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New Canon Still Lenses for Video


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#1 Neil Duffy

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 02:04 PM

CanonRumors.com has a discussion about Canon adapting some of their still lenses to accommodate the new HD video functionality on their DSLR's.

Anybody hear anything about this? Will these lenses be FF and work on the 5D? Could we use these on the upcoming 6k Epic?
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#2 Tom Lowe

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 02:15 PM

This is a pretty wild rumor. Canon has shown time and time and time again a complete ineptitude for what prosumer and indie film shooters want. Of course, if they did this, it would be extremely brilliant, which is exactly why I think they will not do it. <_<
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#3 Peter Moretti

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 08:07 AM

Tom,

I'm not sure what you're referring to. An indie filmmaker holding a Canon XL is almost a cliche by now. And the XH's are probably the best selling prosumer line out there.
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#4 Neil Duffy

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for your response.

First, I should have put a question mark in the title. Sorry about that. It was too late to edit it. Someday I will upgrade my membership.

As for the lenses, the discussion at Canonrumors.com is about the DSLR's. Not the current small lenses for prosumer video cameras. From my reading of the discussion, these could be high quality Full Frame Canon still lenses that Canon would modify for digital cinema - specifically for the Mark II 5D. (According to the same site, the 5D is due for a firmware upgrade that will add 24P and other cinema features).

The Red Primes look amazing. Maybe Canon wants to compete in that market.

Edited by Neil Duffy, 04 May 2009 - 11:35 AM.

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#5 Neil Duffy

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:47 AM

I agree with Tom, this rumor is highly unlikely. It would be cool, though.

Edited by Neil Duffy, 04 May 2009 - 11:50 AM.

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#6 Peter Moretti

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 06:38 PM

... From my reading of the discussion, these could be high quality Full Frame Canon still lenses that Canon would modify for digital cinema - specifically for the Mark II 5D. ...


Neil, don't all of Canon's EF lenses work full frame with the 5D Mark II? I know the Canons use an electronic aperture, but does that cause a problem with the 5DM2 when shooting video?

I think they're talking about getting aperture control over the EF lens when mounting it on a non-Canon camera. (I thought there were workarounds for using Canon EF lenses on other cameras like the Red and Nikons, but perhaps aperture control is still kludgey.)
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#7 Tom Lowe

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:53 PM

Tom,

I'm not sure what you're referring to. An indie filmmaker holding a Canon XL is almost a cliche by now. And the XH's are probably the best selling prosumer line out there.


That hasn't been the cliche for a very long time. Canon's prosumer HD cameras are lame right now. If they wanted to, they could have put out a prosumer S35 (APS-C) RAW cinema camera two years ago. Canon has been asleep at the wheel. And then they put out the 5D2 with no 24p or manual controls. Again, asleep at the wheel. They either completely misunderstand the market, or there is some other, more nefarious business reason for them to cripple the 5D2. Some say that Canon rushed to put out the 5D2 because of Nikon's moves and perhaps Red's announcements. If Canon gives us a firmware update for the 5D2, then I can forgive them, I suppose. But the bottom line is that Canon could have built a kick-ass prosumer cinema camera years ago, but has failed to do so, for whatever reason.

The idea being mentioned here, I believe, is for Canon to essentially rehouse some of their best FF35 still glass for cinema work, with a longer focus throw, etc. This would actually be brilliant. But Canon often has a knack for purposefully avoiding any brilliant moves when it comes to HD cinema cameras.
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#8 Peter Moretti

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:31 PM

... But the bottom line is that Canon could have built a kick-ass prosumer cinema camera years ago, but has failed to do so, for whatever reason.

...


They did, XH-A1. It's still arguably the best $3K camera out there, three years later.

I don't blame Canon for not giving the 5DM2 24P off the bat. They need to protect different product lines. While it's infuriating for us, the company needs to remain profitable. I wish they gave full manual controls to the HV-40, but that would seriously hinder their XH line.

I naively thought this NAB would usher in a round of challengers to the RED. I was wrong, RED was given another year to run the field. But making a prosumer competitor for the Red is no easy task. Look at how frequently Scarlet has been delayed.

And coming up w/ a RED-like camera means tackling the compression issue. AVCHD is a pain to edit and needs to be transcoded. Cineform takes up too much on camera power, FWIU. DNxHD is only used by Avid and is limited to 1920 X 1080 resolution. Even .R3D can't be worked with and viewed at full res on most computers.

And whatever format used needs to be stored somewhere that's big and fast. These problems have not sorted themselves out yet. So the fact that Canon hasn't offered up a serious challenger to RED really shouldn't surprise us.
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 08:16 PM

I don't blame Canon for not giving the 5DM2 24P off the bat. They need to protect different product lines.


Like what? Which lines do they need to protect? If Canon made a 2K or 3K RAW S35 or FF35 cinema camera at prosumer prices, they would sell like hotcakes and blow nearly everyone else (including Sony) out of the water.

I naively thought this NAB would usher in a round of challengers to the RED. I was wrong, RED was given another year to run the field.


I think some new cameras will be announced before next year's NAB that will compete with RED's offerings. These companies might not have had their stuff ready for NAB this year, but they simply cannot afford to wait another 12 full months. Jim Jannard will eat their lunches, and heads will roll at Sony, Panasonic, and Canon's corporate headquarters.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:09 PM

I don't blame Canon for not giving the 5DM2 24P off the bat. They need to protect different product lines.


What I heard at the ATAS seminar last night -- from the Canon guy on the panel -- is that the whole 30p motion thing was a last minute afterthought. They were thinking that photojournalists would use it to grab stuff for TV news. Feature films weren't even on their radar.




-- J.S.
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#11 Tom Lowe

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:01 PM

What I heard at the ATAS seminar last night -- from the Canon guy on the panel -- is that the whole 30p motion thing was a last minute afterthought. They were thinking that photojournalists would use it to grab stuff for TV news. Feature films weren't even on their radar.

-- J.S.


The sad part for Sony is, either way, they come out looking bad. If they purposefully and nefariously left 24p out because of some business conspiracy, then they suck at pleasing the customer. But if they are so clueless that they did not expect a FF35 camera that shoots 1080p with top-of-the-line still lenses at ISO 3200 for $2700 to be popular with filmmakers, they must be living on Mars, or just so utterly clueless that it's a massive embarrassment to their entire company and management team.
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#12 Tom Lowe

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:07 AM

Sorry, I meant Canon not Sony. Won't let me edit it now.
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