Is it usable?
That’s an important question. Initial testing was done with an Atomos Ninja 1 and the footage had some issues. The signal is clean, but further testing has to be done to see if the 650D’s signal is actually usable for external recording.
Canon & Atomos have been contacted to make sure they can work out any issues here. We’ve seen a similar situation before when the Nikon D800 & Atomos Ninja combination posed some challenges that have now been resolved.
A source of the problem could also be the fact that the camera used was a beta model.
What does it mean?
Up until this day all Canon HDSLR cameras had overlays within the hdmi signal that could not be removed making an external recording impossible. The signal coming from the beta Canon T4i / 650D tested is clean.
In theory having a clean signal means that you can record the video feed to an external device like the Atomos Ninja and get a ready to edit, quality encoded Apple ProRes file.
The signal from the beta 650D seems to be routed to the hdmi port before it is being compressed. There are definitely less compression artifacts in the footage recorded on the Ninja than in the h.264 internally compressed files.
The Canon Rebel T4i / 650D kit with the 18-55 STM lens is still in stock at B&H. If any of you can do further testing please let us know the details.
Hirecamera did a bit of testing on the 650D’s hdmi port.
They talked about the same issue we faced which is a black frame around the image. This certainly is unfortunate as this reduces the size of the image thus giving you less resolution. A glimpse of hope is the fact that I was told the Nikon D800 had the same problem which was later resolved via firmware. We’ll have to hope for Canon’s cooperation.
What hirecamera didn’t mention was the interlaced problem we ran into, which is a good thing, so this seems to have been fixed for the retail version of the camera.
They also said that the camera shuts off after 30 seconds in live view and thus you have to record in order to keep the camera running giving you the red dot in the right upper corner. Hm, when I tested the camera it was a natural step to set the auto shut off to something like 15 minutes. I can’t comprehend this point but maybe there’s something I missed?