Covering new releases is not my thing, there are tons of other blogs for that, so I’m not going to discuss the specs that you probably already know. I was really looking forward to see what Canon will bring out on 03.11.11, because like a lot of indie filmmakers currently using Canon DSLRs, I was really hoping to see Canon’s answer to Sony FS100 and Panasonic AF101. I have to say, to my great disappointment Canon released a camcorder, that is totally out my price range and for that matter of majority of indie/ low budget filmmakers. Many tweets and comments on different blogs mirror my opinion. People knew it won’t be 5D MKIII, but many were hoping for a reasonably priced camcorder that would work with Canon EF lenses currently used by many of us. C300 does come with EF mount but at $20k price tag definitely not something I could afford or would even like to spend on my next camera. More than that, C300 doesn’t even look like such a revolutionary camera at this price tag. Canon were promising to make a Historic Global Announcement. I have to say the new C300 is certainly not a Historic camera. It rivals the Sony F3, but nothing more really. Like cheaper F3, C300 will not really be budget filmmakers camera of choice. Majority of people looking to upgrade from a DSLR were looking at either FS100 or AF101. For now I can safely, but sadly say, these are still the only 2 proper camcorders around $5k price tag, the only 2 that can be considered as a reasonable step up from a DSLR.
The only mildly exciting announcement on 3th of November was the development of new Canon DSLR capable of shooting 4K footage. This camera looks very much like 1D X, which is also one of new cameras, but for me the improvements in 1D X don’t justify the price tag of around $7000. This top of the line Canon camera is primarily designed for professional photographers, so by no means I would say it’s not worth its money, just not for budget videographer. I thing both FS100 and AF101 are much better value for money tools for videographers than 1D X.
Coming back to the new concept DSLR currently being developed (or possibly already developed and in testing), this is going to be much more video orientated than 1D X. Up to 4K resolution, quite possibly introduction of headphones jack, peeking, zebras, video optimized sensor, HD-SDI output, clean HD output and would be nice to stick at least one XLR input into that battery grip. Of course, except for 4K resolution this is just a wish list rather than a fact list. A few reasons why I’m only mildly excited about the announcement:
1: It is going to be as expensive as 1D X or even more, around $7k-$10k, again not 5D MKII price range. That is why people always talking about 5D MKIII, the price range, features for money. Ever since 5D MKI came out it, it was the best value for money stills camera for me; 5D MKII followed the suit, so Canon please just bring out the 5D MKIII already.
2: No idea when this new going to be released, wouldn’t expect Canon to release a $10k camera capable of shooting 4K resolution straight after they released $20k camera capable of shooting only 1080P and just 720p at 60fps. People buying C300 will not be happy to see cheaper DSLR perform better than high-end camcorder. I wouldn’t expect this camera to come out in next 5 months. We might actually see 5D MKII replacement before that.
So all in all, 3th of November wasn’t a historic day for me. Scarlet is the most exciting thing announced for me, but certainly out of my budget.
5N can be a great B camera, but it could even be a great A camera if you are shooting something for yourself. Of course if you turn up to a paid gig with a compact looking camera like this, your client will probably freak out, but only because they won't know what quality images this camera produces. The best thing about this camera, it is affordable to almost anyone, there aren’t really any cheaper video DSLR cameras with APS-C sensor anyway, so if you are looking to spend some money on a video camera, the 5N is the one of best value for money cameras at the moment. In fact I really want to buy one myself, maybe I will treat myself for Christmas.