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A detailed look at Canon’s Cinema EOS feature upgrades

A detailed look at Canon’s Cinema EOS feature upgrades

September 2013

Canon’s recent feature upgrades contain a raft of new enhancements and functionality improvements to keep the Cinema EOS range of cameras firmly at the front of HD and 4K Video production.

Summary of feature upgrades

Function EOS C500 EOS C300 EOS C100 EOS-1D C XF305
ISO 80,000
Shift the MAGN. Location
Support for DCI-P3+ gamut and Cinema Gamut
Support for GPS
Lock the REC. button
Allocate ISO and IRIS function to Control dial
Multi-Login for Wi-Fi remote
Peripheral Illumination Correction for new EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lenses2
Add Wide DR Gamma
AE shift2 / Selecting the metering method2 / Flicker compensation
Add ACES proxy output from MONI. Terminal
Assignable button enhancement
Lens aberration correction with EF Cinema lenses
Sound recording with Line input
Control the cooling fan
Continuous AF support
Addition of digital tele-convertor function

*Released on 8 August 2013.

ISO 80,000 (EOS C500, EOS C300, EOS C100)

A new maximum ISO setting of ISO 80,000, increased from the current ISO 20,000, will enhance low-light shooting capabilities. The improved recording ability enables users to capture detailed and colourful images, with relatively low noise. Users will be able to shoot in 1-stop or 1/3 stop increments from ISO 320 up to ISO 80,000, providing incredible creative freedom when shooting in extremely dark environments.

Support for DCI-P3+ gamut and unique Cinema Gamut (EOS C500)

4K and 2K video signals output over 3G-SDI from the EOS C500 and utilise the ITU-R BT.709 colour space. To provide support for a wider range of applications, the firmware updates will provide users with two extra options: DCI-P3+ and a Canon-specific Cinema Gamut. The DCI-P3 colour space is often used by DLP projectors in motion picture applications, and DCI-P3+ will allow the EOS C500 to fit seamlessly into workflows designed for such a delivery system. DCI-P3+ captures a wider range of colours, providing a bigger working palette in post to support a final delivery that’s representative of the typical colours reproduced by film, and more recently digital, projection in cinemas (notably high-saturation orange and deep green).

Despite its increased range compared to the BT.709 colour space, there are still many high-saturation colours which can be captured by current digital sensors but cannot be recorded using DCI-P3+. The new Cinema Gamut mode will be introduced to the EOS C500, providing the option to record in an extremely wide colour space. This will be particularly useful as a starting point for an ACES project workflow. It will also become possible to apply a BT.709, Wide DR or DCI-P3 LUT to the outputs from the MON.1/2 terminals, further increasing monitoring options whilst on-set.

4K1K RAW (EOS C500)

A new 4K1K RAW mode will be added, providing the option to shoot at up to 120fps. Unlike the existing 4K2K HRAW mode, in which additive processing is used to create a final image of 4096x2160 pixels when recording at frame rates above 60P, the new 4K1K mode will utilise a cropped portion of the image sensor. Capturing a more cinematic aspect ratio of 4096x1080 pixels, this new option will reduce the risk of aliasing, or ‘jaggies’, in the recorded image. However, 4K2K HRAW will remain as a shooting option.

Add ACESPROXY output from MON. Terminal (EOS C500)

The firmware updates will provide further support in high-end productions which utilise an Academy Colour Encoding Specification (ACES) workflow. Aiding on-set monitoring, it will be possible to output a 2K signal from the MON.2 terminal which conforms to ACESProxy10 gamma and the ACES colour space. When combined with suitable monitoring equipment it will become possible to monitor an image in ACES colour, on-set. This new functionality will further assist with colour management, from filming to editing, grading, distribution, and screening.

IDT (Input Device Transform): Transform a unique colour space of the camera to ACES
RRT (Reference Rendering Transform): Transform in order to emulate Print Film
ODT (Output Device Transform): Transform ACES to the unique colour space of the output device (Projector, Monitor and so on)
ASC CDL: American Society of Cinematographers Colour Decision List

GPS support (EOS C300, XF305, XF300)

Support for GPS, using Canon’s GPS Receiver GP-E1, will allow users to add GPS coordinates to recorded footage. This functionality can be easily turned on or off via the camera menu, with a range of other options including: select on/off of Auto Time Setting Function; display position status; automatically write latitude, longitude and altitude information from the GPS to an XML file.

