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Author Topic: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?  (Read 19701 times)

DanThePhotoMan

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Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« on: September 14, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »
So with Photokina going on this week, I can't help but wonder what Canon has planned for the Cinema EOS line, especially after the announcement at IBC about the Sony FS7. I've mainly been doing documentary work the last few years, and the C300 has been one of the most popular cameras I've seen among other documentary shooters, but I think it's quite clear that spec wise it just doesn't hold its own against the newer gen cameras from other companies.

I had been eye balling the C300/500 for a while, but wound up going with the A7s because of the smaller form factor (pretty important at the time as we ran into some trouble trying to get an HPX-250 through customs in India) and cheap 4k ability available next month. No regrets whatsoever there.

I'm a Canon boy at heart, and I would love to stay with them. I was planning on waiting to see what their next line of cinema bodies would bring as I'm not in a rush to buy anything, but the Sony FS7 really started to change my mind. Personally, I just don't see how Canon can match the specs of that camera at that price point, especially after seeing how much of a lack luster upgrade the 7Dmk2 received. Though that may not be a fair comparison between the 7Dmk2 and the next cinema camera, and I know Canon must have been pretty serious to jump into the cinema world as they did, but I just simply feel like they have not shown anywhere near the amount of innovation in order to keep up with other companies in the cinema world. The C100-500 are amazing cameras for what they are, there's no doubting that, but I just keep feel like they continue to be dwarfed by every single new announcement from other companies.

Who knows, they may announce something this week at Photokina and blow us all away, but I truly feel like if they gave us something that was half of a real upgrade with no 4k but added 1080p @ 60fps, I wouldn't be surprised at all.


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Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« on: September 14, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 05:40:08 PM »
Canon C300 and C500 are designed to work on video serious and offer ergonomics, autonomy recording, line of lenses, etc., that do not offer photographic cameras. When you have a shooting schedule quite critical, and one day lag costs several thousand dollars, cinematographic cameras are unsurpassed.

DanThePhotoMan

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 06:58:03 PM »
Absolutely, and  agree with you. But look at this spec list real quick:

-Super 35mm Sensor
-UHD 3840 x 2160 at launch (DCI 4K is planned for early 2015)
-Dynamic Range: 14 Stops
-Base Sensitivity: ISO 2000
-Internal 4K XAVC 10-bit 4:2:2 (Intra/Long GOP) up to 60fps
-1080p up to 180fps
-MPEG HD, 4:2:2, 50 Mbps (HD only)
-Apple ProRes (with future upgrade and XDCA-FS7 extension unit)
-12-bit 4K or 2K RAW recording (with XDCA-FS7 extension unit and external recorder)
-Slow & Quick Motion for over-and under-cranking
-Dual XQD card slots (with dual recording support)
-Supports S-Gamut3Cine/S-Log 3 encoding
-Environmentally sealed electronics
-Built-In ND Filters

That's Sony's new FS7. Just go head and compare that the C300 for a second. Now, the FS7 body costs $8,000.00 vs the newly reduced C300 body for $11,999. Looking at that, why in the world would anyone choose the C300?

I know I'm starting to sound like a Sony fan boy, but I'm not trying to. I have a bag full of L glass and love my 5Dmk3 and 6D to death, but on a spec vs price ratio, it is ever increasingly making less and less sense to stay with Canon for the Cinema line when for the same price as the C300 I can get a body, external recorder for uncompressed 4k, and a lens.

Policar

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 07:23:20 PM »
Absolutely, and  agree with you. But look at this spec list real quick:

-Super 35mm Sensor
-UHD 3840 x 2160 at launch (DCI 4K is planned for early 2015)
-Dynamic Range: 14 Stops
-Base Sensitivity: ISO 2000
-Internal 4K XAVC 10-bit 4:2:2 (Intra/Long GOP) up to 60fps
-1080p up to 180fps
-MPEG HD, 4:2:2, 50 Mbps (HD only)
-Apple ProRes (with future upgrade and XDCA-FS7 extension unit)
-12-bit 4K or 2K RAW recording (with XDCA-FS7 extension unit and external recorder)
-Slow & Quick Motion for over-and under-cranking
-Dual XQD card slots (with dual recording support)
-Supports S-Gamut3Cine/S-Log 3 encoding
-Environmentally sealed electronics
-Built-In ND Filters

That's Sony's new FS7. Just go head and compare that the C300 for a second. Now, the FS7 body costs $8,000.00 vs the newly reduced C300 body for $11,999. Looking at that, why in the world would anyone choose the C300?

