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State of the Video Union – Canon

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Some food for thought
The following information is from one of my regular contributors. Read, enjoy and discuss.

5D2, 7D and 1D4
Digic IV was not designed as a video processing chip, hence it cannot downscale multi Megapixel images in real-time at a frame rate needed for video. The fastest camera ever released by the company is the 7D and it can only down sample by pixel binning close to ten 18MP images to any smaller size a second. Current implementation skips vertical and horizontal lines then averages pixel values.

Digic V has a new on die area for video processing which lets it do up to 60 1080p frames a second with help from a pre-encoding ASIC chip that does pixel binning really fast. This will generate an image with almost no visible artifacts or moire. It will still be a step below RAW video but quality will be usable on production environments and on heavily detailed scenes.

I have not heard anything about a RAW module for SLR cameras. It seems far fetched since the CF module on these cameras just can’t feed that kind of data for video even in sRAW. The only raw module I have seen specs on will be an option package on the upcoming line of video specific products in 2010.

The 5D MII 24p firmware seems to be on hold, it has been tested since the camera was a prototype and there is simply no reason why the 5D can’t do 1080 24p or 720p 30.  The upcoming 1D Mark IV will have even better video than the 7D from the specs Ive heard about and this camera will not be released this year as speculated. So Canon doesn’t
really need to release a new update for the 5D.   One interesting
thing that might cement this decision is that the rolling shutter on the 5D MII is much nastier in 24p and they probably thought it was just not good enough to release it.  If the patch is released expect heavy rolling shutter.

1D Mark IV what to look for based on part lists from suppliers and engineers:

-Completely new AF module akin to that on the 7D but with several times as many AF points. The tracking performance on this will be the best in the industry for many years. Video focus assist will be improved in speed five fold.

-Video: 1080p 24,30,25  720p 50, 60, SD with improved picture and audio control limits. Improved video processing.  If it has Digic V it will be a true binning downscale and a big jump in quality.

-No swivel screen, improved contrast and color gamut.

-12 fps at full 14bit. – this is not confirmed just rumored by staff outside of the project!

The 1D line is guarded air tight and even many engineers working on modules for the camera have not even seen the full spec list.


89 responses to “State of the Video Union – Canon”

  1. very true. when it comes to marketing, canon knows how to do it. Lol, it is funny how canon still thinks AEB more than 3 frames must be only in 1D series camera.

  2. “Digic IV was not designed as a video processing chip, hence it cannot downscale multi Megapixel images in real-time at a frame rate needed for video.” Digic IV didn’t have to do that because the sensor couldn’t spit out full-resolution images at 30fps.

  3. For the fact that 5D2 skips some lines, and then does the average on the remaining data.

    And I would like to know how exactly the skipping and averaging is done, given that the actual sensor does not produce pixels but individual colors in a Bayer pattern. Thanks, Mr. camera sensor engineer.

  4. Exactly! The mirror and shutter are irrelevant as long as the AF can’t keep up.

    It’s bad business because while Nikon’s facelifting their models, Canon’s releasing completely new ones. If Nikon were keeping up with Canon, we wouldn’t be anticipating a D3s, we would be reading about D4 rumors.

  5. not saying it doesn’t (since it does), I’m just talking about FPS in this case though.

    I do hate it when Canon puts out HD at 20 FPS … who wants/needs/even occasionally uses that? nobody. it’s like driving a car with a flat tire.

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