Canon's new 50Mbps MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) codec - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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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 February 2nd, 2010, 08:07 AM   #16
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CCDs plus 4:2:2 is going to be big competition for the HPX300, heck, the EX series is going to have huge competition from this announcement too. I'm thinking they must go full raster on the CCDs making this a full blown sub-10K PDW-700 with Solid State memory... Shame the current mock up is handheld size, but a XL-H1 sized cousin could suit the shoulder shooters.

IMO, Sony's gonna have to go 1080p60 to beat this.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:16 AM   #17
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Convergent Design has proven whith its NanoFlash that it is possible to record MPEG2 @ 180Mb/s on a Compact Flash card. So why would Canon limit the bitrate to 50Mb/s whithout giving any choice to the customer? (for instance 100Mb/s is a good bitrate for a good quality and an acceptable file size).
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:21 AM   #18
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Sorry, bit rate does *not* determine image quality.

Given that Canon's most recent formats (HDV and AVCHD) were maximized at 25Mbps and 24Mbps, it's hardly accurate to say that 50Mbps is "limiting." You cannot make an informed determination about image quality just from the bit rate.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
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IMO, Sony's gonna have to go 1080p60 to beat this.
I bet Sony will update the EX3 to the 4:2:2 50Mbps (EX3R) can't wait til NAB.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:26 AM   #20
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Once you start going above 50 Mb/s with 4:2:2 1920x1080 Mpeg2 the increase in quality gets less and less. For the kind of projects that most people will be using a small form factor camera, 50Mb/s is probably all they will ever need and it should be very good as has been proven by the 50Mb/s XDCAM HD cameras. You have to remember that the NanoFlash can only use a small selection of tried and tested high speed CF cards. Larger files also means slower transfers and copies, especially if your using USB. I think 50 Mb/s is a good compromise for most applications. Of course many will want to extend the cameras capabilities and devices such as the NanoFlash and Ki-Pro will make that possible.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:30 AM   #21
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Alister, you've just described The Law of Diminishing Returns -- that's what I was missing. Thanks,
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:32 AM   #22
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I agree Alister. 50 mb/s seems a pretty good compromise all round. Having the I frame codec option on the Nano is nice, but I think anyone who's not happy with a 50 mb/s 422 codec on the new Canon is frankly asking a bit much.
Brian, I thought I heard that it's not possible to uprate the EX3 to 50 mb/s? It would take a major redesign making it into a totally new camera.
Chris, the bit rate does not determine image quality but obviously it's part of the chain that does.
Jack, you have to assume it'll be full raster, they allude to it in the announcement, plus it'd be a massive backward step if it's not - in fact can't think of any recent pro or semi pro camera that's not full raster.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:41 AM   #23
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I bet Sony will update the EX3 to the 4:2:2 50Mbps (EX3R) can't wait til NAB.
Bet they don't. While no one knows yet just how good this camera will be, or at least those that do can't say (and knowing Canon it will be good). There is much more to any camera system than just the codec. A camera is a system and any weaknesses in that system can limit how the rest performs. A noisy sensor can negate any advantage given by a brilliant codec, for example. The EX3 and EX1 work very well as they are well balanced systems, with optics, sensors and codec all working at similarly high levels.

I think we are more likely to see a 50Mb/s PMW-350 before we see 50Mb/s in one of Sony's smaller cameras. Think back to the HVX200, a very capable codec at 100 Mb/s but rather let down by a less than optimum sensor. I hope (and expect) that Canon will have a good sensor, but track record suggests it will be 1/3" CCD. Good that it's CCD but bad that it may only be 1/3".
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:44 AM   #24
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It will be interesting to see how the camera compares to the family started by the NX5 from Sony. The internal processing of the NX5 is clearly higher than the current recorded mode as the HD/SDI is full 4:2:2 10 bit and from the information so far internally the processing is at 60P. Lots of room for Sony to move to in the future and with all the choices one could record SD to cards, HD to the FMU and using a Nano etc record 4:2:2 10 bit at the same time !! Could be an interesting year.

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:52 AM   #25
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Chris, u r right. It will be a 1/3", I' certain.

