I was just like everyone else, waiting anxiously for Canon's super Canon EOS 1D C DSLR announcement. And when that announcement came, the loyalists swooned and the doubters spoke up loudly. One year later, validation comes in the form of European Broadcast Standards Tier 1 approval for HD production.
But what about the rest of the world, particularly the United States? What about the fact that this is designed to be a cinema camera, not a broadcast camera? The differences are clear in a cinema camera: Focus on a large sensor; low compression recording format with good bit depth; interchangeable lens mount; and ISO vs Gain. It is a completely different approach to acquisition than an ENG style broadcast camera where lenses have a servo motor, sensors are small and offer seemingly infinite depth of field, and you have 2-4 channels of audio recording available. Given all those differences, and video quality aside, I would NOT want to shoot news, soaps, talk shows or a sitcom on a DSLR. It would be counter productive given the fast turnarounds required. Now, a prime time drama, sure. A production that is more cinema like would be more appropriate for a camera like the 1D C.
This raises a good point: Are super DSLR's appropriate for big budget TV and Cinema production when there are far more capable camera form factors? Will DP's bother to pickup a DSLR, when they can choose a modular RED setup, or even Canon's EOS C500 that has audio capability built in? My guess is no. The Canon EOS 1D C and the super DSLR will not be around much longer and this press release is part of the PR fight to keep it relevant.
Do not get me wrong, DSLR's have their place. In fact, I believe they are the great equalizer. Students and Indie Filmmakers have an affordable tool to create high quality productions with the cinema look that they have been aching to create for decades. That group is the market for DSLR video production and it will NEVER go away. Canon should be focusing its efforts on giving them the best of cinema production in an affordable DSLR form factor.
Canon’s EOS-1D C: First Ever HD Tier 1 DSLR
Canon Press Release:
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 12 September 2013 – Canon today announces that the EOS-1D C, a unique and ground-breaking DSLR designed principally for motion picture capture, has been independently tested in accordance with European Broadcasting Union (EBU) standards for HD content acquisition1. The tests found that the EOS-1D C is the first DSLR ever to provide an image of high enough quality for use as a broadcast production tool.
Results indicated that the EOS-1D C provides ‘exceptional’ HD resolution from a 4K source with ‘very low’ aliasing, and ‘good’ colour performance and motion portrayal. The test results also confirm that the EOS-1D C camera system and its imaging performance comply with the recommended specification for inclusion in HD Tier 1 for HD production2.
“The EOS-1D C has received a tremendous response since it launched, and we’re delighted the test results were so positive,” said Kieran Magee, Director of Professional Marketing at Canon Europe Ltd. “We’ve created a truly unique product that offers exceptional creative scope for videographers. The feedback we’ve received from the professional video community has been excellent, so it’s great that the product has been awarded the industry accreditation it deserves.”
Outstanding quality and flexibility
An innovative model that pushes DSLR video into new and exciting territories, the EOS-1D C delivers outstanding video quality, advanced low light performance and film-like dynamic range. It’s based on the same compact and lightweight design as Canon’s EOS-1D X, only with a specification that is designed for video-supporting in-camera 4K (4,096 x 2,160) video recording with 4:2:2 colour sampling, offering greater creative freedom for video professionals.
Its unique design and 4K shooting ability offers videographers a unique and highly portable package that’s optimised for high-quality video recording. Advanced creative flexibility is provided with support for a range of resolutions and variable frame rates, with 4K video recorded using 8-bit Motion JPEG compression at 23.98P or 25P, and Full HD (1920 x 1080) video capture available at frame rates up to 1080/60p for smooth motion.
EOS-1D C Key features:
· Internal 4K movie recording
· 1080p at 50/60fps; Canon Log Gamma
· Uncompressed HDMI output
· 18 MP Full Frame CMOS
· Up to 12fps stills; 14fps mode
· 61 point AF system
· ISO range 100-25600
· Dual DIGIC 5+ processors
· Clear View II 8.1cm (3.2”) LCD
· EF lens compatible
(cover photo credit: snap from the site)