Is Canon planning to produce their 4k camera?

Update: AP posted a clarification that Canon does not have plans to produce this camera.

AP made a statement today that "Canon plans to launch a camera capable of shooting still images at a frame rate exceeding 60 shots per second". They were talking about the Canon 4k camera, that was shown as a concept at the CanonExpo in New York over a month ago. The initial word from Canon (as you can see from the video above) was that this camera is just a prototype that will not be mass-produced.

Canon 4k specs:

  • 8MP 2/3-inch CMOS sensor
  • able to shoot 4k (4096×2160 resolution) video @ 60 frames per second
  • fixed 20x f/1.8-f/3.8 optical zoom - 35mm equivalent of a 24-480mm lens (?)
  • the lens will have new "fully electronically-controlled, lens drive system"

And another video of the Canon 4k in action:

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  • Catastrophile

    Few years ago Canon was talking about opening facility(s) for mfr’ing small P&S size CMOS sensors. it then sounded, as if the whole PowerShot range might shift from using Sony-made sensors to Canon-made ones. But to date AFAIK, the SX1 is/was the only PowerShot to incorporate an in-house made CMOS. The IQ from that camera wasn’t as good as the SX10 (which used a Sony-made sensor and was otherwise mostly identical to SX1).

    The new 4K camera is most probably using a Canon made CMOS similar to that of SX1 but with much lower pixel density (8MP on 2/3″ sensor vs 10MP on 1/2.3″) , so maybe less noisy than SX1, but 8MP is very low and uncompetitive for a still camera even among P&S.

    In conclusion neither Canon nor any other new player in P&S sensor making, can beat the Sony-made ones in megapixel resolution and noise performance (both in the same time). Panasonic has tried hard for long years and it eventually paid off to some extent starting from the LX3 (FZ30 & FZ50 were much noisier than their competition which used Sony sensors). If the rumor is true, expect something in between SX1 and the 4K concept camera (maybe the first higher than full HD video and/or high fps CMOS compact similar to the Casio F-series). The marketing hype for such a camera would be based on the super-relative video res or fps. the resolution and/or noise performance for stills would not be good but accepted as a compromise.

  • woble

    I would take RED Scarlet over this any day… that is if I ever had the need to.

    • hamburger

      Since you have no need for either, there is apparently no substance behind your decision, so what possible use is this comment to us?

      • woble

        Well, lets see.. aside from that I might not need one any time soon, I still think Scarlet is the best of two.
        Use of any lens you might have from other manufactures. You aren’t stuck with what Canon puts on this prototype or the actual future product.
        RED systems are modular.
        HDR video. Why the heck not.

  • Rob

    Canon has been showing mostly very high end equipment (lenses) or concepts over the last several months, but a lot of current sales are in consumer/prosumer grade equipment, including mirrorless products. Can Canon ignore the other markets for long, or do they sell enough $4000+ lenses to keep their company afloat?

  • dave

    I wonder what the cost is to produce these prototypes? In the world of CMOS CPU’s, the cost to produce a new chip in silicon is so large that staggering resources are put into simulating the design first. I’m talking about time and money both. Yet Canon is showing these fully produced “prototypes” with no other manufacturer (that I’ve heard of) doing the same.

    I wonder if these are really prototypes, or just early production.

    The lack of products based on these new sensors could come down to two issues. One is low yield, where the cost per chip is still too high. The other is the development of hardware to drive the sensor, where the challenges are big and rarely discussed, and where every maker is falling well behind Nikon.

    • Rob

      The big problem with 4K is how to display the images. There doesn’t seem to be any devopment on 4K tvs – unlike 3D. Movies might provide a viewing option for professional production, but there’s just no way for most folks to see the results.

      • Catastrophile

        more problematic than the screen/TV is if the processor or graphic card of your PC or video player can’t cope with the sheer amount of data of 4k. Compact devices in particular tend to have low power CPU’s & video cards that many of them still can’t play 1080 or even 720! if they can play HD and the screen is say 800×480 or 1024×600 that’s much less of problem than getting a msg that your video clip is not playable. same with 4k, if you can play it but the display is lower resolution, say a full HD screen.

      • El Aura

        I guess currently 4K is destined for the big screen (ie, movie theaters), in other words only for professionals.
        (Professionals might also shoot TV material including commercials on 4K just to have some latitude during post.)

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