Canon Europe professional marketing director Kieran Magee explains the background to the launch of its C300 camera.

The market

Kieran Magee: When we talk with broadcasters the focus really is on large format cameras for documentary and drama so we think this is the right time for us to get into this particular part of the market.

The Hollywood launch was about showing what this camera can do; it was about pushing the camera to its extremes.

I think the C300 is well suited to a mid-range area, as a camera that can cope with that [cinematic] level but is a more broad range device.

It’s for film makers but also for a much broader base of users. Documentaries are a good example, and we feel it will also appeal to commercials producers and independent movie makers.

The camera

Lots of people have asked, ‘Is it a movie camera or a mainstream camera?’ and I would say it is a multipurpose camera. Where the camera is pushed to its limits it performs really well. We have had lots of positive feedback on the low light shooting and I think that will be significant in terms of what it is used for.

Boosting the output to 444 is not possible for the C300, but it is a product geared towards a particular sector and 444 is probably too much for the area it is targeted at. But we want to hear market feedback and proposals and we will keep developing and improving, and if 444 is a market trend then this could be the next step.

The launch

Canon traditionally enters new areas with a lot of commitment and a long-term approach; we don’t go into new sectors without a set of tools that will allow us to create a product on the lens and camera side which has a sustainable future.

This was a big launch in terms of the [C300] and the market, but it’s also a statement of intent that we want to be here and that we have a long-term vision and the technology set for the future. It was a product launch and a statement of intent.

The background

Canon’s strength is very much optics-based, but with the stills cameras it has developed sensor technology. These things have come together at the right time and we think we have the right building blocks to meet the expectations of this industry.

We picked up a lot of feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the 5D MKII and that was fed into the development of the C300, which has been built from the ground up to be video-oriented.

The 5D was very much a stills product with EOS movie built in to it which the industry took to and started to do things with that we, in all honesty, hadn’t thought about in any great detail.

The price

The price is €12,000 before tax for the body. There is a lot of currency fluctuation at the moment so we’re a little hesitant [to give a UK price].

We think it’s priced competitively. With all products it will be a case of how it performs and what people think of it.  We feel that given the characteristics of the product it is competitively priced.

The roadmap

There are products on the roadmap and we have a two or three year plan. I wouldn’t say they are finalised – we want to hear feedback from this product. We have some good ideas, such as the 4K EOS product (pictured below).

It’s not guaranteed to launch but there is a strong possibility we will productise it.