The Canon 1D C Has Key Features for On-the-Go Filmmakers

The Canon 1D C Has Key Features for On-the-Go Filmmakers

Canon has added another camera to their cinema line, the 1D C.  It gives professional and novice filmmakers alike a formidable number of shooting choices, not to mention access to a wide variety of cine lenses. It is also a very sports-friendly camera, shooting at 14 FPS for up to 400,000 cycles with its newly-designed shutter and carbon fiber blades. It’s Canon’s first official photo camera of this form factor and price point to provide 4K – what they’ve dubbed their “hybrid HDSLR”.  Let’s dive into some of the features of this camera, especially when compared to bigger cameras in Canon’s cinema line, such as the C300, C100, and C500.

Form Factor Advantage of the 1D C

The Canon 1D C is a relatively lightweight camera that will be familiar to videographers who already have experience making independent work with the 5D Mark II. Having so many shooting features in a small package will be particularly appealing to those who travel a lot or just need to pack light.

This pro-body DSLR retains a lot of the photography options of the 1D X but also shoots 4K video. This is a boon, especially for sports shooters who need the quick shutter bursts but who may also want to introduce great video into their portfolios without having to carry multiple bodies.

4K and Canon Log in the 1D C

The resolution of 4K is 4096 x 2160, which is 4 times the size and resolution of full 1080 HD. This is really useful for those who’d like to crop down an image and still have a lot of detail in the shot (again, useful for both videographers and sports photographers but also a nice bonus for wildlife shooters).

The 1D C comes with a new image profile: Canon Log. Log style profiles give you the option of a low-contrast image that has a ton of latitude for color correction in post production. It is also referred to as “shooting flat”. The footage, at first, looks desaturated and gray but the flexibility of editing afterwards can make shooting in this profile worth it because it allows more image information to be retained for color correction and visual effects.

Things You Need to Know Before Choosing the 1D C

The 4K in this camera shoots at the center of the sensor, which totals at 5184 x 3456, and will produce 1.3x crop in effective angle of view – APS-H crop. You can also shoot at Super 35 (1.6x – approximately APS-C in photography parlance). If you’re using a Canon CN-E lens, you’ll want to shoot in Super 35 mode. This is also the mode you’ll want to use if using this camera as a 2nd shooter with the C500 or C300 for consistent angle of view and depth of field. It will write 4K internally to CF memory cards in 8-bit 4:2:2 (compared to many cameras that sit at 8-bit 4:2:0) up to 24p. You can capture uncompressed footage externally via HDMI in 1080p with your choice of full frame HD or a Super 35 crop.

Because of its size, you will be missing some of the more pro features of Canon’s professional camcorder line. There are no XLR inputs and the HDMI port is not full size. There is a 3.5mm jack for external mics and there is a silent mode so that camera noise isn’t picked up when recording. It will record continuously like a cinema camera and doesn’t top out with 30 minute clips like a standard video-capable DSLR.

Our video team likes to think of the 1D C as the perfect 2nd camera on set or a great main camera if you need an all-in-one package suitable for on-the-go shooting.

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Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. She is a Marketing Coordinator for and also writes for SmugMug. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. Previously, she shot motorsports for X-Games, World Rally Cross, and Formula Drift. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.


  1. Sweet camera! My only comment is that 4k is only twice the resolution of 1080p (1920×1080, use the 1920 not the 1080), not 4 times the resolution as stated in the video. Great review though!

    • its 2 times the height and 2 times the width, so its really 4 times the resolution =)

    • It’s 4 times, (more than) double the height and double the width. Use the math, or go fold a piece of paper in 1/4.

      _ _
      |_| |
      |_ _|

      1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600
      4096 x 2160 = 8,847,360

      8,847,360 / 2,073,600 = 4.27

    • You are correct, 4K is 2 times the resolution of 1080p, not 4 times. Sadly, most people don’t understand the meaning of the word “resolution.”

  2. @Alex I believe that they are referring to the area.

  3. no built in ND Filter, and lousy rolling shutter… I don’t get it

  4. On the last low light test, it seems both the C300 and the 5d3 were more sensitive than the 1DC at the same ISO? Is that right?

  5. Sports video? I’m still looking for decent autofocus on a DSLR platform. Any suggestions?

    • Sony’s FS 700 I think would be insane for sports videos… plus its a real camera but it is not on the DSLR platform

  6. That sounds great. Shooting Log is nice but is it Raw? and what about bit depth? If its not 32 bit then it still cant compete with the RED.

  7. @Nick – 8 bit 4:2:2 for 4K. Sadly, not RAW.


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