A little over a week ago, there was a rumor that Canon would be introducing a brand new digital cinema camera between the C300 and the C100 at NAB 2013. At that time, the C300 was retailing for $16,000 and the C100 could be had for $6,500. In terms of the price difference, it was feasible for there to be a camera in-between (even if spec wise it doesn't make much sense). Now, Canon has dropped the C300 price by $2,000 until April 30th for both EF and PL models, and it very well could be a permanent price drop. We've also got a rumor of a replacement 24 Megapixel camera for the aging Canon 7D. So what does that mean for the rest of their product lines?
The price drop makes me less inclined to think that they will bring out a camera between the C100 and the C300 -- but the $2,000 off the current C300 definitely makes it look like a little better of a deal, especially for those who may be in the market for a second camera body. If you were looking at C300s, now might be a better time than ever since the camera is barely a year old, and likely won't be replaced or superseded by a better model for at least another year. Either way, what it does make me think is that Canon may be more likely to introduce a C50 or 7D C -- which brings us to the 7D Mark II rumor.
It was also mentioned that their could be as many as 3 prototype configurations of the camera out there, and this one of them.
- 24.1mp APS-C Sensor
- Dual DIGIC V
- Dual Memory Card Slots (Unknown configuration)
- 61 AF Points (I wonder if we’ll get red focus points in AIS?)
- 3.2″ LCD
- Build quality like 5D3
- GPS & Wifi
- $2199 ($500 more than the 7D at launch, I’d like to see such a camera come in under $2000)
- ISO Performance to get close to the 5D3
- “Lots of video features”
Something else that has been rumored before, is a possible C50 camera coming in below the C100. While it's unclear exactly what Canon would strip away, we've also heard about a video focused camera in a DSLR body, possibly a 7D C. Could this be referring to the above 7D Mark II? The current Canon 7D is a workhorse, and it was the first DSLR from the company to natively shoot 24p -- and plenty of them are still in use now. The video quality is fine for most uses (obviously you can get great results with any camera), but we know Canon can (and probably should) do better with a second version.
This new camera could be a miniature version of the 1D X, which makes a lot of sense from a product line point of view -- having different tiers of consumer, semi-pro, and professional APS-C and full-frame cameras. We know the new 1D C is capable of great video in its 1080p Super 35mm mode, but they haven't extended that same quality down to the 1D X (even though they are almost the same camera). That doesn't make me hopeful the new 7D Mark II will have any better video quality than the 1D X since they are both photo cameras, but Canon could certainly introduce two models based on the same body as they've already done, only this time with a 7D Mark II for one price, and a 7D C with better video for a bit more money.
Will this actually happen? Who knows, but they've been pretty conservative with their offerings over the past couple of years. With increased competition from Nikon, however, a DSLR with video quality almost as good as the C100/C300 would probably sell well. It may be expensive for some people's A camera, but a $3,000 7D C would be a great B camera or crash cam for tons of productions, especially those who don't necessarily need or want the 4K or high prices of the 1D C.
At the moment this is just speculation, but we can definitely expect to see the 7D replacement in 2013 at some point, and I'm sure more details will be revealed near or at NAB, and certainly in the coming months.
What do you think about the price drop on the C300? Do you think that means anything for the rest of the Cinema EOS line? What would you like to see out of a 7D Mark II? Would you pay more than $2,200 for a 7D Mark II with better quality video?