Thursday, 12 April 2012

Canon EOS C500 4K camcorder launches

Canon has announced a new 4K digital cinema camera, the EOS C500, which will be available late this year for a likely list price of £20,000/€24,600 including VAT (US pricing hasn’t been revealed, but should be under $30,000).

It will output 4K (4,096 x 2,160 pixels), offering a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream with no de-Bayering, as well as a 2K/4:4:4 mode.

Where the HD-resolution EOS C300 is primarily a television camera, the C500 (which is based on the C300) is targeting both movie and high-resolution digital production. It will be available with either Canon’s EF lens mount or the industry-standard PL mount.

Its uncompressed 4K output will make the most of Canon’s premium range of EF Cinema Lenses, and combine with Canon Log Gamma to deliver the quality and wide exposure latitude expected by cinematographers.

For 2K use (2,048 x 1,080 pixels) it offers full 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 output, which will be ideal for greenscreen work.

The C500 will use a newly developed Super 35mm-sized CMOS sensor (about 8.85-megapixels). It will support frame rates of up to 60p in 4K, while in 2K it will deliver 60p 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 or 120p 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2.

It can also, of course, output HD (1920 x 1080), and will simultaneously record 50Mbps HD video to a Compact Flash for offline editing if shooting 2K or 4K.

The EOS C500/C500 PL cameras will have all of the same ergonomic features as the EOS C300/C300 PL cameras, except for the rotating hand grip.

A development prototype of the EOS C500 will be on show at NAB next week (April 16-19 in Las Vegas). Canon will also show a prototype of 30-inch 4K display aimed at post-production.

By David Fox