Missed by most in yesterday's Canon EOS 80D announcement were the new Microphone and Power Zoom!
The new 80D is exciting (tho admittedly mainly a big bump in features with nothing ‘revolutionary') but hidden and mostly ignored are the additional accessories.
Yes, they're aimed at consumers or prosumers, but will anyone in the pro market find them interesting? Let me know below… but I suspect the answer is a resounding no.
New Canon Mic!
The Canon DM-E1 Directional Microphone is sure to be interesting for brand loyalists especially at the $250 price.
Interesting is their inclusion of 90°/120° Stereo & Shotgun Modes tho… I don't recall seeing a mic that includes both stereo and mono shotgun modes. Consumers will love that capability I'm sure (tho heck, many consumers will just turn it on and not understand the difference right?).
Plus it comes with a dead cat 🙂
Lacking a robust shock mount like the Rycote Shock Mount included on the newer models of the RØDE VideoMic Pro for example may limit its use for pros as well. I just can't imagine their implementation of a shock mount will eliminate the noises from the camera the way pro audio users would expect – if it does, I'll be shocked! (Get the pun? Ok, nevermind…)
But also notice this… Canon's included a CR2032 button battery instead of the usual 9-volt included with other mics. I suspect the folks at RØDE are shuddering at this point. Some time ago I asked why they used clunky 9-volt batteries in their mics and was soundly (another bad pun I'm afraid) taught that mics need a good amount of power to work properly and little batteries just wouldn't do it… so what are we to make of this button battery?
It is also smashing that the mic is smart enough to power off when the camera powers down… and wakes when it is turned on (tho I don't know if sleep/awake does that yet so let's assume it is the power switch). That's a dang handy feature!
Rather than using the camera's battery, this microphone incorporates its own power source to offer longer continuous recording times. The included CR2032 button-type lithium cell battery is easily replaceable and a power check lamp is featured on the mic body for checking battery level status. Additionally, when connected to a camera, the microphone will be automatically turned on or off in conjunction with the camera's own on/off switch.
I haven't found any video demos yet for the Canon DM-E1
Canon's new power zoom
I can just hear the pros shuddering on this one… heck, y'all don't like the dual-pixel AF so why would anyone use a power zoom?
You will be able to fine tune how quickly their lenses zoom in by picking between two modes; slow mode will limit the motion to 9.5 to 14 seconds, but the PZ-E1 can also change focal lengths as fast as 2.4 seconds when in its fast mode.
You can see more in these videos:
So… there you go… Canon's certainly appealing to the consumer and prosumers with these new video features and frankly, they may appeal to many of you who are budget filmmakers looking to make good films with inexpensive gear.
(cover photo credit: snap from Canon)