Canon has announced a hilariously boring and ambiguous camera, just in time for NAB: the ME200S-SH (catchy, right?). They want it to be an all-rounder, but it may just be subpar in every single category.
It’s got the cubed design that we’ve seen Blackmagic and Arri release; however, its specs don’t match either of those:
- Super 35mm CMOS Sensor (Confirmed to be C100 Mk II sensor)
- 1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720, up to 60 FPS
- EF Lens Mount
- 12-Stop Dynamic Range
- ISO up to 204,800
- ND and IR Filters
- 2x, 4x, 8x Digital Teleconverter
- HD/3G-SDI and HDMI Connectors
- It's basically a well-connected sensor
Blackmagic’s Micro Cinema Camera brings ProRes/RAW video into a small package, aiming to become a high end GoPro. It's priced at just under $1,000 too.
Arri’s Alexa Mini is aimed at people who are already shooting Arri and don’t want to use a third party camera for specialized gimbal or drone shots.
Canon’s ME200S-SH? Well, your guess is as good as theirs. Canon touts it as a broadcast studio camera, but is it really? Here are the categories it tried to fit into and where it falls down:
Broadcast Studio Camera
This is the camera's main selling point. It’s got a HD/3G-SDI that’s perfect for this type of content. The problem is that you can also preorder the Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera, which includes a 10-bit 6G-SDI connection, a 4K sensor, and even what you’d expect from a studio camera: a talkback function and the ability to control B4 mount lenses. Blackmagic’s camera will only cost $1,300. So, you could set up a three-camera system with these for less than a single Canon ME200S-SH.
Canon will be selling bundles with the ME200S-SH, one of which they said would be for documentary and another for electronic news gathering. It makes sense, since the camera has built-in ND filters and can achieve an ISO of 204,800 — not to be sniffed at. Do you know what else is not to be sniffed at? An actual documentary or ENG camera! Canon’s own C100 Mk II retails in the same price range, but comes with the ability to record, display, monitor audio, and have a battery inserted into it.
Canon, look, to rig this thing will cost about $10,000, or you can go out and rent the whole kit with some prime lenses. However, nobody wants to shoot their film in 1080p, especially when Canon isn't telling anybody what codec they’re using yet. If they’re renting, they can pick up something far more specific.
They’ve seriously recommended its uses for security and surveillance in their brochure. Could you imagine mounting your $5,000 studio camera to the ceiling of a convenience store? I wonder if they recommend L glass with that too.
Where is its market? It’s gotten to a point that I believe Canon’s aiming for the technically clueless producer. They control the money, sure, but certainly don't have the ability to talk to their director of photography about what's needed.
Where could you see this camera being used?
Edit: Canon have since removed the video content relating to this camera, possibly after harsh criticism. This article has been updated to remove dead links to this content.