Canon just announced a new remote camera system that includes three pan-tilt-zoom cameras: the indoor models CR-N500 and CR-N300, and an outdoor rugged model CR-X500. The cameras offer 4K UHD image quality with 4:2:2 10-bit, capable autofocus, and flexible connectivity options. The company also announced the RC-IP100 controller and free Remote Camera Control application.
Remotely produced video content grew quite significantly over the last year due to the pandemic and social distancing. Last year, camera companies reacted to the increasing demand by releasing simple webcam software for their products. Now, Canon is taking it one step further. The Japanese camera company just released a new remote-controlled camera system. It is not the first product in this segment, but it looks interesting. Let’s take a look at what is new.
Canon Remote Camera System
Canon released three new PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras, all of which are part of the remote system: CR-N300 and CR-N500 indoor models, and CR-X500 outdoor model. Additionally, the company released the new RC -IP100 control panel and a free Remote Camera Control application.
The smallest out of the pack is the CR-N300. The camera offers flexible connectivity with Power over Ethernet (PoE+), HDMI, 3G-SDI, and USB port. It includes the DIGIC DV6 image processor to achieve 4K UHD 30p at 4:2:2 10-bit.
The CR-N300 utilizes a 1/2.3-Inch Type CMOS Sensor with a Hybrid Auto Focus system and a 20x optical zoom lens (29.3-601mm full-frame equivalent) with IS. With a chassis size of 154 x 178 x 164mm and a weight of 2.2kg, this model is quite compact.
The CR-N500 and CR-N300 are capable of high-precision control, thanks to the pan and tilt drive mechanism which moves at 0.1° / second increments, enabling smooth operability at variable speeds.
The second indoor model is slightly larger. In terms of connectivity, it offers Power over Ethernet (PoE+), HDMI, and 3G-SDI. Just like the CR-N300, it features the DIGIC DV6 image processor to achieve 4K UHD 30p at 4:2:2 10-bit.
This camera has a larger 1.0 type CMOS sensors and it utilizes Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system. It uses a 15x optical zoom lens (25.5-382.5mm full-frame equivalent) with image stabilization. CR-N500 uses Canon Log 3 and wide DR modes to produce HDR content.
The CR-X500 is a rugged outdoor remote camera with IP55 water and dustproof rating. It supports serial communication and features a built-in wiper to produce clear images even in rainy conditions. With dual DIGIC DV6 processors, the CR-X500 is capable of capturing 4K UHD 60p video at 4:2:2 10-bit. The CR-X500 uses a high-quality 12G-SDI connection to achieve 4K UHD up to 60P with a single cable.
Same as the CR-N500, the CR-X500 features 1.0 type CMOS sensors and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system with a 15x optical zoom lens (25.5-382.5mm full-frame equivalent) with image stabilization. The CR-X500 also features an additional 30x advanced zoom when the camera is capturing in Full HD.
Canon XC Protocol
Aside from the protocols such as RTMP/RTMPS, NDI/HX, or RTP/RTSP, the cameras also support Canon’s newly developed XC protocol, which will enable other compatible Canon products to work within the system. Canon will be releasing new firmware, which makes the Cinema EOS range cameras compatible with this new remote production system.
The indoor PTZ models CR-N500 and CR-N300 are compatible with the RC-IP100 controller and the Remote Camera Control Application via IP and selected third-party controllers. The CR-X500 is also compatible with the RC-IP100 controller via Serial Connection.
The RC-IP100 and Remote Camera Control App
The RC-IP100 panel can control up to 100 PTZ cameras at once from a single operator. The control includes settings such as focus, white balance, shutter speed, and more. It features a multi-function joystick and zoom rocker for incremental movement of the camera and smooth transition between wide and tele zoom.
The free Remote Camera Control app for computers and tablet devices is capable of controlling up to 20 Canon PTZ cameras with up to nine of them being shown as a preview on the user interface. The software control allows the image settings of the camera such as iris, white balance and gain, to be fine-tuned from a laptop keyboard.
Both the RC-IP100 and the Remote Camera Control app can control up to 100 pre-set positions, as well as the trace function setting, where 10 camera movements can be pre-determined in a rehearsal and then the sequence initiated with one button.
Price and Availability
The most compact of the line, Canon CR-N300, should be available in June (not yet 100% confirmed) and it will cost €2,499 plus VAT. The large indoor PTZ camera, Canon CR-N500, will be available already in May and the price will be €4,999 plus VAT. The outdoor model CR-X500 should be available in July 2021, but the price has not been announced yet. The Canon RC-IP100 hardware controller will be available in May 2021 for €1,899 plus VAT.
Do you produce live multicam content often? What do you think about the new Canon remote camera system? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.