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Interview with Canon's Mike Burnhill on the Canon 1D C 4K DSLR


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#1 EOSHD

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

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At Photokina Canon had their latest build of the EOS 1D C on display, a $15,000 DSLR which is heavily based on the $6000 1D X but has extra recording modes for 4K/24p and 1080/50/60p. At the time, Canon's product manager at Photokina (not a hired hand or a sales rep) to my surprise told me the main difference to the 1D X was just firmware and that the hardware was identical other than a slightly different selection of connectivity ports.

Canon contacted me a couple of weeks ago to expand on and correct this from their side - there are other subtle hardware changes to enable 4K video, other than just firmware.
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#2 FilmMan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:35 PM

Andrew, Right on!

When a company is an industry leader, it should not only keep their current clients happy, but try to steer competitor clients onto their boat. The 5D3 could have been way more. 4 to 5 years for a few extras? Look at the $400 Hero 2.7K camera! Do they think the consumer is that stupid? I like Canon products but today's market is different. Change with the times. Don't wait for the times to change you. Cheers.
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#3 JHines

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:41 PM

Canon is slowly going into damage control mode after their reluctance to innovate at the 5DIII price level. They surely are feeling the heat from other competitors and long time customers. Their Cinema line has alienated everyone who fell in love with Canon DSLR's for video and it's a shame. They had the chance to completely squash the competition and run away with the top market share but instead, they became too busy worrying about how to protect their outrageously priced Cinema line by deliberately crippling cameras and limiting features that should have been there from the start.

Is it that fucking hard Canon? We all want a DSLR that has an articulated screen, resolves over 1000+ lines, includes multiple frame rates at FULL 1080p (24,30,50,60) possibly even a 720p mode at 120fps, dual card slots, manual audio control with levels on screen, maybe even XLR inputs on a separately sold grip, and clean HDMI with 10 bit 422 out. These are specs that today in 2012 should already be out in a $3,000-$5,000 camera.

$15,000 for a 1DX with a firmware update and some extra metal heat sinks is absolutely ridiculous. Looking forward to someone taking apart both the 1DX and 1DC to reveal what really is going on internally that makes them so different and worth the $7,000 premium.

#4 OzNimbus

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:19 PM

Glad you asked some tough questions regarding price and performance compared to the GH2. Sounds like the guy was squirming there for a bit.

#5 Max

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

EOSHD: I feel the actual detail in 1080p on the 1D X and 5D Mark III is closer to 720p in reality – so can this be improved to be competitive with the $700 Panasonic GH2?

This is why I like EOSHD. They are not afraid to ask the questions that no one else ask!
Its a punch to the face for canon, a reminder the customers are not stupid.so better to them to change their policy.

Very good interview and a contribution to us, the customers.
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#6 galenb

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:29 PM

EOSHD remarks: Because 4K is for now mainly a cinematic standard not a broadcast one, the drive to standardise cinema to 24p all over the world is why I think Canon are reluctant to add 25p to the 4K mode, despite of being one of the strongest manufacturers out there for 24/25p switchable 1080p video on DSLRs. I’m all for global standards but 25p exists for a good reason. For as long as PAL countries use 50hz electrical lighting the technical reasons for shooting 25p in the field are relevant. Even if you sync the shutter (i.e. 1/50) you can not avoid strobing or flickering under many common practical lights and street lighting when shooting 24p. Mike remarks that the 1D C will benefit journalists, cameramen (in-house, freelance or indie) and wedding videographers – but the lack of 4K 25p is a serious issue for these users, and a massive workflow hassle when mixing 4K 24p footage from the 1D C with 25p footage from other cameras.


