Canon 4K mirrorless DSLR available within 12 months



Canon’s Chuck Westfall has said the new 4K concept DSLR will be on the market within 12 months. He made the comment in an interview with The Verge magazine. The rear of the camera gives us some other clues – it has a wide 16:9 screen rather than the usual 4:3 or 3:2 screen on normal DSLRs.

I also think that this full frame DSLR with be mirrorless. In order to work with PL mount lenses, a DSLR cannot have a mirror in between the mount and the sensor. Also in a cinema orientated DSLR an optical viewfinder is totally useless for motion. Removing the mirrorbox would be totally necessary, and Canon have already pictured the DSLR with a PL cinema lens attached.

It may be possible that Canon will still stick to the EF mount on a mirrorless camera to encourage the use (and sales) of EF lenses but without a mirror. What would make more sense is a new lens mount and adapters for EF & PL lenses. A new mount would allow lenses with video optimised features similar to those Panasonic produced for the GH1 and GH2. Full auto, silent OIS, aperture and AF are all necessary features for run & gun documentary and news people, so the demand is there.

The C300 was developed partly by XF305 engineers, partly the 5D Mark II team. Canon say there is a possibility of the C300 technology filtering down into an EOS DSLR. This from an interview with Imaging Resource:

IR: Do you see any areas in which technology developed for these new cameras may transfer into your SLR product line?

Larry Thorpe: There’s always possibilities of that, and there’s now more cooperation between the engineers… [In the past] the video who did the XF camcorders and the EOS; they lived in a separate world. This project brought some of them together, and Mr. [Masaya] Maeda, he was banging heads to make sure that as we go forward, you’re going to see more and more of that, so there’s going to be a lot of cross-fertilization.

The DSLR folks, when they design a sensor, they’ve got criteria – you know, they’re looking at ISOs of 200,000 – and we don’t worry about that sort of thing in the motion side. But, you know, great technologies come from both, and this new sensor was developed by the group that normally had two separate groups, doing a little 1/3 inch and the others doing the EOS, and they came together with some great ideas, and came up with this, what I think is a brilliant architecture.

In others news…

Added value

In an interview with The Associated Press, Fujio Mitarai (Chairman) said Canon’s move into expensive high-end products for professionals comes in response to the rising yen and the movement of manufacturing to cheaper-labor countries abroad. “Anything without high added value is now being manufactured in southeast Asian countries and China. So we need to shift into an era where all our products have an added value,” Mitarai said. “That is one major trend in meeting the difficulties posed by the strong yen.”

Bryce Dallas Howard shoots 5D Mark II and C300 short

Bryce Dallas Howard

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard has directed a 25 minute movie using mainly the 5D Mark II called When You Find Me for the EOS Movie / DSLR marketing campaign Project Imagination. The film is due out on the 15th November and the campaign with Bryce’s dad Ron is set to climax in New York at the same time. This could be a good time for a 5D Mark III launch and to take the Christmas market. Here’s some more on the movie:

When You Find Me is the story of two sisters who find their carefree lives on the farm shattered by the sudden loss of their mother. Lisle, the younger and more imaginative of the two, becomes fixated on the idea of finding a spaceship in the woods which will transport them to heaven so they can reunite with their mother.

Racked by a private guilt, Aurora, the older sister, is unable to share in the young girl’s naive conviction. Their opposing beliefs lead to a rift which continues to haunt them well into their adult lives. Alternating between past and present, When You Find Me is an emotional fable of two people coping with tragedy in very different ways, and what it takes to find peace and reconciliation within yourself and the ones you love.

About Author

British filmmaker and editor of EOSHD, Andrew works in Berlin on his own self funded filmmaking and video projects.


  1. William De Young on

    I really love the idea of canon pushing harder to gain market on the DSLR market /mirror less market and so on. But it’s kind of weird that they are going to come out with camera that shoots 4k when they came out now with a cinema camera that just output 1080p. Thats makes this totally weird but hey, if its true, fine by me. I hope it will not cost 20k thought…

  2. It is 1080p because that is where the TV production market is at the moment. 4K isn’t mass market yet. When a studio, crew or TV production chooses a camera they want a very good HD camera.

  3. This is all great news, but I hope we have next year something (let’s call it EOS 650D) that it’s on par with the Lumix GH-2 image quality, for us video enthusiasts. Canon started as a lider (on video democratization) and is getting behind, as a simple follower. We need something more risky from them, not just small iterations over what’s already there.

    And Canon, don’t forget 1080 60p!! I can’t believe the C300 doesn’t have it…

  4. I know what I want for X-mas 2012……but surely it will cost more than the 1DX which isn’t cheap, but o my I want one.

  5. It won’t cost $20k because it is not Canon’s flagship 1DX priced at $6800 and too high a price it will risk alienation from mass market appeal. I think it will take the place of the old APS-H 1D series in price range $3-$4k, 18mp, electronic ND filter, low fps and fewer AF points than 1DX.

