HOLLYWOOD - I have had the pleasure of attending several camera debuts over my 37 years working in Hollywood. The format of these events is a simple formula: An executive from the manufacturer makes some introductory remarks, thanking the team and the attendees, followed by a product manager who gives us the details. The presentation then can take on two additional segments, a highly-polished production showing off the performance of the camera, and sometimes a behind-the-scenes of the project. After the formal stuff, a question and answer session ensue, with pre-planned questions then opening up to the floor.
The Canon C700 introduction followed this script, and I might add very professionally and succinctly. Our audience included press and a cross section of senior and younger members of the ASC consisting, folks who have dozens of credits to their names, as well as those who aspire to have a much longer IMDB page of their own. One note about the ASC Clubhouse, everywhere you look you will see glimpses of our film history, motion picture cameras, photographs and other memorabilia.
The Calling is the title of the production we screened. Needless to say, the images were stunning. The project was shot in Colorado. The script included cowboys on horses, a working distillery, and some mountain climbing. The script featured strong backlit and golden hour shots showing off the dynamic range of the C700. The hand-held shot by Tyler Stableford hanging off the side of a cliff creating some breathtaking shots for the project as well as the behind the scenes. I was very impressed with the over-cranked clips shot with the C700. The 120- and 240fps shots looked great. I would love to l have some of those clips to slow down even further with Twixtor from RE:Vision Effects.
The Canon team has a rich history in the imaging world, and they continue this evolution with the EOS Cinema line. In 1997 Canon entered the prosumer video space with the XL series of cameras, quickly accepted by filmmakers and documentarians. It is hard to imagine a time that a camera could only record in one format, and it used DV cassettes. The C300 followed the groundbreaking 1D DSLR gaining mindshare of the filmmakers. The EOS Cinema line has matured over the years, and today now includes the latest model the C700.
The C700 is more of an evolution than a revolution. Canon strategy is to leverage the Super 35 sensor, high-quality lenses offered by Canon and the loyal following the C300 and C500 users. The C700 brings new codecs and more framerates to the Canon EOS Cinema line. The C700 uses the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that is available on the C300 Mark II. Whether you like auto-focus or not, it is nice to have during those run and gun moments.
Additional features including ProRez recording, SD Card, CF Fast Card support and external recording using the Codex recorder. This range of options provides attractive solutions for a broad range of users. The idea of a camera that sits on your shoulder without complicated rigs was attractive to me. Having carried broadcast cameras for many years, I like the idea of a balanced and ergonomic shoulder mount. One interesting note is that the C700 can shoot anamorphic. Two beauty shots were made possible with lenses provided by Cooke.
The video project and some behind the scenes clips are available on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/canonpro
). Tim Smith of Canon introduced the team. We had an opportunity to hear first-hand about their experiences and observations on the C700. Tyler Stableford director, and director of photography Russel Carpenter, ASC, and Craig Grossmueller 1st AC were part of the production The Calling. It's available on YouTube in 4K at
Like the advertising disclaimer always states at the end, "Your results may vary," but in the hands of skilled cinematographers and talented crews no doubt the results will be meet or exceed their artistic expectations.
Anthony Magliocco is the founder of Entertainment and Media Technology Marketing, Inc. EMTM (www.emtminfo.com) provides marketing, and business development services to the media and entertainment industry.