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EOS C300 Dual Pixel CMOS AF now available

EOS C300 Dual Pixel CMOS AF now available

May 2014

Canon has announced that a major feature upgrade – the addition of Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus – is now available for its EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera.

The EOS C300 is a large sensor video camera that has already proved hugely popular with a wide spectrum of demanding professional filmmakers, from journalists to movie Directors of Photography. It already offers sophisticated features such as extraordinarily high sensitivity (up to ISO 80,000), a broadcast-standard codec, built-in Canon Log Gamma, and cinematic 24.00p mode as standard. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade for the EOS C300 will expand shooting possibilities even further by providing smooth, accurate autofocus with a huge range of Canon EF lenses. For cameramen requiring more precise control the responsiveness of the One-Shot AF function has also been greatly enhanced, with increased focus speed.

The upgrade utilises the existing Super 35mm sensor in the EOS C300 and is available as an extra-cost option after purchasing your camera. The upgrade can be performed at a Canon Regional Competence Centre and is available from 27 May 2014 in most European countries, and from 2 June* in other territories. Please see page 2 of this article for more details of how to book your camera in for the upgrade. *Dates are estimates. Please confirm local availability when booking.

FILMMAKER PHILIP BLOOM ON DUAL PIXEL CMOS AF

Filmmaker Philip Bloom was one of the first people to try out the Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade (using an EOS C100 on location in the USA) and, in an exclusive film, he reveals his first impressions of working with AF, using Canon lenses and the best way of working with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.

© Canon USA

Please click on the film window above to watch filmmaker Philip Bloom explaining his first experiences of shooting using the Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade.

HOW DOES DUAL PIXEL CMOS AF WORK?

Dual Pixel CMOS AF is a sensor-based, phase-detection autofocus (AF) technology that’s designed to provide smooth, high-performance continuous focus in movies. It is a unique, Canon-developed technology, ideal for fast and accurate autofocus, helping filmmakers to create stunning footage which maximises the creative options offered by fast lenses and shallow depth-of-field.

Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology sees twice the amount of photodiodes on the sensor, allowing phase-detection AF on the imaging sensor’s surface for the first time.

The EOS C300 camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology features a CMOS sensor that consists of an array of pixels that each feature two separate photodiodes. By continuously comparing their outputs during AF Mode, phase-difference autofocus helps to ensure non-blurred images and smooth focus transitions even when the subjects and/or camera are moving. The new feature places a high priority on maintaining sharp focus while, providing a natural, smooth autofocus movement with selected Canon EF lenses that offer even smoother and quieter operation.

After this modification, the EOS C300 camera's Continuous AF function active area represents 20% of the image vertically and 25% horizontally, yielding a very large, centrally located autofocus zone. The AF Lock mode allows you to set focus and hold it, allowing you to change framing while maintaining the original point of focus.

DUAL PIXEL CMOS AF COMPATIBILITY WITH EF LENSES

Dual Pixel CMOS AF provides continuous autofocus with the majority of EF lenses1, spanning EF and EF-S, fixed focal length, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. One-Shot AF operation is supported by selected EF lenses. The system marks a significant advance with greatly improved AF speeds.

Please click here for a list of lenses that are not supported by the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.

FAST, SMOOTH AF DURING VIDEO CAPTURE

A modified EOS C300 camera’s set-up menu offers two options for ‘AF Mode’ – One-Shot AF and Continuous Autofocus. The AF Lock function can optionally be set to one of the camera’s assignable buttons. During shooting you press this button to lock the focus, preventing the camera from re-focusing, and then press it again to re-enable Continuous AF.

A diagram illustrating the difference between the focus hunting of the EOS 70D (using only Dual Pixel CMOS AF) and the combined Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Contrast AF signal system that is now possible via the EOS C300 upgrade.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology helps to provide smooth and consistent autofocus, so that focus transitions are natural looking and that subjects can remain focused even as they move. The compatibility of Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Canon EF autofocus lenses combines outstanding optical tools with a wide range of creative options.

By using the Contrast AF system to supplement the EOS C300’s new Dual Pixel CMOS AF the camera can determine which direction to initially drive the lens, thus helping to reduce focus hunting.

FASTER ONE-SHOT AF MODE

The combination of Contrast AF and Dual Pixel CMOS AF helps to ensure that the EOS C300’s AF system initially drives the lens in the correct direction, resulting in faster focus acquisition. The upgraded EOS C300 camera will focus significantly faster than an unmodified camera with a more natural look and no focus over-shooting. Because the current One-Shot AF mode uses only Contrast AF, movements can sometimes be jerky with over-shoot errors.

Diagram showing the difference between obtaining the focus point when using One-Shot AF by Dual Pixel CMOS AF against the current One-Shot AF, which only uses Contrast AF.

DUAL PIXEL CMOS AF IN THE C300: KEY FEATURES

  • Continuous AF with the majority of EF and EF-S lenses1
  • Improved One-Shot AF performance
  • AF Lock function allows user to change the framing
  • Stable AF movement
  • Reduced focus ‘hunting’

HOW TO BOOK IN YOUR EOS C300 UPGRADE

As stated earlier in this article the five Canon Europe Regional Competence Centres (RCCs) will soon offer EOS C300 Dual Pixel CMOS AF as a feature upgrade for existing EOS C300 owners. To book in a camera for the upgrade customers must contact the RCCs by e-mail. Details of the correct RCC to contact, depending on where you are located, are outlined below2.

The Canon RCC in France will undertake the upgrade for customers in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Please click here to book in your upgrade.

The Canon RCC in Germany will undertake the upgrade for customers based in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. Please click here to book in your upgrade.

The Canon RCC in Italy will undertake the upgrade for customers based in Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Romania and Slovenia. Please click here to book in your upgrade.

The Canon RCC in Sweden will undertake the upgrade for customers based in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway. Please click here to book in your upgrade.

The Canon RCC in the UK will undertake the upgrade for customers based in the UK and Ireland. Please click here to book in your upgrade.

This upgrade will be available at a fixed price3, which is currently set at:

  • From the Canon RCCs in France, Germany and Italy: €400.00
  • From the Canon RCC in the UK: £340.00
  • From the Canon RCC in Sweden: SEK 3600.00

1 Excluding Manual focus lenses.

2 If your country is not mentioned above please contact your local Canon Video Service Centre for more information on how to arrange your EOS C300 upgrade.

3 Please note: the prices quoted above may be subject to change and are excluding VAT and inbound shipping costs (from customer to the RCC).