NAB 1: The 4k exposition continues…4k Canon DSLR and the C500


I will try and do a few blog posts here at NAB…It’s a few days before we start but we are off!

Another day, another couple of cameras announced…well it seems that way!

Hot on the heels of the very competitively priced Sony FS700, which should go for around £6k plus tax in England, comes the Canon 4K DSLR AKA the  EOS 1D-C and a sneak peak at the C500…

The 4k DSLR has been much rumoured for some time, and the C500…well a lot of people have complained about the C300 being just 1080p. Well the C500 is capable of 4k with an external recorder. Here is the official press release…slightly shortened by me! 🙂

The most important info is at the bottom of my post. Do not miss that. It explains how much we need 4k! 🙂


Newest Addition to the Canon Cinema EOS Product Line Combines the Convenient Form Factor of a Digital SLR Camera with Full HD and 4K Video Recording up to 4096 x 2160-Pixel Resolution

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 12, 2012 – Continually advancing the frontiers of digital high-resolution motion-image capture for film, television, and other industries, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the EOS-1D C digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera.* Delivering outstanding video performance, the compact, lightweight EOS-1D C provides video recording at 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) or Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) resolution to support high-end motion picture, television production and other advanced imaging applications.

Equipped with an 18.1-megapixel full-frame 24mm x 36mm Canon CMOS sensor, the camera records 8-bit 4:2:2 Motion JPEG 4K video to the camera’s CF memory card at 24 frames-per-second (fps) or Full HD 1920 x 1080 video at selectable frame rates from 24p to 60p, making it possible for next-generation visual expression with even higher image-quality and resolution performance.

“The Canon EOS-1D C digital SLR camera was designed in response to the needs of filmmakers, television producers, and other high-level motion-imaging professionals,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “Not only does it combine 4K and Full HD video capture with a convenient design, its use of dual CF cards also offers an efficient workflow compatible with today’s post-production requirements.”

Creative Control
The Canon EOS-1D C digital SLR camera incorporates Canon Log Gamma to enable the recording of high-quality video with rich gradation expression, making possible the type of impressive image quality required in motion pictures by maximizing both highlight and shadow detail retention while also providing a high level of color-grading freedom. The EOS-1D C’s full-frame 24 x 36mm 18.1-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor makes possible a wide range of creative imaging expression, such as image-blur effects. Additional features include an expanded sensitivity range of up to ISO 25600 for exceptional motion-imaging results with reduced noise even in low-light settings. The camera’s ability to record 8-bit 4:2:2 4K and 8-bit 4:2:0 Full HD video to CF cards eliminates the need for an external recorder and enables workflows with increased mobility. If desired, however, captured video (excluding 4K video) can be output from the camera’s HDMI terminal to an external recorder using an uncompressed YCbCr 8-bit 4:2:2 signal.

4K video is captured by an approximately APS-H-sized portion of the full image sensor, while Full HD video can be captured in the user’s choice of two different imaging formats:

The standard Full HD setting captures the full 36mm width of the CMOS sensor to achieve the largest possible angle of view for any compatible lens.

An optional Super 35 crop setting enables cinematographers to match the industry-standard imaging format and angle of view achieved by traditional motion picture cameras. This enables video footage from the EOS-1D C camera to more closely match the look of footage from other cameras in multi-camera shooting environments.

Other useful video-related features on the EOS-1D C DSLR include a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring, and the ability to view the camera’s LCD even when the HDMI port is connected to an external monitor. The EOS-1D C camera uses the same LP-E4N battery pack as the EOS-1D X, and it can also be powered by an optional AC Adapter Kit.

The EOS-1D C camera ships with Canon software applications including EOS Utility, which enables various camera settings to be adjusted from a PC, and Picture Style Editor. These two personal computer applications enable users to view the camera’s live output on an external monitor1 and adjust the image in real-time to maximize shooting and post-production efficiencies. The software also ensures no loss of quality for 4K/Motion JPEG and full HD/60p video displayed on the external monitor, and it enables video shot with Canon Log Gamma to be output on the monitor with video gamma applied.

The Canon EOS-1D C digital SLR camera is scheduled to be available within 2012 at a suggested retail price of $15,000.



LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 12, 2012 – Canon Inc. is developing two digital cinematography cameras as part of its acclaimed new Cinema EOS System of professional cinematography products. Designated as the Cinema EOS C500* for use with EF-mount lenses, and the Cinema EOS C500 PL* for use with PL-mount lenses, the cameras will be capable of originating 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) resolution digital motion imagery with uncompressed RAW output for external recording, in response to growing expectations for higher levels of imaging performance in premium Hollywood films and other production markets requiring the utmost in picture quality.

“With the unveiling of our Cinema EOS System last November to great acclaim, Canon marked our full-fledged entry into the motion-picture production market,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “To further serve the needs of Hollywood’s premier filmmakers, Canon is developing the Cinema EOS C500 and Cinema EOS C500 PL digital cinematography cameras, which deliver the added benefit of full 4K motion-image capture to the Cinema EOS System.”

The 4K imaging format is emerging as the new standard for advanced effects and post-production in Hollywood, and it is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras will not only support 4K-resolution video but also outputs this as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream with no de-Bayering. The cameras offer the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. The cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format during 2K output, which can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. If switched to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, the camera can operate up to 120 fps.

The Cinema EOS C500 simultaneously records in-camera a 50 Mbps HD proxy video to a CF card that is immediately available to support offline editing. Equipped with a newly developed Super 35mm-equivalent approximately 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, the cameras will be compatible with Canon’s wide range of interchangeable EF Cinema and PL-mount lenses and EF lenses for Canon SLR cameras. Highly mobile and compact for filmmaking versatility, the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – like Canon’s Cinema EOS C300/C300 PL cinematography cameras – provide all of the same ergonomic features, except for the rotating hand grip.

Further details regarding the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – including specifications and pricing – have yet to be decided. Plans call for these new products to be launched later this year. In addition to targeting a swift launch of these cameras, Canon will continue to enhance other components of its Cinema EOS System product lineup, which is designed to contribute to the continued advancement of tools for visual expression and the development of cinematic culture.

