November 13, 2013

80,000 ISO Firmware Update Now Available for Canon Cinema Cameras

Canon made a bit of a surprise announcement back in September that they were going to be upping the maximum ISO setting on the Cinema EOS cameras from 20,000 ISO all the way to 80,000 ISO. Not only is that firmware update out today for the C100 and C300 (it doesn't seem like it's ready for the C500 yet), but we've also got a video sample of the quality you can expect from the new ISO options. Check out the video below as well as all of the other goodies Canon has unlocked for the Cinema cameras.

Thanks to Daniel from SilvaStreet, here's a sample of the new ISO modes on the Canon C100 (download on Vimeo for best quality):

We've also got some samples from cinema5D, this was shot on the C500 back in September on a pre-release version of the firmware:

Sure, 80,000 may be pretty noisy without any noise reduction in camera, but with max noise reduction added and maybe some in post you could easily get something usable and not distracting if you needed it. Almost two years ago I wrote a post which featured a video using the C300 and the moon as the main light source, and now we could get that same scene even brighter. Though 80,000 may not pass in narrative work, that extra two stops of light over the max ISO could be crucial for a documentary or nature shoot that you're only going to be able to get once.

I could also see needing some of the ISOs if you want a deeper f-stop for some reason, or if you're limited by the lens on the camera. Most zooms are a minimum of f/2.8, which can be as much as two stops slower than a fast prime lens. If you need the zoom at certain times for what you're shooting, you can make up that extra stop or two with the new ISO settings.

Here's a list of what's new in the firmware update for the C100:

1. Ability to move the magnification viewing area around the LCD using the MAGN Function.

2. ISO up to 80,000 has been added.

3. A Key Lock menu setting has been added which now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the START/STOP button.

4. Peripheral Illumination Correction Data has been added for seven (7) Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and eleven (11) Canon EF Lenses.

5. Internal camera menus are now controllable from buttons on the camera body. Previously, they were only controllable from the joystick grip unit.

6. In addition to the [EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM], the function to enable continuous focusing and correct aperture on a subject in the middle of the screen when one of the two EF STM lenses is attached, has been extended to include the [EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM] lens.

And for what's new in the C300:

EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera & EOS C300 PL Cinema EOS Camera

1. Ability to move the magnification viewing area around the LCD using the MAGN Function.

2. Support for a 1440x1080/35Mbps recording mode.

3. ISO up to 80,000 has been added.

4. Added functionality to support the optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E1.

5. A Key Lock menu setting has been added which now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the START/STOP button.

6. Using the optional Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter, the camera's remote-control application allows two users to access the same unit via a Wi-Fi® link providing simultaneous camera operation and control and metadata input simultaneously.

7. [Lens Exchange] and [ND+/ND-] have been added as functions that can be allocated to any assignable button.

8. A new Wide DR gamma setting provides an expanded dynamic range of 800%.

9. Flicker Reduction has been improved.

EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera only

10. Provides Push Auto Iris and One-Shot AF operation.

11. A new AE Shift function and the selection of various light-metering modes are now available when used with some Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and Canon EF Lenses.

12. Ability to assign the two control dials to operate either Iris or ISO sensitivity independently.

13. Peripheral Illumination Correction Data has been added for seven (7) Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and fifteen (15) Canon EF Lenses.

14. A function has been added to enable continuous focus and iris setting on a subject in the middle of the screen when one of the two EF STM lenses** is attached.

**[EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM], [EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM].

I know a lot of people were asking for these changes with the C300, so it's nice to see Canon add the locks and assignable buttons (though you would think with how much you're paying for the camera body -- at least in the case of the C300 -- that you'd see a little more hurry in how quickly some of these seemingly simple firmware updates go out). The C300 also gets the wider dynamic range mode of the C100, which means you can get a flatter picture profile if you want it. With the slightly better internal recording of the C300, this mode will probably be even more useful.

You can download the updates over on the Canon site.

