Monday, November 7, 2011

Digital Cinema Developments

When the EOS 1D X was announced recently, I thought that Canon would have another high-end camera to add to the line-up, and here is a preview of it. It has no name yet, but the letter "C" is a clue to what it is: a pro-quality DSLR designed specifically for HD cinema shooting. Canon isn't saying much about this new model (my guess for its final name is the EOS 1D C), so we don't know the resolution of the sensor, though I'm assuming it will be full frame 35mm, but they have said it will shoot in 4K, which means 4000 lines of horizontal resolution, compared to the 1080 lines that 1080P HD now has. That's a substantial increase in resolving power and it may change the way that movies are made in the future, even more than the 5D Mark II changed things. We shall see.

Canon also announced a new line of lenses, the 4K EF Cinema lenses. These are lenses designed for the latest HD video format mentioned above. The price of these lenses are somewhat unbelievable and indicate they are being targeted to the film studio crowd. For example, the lens pictured will go for $47,000. Ouch! Saving your pennies won't help with these babies.

Another cinema product is the EOS C300, a HD video camera with an interchangeable lens mount for Canon EF lenses. This isn't a 4K camera, but it will have a Super 35mm 8.29 MP CMOS sensor. This means that the sensor is approximately half the size of full-frame 35mm and will match the size of the image that pro 35mm film movie cameras shoot. Its price will run around $20,000, another high priced item aimed at pros.

The last item is one that should have potential buyers of the EOS C300 rethinking their choices. RED has finally announced its Scarlet-X camera with a Canon EF lens mount, which will shoot in 4K resolution with a 13.8 MP sensor. It will sell for less than $10,000. Relatively speaking, it sounds like a good deal, especially when compared to the EOS C300. I wonder if Canon will lower their prices on that camera when it finally becomes available. I wouldn't be surprised.