Canon will display a prototype of the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography camera at the 2012 NAB Show in booth C4325 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 16 to 19.”

So…what do you think? The C500 sounds very interesting. It’s essentially my C300 with a much better output, as it can output 4k raw at up to 60 frames per second to a compatible external recorder. Internally, it looks like it can do up to 60fps in full HD as a “proxy” which I expect will be of similar quality to the C300…just with 1080p instead of 720p at 60fps. Outputting 2K seems to be a 12 bit 444 signal, very nice and if you drop to 10 bit you can output 120fps. From what I can see…and the info is very scarce, that will only be externally for those frame rates.

Both a PL version and EF version will be out. Shame that again there is no single version with a swappable mount like a RED or the F3.

Price…dunno! I am in Vegas now for NAB and I will be going to the launch event on Sunday, so we should know more soon! EDIT: I am hearing between $25k and $30k

The 1DC…a full frame 4k DSLR. Gotta say I am really in two minds about this one. What it has over the C500 is internal 4k record in motion jpeg 8 bit 422 but it seems just at 24p. No word on 25p or anything higher. For higher frame rates, looks like you need to drop to 2k.

Even though it’s full frame it does a windowed super 35mm size for compatibly with cinema lenses that cannot fill a full frame. Actually the 4k video itself is not full frame. It’s APS-H size. About  a 1.3x crop. To get the full frame of the sensor, you need to be in full HD mode.

It’s actually pretty confusing and complicated  so let me break it down…

4k APS-H 8 bit 4:2:2 24p (500 mbps) Motion Jpeg recording

Full HD 1080p 4:2:0 up to 60p (same a mk3, 50p and 60p 180mbps)

An 8 bit stream in full HD can be recorded via the HDMI, yes crappy HDMI only am afraid. No external 4k output is available. Probably mini HDMI and that is NOT a connection I trust. 

Canon Log like the C300 and C500 is on this camera

It also takes stills!!

With a price tag of around $15k it’s an insanely pricey DSLR. The fact that it can record 4k internally is pretty damn sweet, the FS700 cannot do that, only RED cameras can do that and the forthcoming JVC (but that is via 4 streams and it’s a teeny weeny sensor!) But it’s only 24p and I have yet to see footage. That may change on Sunday. I am hoping we will have a 4k projection! But $15k….that’s a lot of wonga for a camera that has no XLRs, SDI, NDs etc etc…it’s a DSLR that shoots 4k video!

As someone who recently forked out a lot of cash for the C300…how do I feel about the C500? Not sure! If the price is close to the C300 then I will be at Canon HQ with pitchforks…if it’s a lot more, then Canon will have an issue as the Sony FS700 does a very similar job and is a lot less. Build quality (if going via the C300 vs FS100) is nowhere near as good, and internal recording not a patch, but both of these cameras will require an external SDI recorder to get 4k, and if you are getting one of these cameras ONLY for 4k then just from this little information and without me even trying either, on paper, the FS700 looks a better bet. HUGE CAVEAT THOUGH: Until footage is seen this is all speculation. After all the C300 HD is much superior to the FS100 full HD. I initially poo-pood the C300, then I held it and shot with it and fell in love with it from then on. So never trust specs!

BUT with a rumoured price tag of $25-30k, who is the C500 for? Well it really is in the RED Epic territory there and to be honest not a bad place to be. It’s just not a camera for the masses but for feature film production. After all, the C300 was launched on November 3rd in Hollywood as a Cinema camera. For me it never was. I bought it as a broadcast camera. The lack of 10 bit and good slow motion sold it short to compete in the feature film arena. The C500 addresses those issues with a price tag to compete in that arena.

It really does feel like we are very much at the start of the 4k revolution. It’s only going to get better, and it probably is best to wait…with new cameras coming out more frequently than I change my underwear (about once a week!) it’s a difficult thing to know what to buy and to feel secure in your investment. External recorders are great, but there is nothing like a great internal recording. The RED Epic and Scarlet have that. It’s that internal recording of 4k 10 or 12 bit that is going to be key, and whoever comes out with one of those that is not RED will have a serious selling camera on there hands.

Oh did I mention that 99.9% really don’t need 4k? Future proofing? Sure that’s nice but not needed for the vast majority of my work. I still shoot some SD jobs!! 😉 The C300 shoots AMAZING quality full HD and I don’t see me needing much more than that for a couple of years. The FS700 is different. I would not be buying that for the 4k (again unseen) but for the stupidly fast speeds it can shoot at. Please do not get caught up in the misconception that you need 4k. We are only now finally getting good super 35mm sized full HD! 4k is a long way from being supported in production houses, a long way from being in people’s homes as standard. It also is huge workflow. With the 1Dc being around 3.75 gb per minute in 4k mode. That’s a lot of storage and computer power to work with that! Right now, in my opinion it’s far from essential.

Of course next up, whilst the 4k wars start, is the high speed camera wars. Expect A LOT of slow motion footage on Vimeo in the future!  Every video will be most likely be around 93 minutes long and just consist of people falling on their bums, being slapped in the face and having all sorts of liquids spilling out of glass etc! Hooray for democratised super slow motion! 😉

Remember, when commenting don’t get angry. These are just cameras, and Canon has not taken your hopes, dreams and aspiration into a big box and crushed them into powdery oblivion whilst laughing as you cry like a 5 year old! THEY ARE JUST CAMERAS!! I hear the Canon T6i out in 2016 will have 4k as standard 🙂

EDIT: I saw footage tonight from both the 1DC courtesy of Shane Hurlbut and of the C500 courtesy of Jeff Cronoweth tonight in 4k and it looked amazing. The lack of 25p on the 1D-C is still a real shame!


  1. Hmmm. $15,000 for the Canon 1D-c DSLR and a little north of $30,000 for the C500. As I am in the end in the business of making money with my gear, I just cannot go the 4K route at this time. Heck for national broadcast spots we still have to be title safe within a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. 4K projection? Very rare. 4K television? Do not hold your breath on that one.

