This camera is infinitely smaller than the ones seen in TV news and broadcast studios around the world, yet with crisp 4K, broadcast-quality video. But can creatives take advantage of one? And is it even a contender now that Sony has released its full-frame PTZ camera?
Canon CR-N700 Features
PTZ stands for pan, tilt, and zoom. Don’t feel bad if you think the CR-N700 looks like a fancy security camera because that's exactly the roots this camera has.
However, you won’t be seeing Canon’s new PTZ camera at your local bank when making a deposit from your latest creative gig. Rather, this 4K PTZ will be quite happy in a studio to be used for TV shows, or both inside and outside for live events.
Canon CR-N700 PTZ CameraCredit: Canon
The Canon CR-N700 features include:
- 1-inch type CMOS sensor with a DIGIC DV7 processor.
- Films in 4K up to 60p and 4:2:2 10-bit.
- Has a 15x optical zoom lens and 30x advanced zoom in full HD.
- Dual Pixel AF featuring iTR AF X.
- 12G-SDI, 3G-SDI, and HDMI out.
- NDI|HX, SRT, FreeD, RTMP(S), RTP, RTSP, Standard communication protocol & Canon XC Protocol. Essentially making it easy to connect and control remotely.
If these features sound a little bit familiar, it’s because they're similar to Sony’s new PTZ camera, the ILME-FR7, but as we mentioned before, has a full-frame CMOS sensor. Sony also added some interesting cinematic features like S-Cinetone and S-Log3 gamma.
Where Do PTZ Cameras Stand When It Comes to Creatives?
So how can creatives take advantage of the Canon CR-N700? In addition to livestreaming events such as concerts, plays, or sports, content creators can put the CR-N700 in spots normal cameras can’t go, such as a tight corner and even the ceiling. All while maintaining a great overall image, and no fisheye issues needing to be corrected in post, something those working with action cameras need to do.
But at about $10,000, using one as a B-camera may not be cost-effective unless your project will heavily rely on it.
This isn't a $10,000 security camera, but the versatile Canon CR-700 chilling out on the ceiling for a unique shotCredit: Canon
Ultimately, the Canon CR-N700 and other next-gen PTZ cameras from BirdDog are aimed at the broadcast industry, along with houses of worship, major concert halls, and other locations and applications. But I wouldn't say they can be used as the main camera on a narrative project, especially the Sony FR7.
Canon also says the CR-N700 can be used to shoot live sports with the 30x advanced zoom lens, only in HD, but I’m a little skeptical because sports like basketball and hockey are very fast-moving, and a seasoned camera operator won’t miss the action when compared to remote access. Maybe baseball?
Also, there is no need for a massive broadcast camera setup costing tens of thousands of dollars for a broadcast show, be it news, sports, and more. Plus the accompanying camera operator required to use it.
Many years ago, I worked in local TV news as an editor and creative services producer. A new broadcast HD camera to film anchors, meteorologists, and sports cost more than a nice house. Now, broadcasters can spend a fraction with the 4K PTZ cameras such as the Canon CR-N700, which costs $9,699, plus a single operator can control each camera remotely. If this camera is perfect for your needs, it will be available in December 2022, but you can preorder one.
- Up to UHD 4K60 Video, HDR Imagery
- 1" CMOS Sensor, DIG!C DV7 Processor
- 15x Optical & 20x Digital Zoom
- Dual-Pixel CMOS AF with EOS iTR AF X
- HDMI, 12G/3G-SDI & IP Video Output
- XC, RTSP/RTP, NDI|HX, RTMP/RTMPS
- Built-In ND Filters: 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
- VISCA, Serial, FreeD, SRT Control
- Genlock, Dual XLR & 3.5mm Audio Input
- Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
So are PTZ cameras like the Canon CR-N700 going mainstream?
It depends on the sub-industry of the overall production world, where those outfitting a new TV studio are looking for a powerful yet affordable option. But creatives such as filmmakers and YouTubers may not be able to take full advantage of PTZ cameras. That doesn't mean those in the broadcast world shouldn't take a second look. Learn more at Canon's site.