Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Canon Adopts MPEG-2 (4:2:2) for upcoming camcorder

Canon seems to like to drip-drip out information about their forthcoming professional cameras. I'm not sure if this is the way they like to do it, or it's a response to the recent announcement of Sony's NXCAM cameras, and they want to give people that are thinking of buying one of those fits.

There's already been rumors (and a showing) of a forthcoming solid-state video camera from Canon, but now Canon has announced they'll be using MPEG-2 with 4:2:2 chroma sampling on something. It's unclear what, though it's probably a good bet that this will be a serious camera (above $5,000). They may also have a lower-end solid state camera coming as well; it's getting hard to read all the tea leaves!

Canon will be showing/talking about something at this Friday's SuperMeet in San Francisco. There's also a report that they will be announcing something on February 8th (when they might also announce the new Rebel.)

There was some speculation about whether Canon would be using Sony's XDCAM format (which also uses MPEG-2) but this seems unlikely, particularly as they say in their press release that they are working with Adobe, Apple, Avid etc., to "ensure compatibility." They wouldn't need to do that if they were using XDCAM.

(Full text below)

Canon adopts MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec for upcoming professional video camcorder

New Canon MPEG-2 Codec chosen for file-based professional video camcorder promises compatibility with industry-standard editing & processing software
TOKYO, February 2, 2010—Canon Inc. announced today the Company has adopted an MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec for a new professional video camcorder currently under development. The Canon MPEG-2 Codec will enable high-quality imaging and audio performance with up to 50 Mbps data recording and twice the color data of HDV*1 profile formats. File-based recording helps video operations realize greater efficiencies during post-production processing, making it an ideal format for many industry applications such as newsgathering, documentary filmmaking and event videography.

  • MPEG-2 Full HD compression and 4:2:2 color sampling
    The adoption of MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG-2 4:2:2P@HL compliant) compression enables the recording of 1,920 x 1,080-pixel full high-definition video. Additionally, compared with the 4:2:0 profile format used in HDV and other standards, 4:2:2 color sampling offers twice the volume of color data, providing double the level of color resolution.
  • Maximum 50 Mbps data recording
    With approximately twice the data volume of HDV, the Codec supports higher resolution and increased color data to enable the recording of high-quality video.
  • Industry-standard MXF*2 file format
    MXF (Material eXchange Format) is a widely supported open source file format for the recording of video and audio and metadata, developed to suit the latest editing systems used by broadcasters.

Canon partners with major editing and processing software

With the adoption of the MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec, Canon is working in cooperation with Adobe Systems Incorporated, Apple Inc., Avid Technology, Inc. and Grass Valley to ensure compatibility with major editing and processing software programs widely used within the video imaging industry. Additionally, at future industry events, Canon intends to demonstrate the overall video-production workflow, from initial video capture to clip-trimming and final editing, with video clips stored in a file-based recording system and using industry-standard software applications.

Advantages of File-Based Recording
File-based recording enables video and audio data to be managed and stored by file, much in the same way as computer data. It supports efficiency throughout the production process, from initial video capture to final editing through the entire workflow. Additionally, file-based recording provides users with the flexibility to utilize different editing environments and workflow solutions without the restrictions associated with some other video recording formats, helping to reduce investment costs.

*1 HDV is a standard for the recording and playback of high definition (1,440 x 1,080 pixels) video and audio on DV-format cassette tapes
*2 A format for professional digital video and audio media defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)

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