Canon Unveils New EOS Cinema C300 Camera in Hollywood


NOVEMBER 08, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Canon took the wraps off its first cinema-level camera in Hollywood last week: the C300. The new new Cinema EOS C300 body is an unusual looking device, resembling both a cinema camera and a digital SLR.

It's presumably designed to take on other compact, run-and-gun cinema cameras such as the Red Epic and Arri Alexa. The Canon Cinema EOS C300 was unveiled at Hollywood's Paramount Studios in a packed room that included Canon executives, journalists, and directors and cinematographers including Martin Scorsese.

According to DVInfo,  the Canon C300 will actually include two bodies: one with an EF lens mount and one with a PL mount. The cameras will use a Super-35mm 4K CMOS sensor and will record 1080p30 to Compact Flash cards with the existing Canon XF 50Mbps, 4:2:2 MPEG2 codec, DVInfo reported.

For more info and to view online demo footage of the new products visit: www.usa.canon.com/cinemaeos

Here are some more important specs on the Cinema EOS C300 from DVInfo:

  • Single 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor
  • Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots
  • Canon Log gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series
  • Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no AE or AF on either camera
  • Sold as a system, incl. LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, batt. & charger
  • Availability: Jan. 2012; Price: appx. $16,000 USD (for C300)

Canon's also releasing several lenses dedicated to the C300 system (via DVInfo):

  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S (wide zoom, EF version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP (wide zoom, PL version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP (telephoto zoom, PL version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S (telephoto zoom, EF version)

And three forthcoming prime lenses (via DVInfo):

  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-029 (24mm)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-030 (50mm)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-031 (85mm)

The Engadget blog has posted images of the Canon Cinema EOS C300 with a long lens here and with a smaller lens here.

Three - count 'em- three official press releases on the new Cinema EOS system after the jump.

PRESS RELEASE

Lights! Camera! Action! Canon Makes Hollywood Debut with Launch of Cinema EOS System
Company’s All-New Cinema Lens Lineup, Cinema Cameras and Digital SLR Cameras to Leave No Story Untold

HOLLYWOOD, California, November 3, 2011/TOKYO, November 4, 2011—Canon Inc. today announced Canon’s full-fledged entry into the motion picture production industry with the launch of the Cinema EOS System. Canon’s new professional digital cinematography system spans the lens, digital cinema camera and digital SLR camera product categories.

The Cinema EOS System targets a new area of imaging expression for Canon, building on the company’s 74-year history of innovation and expertise in the field of optical and imaging technology. The company has already earned accolades in the entertainment industry for the EOS 5D Mark II digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, launched in November 2008, which has been used in the production of blockbuster Hollywood motion pictures and hit television programs.

Canon’s new Cinema EOS System, which offers compatibility with Canon’s wide array of high-performance EF lenses, provides cinematographers with a range of unprecedented creative possibilities to ensure that no story is left untold.

“As a leading company in digital imaging, Canon’s debut in the film and TV production industry provides a tremendous opportunity to enter into a thriving market,” said Fujio Mitarai, Chairman and CEO, Canon Inc. “Reflecting upon the achievements that Canon EOS Digital SLRs have had in the industry thus far, we are confident the new Cinema EOS series products will bring that success to a whole new level.”

With the debut of the Cinema EOS System, Canon today introduced seven new 4K EF Cinema Lenses—four zoom lenses and three single-focal-length models—which complement the company’s current diverse lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS SLR cameras. The company also announced the launch of the EOS C300/C300 PL interchangeable-lens digital cinema camera, equipped with a Super 35-mm-equivalent CMOS sensor, and a new digital SLR camera currently under development that features a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor supporting the recording of 4K video.

4K EF Cinema Lens Lineup

Canon’s Cinema EOS System makes its Hollywood debut with an all-star cast featuring seven new 4K EF Cinema Lens models: four zoom lenses covering a wide zoom range from 14.5 mm to 300 mm—two models each for EF and PL lens mounts—and three single-focal-length lenses for EF mounts. All seven new lenses deliver exceptional 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) optical performance and offer compatibility with Super 35 mm-equivalent sensors. Additionally, the three single-focal-length lenses can be used with cameras equipped with 35 mm full-frame sensors. (See accompanying EF Cinema Lens press release for additional information.)

EOS C300/C300 PL Interchangeable-Lens Digital Cinema Camera

The Canon EOS C300/C300 PL is an all new digital cinema camera available in two models: the EOS C300, equipped with an EF lens mount for compatibility with the wide array of lenses that make up Canon’s current interchangeable EF lens lineup; and the EOS C300 PL, offering a PL lens mount for use with industry-standard PL lenses. The camera features a Super 35 mm-equivalent approximately 8.29-megapixel CMOS sensor ideally suited for digital cinematography. (See accompanying EOS C300/C300 PL press release.)

