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Slugline. Simple, elegant screenwriting.

Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

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Entries in Canon (42)


Dollars to Datarates

NoFilmSchool has an insightful analysis of the perceived vs. actual price difference between the Canon C300 and the Red Scarlet X.

For all intents and purposes, both of these cameras are $16k (without lenses), and both of them are shipping in 2012.


From the Canon C300 FAQ

The Devil is in the details. Canon has posted a FAQ for the C300, and there are some interesting tidbits to be found therein.

  • This is a brand new sensor, “designed from scratch by Canon, entirely for cine and video applications.”
  • The native ISO of the camera is 850.
  • Canon thinks that with their Canon-Log color space, the camera allows “800% overexposure… which translates to …an Exposure Latitude of 12 f-stops.” Graeme Nattress of Red disagrees.
  • Graeme also points out that Canon is not obsessed with proper spelling.
  • There’s a built-in waveform monitor overlay.
  • And focus-asist peaking (which I learned here).
  • No autofocus. Hilariously, Red promises that Scarlet X will autofocus your Canon lenses. File that under Red out-Canoning Canon tonight.
  • There’s built-in vignette reduction for Canon lenses. EF-mount version only.
  • Maximum ISO is 20,000, or 30dB of gain.
  • You can specify shutter by angle.
  • “The EOS C300 is equipped with three built-in, durable glass ND filters” Two stops, 4 stops, and 6 stops. Very nice.
  • “When the Slow and Fast Motion setting is enabled, frame rate selections can be made in one frame per second increments…” So apparently you can shoot at funky frame rates.
  • Everyone has been talking about how 60 fps recording is limited to 720p, but that’s not entirely true. The C300 also has 50i and 60i modes. So you could shoot 60i with a 1/120 shutter, and convert each field to a frame using the method I describe in The DV Rebel’s Guide for slow motion. Although this is likely to result in more flicker artifacts than simply shooting 720p60.
  • A 32 GB CF card will hold 80 minutes of footage at 50Mb/s.
  • The camera has two CF card slots. You can record across the two cards, or you can record redundantly to the two cards.
  • A separate Wi-Fi unit will be offered that will allow any smart phone or tablet with a web browser to control basic camera functions.
  • It has a fan.
  • “Canon Log and Cinema Lock options allow motion picture users to get a very flat, low-contrast result that’s ready for extensive color grading during the editing process.” Nice.
  • “Canon Log is a log gamma setting that retains maximum image information for post-production. It has high dynamic range and records the image with a flat image quality with subdued contrast and sharpness. This is ideal for color correction.”
  • “Cinema Locked Mode… enables Canon Log Gamma, and effectively ‘locks out’ any other image adjustments. This is a no-nonsense way for cinematographers to ensure that all settings are optimized for post-production, without having to dig deep into menus to check and re-set parameters back to zero. It simplifies the whole process to ensure that no matter what, you are getting the most out of your camera for post-production.” Very nice.
  • There’s a “View Assist feature” designed for those shooting in Canon Log who wish to monitor a more pleasingly contrasty image. “When it’s active, View Assist lets the user toggle back and forth from the flat look of an actual Canon Log file, and a generic, contrasty and saturated look that simulates typical results after color grading in post-production.” Again, very nice. There are some expensive cameras out there that require external hardware to accomplish this.

When you contemplate this camera’s seemingly high price point (reported to be anywhere from $16,000 to $20,000), you have to factor in all these little details. Many of these seem to me to bear the fingerprints of Canon’s Larry Thorpe, formerly of Sony, who was at the event today, knows more about cameras than anyone I’ve ever met, and was the first person I called back in 2008 when I began to sense that Canon might need help understanding the profound effect of the 5D Mark II on the filmmaking community.

There’s some very cool stuff here. And if it breaks, you can have it fixed or replaced at Canon’s new service center smack in the middle of Hollywood.

Red certainly seemed to sweep Canon’s leg today by pitching a Scarlet that out-specs the C300 at half the price, but I’m not content to leap to any conclusions without comparing these cameras—and the ecosystems that accompany them—at the atomic level. Allegiances are convenient. Analysis is difficult.

And Scotch is delicious. Goodnight.



Not content to deliver a clear and simple message at today’s launch, Canon also revealed an “EOS Movies” “concept camera” today. I’m just going to let Engadget handle this one:

Promised to be “ideally suited for cinematographic and other digital high-resolution production applications” this camera packs a 35mm full frame image sensor capable of shooting Motion-JPEG encoded 4K video at 24fps.


Canon C300 And Mobius

Canon has announced the EOS C300, a Super-35 digital cinema camera—along with a slew of new cinema lenses. Coverage here.

  • Two models: One with a Canon EF mount, the other PL
  • 8.3 megapixel 2160–3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor—enough pixels for 4:4:4 RGB
  • Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2 MXF), records to two Compact Flash card slots
  • Canon “C-Log” gamma
  • SDI out
  • Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series
  • Exposure and focus control are completely manual—no AE or AF
  • Sold as a system, including LCD monitor/XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, battery & charger
  • Availability: Jan. 2012
  • Street price: approximately $16,000 USD (Canon mount version)

Vincent Laforet shot a film with it called Mobius, and his first blog post about it is up now.

Here’s the film, and the behind the scenes.

I contributed a few key VFX shots to the film and therefore got to live with the footage up close for days. I’ll have more to say later about this camera and Red’s 10-minutes-nigh announcement, but for now just know that the C300’s footage looks terrific. Great dynamic range, low noise, and a nice, clean image.

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