By Ron Chen, Correspondent ASEAN Region
Canon Europe has announced the launch of a new remote camera system which includes three new pan-tilt-zoom cameras – the CR-N500, CR-N300 and CR-X500 – and the RC-IP100 controller, responding to the soaring demand for content and the need for smaller scale, efficient production methods. Over the past 12 months, remotely produced video has grown exponentially, with the live streaming industry experiencing a 45 per cent growth between March and April of last year.
The CR-N500, CR-N300 indoor PTZ cameras and the CR-X500 outdoor camera combine Canon’s advance imaging and network technologies to offer high-quality 4K UHD footage with various IP protocol compatibilities, including the newly developed XC Protocol, that realises a simple and efficient remote production workflow. Along with the RC-IP100 hardware controller and Remote Camera Control Application, the new XC Protocol will enable other compatible Canon video products to work within the production system – helping content creators of all levels to customise their production system to suit their needs. Canon will be releasing new firmware which makes the Cinema EOS range cameras compatible with this new remote production system, providing a flexible, end-to-end offering that meets the versatile video requirements of the remote production market.
Versatile IP compatibility
Combining Canon’s video and network technology into a seamless solution, the CR-N500 and CR-N300 enable IP streaming and operation for high-quality live productions. Both cameras support multiple protocols such as RTMP/RTMPS, NDI|HX, RTP/RTSP and Canon’s newly developed XC Protocol – which is standard in Canon’s cameras – enabling streaming direct to the selected Content Delivery Network for more efficient production. Further streamlining workflows, the CR-N500 employs Canon Log 3 and Wide DR modes to produce the best possible HDR results for both live streamed or recorded content ready for post-production. Even when shooting outdoors, production teams can rely on the CR-X500 with its rugged and robust body that boasts IP55 Water and Dust proof rating, remote control capability over serial communication and an inbuilt wiper to ensure wet conditions don’t get in the way of great looking content.
Designed to fit into existing workflows, these PTZ cameras offer a range of popular connectivity options. Both the CR-N500 and CR-N300 offer huge flexibility to support a broad range of use cases, with Power over Ethernet (PoE+), HDMI, 3G-SDI, and the CR-N300 offers an additional USB port. Enabling broadcasters to deliver excellent image quality and integrate within existing workflows, the CR-X500 uses a high-quality 12G-SDI connection to achieve 4K UHD up to 60P with a single cable.
Superior image quality
Meeting the demand for 4K, all of the PTZ cameras incorporate Canon’s advanced imaging technology that achieves quality equivalent to Canon’s professional video products. The CR-N500 and CR-N300 are powered by a DIGIC DV6 processor to achieve stunning 4K UHD 30P at 4:2:2 10-bit; while the CR-X500 leverages Dual DIGIC DV6 processors to capture up to 4K UHD 60p, also at 4:2:2 10-bit. The CR-N500 and CR-X500 are reinforced with 1.0 Type CMOS Sensors for impeccable, broadcast-quality video and Canon’s industry renowned Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system boasts accurate and quick focusing that is especially challenging in 4K production. The CR-N300 utilises a 1/2.3-Inch Type CMOS Sensor and the renowned Hybrid Auto Focus system, providing sharp and quick focus onto objects even in low-light, perfect for live-streaming in ambient conditions such as a lecture theatre.
B2C Sales and Marketing Director at Canon Central and North Africa, Amine Djouahra: “Leveraging Canon’s industry-leading optical technology, each of these models retains a 4K optical resolution throughout the zoom to help creators close the distance between the subject and viewers. The CR-N500 and CR-X500 employ a 15x optical zoom and CR-N300 a 20x optical zoom, all with image stabilisation that guarantees smooth, shake-free imagery from wide angle to telephoto. The CR-X500 also features an additional 30x advanced zoom when the camera is capturing in Full HD – great for capturing tight, close-up shots of an object in the distance”.
Simple, yet precise control
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 to capture the perfect shot in any scenario. Canon’s versatile indoor PTZ models, the 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, for simple integration with existing set-ups. The CR-X500 is also compatible with the RC-IP100 controller via Serial Connection.
The RC-IP100 hardware controller can control 100 PTZ cameras at once from a single operator. Offering enhanced control over a number of settings including, focus, white balance and shutter speed, it also features a multi-function joystick and professional zoom rocker for incremental movement of the camera and smooth transition between wide and tele zoom. These multi-purpose controls make operation simpler than before and achieve professional, high-quality results. Both the RC-IP100 and the Remote Camera Control Application 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 just the touch of a button.
Canon‘s two new PTZ controllers support any budget and workflow. The free Remote Camera Control Application is a software for computers and tablet devices  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.