Canon has stepped into the Hollywood spotlight with the launch of the Cinema EOS System including a new digital video camcorder and seven new lenses aimed at professional film makers.
Canon launched the new system at a gala event in Hollywood which was given added weight by the presence of Goodfella Martin Scorsese. The new system will be going head-to-head with the RED cameras which have become popular recently.
Canon Cinema EOS C300
The Canon Cinema EOS C300 is the star of the show, a digital video camera featuring a newly developed Super 35 mm-equivalent approximately 8.29-megapixel CMOS sensor. It will come in two versions, one for EF lens lovers and another for those who prefer PL lenses.
Inside the C300 is Canon’s high-performance DIGIC DV III image processor, and it will be able to capture footage in Super 35 format at a range of speeds up to 60fps. It has ISO settings ranging from 320 all the way up to 20,000.
For viewing what you’re shooting, the C300 has a 16:9 electronic viewfinder promising 100 per cent coverage as well as a 4in detachable LCD screen. The C300 is fully manual focus with no sign of AF, but as that’s what the professionals want, AF is not a feature which is lacking.
The C300 has a maximum recording rate of 50Mbps and it will use the industry standard MXF format. Two 64GB CF card slots should allow for up to 320 minutes of 1080p recording and the camera has two XLR inputs for audio.
The camera will measure 133 (w) x 179 (h) x 171mm (d), and weigh in at a hefty 1.45kg, but considering the serious piece of kit the C300 is, this is to be expected.
The C300 will be available in late January costing in the region of $20,000 body-only and will come with a host of accessories, including a wireless transmitter to let you control the C300 from your smartphone.
Canon has also introduced seven new 4K EF Cinema Lenses—four zoom lenses and three single-focal-length models.
The four zoom lenses cover a zoom range from 14.4mm to 300mm - two models each for EF and PL lens mounts – while the three single-focal-length lenses are for EF mounts only.
All seven new lenses are promising “exceptional 4K optical performance” and offer compatibility with the Super 35 mm-equivalent image format. The three single-focal-length EF lenses can be used with cameras equipped with 35 mm full-frame sensors.
The four new zoom cinema lenses comprise the CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L S (for EF mounts) and CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L SP (for PL mounts) wide-angle cinema zoom lenses, and the CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L S (for EF mounts) and CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L SP (for PL mounts) telephoto cinema zoom lenses.
Each lens supports 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) resolution, which delivers a pixel count four times that of Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), and offers compatibility with industry-standard Super 35 mm-equivalent cameras as well as APS-C cameras.
Both the CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L S (EF mount) lens and the Canon CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L SP (PL mount) lens are scheduled for late January 2012 availability for an estimated list price of $45,000 each. The Canon CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L S (EF mount) and Canon CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L SP (PL mount) lens are scheduled for late March 2012 availability for an estimated list price of $47,000 each.
Looking at the single-focal-length Cinema lenses, the range comprises the CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F models, again promising great 4K performance.
“The trio incorporates anomalous dispersion glass and large-diameter aspherical lenses for high resolution imaging throughout the frame, and features a newly designed 11-blade aperture diaphragm for gentle, attractive blurring,” a statement from Canon said.
The CN-E24mm T1.5 L F and CN-E50mm T1.3 L F lenses are scheduled to be available in late July 2012 both costing around $6,800. The CN-E85mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens is scheduled to be available in late August again costing around $6,800.