  6. A 4k has an advantage for cropping just like hi res stills. I can shoot handheld with 4k and crop it to 1080p for stabilization.

  7. I am expecting around the $6k mark for the 4K DSLR. $4K for 4K won’t happen yet. 5D Mark III should be the one to get in my view. $3k is much more accessible.

  8. You know, for me, part of the greatness of the first generation DSLR’s was the dual functionality of stills AND video. I love my T2i for this very reason. I can work around with this tiny thing and shoot some really sharp stills as well as flip into movie mode and keep right on shooting nice 1080p footage.

    I guess that means my two biggest concerns are: How crippled will the picture-taking aspect of this camera be? And how much is it going to cost??

  9. The problem will be how does it fit in with the 1DX? If it is price at $6k it will each into each others market because price point are too close and Canon don’t sell too many cameras at $6k and above. The price gap at $4k between 5DMkIII and 1DX make more sense. One has to remember other companies are moving towards 4k video dSLRs with competitive price in the next 12 months so Canon C camera is not alone.

  10. ” other companies are moving towards 4k video dSLRs with competitive price in the next 12 months”

    Which company is going to release a 4K video DSLR with competitive price in the next 12 months?? I haven’t found any news or rumor regarding this

  11. As a Nikon photography shooter (profession) who has bought a Canon 7d and now a gh2. If you have the means, it is silly to wait. Just buy yourself a gh2 body for about $ 800 and an adapter for your lens. When and if Canon comes out with an update to their video dslr you can sell the body for just a little loss. The hacked gh2 is only incredible. I just can’t compare it with the 7D, it is just another world. No aliasing, moire. true true high resolution images and for me wo lives in a hot climate. No overheating. You just shoot the only thing you have to care is not to shook it too much because it has rolling shutter as the other cmos sensor camera.

  12. The mirror doesn’t make it take better photos (look at the NEX5N or NEX7). If Canon makes a video oriented Full Frame DSLR (ok, it won’t technically be a DSRL if they remove the mirror…) it will have nice stills features, at least as good as a EOS 60D I bet.

  13. Interesting how you are attempting a media blackout on the Red Scarlet here. Why wait 12 months for 4k Motion Jpeg – when you could be shooting 4K raw files next month – just saying…

    As for C300 – it doesn’t look as good as a 5D mark II or 7D, or Gh2 because the imaging path is only 8 bit color from the sensor through the imaging pipeline, versus 12 or 14 bit color D/A to 8 bit color recording…

  14. Yeah, it’s like a fanatical religion when its actually just a brand. Surely there are better things to worship in life than damned camera companies.

  15. TV production people still want 4:3 SD. 1080p 16:9 makes them look stupid when they have to make significantly more frame look pretty…and get the right subject in focus.
    Most camera men are too fat and blind to get into the details.
    ^^ totally unbiased facts. =)

  16. christophweihs on

    have you actually looked at the red 4k footage..

    the red 4k looks only a little bit better than upscaled 1080p from a hacked gh2.. no kidding.
    it is like 16mp mobile cameras : P

    red versus 32mbit gh2

    red still craps at 5k.. which can be opened in photoshop scaled down to 1080p and when you upscale to 5k again is has pretty much the same detail : P

    all this “oh i can crap 5k still from my red” is.. well bull****. look at the images.. such a jpeg would be totally unacceptable from a dslr

    i would have to bring it down to at least 3k to have same pixel sharpness as from a dslr
    and when you crop to 3:2 there are only 2373*1582 pixels left.

    you might need the better audio options and what not but from a resolution standpoint the red is actually pretty lame..

  17. This is the dream camera for solo / small crew shooters – Full Fame sexiness, small size, and 4K is great for the green screen we have at our studio, and 2K for everything else. EF mount is OK with me since I have a good deal of Canon and Zeiss lenses that interface, but a shorter flange length would be a bonus, but I doubt it’s going to happen.

    I think it’s interesting how the EF mount is slowly becoming the de-facto low budget cine mount. The new REDs come with EF mounts and it seems a number of cine lenses being released are going the same way.

    As for Andrew shunning the new Scarlet, that camera has such a completely different work flow than DSLRs, and probably doesn’t really fit into the paradigm of “” The Scarlet is not a small camera at all. It’s 5.5 lbs just for the brain. Add a lens, LCD screen, battery, handle, etc… and it’s probably pushing 10 lbs. Not exactly the freedom of DSLRs, a completely different beast. It would be hard to shoot with just one person. More of a crew type camera.

