Canon has been keeping quiet for some time now and there has been lots of speculation about their next video camera, including many that had hoped for a 35mm sized sensor. Well this morning Canon posted a press release on their website. The main and most exciting point is that the camera under development will be full 1920×1080 and it will be 50Mb/s 4:2:2 Mpeg 2 MXF. Now this looks on paper to be an extremely similar format to XDCAM HD422. It would certainly make edit suite integration a lot simpler if the MXF files are the same as the Sony XDAM MXF’s.
Mockups of a camera seen in recent months have shown a handycam style, fixed lens camera with two slots for some type of memory card, which could possibly be express card slots. The mockup lens looks like it might be an EX1 style lens with manual and auto focus and might be big enough to accommodate 1/2? sensors. Is this the camera that the press release refers to, or is there another camera in the pipelines? There is a lot of stuff not mentioned in the press release, like recording media. It says “file based”, this could be solid state or it could be something else, maybe optical disc. Might this be a full size XDCAM HD camcorder from Canon? The release gives no sensor or form factor information which I find a little odd. Having shown mockups of an EX1 sized camera why not a more detailed press release with info on the lens, sensors, recording media etc? (apparently there will be another press release on the 8th of Feb).
Canon make some very good video cameras, I had an XL-H1 and it was a great HDV camcorder. I have no doubt that this new camera will be very good and competitively priced. IF it is the EX1 sized camera and it has 1/2? sensors then this would tick all of the BBC’s boxes for HD. If it’s CCD (which seems likely) it won’t have skew or flash banding. This is a very significant announcement and could push Canon to the front of the Pro Handycam pack. Here is the full press release from the Canon web site.
New Canon MPEG-2 Codec chosen for file-based professional video camcorder promises compatibility with industry-standard editing & processing software
United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland February 2nd 2010 – Canon Inc. today announces the adoption of an MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec for a new professional video camcorder currently under development. The Canon MPEG-2 codec will enable high-quality imaging and audio performance with up to 50 Mbps data recording and twice the colour data of HDV HDV is a standard for the recording and playback of high definition (1,440 x 1,080 pixels) video and audio on DV-format cassette tapes profile formats. File-based recording helps video operations realise greater efficiencies during post-production processing, making it an ideal format for many industry applications such as news gathering, documentary filmmaking and event videography.
MPEG-2 Full HD compression and 4:2:2 colour sampling?The adoption of MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG-2 4:2:2 HP@HL compliant) compression enables the recording of 1,920 x 1,080-pixel full high-definition video. Additionally, compared with the 4:2:0 profile format used in HDV and other standards, 4:2:2 colour sampling offers twice the volume of colour data, providing double the level of colour resolution.
Maximum 50 Mbps data recording?With approximately twice the total data volume of HDV, the codec supports higher resolution and increased colour data to enable the recording of high-quality video.
Industry-standard MXF file format (see note (II))?MXF (Material eXchange Format) is a widely supported open source file format for the recording of video, audio and metadata, developed to suit the latest editing systems used by broadcasters.
Canon partners with major editing and processing software?With the adoption of the MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec, Canon is working in cooperation with Adobe Systems Incorporated, Apple Inc., Avid Technology, Inc. and Grass Valley to ensure compatibility with major editing and processing software programs widely used within the video imaging industry. Additionally, at future industry events Canon intends to demonstrate the overall video-production workflow, from initial video capture to clip-trimming and final editing. Video clips stored in a file-based recording system and industry-standard software applications will be used.
(II) A format for professional digital video and audio media defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)
Notes to editor
Advantages of File-Based Recording
File-based recording enables video and audio data to be managed and stored by file, much in the same way as computer data. It supports efficiency throughout the production process, from initial video capture to final editing through the entire workflow. Additionally, file-based recording provides users with the flexibility to utilise different editing environments and workflow solutions without the restrictions associated with some other video recording formats, helping to reduce investment costs.