I know I'm starting to sound like a Sony fan boy, but I'm not trying to. I have a bag full of L glass and love my 5Dmk3 and 6D to death, but on a spec vs price ratio, it is ever increasingly making less and less sense to stay with Canon for the Cinema line when for the same price as the C300 I can get a body, external recorder for uncompressed 4k, and a lens.

These cameras are all investments. Once enough of your clients are asking for 4k that you feel you'd make more money investing in 4k, invest.

I do think Canon has nicer colors and the codecs are much more manageable (had a really rough time posting with F5 footage and found the camera difficult to work with on set, too) but if you need these specs, this is sure a lot cheaper than the competition! Remember, though, that the XDCA-FS7 is a necessary requirement to get timecode sync, and that's the key differentiating factor between the C100 and C300 (and the FS700 and F5).

If I had clients asking for 4k I'd take a good look at this. If you do, it looks like an awesome choice! The sample footage looks really bland to me, but I thick SLOG3 seems like a big enough improvement on SLOG2 (which I found quite awful) that it might be less trouble getting nice looking footage out of this than people have gotten out of the F5 and FS700, both of which have very "video" colors, odd noise, and an unpleasant color channel clipping that certain varieties of SLOG3 have mitigated according to Art Adams.

DanThePhotoMan

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 07:39:50 PM »
I definitely agree Policar, the footage looked bland, but I think the choice in lighting and post are at fault there. Who knows though, it could just literally be a terrible camera. I'll definitely have to see more footage before any decisions are made.

It's not even necessarily that I have clients asking for 4k. For instance, I'm leaving in two days to film a short documentary in Kampala, Uganda until early October. Being able to shoot an interview in 4k and editing in a 1080p timeline allows me cover a Medium, Medium Close, and Close Up, all with one camera. Granted, I would prefer having a two camera setup, but when you're the only operator and have to worry about bag restrictions on some of the smaller planes, as well as setup and tear down time, sometimes you can only have one camera with you. I don't even care so much for exporting in 4k as 90% of people who watch everything do it from barely HD laptop screens or their phones.

InterMurph

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2014, 08:25:29 PM »
and cheap 4k ability available next month.
What do you mean by this?  When you say "cheap 4k ability", I think "recording 4K to flash cards", like the Panasonic GH4.

But I haven't heard of such an announcement; is it something else?

Thanks.

peederj

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peederj
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 08:49:03 PM »
Canon already have all the required technology in the C500. That huge heatsink I think is purely a decoy, made to make it look like they had to strain to get 4K HFR out of the C100 form factor. They likely didn't, it's just a way of assuring upsales.

The things Canon didn't have in the C500 are instructive: a 4K codec and a storage format for one. They just had the same 50mbit MXF 1080p30 of the C300 onboard, and let you record 4K outboard. Tech has moved forward though and now there's Cfast and plenty of codec options for them to choose from. They could leave everything else as it is, just upgrade the line with Cfast cards and a 4K/HFR codec and call it C200/400/600. The sensor is already a 4K/HFR capable sensor as demonstrated in the C500.

I hope the ergonomics get a refresh too though because they really aren't shoulder-mount capable cams. The Sony FS7 shows how a cam should be set up...we shouldn't have to go to Zacuto for a relocatable EVF, a grip relocator, a shoulder pad or basic rails. And a power zoom rocker on the grip, movable DPAF points, the basic ergonomic complaints we had with the 1st gen C series should all be addressed in this refresh. Aaton cat-on-the-shoulder balanced design please.

But if Canon don't have the next line ready they can just upgrade the storage format and codec to remain relevant. If the C500 is already at max spec externally they could just leave it as-is until they have a new design. They have to do something right away though because the 4K train has left the station.

