Canon’s cinema line of cameras ushered forward the post-DSLR years for video users, and now, they could be set to do the same with mirrorless designs.
Rumors have been building for some time that we’d see a second C200 release in 2023. The original caused a storm back in 2017. It was the first time that in-camera raw recording was reasonably affordable. Canon’s Cinema Raw Light format brought more flexibility to users, and its dual pixel autofocus was market leading in cinema cameras.
Five years on, and some are beginning to retire the C200. CVP recently announced that they’d be switching to Canon’s R5C for their in-house videos, and the C200B (without a monitor or EVF) is on sale for only $2,499. That’s a 60% discount.
Canon has since released the C70 and the R5C. Both are capable cameras, but both also lack the professional necessities of a modern shooter. The R5C practically needs life support from an external battery, and the C70 doesn’t have an EFV or an ideal audio interface.
However, two years after its release, the C70 has seen significant updates. Canon added more autofocus features, internal raw recording, and a 600 Mbps XF-AVC codec option. This is really unusual for Canon, who have essentially left their C300 Mark III and C200 in the dust as they ramp up features for their RF Mount cinema cameras.
So, will this change of heart affect their next cinema camera? Whether we get a true C200 Mark II or not, I’ve put together the dream wishlist for the next iteration.
Internal compressed raw recording is a must for the next cinema camera, but intermediate codecs are just as important, like the XF-AVC update on the C70. Currently, the C200 goes from an 8-bit format straight up to Canon Raw Light with no in between option.
In addition, there’s been a lot of talk about a resolution bump. Canon’s R5C has an 8K capable sensor, so a new 4K camera will certainly appear lackluster. Personally, I would love to see a solid 6K option that doesn’t crop in as frame rates climb higher. Blackmagic has done a wonderful job with 6K resolutions. It gives plenty of room in post for client’s 9:16 requests.
A Good EVF
The industry leaders are really falling behind here. Sony’s FX3, FX6 and FX9 don’t have built-in electronic viewfinders. It’s odd since even their older FS5 had one. Canon’s C300 Mark III nor C500 Mark II come with an EVF. Instead, Canon asks you to spend $700 on one. It would be quite frustrating if the next C200 also drops the EVF. At the very least, I’d like to be able to buy the add-on, which the C70 isn’t compatible with.
How the hell did the C200 make it out of the gate without a proper timecode port? Thankfully, Canon realized their mistake and included a dedicated port on the C70 and R5C, so I’m sure we can expect to see the same from now on.
Better Monitor Options
The current C200’s monitor is fine, but I wish it wasn’t held back by a clunky mount and a proprietary cable. It would be great to see Canon include a built-in monitoring solution like the C70 and even C100. This way, you can still mount your third-party monitor and make use of a built-in touch screen for autofocus and camera control. The current C200’s monitor is tiny and hard to discreetly mount to the camera, so you’re stuck with it if you want full control of the camera. RED’s Komodo is a great example of doing it right.
Less Annoying Limitations
The C70 has two SD card slots, but it can only record Cinema Raw Light to one card at a time. When the first card fills up, the camera just stops recording instead of moving on to the next card. Annoying, right?
The current C200 can’t output 4K via SDI, but then also can’t output a LUT over HDMI. So, if you’re shooting in Canon Log 3, you’ll either output HD or a flat image. This is very annoying for client monitoring solutions. Canon’s cinema cameras have been constantly plagued with little quirks like this.
Two Card Slots
We’ve all had issues with cards, and having a backup record option is a must these days. I’ve personally had detrimental issues with CFast cards while shooting with Canon’s cinema cameras and plenty of corrupted SD cards in the past. A second card slot would help alleviate these worst-case scenarios and also offer proxy recording.
Rumor has it that the next C200 won’t be as large as the current one. If that’s true, it might mean that a clunky DJI Ronin-2 rig could be swapped out for a Ronin RS3. The C70 is about as large as I would want on a smaller gimbal, and it would be nice to see a camera that’s a similar size and weight.
Feel that there are more missing features? Let us know in the comments if you’re hoping to see anything in particular.
Canon should certainly find more interest with selling cinema dedicated hybrids than generic "hybrid". Clearly there is more money for them to make by separating the hybrid with a still version and a C version even if both can be hybrid to a certain extend. Beside greed, I can't see why they messed up so badly. Thankfully they made me realize that I don't need a new camera yet. Thanks for the saving Canon!.