  2. “the Canon T6i out in 2016 will have 4k as standard”

    LOL.. I’m gonna wait it’ll 2016 to buy a new camera then.. by which time I’ll be super pissed it’s not 8K 🙂

  3. For the price, I”m just not impressed. Sorry. I find it all very disappointing. The one thing Canon has YET to do is release an APS-C camera for a reasonable price with the image problems fixed… think 70D for around $1k or so. They have gotten greedy I think and assume all the 60D / 7D / 5D types will step up instead of stepping aside. its got me looking at the FS700 which seems like the best deal right now. Of course we’ve all yet to see what panasonic has to show…. which I expect will also be 4K.

    for now I’m happy my current cameras have not been made completely obsolete even though they are a year old.

    you are also quite right that 4K is overkill right now for material with LIMITED shelf life. for anything with long term value 4K is a serious consideration. on one level its completely amazing to even be shooting 4K, but on another I feel price gouging again like when looking at HDcam gear not so long ago.

    1. I agree. They really seem to be ignoring the 7D/60D/550D crowd. As a student, I cannot pour thousands of dollars into a body. A $1k APS-C that fixes many of the image and audio problems would be perfect.

        1. Phil can you tell me if there is a quick release option for the Sachtler Ace tripod and the glidecam hd4000? I wanna get both but if they aren’t compatible then i’ll look elsewhere. Thanks

        2. I keep dreaming that canon will come out with an XL-E1 camera!
          that has all the pro features, great form factor and reasonable price (under $7,000) of the old XL line up, but with an EOS mount!
          I don’t need 4K nor want to deal with 4K files. I just need “useability” and an alarm clock to get me out shooting when the light is good!

      1. I have to agree. All these cameras are great news with great new features we are all looking for, but for me the $1500 7d was the ground breaker for me, and unfortunately, that’s the budget I’m still at. $3500 mk3 and $10,000 c500’s are great cameras, but out of the price point for the genre of videographer that really helped push the hddslr genre forward.

  4. Given the anticipated price-points, I think that (on paper) the C500 looks like a more logical and easier to market camera than Cinema 1D. I think many people had very unrealistic expectations for how the Cinema 1D would be priced and it is costing only slightly more than I had anticipated. What I am slightly surprised by, is the fact that the video ISO is peaking at 25,600. With the stills side of the 1D X able to reach 204,800 and with the Nikon D3s having reached ISO 102, 400 in 720P years earlier, I would have thought that being the only “extreme ISO” 4K game in town would have been a primary selling point for this camera.

    Now, it may be that offers unusually good ISO 25,600 (and given the 1D X stills side I have every reason to expect great things here). It is also likely that to those doing more tightly controlled narrative filmmaking, the ISO compromises of higher settings would not be acceptable anyway and that Canon has limited it to avoid negative feedback. Still, if VK unlocking the higher ISOs on the GH2 taught me anything, it is that the such things can become surprisingly useful when given the chance, especially in black and white if trying to go for a particular look.

    Another thing that bears mentioning is that we are talking about in-camera 4K available from the get-go as opposed to promised future 4K support on the Sony FS700. It is not that I do not believe that they will deliver on that promise, it is simply that both the price and timetable in which they will do so remain open-ended.

    Thanks for bringing your unique and experienced perspective to the discussion. Even after reading coverage of the cameras on practically every site out around already today, you still brought new things to the discussion. If you make it out to L.A. this trip, feel free to drop me a line. I know several musicians and composers that love your work and would be willing to donate their time to your projects just to watch you marry it to your material, creating something greater than the sum of its parts.

    Oh, and Pasadena has awesome food. My treat.

  5. But Phillip, Let me speak for all the Canon fanatics out there…

    How can I continue my meaningless life without a &15,000, 4k still camera (I spit upon that known as the RED)…

    I’ll just have to stand on my trusty Telephoto EF 400mm f/4.0 DO (Diffractive Optics) IS Image Stabilizer USM Autofocus Lens, tie my remote around my neck, DAMN IT’S WIRELESS and jump off, that will show them!

    Nice camera, but who are they selling it to?

  6. Hey Philip,

    is the U$ 15.000,00 oficial from Canon? Even if it is I would expect it to drop a litle bit as it is more or less the same price of a shootable Scarlet package, but without RAW and with a not so great codec. At U$ 10.000,00 it would start to become appealing, as the cheapest 4K camera. (as at U$ 8.000,00 the FS700 does not record 4K). At a lower price it would have 2 things that the Scarlet does not have: 1a non RAW codec, as it is easy to use and a better option on some cases. APS-H frame size at 4K. I think this camera is still interesting as it offers a way to capture 1080p HDSLRs like footage but only with more quality from the downscaled 4K file even if this is just 8 bit, I would expect i to solve many codec issues. I don`t think most people woud have much trouble dealing with 4K resolution files if they are captured in a lite codec. I was dealing (not without some strugling though) with 4K ProRes files with a 2009 macbook Pro just the other day…

    I`ve heard about the C500 being priced at the U$ 25.000,00 range. That without 10bit and without the external recorder. That is still not where the RED One got 5 years ago.

    Great post Philip Cheers!

  7. well…
    Let’s hope everybody will have money to burn in the next months or so to satisfy the “videoEgo” 🙂

    I always follow this: “The best camera in the world is the one you keep in your hands when shit happens”

    … but this NAB will be VERY interesting indeed. I hope i can see more live videos with the new C1 and the 700

  8. I don`t need 4K and super slomos – I am shooting docs for TV, so the c300 seems perfect. BUT if the image quality of the fs700 is similar to the c300 I would prefer the Sony camera – just because it costs half of the canon. The fs700 has got a new sensor – so I am really looking forward to you comparing the image of the fs700 and the c300!
    By the way: why do you think the image of the c300 looks so much better than the image of the fs100? – It has the same sensor as the F3, I think.

    1. First of all, the highest data stream your getting out of the FS100 is 28Mbps, Sony F3 being 35Mbps..Same Chip, I don’t know..
      Canon C300 is 50Mbps. However I do think that the magic of the C300 image comes from the way that the sensor is designed to work. A 4K sensor (8.3MP), comprising of four, 2 MP (Full HD) sized read-outs of blue, red, green 1 and green 2. This then delivers full bandwidth, individual RGB video components. Doing this results in NO need for debayering algorithms. No information is lost and no information is “made-up”. In my opinion the C300 has the Best 4.2.2, 8-bit signal available and possibly better then other cameras with a higher out-put. Also, the low light performance is the best around.

