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.
We have waited a long time for today – a true Canon 1D C sequel. This is also the first time since the 2012 Canon have released a ‘cutting edge’ DSLR for filmmakers. There’s good news and bad news – of course it costs $6500, has no EVF or IBIS by nature and many will say the form factor is obsolete compared to the full frame 10bit mirrorless competition.
Canon’s Larry Thorpe has published an excellent technical white-paper with the camera, so let’s take an in-depth look at the video specs…
The sensor for the A7S III has leaked on the EOSHD Forum, with 4K/60p and an HDR mode in 4K and at 15 megapixels thanks to a Quad Bayer pattern. If you care to take a look at the specs here – you’ll notice a few interesting things. There is only a small megapixel boost from the old 12 megapixel sensor (which rules out 8K) but a completely different architecture with 60 million photosites in a Quad Bayer arrangement, so in this respect the sensor represents a big step up in resolution and colour capture data from a standard bayer sensor.
In a surprise move, the affordable G9 will be getting a huge video upgrade. The new firmware bumps the 8bit 4K mode of the G9 up to 10bit 4:2:2 internal. There are also further AF improvements for the GH5 and G9, along with manual exposure control in high-speed movie mode on the S1, improvements to highlight rolloff in V-LOG and CFExpress card support – these cards offer up to 2000Mbps data rates, 300% faster than even XQD… Perfect for internal 4K RAW should Panasonic choose to implement this next.
How about a new kind of camera benchmark – Netflix. Their production guidelines for original 4K content have been updated to include the Panasonic S1H. According to Netflix the S1H’s image in DCI 4K mode at 400Mbit 10bit 4:2:2 ALL-I plays in the same ballpark as pro cinema cameras costing many times more.
The Canon 1D X Mark III marks a surprising turn-around for Canon’s video capabilities, at least at $6000.
Although you can already shoot full frame 4K RAW on the Sigma Fp for $2000 and full frame 10bit 4:2:2 LOG on the Panasonic S1, if you do have the extra $4000 going spare down the back of the sofa, and need worse ergonomics, fewer features, no EVF and potentially some cropping, the 1D X Mark III might be a tempting choice.
The S1H is the best featured mirrorless camera on the market for filmmakers – just to put it into perspective, let’s start by summarising the entire competition as quickly as we can.
Today the Panasonic S1 gets the new V1.2 firmware update which brings the capability to unlock the catchily dubbed DMW-SFU2 upgrade capabilities. Full V-LOG (not “L”), Cinema VariCam colour science (V-Gamut) and 10bit codec upgrade to 4K 4:2:2 150Mbit are the main features.
As well as that there’s LUT support in camera, high res 24bit audio and other exciting improvements.