Multi-Login for WiFi remote (EOS C500, EOS C300)

At present, it is only possible for one operator to connect wirelessly to an EOS C500 or EOS C300 using the optional WFT-E6 WiFi adaptor. Recognising that this may be limiting on shoots with larger crews, the update will allow two devices to be connected to each camera simultaneously. In this new mode, one user can control camera functions using the wireless Remote Control interface, whilst the other can enter and upload metadata to the camera without any danger of inadvertently changing camera settings.

Adjustable MAGN Location (EOS C500, EOS C300 and EOS C100)

A new adjustable MAGN function will make it even easier for professional users to quickly check the focus on a specific part of an image. By shifting the MAGN Location via the camera joystick, the user has the ability to choose from 25 positions, rather than just the center portion of the frame, without the need for recomposing the frame afterwards.

Enhanced assignable button functionality (EOS C100)

In response to feedback from users, the update will allow assignment of up/down/left/right functions to buttons on the camera body, providing easier control when the grip handle has been removed to allow a compact configuration.

AE shift/Selecting the metering method/Flicker compensation (EOS C300)

Following previous updates, which provided Push AF and Push Auto Iris functions, additional auto exposure functions will be provided in the EOS C300. AE shift, or exposure compensation, allows adjustment by up to +/-2 EV, based on the centre of the current image. Standard, Spotlight or Backlight metering modes can be selected.

Flicker Compensation stops the camera’s LCD screen from refreshing, to prevent distracting or misleading flicker when shooting other screens.

Sound recording with Line input (EOS-1D C)

The EOS-1D C now supports the Line input function. With a mini plug (3.5mm diameter) connected to the external microphone IN terminal, sound will be recorded with a standard input level of -8 dBV1, and a signal up to +6 dBV. Users can adjust the sound to one of 64 different levels.

Peripheral Illumination Correction for EF lenses (EOS C300, EOS C100 and EOS-1D C)

The Cinema EOS camera range will benefit from additional lens support with Canon’s Peripheral Illumination Correction function2, which ensures maximum image quality by reducing shading that may occur in the corners of images.

Chromatic Aberration Correction support for the EOS-1D C via EOS Utility software.

Compatible EF and EF-S lenses

Additional EF and EF-S lenses that will be supported with the firmware updates:

EOS C500 EOS C300 EOS C100
EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Done Done
EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Done Done
EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Done Done
EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF500mm f/4L IS II USM
EF600mm f/4L IS II USM
EF28mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF24mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF40mm f/2.8 STM
EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM
EF35mm f/2 IS USM
EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF24-70mm f2.8L II USM
EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM

Additional Cinema lenses that will be supported with the firmware updates:

EOS C500 EOS C300 EOS C100 EOS-1D C
CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8L S
CN-E30-105mm T2.8L S
CN-E14mm T3.1L F
CN-E24mm T1.5L F
CN-E50mm T1.3L F
CN-E85mm T1.3L F
CN-E135mm T2.2L F

Control the cooling fan (EOS C500)

Both the EOS C500 and EOS C500 PL are equipped with a cooling system to counter the heat generated by the camera, especially when filming in 4K and 2K. Whilst it is possible to turn the fan off during filming, there are occasions when the fan will automatically start running (albeit with warning) to prevent possible heat damage. In response to user feedback about this issue, the fan control system on the EOS C500 has been changed. When set to Automatic the cooling fan will automatically start to regulate the camera temperature whenever recording stops, providing more sustained, continuous cooling to reduce the chance of fan activation and sound interference during recording. The fan will also regulate temperature if the camera reaches a certain temperature threshold to prevent overheating. This update was made available as an additional upgrade in firmware version, released earlier in 2013.

1 Distortion ratio may increase if the signal exceeds -8 dBV, the standard input level.

2 Not supported in PL-mount cameras.