Canon has introduced two new digital camcorders, marking the EOS entry into the professional video arena.

Unveiling the camera at an event in Hollywood, many will be disappointed that a new SLR hasn't arrived, specifically the Canon EOS 5D Mark III/6D which many were expecting.

With the introduction of the new Cinema EOS system, Canon has also debuted seven new 4K EF Cinema Lenses, which include four zoom lenses and three fixed focal length models.

The C300 and C300 PL are equipped with a Super 35mm equivalent CMOS sensor, with approximately 8.29 megapixels and are announced at the same time as development plans for an as-yet unnamed full-frame DSLR are confirmed.

Two models are available, the C300, which comes with an EF mount allowing it to be used with any of Canon's current interchangeable EF lens lineup, and the C300 PL, which is compatible with industry standard PL lenses.

When fitted with one of Canon's EF lenses, the C300 uses peripheral illumination correction to automatically correct for vignetting in accordance with each lens's optical characteristics which can be controlled from the camcorder itself. Canon EF lenses also support the recording of metadata, including the lens used, aperture setting and shutter speed.

Sensor

The newly developed super 35mm equivalent CMOS sensor uses 8.29 million effective pixels and has a pixel size larger than conventional professional camcorders, which Canon claims enables greater light gathering capabilities for enhanced sensitivity and reduced noise.

Full HD video signals for each of the three RGB primary colours can be read by the sensor, designed to decrease the incidence of moire noise in high resolution output.

Signal read-out speed has been heightened to reduce rolling shutter skews, where fast-moving subjects may appear diagonally distorted. A Digic DV III image processor facilitates high-precision gamma processing and smooth gradation expression.

Along with MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG 2 422@HL compliant) compression, the EOS C300/C300 PL uses 4:2:2 colour sampling for high resolution performance that minimises the appearance of "jaggies" at chroma edges. The camera also has a maximum recording rate of 50 Mbps.

Video and audio recording file format adopts the industry standard MXF, an open source file format ideally suited for non-linear editing systems. Two CF card slots are included on the camera, making simultaneous recording of video data to two CF cards available.

Size

The C300/C300PL features a compact body which has been designed for easy manoeuvrability to allow shooting from vantage points inaccessible to large cinema cameras, such as close to the ground or alongside walls.

The camera can be fitted with a handle, grip, thumb rest and monitor unit and comes with an array of industry-standard terminals, including HD/SD-SDI video output for external recording. The camera can be controlled remotely from smartphones and tablets when using a WFT-E6B wireless file transmitter (sold separately).

Other features on board include fast-motion shooting, achieved by capturing fewer frames per second to create option up to 60x normal speed, and slow-motion down to 1/2.5x, made possible by capturing more frames per second. Frame rates between 1 and 60 fps can be adjusted in increments of 1fps.

The Canon EOS C300 and C300PL UK price and availability has yet to be confirmed, stay tuned for more details.