Not only that but they have seen fit to put 30p in the camera along side 24p and 60p. Can anyone tell me why that is? When everyone here in the states shoots 24p, even for commercials and TV shows and then has to convert to 30p for broadcast... What's the point of 30p? Honestly, if Canon is going to start taking a stand against 25p then why not 30p as well? Nothing looks less "Cinematic" and more "Video" in my eyes then 30p and the rest of the industry would probably agree too. I don't think that enough people who would by that camera actually need to shoot in 30p. And honestly, if you were shooting ENG and photos wouldn't there be a better camera to take into the field then one that costs $15,000? I'd be afraid of damaging it or something.

I'm just saying, if you're going to get rid of 25p get rid of 30p too.

#7 jessekorgemaa

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:34 PM

I mean no offense, but all of the spots you put under "eoshd remark", those are the tough questions that you should have asked. Rather than slap on some back handed remarks with no option for them to actually answer you.
You asked questions in this article, not tough questions.
Mind you I am not great on my feet either.
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#8 gene_can_sing

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:48 PM

Good interview. I think you made him sweat a bit, which is what I thought you would do since you're so hard on Canon.

As for 1080p still being soft, that is un-excusable for a $15K camera. I guess if you want to film 2K with acceptable resolution, you have to buy the C300.

With Canon, you can never really win, only pay more.
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#9 Kickass

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:52 PM

"Canon need to watch carefully and see that Sony do not bring out a 4K cinema camera that completely trumps the C300 and C500 specs, for less money."

Hasn´t this already happened though? FS700, although not internally capable of 4k recording, gives you 4k (and plenty more on top).

#10 Auri

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:24 PM

After buying canon 7D i came to know about EOS HD, and panasonic gh1, soon after panasonic upgraded the gh2 and i still had canon, now gh3 has come and canon still is beating around the bush, same quality video in different cameras at different prices, this is a very upsetting moment for canon users like me, i waited for 3 long years for canon to update there video resolution, they still produce 720p and claim 1080p in 24p, no 60p, no hdmi out, i mean what is this. after this long wait i changed my mind to go with panasonic gh3 and go pro hero 3, i preordered these and said goodby to canon for good. i am not one of those claimed professionals who can afford 15k for video dslr, like me there are thousands of other fellow filmakers around the world thinks the same. i read lots of forums and everywhere people are fed up with canon dslrs line up. i have taken my descision if some one like me reading this, its your time to think if you haven't already taken the next step. happy film making

#11 Jackie

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:48 PM

Bollocks I swear I´m the biggest Canon worshiper in the universe but this pisses me off why they can´t be honest with us instead of presenting just empty PR phrases. Bollocks "on-screen audio meters, clean HDMI" Canon give that to us only after guys from Magic Latern show us it´s possible... And still what about peaking? Sony cameras can do this flawlessly... What about timelapse timers? Nikons can do this... Instead we get shity HDR don´t get me wrong I love and do HDR but if you want some serious results you still need software so its like for photographers who want to take some HDR here and then for fun... I still thing that the Canon cameras and glass is slightly the best for stills but the quality is so head to head nowadays so the features are more and more important. I just wish that the guys from magic latern could break the 1D X and show us the real power that is hiden in this state of the art camera and smile right in Canon face
/end of rage
It realy upset me :(

#12 TJB

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:33 PM

Canon are asleep at the wheel. Sad but true. My Canon gear is starting to hit the second hand market as I start looking elsewhere.
Haven't seen any test footage yet that shows accurately the capabilities of the GH3. Good news is the GH3 price is 1,149 Euros at my local camera store.
We'll find out next week what Sony are up to - hoping it's a real camera with a useable viewfinder in the right place. Pretty sure it won't be a $15K stills camera optimised for video.
The C100 price is dropping as people flock to the FS700. Come on Canon!

#13 Bruno

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:10 PM

People keep complaining about the 5D3, looks like everyone expected it to become a video/cinema camera over night.
Many cameras have been released by Nikon and Sony and others since, and the 5D3 is still the most useable, they fixed all the aliasing issues and improved the codec compression a lot, and color wise, they're still one of the best looking, it's not that many features, but they're damn important to the image quality.
Sharper resolution and 60fps would have made it perfect. Of course there's a ton of other features that would be great to have, but I'm talking about the essentials to getting a good image here.

