Canon Announces Cinema EOS C500 Camera with 4K Output

by JamesNYCApril 12. 2012 14:02

Canon announced this morning that NAB attendees will see a prototype of a new EOS digital-cinema camera, the C500, with a key difference from the recently announced C300 — this one will output a raw 4K picture (4096×2160) to an external recorder via dual 3G-SDI output.

The camera will be released in EF- and PL-mount versions, and the prototype will be on display at Canon's NAB booth next week. Date and price are "undecided," the company said, although the C500 is scheduled to ship this year. In a follow-up announcement, Canon said "preliminary plans are for a suggested list price of approximately $30,000," subject to change.

The C500 will output 4K as a 10-bit uncompressed data stream without de-Bayering at speeds of up to 60 fps. Other output options include quad HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080), and full HD (1920×1080). A 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 2K signal can be output at up to 60 fps, or a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 2K signal at up to 120 fps.

Need proxies? The camera simultaneously records to dual on-board CF cards at 50 Mbps for offline editing.

The camera will have a new "Super 35mm-equivalent" CMOS, Canon said, bumping the resolution from 8.3 megapixels in the C300 to 8.85 megapixels in the C500. Complete specs for the camera aren't set, but look for more info to come out during NAB next week.

Canon has comparison of the different cameras in the Cinema EOS lineup at its website

Press Release

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.



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