However this is very interesting. This new Canon cam fills up the gap that Sony has left for us. Users who are looking for something to fit the missing gap for the 1/3" to go with a XDCAM EX. That said, if the price position is right. However I think it is likely to be higher than the NX5.

We'll see what happens when the 8th comes.

Hmm but I really think Sony is going to surprise again with a new cam during NAB10
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:14 AM   #26
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Interesting news.

The hope of a 1/2" model for the shoulder is fun, but it would only work for me if Canon left the semi-shoulder design in the past and went with a more traditional shoulder mount. Maybe a la JVC's compact shoulder design.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:20 AM   #27
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I don't think they're ready to abandon the XL lens mount, which is a major part of the reason why I'm sure it'll be one-third inch.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 11:04 AM   #28
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This 50Mbps option is going to be rather interesting when it comes to media. At 35Mbps, the XDCamEX neatly puts about an hour of video onto a 16GB card. At 50Mbps, this is going to require a jump to 32GB cards for an hour. With a lot left over. So we'll be looking at 90 minute media. That's a pretty odd duck.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 11:22 AM   #29
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I'm a bit disappointed Canon chose to go with MPEG-2 compression in their new cam. That choice seems a little short-sighted (to me), when you consider that this cam (and siblings) is likely to constitute Canon's pro camcorder offering for the next half decade.

It won't be long until AVC is just as easy to edit (give it a year or two) as MPEG-2 is today, and editing AVC is quite reasonably manageable currently.

With AVC encoding at 32Mbps, Canon could have offered very close to the same image quality (or better), with some very nice side benefits.

At 32Mbps, recording to low cost media reliably is much easier than at 50Mbps. Even just decent class-6 SDHC is adequate for recording at 32Mbps, but will not be for this camcorder (recording at 50Mbps). (Hopefully they will at least offer recording to some sort of standard media, perhaps "class-10" SDHC for the moment with SDXC compatibility for the future, and not some wiz-bang proprietary crap that will cost an arm and a leg. SDXC might not be real cheap right away, but it will be over the long haul - and it does get away from the file size limitations of FAT-32. Proprietary crap never will be cheap, simply because it's limited scope of use will prevent mass production on the same sort of huge scale as with media that is standardized for a much wider range of uses. Just look how expensive P2 and SxS still are, even though those formats are no longer really even close to being on the bleeding edge of technology.)

32Mbps recording would also produce some conveniently sized files. Perhaps it is really not a big deal, but personally I think it would be nice having 16GB cards record almost exactly 1 hour of footage (32GB cards record almost exactly 2 hours of footage, etc.). It's just plain nice and neat (easier on the brain). (Along the lines of neatness, I also think it would be nice if flash memory manufacturers offered 24GB cards. That would be pretty convenient for simply copying source footage recordings directly to Blu-Ray disks for long term storage.)

AVC will almost assuredly eventually actually offer performance advantages, for editing related purposes - when decoding (and eventually rendering/encoding) speeds exceed sustained throughput speeds to/from HDD. Yes, hard drive performance will continue increasing as time goes by, but not nearly at the rate decoding (and rendering/encoding) speeds should increase, especially when the potential of massively parallel processing GPU acceleration finally starts really getting unleashed - and ever faster CPUs, as well as more efficient 64bit apps, won't hurt a bit either.

That said, bringing (full raster) 4:2:2 image recording to the table is very nice. 4:2:0 source does work quite adequately for a lot of purposes, but is a bit on the weak side for acquisition generally. I do think AVC at 32Mbps would have been more ideal on the whole (and especially over the long term), but 50Mbps MPEG-2 is certainly a reasonable way to go for achieving quality acquisition of full raster HD footage at 4:2:2. I hope Canon brings the XH-A1 like version of this cam in under $4k. If they do that, we will indeed have a more robust range of genuine choices, among affordable three 1/3" imaging chip camcorders that record to solid state media. Diversity and competition are good things.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 11:26 AM   #30
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Chris,

I do find it interesting that this camera has a different lens than my A1s. (More space between the focus and zoom rings and a little window that I can see) One would have thought that change unnecessary if they were only changing it to "file based recording professional camera". And if we see you listing any XL mount equipment in the next day or two with "reduced for quick sale" as a heading, it could be suspicious. :)

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