September is undoubtedly a busy month for the cinema and broadcast industry. We see a flurry of product launches, surviving IBC is a challenge and the deals intensify. However, amid the September madness, it’s an exciting time of the year because we get a glimpse of technology that will drive the market over the coming months.
At IBC this year, it was clearer than ever before that the industry is changing at a rapid pace and at the heart of this change is new technology – making it a super exciting time to work for a company like Canon. Since NAB 2018, the pace of Canon flagship launches has been noticeably speedy. In chronological order – to name but a few – the EOS C700 FF, DIGISUPER 122, Sumire Prime Lens Series, EOS C500 Mark II and our 31-inch 4K HDR professional reference display - the DP-V3120.
And if that’s not planting a flag in cinema and broadcast industry ground, I don’t know what is!
4K is of course still hot on the agenda. However, with increased adoption of 4K technologies attention has turned to not only the equipment that can get content creators there – but what will give them that ‘edge’. The rise of 4K TVs and handheld devices and the increasing number of streaming services available to viewers has naturally heighted competition across the market. Cinematographers today are expected to produce content at the highest of standards and production value which also has the ‘wow’ factor when it comes to creativity.
An example of our commitment to produce kit that directly responds to the market’s needs is Canon’s September-launched EOS C500 Mark II. This camera was used by DOP Brett Danton on the latest Jaguar commercial using a mix of glass including our Sumire Prime Lenses. The modular style and versatility of the Full Frame camera, not to mention its features like 5.9K internal Cinema RAW Light and recording, allowed Brett to achieve the look he wanted with ease. The camera design gives DOPs like Brett unrestricted creativity – with its ability to be rigged to a drone, crane or shoot handheld for example. In addition to this, the camera’s versatility meant that Brett could change mounts from EF to PL to use various lenses – achieving multiple ‘looks’.
While the technology has changed dramatically since Canon was founded, our job across all industries remains the same – to support content creators with kit that will help them meet, and exceed, industry standards, so they are faced with no creative boundaries and are equipped with the tools to exercise their visions.
You could say that’s the job of all manufacturers – where we stand out is by putting optical technology at the heart of everything we do.
For decades, Canon has been developing the three core components of imaging – lenses, sensors and processors – using in-house R&D, planning teams and constant customer feedback. This ability puts the company in an important, and highly responsible, position – as it has the skills and capabilities to create innovative new products to the market.
At last year’s IBC, Canon celebrated 60 years of its BCTV business – six decades of bringing innovative, lenses to the market to help support broadcasters.
Our achievements include: the world's first BCTV zoom lens using artificial Fluorite (J10x10B) in 1974, the world's first broadcast lens with Internal Focus in 1982, the world’s first broadcast lens with three-digit optical zoom in 2002 (DIGISUPER 100) and most recently the UHD DIGISUPER 122 - which can achieve the world’s widest angle and the world’s longest zoom of any single broadcast lens currently on the market.
We won’t, and can’t, stop there whether it’s the latest next generation EOS Cinema System camera or a new Broadcast lens. IBC is always a great time to reflect on Canon’s previous achievements and ignite excitement for the year ahead. It’s clear that the technology that will drive the market in the coming months will help cinematographers and broadcasters exceed the industry standards, push their creative abilities to achieve their desired ‘look’ – whether they’re shooting a new Netflix series, a commercial for a top brand, or a live piece to camera on the side lines from a sporting event. Whatever it is, Canon’s optical excellence sits at the heart of imaging.