updated 10:00 am EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Canon EOS-1D C becomes real
Canon made its concept camera real on Thursday by revealing the EOS-1D C ahead of NAB. The variant on its highest-end DSLR is the first camera of its kind to record 4K (4096x2160) video. Although capped at 24 frames per second, the 8-bit, 4:2:2 video is advanced enough that it can be used as part of a professional movie shoot using greater-than-HD video cameras from companies like RED while keeping the size much smaller for handheld recording.
The 18.1-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor, its maximum ISO 25,600 in video mode, and 12FPS continuous still shooting are similar to the EOS-1D X the 1D C is based on, but it approaches video in a different manner. 4K video uses the full sensor width, but 1080p video can either occupy the same dimensions or use a Super 35-equivalent portion in the middle of the sensor to mimic conventional movie cameras. The lower resolution affords frame rates up to 60p for situations where speed trumps sheer crispness.
Extra touches bring the ability to keep the preview LCD on while linked to HDMI, for better monitoring during an active shoot, as well as a headphone jack to gauge whether audio from an external microphone is producing intended results.
Canon will only give a vague 2012 timeframe for the EOS-1D C, but the world-first 4K video DSLR will carry a premium, putting it at more than twice the price of a 1D X at $15,000. Unlike the C300, it will need EF or EF Cinema Lenses and can't take PL mounts.