The Canon EOS 1DC is an interesting beast.

The stills capabilities match that of the Canon EOS 1DX, so it’s a monster of a stills camera. But the 1DC isn’t about taking photos: It’s designed with video in mind, with 4K Motion JPEG at 24/25P at the forefront of its video arsenal, along with 1080 50/60P capture.

However, it’s still technically a DSLR…and broadcasters haven’t been particularly kind about the DSLR video image in the past, citing the moire and aliasing issues connected with the “line-skip” method of extraction from a large megapixel sensor as reason enough for the 5D/7D footage of old to be deemed unsuitable for HD transmission.

UNTIL NOW. That’s right, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have deemed the footage from the Canon 1DC as good enough to fit into the “HD Tier 1 for HD Production”. Here’s what they had to say:

“Results indicated that the EOS-1D C provides ‘exceptional’ HD resolution from a 4K source with ‘very low’ aliasing, and ‘good’ colour performance and motion portrayal. The test results also confirm that the EOS-1D C camera system and its imaging performance comply with the recommended specification for inclusion in the HD Tier 1 for HD Production.”

So there it is: The first broadcast-level DSLR. Why is that good, you might ask? For a number of reasons:

  • Many of you own DSLR support equipment. Rigs, sliders, your whole kit is designed around the lightweight and compact design of the DSLR body. With the 1DC, you can keep using all your pre-existing kit. Moreover that compact size makes the camera ideal for getting into tight spaces: Dashboards for car shots, trees in jungles for natural history, and much more.

 

  • Strip all that support kit away and you look like a photographer or tourist: The compact size of the DSLR makes you less conspicuous in less-than-safe environments, and less daunting to interviewees  who may be over-awed by a full size video camera.

 

  • This point may be less practical than the first two, but for some of us, it’s important: It keeps DSLR shooting alive whilst stepping it up a level. DSLR for many shooters felt like a mini-rebellion: Huge images made on tiny cameras. The 1DC keeps this going.

 

Remember though that you will still need to check with specific broadcasters (BBC, Discovery etc) as to whether they will accept the 1DC as your primary acquisition device, and that you will likely be recording audio separately. However, as you may have already seen online in short films such as the Po Chan-directed/Shane Hurlbut-shot "The Ticket", the Canon 1DC is a formidable video-biased DSLR and could well be the main camera for your next production.

If you would like to read the full account on the Canon website, please click here.