Canon doesn't usually add features to existing products, and the first time they did it was to add manual audio to the 5D2, then they recently added a bunch of features (mostly stills features) to the 7D, and now clean HDMI out on the 5D3, this hints at some changes on the way they deal with customers, and it seems like they're starting to listen...

Btw, comparing the image quality of a GoPro3 even at 4k with a 5D3 is just stupid.

#14 FilmMan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

Btw, comparing the image quality of a GoPro3 even at 4k with a 5D3 is just stupid.

4

I think the video image of the GoPro looks very cinematic. $400 vs $3500??? Is the 5D3, 9 times better? :)

#15 bwhitz

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:31 PM

Btw, comparing the image quality of a GoPro3 even at 4k with a 5D3 is just stupid.


Well, honestly, the QUALITY is better. In a few modes, the GoPro3 seems to be resolving close to a real 1080p image. The "look" from a 5D3 is arguably better... but the "quality" is so abysmal, I cannot justify the use of a canon DSLR for any projects that require a finish above SD dvd.

#16 tobyloc

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

Btw, comparing the image quality of a GoPro3 even at 4k with a 5D3 is just stupid.


Why is it stupid? Considering the cost difference and size of camera the comparison SHOULD be ridiculous but it's not, it seems the GoPro will actually outresolve the 5DMark3, shoots to a similar log profile if you're used to cinestyle and has a similar bitrate at 45Mb/s long gop. DoF, lenses, colour, manual control and low light obviously go to the 5D. Rolling shutter, resolution, slow motion, robustness, water resistance, portability, weight all go to the GoPro3. They're very different tools and they're not supposed to compete but the fact a cheap action cam beats it in some areas where it shouldn't should be embarassing for them.

I'm glad Andrew put them under the cosh a bit, though it's a shame they got away with the 25p bit, they should be made to answer how a music video can be sped up to 25p or a wedding can be filmed under house lighting at 50hz or why it's the only camera I know of that's remotely taken seriously that doesn't shoot 25p, including all Canon's other cinema cameras. That they suggest in that answer that they're listening to customers is a joke because everyone has asked them for 25p from the day it was announced, including Shane Hurlbut.

#17 aaronmc

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

Kudos to you!

I love the snarky additions to the transcript. I've lost almost all faith in Canon.

This is what happens when a company is at the top of the heap. They stop trying.

#18 Amro Othman

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

Kudos to you!

I love the snarky additions to the transcript. I've lost almost all faith in Canon.

This is what happens when a company is at the top of the heap. They stop trying.


My sentiments exactly. This has happened so many times. It's like Blizzard when WoW got popular- they got super rich and all they care about now is how to get even richer. The fans and power users get left behind as they enjoy the new demographic.

Happy that Andrew is one of the only people man enough to ask the real questions, kudos indeed

#19 Xiong

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:21 PM

Well seemed like alot of PR statements, not much to take away from it. I congratulate you Andrew on asking the hard questions though, Im sure you kept it neat for him probably knowing he wont really answer your questions straight, but it was worth a try.

Paying that much for basically a software upgrade is not worth it. Those who can afford it can go for it, since you're basically buying the name brand only at this price point. Once again the only plus I see from Canon is the way they handle color, is it worth that much? For me, no. Thats why I've not gotten a t2i or 5D. I dont think it matters what we think anymore to Canon, so I've decided to move on.

Im surprised they even aloud you to interview them haha I imagine at Canon HQ in their break room, theres a dart board with your picture on it ;)

#20 gene_can_sing

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:42 PM

This camera was revealed almost a year ago and it's stil not out. At first, it seemed kind of groundbreaking, but since then, there are a number of better options IMO for much lower prices. Canon fails once again.
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