Canon C700 Will Offer Sensor Upgrades to Full Frame + Other Formats

Canon C700 Will Offer Sensor Upgrades to Full Frame + Other Formats

It’s being reported by a very well respected cinema industry magazine, FD Times, that the recently announced Canon C700 has been designed with future sensor upgrades in mind.  As a bit of a closet cinema gear buff, this is a publication I read on a regular basis and I don’t think there are many people who are more well informed than their editor. Judging by the history of their content, this is a publication with some very solid ties to Canon so I don’t think he would be reporting this unless he was sure it was true.

The C700 is to begin shipping with a standard Super 35 sensor (roughly equivalent to APS-C in photo terms), but it’s believed that in the future, this sensor will be swappable for something larger like a full frame sensor, or a full height Super 35 sensor (18×24 mm) that could accommodate 2x anamorphic lenses like the Arri Alexa. A sensor swap would also mean swapping some of the internal boards, but these too have apparently been designed with this in mind.

There has been a lot of talk about the high price of this camera in the last few weeks. I find it strange that Canon would not publicize this upgradeability of the camera because it would surely set a few minds at ease if they are considering spending $40,000 on a camera! This sort of upgrade path has proven to be quite successful with both Arri and RED over the last few years, so I do think it’s a smart move on Canon’s part. Vista Vision (full frame) cinema camera are already on the scene, and I think it’s an inevitability that the industry will go that way entirely, eventually. The biggest hurdle right now is the sea of Super 35 lenses in the warehouses of major motion picture rental companies and the relative lack of Vista Vision compatible cinema lenses. Just this week though, we have seen major lens players in the cinema industry like Angenieux, begin offering their first full frame lens options.

I think it’s fair to say that the C700 has received a lukewarm welcome from the industry. It looks like a solid camera, but there’s literally nothing new or inventive about it when compared to existing cameras like the Alexa. What Canon really needed was to launch this camera with a full frame sensor option in the first place. That would have caught peoples attention, and with their history of full frame sensors in stills cameras, there was literally no better company to do this. We hear that the C700 has been in development for many years, with prototypes having been shown to some people as early as two years ago, so perhaps they just had to get something to market to start recouping some costs. Can’t help thinking an NAB 2017 launch with a full frame sensor would have been better though!


Via: FD Times