Panasonic’s 8K camera was last seen sporting their Super 35mm organic sensor technology, which remains under development. It can be revealed Panasonic also has a similar camera design with a larger full frame sensor (of the common CMOS type) which leads me to speculate who developed this sensor and what else we may be seeing it in.
If EOSHD were a record player, there would be one particular groove it just couldn’t get over. It’d be the part of the record where she sings “why are Canon’s video specs so rubbish and where is the Canon full frame 4K high end mirrorless camera?”, and admittedly this isn’t the stuff of a number 1 hit single. I for one am very grateful the fat lady has finally shut up. I cannot put into words how relieved I am to no longer have to complain about Canon! Even the site name now makes sense! That gamble I made 10 years ago in believing Canon would run away with the DSLR video scene may yet pay off! It’s just that I’ve spent the first 10 years shooting mostly Panasonic and Sony. Canon seriously dropped the ball and for the longest time just didn’t seem to listen.
Speculative reasons for this have been legion – some say Canon lacked the technological capability to compete. Some say Canon wanted to avoid cannibalising Cinema EOS sales, or that Canon simply didn’t see a market for full frame 4K after the relative failure of the 1D C. Some say their sales had an unassailable lead with just 8bit 1080p (especially C300 and 5D Mark III) so why bother trying harder?
Now there’s another interesting theory, that Canon R&D works on a 10-year cycle with a big leap ready to storm the market at the end of each cycle, building on the initial success (reusing sensors in multiple bodies) with incremental improvements for 8-9 years before the next big leap. Let’s go all the way back to 2000 with the genesis of the Canon DSLR and CMOS sensor technology, fast forward 10 years and the cycle has resulted in a 5D Mark II taking the world by storm, a big leap on everything that went before and ahead of every other competitor at the time.
Fast forward another 10 years to 2020 and Canon looks to be doing a similar thing with the EOS R5. Could it be that Canon are just conservative, slow to make major moves, very calculated and taking the long term picture into account?
Ever since Canon began disappointing us in 2011, we’ve been waiting for that historic moment where they turn the corner. Long-time readers of EOSHD will remember with fondness the first time we shot RAW video on our Canon 5D Mark III DSLRs thanks to Magic Lantern and now finally there is an official solution. And what a solution it is.
The toughest competition in 2020 will come from the surprise Canon EOS R5 with 8K video. Although 8K is an attention grabbing technical achievement, most people will use this camera in 4K mode. The competition nevertheless now has an ‘image problem’ delivering cameras at 4K and 6K resolution to customers obsessed with resolution. I do expect the Sony A7S III to shoot 8K and for the GH6 / GH8 to also shoot 8K but really it is all a distraction. What matters isn’t 8K, it is the following…