      1. Kinda off topic, but Philip do you know anything about Canon pulling entire Mark 3 stock back to factory? I am going to give up on trying to order this camera. I have placed this order 3 times already and it is simply not working out :(. I was told yesterday my order was cancelled due to Canon releasing world wide return to sender notice on cameras that were shipped out. This concerns me greatly as it lends credence to the light leak phenomenon everyone is talking about.

      2. Is it possible you’re going to try the D4 as well? I know it’s double the price of the MARK 3, but I just looked at clean (not slightly noisy.. clean!) video coming out of that baby at 12,800 ISO. I just didn’t think such a thing was possible. Considering how much less glass you’d have to buy because of the crop modes (also present on the D800, but not as many modes I think) it might be worth a buy just for the sharp video, uncompressed HDMI output and super clean video at ultrahigh ISO.

        1. I’ll guarantee the D800 will not have as clean high ISO performance as the D4.. Is that what your suspecting? There’s absolutely no way with that amount of pixels.

  9. The C500 to me seems like a perfect camera for our market (high end corporate, TVC, Doco) You can shoot whatever you like 4k 2k 1080 4.4.4 /4.2.2 whatever the client requires. Future Proofing? well most video dosnt get reused after about 4 years anyway but always good to shoot at the highest quality you can at the time given workflow considerations.

    Workflow is a huge issue for us…we cut about 3 payed videos per week so its sausage factory 60% of the time – in and out, not f’ing around.

    So a $20-30k C500 would fit the bill and really replaces our 5 year old HPX500 Kit for around the same money (no 20-30k ENG lens to buy). We already have Canon glass for our 5D’s.

    Will be interesting to see what happens with the C300 vs 1DC though – price point being about the same

    1. When I saw the motion JPEG codec listed for the 1Dc I hung my head and sighed. But, After seeing 4K footage displayed on a 10 foot screen as well as on Canon’s new 4K reference monitors I was floored. Absolutely amazing. Its certainly in a strange place in the line-up with that price.. We’ll see.

  10. Hello Phil!
    As you post a comment about your recent purchase of the C300, I really would like to have your advice about the buy of the F3 vs C300 for High end Corporate movies and feature documentary (with grading et c…)

  11. After finally making the decision to purchase the C300 recently. I have to say I was “sweating” when I heard they had launched the C500. Had I made the wrong decision ? Philip thank you for your post. Having looked at others on the net you still brought logical, technical and just good old peace of mind for me to make my own decision. I am sticking to the C300 and know it will be a great camera for my business. The 1D-C just seems to pricey and doesn’t have the extra’s the C300 has. Philip you are a driving force in the industry and honestly this is the one place I can actually get some impartial advice. BIG THANK YOU!

  12. Source:

    Bitrates (internal recording):

    4k 500 Mbps [ that’s 3.75 gigabytes per minute ]
    Super 35mm / 24p, 25p 90 Mbps (All-I); 30 Mbps (IPB)
    Super 35mm / 30p 90 Mbps (All-I); 30 Mbps (IPB)
    Full HD / 60p, 50p 180 Mbps (All-I)
    Full HD / 24p, 25p, 30p 90 Mbps (All-I)
    Full HD / 24p, 25p, 30p 30 Mbps (IPB)
    720 / 60p, 50p 80 Mbps (All-I)
    720 / 60p, 50p 26 Mbps (IPB)
    SD / 30p 9 Mbps (IPB)

  13. It’s very nice to see Canon stepping up and enter this market with a bunch of products, which ultimately will activate competition between manufaturers and will therefore benefit all of us.

    But I really wonder who’s running Canon’s Marketing Department, which is the one responsible for all products to be launched, their specs and their price points. As an (ex) Markt. Manager myself I see a company eager to step into a new market, but very lost in how to do it. Canon is launching products with very “erratic prices”, which move up or down considerably months after their announcement, products stepping into each other and models with undefined shapes and features, marketed at the wrong targets.

    First came the C300, as the “TRUE Film” camera aimed at Hollywood, when it should have been targeted at the BBC, as it’s a vey capable doco broadcast camera, but fails short for drama due to its image quality limitations. It also dissapointed the indy crowd as it was priced well above what they can afford.

    Just a few months later and without an announced roadmap, comes the C500, which is the proper hollywood-TVdrama camera. Comes at an “unspecified” price point and it might annoy C300 customers who wanted a better codec. Its ergonomics are at least debatable at this price point, as it will need at ton of stuff to work, for instance for shoulder operation or 10/12bit, putting it over the cost of the competitors (ALEXA)

    There also the new 1C, which is the Reuters camera (photo+video), but at $15k (or is it $10k, or maybe $8k, or….who knows?) niether agencies nor PJs will be able to afford one, not to mention indies, and frankly they”ll be much better served with a 1DX/D4/D800/5D3 AND a FS700 for the same price (or less).

    Then there’s the 4K “push”, which, honestly is ONLY for Hollywood, as if you’re outside of that circle you have more chances of winning the lottery than to obtain theatrical distribution. And as 4k cuadripilcates storage requirements and processing power, nobody is doing 4k for costs reasons. Even but a whopping $600M budget (AVATAR) it’s fine
    to be at 2k. Let’s also remember theathers have just invested a fortune in 2k projectors (or even two, for 3D) and they’re not going to buy the VERY expensive 4K ones, specially when their film projectors have been working day in day out for 2 decades without issues. Upgrade projectors AGAIN? 4k in theaters won’t happen anytime soon.

    With theather out of the question but for an elite, there’s just broadcast, blu-ray and web markets for distribution, for which 4k is a total overkill. Let’s remember that a 4k monitor costs over €30k and that 50% of the networks are still in SD. It costs A FORTUNE for a network to upgrade its entire infrastructure and they’re just upgrading to HD, which by the way started in 1991 with the italian football world championship done with Sony’s HDVS system. 2 decades (!) later we’re still NOT 100% into HD, so guess when 4k might come.

