Canon Adopting dSLR Chips for a New Pro Camcorder?

Illustration for article titled Canon Adopting dSLR Chips for a New Pro Camcorder?

There's a rumor afoot suggesting that Canon will be ditching CCD and adopting CMOS chips for a new pro-level camcorder. Digital cameras and camcorders never been so indistinguishable.

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If the rumor is true, Canon will be adopting sub-35mm dSLR sensors (APS-C sized CMOS, or what you see in entry level dSLRs like the Rebel) into their elite camcorders. It's not a completely new idea. The Red One has long used a CMOS chip to record 4k video, and Canon makes use of a CMOS in the $1000ish Vixia. But with Canon choosing CMOS for a pro-level camcorder, it pretty much means that CCD (the preferred video chip format of the last several decades) is dead. (Once we saw dSLRs shooting 1080p, we knew this day wasn't far off.) As for the mystery cam itself:

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The sub-$8,000 camcorder is said to resemble the XL-H1 (above), accepting EOS lenses and featuring a 12.1MP CMOS that can film 1080p video at 60fps/120hz—that's MPEG4 encoded at a max rate of 56Mbps. We're not sure how the camera will record this much data though the Red One offers CompactFlash, RAID and SSD options. There's also word of a 12bit video RAW format that will require a $4,000ish IO box providing SDI and USB 3 output.

And for the first time in some time, Canon's prosumer camcorders are exciting again. [canonrumors]

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DISCUSSION

CMOS is necessary in order to achieve high MTF (resolution). CCDs just can't handle the data throughput required for full HD, and even using technologies like pixel-shift (where each sensor is offset by less than a pixel from each other) still results in a sub-par MTF for 1080p.

The use of CMOS in pro HD cameras is not new. Ikegami, a high-end Japanese broadcast camera manufacturer, has been using CMOS for their HD cameras for several years.

The newly announced <$10k Panasonic AG-HPX305 also uses three CMOS sensors (1/3-inch).

[proportal.system5.jp]