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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old January 25th, 2010, 04:50 PM   #91
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Nothing wrong with a little dust-up between companys......As Chris pointed out, Canon will first make something that will sell to the most people and then after that, we'll see.....The guys in Japan know there is a desire for a DLSR in a video configuration....they've seen it posted here and have heard it from CanonUSA people as well as, people attending trade shows. Its just a matter of where it fits in with Japan's plans and goals.

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Old January 25th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #92
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If Canon were to take the guts of a video DSLR and redesign it as a camcorder, don't expect it to be even close to cheap. With as limited a market as the camcorder would have, Canon would have to price it pretty high to recover the product development costs.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #93
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If Canon insists on only keeping 35mm sized sensors in DSLR's then expect the video side of these cameras to NEVER get better.

It's been proven time and time again that the video processing side of these cameras really suffers and without a proper body to house larger and more robust boards then they will never be true cinema cameras and will remain a novelty amongst the low-end of filmmakers with zero budget productions.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #94
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As I've explained in my article, there are two very important reasons why this "true cinema camera with 35mm sensors" concept won't materialize anytime soon... and they are highly significant roadblocks:

The AF System (must use the phase detection process, which isn't cheap)

The Lens (must be motorized with at least an 8x to 10x zoom, which isn't cheap).

Currently there is no suitable Canon EF lens adaptable for this purpose... certainly not the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS USM, which is a push-pull "slider" type zoom. The missing glass is the real reason why Canon won't go in this direction, at least not until after RED has sounded the market first (and maybe not even then). It's a very tight niche which possibly won't recover the R&D cost of the lens -- which can run into millions of dollars -- and might not represent enough of a profit margin to pursue.

The difference with RED is that their target niche isn't just one of a wide variety of corporate interests; instead its *only* interest is indeed the digital cinema market, in which Canon has only a very small vested interest relative to everything else they do. RED has tremendous financial resources readily available to pour into this one specific thing, while Canon does not, despite the fact that it too is a multi-billion-dollar company.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #95
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I would play it a bit differently. Clearly, videographers like large sensor video, and many of us buy Canon lenses for our DvSLRs. I would put the DvSLR guts in a video camera body with very few changes. Yes, it will have rolling shutter, and be difficult to focus. But it will look like a video camera.

I would add software features like controllable audio gain, zebras, etc. In other words, I'd integrate Magic Lantern-type features. I'd also articulate the LCD screen. And I'd add XLR audio inputs. About the only other change I would make would be to add a slower anti-aliasing filter for its video-centric role.

The R&D costs for such a camera would be minimal. It would be the guts of a 7D with the LCD screen and audio input of an existing camcorder. The sensor would be a 7D unit with a video AA filter applied after the fact.

It wouldn't be a RED killer. It would be for the DvSLR videophile. And it would exist to sell more lenses and get people into the Canon fold.

As Canon's DvSLR video quality improves, I'd keep leveraging the technology for this hybrid cam. Maybe someday it gets electronic T/W lens control and autofocus, but not in the first round, and maybe not in the second.

And I'd price it below Scarlet. RED followers will bash its quality, but if the costs are managed, it will own the next tier down in the market. With most people delivering on the Web, not everybody needs RED-level quality.

With this approach, it's mostly a mechanical exercise. The parts are already in the bins and the heavy R&D cost have already been paid off.

Given that the "DvSLR sensor in a video cam" question is the most asked item of Canon's pro video reps (according to one rep at CES), why not answer the market?
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #96
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What you say is true, Chris, but Canon certainly has the ability to make a world-beating 2/3" cinema camera (in a much different price bracket than is under discussion) yet they won't do that, either, I'm afraid. Sigh.

I'd love a 2/3" all-manual shoulder mount camera with great color and low light capability. They would take over the market from Sony, JVC, and Panasonic while using lenses they're already producing. Seems like if they can make a 7D for under $2k and a prosumer body with all the switches and knobs for under $4k, they could make a pro body that took AB batteries and B4 lenses.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #97
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I think Jon is on the right track here, but it would seem a very limited marketing segment.

"Buy this vew vDSLR. It acts like a true film camera...No, we mean it!"

I think a fair amount of people might get such a camera and be disappointed that it would not act like a video camera. Might be a customer service/relations issue.

It would be a pretty cost efficient way for Canon to give the (small) market what it wants.

The next few years will probably heat up in this space.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #98
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Canon would also have to deal with the cry for resolutions higher than 1080 w/ 8-bit 4:2:2 color. Red has a whole set of custom software made to deal with this need. There is no way, IMHO, that Canon will make its own version of RedCine-X.

And as soon as Canon markets a "real" digital cinema camera, 4K, 4:4:4, 12-bit Log will all be on everyones wish/need list. What codec do they use? It becomes a big mess.

If I were Canon, I'd let Red be Red and Canon stay Canon. I'd continue selling huge quantities of cameras and not do battle with a business model that only seems to work b/c a genius iconic businessman w/ $billions and a love for cinematography is running the show.

