The pre-IBC announcements are already rolling in, and Canon has just announced an addition to their Cinema EOS camera line. The new C100 is the baby brother to their C300 and C500 cameras. The C100 is a scaled down version of the C300 in terms of size and price; it is both shorter and thinner than its bigger brothers, and weighs nearly a pound less (2.2lbs stripped down). Gone is the removable LCD unit; instead the C100 has a removable handle with XLR inputs and a flip-out LCD on the back.
The camera is strictly an EF-mount camera and even features a much requested “One Touch” or Push Auto Focus and Push Auto Iris mode. This will allow for quick auto adjustments of the lens, but will not continuously adjust the current EF lenses. Look for future lenses from Canon that will continuously adjust focus and iris, plus a firmware update to work with them on the C100. Inside that Canon mount, you will still find the ND filters that are very important to many of us, but not the motorized adjustment – it just has a good old-fashioned dial.
The really exciting news about the C100 is that Canon has used the same 4K sensor found in the C300 and C500. This means that the C100 has the same ISO range (320-20,000), dynamic range and image quality as the C300. Canon Log and all the other custom profile adjustments are also available.
As for recording format, the C100 records to SDHC cards in AVCHD at the standard 24Mbps highest quality mode. AVCHD is an 8-bit 4:2:0 compression based on MPEG4, which is a departure from the 50Mbps MPEG2 422 format found in the other cameras. It does have dual recording slots and can do simultaneous or relay recording. Recording resolution is limited to 1920×1080 (no 720p mode) and frame rates include 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 50i and 59.94i. Notably missing are any fast or slow motion options, or interval recording modes. The C100 does features all of the shutter modes found in the C300 though, including clear scan and slow-shutter modes.
Camera outputs and connections are limited to HDMI, USB and remote (LANC); there is no HD-SDI, timecode or Genlock. This limits some use of the camera for multi-camera applications. The body has all the controls needed for quick operation though, and includes many assignable buttons and quick dials. The side grip on the C300 is still in place and allows for many quick adjustment options.
There is no doubt that this camera lacks some of the features of the C300, but its slimmed-down design should prove to be useful for handheld operation. The camera is only .3lbs heavier than a 5D Mark III, giving it a lot of run-and-gun appeal. Add in some auto focus/iris functionality and ND filters, and I can see all kinds of uses for this little camera. The list price is $7,999, and the C100 should be available in November 2012 from AbelCine.
Finally, new details are also available on the C500. It will start arriving in October with a list price of $30,000. After seeing the stunning 4K footage that was shown at NAB, we are all looking forward to seeing what this camera can do. Keep an eye out for some different recorders and accessories guides coming from us in the future.