Links:

Your Comment

41 Comments

oohhh....if it only had 160,000 ISO :( aahahahahhaha

November 13, 2013 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

Auto focus, moveable magnification, high ISO's.. great.. what C100 owners REALLY WANT though is variable frame rates.. :( Why is that not considered?

November 13, 2013 at 10:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lee

I would gladly pay for a variable frame rate firmware upgrade.. Not sure I'd fork out for this autofocus hardware upgrade

November 13, 2013 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lee

The processor is incapable of handling high frame rates. Basically, C100/C300 have same processor as XF 305 camera has. Great sensor, but not enough horsepower to handle it...

November 13, 2013 at 3:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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They all 3 have the same processor and sensor. They can do it.

November 13, 2013 at 6:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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XML

Haha, imagine the xf 305 with three 4k S35 sensors.

November 13, 2013 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Up to about 51,200 really wasn't too bad for extreme situations in documentary work. Don't know that I'd ever be willing to push it beyond that, but still... pretty amazing.

November 13, 2013 at 10:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

WOW. Canon is stepping it up lately with the C line. Yeah, it can't overcrank, but that's not a necessity. 80,000 ISO... noisy, sure, but still impressive. It's one of those things that will be used very infrequently, but when you need it, you REALLY need it.

Canon's attention to this line with firmware updates, etc. is very notable.

November 13, 2013 at 10:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The most impressive parts of this update for me is the moveable magnification area and possibly the ability to bring up menus without the handle. Shooting interviews with someone in the right or left third and checking sharp focus has been a pain, this will address it. And being able to strip the camera down more sometimes is also useful.

November 13, 2013 at 10:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Well that was extremely weak. That video is still images and you can't judge video fixed pattern noise with still images. Come on canon who are you trying to fool.

November 13, 2013 at 11:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mic

Glad Canon is making some improvements via firmware, but wish they had done some seemingly simple enhancements, such as:

Zebras below 70 IRE
Waveform with IRE numbers
Waveform in EVF
LUT available on HD-SDI and/or HDMI out

Just a few wishes.

November 13, 2013 at 11:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Zebras below 70? In what situation is that useful? That's approaching middle gray...

November 13, 2013 at 3:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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When shooting C-Log, 18% gray chart, it would be beneficial to set zebras at 32% or 38%, although the waveform is good for this. Flesh tones would sit at 50-65%, depending on gamma. 70% flesh for Cine gammas is useless.

November 13, 2013 at 11:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Light... Where we're filming we don't need light...

November 13, 2013 at 11:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Julian terry

80,000 ISO. With less noise than the older model DSLR's had at 3200.
Technology is astounding. :)

November 13, 2013 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

So I just completely downloaded the firmware onto the camera. The new updates are there (such as being able to adjust the magnification area)
However the ISO does not go up to 80,000. It's max is still 20,000.
Anybody else have that problem?

November 13, 2013 at 12:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

you have to enable extended ISO in the camera menu

November 13, 2013 at 12:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

You have to go into the menu and turn on the expanded iso option in the camera menu

November 13, 2013 at 1:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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gundammrw

Thanks very much.

November 13, 2013 at 3:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Just installed it on my camera. I also threw together a quick test, let me know if any of you find it helpful!

https://vimeo.com/79325397

November 13, 2013 at 2:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Oh, joy ... (seriously, I heard the clicks but I didn't want to count them)

November 14, 2013 at 12:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I have a vision...dull, brown images - with only a bit of noise! Hooray.

November 13, 2013 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

It didn't really become unusable until around 10,000 ISO. Perhaps you could clean it up and make it look okay.

But really I'm just curious, who would want ISO expansion that you can't actually use on a real project because of the video noise?

November 13, 2013 at 3:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nick

Though someone made a good point earlier that the noise (up to a point) is still acceptable for documentary work.

November 13, 2013 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nick

How can I move the magnification viewing area around the LCD ?