New Digital SLR Camera with 4K Movie Function (Under Development)

Equipped with a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and supporting the recording of 4K video* (at a frame rate of 24P, with Motion-JPEG compression), the next-generation digital SLR camera currently under development will enable exceptional image quality for the creation of innovative and expressive images. Additional details, including the product name, specifications and scheduled launch date, have yet to be decided. (See accompanying digital SLR camera press release.)

* Cropped to APS-H-equivalent size (dimensions measuring approximately 80% vertically and horizontally of a 35 mm full-frame sensor) when recording in 4K.

PRESS RELEASE

Canon casts EF Cinema Lenses in starring role for new Cinema EOS System
New Lens Series Debuts with Seven Models and more in the wings

HOLLYWOOD, California, November 3, 2011/TOKYO, November 4, 2011— Canon Inc. and Canon U.S.A., Inc. today announced the introduction of seven new 4K EF Cinema Lenses, an all-new series of video cinematography lenses that, in addition to the company’s current lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, form the core of Canon’s new Cinema EOS System. The launch of the Cinema EOS System marks Canon’s full-fledged entry into the digital high-resolution production industry. The new professional digital cinematography system spans the lens, digital cinema camera and digital SLR camera product categories.

Canon’s new EF Cinema Lens lineup includes four top-end zoom lenses covering a zoom range from 14.5 mm to 300 mm—two models each for EF and PL lens mounts—and three single-focal-length lenses for EF mounts. All seven new lenses are capable of delivering 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 seven new lenses represent the starting cast of Canon’s new EF Cinema Lens series, a star-studded lineup that will continue to grow in the future with the introduction of new A-list zoom and fixed-focal-length lenses.

Wide-Angle and Telephoto Cinema Zoom Lenses for EF and PL Mounts

  • CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L S / CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L SP *
  • CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L S / CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L SP *

The four new Canon 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.[i]

Employing anomalous dispersion glass, effective in eliminating chromatic aberration, and large-diameter aspherical lenses, the zoom lenses achieve high-resolution imaging from the center of the frame to the outer edges. Each lens is equipped with a newly designed 11-blade aperture diaphragm for soft, attractive blur characteristics, making them ideally suited for cinematographic applications.

The focal length range of 14.5–300 mm covered by the new zoom lenses represents the most frequently used focal lengths in theatrical motion picture production, a range that often requires a combination of three or more separate zoom lenses. Canon’s new wide-angle and telephoto cinema zoom lenses, however, offer a wider angle and powerful zooming to provide complete coverage across this range with just two lenses. The new wide-angle cinema zoom lenses will offer the industry’s widest angle of view among 35 mm digital cinema lenses with a wide-angle-end focal length of 14.5 mm.[ii]

Zoom, focus and iris markings are all engraved on angled surfaces for improved readability from behind the camera. With a focus rotation angle of approximately 300 degrees and a zoom rotation angle of approximately 160 degrees, the lenses facilitate precise focusing performance while making possible smooth and subtle zoom operation.

The new top-end cinema zoom lens lineup can be used with standard manual and electronic movie industry accessories, as well as matte boxes. Featuring a unified front lens diameter and uniform gear positions, the lenses do away with the need to adjust or reposition accessory gear when switching between other lenses in the series.

Pricing and availability

Both the Canon 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.

Single-Focal-Length Cinema Lenses for EF Mounts

  • CN-E24mm T1.5 L F / CN-E50mm T1.3 L F / CN-E85mm T1.3 L F *

Like their wide-angle and telephoto cinema zoom lens co-stars, Canon’s new CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F cinema lenses deliver 4K optical performance. The three lenses, designed for use with EF mounts, are compatible with not only industry-standard Super 35 mm-equivalent cameras, but also 35 mm full-frame, APS-H and APS-C sensor sizes. 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.

With focus and iris markings that are easily visible from behind the camera, Canon’s three new fixed-focal-length lenses support convenient film-style operation and, offering a focus rotation angle of approximately 300 degrees, facilitate precise focusing performance.

The CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F support standard manual and electronic industry accessories and matte boxes, and have a unified front lens diameter and uniform gear positions, eliminating the need for adjustments when switching lenses.

Pricing and availability

The Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 L F (EF mount) and CN-E50mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lenses are scheduled to be available in late July 2012.  The CN-E85mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens is scheduled to be available in late August. The Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 L F (EF mount) lens will have an estimated list price of $6,800. The Canon CN-E50mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens will have an estimated list price of $6,800. The Canon CN-E85mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens will have an estimated list price of $6,800.

For more information and to view online demonstration footage of the new products please visit: www.usa.canon.com/cinemaeos

PRESS RELEASE

A STAR IS BORN: CANON LAUNCHES NEW DIGITAL CINEMA CAMERA FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION

HOLLYWOOD, California, November 3, 2011/TOKYO, November 4, 2011—Canon Inc. and Canon U.S.A., Inc. today raised the curtain on an all-new interchangeable-lens digital cinema camera that combines exceptional imaging performance with outstanding mobility and expandability to meet the demanding production needs of today’s motion picture industry. The camera, which features a newly developed Super 35 mm-equivalent approximately 8.29-megapixel CMOS sensor, will be available in two models: the EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera*, equipped with an EF lens mount for compatibility with Canon’s current diverse lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras and new EF Cinema Lens lineup; and the EOS C300 PL Digital Cinema Camera*, with a PL lens mount for use with industry-standard PL lenses.

