Saturday, December 03, 2011

Canon Cinema EOS

Canon EOS DSLR cameras are known for their quality and features. Canon have now added a Cinema EOS to their range of digital cameras. This time though there is a difference; these are specifically designed for the movie maker.

"The Canon EOS C300 and C300 PL interchangeable-lens Digital Cinema Cameras are landmark additions as the first ever models in Canon’s Cinema EOS System for professional filmmakers and cinematographers"



 So, for those photographers and cinematographers thinking of buying the likes of the Canon EOS 5D, what do the C300 and C300PL have to offer that would swing the decision?

Well, lets look at the specification of the new Cinema EOS C300:
  • Sensor: Super35mm type CMOS
  • Total pixels per sensor: 9.84 megapixels
  • Horizontal Resolution: Up to 1000 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode), depends on lens used
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF Mount
  • Focal length: Equivalent to 1.53x the focal length of EF lenses;
    As indicated for EF-S lenses and Canon cine lenses
  • ND filter: 3 glass filters in camera body: 2 stops; 4 stops; 6 stops. Operate via body or wireless control
  • Video storage media: Type 1 Compact Flash memory cards (2 card slots)
  • Type: UDMA4, 30MB/s or faster (40MB/s or faster for Fast/Slow recording)
  • Recording time: 64GB CF card: Up to 160mins (1080/50i @ 50 Mbps)
  • Recording file format: Material eXchange Format (MXF); OP-1a pattern
  • Recording format: MPEG-2 Long GOP
    50Mbps CBR (4:2:2) MPEG-2 422@PHL;
    35Mbps VBR (4:2:0) MPEG-2 MP@HL;
    25Mbps CBR (4:2:0) MPEG-2 MP@H14
  • Recording frame rate: 50Mbps: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 24.00p, 23.98p;
    1280 x 720/59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24.00p, 23.98p.
    35Mbps: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p;
    1280 x 720/59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p.
    25Mbps: 1440 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p.
  • Slow/Fast motion: YES
    720p: 1-60fps in 1fps steps
    1080p: 1-30fps in 1fps steps
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Interval Record: YES. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 frames, 25 time intervals
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Frame Record: YES. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 frames
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Pre Record (cache record): YES (3 seconds)
  • Relay Recording: YES
  • Double Slot (simultaneous) Recording: YES
  • Scan Reverse: YES. Up/down, left/right, up/down/left/right image inversion
  • Exposure metering: Manual exposure determined by shutter setting, iris setting, ISO/gain setting and ND filter setting
  • ISO Sensitivity: ¹ 320 and 20000 are not 1-stop increments but represent highest and lowest supported ISO values.
    ² [850] = Lowest ISO sensitivty achieving 800% dynamic range with Canon Log function
 From just these features it can be seen that the C300 offers a plethora of options for the user and the system certainly fits the 'professional' description.
 
The fact that the system can utilise existing Canon EF lenses makes it a great option for the photographer who already has an existing Canon EOS system and wishes to move into movie making. However, at an expected retail price of £15,000 for the body alone, its not a cheap option. Considering though what you get for your money many will see it as value for money, compared to what you would have to pay for a more traditional camcorder with the same capabilities.

Due in early 2012, it is expected that the new Cinema EOS system will prove very popular. For examples of what its capable of, visit http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/ where you can watch a short film made by Sam Nicholson.



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