Netflix Reportedly Rejects Canon’s Request for R5C Certification

Netflix has reportedly rejected Canon’s request for official certification of the Canon R5C full-frame mirrorless camera for official use with the streaming network’s blessing. What’s even more interesting is that Canon shows no signs of addressing any shortcomings in order to gain the streaming network’s favor, as Sony did with the FX3.

Netflix nor Canon have commented on the reason for the rebuff, but many tech analysts speculate it may be due to the Canon R5C lacking C-Log 2 as a factor.

The Raw codec is able to a capture higher dynamic range, thereby making it more acceptable for HDR content. Leaving C-Log 2 means that the camera falls short of Netflix’s HDR standards.

The Canon R5C boasts an 8K full-frame sensor that captures 12-bit Raw video at up to 60 frames per second, or 5.9K in Super35mm, and 4K at up to 120 fps per second.

From a resolution point of view, Canon’s new hybrid cinema camera is more than a match for Netflix’s resolution metric. But that may not be all that Netflix looks at when deciding what does and doe not makes the grade.

4KShooters took a peak behind the curtain of Netflix’s approval process back in July, and how the company has a comprehensive camera lab facility that it uses to put cameras through their approval process.

Those that make the grade (like the Canon C300 Mk. II, C500, C700, and even the C70) will be placed on the Approved Camera List, while those that fall short will be limited to no more than 10% of the total runtime of any Netflix-approved project.

While Netflix’s standards pertain to a minimum resolution of 4K, there are other factors that are tested including dynamic range, color reproduction, noise performance, sensor readout speed, compression, chroma subsampling, bit-depth, and even factors like camera stability and reliability, power and thermal management, editing software support for a chosen codec, and even the reliability of media used to capture the footage of a project.

Clearly, the lack of C-Log 2 may be a deal breaker that caused the Canon R5C to fail the dynamic range test. But even without C-Log 2, the R5C is rated at 15 stops of dynamic range, which is nothing to look down on the camera for, so it’s mystifying that Netflix would.

Others also point to the battery life issues with the camera, which tops out at about 40 minutes, and complaints that the camera sometimes simply won’t turn on. This could point to a reliability metric that Netflix may not be able to turn a blind eye to.

Image Credit – Netflix

Ultimately, even Netflix admits that its official Approved camera list is largely motivational. “One of the biggest priorities for us as a studio is to help our filmmakers do their very best work,” says Netflix camera specialist Chris Prygrocki.

“We want our filmmakers to not only feel enabled but encouraged to use the very latest capture technologies to tell their stories.”

So the question is, is it a deal breaker that Netflix doesn’t approve of the Canon R5C?  While Canon isn’t actively pursuing a solution that will meet Netflix’s approval, it’s entirely possible that over time, firmware updates and improvements could possibly allow the R5C to make the grade.

Until that time comes, though, filmmakers will have to consider another option for the majority of their footage. And Netflix has a list.

[source: Canon Rumors]

Order Links:

  • Canon EOS R5 C Mirrorless Cinema Camera (B&H, Adorama)

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