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April 14, 2012 8:14 pm

Canon 1D C – The new DSLR capable of 4k video

The EOS 1D C, Canon’s promised DSLR capable of 4K video was announced on Thursday 12th. The camera will be a variation of the 1D X, but with reworked circuitry and heat management in order to prevent overheating from the massive data rates. It will also have some of the features from the C300, Canon’s recently announced cinema camera, which should allow the two cameras to be used together.

This is a pretty exciting piece of kit as it demonstrates the impact that RED’s 4k (and higher) camera’s have had. It seems that we are seeing an end to the era of generating digital film at 1080p and upscaling to 2k for broadcast, and a move towards the generation of material at higher resolutions.

I am, however, slightly confused by the fact that the camera only shoots 4k at 24fps. After all the fuss a few years regarding the 5D mark ii only shooting HD video at 30fps, I am surprised by Canon’s decision not to include 4k at 25 and 30fps. At 24fps, the 1D C’s 4k functionality is clearly aimed at the film market. But for all it’s bells and whistles the camera is still, at it’s heart, a DSLR with added video functionality. I’m sure that the camera will be welcomed with open arms by the indie film market, but it is not a dedicated film camera. At a predicted $10,000, it will function as an affordable 4k crash cam but I find it unlikely that it will be adopted widely adopted on professional film shoots.

Conversely, the potential for this camera in TV and commercials is clear. In the FX Guide RC podcasts, TVC director Jason Wingrove has discussed the usefulness of shooting 4k and the convenience of HDSLRs for commercials. So with the option of 25 and 30fps, the 1D C would be able to fulfill both of these needs, and yet Canon has neglected to include them.

Of course, the camera has not yet been released and things may well change. I will be following this camera with interest and anticipation.

December 24, 2011 11:42 am

Magic Lantern HDR Video X-MAS teaser

Those very clever hackers behind the Magic Lantern firmware for Canon DSLRs have added HDR video functionality to their toolbox.

It seems to work by leveraging a similar technique to that used by RED in their HDRX technology, shooting intervening frames at different exposures and combining the exposures to create higher dynamic range images. However, whilst RED shoots additional frames using a different shutter speed, Magic Lantern’s HDR mode, limited by the frame rates on the Canon video mode, shoots alternate frames at different ISO settings, and interpolates between them.

I haven’t had a chance to test the tool yet, but this technique raises interesting questions regarding the interpolation – will it correctly handle motion blur between the frames, and how will it deal with the additional noise created by higher ISOs? I also have reservations about the notorious rolling shutter issues in Canon’s CMOS sensors and how the interpolation will be affected in moving camera shots.

That said, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this tool and having a play.

11:14 am


The incredibly dedicated and hard working Tom Lowe has released the new trailer for his magnificent looking feature Timescapes. Stunning landscape photography and timelapse work which has earned Lowe the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Lowe has been working tirelessly on this project for two years now. Out in the wild, without support, to get anything made should be regarded as an achievement, but as this trailer demonstrates the results of his efforts are simply stunning. He is a master of his craft.

If you would like to support this project – which frankly everyone who appreciates film making and photography should do – you can pre-order the DVD or Blu-ray, which should be released in May 2012 … just in time for my birthday.

Shot in 4k on the RED Epic, the Canon 5D MKII, and a PL-mount modified 1D MKIV. There is a 4K version of the trailer which can be viewed on YouTube:, for those who have the bandwidth, monitor resolution and processing power.

November 9, 2011 8:07 am

Vincent Laforet – Mobius

Vincent Laforet, director of the hugely famous Reverie, the short film which (arguably) started the HDSLR revolution is back with a new short, this time to help Canon launch their new C300 cine-camera.

Laforet has really upped his game since Reverie, incorporating dialogue, action and suspense into a solid narrative which is genuinely emotionally engaging as well as looking visually stunning.

Its not surprising that Canon chose to work with Laforet given their successful partnerships in the past, but I am sure that they are looking at the fruits of his labor very positively – it makes me very excited to get my hands on this camera, and to try out all the bells and whistles which have been missing from HDSLRs.

Behind the scenes:?

September 15, 2010 3:30 pm

Canon – Freeze Tag

An all out game of war using Canon cameras. Cameras were handed out to people and many of their shots made it in the commercial. Director Saman Keshavarz was awarded a silver prize at the Young Directors Awards at the Cannes Lions 2010.