Canon 1D C – finally the frame grab video capability for press has happened

It’s been a rumour for years – eventually this newfangled movie stuff that’s migrating onto DSLR’s will spell the end of the individual image for press images that need to be grabbed in a hurry. (And as the rumour told by some pro photographers goes, it’ll put them out of a job as then any “monkey” will be able to grab a half-usable shot). But that misses the point that we’re already past that point – newspapers already sometimes use mobile phone images from citizen journalists who are on the scene… And just about everyone has one of those these days.

But the Canon 1D C is an interesting beast – and one which shows Canon stealing a serious march on some of it’s competitors and how keen it is to play in the movie-making arena. It’s a 4k camera (ie 4 times the resolution of 1080 HD) and this means that frame grabs are at 8MP – plenty large enough for an A3 double page spread in a magazine.

It is Canon’s first 4k movie camera (along with the update to the C300, the C500), although not the first 4k video camera – the RED Scarlet-X, Sony’s F65 and JVC’s HMQ10 beat Canon to that mark. Although at £65k the Sony is 6.5 times more mortgage-requiringly expensive than the Canon 1DC’s suggested RRP of £10k. But the 1DC seems to be the first really serious 4k contender that can be easily used to take stills photos in the same shoot as movies without an extra set of gear – it takes the same EOS lenses at the 1DX and shares a lot of it’s technology.

Looking briefly through the specs, what is surprising is that there’s very little mention of it’s audio – I assume it inherits the 1DX’s audio monitoring on screen while shooting, but it isn’t clear. Does it have headphone output for monitoring? Again, not clear. And at £10k, it’s unlikely this will appeal to anyone other than those that were willing to change a 1series camera on a frequent basis – so well-established independent professional film producers and newspaper shooters are the most likely target market, rather than most of us early entrants to the “movie-making on HDSLR” camera market, amateurs or those who just want try and to shoot the company video for their website themselves.

For more info – See Canon’s Professional Network post on the new Canon 1D C