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peederj
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 08:49:03 PM »

DanThePhotoMan

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2014, 10:05:04 PM »
and cheap 4k ability available next month.
What do you mean by this?  When you say "cheap 4k ability", I think "recording 4K to flash cards", like the Panasonic GH4.

But I haven't heard of such an announcement; is it something else?

Thanks.

I'm talking about the Atomos Shogun. It allows the A7s to record 24fps at 4k ProRes 4:2:2. It's $2,000.00 for the recorder and $2,500.00 for the A7s, so that's $5,500.00 for absolutely beautiful 4k with the best lowlight in the business. Just don't plan on shooting any action sequences with it, the rolling shutter is horrid.

But, that's relatively cheap 4k. Not flashcard cheap though; that would be great.

Ebrahim Saadawi

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 05:22:10 AM »
As a Canon guy I really am jealous of this Sony FS7 offering, though to be honest, we are comparing a 2014 model to a 2011 model. I find it very hard for me to justify investing in a camera for this business without it being 4K and raw. Even if 4K is not here yet, it will be, and spending more than 5K in a 1080p just seems like a bad investment business-wise at this truning point. I know clients are going to start asking for it, and I know that I personally will love having it, so I am not willing to pass on 4K just to find out I need to upgrade next year, this makes the C line (except c500 and 1Dc) a very dangerous investment right now when they're three years old and not new and shiny with the latest market buzz (4K).

I am one of the ones who do believe there'a something special about Canon colour science. But I am sure with some effort I can get a Sony to look just as good, it will take some practising though.

I would think twice before investing in a C100/300 right now where the FS7 is a very wise and safe bet.


Waterdonkey

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 10:30:52 PM »
Absolutely, and  agree with you. But look at this spec list real quick:

-Super 35mm Sensor
-UHD 3840 x 2160 at launch (DCI 4K is planned for early 2015)
-Dynamic Range: 14 Stops
-Base Sensitivity: ISO 2000
-Internal 4K XAVC 10-bit 4:2:2 (Intra/Long GOP) up to 60fps
-1080p up to 180fps
-MPEG HD, 4:2:2, 50 Mbps (HD only)
-Apple ProRes (with future upgrade and XDCA-FS7 extension unit)
-12-bit 4K or 2K RAW recording (with XDCA-FS7 extension unit and external recorder)
-Slow & Quick Motion for over-and under-cranking
-Dual XQD card slots (with dual recording support)
-Supports S-Gamut3Cine/S-Log 3 encoding
-Environmentally sealed electronics
-Built-In ND Filters

That's Sony's new FS7. Just go head and compare that the C300 for a second. Now, the FS7 body costs $8,000.00 vs the newly reduced C300 body for $11,999. Looking at that, why in the world would anyone choose the C300?

I know I'm starting to sound like a Sony fan boy, but I'm not trying to. I have a bag full of L glass and love my 5Dmk3 and 6D to death, but on a spec vs price ratio, it is ever increasingly making less and less sense to stay with Canon for the Cinema line when for the same price as the C300 I can get a body, external recorder for uncompressed 4k, and a lens.

YUP  +1

expatinasia

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 07:27:30 AM »
A lot of you guys are far more technically savvy than I am in these areas, but could it be that Canon know that 4K is going to go away very fast, and are spending their R&D money on 8k?

It is said that Windows 9 will support 8K resolution:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/windows-9-support-8k-display-resolution-improved-dpi-scaling-1466483

And Dell recently announced a 5K display:

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/05/dell-5k-ultrasharp-display/

And yet not many of us at all have got TV that can give us 4K content.

Could Canon be focussing on a market that is not yet here yet, as the 4K market, in my eyes at least, looks like it is going to be swallowed up pretty fast?
1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

peederj

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 04:58:27 AM »
The 5K displays allow full-res editing of 4K with some "chrome" (UI controls) around it. They are just a doubling of the equivalent 30 inch display resolutions from the HD era (2560x1600 or something like that).