    Nice Canon efforts but they need to center more on a proper a line of products, with defined charateristics, either photo-centered or video-centered, defined workflows and clear their pricing policy which is totally erratic at this time.

    1. That is a lot of inaccurate info and assumptions in a single post. a fully tricked out C500 will be half the price of a Alexa. the one I use it about 70.000 euro without lenses, monitors etc. 4K is great because it gives you a lovely image to start with. Same reason why so many people shoot HD or 12megapixel images for use on low-res internet.

      Avatar budget is officially 236million, even with it’s 150 mill advertising budget it doesn’t get beyond 450 mill. Yes a lot of money but not a 600million movie.

      We shoot 4K for corporate events all the time, and I think the evolutions to 4K is going to go a lot faster then people think, it is not as expensive as people think.

      Two projectors for 3D? What are you talking about? They use 100HZ projectors that can easily project TWO 50 frames a second images, more then double of what you need right now for Cinema. You can do a 50hz image showing a 4K image in a interlaced way.

      I like the price point of the C500, sure it would be cool if it was 12K but if you make the money you are suppose to make owning a camera like this, the price difference doesn’t really matter that much.

      1. The original Alexa is €50k, not 70k unless you get the higher models. It’s a rental item anyway and its cost is mostly irrelevant, as commercials, for instance, have production costs easy on the €100-250k mark as for my experience. My point was that for an equal cost, as irrelevant as it might be, DPs or Directors will always opt for the true tested item, as the ARRIs have always been. You don’t fix what isn’t broken.

        I stand corrected on the projectors thing. I must recognize I don’t know much about them and my info was 2nd hand, but I’ve witnessed many a conversation complaining on the short life span of digital projectors unlike the traditional ones, stressed by the fact that they cost a lot of quid while they hardly bring anything to the theater as, being the distribution the way it is these days, theaters only make money on popcorn.

        Still insist on the “4k is a fad” idea, at this moment in time, pushed only by manufacturers, just like 3D was it for last year. We won’t see 4k distribution channels in a LOOOONG time, when National Brooadcasters as ARD, SF1, RTVE, RAI.. etc are just now starting to migrate from SD to HD.
        For over a decade recording studios have had 192kHz as sampling rate available, but nobody used as it was totally overkill. The same it is with 4k nowadays, which it is not used in Hollywood either, despite the $450M (or $600 from other sources) AVATAR budget, or the more common $40M-$80M of regular movies.
        What would 4K bring to “Sherlock”, honestly? Productions have to be amortized in months and nobody cares how you can monetize them in a decade from now.
        I’ve NEVER seen a Producer request “4K”; they only care about “making money” and “4K” isn’t related to that, except that it’d cost much more producing following such path. Zero interest.

        Canon’s C300, C500 and 1C are experiments to me, a thought reinforced by the fact that their announcement prices are more a “poll” than a MSRP, which is totally inappropriate from such a big corporation. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome Canon’s new offerings, but I think they should work better on a defined product line and not throw the photo, the video and marketing depts work together in such a way they produce “frankenproducts”.

        1. I can only speak as a consumer, since I’m not shooting in that league, but I watched Samsara recently in 4K projection (it was shot on 65mm film) and I would take that any day over 3D. It was astonishingly realistic and immersive. In fact as 4K distribution becomes standard in cinema, I think we may see people let go of 3D. And 4K workflow will trickle down to Indie filmmakers and doc shooters who hope to have their films look good in festivals, and distributed in theaters with digital cinema projection. YouTube already supports 4K playback. Broadcast TV and cable may be the last to get on board, but I could imagine 4K showing up everywhere else. JVC already has a prosumer 4K camcorder! I took a cinematography class last month and some industry tech insiders said they were aiming for 8K everything someday. Beyond 8K, apparently, few people can see any difference. So, I don’t think 4K is going away…

  14. What I do not understand is, I am hearing 2k televisions out this year. Why do they skip 2k when they could easily have done 2k on prosumer versions. Why not have a DSLR that does 2k 30p/24p and 1080p 60p/30p/24p then of course 720 120p/60p so on. Put it in the 4,000 price range. The amount that you would sell would dwarf c300 sales. Its much better to sell 50 lollipops at 5 dollars each than 1 @ 200 :). Plus you have 50 happy customers vs 1. You get the idea. Canon has never been accused of great marketing. In my opinion atleast.

    1. I don’t understand your point. Isn’t 2K just 2000 pixels across? And full HD is 1920 pixels across. Why go through all those standards changes for 80 pixels? Might as well wait and jump to 4K, which is 4X the resolution (double the resolution in both dimensions).

  15. This might be slightly off topic, but do you think there will be a 4K TV announced at NAB? Also like K Brown said, I want to know who either one of these cameras Canon is selling this to. The 1D-C is too expensive for the majority of people who invested in a 60D/7D/5D. Again like you said 4K is not a need really for anyone yet. They certainly won’t win over any RED fanboys, and even if you have the 25,000 – 35,000 for the C500, you’ve probably got the money for an epic anyways and get the high frame rates, HDRx and 5K with it. Also, somehow I just don’t see the C500 being used a feature film camera, might as well use the Alexa, Red, F65, Genesis or FILM if you have that kind of money for your feature. To me it seem like a perfect camera you! – a freelance type DoP with some money to spare, and time to experiment and have fun with a new camera. But how many of those are out there?

    Great post.

    Hopefully I’ll see you at NAB!! 🙂


    1. Who said that the 1Dc was for the 60D/7D/5D Crowd? It certainly isn’t but sure, some of those people love the form factor and will make the purchase. When you have productions like Saturday Night Live and other TV shows with large budgets using 5D’s and 7D’s because their DP’s love the form factor then they will (again) spend the money on these cameras, which are still cheaper then what they were using before the 5D’s. The 1Dc will still be a disposable camera for many kinds of productions out there. Just because its too expensive for the 7D user doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that would buy it. Also, its not just about 4K output/displaying.. I think that’s a bit off in the future too, but doesn’t a greater capture size give you a better looking 2K or Full HD end result?? I dont know.. Besides, I think its going to be less the $15K when its released.