    REDs are also notoriously buggy. I’ve work on a number of jobs now that were shot on a RED, and there is almost ALWAYS issues, especially in post. It just seems like their cameras are forever in BETA and RAW is extremely tedious and time consuming to work with. Not the nice, fast DSLR codec work flow. Philip Bloom blogged that his new $58,000 RED Epic had major mechanical malfunctions on the first 2 shoots in a row. Now’s he’s a bit nervous about using it. For 58K, it should not break the first two times out. REDs are a completely different sub-species than DSLRs and different than the new Canon c300 which who’s ergonomics are very DSLR inspired.

    So yeah, hoping this camera lives up to the hype. If it does, it will probably be the best DSLR of all time (so far). Keeping my fingers crossed.

  18. Good point.
    With SONY, RED, and Canon showing their stuff already there is a gaping hole in $5K ~$9K with 3K capabilities left wide open for Panasonic to occupy quickly. Panasonic has been quiet for a long while and if they disappoint the way the other sisters did we are entering some unknown territories.

  19. I realize it’s just a prototype, but I wonder if they’re considering making the LCD flip out.
    From the image it looks like it’s fixed like the 550D.

    (or is that a 1DX and I just read it wrong?)

  20. all the photo’s we have seen of it are just the 1DX but they put a little red “C” sticker over the logo for the 1DX. Its more to give an idea of what to look forward to. If you look at pics of the 1DX its identical.

    From a few of my sources it will be a little closer in design to the C300. Think child of 5d and C300.

  21. Panasonic don’t seem to be advancing their sensor technology as quickly as I’d hoped given the manufacturing investment and capacity. They need an AF100 replacement to compete on specs especially at the higher end. Maybe price will save it, I don’t know. The new GX1 is a high end mirrorless but has the same old tech as other G series cameras, all rather reheated. Panasonic can do better than this!

  22. Canon will keep the battery grip for extra battery power and they need that if they are going to charge people £4k or $4k.

  23. First of all I am really disgusted at the complete news-black out of RED Scarlet here..given the fact that you do cover other camera brands such as GH2 and Sony. And all these rationalizations people give about you shunning it is completely ridiculous. 1. Image quality and reliability of RED being crap?! Watdafuck?! You think Peter Jackson with his half a billion dollar budget for his latest film would buy 48 RED Cameras if the image quality and reliability and final image suck and can be replaced with a GH2?!? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, I cannot imagine how ridiculously stupid the some of this site’s fans are. Just because you saw one vimeo video of an uncontrolled non scientific image qualitu comarison, a couple of blogs and a RED-newbie speak about their bad experience suddenly you completely believe that it is crap. That is totally stupid.

    About RED being beyond this site’s range of product weight tolerance, watdafuck?! If can be held just like a souped up DSLR ready for an actual serious shoot. I mean, if your really shooting serious wour eith a 5D youd have to include a cage for the mic, lights, matte box and shoulder mount right?! So the size and weight difference isssue is complletely ridiculous.

    Stop reasoning out for this site’s BIAS. Its BIAS. Period. RED is the company that will shatter Canons dream into the pro video market, and Sony is wiping its ass off Canon’s framerates with its 1080p 60p even with the $600 dollar digicam-sized Nex5N.

    Like how everyone said, regarding this 12 month “promise” of Canon for 4K. Why da-F wait. Scarlet and Epic is here. If you need 4K, make like the pros and buy/rent one.

  24. What we need now is the new Canon line with real 1080p. I definitely cannot wait another year for a camera I could never afford :D

  25. Are you sure about that, in par with the GH2? Remember that now canon has to protect their video cameras! Sony didn’t fix anything with the nex5/a77 but the fs100/f3 are outstanding. Probably Canon will unfortunately follow this trend.

  26. @quobetah
    Perhaps you should send one of your RED cameras to Andrew for a hands on review ! i pay the shipping ( one way )
    The fact that even the low end RED camera ( scarlet ) could cost as high as $14000.00 without a lens, make those cameras redundant for masses. To top it up in order to get the claimed and prized 4K qualities out of even the low end scarlet one would need a true 4K lens which cost some where between $5000.00 and kings Ransom.
    There are enough fan-faires around about all things RED these days that i wouldn’t be surprised to read about it on the back of my serial box a year from now. i’m not sure where your lack of Vitamin RED comes from and why you need to get it on EOSHD !?