8K is more or less ridiculous I doubt delivery of motion will exceed 4K at least to consumers. There will be some IMAX-style theaters with 8K perhaps.

But sooner than 8K is 6K, that's out already in the Alexa 65 and the RED Dragon. This extra resolution will allow repo (reframing in post) and stabilization for a 4K deliverable.

Post (CGI/VFX/Roto etc.) pipelines for 4K are still rare. 2K/HD is going to be used for a while and if upscaled well it can work too. We like 24p because of the blur remember.

expatinasia

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 05:44:20 AM »
8K is more or less ridiculous I doubt delivery of motion will exceed 4K at least to consumers.

Definitely agree with you there, but I also remember very clearly when people were saying similar things about 1080p. Things like why bother, shoot in 720p, nobody can tell the difference etc.

I think if Windows 9 is going to support 8k resolution displays, then I am sure that the GPU cards needed will eventually be made, as will the displays themselves, then the cameras and memory cards and all the marketing that goes with this enormous wheel of industry and commerce to tell us how much we need 8k.

We may not need any of this, but it is coming, and probably sooner than we think.
1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 05:44:20 AM »

mkabi

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 02:25:47 PM »
Definitely agree with you there, but I also remember very clearly when people were saying similar things about 1080p. Things like why bother, shoot in 720p, nobody can tell the difference etc.

Of course, you can see the difference, but its how far you are sitting to see this difference. Not to mention screen size. Apple's retina display, the ratio - screen resolution : screen size is variable to suit minimum viewing distance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retina_Display

In my honest opinion, I don't think 4K TVs will catch on...
Not only is there a lack of 4K content, but people will not see the value. Sure the price of 4K TVs are dropping, but seriously... 1080p came out at the perfect time. People were upgrading their TVs, they wanted larger televisions, flat screen and obviously 16:9 widescreen TVs... which only started appearing after 2001. Even then it was pretty thick, remember those 4:3 tube TVs? That wasn't too long ago. The massive transition from 4:3 tube TVs to 16:9 flat screen TVs was the real reason of the acceptance of 1080p.
Bah...

Ebrahim Saadawi

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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2014, 08:51:56 PM »
4K is not going away. It's here to stay as the next standard for video resolution at both cinema and TV. Not yet but soon, and I also believe the push beyond 4K will not happen soon and 4K will be a standard for a very very long time.

As the technology companies are pushing 4K, I can gurantee you that in a year or two, people will buy a TV that just happens to have 4K, and the same with cameras, all cameras will shoot 4K therefore content will be readily available everywhere, from mobile phone cameras to reds/alexas.

4K is the next medium, it's not going away like 3D. It's the sweet spot and the push to 8K will not happen for a very very long time. If I am investing in a camera for my video business I definitely want it to be 4K otherwise it's a very short-term investment. I would only buy a 1080p camera for consumer prices under 3000$ for example because I could use it for a year or so where 1080p is still the standard.

If you shoot 4K once it's very hard to go back. The resolution advantage you get from downscaling to 1080p is lovely, the reframing ability, panning, stabilization, keying advantage, it's just better even if you're not outputing in 4K. Think of it as we do in the photography world, while most of our work is not output in 20 megapixels, we prefer to have that extra resolution for many reasons, even if we're outputing 2mp files to FB. Televisions are not smaller than large prints now, why should be accept 2 megapixels while photographers don't accept less than 20+? Perfect 2 megapixel images can look stunning, but 8 megapixels is a much more reasonable resolution and it IS the next standard. Canon surely knows that and in a couple of years their entire line up will shoot 4K video, they jist are always a bit slower than other companies like Sony, but when they do it they do it in the correct time and deliver an excellent product, conservative company but reliable. They are not always conservative though and they did make the first 4K DSLR years before panasonic and Sony made theirs, it's easy to forget. 4K will come to the C line upgrades first, then probably to their consumer camcorder line, then to the DSLR line starting with the 5D mk IV and trickling down the line to the rebels, then to their point&shoots. I think it will take a long time, perhaps 3-4 years unfortunately.


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Re: Can Canon Cinema EOS Keep Up?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2014, 08:51:56 PM »