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Gear Rumors

Did Canon’s New Fixed Lens 4K Camera Just Debut In China?

By Anthony Thurston on March 26th 2015

This morning, images are leaking in the Canon rumor mill from a Canon event in China that appears to be a launch for some sort of fixed lens 4K camera. It’s possibly the same camera that we have been hearing about as a ‘competitor’ to the Panasonic GH4.

Canon-4k-video-camera-3-550x367

The specs on this camera seem pretty disappointing, if you ask me. The 4K is nice, yeah, but a 10x optical zoom lens with an variable aperture of F/2.8-5.6 is not attractive at all. I must say, I do not see a ‘GH4 Competitor’ in this camera in the slightest (if I heard Canon officially refer to this camera as that, I would likely laugh them out of the room). To me, this seems more like a Sony RX10 or Panasonic FZ1000 competitor than anything else – although those are still cameras that do good video and this is clearly a camera aimed at video first, photos second.

Canon 4K Camera Specs

  • 1″ CMOS Sensor
  • 58mm filter
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • External Viewfinder
  • Canon 10X optical zoom 8.9-89mm f/2.8-5.6 4k video fixed lens (35mm Equi. 24-240mm)

Canon-4k-video-camera1-550x497 Canon-4k-video-camera-21-550x396 Canon-4k-video-camera-550x367

An interesting note about the Chinese camera launch event, Jackie Chan made an appearance. Maybe we are lucky and he knocked some sense into Canon – haha.

The current line of thought is that this camera will make some sort of US debut at NAB here in April. That would certainly make sense with the video focus of this camera. I can’t say I see this getting a very good response though, unless the price is super reasonable – but this is Canon we are talking about, so I’m not holding my breath.

What are your thoughts about this 4K camera from Canon? Do you see this being a  big hit in the US and Euro markets? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jerry Jackson

    If this camera is indeed coming to stores around the globe then all I can say is that Canon has again disappointed me with its response to the competition.

    Well, on the bright side, at least Canon didn’t announce something that made me regret selling my Canon gear last year.

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    How many people do actually have a 4K Monitor?

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      That’s an argument that’s been tossed around by still photographers for a long time. The first 4K UHD TV was like $25,000, less than a year later they were $5000. 4K is coming just as sure as HDTV replaced SDTV.

      Why shoot in 4K when barely anybody has a 4K monitor or TV? For the future. You can shoot your video in 4K and downsample it for HD, and when the time comes when 4K UHD is the standard you can release it again.

      Almost anyone who is really serious about making films are using 4K video cameras, not HDSLRs. Granted there are documentarians that shoot on HDSLRs, but the majority of people shouting the loudest for 4K video aren’t the ones that need 4K anyway.

      Personally, I don’t shoot video, so it’s not an issue for me. But this is what I’ve gleaned from talking to my filmmaker friends.

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    • Jerry Jackson

      I don’t care about 4K for video, but I’m obsessed with the “in camera” ability that Panasonic’s 4K cameras have to pull individual frames out of a 4K video file to produce 8MP still images.

      THAT is what interests me about 4K. I’m not a videographer, but as a still image photographer who occasionally shoots weddings and sports events, I’ve felt the pain of missing “the perfect shot” by only a fraction of a second … even when using cameras with a 12fps burst rate.

      I can easily imagine a future where most wedding and sports photographers shoot 4K video in situations where they can’t use flash and pull out individual frames of the best moment from a wedding ceremony or a game.

      Sure, 8 megapixels isn’t as great as the 24MP images I’m currently capturing for clients, but when I made the transition from film to digital I was shooting with 6MP DSLRs and those “low res” images are still detailed enough to create an 11×14 or even 16×20 print in some cases.

      Likewise, a single 8MP image captured at the EXACT moment a wide receiver catches the game-winning pass is better than two 24MP images captured a fraction of a second before and a fraction of a second after.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I know some people look at video grabs as a lifesaver, but in my eyes you may as well just throw away your still camera and shoot video. I get satisfaction from capturing THE moment, not so much from scanning through frame by frame until I find something good.

      Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still respect the tradition and skill of actual still photography. That’s just my opinion and whatever gets your job done is your business. It just doesn’t appeal to me.

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    • Jerry Jackson

      I’m not saying I would get “satisfaction” as a photographer by shooting 4K and pulling a still frame … but that setup I described would be yet another tool at my disposal to help satisfy my clients. My clients don’t care about the satisfaction I personally feel from capturing “THE” moment at a wedding or a high school basketball game … but they expect me to deliver “THE” moment no matter what.

      Just to be clear, I’m not shooting 4K now and I RARELY miss those “must have” moments … but I’m a human being and the people I photograph are human beings who are sometimes unpredictable so from time to time I do miss “THE” moment by a fraction of a second … that’s the reality of life. I’m just acknowledging that 4K stills are another tool we can use to meet or exceed our clients expectations.

