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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. if Nikon were really like Canon you wouldn’t hear about anything at all, it’d be in bins labeled Top Secret and in labs with signs saying Shoot on Sight…

    lucky for the rumors crowd, as someone other than myself has put it before, “Nikon has more leaks than the Titanic”

  2. I have a technical question,

    The biggest difference between video that comes out of a 5d mk2, 7d or any other DSLR for this matter and that of, say, RED camera is High Dynamic Range aka LATITUDE. But where does this originate from? Is h.264 inferior to RED raw? Difference in data rate? (7D has 48-50Mb/s, which isn’t all that bad). Are 5d/7d far too much compressed (if so, would that mean that the uncompressed video of a 5d/7d is on par with a red camera? I mean what is it, the single most deciding factor that makes RED video have so much more latitude than DSLR video?

    I’m not criticizing dslr video in anyway, I mean for the price its a steal. But red has so much more information in its video which makes it so much more suitable for post processing. And from what I’ve seen the 5d has very little information in say blow own out highlights, meaning if you would reduce that in post, you wouldn’t get any information out of it.

  3. canon knows that too but they wanna add “Full HD Video” in the list of features, so now they have “something” which Nikon equivalent does not.

  4. I don’t feel like I got screwed with my 5Dii, I’ve been shooting great stuff on it for over half a year now and it’s full frame. There’s a reason I (and a lot of others) went full frame and it wasn’t to get 12 fps sports shots, it wasn’t for video, it wasn’t for anything other to take incredible low-light shots in high resolution with no cropping from my sensor.

    If I waited for the 7D, then I would have felt screwed. If I waited for the Mark III, I would have missed a lot of great shots already.

    I don’t recall waiting to buy any of my film gear because digital might come one day. You buy the gear that’s available and do the best you can with it. Waiting for the next big thing means missing out on more actual shooting you can do today.

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