  16. It’s exciting, but I feel that the Sony FS700 is a better bet. I could be completely wrong though. I would love to see Sony put in some sort of LOG mode, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
    4K of roughly the same quality (specs-wise) from three cameras that are in three different price ranges, and the cheapest (FS700) can do all the others can with Extreme slowmotion.
    I’m not at 4K yet, and your right, it’ll be a while before it’s standard in Studios and Homes alike. But Future proofing the cameras helps in the long run I feel.

    I’m not too big on RED right now, primarily cause of the Horrendous treatment you got from them and their community.
    I’m my opinion, they’re completely out of the picture until they can straighten up their act and prove it.


  17. Canon continues to miss the mark and not understand what caused the DSLR revolution in the first place.

    Haven’t they been hearing this from us for years:
    Wheres a sub $7,000 camcorder with 5d guts and some minor improvements?

  18. If you look at the upcoming Sony FS-700 being offered at $10K with all the video bells and whistles, future proof 4K resolution and shoots up to 960 fps. Now that’s INNOVATION. And the results? Video people are singing Sony’s praises for offering such cutting edge tech at a good price. Sony is going to sell a LOT of cameras.

    Now Canon on the other hand, very over-priced, underspec’d video offerings and the results? Luke warm to very negative reactions across with board with very, very few people singing their praises.

    Moral of the story, consumers, no matter if they are amateurs or professionals all want the same thing. Value for their money. Canon is not doing it, at least with video. Sony is, and the video sales will be reflected accordingly.

    The strangest thing is the the C-500 has extremely amazing Specs. and is CHEAP at $35K. That’s a camera that is about half of what the camera’s is competing against Epic and Alexa around $60K to $70K.

    It’s like Canon video has decided that they want to undercut the high end, but way over-charge on the low to mid end where their core customers are. Strange strategy since High end products make little money and it’s the low to mid end is where all the profit is. They have really lost their direction.

    The C-500 is to the high end, what the 5D2 was to the low end not too long ago. Where is Canon’s priorities and who is making all these strange decisions?

    1. ***very over-priced, underspec’d video offerings and the results? Luke warm to very negative reactions across with board with very, very few people singing their praises.***

      Really?? this is a strange statement.. and exactly the opposite of what I’ve heard all over. Could you give me some examples? The reality seems to be vastly different then your statement here with the sales of the C300 through the roof. I’v had a completely different experience then you for sure and I am around C300 demographic every day that are very positive about the camera and feel that Canon has come out with quite an exceptional product. Just curious as to what your sources are.


  19. I know that Philip is so conservative. But I can hear inside of his head: “Canon Sucks” . Of course it is my supposition, but as for me I really in that. Cinema camera C300 shoots 1080p and cost 15k$ and DSLR 1Dc shoots 4K for 15k$ , sounds kind of ridiculous.
    Red Scarlet 12,500$ body only with canon’s mount. And it does everything.
    Canon’s price policy is inadequate.

    PS. As for mk3 its 3500$ compare to Nikon D800 for 3000$. And D800 seems better.

    thank you

    1. I really dont know how to reply to this other than now many of the cameras you have mentioned have you shot with?

      People get way to carried away with specs without hands on experience. That is what counts


      1. Of course, the other misconception that so many have is the “Scarlet for $12,500. A working configuration WITHOUT lenses is well over $20k, closer to $27,000 actually. I am really getting tired of this kind of rhetoric.

      2. I agree. All these specs yet does anyone still want to learn how to shoot correctly?
        Everytime you see Canon release a new camera everyone starts salivating like a dog that’s seen a half opened jam jar.

      3. Yes, I totally agree that you can’t make obvious decisions without any experience. But for example
        lets take mk3, in your review you said that like “you getting amazing picture after post-production effects
        like sharpen and color grade” , I think this is not compliment at all. It sounds weird, because I think we
        can’t take it, after color grading and sharpen everything looks much better. Of course we can say its great
        camera and it does this and that, but the fact it’s getting better after post production its sounds weird.

        PS. Canon is canon. They are “evil empire”, they can do whatever they want and we deciding to take it
        or not.

        1. I feel it’s down to us – the filmmakers – to prove the point. As long as we complain they won’t listen, I mean, would you? But when we produce award worthy work on GH2s and T2is and so on… That’s how we get their attention. Eventually all of these high priced cameras will become standard issue and we’ll be posting about how expensive the new Canon 10K stereoscopic is. It’s a cycle. It’s necessary. But technology should never compromise talent and especially story. Let’s not forget that.

    2. Philip Bloom runs a blog and IMO it is his job to portray conservatism (Objectiveness)….

      That he does great ! Again IMO.

      I too find Canon Scrambling for leadership… First C300 then 5DMKIII then C500 all of them (again IMO) are compromised products.. Products which are all lacking in some way….

      Instead of bringing forth one cam that does it all they bring about 4 new cams that are over-lapping each-other.

      My crystal ball is telling me that Canon are going to be loosing LOTS of the customers they gained with the 5DMKII…

      The 5DMKII got us ALL accustomed to HighQuality… Now we want MORE of that. And Canon miserably failed to understand WHAT we wanted… LESS COMPRESSION and thus gradable images. 422 is NOT gradable to the extend of a 444. Not at all.

      So my next logical choice is RED which is a route that I REALLY don’t want to go. But i have to… Or the digital bolex.
      (If it turns out ;-)))

      As of now, money isn’t really the issue for me, I’d rather pay $20,000 for a digital Bolex shooting 444 FullHD (based on specs) than 20,000 for the C500…

      how could Canon miss something so obvious. I am seriously bewildered over that fact. And the other Manuf. are laughing all the way to the Bank 😉

  20. Philip, I think its safe to say that the camera race is getting out of control. Its super cool to see the progress of this all but I think the real investment people should be making is in lighting and glass. Also, educating themselves about shooting properly. Its foolish to invest in a camera body if it’ll be obsolete in a year. (unless you are a rental house and can pay it off that is).

    Changing your pants every week- laughed so hard when I read that line. Its so true though.

    Keep up the great work and have fun at NAB!

  21. What IS really amazing to we who make a living as shooters is seeing that the global economic downturn is affecting the quaintity and quaility of the work we or @ the very least myself are getting!

