Designed for use in a wide-range of applications in broadcast, education, house of worship, sports, and corporate environments, the first 4K UHD PTZ cameras from Canon will arrive next Summer.
Canon announced the launch of a new remote camera system which includes three new pan-tilt-zoom cameras – the CR-N500, CR-N300 and CR-X500 – and the RC-IP100 controller, responding to the soaring demand for content and the need for smaller scale, efficient production methods. Over the past 12 months, remotely produced video has grown exponentially, with the live streaming industry experiencing a 45 per cent growth between March and April of last year.
The CR-N500, CR-N300 indoor PTZ cameras and the CR-X500 outdoor camera combine Canon’s advance imaging and network technologies to offer high-quality 4K UHD footage with various IP protocol compatibilities, including the newly developed XC Protocol, that realises a simple and efficient remote production workflow.
According to the company, “along with the RC-IP100 hardware controller and Remote Camera Control Application, the new XC Protocol will enable other compatible Canon video products to work within the production system – helping content creators of all levels to customise their production system to suit their needs. Canon will be releasing new firmware which makes the Cinema EOS range cameras compatible with this new remote production system, providing a flexible, end-to-end offering that meets the versatile video requirements of the remote production market.”
This new line of cameras capitalizes on Canon’s digital imaging and operational expertise from both professional camcorders and network cameras. This enables the cameras to not only deliver 4K imagery thanks to Canon’s CMOS sensors, DIGIC DV 6 Image Processor, and optical zoom lenses, but also smooth pan, tilt and zoom functionality that allows for on-air camera movement.
Remote camera controller
The new indoor PTZ cameras support various video interfaces, including HDMI, IP, and 3G-SDI, and are also compatible with popular live production protocols like NDI|HX, RTMP and more. The new outdoor PTZ camera supports 12G-SDI, and includes a durable, IP55 rated weather-resistant housing. In addition to the cameras, Canon has also introduced a new remote camera controller, the RC-IP100, which supports IP and serial connections and can operate camera functions such as pan, tilt, zoom, focus, and iris.
“In 2020, Canon introduced the System Integrator Program with the goal of developing strategic relationships with integrators, providing the organizations world-class support and cutting-edge digital imaging equipment,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “These new PTZ cameras and remote camera controller were designed with the system integrator market squarely in mind. We are eager to see how these cameras are incorporated into the creative solutions that they develop for end users.”
Canon shared more information about the new products, which reveals highlights of the new 4K UHD PTZ products. Here is all you need to know about the CR-N500, CR-N300 and CR-X500 – and the RC-IP100 controller:
The Vivid CR-N500 4K UHD PTZ Camera
When combined, the 1.0-inch CMOS sensor, 3.2μm pixel pitch, and DIGIC DV 6 image processor featured in the CR-N500 4K UHD PTZ camera provide users with the capability to capture images with high sensitivity, low noise, and a minimum subject illumination of approximately 1.5 lux.
Utilizing a 15x optical zoom 4K UHD lens, users will also experience cinematic images with shallow depth-of-field and beautifully blurred backgrounds with brilliant image quality. The 15x optical zoom covers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 25.5-382.5mm, and the camera is capable of a variable pan and tilt speed from 0.1° – 100° per second to support smooth on-air movement or fast preset transitions. An independent, built-in three-density ND filter and nine-bladed iris create natural bokeh effects, with diffused, diffracted light. The CR-N500 features Dual Pixel CMOS AF with dual pixel focus guide, as well as face detection and tracking. The CR-N500 also supports Canon Log 3 for color grading and wide dynamic range gamma of 800%, along with image quality mode and adjustment functions to enhance an operator’s image customization capabilities from capture to post-production.
The Versatile CR-N300 4K UHD PTZ Camera
The CR-N300 4K UHD PTZ camera uses a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, DIGIC DV 6 image processor, and a 20x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal range of 29.3-601mm. The camera features Canon’s Hybrid AF system that combines high-precision contrast AF and high-speed phase-difference AF, allowing operators to gain focus and lock-in subjects even in dim or dark situations. The variable pan speed of the camera clocks in at 0.2° – 300° per second and the variable tilt speed is 0.2° – 170° per second. The CR-N300 can also be used as a webcam via a USB connection.
The CR-N300 is equipped with four unique scene modes: portrait, sports, low-light, and spotlight, which allows users to select the mode most suitable for the desired subject.
- Portrait Mode achieves sharp focus while blurring the background.
- Sports Mode enhances the ability to capture moving objects.
- Low-Light Mode brightens images when in dim or dark shooting situations.
- Spotlight Mode allows users to capture beautiful images in brightly lit situations.
The CR-N300 and the CR-N500 both offer peace of mind, being backed by Canon’s 3-year limited warranty.
The All-Weather CR-X500 4K UHD PTZ Camera
The Canon CR-X500 4K UHD PTZ is rated IP55 for water and dust resistance, and is designed for outdoor uses including sports, news/weather coverage, and television production. The camera features a 1.0-inch CMOS sensor that captures 4K UHD images in 60p/4:2:2/10-bit. The sensor’s 3.2μm pixel pitch combined with dual DIGIC DV 6 image processors produces improved signal-to-noise ratio from previous HD models and a minimum subject illuminance of 3 lux. The camera features a 15x 4K UHD lens with an optical 35mm equivalent zoom range of 25.5-382mm.
When the camera is in FHD mode, operators can use the camera’s 4K multi-pixel sensors for up to a 30x advanced zoom. Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Canon’s renowned and popular autofocus system, allows for superb tracking performance and successfully captures 4K scenes where outstanding accuracy is required. Image Stabilization mode helps to reduce camera shake and produces stable and clear images even in windy conditions, and a built-in wiper helps to clear away rain from the camera. The camera also supports Canon Log 3 for color grading and a wide dynamic range gamma of 800%, as well as image quality mode and adjustment functions to enhance an operator’s image customization capabilities.
Features of the Canon RC-IP100 Camera Remote Controller
The Canon RC-IP100 camera remote controller supports IP and serial connections and is compatible with all three of the new PTZ cameras, allowing operators to control multiple cameras simultaneously. By virtue of the control and seesaw zoom levers and 7-inch touch panel, users can control each camera’s functions such as pan, tilt, zoom, focus, and iris. When connected via IP, it is possible to control up to 100 CR-N500/CR-N300 cameras. When an outdoor CR-X500 camera is connected via RS-422 serial, up to 99 additional CR-N500/CR-N300 cameras can also be connected and controlled.
Included with the Indoor PTZ Cameras is the Remote Camera Control Application software which allows PC users to register up to 20 cameras, viewing up to nine different cameras live at once. Full camera control, including setting trace functions and presets, is easily accessible with the click of a mouse.
Final notes and availability
Along with the new PTZ cameras and controller, Canon is also introducing a newly-developed XC Protocol that offers control and communication with select Canon video production devices for high quality video streaming over IP. Later this year, Canon will look to release new firmware to introduce the new XC protocol to select Cinema EOS System cameras.
The Canon CR-N500, CR-N300, CR-X500 4K UHD PTZ cameras and RC-IP100 camera remote controller are scheduled to be available in the Summer of 2021.