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First Look: New Canon PTZ Cameras & Cinema Lenses

Marc Franklin of Franklin Creative Media talks with two Canon tech repsabout their new PTZ camera innovations and cinema lenses in this interview from NAB 2023.

Marc Franklin, Franklin Creative Media, Contributing Editor Streaming Media Producer, dives into the details of Canon’s new PTZ camera innovations and cinema lenses with two Canon technical representatives in this interview from NAB 2023.

“One of the highlights of these cameras that differentiates it is it has a face tracking feature similar to the autofocus and many of their cameras that tracks faces,” Franklin says. “But this will actually pan and tilt and zoom the camera as needed. Within that, there's some programmable ranges or things that you can tell it to do.”

Michael Kearns, Senior Technical Specialist, Canon, further highlights the camera features and gives examples of its flexibility in specific use cases. “You can set a lot of configurations,” he says, such as how far you want the camera to pan right or left, up or down. Additionally, he says, “You can set the zones of where you want to track and where you don't want to track, and you can also set exclusion areas, that if people enter [them], you don't want to start tracking. So in the case of a classroom, you may have a teacher on a stage, and you want to track the stage area, but if any students stand up in front of them, you don't want to track that area. So it has a lot of lot of flexibility in that.” Furthermore, he highlights that the auto-tracking is high-speed and precise because it runs on the camera. “It doesn’t require an external processor to tell the camera to move,” he says.

“What is the sensor size in these cameras?” Franklin asks.

“For the CR-N700, it's a one-inch sensor,” Kearns says. “We have two other indoor cameras. The CR-N500 is a one-inch sensor, and then we have a CR-N300, which is 1/2.3" camera. The CR-N300 and the CR-N500 will also get the TR auto tracking, but that won't be until August.”

“Okay, so it will be a software upgrade,” Franklin says.

“It'll be a firmware update that will update the camera to allow add-on application systems, and then the user would download the application to the camera, and then basically from there, you just activate it,” Kearns says. “These are paid applications, though. I will say that there is a free demo that comes with the download package, and if they do like it, they can purchase it through Canon.”

“Now, is it a subscription, or is it a ‘Buy it, and you own it?’” Franklin asks.

“It's a one-time fee,” Kearns says. “It's sold either through Canon or through all of our many dealers and distributors. They all have SDR or HDMI and an IP output as well. In the case of the CR-N700, it has a 12G SDI and a 3G SDI, while the CR-N300 and 500 have a single 3G SDI.” He mentions the range of environments that are great fits for these cameras. “Some of the key ones are houses of worship, education live events, corporate events, and also other places where you need to install a camera where you normally can't fit a whole camera system.”

“And as far as the switching,” Franklin says, “is there a Canon switcher that you use, or can you just use any switcher?”

“Yes, you can use them on almost any switcher,” Kearns says. “We don't really have a switcher, per se. We do have our camera control app that allows you to basically look at all your cameras and switch between them and move them independently. But as far as a video switcher, you would use any of the third party switches that are out there.”

Franklin then interviews Canon Senior Product Specialist Ryan Snyder about their newly introduced cinema lenses. “I’m here with Ryan, who's going to tell us a little bit more about their new cinema lenses that were introduced recently,” he says.

“So these are the Flex Zoom lenses from Canon,” Snyder says. “And about a year ago, we introduced the full-frame versions of the 20 to 50 wide angle and the 45 to 1:35 telephoto lens. Both lenses were 8K resolution, edge-to-edge, our first in the cinemas line, and we have a very fast T2.4 speed on these lenses. This year, we just introduced our super 35 versions of the lenses. So we now have the 14 to 35 and the 31.5 to 95 super 35 versions. Both are T1.7 lenses, so they're incredibly fast, with 8K resolution. Now, all of these lenses in the Flex Zoom line can be swapped from EF to PL or vice versa without having to send them into a factory service center for Canon. And now, with the introduction of the super 35 lenses, we have relay kits available for the lenses to be able to switch them from their full-frame to super 35 counterparts back and forth as well. Again, that could be done without having to send the lenses into a factory service center. The full-frame lenses are available now, but the super 35 [light angle] versions will be available around June. And the telephoto version will be coming out later in the year, as well as both the relay kits.”

Learn more about live video production at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

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