×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Canon booms with pro camera line

Scorsese touts lightweight, wide-range camera for showbiz

Camera maker Canon is making an aggressive move into Hollywood, unveiling its first-ever line of professional cameras and lenses for movie and television shooting.

Beneath an image proclaiming the slogan “Leave no story untold” and in front of an invited audience of camera and tech pros from around the world, Canon worldwide topper Fujio Mitarai took to the stage at the Paramount Theater on Thursday to announce the company’s Cinema EOS line and paired lenses. Mitarai promised the system will be compact and lightweight but able to capture in a very wide range of light levels, permitting natural-light shooting in conditions from full sunlight to moonless night.

The first offering in the line, the Cinema EOS C300, will be available at the end of January. List price is $20,000 without a lens. First available camera will come with an EF lens mount, permitting it to use the 70 lenses in Canon’s EOS line. A version with an industry standard PF mount will be available in March.

Tim Smith, manager of pro markets for Canon, told Variety the camera’s light weight and flexibility should make it ideal for TV production, but will likely appeal to feature filmmakers as well.

Mitarai said, “I stand here to request you to welcome us into the community here in Hollywood,” then unveiled the Cinema EOS camera, which looks like a mid-sized video camera. After showing several extended excerpts from pics shot with the Cinema EOS system, each chosen to show the capabilities of the camera, Martin Scorsese took the podium. The filmmaker ended by saying, “I believe these new tools from Canon allow a much closer relationship between filmmakers and the subjects they are filming than ever before, so I thank you for that. Mr. Mitarai. Welcome to Hollywood.”

Among the pics shown was the trailer for Bryce Dallas Howard’s upcoming directorial effort “When You Find Me.”

Mitarai also announced the opening of the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, which includes a full showroom, repair services and education on its new products.

“We’re making a significant commitment to the film and television production industry,” said Eliott Peck, senior VP and GM, sales for Canon’s Imaging Technologies and Communications Group. “We’re in this business and we’re going to stay in this business.”

The C300 camera offers 12 stops of dynamic range through all ISOs and features a new CMOS sensor designed specifically for video. New design is intended to cut down on the “jello” artifacts that plagued the Canon still cameras when they were used for professional video. A panel of d.p.’s who’d worked with the system praised its ease of use, long battery life, light weight and the “filmic” look it delivered with little effort.

The Cinema EOS line also boasts full iPad integration, with all its controls available through an iPad app. Camera hasn’t been tested in 3D production but was designed with side-by-side 3D shooting in mind. It can do up to 30 frames per second at 1080p or 60 fps at 720p.

Canon’s Digital SLR cameras have become popular for shooting movies and television despite problems capturing rapid motion due to the design of their shutter. The footage shown at the Paramount unveiling didn’t show such obvious “jello” artifacts.

Masaya Maeda, chief exec for image communication products operations for Canon, said the company would be an active participant in various groups and forums in Hollywood. Maeda said it was his idea to add video capabilities to the Canon EOS cameras in the first place, but the company was surprised at the warm response the DSLR received in the movie business.

Company also announced it is developing a new EOS digital still camera with the ability to record 4K video at 24 frames per second, a feature clearly aimed at professional moviemaking.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content