The Imminent Canon C200 Codec Update Will Only Be 4:2:0 8-bit

In the early summer of this year, Canon introduced another enticing addition to their Cinema EOS camera lineup – the Canon EOS C200. When the product was first announced, videographers and filmmakers around the world were very excited that Canon has finally released a sub-$10K camera that has DCI-compliant 4K Raw shooting capabilities. While the initial hype was very prevalent in the filmmaking community, the minor disappointments and outcries progressively poured in when those who got their hands on the camera discovered one major flaw –  the available codec support.

Upon release, Canon gave the C200 users three codec options: 8-bit MP4 and MP4 Proxy recorded to the dual SD-card slots at up to 3840 x 2160, as well as 10-bit/12-bit Cinema RAW Light recording onto C-Fast cards at the full resolution of 4096 x 2160. While the camera does allow for recording to Cinema RAW Light (at a rate of about 1 Gbps), the issue is that the file sizes are extremely large, which means that you will need plenty of cards for an entire day worth of shooting.

In the meantime, while the MP4 codec offered significantly lower file sizes and the video quality somehow seems to hold up surprisingly well in post, it still lacks the flexibility and efficiency of the more robust 10-bit 4:2:2 broadcast friendly codecs, especially when it comes to color grading. As an answer to the need for a codec with high-quality video and manageable file sizes, Canon has decided to release an MXF codec in early 2018, although now it seems that it won’t be exactly the update people have been demanding since the launch of the camera.

Despite the fact the MXF codec is supposed to act as the format in between MP4 and Cinema RAW Light, Canon has decided to make the codec only 8-bit 4:2:0, rather than 10-bit 4:2:2. According to News Shooter, the additional codec will be XF-AVC YCbCr 4:2:0 8bit and still will be recorded only to the SD cards. Obviously, there won’t be an option to record at a higher bit depth, besides the proprietary Cinema RAW Light.

Even though this purposeful limitation is entirely understandable from a business perspective considering that Canon are more or less protecting the sales of the C300 and C300 II siblings, it still disappoints in a way. The availability of a 10-bit codec on board would make the C200 much more flexible and versatile filmmaking tool but obviously, this is not the case, or at least for now.

[via: News Shooter]

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Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera

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