The introduction of the EOS C300/C300 PL coincides with the launch of the Cinema EOS System, marking Canon’s full-fledged entry into the digital high-resolution production industry. The new professional digital cinematography system spans the lens, digital cinema camera and digital SLR camera product categories.

Star-Studded Supporting Cast

Equipped with an EF lens mount, the EOS C300 is supported by an all-star cast of high-performance EF lenses, not only the wide array of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS SLR cameras that have earned the trust and respect of photographers around the world, but also the EF cinema lenses in the newly announced Cinema EOS System. When outfitted with a Canon EF lens, the C300’s peripheral illumination correction automatically corrects for vignetting in accordance with each lens’s optical characteristics, and enables iris control from the camera. Canon EF lenses also enable the recording of such metadata as the name of the lens used, aperture setting and shutter speed.[i]

Show-Stopping High-Resolution Full-HD Performance

The Canon EOS C300/C300 PL’s newly developed Super 35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor incorporates approximately 8.29 million effective pixels and has a pixel size that is larger than that for conventional professional camcorders, enabling greater light-gathering capabilities for enhanced sensitivity and reduced noise. The sensor reads Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video signals for each of the three RGB primary colors, decreasing the incidence of moiré while realizing high resolution with 1,000 horizontal TV lines.

Supported by a heightened signal read-out speed, the CMOS sensor reduces rolling shutter skews, a phenomenon prevalent with CMOS sensors in which fast-moving subjects may appear diagonally distorted. Additionally, the powerful combination of the sensor with Canon’s high-performance DIGIC DV III image processor facilitates high-precision gamma processing and smooth gradation expression.

In addition to MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG2 422@HL compliant) compression, the EOS C300/C300 PL employs 4:2:2 color sampling for high-resolution performance that minimizes the appearance of “jaggies” at chroma edges. Additionally, with a maximum recording rate of 50 Mbps, the camera supports the recording of high-quality video.

The camera’s video and audio recording file format adopts the industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format), an open source file format ideally suited for non-linear editing systems. Recording to versatile, readily available CF cards, the EOS C300/C300 PL realizes high cost-performance and, equipped with two CF card slots, makes possible the simultaneous recording of video data to two CF cards.

Ready for Action

With a compact body design measuring 5.2 (w) x 7.0 (h) x 6.7 (d) inches, the Canon EOS C300/C300 PL delivers exceptional maneuverability, enabling shooting from vantage points all but inaccessible to large cinema cameras, such as close to the ground for high-impact low-angle shots, and alongside walls. In accordance with on-location shooting needs, the camera  can be outfitted with a handle, grip, thumb rest and monitor unit, and offers an array of industry-standard terminals, including HD/SD-SDI video output for the external recording of high-quality video content. When using a WFT-E6B wireless file transmitter for EOS digital SLR cameras (sold separately), the EOS C300/C300 PL can be controlled remotely by means of such common devices as smartphones or tablet PCs.

The camera is equipped with four start/stop buttons positioned at various locations to satisfy any preferred camera-holding style, and can be outfitted with a variety of third-party accessories, including matte boxes, follow focuses and external video and audio recorders. The unit also achieves seamless integration with third-party editing systems and provides added peace of mind through its dust-proof, drip-proof construction and built-in cooling system.

The new camera allows users to adjust image quality to match that of professional camcorders and EOS-series digital SLR cameras, and offers Canon Log Gamma, enabling flat image quality with subdued contrast and sharpness for maximum freedom in post-production editing and processing. In addition to frame rates of 59.41i, 50.00i, 29.97P, 25.00P and 23.98P, the EOS C300/C300 PL features a 24.00p mode, matching the 24 frame-per-second frame rate of film cameras for high compatibility with common film-production workflows.

Other features include fast-motion shooting, achieved by capturing fewer frames per second to create action up to 60x normal speed, and slow-motion down to 1/2.5x made possible by capturing more frames per second. Frame rates between 1 and 60 frames per second (fps) can be adjusted in increments of 1 fps. Additionally, a selection of Custom Pictures lets users freely adjust image quality for greater control over how content looks.

Pricing and availability

The Canon EOS C300 (EF mount) digital cinema camera is scheduled to be available in late January 2012 for an estimated list price of $20,000. The Canon EOS C300 PL (PL mount) digital cinema camera is scheduled to be available in late March 2012 for an estimated list price of $20,000.

For more information and to view online demonstration footage of the new products please visit: www.usa.canon.com/cinemaeos

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