November 13, 2013 at 4:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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killahbee

If you are using a AF lens put in in M, push the MAG button, and the joystick will move it around. I was trying find info on "moving the camera menu items around with camera buttons" anyone try that yet?

November 13, 2013 at 5:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steve Niedorf

Thank U!

The problem was that the lens was in AF mode:)

November 13, 2013 at 5:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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killahbee

Steve, under Menu>Other functions>Assign button> you can assign buttons 1-6 with left, right, up, etc. Scroll right to the bottom or short-cut alternatively, scroll up and it will cycle to the bottom of the list of commands.

November 14, 2013 at 8:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ken Jazz

Getting 404 while trying to download

November 13, 2013 at 8:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Sam

Nice video comparison by Shane Hurlbut: The C500 vs. ARRI Alexa. He puts them side by side. For his latest shoot he chose the C500 for reasons which he explains why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TtELVauUS4

November 13, 2013 at 11:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

The Canon C100 with the Ninja2 is an unbelievable combination.

Lights? What lights? We had the lights ready for the candlelight take, @ 20 k ISO and f 2,8 there was no need for lights. In the post there was need for neat video to clean up the noise. The material held amazingly after that treatment.
Can't find your glasses? Press the AF-button ; ) In C-Log, setting middle grey to 30 ire in the built in waveform monitor, your exposure looks lovely. Every day working with this camera is a feast!

Sure you can always want more. Look what you have got. I am glad to notice that Canon are taking the C camera customers seriously.

November 14, 2013 at 7:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Richard

that firmware update is pretty useless all together, why would I want such a thing like a "Night Vision Monocular", thats ridiculous. This i a Cinema camera, Canon should listen to their customers and release a decent firmware with things like:
Slow motion, variable frame rates
True progressive recording, not Interlaced
A Better Codec
Interval Recording for timelapse

November 14, 2013 at 9:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jens Jonsson

I doubt that will happen unfortunately.
(A better codec and slow motion would pretty much make it the C300)

November 14, 2013 at 11:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Hey Everyone - I updated this firmware to my C300 and nothing has changed with the camera that is noticeable ... no higher ISO, no magnification move, nothing ... any ideas?

Firmware Upgraded to 1.0.9.1.00, Canon C300 EOS.

November 14, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Vasilios

new firmware seems to have problems and was pulled by Canon
http://shop.texasmediasystems.com/EOS-C300-and-C300PL-Firmware-Version-110100-has-been-discontinued_b_7.html

November 15, 2013 at 3:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Great that things are advancing like this is it useful for a pro? Lets be honest who's going to use ISO 80,000 the noise is still too much to be usable or am I missing something?

November 18, 2013 at 5:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I used the new expanded ISO this weekend for night long Airsoft event (competitive military style shooting sport) that I was covering. I was able to get very usable footage by staying at around 40,000 iso, on a f/1.4 50mm and a 1/12 shutter speed. but the kicker:

I was in the woods, PROPERLY EXPOSING BY MOONLIGHT ALONE!

I was comparing it to gen 3 night vision that some of the players were using, and although it obviously has much more color noise, the tonal definition is superior. It is basically color night vision. I am impressed.

November 18, 2013 at 3:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

I was using a C100 by the way.

November 18, 2013 at 3:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

Reason #01 alone is the biggest and most important update they need! The ability to check focus on something not exactly in the middle of the frame. SERIOUSLY, how on earth has it taken this long on this expensive of a camera not to have the ability to easily check focus without having to recompose your shot every time you want to check critical focus?

I'm so glad I normally shoot on the 5d series cameras with Magic Lantern firmware because people actually include features you want (and need). Whenever I'm using the C100 (once every other week) I want to pull my nose hairs out because it's so frustrating as both a camera operator and director.

Travis
www.providfilms.com

November 21, 2013 at 1:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anyone know how to move the magnifying function? I press the mag button and use the joystick but it does not work.

November 22, 2013 at 12:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kenny

Turn AF off on the lens :)

November 29, 2013 at 5:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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JB