The EOS C300 – the latest Digital for Film camera from Canon – starts shipping from today. Aiming to compete directly against the Reds of the world, it carries a Super 35mm CMOS sensor capable of up to
Canon has always made video cameras alongside its stills cameras, and the EOS C300 is really the natural evolution of the 5DMkII.
Canon took principles of the 5D — a full-frame SLR which shoots hi-def video — and developed it into a proper movie camera. The sensor is a conservative 8.3MP, and it records 1080p video in each of the three color channels. These pixels are big, for good low-light performance, and the movies are recorded to standard CF cards.
From there, things get very movie-techy. The C300 records in the open-source MXF (Material eXchange Format), can capture compressed MPEG2 Full HD, uses 4:2:2 color sampling and hooks up with all manner of movie accessories. In short, unless you’re a movie pro, not much of this camera will be familiar to you.
The new camera will be joined by a range of EF and PL mount lenses, and in Canon also has a 4K-capable SLR camera in the making.
Canon is counting on a wider range of offerings as digital cinema gets more serious. There’s time. The first significant all-digital movie came out a decade ago: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, where “significant” applies more to digital cinematography than to the flick. Some movies are shot with a combination of film and, for special effects, digital. Even in Hollywood, the ability to streamline production and see daily rushes without the cost and delays developing and printing film, can be an important money-saver when studios shoot all-digital.