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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

Related Posts

  1. Which is the Better Value, Canon C100 or C300? Plus a Short Film Scene Shot with the C100
  2. Canon Shrinks the C300 EOS Cinema Camera, Calls It the C100, and Prices It at $8,000
  3. Is the Canon C100 Currently the Best Fully-Featured Budget Filmmaking Camera?

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  • Why are so many people complaining about, I NEED RAW, you don’t, in fact if you aren’t a colorist RAW is a waste of time. If you don’t know what a power window, secondary, limiter or mixer node is then then the benefits of RAW are lost. John Brawley himself has said if you aren’t going to take the time to learn davinci then c100 is a better cam for you than the BMC. If a camera is not 16 bit RAW 2k 60p then its a waste of money, some of you guys are crazy. Its just plain spoiled, I cannot believe that anybody that had to put together a letus adaptor rig, or log and captured DV TAPES (yea thats right! People used to shoot on TAPE) would be complaining like the children are now.

    • Don’t let the trolls get you down, man. Most of them don’t actually use cameras, anyway.

    • Well put :-)

    • what is this… ‘tape’… business you speak of….

    • Well, RAW isn’t all that complicated, I think. Up until now I have only worked with RAW in still photography, but I wouldn’t shoot stills in jpeg anymore unless I really have to. You have so many possibilities in highlight recovery, white balance, color and noise reduction with RAW that are just lost with a compressed format.

      And it’s really not that hard to work with RAW – I learned working with Lightroom in a month or two, it’s not that complicated. As far as I have seen, RAW converters like the one from RED work similar to Lightroom, so it’s not like it’s rocket science.

      As I said – I shot my first few RAW stills, loaded them in a demo version of Lightroom and was totally convinced after 5 minutes that I was never going to shoot jpeg stills again.
      If you have the time to grade your shots, RAW is just amazing. If you need to work fast, like for tv news, of course you won’t shoot RAW…

    • Daniel Mimura on 02.21.13 @ 7:34PM

      Ryan, have you used RAW? I have a RAW camera now and I’ll never go back. I’m a DP and don’t know much about post at all…but I know enough to know that no matter how perfectly I may attempt to light something, no matter how meticulously I meter and flag things…I still like the option of doing more in post (especially on low budget shoots and docs where I might not have the time or option to light it completely perfectly…). It’s the equivalent of shooting reversal and suddenly discovering what you can do, what control you have, shooting with negative. There is a new world in front of you.

  • I’m so tired of people talking about BMCC like its god sent. Don’t get me wrong it’s an incredible camera for the money, but that camera is more suited towards independent films. Me personally I do mostly commercials, web videos, and run and gun docs. The BMCC isn’t suited towards the work I do so a c100 or c300 is more suited towards my work. It’s funny, in my area (Boston) the BMCC is looked at as more of a toy camera for indies I don’t know maybe my perception is off.

    • Well put.

    • I shoot a lot of tv and web documentary pieces too, and I am probably going to buy a Sony PMW-350K with an additional 6-84mm lens this year. It’s a 2/3″ 1080i/p camcorder and it’s perfect for documentary work in my opinion.
      What would I be doing with a BMCC? I couldn’t do 98% of my work with that camera.

      But of course the BMCC it is a really nice camera for scenic films, commercials and so on.

    • You guys are such haters. The bmc is making all this noise because it is “special” and more importantly “revolutionary”, like so many great products that forced or nudged entire industries in a slightly different direction. While c300 and c100 are great cameras, revolutionary… they are not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually leaning toward buying the c100 for filmmaking (yes, I think it’s good enough for Indy features or shorts) because I think for someone starting out its a good all around camera and excellent introduction to multiple areas of filmmaking (docs, music videos…etc). And canceling the bmc I have on preorder because it taking so long to arrive, but bmc, was my first choice. Cheers

    • Toy?! Yes Caleb… Your perception is off.

  • No what would be interesting is if canon made an external recorder suited towards their cameras especially with the 5d mark III getting the firmware update next month. Maybe it offers xlr inputs and syncs the clean HDMI out video.

    • seriously ….. good call on that one caleb. i’m already schlepping a juicedlink pre-amp around when i roll, and as much as i want to see this clean hdmi out on my mkiii, it’s yet another peripheral with more batteries to charge, more cables to connect etc …. the piece you described would be entirely useful, so we’ll never see it. third party anyone ?

  • Price drops. That would be an awesome announcement.

    • (Laughing),

    • Yeah

    • Actually, that’s not so far-fetched. I’ve been thinking the same myself. I’ve notice that Canon have recently slashed the price of their XF300 and XF305 video cameras (previously $7,999 for the X305, now $5,995 on B&H), which *may* be a precursor to cutting prices on the C- range.

