcement). If they are developing budget primes, they would need to start off with at least three lenses, so you could have a matched set while shooting. I for one would love to see some budget Canon primes that would retail for at least half the price. Give the same quality optics with maybe a stop slower (T/2.0) for $2,000 a lens and they will sell like crazy. Lenses will outlive the camera, but the only true budget cinema lenses that exist right now are the Samyang/Rokinon cine lenses. I think Canon is in a perfect position to challenge that lineup.

What would you like to see in a camera priced between the C100 ($6,500) and the C300 ($16,000)? Would this camera even interest you? What if it was a DSLR with a clean Super 35mm mode? As far as lenses, would you pick up a set of three Canon T/2.0 primes for $2,000 a piece? Let us know what you think below.

Link: New Cinema Camera & Lenses for NAB 2013 -- Canon Rumors

Your Comment

108 Comments

Another camera??? They're gonna finish all letters and numbers...

February 12, 2013

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Jesus

I guess they could go with C200?

February 12, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

or C3P0

February 12, 2013

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Marvin

yeah!!! and I'm pretty sure by may we'll have the C400...and a bunch of new cameras from Sony aswell. They love releasing cameras.

February 12, 2013

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Jesus

NO WE WANT A CAMERA UNDER THE C100, A C50. something that can do everything the bmc does but without the thumbnail size sensor

February 12, 2013

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john jeffreys

Exactly! All most people need is an affordable FF cinema camera!

February 12, 2013

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Need? People don't need full frame cinema cameras to make films. People need to learn how to make films with the resources that are available to them.

February 12, 2013

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Robert

This

February 12, 2013

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Mark

Thank you!

February 12, 2013

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Derik

Exactly

February 13, 2013

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Gordon

Robert is awesome.

February 13, 2013

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pat

Big ups Robert, you said it!

April 6, 2013

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The C100 image doesn't look half as good as the BMCC as it stands now. How would a C50 compete in terms of anything but ergonomics? And why would anyone buy a C50 since Canon would cripple it significantly so that it wouldn't cannibalize their higher end cameras? Also, why all the hate for the BMC sensor size? If it produces great images, you can learn to work around the tighter field of view and wider depth of field.

February 12, 2013

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Robert

Allow me answer that last question dear Robert, he's a troll.

February 12, 2013

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Raphael Wood

The C50 exists! You didn't hear? They're calling it the Canon 5dmarkIII. It's pretty amazing. Full frame!

As someone who shoots with the BMCC often - I enjoy it's image FAR more than even the c300 - ProRes alone. Nevermind RAW.

February 12, 2013

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alex

because it would be a super 35 2k res ergonomic camera that shoots straight to prores for 3k? thats what the market needs

February 12, 2013

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john jeffreys

I agree, that camera would be great. But why is it so important for it to be a s35 camera? Are people incapable of making quality films otherwise? I'm sure the gh2 crowd would love to hear why s35 sensors are so necessary.

And while I also agree that the BMCC is a logistical nightmare, I would argue that it's no more logistically crippling than DSLRs were a few years ago.

February 12, 2013

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Robert

Another canon camera, Come on! They are all over priced for what they are. They need to take a page out of RED's book and start making cameras that are upgradeable and moduler. Tech moves too fast now these days for companies too keep coming out with different camera bodies every 6 months.

February 12, 2013

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Erik

Eric, you said the best thing ever!

February 12, 2013

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Gregory Dillard

And this is why Canon will fail....

February 12, 2013

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Canons not gonna fail. They have been around forever. I think they know what they are doing.

February 12, 2013

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"Being around forever" doesn't make you immune to failure...

February 13, 2013

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Ever heard of Palm? Or Kodak?

February 13, 2013

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Meh.

February 12, 2013

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Robert

I shot a short this weekend with the C100 and a Pix 240 Recorder recording DNxHD 220 8-bit. It's a very pretty image for the price. Same price at rental for the C300 alone and that much more gradable than the 50Mbs internal. I was quite happy with what we were getting.