    I just finished up a series of national tv spots for a major business entity. All shot with FS100,s and Zeiss primes. I was happy for the work and the client was very happy with the look from the camera,s.

    I spent $6000 for a set of Zeiss primes. $5000 for the FS100 and $1000 for a Atomos Ninja. Bomb proof package and killer look. These industry (Cam manufacturers) seem to think we business owners can refresh our kits every year when the latest and greatest comes out around NAB time.

    As we who have been it the business long enough know, its a roller coaster ride employment wise. If the economy is in the crapper the first thing that goes is the advertizing dollar. When that happens, me and my kit sits at home doing nothing. That is reality. @ the end of the day for we shooters it is just a job,albiet a nice one to have. As a job the money spent on gear impacts our individual profit margins. Spend big bucks on a kit and not having a solid client base is a fools errand.

    Indie features? Been there done that. Low to no money, yet high demand for the latest and greatest camera. What is my point here? I like to make art AND make money. A FS100 or FS700 with a nice set of primes(Not Canon) will position you to go from corporate to broadcast and still pay the rent. Hell you may be even have time for a life. 🙂

  22. I hear a bit of hidden sour graping Phil, sorry. Hypothetucal question, if you had 15k right now and havent biught a c300 yet and the C1D is already available, which one would tou get?

  23. Do we know if Canon is making a camera in the fs100 price point? I have about 5k to drop on a camera and the mark 3 looks great but I’d love to have a “video” camera you know? I hope they have one coming out.

  24. CANON MARKETING MEETING: ” Now if we come out with a Swarovski Crystal model, we can chargee $18,000. Limited Edition”.

    The first 4K RAW DSLR with integrated Swarovski Crystal, And it’s weather sealed!!!

  25. “Oh did I mention that 99.9% really don’t need 4k?”

    Seems like only about 30% realize that though.

    Important to remember how far we’ve come so quickly. If this kind of tech advancement keeps up we won’t have time left to shoot at all, we’ll all be chasing and learning the new tech!

  26. Hi Philip,
    Is it just me or does the hardware specs for the 1DC look like the 1DX. Do you think Canon is delaying the 1DX to make sure that users can’t unlock the 4K and 60p at fullHD features.

    Great post!

    Many Thanks,

  27. It’s a curious mix. The C500 I understand. It’s the camera that should have been announced last November in Hollywood. The C300 is definitely the broadcast camera. The 1D cinema DSLR is a funny one. Hollywood will use it as they did the 5DMK2 – in those tight hard to get an Alexi into type spots. It doesn’t need XLR audio – it’s a B or C or D camera to the C500 and definitely not the answer to the budget Indie production. As for the Sony FS700. Sounds wonderful BUT it’s still only AVCHD. Okay – external recorder. Just ruled out run-n-gun documentary and News features – not robust enough. So we’re back to the C300, which potentially could cover almost anything. For now I’m shooting my kids on a GH2 without hack. Looks great!
    Broadcast News still want P2 for quick turn around – and as Philip mentioned – a lot of broadcast work is still Standard Definition. 4K is still only a broadcast experiment that NHK are playing with – we’re a way off yet. For a few years to come it’ll be 4K cinema, 2K broadcast.

  28. Of course next up, whilst the 4k wars start, is the high speed camera wars. Expect A LOT of slow motion footage on Vimeo in the future! Every video will be most likely be around 93 minutes long and just consist of people falling on their bums, being slapped in the face and having all sorts of liquids spilling out of glass etc! Hooray for democratized super slow motion! 😉

    Hey Phil,

    Did you mean to write that Vimeo and the likes would start to fill up with 93 SECOND videos? I don’t know many people who can tolerate an hour and a half of slow motion footage. That would be almost as painful as watching “The Man Who Fell to Earth” again!


  29. Can’t we just get a camera that records RAW (in camera) at 1080P at 24-60 fps? Having 4k is nice for re-framing and “future proofing” but as an Editor and Animator, RAW would be a lot more useful in my workflow.

  30. I find it amusing that a few years ago (not even 5 years!) 99% of us was shooting on 2/3 CCD video cameras and using wichcraft techniques to make it look like film… Then the 5D mkII came along and changed our lives and now I see a lot of people whining about 4k and how Canon should make this (more?!?) affordable and what not. I say be thankful for what you got and remember that a better camera doesn’t make you a better filmmaker. This is a great time to be working in the film industry… I’m constantly amazed by the footage that I get from my cheap 550D with my old nikkor lenses!

  31. Hi Phil,

    4K is the future 😉 I’m just having fun with you. I think people can scour the Twitterverse if they want to know how I feel about 4K. I think your review is quite honest – we haven’t seen the footage yet. Looking forward to hearing your opinion.

    Brett aka BorealSky

  32. Im really interested in the picture quality of the 1D-C. How will the resolution hold up? It sounds more like a beefed up 1D-X with 4k capabilities. Hmmm. I can’t wait to see samples. Thanks for the info Phillip!

    I wonder what Panasonic has in store! LOL.

  33. I’m interested in the 1Dc. In my humble opinion I think it would be quite popular in the indie filmmaker’s tool. Yes much pricier than I expected..but the 1 Dx did start out at 10000 when i’m hopeful. The big advantage of 4k, at least for me, is the ability to crop in and re frame shots I missed…like an ECU for example. Again just my opinion…but when you have little budget for reshoot/pickups..this flexibility goes a long way. I do have a question what exactly is an APS-H sensor and how does it compare esthetically to a full frame sensor. Or the c300’s super 35mm sensor?

  34. I completely agree with the part where Philip says that “the winner” will me the non-Red brand that will have onboard 4K RAW recording.

    And unless the image quality is far more superior or the camera has an exclusive feature you can’t work without, I don’t see the point of buying a camera that needs an external recorder. (UNLESS the 4K Raw stuff isn’t your everyday job and you have enough money for “future proofing”)

    As some here might start to know my comments, I am a big Red products fan. But that does not mean that I don’t like others and will consider Red the best of all. For example, if I had $20K to spend on a new camera, I will certainly go for the C300 over the Scarlet. Stunning image quality, a bit cheaper (or better equiped with that amount of money), don’t need 4K, don’t have the processing power to edit RAW in real time. That’s that simple.

