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Saturday
Feb062010

SF Supermeet - Canon Announcements

There are e ton of people reviewing the "Big Announcement" from Canon last night. So I think I'll throw my .02 cents in the ring.

Face it, everyone wants, AND ASSUMES, that Canon will be announcing a hybrid camera this year, maybe as soon as NAB, supposedly it was gonna be last night. What do we mean by a "hybrid"? What everyone wants is a proper video style camera but with a giant sensor like the 5D, or even a 1.6 crop sensor like the 7D.  

A "proper video camera" would solve the ergonomic problems of the DSLR bodies, it would have a useable audio sub-system, it would have a flip out screen that was viewable form multiple angles AND it would have a large sensor like the DSLRs and the Canon lens mount that would allow you access to the wonderful Canon Lens family. Thats what everyone wants. 

My guess... its not gonna happen.

What did they announce? 

A New Plug In

A really cool new FCP plug in. This plug in will allow you to bypass the entire transcode dance that we have all been doing with the MPEG Streamclip or Compressor. Here is how the plug in works. First you mount your CF card from the field. The you run Log and Transfer and pick the ProRes Coded you want to use, it only seems to work with ProRes as the output format. You can then name your "Reel" and add other metadata, Choose your in and out points just like you would expect to be able to do in Log and Transfer, choose the clips you actually WANT to transfer and let it rip.

There are two really cool added features. First, timecode. Well sort of, it will take the time of day from the camera body at the time that a clip was made and fake some timecode from that frame forward. So each clip has different code and no longer will ever clip start at 00:00:00:00. Pretty cool.

The other feature addd by the plug it is that all the metadata that the camera would have put into a RAW or JPEG file if you had snapped a photo at the time you started the clip (or maybe when you stopped the clip) will be embedded in the clip. If you don't know that metadata is in the .THM file that is already on your CF Card. If you change .THM to .jpg and open it in iPhoto or Aperture you can read that metadata now.

All in all, this plug in looks really cool. It will easily become the defacto workflow for HDSLR shooters (well the Canon ones at least).

A New CODEC

This had leaked, or was released, a few nights earlier. This can be read about anywhere but basically its a Long GOP MPEG-2 50 megabit codec. The dude from Canon showed some frame grabs and explained the difference between 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 and why this is far superior and it looked great. The core problem was that it will not be in the DSLRs. When pushed on the subject in Q&A and asked would it be in a "firmware update" to the DSLRs all he said was, "well its not that easy, the codec that the DSLRs record to is baked into the hardware". Short answer, we're totally stuck with H264 for the time being with the hardware we currently have. Which makes sense.

A New Camera

Ah, now we talking. Is this the Hybrid we all want. Short answer? NOPE. It looked like an HVX-200. Had a fixed lens so you can't use the bad ass Canon lenses. I am pretty sure I heard it won't have the big sensors, and if it was they sure were vague about telling us. And basically they had nothing but a mockup under a plexiglass box. 

Bottom line... if you were waiting to go by your Zacuto or Redrock Micro support gear because you thought you were gonna get your new Hybrid Canon camera in the next couple months, forget it. Go buy your Tactical Shooter or Captain Stubling now. Well... that my opinion, I could be wrong.

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    Response: Hollister

Reader Comments (1)

It's 1/3" sensors. We already have a great codec, detachable lens, great ergonomic, 1/3" camera for under $10K, the Panasonic HPX300 AVC-Intra 100 model. That means Canon's camera needs to be well under $5K. Obviously Canon's SLR and video camera departments don't communicate with each other.

Happily, Panasonic will be showing a large sensor video camera at NAB, but it may only be 2/3", using AVCCAM codec--no match for the new Canon codec.

February 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Regan

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