NAB 2012 is just around the bend and already some rumours have started to circulate about what Canon are up to. I’ve heard the same thing now from multiple people. I’m not a rumours site but if I was I’d give this a pretty good rating – although please do take this for what it is, a rumour!
What I am hearing as of the beginning of this week is that Canon have developed a new raw recording format in-house.
This is called EOSRAW and it will be efficient enough to be recorded to CF cards.
It is capable of up to 12bit 4K (as the new AVC Ultra format from Panasonic is expected to do).
Now the camera this will go in is an Alexa competitor!
Right up there at the highest end of the market and priced similarly. It has several unique selling points (bear in mind these are rumours as well!):
It is 4K out of the box but from a 8K sensor. It downsamples for TRUE 4K unlike the Epic, in a similar way the C300 does 1080p from a 4K sensor. This immediately puts it ahead of the 2K Alexa and native 5K Epic for resolution at the sensor side.
Canon also have an external box, like Sony have planned for the FS700. It adds functionality. Exactly what isn’t clear but I’d be very surprised if Canon’s new camera records high frame rates or 4K to compact flash cards, put it that way!
I am pretty sure it will do 2K EOSRAW to CF card internally and 4K EOSRAW to the external box via 3G HD-SDI.
Apparently nobody in camera land has heard of SSD drives yet!??
Pricing is speculated by various sources as undercutting the $70,000 Arri Alexa by $20-30k (see Canon Rumors).
I haven’t heard anything about the 4K EOS DSLR yet but it is a given that won’t have EOSRAW. Canon have said on the record that it does MJPEG only.
A 4K EOSRAW Cinema EOS will be great for Canon in the TV and film industry. It will push Arri and it will likely give Red massive headaches. But in my opinion, Canon have a massive gap to fill at the mid and low end now which Sony is catering for pretty well. Anything below $10,000 at the moment, digital cinema or video wise, Canon are not leaders. Nikon’s D800 is a serious challenger to their high end DSLRs, the GH2 is far better than the low-to-mid range Rebels and EOS DSLRs. The FS100 now comes close to the price of the 5D Mark III and offers far more for video people. The FS700 beats the C300 and Sony’s new small-chip camcorder beats the XF305. Maybe they have taken their eye off this market to concentrate on the high end where the big margins are.
Let’s hope they reconsider and we will see something exciting at NAB that most people will actually be able to own and shoot with.