      Maybe I’m old fashioned, but when it comes to paid work I believe that my job is to do everything within my power to deliver what my clients expect and make my clients happy.

      Dave Black, a well known and amazing sports photographer, isn’t just some spray-and-pray hack who uses a motor drive and hopes he gets “THE” moment, but he has used high-fps burst modes on many different occasions to increase his odds of capturing “THE” moment during previous Summer Olympics. There’s nothing wrong with using the tools at your disposal to improve your chances of capturing the right moment … but capturing the right shot is a matter of composition, creativity, and the photographer’s mind.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @ Jerry Jackson: No need to get upset. I clearly stated “That’s just my opinion and whatever gets your job done is your business. It just doesn’t appeal to me.”

      You don’t have to try to lecture me about the importance of getting the job done. I’ve been shooting professionally for almost 20 years and as an amateur almost ten years before that.

      Like I said whatever you do is your business. It’s not my concern. I’m expressing my personal opinion, not denigrating you if you decide to pull stills from 4K video. After all, I’m not your client.

      But don’t get defensive because I prefer not to make use of every available technology. That’s just my way.

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    • Dave Haynie

      My new laptop has a 4K screen (well, technically, it’s “quad full HD”, not “Cinema 4K”). It’s great for photo viewing, both due to resolution and the quantum dot color technology, which replaces the filters used in all other LCD monitors.

      Two of my three desktop monitors are 2560×1440. I’ve been waiting for better 4K options to even consider an upgrade. Plus, that would mandate a GPU upgrade as well — many of the less-then-new GPUs are limited to 2560×1600 or less per screen.

      And the price on 4K has been falling far faster than I had predicted.

      And that’s an entirely different thing than shooting in 4K. I shot in HD for five years before it was possible to distribute an HD video in any useful way. But consider: today’s 4K video is great, even if you’re delivering HD/2K results. You can crop without losing resolution. You can downrez from 4:2:0 4K to basically 4:4:4 HD… just the thing to be editing, at least, even if you’re ultimately going to deliver video at 4:2:0 HD.

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  3. adam sanford

    So if Canon people want 4k, it’s a choice between Cinema EOS rigs ($8k – $15k) and *this* little toy? C’mon, Canon, how about 4K on an a camera with a button you can press to change lenses (gasp) that doesn’t cost as much as a compact car?

    Canon’s reluctance to offer more 4k options for fear of undercutting Cinema EOS sales has eerie parallels to Canon’s reluctance to offer proper mirrorless products that might undercut SLR sales. The idea that ‘if they don’t offer it, we won’t get undercut’ is absurd. Products like the GH4, A7, etc. will happen regardless of what Canon wants…

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  4. Barry Cunningham

    Might be a GoPro competitor.

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  5. J. Dennis Thomas

    Many cameras like this are introduced in the Asian markets only. I don’t think our Asian photography counterparts are as picky about specs as a lot of the camera nerds in North America and Europe.

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    • Shi Zheng

      having been in China recently, I’d have to agree, the Chinese public are very much about branding rather than specs which is why a lot of the people with money tend to go towards Nikon/Canon. But I did see a lot of Sony mirrorless being toted around recently!

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    • Hannes Nitzsche

      true story: a few weeks ago I was shooting a local beach and this Chinese man rocked up with his Canon 1DS, a fancy Gitzo carbon fibre tripod and
      a set of Lee filters (not cheap equipment, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about), introduced himself to me, set up right next to me and – while I was shooting away doing long exposures – asked me if I could explain to him how to use manual mode, his remote control and the lee filters(heck, I was darkening my sky in the budget way with a piece of black card…).
      Goes to show that there are indeed plenty of people who are willing to pay big bucks for the prestige and status of being a pro ‘tog, but have no clue what to do with their equipment.
      All the gear, but no idea :) made me chuckle

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    • John Priest

      You could be right… The EOS-M3 was not USA bound either… and WHY would Canon NOT mention this ANYWHERE if it WAS meant to hit the USA shores?
      I love Canon products, but the UPPER MGMT needs a shakedown….
      Sony is creeping up their you know whats, and one would think they better GET ON IT and get their act together and get us the Canon products we all want. Seems like they are following Sony’s lead on everything these days…
      Sony=Apple
      Canon=Samsung
      Just an analogy… ;)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @HANNES NITZSCHE:

      That’s a very common theme here in Austin with new “concert photographers”. They roll up with a couple of 1DXs and a backpack full of gear and start asking what settings are people using and then I listen to them rattle off machine gun shots in full green camera P mode.

      Some of them look at me like a chump because I use a rangefinder and two small prime lenses. Little do they know I’ve been at this for years and my camera isn’t a point and shoot.

      I learned long ago that I don’t need to have every piece of gear I ever bought and a camera with all the bells and whistles for a 6 minute shoot.

      Some people are obsessed with looking the part. I’m obsessed with getting the best results with the minimum of gear.

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