But the second Red seriously tries to follow through on its once mention goal of selling to soccer moms, I'd try my best to vanquish them. Until that happens, I'd be content fight only border skirmishes w/ Red, using #D's and MarkRomannumerals as my weapons.
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; January 26th, 2010 at 06:02 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #99
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Fascinating though it is, the debate about 35mm detector cinema cameras is over my head, and not very relevant to the original topic of this thread - the prototype SDHC-card cam in the pictures that looks like an XH-A1s replacement.

I moved up from an XM1 (which I loved but became unreliable) to an XH-A1 in 2007, and have been pleased and impressed with the pictures the HDV cam produces. I often incorporate footage from a friend's Sony FX1 in my productions, and the Canon is noticeably better in the same conditions, except in very low light.

My only gripe with the XH-A1 is its bulk. Lugging it and a suitable tripod by myself across moorland and around city streets is a pain, and if I fly, it means instant excess baggage charges. For me, the XM1 is the ideal size. The Panasonic HMC40 looks very interesting, as does the JVC HMC-100. I'm hoping that Canon will follow the XH-sized cam with a slimmer version that will fill the gap that currently yawns between the HV40/HF-series and the XH.

I'm in no hurry to move to tapeless shooting. I have an archive of a couple of hundred DV and HDV tapes, so I will need a means to at least play them for many years to come. However, I've always known it was a matter of "when" not "if". Hopefully, my present cam and editing PC will keep going for at least another year. Looks like next year's budget ought to include a Canon AVCHD/SDHC cam and a PC capable of editing the material. (I wonder if Avid Liquid's replacement will be ready by then? But that's another story...)

The problem at the moment is sitting on one's hands until some working models appear at NAB and similar events. I wonder when the first 25p/50i versions will show up?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
It wouldn't be a RED killer. It would be for the DvSLR videophile. And it would exist to sell more lenses and get people into the Canon fold.

As Canon's DvSLR video quality improves, I'd keep leveraging the technology for this hybrid cam. Maybe someday it gets electronic T/W lens control and autofocus, but not in the first round, and maybe not in the second.
While everyone is asking and waiting for the next camera in the video line to align with the DSLR camera line, I like this idea that Canon go in reverse. They can just continue improving the video capabilities of its DSLR, alleviating some of the R&D burden from the video division. (I know Chris pointed out in the article that photo and video fall under the same group, but as far as camera lines go, we view photo and video as separate)

As someone pointed out earlier, the Digital Cinema market is too small for Canon to really target effectively. I can see them using the guise of the prosumer photo market that sells to a larger market to build the bridge to the video line, not the other way around. That way, we can slowly see the video features improve (such as zoom lenses, audio recording, etc.) while still making cameras that sell really well.

But from the other perspective, a company can only go with a line of cameras for so long before they are well behind everyone else... and these 1/3" chips are eating dust right now. And I doubt these predicted changes to the XH line will suffice what we wanted.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #101
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Well its hard to say that 1/3" chips are eating dust right now. Every manufacturer makes them and will probably continue to make them for some time coming.

1/3" does serve the greater whole more than a larger APS-C sensor would. And that's what Canon would be interested in most.

Again, awaiting what they will ultimately do.

Here's an interesting thought, and not to sway the conversation too far.

I am most likely going to upgrade to the next version of the Canon XL or whatever that equivalent would be, but have been toying around with keeping my XL H1S and using the money to buy a NanoFlash for it. What would you guys do?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #102
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... these 1/3" chips are eating dust right now.
Sorry, but 1/3" chips are the key to getting a 20x zoom under $4K.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #103
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I am most likely going to upgrade to the next version of the Canon XL or whatever that equivalent would be, but have been toying around with keeping my XL H1S and using the money to buy a NanoFlash for it. What would you guys do?
The XLH1s w/ the Nano (100mbs or higher) is a great way to go.....In fact, you go to the head of the class.....so to speak.

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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #104
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The suspense is killing me! ... as far as the specs for what Canon's new camera will have.

I'm still faithfully using my GL1 and XL1s in the meantime.

Based on what Chris said above, if the chips are 1/2" we sacrifice some zoom capability to fit in a simliar form factor... what would it go to? 14x or something? I could probably live with that if it meant better low light performance and better picture performance overall.

Right now, I've been distracted by this notion of building a DIY dolly system and also a DIY slider system. I figure I can go ahead an invest some $ in these options and help take my videos to a completely new level, and by the time I get that all ironed out, maybe Canon's new cam will be out! (Side note, also impressed with that kessler crane-light product!.. might get one of those too a little later.)

What I'm not looking forward to, is having to spend $$$$ on a computer system. Mine is about 4 years old! But by the time I get ready to upgrade to a new one to handle the new Canon camera, the Intel 6-core processor should be out, which may help things a bit.

.... waiting....
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
As I've explained in my article, there are two very important reasons why this "true cinema camera with 35mm sensors" concept won't materialize anytime soon... and they are highly significant roadblocks:

The AF System (must use the phase detection process, which isn't cheap)

The Lens (must be motorized with at least an 8x to 10x zoom, which isn't cheap).
Sorry, but I don't see any significant road block there.

True Cinema camera = manual focus and manual zoom.

So there goes the AF and the motorized lens. Problem solved.

People aren't using motorized zooms and AF on the 5D/7D, and they darn sure aren't doing it on RED, ARRI, Viper, SI2K, Genesis, DALSA, or any other True Cinema camera.

So get on with it...
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