      Here in Hong Kong, I’m a Canon CPS member, and I can now buy the C300 for around $11,300, and the C100 for around $5,500 – a good 20% or so below list prices – so maybe some price cuts, now that the volume is there, is a real possibility. We’ll see.

  • 7D mk 2 I reckon.

  • If I was doco guy, i’d be excited about Canon’s offerings in this day and age.

  • Ah! another shitty low codec camera which will be utter overpriced and can’t do 1080p60!
    just what we need!

    Give us more plastic skintones, awesome lineskipping and amazing highlight rolloffs, and don’t forget some 420 (and a 10k + price tag)

  • Pavel Roytberg on 02.14.13 @ 6:02PM

    “set of three Canon T/2.0 primes for $2,000 a piece” – if the performance would be better then still lenses – yes.
    Right now 85/T lens is crearly better then 85/1.2L … but price is too steep for me :(

  • People are going to be embarrassed when the first sub $1000 4k cameras come out soon, for offering such over priced 2k cameras. Indeed, gopro has 4k for half the price already, and doubling the frame rate is not doubling the price, so we could be looking at 4k p30 at below $500 this year. They should get real and scrap most of those canons, and lower to a more realistic price, so the consumer level 2k/fullhd is at consumer prices, and 4k is parked this side of $10k starting this side of $4k. Red and Bmcc are going start eating at them. Both are moving to better cameras.

    • Yeah 4K for under 1000$ – that will be just as amazing as a FullHD camcorder for 300$ or a 15MP stills camera for 200$

      There’s a reason there are professional 1080p camcorders for 15K$ and up – because these are real 1080p.
      The ones for 300-600$ are not really 1080p, they just put out a picture that has as many pixels as a real 1080 picture, but neither the lenses nor the sensors are able to really bring that resolution.

      Same with “4K”. Soon we are going to see cellphone cameras with “4K” resolution. These are of course not nearly the same as Red Epic 4K…

    • By your logic, the new GoPro is two times better than an Arri Alexa, right? 4K for 500 bucks versus 2K for 50K bucks…

  • So what happened to the new C200 or Mid c100/c300 announcement ?

  • I just tested the c300 for documentary.
    There is no perfect zoom 15 to 85mm 2,8 for this cam.
    The c300 should get 10:2:2 output.
    The c200 should be a c300 without this output and eng lens so perfect for docus

  • All I want is a C100 with 120fps, 4:2:2, SDI out and a decent EVF + LCD. Is that too much to ask? Just call it a C200 and charge $8-10K… Perfect.

  • It really is a crime that NONE of the Canon DSLRs (except Canon EOS-1D C) do proper 1080 60p.
    There are numerous Sony, Nikon and even Fuji cameras that do 1080 60p.
    While 30 and 24 are good enough, 60 frame is not just for slow mo.
    I’ve never evaluated the C100 or C300 because they are just out of my price range.
    But seriously, only 60i? Even the C300 can only do 59.94i?
    If the Digic processor doesn’t have the DSP, then get a better Digic processor already.
    Folks will only put up with Canon “for the lenses” for so long.

  • C200 wish list: it would be embarrassing not to offer a cinema 4k option – 1080p @ 96fps – 4:2:2 internal – dual pixel AF multi point focus – touch screen to operate dual pixel focusing while shooting as per 70D – no need for external recorder with new generation dual flash slots and with a quality EVF. Happy to pay 10k for that.

    Technology is moving so fast that they will need to make previous cinema Eos models redundant. Technology offered by competitors at lower price points suggests so.

  • Paul Russell on 03.28.14 @ 1:34PM

    Why a new sensor? The sensor is already 4k and already blows the socks off anything else apart from an alexa.

    A c200 with 4k hdmi out would be just great thanks. All the benefits of the c100, but with a bit of future proofing (I would add 4K to the same list as RAW, that is ‘things most folk don’t really need (just now)’

    APR LT is a godsend for me. APR Regular if being transcoded to MPEG2 for broadcast, APR HQ where there is extreme bokeh or I need to apply a touch more garbage matter gaussian blur over textures.

    Smallish files. Fast rendering. Where are all these masterpieces shot on RAW and graded with DaVinci being shown? For the most part I would suspect to a circle of 10 friends on Vimeo.

    Working film-makers value quality, but also value speed, economy (cost and resources i.e. disk space, render time) and guys doing bigger stuff probably aren’t using C cameras in any case.

  • Paulo Emilio on 03.29.14 @ 5:45PM

    What I want from a new Canon camera :

    PRORES HQ 422 + 444 + LT 2k and 1080
    3D LUTS
    48 • 72 • 96 • 120fps

    All inside the camera, I hate the external record sh*.

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