    First rule of industrial production ( from my economy 101 ) : ” Out of reach out of mind “

  27. I have problems with that comparison video, mainly because he used a 1920×1080 crop on the RED camera but the whole sensor on the GH2. If he had used the telecrop mode of the GH2 it would have been a more direct comparison but to me it was a little bit shady to only use a 1080 cropped portion on the RED sensor through the entire test when that’s using only about one-seventh of the sensor. He could have at least taken a few shots at full resolution and downsampled them to 1080

    Canon’s cinema DSLR should give beautiful images that would give RED a run for their money, at least if you don’t have to do extensive grading. Unlike some other posters here, I don’t think this camera will cost more than the 1Dx, unless the hardware needed to compress 4K off the sensor into motion jpeg on the fly is very expensive. I don’t see why Canon would need to build it like a tank or put such an insanely fast (and expensive) mirror system in it, so production costs should be a bit less

  28. I love RED and if it were a woman I would bed it.

    Happy? Seriously, though, I make a living partly as a scriptwriter, have a couple of films out and several TV series, too. But I’m tired of big budget pro productions where my script goes through a dozen committees and by the end of it what goes on screen bears little resemblance to what I wrote. Since sourcing for funding for the personal work that I want to do will likely still entail compromising and kowtowing to the sponsors, I’ve decided to buy a small Panasonic and learn how to shoot it myself. Would my film look better on a RED? Maybe. Maybe not. But with the Panasonic I can go out just on my own and come back with something I could use.

    So for me personally this site’s coverage is simply perfect. I could do without the talk about higher end cameras like the C300 or FS100. All the gear talk only serves as a distraction to me, when all I want is to learn as much about small camera shooting as I can. If I want RED talk, I’d probably go look in the RED oriented websites instead.

  29. first off, I’m sure Andrew has no intention to “media blackout” the RED cameras. Go easy guys, and be realistic. Andrew pretty clearly has an emphasis on this site towards less expensive gear. Along the lines of “media blackout” accusations, I could damn him for not talking about Master Primes or Panavision anamorphics. He writes good reviews on reasonably accessible (and priced) gear.

    second, I’m earnestly hoping (probably in vain) that this camera will be what pushes all manufacturers to the next level. 4K, interchangeable lens, (hopefully) good on-camera image processing, etc.

    the 4K beast should really be a simple formula: good sensor (with reasonable DR, good highlight rolloff, good color), minimal manipulation from sensor to storage, HDMI out, XLR in, interchangeable lenses (obviously). Surely this is doable for under $5k.

  30. Even by running a 3×3 binning pattern on their sensors would go a ways towards fixing most of the moire. They haven’t said exactly how they’re going to do it (do they ever?), I have heard someone speculate it might be 3×1 binning but it’s all just a guess right now. But long story short, yes the moire should get better, it’s been something of an embarrassment to Canon for a while now. Now higher resolution? Not so sure about that, at least on the 1Dx (the c300 should compare with the high-end Sonys and the cinema DSLR should exceed both)

  31. DIGIC5 in the 1D X will almost certainly be the same in the 5D Mark 3, even if it is a 1 chip version not DIGIC5 + it will still have the same scaling algorithms as the 1D X. I’m expecting good things.

    Sony did fix stuff on the NEX 5N and A77 Sandro, namely 1080/60p and less moire than on the previous cameras.

  32. Yes but the resolution is still low compared to the GH2 and the moiré is still there, I’m worried that the new EOS consumers line will be on par with the NEX5N. IF it will be on par with the GH2 then well. it’s gonna be a hell of a product and a real revolution, but will they do it considering what they announced? Othe other side could they afford to re-direct video users to much more expensive cameras to get a real 1080p in 2012 (Panasonic was able to do it with the GH1)?
    I’m dying to know, it would be such a bummer to wait all these months and get a copy of the new Sonys!

  33. just get the deliverables from the TV station before you shoot. That will tell you camera for best workflow. Can’t go wrong

  34. the reason is mirrorless cameras outselling DSLRs in Japan at a great rate of knots due to efficient new technology

    In a couple of years it could be the DSLR as we know it will be no more. I understand the aim is to go mirrorless as standard, and that is why I’m staying with the 5D and buying 2 GH2s

    No way will I replace the 5D or buy the 1DX or a top Nikon if they are out of production in the near future

    Remember how expensive SLRs weren’t worth two bob when we went digital? Same thing, or rather, same result

  35. I have 2 cameras – RED epic and GH2.
    I kind of miss shooting on the GH2, the GH2 for it’s price and weight , the camera becomes an extension of your body it’s almost like wearing specs. it’s just something at the end of your arm, you can forget the camera, and live, experience, shoot the moment.
    NO way you can do that with RED EPIC – it’s smallish but the weight of the camera makes it’s pressence know. espeically the PRICE! shooting in fear.

  36. lets hope we get the following from canon 4k? 1080p xlr frames rates 60, 29, 24, mirror less camera, no limit of time like the 5d that shuts dawn after 12 minutes don’t care if its Sd or Cf card, real Hdmi.
    and follow focus option (don’t need to here what its designed for?) its not that complicated ? price range 2k to 3k remember that the cine lens sale for 6k and above canon will make the money anyway. we don’t need to hear that for quality y have to pay we know that .
    canon is not alone in that game sooner or later Samsung and other company’s will catch up.

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