The familiar EOS-1D C isn’t the only Canon camera to make its public debut ahead of NAB. The Cinema EOS series welcomes a third model to the collection this week, with looks that nearly match last year’s C300. Unlike that model, which you can already pick up through e-tailers and at specialty shops, the C500 has a long way to go before it gets a shipping nod — it may not even make it to market in 2012. The $30,000 price tag may pose an even greater barrier to entry than its to-be-announced availability date, however, and may in need of some tweaking before it’s ready to compete with already established models, like the much less expensive RED Scarlet. Like the 1D C, the C500 can shoot 4K video — the most apparent upgrade from the $16,000 C300. To that end, boosting its price tag may be the only way for Canon to avoid cannibalizing that less-abled flavor, since many cinematographers would otherwise pay little attention to the C300, due in part to its 1080p-limited shooting capabilities.
Rollei has launched three new Full HD camcorders that also take five-megapixel stills. The Rollei Movieline SD 800 P (€349.95, pictured) is probably Rollei’s most interesting digital video camera to date with 8x optical zoom, image stabilisation and… a built-in projector! Note though that the projector’s specifications are somewhat basic, with a resolution of only 320×280 pixels. Other highlights include a 3” touch-sensitive screen and a variety of scene modes. The Movieline SD 80 (€199.95) is a smaller, entry-level model that nevertheless offers a similar 8x zoom range and 3” touchscreen, plus time-lapse and slow-motion recording, face detection and electronic image stabilisation. Finally, the Movieline SD 230 (€249.95) boasts 23x optical zoom, a 3.5” widescreen touch panel, dual video recording function and image stabilisation. All of these models are equipped with 1/3.2 type CMOS sensors and SD/SDHC card slots, and each comes with an HDMI cable as standard.
With the addition of video to DSLRs, a new market has emerged for high-quality video at a fraction of the historical price. DSLRs, priced about the same as some prosumer video cameras, can accomplish things once off the table for filmmakers. Now, having follow focus and a narrower depth of field are as simple as changing a lens.
With the rise of these cameras, many accessories and elements have arrived on the scene to make the amateur filmmaker’s job easier. So, what does it take to make professional video with a DSLR (but without a full movie studio)? Here’s some of my equipment recommendations, plus some tips for getting the most out of it.