Canon Introduces New 4K PTZ Cameras and an IP PTZ Controller

Canon has never been one to sit out an opportunity to enter new markets, and during the past year, a need has manifested itself in the world for remotely controlled, networked cameras to create high-quality broadcast productions with minimal staff and crew over the Internet, from just about anywhere. To meet the requirements of the times, Canon has just announced a new line of 4K PTZ cameras, including the CR-N300 and CR-N500, as well as the new RC-IP100 PTZ camera joystick controller. Each camera fits the needs of specific production styles and features NDI|HX compatibility, high-resolution sensors, UHD 4K video capture, as well as a variety of remote control options for easy, remote pan/tilt/zoom operation. These cameras fall into a lower price range in comparison to other Canon and PTZ camera categories and specs, so they may be worth a side-by-side look.

The CR-N500 will be the first to be released, with the more serious specs of the two cameras, to fit into applications that might have more cinematic requirements to match other Canon cinema cameras in your production, and you might need an additional remotely controlled camera to match your color and depth of field. The features include:

  • Canon’s 1" CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
  • Canon’s DIGIC DV6 processor
  • UHD 4K30 and 1080p60 video output via HDMI and 3G-SDI
  • Built-in NDI|HX support
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Sensitivity to 1.5 lux
  • Built-in ND filters
  • Scene modes
  • PoE+ for direct power
  • Serial, IR, and IP (wired or Wi-Fi) control
  • Professional gamma support, such as Canon Log3, to make post-production camera matching and color correction a breeze
  • 15x zoom (25.5-382.5mm 35mm equivalent focal length) offers a highly adjustable field of view
  • Genlock
  • Dual XLR inputs and a mini mic input jack to fit right into a professional production

The NDI|HX high-resolution/low-bandwidth compression is ideal to drop right into a professional NDI broadcast environment, with minimal configuration. The advantage of this is that many PTZ cameras on the market require a separate purchase for NDI functionality, but the license is included with these Canon PTZ cameras. If you are not using NDI, the camera can also stream over a LAN using RTP/RTMP/RTSP protocols. Another professional feature is the inclusion of built-in ND filters, mostly unheard of in today’s PTZ camera design, and the N500 includes 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64 filters. You can also power the camera via PoE+ so you can cut down on cabling on your existing PoE+ supported LAN. To remotely control the camera, you have several choices, including Canon’s IP/serial controller, IR, RS-422 serial, or via Wi-Fi using Canon’s freely downloadable camera control software.

Up next is the RC-IP100 camera joystick controller, which provides an easy way for a single operator to control multiple cameras. The controller’s bright 7" touchscreen, along with a precision joystick, provides the ability to control up to 100 PTZ cameras. It supports the Canon IP protocol, a proprietary IP protocol that allows you to create a fast, private network to control your cameras, or you can utilize RS-422 serial protocol to connect to the cameras. The controller features six customizable function buttons and stores up to 100 presets, and the joystick allows for fine control of pan, tilt, and zoom for smooth camera movements.

The following table provides a spec comparison between the new PTZ cameras and Canon camcorders:

CR-N300 PTZ

XA40 Camcorder

CR-N500 PTZ

XF705 Camcorder

Sensor

1/2.3" CMOS

1/2.3" CMOS

1" CMOS

1" CMOS

Zoom

20x

20x

15x

15x

Format

UHD 4K30, 1080p60

UHD 4K30, 1080p60

UHD 4K30, 1080p60

UHD 4K60, 1080p60

Outputs

USB, 3G-SDI, HDMI

Mini-HDMI

3G-SDI, HDMI

12G-SDI, HDMI

Control

IP, IR, RS-422, UVC, Wi-Fi

n/a

IP, IR, R-422, Wi-Fi

RS-422, Wi-Fi

NDI|HX

Yes, License Included

n/a

Yes, License Included

n/a

ND Filters

n/a

Optional on Lens

Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64

Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64

Gamma

n/a

n/a

Wide DR, CLog3, HLG

Wide DR, CLog3, HLG

Inputs

Audio Mini Jack

Mini Jack + 2 x XLR

Mini Jack + 2 x XLR

Mini Jack + 2 x XLR

Recording

Output Only

2 x SD Slots

Output Only

2 x SD Slots

Power

PoE+

Battery or DC

PoE+

Battery or DC

Genlock

n/a

n/a

Yes

Yes

Last, and available in Q3 2021, is the CR-N300 PTZ camera that falls into a more accessible category, aimed at houses of worship, corporate conferencing, event spaces, broadcast, government, streaming, or documentary-style productions. It shares the same IR, RS-422, Wi-Fi, compatibility with Canon’s IP controller, DIGIC DV6 processor, wide dynamic range, NDI|HX support, PoE+, and scene modes as the CR-N500, but its features are focused on ease-of-use and affordability. The N300 features include:

  • A 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Canon’s DIGIC DV6 processor
  • Wide dynamic range
  • 1.5 lux
  • 20x optical zoom (29.3-601mm 35mm equivalent focal length)
  • Support for UHD 4K30 and 1080p60 video capture
  • NDI|HX support
  • Scene modes
  • PoE+
  • Serial, IR, and IP (wired or Wi-Fi) control
  • In addition to IP, HDMI, and 3G-SDI outputs, it also features a USB Type-C output with UVC support so you can utilize it as a tethered webcam
  • There are no XLR inputs, but it does feature microphone input using with a mini jack

Both cameras will be available in Satin Black and Titanium White finishes, and they are compatible with the Canon camera control software that is free to download. It allows you to see a 9 x 9 live view grid of your cameras, control your camera, change settings on multiple cameras, view tally information, and load settings configurations from an external drive. It is compatible with Windows OS as well as USB joysticks.

Be sure to check out the newest Canon PTZ offerings on the B&H Photo website to compare their specs and features side-by-side, and we’ll keep an eye out for their release dates.

Are you excited by these new releases? Feel free to tell us why in the Comments section, below.

6 Comments

Can this be mounted outdoors?

Hi Robert - 

These PTZ cameras are not outdoor rated.

In the comparison table, it should be noted that the XF705 is capable of 4K/60p.

Yes correct,  the table has a typo. Thanks!

Something about Free-D support?

Hi Leo - 

Canon is not supporting the FREE-D protocol at this time.

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.

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