Nov 4, 2011

Canon's "big" Announcement: The C300 camcorder

As noted in a previous post about Canon's "big" announcement, it seems the rumor mill was spot-on this time.

Canon did indeed reveal a new HD camcorder system, the C300/PL.  Technically two different bodies with the latter offering a PL mount rather than Canon EOS type.

Unfortunately for Canon I can't help but feel they really missed the mark here.  This new camera only shoots an 8-bit MPEG2 long-GOP codec.  Yes, it's a 4:2:2 color space at 50Mbps, but it's still long-GOP using a CMOS chip which means the dreaded rolling shutter issue still exists.

And the price point is way off too, starting somewhere between $15 to $20K.  RED also just announced the long awaited Scarlet, which seems to do the same job but offers RAW capabilities and few other niceties the Canon doesn't - at half the price.

And to top it off, Canon makes mention of yet another DSLR that's supposed to have 4K HD video capabilities. (??)  Huh?  Why the hell didn't they put the 4K option in this new cinema-type camera body instead of a DSLR?  That just makes no sense.

Now if the Panasonic AF100 and the Sony F3 hadn't already hit the market - and if Scarlet wasn't an option - then Canon would surely have cornered the market on a truly game-changing digital-cinema camcorder.  But all they've accomplished is a slight tweaking on already shipping technology and put the Canon logo on it.  That's hardly game-changing and what's worse, there's really no value-add to this new offering.

Neither of these new cameras is shipping yet so the dust is far from being cleared out yet from this latest announcement, but personally for the money/capabilities the Canon is offering you'd be better off with either the Sony F3 or Scarlet.

Vincent LaForet, who almost single handedly showed the world what DSLR video was capable of, has a video review of his use of the new C300 but unfortunately it's quite obvious he was paid by Canon to use it for a new film and, to give a subsequent glowing review of the new toy.  So basically his supposedly unbiased "review" is easily debunked by the reality of what this new camera does and doesn't offer, and the fact that he's had his hands in Canon's pockets now for years also adds to the review being less than independent and without bias.

I really hate it when over-glossy marketing hype attempts to take over reality, something Apple has mastered for years, but clearly Canon has been drinking their own Kool-Aid and is now offering the public to share the drink.

Thanks, I'll pass and keep my real-world sobriety.

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