I'm curious to see what exactly the put between the two. High speed would be interesting but i'm sure the aren't going to let it do something that the C300 doesn't do unless they plan on phasing that out, which I doubt since it's such a big seller. I'm sure it took them so long to get to the 5D mk III because the mk II was selling so well.

I'm sure it will cost more than it should, but hey, like I said. I am very happy with the images I got from the 100.

Here's the link to our Funding Campaign. www.indiegogo.com/FumesShortFilm
I'll get stills up on that site soon.

February 12, 2013

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maybe not realy wishes in near future, but CANON will be BEST SELLER camera, when
1. FULL FRAME 35mm or 70mm Sensor
2. 6K-10K 6000x3000 or 10.000x 5000 resolution
3. 1-1000 fps at 4k 14-16 bit RAW, minimum resolution Full HD 1920x1080
4. 24-36 bit RAW at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60, 120, 250 fps, 4:4:4
5. 100-500Mbit - compressed, 1 Gbit - uncompressed fotages
6. 32 bit audio, 192 kHz
7. 100 TB internal Memory, or Tera Hard Disc Cards - THDC
8. ++++++many super specifications
9. price Range for body 10.000$ - 15.000$, maximum 20.000$

February 12, 2013

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Mher Hakobyan

Camera name - CANON 9D CINEVISION

February 12, 2013

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Mher Hakobyan

Hahahah.

February 12, 2013

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Ant

I'm just not seeing a gap in Canon's product line between the C100 and C300. Sure, everybody wishes that the pricing would be a bit lower -- but with rental houses moving tons of C300s, Canon has very little reason to muck with their line up.

The C100 is proving itself, too, with a remarkable image -- as long as you aren't pushing up against it's somewhat crippled codec. It's form-factor is fantastic for documentary shooters.

Canon risks hurting either side of the market by adding another cinema camera. Sure, the C300/C100 are going to improve over time -- 10/12bit, 4k, slow-motion, etc.

But right now -- I'd be really surprised to see Canon dump another camera into an otherwise very solid line-up for a new camera system.

February 12, 2013

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BenJamin

Totally agree anything they do at this point will only piss people off $2000 more for a CF slot? + Slow mo = why buy a C300

$2000 for an sdi out + slow mo would be insane as well. It's hard too see how they merge those lines without looking idiots.unless as Joe alludes too it's a Cinema DSLR would be the only thing that makes sense

February 12, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Canon never learns...or do they? Their cameras still get bought and still get rented, fashionably so. From a business viewpoint it makes sense, why change something that sells well? As for those who think they are a waste of time, myself included, I'm sure Canon has a message in their mind for us: "Up yours, we still kicking ass."

February 12, 2013

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Raphael Wood

Joe. Can I bet you $5 that this is going to be a 5D-C. If might be the only thing that makes sense. To be above the C100.

February 12, 2013

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A 5D-C could be an interesting camera, and I'm sure it would strike up a lot of interest. But if it were to cost more than the C100, I would likely lose all faith in Canon. There is absolutely no reason for that camera to cost a cent over 5k.

February 12, 2013

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Robert

Could be, but I agree with Robert, I feel like that camera should be their budget cinema camera for under $5,000.

February 12, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Why stop with just one camera between the C100 and C300? Just look at Canon's compact camera line-up (which is a dying market) for where we are heading. From their US website:
PowerShot A-Series: A810 $100, A1300 $120, A140 $110, A2300 $140, A2400IS $150, A2500 $130, A2600 $150, A2400IS $160, A4000IS $180. Digital ELPH series: 100HS $180, 110HS $230, 115IS $170, 130IS $200, 320HS $250, 330HS $230, 520HS $280, 530HS $330. N-Series: PowerShot N $300. D-Series: D20 $350. Advanced series: SX150IS $250, SX160IS $230, SX260HS $300, SX500IS $300, SX40HS $430, SX50HS $450, S100 $430, S110 $450, G12 $500, G15 $500, G1X $700.

February 12, 2013

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TiCa

Nice.

