I don’t often post about new gear on Fstoppers, but today I’m posting about an announcement Canon made a few days ago that kind of slipped under the radar. This week Canon unveiled it’s first 4K video production monitor, the very unsexy-sounding 'DP-V3010'. While no pricing information has yet been released, it’s due to go on sale first quarter 2014. Why should we care? Because it clearly lays a stake in the ground over what the future of video (and quite possibly stills) is shaping up to look like.
"So? This Is High End Pro Gear. Why Should I Care?"
Because 4K is here to stay.
It seems like we only relatively recently fully embraced the world of HD. Thanks to 4096 x 2560 resolution, the IPS LCD panel can display native DCI 4K video (4096 x 2160) without any scaling. This means 4K video output from Canon’s flagship C500 and EOS-1 DC cameras comes in natively and is rendered in full 4K glory.
The 16:10 aspect ratio of the display provides additional real estate, useful for computer based editing tasks such as still image processing or visual effects work. Canon is orchestrating a complete end-to-end "capture and process" solution now, so we can capture, edit, add VFX, grade and correct an entire 4K production all through this monitor and it’s 4K camera systems.
The reason this monitor is significant, regardless of whether you will ever be shooting and editing 4K video is because it cements Canon's view of the world of digital video going forward. Remember, 4K is four times as much resolution output as full 1920x1080 HD. If the C500 and 1-DC cameras were Canon’s way of saying 4K has officially arrived, this monitor says “4K is here to stay…and pretty soon, it’s going to be everywhere, so get ready”. As the world of video and stills continues to converge, this has implications for the world of photography too (read on to find out how).
Who Is It For?
According to Canon Europe, the monitor is “Designed for highly-accurate and consistent color the DP-V3010 is optimized for color grading in an edit suite or on location, and for other digital imaging tasks including CGI work. At 30-inches, the DP-V3010 is designed for desktop or wall installation in editing rooms and studios. As a compact alternative to a digital cinema projector, it is ideally suited for color grading, video editing, special effects, and to support the advanced needs of 4K digital cinema production.”
Video inputs support 24fps (native) and rates up to 60p, and scaling for 2K and HD viewing.
This is obviously for professionals who will be shooting and processing 4K video. That's not you right? Well maybe not yet, but the world of 4K is set to explode so it won't be long before we see 4K videos cat videos everywhere.
I'm A Photographer, This Doesn't Affect Me. Right?
Wrong. Regardless of how many of us will be using these monitors or even shooting in 4K, this unequivocally says 4K is here, it’s going to be everywhere. It’s going to have far reaching implications for the industry from both a workflow (all that extra storage and processing power needed). It will also provide new creative possibilities (think of all that additional detail you’ll see).
For photographers, there are implications of cinephotography (where stills are pulled from video), something RED has been looking at with more seriousness for a while and which Fstoppers and Peter Hurley got together to test recently in a Hasselblad VS RED Epic shoot off.
For those worried about what it means for their photographic skills and knowledge, my view is that actually all those skills you’ve crafted over the years as a photographer will be in high demand and put to excellent use if we do see a world where stills are increasingly being pulled from motion capture.