Canon Announces 4K Ready Video/Still Camera, The EOS 1D-C

Posted Apr. 18th, 2012 by Daniel J. Cox

Several years ago I wrote a post about new cameras that produce a combination of stills and video. I’ve been predicting for several years how eventualy stills and video will merge. The first camera to really make that a reality was the Red One Video Camera that captured 4K resolution video files and had a high enough quality that still images could be pulled FROM THE VIDEO and used in magazines, books, posters, etc. Red continued to build on their lead and a few months ago released an even better video/stills machine in the Red Scarlet.

Covers of glossy magazines that have been shot with a Red Video camera. Click on the image to see many more examples and the staggering quality.

Fast forward to a few days ago when Canon announced their entry into the 4K capture territory with their new video/stills camera called the EOS-1D C. The C stands for Cinema. The first still camera that is specifically targeted at the movie-making industry. Nikon started the combination of stills and video, but Canon is taking it to a whole different level.

The EOS-1D C looks and handles much like the rest of the EOS 1 camera bodies. It's unique feature is the ability to shoot 4K video files which are considered to be 4-5 times higher quality than 1080P HD footage we see today on our HD TV screens. Click on the image above to read an article by EOSHD titled Making Sense of the Canon EOS 1D 4k DSLR.

Good for Canon and good for all of us working in the multimedia field today. When Red introduced this concept several years ago it caught all the big video camera companies with their “shoes untied” so to speak (my mother wouldn’t like me using the phrase ‘with their pants down’, so I won’t use it). Anyway, Red has prodded the sleeping giants and they are going to be coming after Red with a vengeance. Not only did Canon make this recent announcement, but Sony too has announced an amazing new 4k capture camera in the NEX-FS700 which they say is 4K ready, meaning they will be updating it to 4K with a software release in the near future.

Sony's entry into the 4K world.

Panasonic is rumored to be releasing something in this category in the not too distant future. And so the revolution of mirrorless, stills from video just keeps on rolling. Nikon’s D800 and D4 were pretty impressive just a few days ago but the competition is unbelievable in the new world of multimedia. I just hope they can keep up. Many people don’t realize that Nikon is a very small company.

Photo provided by Dan Chung of DSLR News Shooter showing the Nikon D800 outfitted for serious video. Click on the image to see a review by Dan comparing the Nikon D800 and the new Canon 5D Mark lll.

Thankfully Nikon is producing quality gear for most of us who do not need the 4K capture. The downside to 4K will be storage issues, computer horsepower to process the files and I’m certain many other technical workflow issues. But the writing is on the wall. The behemoths in the video world are encroaching on Nikon and Canon’s world. Luckily for Canon they have a long history in video capture. Unfortunately, Nikon doesn’t. I’ll end this piece with a scenario I would love to see evolve.

Quite simply this. Panasonic is dabbling in still capture cameras yet they have a long history of very high quality video equipment. Many pros use Panasonic cameras exclusively. Nikon is dabbling in video and we all know their history is in the still capture business. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they would merge? It only seems natural. How will such a small company be able to fend off Canon, Red, Sony and who knows who else? I would love to see the ability to continue to use my long list of very expensive Nikon lenses on a high tech video camera that’s competitive in the future world of multimedia. Then again who knows about Nikon. They pulled a rabbit out of their hat a few years ago with the realizes of the D3 and D700, low-light cameras that nobody has bested yet. Maybe they’ll be the ones to perfect the 4k video still camera. It’s worth hoping.

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