February 21, 2013

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Daniel Mimura

Considering the current line up, it pretty much given that a new camera in the middle or the top just won't be especially exiting, either on specs or price.

February 12, 2013

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Ant

"...But their lineup of prime lenses is already filled up with most focal lengths anyone would need (14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm)..."

Not true; the Canon Cinema Prime lens line-up is, very noticeably, missing a 35mm lens (presumably a T1.5, as they are all based off of their still-lens equivalents). I think a 35mm is the front runner for this announcement.

The middling camera is bound to be underwhelming, but something above the C500 might be interesting, as that would be tech they wouldn't need (or couldn't afford) to cripple at all. Not that it would have any direct relevance for most of us here...

February 12, 2013

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Einar

That's right, 35mm doesn't exist yet. Was thinking of Samyang's lineup, which does have the 35, but is currently missing the 50, and doesn't yet have a 135.

February 12, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Wonder what happened to this:
http://nofilmschool.com/2012/12/canon-budget-cinema-eos-camera-7d-sized/

I definitely agree and think canon should put out a lower budget version of the 1dc.

February 12, 2013

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RJ

That one was more of a rumor, so it's something they could be working on, but nothing definitive. They should stick the 1D X sensor in a 7D body, rip out all of the photography features, and allow it to shoot the clean Super 35mm mode. If they released that for $2,000 or less they wouldn't be able to keep it in stock.

February 12, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I think you're all going to be disappointed. Its pretty much what Joe put up above as the worst case scenario. There will be much more interesting cameras at NAB. C300 nowhere near the end of its lifecycle.

February 12, 2013

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marklondon

Just imagine starting work for Canon, thinking you are going to be working on next generation camera technology. Instead you are given the C500 spec list and told what you will be developing: cross one item off this list, that is the C480; cross two items off the list, that is the C460 etc etc etc

February 12, 2013

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TiCa

I think its actually the other way around, imagine working at canon and you have developed a sensor that has the same dynamic range distribution at 850 ISO and 20,000 ISO, amazing skin tones in every color matrix, a 12 bit supersample in color, a fantastic log gamma curve that give you the most flexibility with the least amount of grading all packaged in the smallest file size possible that still maintains the excellent range for grading and effects, and then you get no credit for these awesome achievements, because novices cannot get past 8bit.

February 12, 2013

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ryan

Well put!

February 13, 2013

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Caleb

True. Last week we shot a doc for a european client on C100 in canon log, using Ninja2 for the recorder. We were able to do some rather awesome stuff, I was pretty impressed with the dynamic range that little camera gives. Plus it's VERY easy to do run-and-gun with it.

February 13, 2013

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I'm extremely interested in this if it has a chance of driving down the price of the C100. I'm not really sure who would be interested in something in between the C100 and C300, though.

February 12, 2013

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cows

I agree, I don't see room in the current line up of the C100/300/500. I own a C300 and have heard strong rumors of a big firmware update within the coming months. I'd imagine this new mystery camera is a Cine-7D that will mimic the 1D-C's clean 1080 or maybe a 2k mode.

February 12, 2013

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jmg

It's not.

February 13, 2013

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Marklondon

What Canon does really well (better than Sony and BM) is low light. The second best thing they do is sell lenses. Most people walking around with a Canon camera have Canon lenses. They want to release something that is great in low light and affordable, like a 7D-C. That will get customers hooked on the L series glass. Then when it's time to upgrade you are more likely to get a C300 than switch to Sony.

I think a C200 might actually be geared more toward docs and multicam tv shoots (where the EX3 is still in regular use). Low light and ease of use would be the dominate characteristics. The C300 took a small bit of this market, but cost too much. The C100 didn't work for this market because of the lack of a broadcast codec. It sounds like a bit of a wild guess but there are a lot of aging cameras out there that Canon may be angling to replace. Narrative features are not the majority of video production.

If they were going to release budget cinema lenses I would expect them the guts to be L series lenses but with cinema features. Engineering-wise that would be way cheaper than downgrading their existing cinema lenses.

February 12, 2013

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Sam

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