    If I was the winner of Euromillion (off topic : does it exist in UK ?) I will consider an F65 and all the stuff to work with it. (BUT as a lot of people are homeless, dying of hanger and illness, I think I would clearly go for an Epic package instead as I’m not convinced to ever need all the full potential of the F65)

  35. I think alot of people are expecting too much of a camera for too little of a cash hand-over.

    Canon isn’t stupid, they are one of the biggest camera companies in the world and know exactly what their market is.

  36. $15,000 !!!!! What is Canon smoking?!?! Do they actually want people to buy this camera, or go running to Sony instead? Wow! Epic fail on the price. 4k and 4:2:2 does not equal $8,000 more.

  37. I hope Canon can unblock the 4K recording on C300 through firmware update. I just got my C300, some of my client asked me if it can do 4K. 1D-C can do onboard 4k now, i just don’t understand why not C300. I wrote to Canon to ask if they can develop the firmware to unblock 4K 4:2;2 and 1080P 50fps. but they haven’t reply yet. I love my C300, but i just think it should have more recording choices. I hope it has 8bit 4:2:2 on 4K , 50fps with 8bit 4:2:2 on 1080p. and I dont mind 28Mbps if it can go 120fps.
    maybe it is impossible, but i just want a answer from Canon. could Mr Bloom ask Canon for us,please?

  38. Bloody Hell Phil, Lots of negative pixel peeping comments on here, can’t people just be excited about the leaps in technology here and what it will mean for the industry. Having just seen what Shane did with Act Of Valor and now the Ticket, I’m very excited with what could happen next.

    Seriously, even Vimeo is starting to get clogged up with pixel peeping camera tests and comparisons, it’s credible when it comes from yourself but half of these tests are just nonsense, “hey look what my camera an do when i have zero production budget, it can see in the dark!” woopdee do!

    Give the cameras a chance, more tools for the jobs! If its too expensive to own it won’t be to rent for those jobs that require it. If your a camera operator whose comfortable with a DSLR workflow you can now theoretically advertise 4k via rental to your clients without jumping to far into the deep end or at least teach yourself the workflow with a minimal investment by renting for a day or two, Plus, things get cheaper once competition kicks in and this is the only 4K DSLR out there.

    Chill with the stills guys!

      1. I think, like Shane says, you must see the 1D C projected in 4k to appreciate how good the camera really
        is. After viewing The Ticket in the Canon Theater at NAB I changed my my mind completely about the
        camera. $15,000 is a bargain for the image it produces! Stunning! I want one…

  39. The IT industry is pushing up display relationships: the iPad has 2046 x 1536 pixels, and there are rumours that the next MacBook will have a 2880 x 1800 display. Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge chipset supports up to 4,096 x 4,096 pixel display resolutions, so a 24″ retina display probably isn’t too far off.

    So I believe that 4K is a lot closer than people think.

    On that theme, digital cinema is being driven by Moore’s Law. (Processing power for a given costs doubles every 18 to 24 months.) That’s why these cameras are changing so fast, and expect 8K for $10K to $15K within four years.

    As for delivery, it’ll probably be downloaded, rather than broadcasted or on disks. That said, I don’t really see a lot of point for it in the home as at THX recommended viewing distances your eyes can’t resolve much better than 2K.

    Personally, I quite like the EOS 1D C. It’s got a monster bit rate, and whilst that’ll make data wrangling a pain, big (3 TB) hard drives aren’t that expensive these days. I suspect that it’ll do fantastic 1080P, particularly if you downsample the 4K image.

    Plus a JPEG based output is eminently hackable. It’s a lot easier to write a program that processes that file format than decrypts a video stream.

    Of course, because it doesn’t do RAW, 300 frames per second, and cost less than $3K it’s being seen as a complete failure. 🙂

    Oh, and there was a comment from a man at Canon that 25 fps was something that they’re going to have a think about. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in a firmware update.

  40. Hello Everyone!

    I’m thinking of investing in a new camera for commercials and music videos. Most of the music videos recorded here are done with the canon 7d and 5d Mii which look nice, but i will be doing a lot of post work like camera tracking and green screen. I know these cameras have rolling shutter issues which make tracking a pain, although every camera with a CMOS sensor will suffer from this. Lets just solve this the easy way “that could be fixed in post” yikes! where have I heard that sentence before?…

    Now I was planning on getting a Red Scarlet but after what philips went through and some of the stuff I’ve picked from the Red forum it just doesn’t look good for Red at the moment. I prefer a fully working camera in my hands, not some damn lab experiment waiting to explode in my face after I’ve paid 30k. Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen the footage and I’m impressed with Red’s accomplishments yet their operating model just doesn’t suit me, I’m not rich I slaved my ass for my savings and I refuse to pay for a camera that will be more in the hands of Reds repair or technical support department than in the field making me money. The C300 is a nice camera but its 1080p only and even though we haven’t used 1080p’s full potential it will be left behind pretty soon with all these new cameras jumping in to the equation.

    Let me just cut to the chase, what camera would you recommend?

  41. Phillip,

    I know that no camera is perfect for every job as you have so rightly shown. I own the 5DII, and am looking for another camera for Film and Commercial work. I know the 1D C is over priced, but would you agree that a full frame 1D C would give a much better ‘film’ look than the C500, C300, or FS700, especially at 4K, and hopefully Raw one day at 2K? Honestly I’m not that interested in 4k, just a raw, or as close to it, at 2K on a ‘film’ look camera. I’m sure the 1D C would give that. I know that 1Dc is expensive at 12999, on BNH, but what other camera can give a closer ‘film’ look that the 1DC as compared to a RED or Alexia! It’s like you said the C500 and C300 are great Doc and Broadcast cameras; and, even the fs700 can’t give the ‘film’ look quite like the RED or Alexa. So, when looking at the 1DC with its full frame sweetness will probably give a rival ‘film’ look to the RED or Alexa then any other camera. And for 12999, even that is a good price. Although, with competition I see that still dropping. What do think.


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