A Look Inside Canon Burbank

[The full article written by Kenny can be found and originally appeared at ProVideo Coalition]

Canon USA has opened a new high-tech service and support center at 3400 Olive Ave. in Burbank, CA. It is open from 9-5, Monday through Friday, to walk-ins and CPS members alike.

“Canon Burbank” comes on the heels of the company closing their smaller, less equipped location on Sunset Blvd, and aims to validate their 2011 commitment to “service and support first”. This new 12,000 sq foot support center is equipped with a Test Lab, Workflow Lab, Screening/DI Room, and Multipurpose Room, as well as a larger service center with twice the technicians. The testing rooms are connected by OM4 fibre optic cables capable of running four uncompressed 4K 60p streams between them, or one 8K stream. The facility is rounded off by a front-of-house area complete with pre-lit test scene and cameras for evaluation, kitchenette/lounge area, and display case with Canon’s top-tier lenses and cameras. The facility is also HDR ready, and is intended to integrate and streamline Canon’s current and future cameras into any production’s workflow, big or small. The impetus for this is obvious to some, but is still worth exploring.

The 5DmkII came out in late 2008 at a time when camcorders like the DVX100 and XL2 were the cream of the digital filmmaking crop. The 5D strolled onto the scene with 1080/30p video, a feature no DSLR (save one) was even close to offering. Before that, those who wanted to shoot video with interchangeable lenses had to add about a foot of cost-prohibitive lens adapters to their camcorder, and would lose about a stop and a half of light for the privilege. Vignettes were fashionable back then. Canon, it would seem, didn’t realize what they were releasing into the wild but due to the positive response and quick adaptation from pro and indie filmmakers alike, they knew they had to prepare for a future in which they may be a real name in cinema production. It seemed like no time at all between “Hey this is interesting” and “​House ​filmed the entire Season 6 finale on the 5DmkII”. Propelled by the 5D’s large-scale adoption, 2011 saw the birth of the Cinema EOS line in the form of Canon’s still-popular C300.

Before this Canon was very much a stills company. Aside from the aforementioned XL series loved by professionals, their camcorder line found most of its adoption by vacationers and school play documentarians. By contrast, the 5DmkII’s video functionality was intended for photojournalists (and wedding photographers according to their press release), their usual customers. It may be important to note that Canon was not first to touch this base: Nikon, a number of months prior, had released their D90 with 720/24p video and a genuinely breathtaking amount of rolling shutter. As history shows us, that didn’t win the same number of fans but did give the D90 the edge in regards to “cinematic frame rate”. At the behest of the filmmaking community, in 2010 Canon patched the 5DmkII to accommodate those who needed 24p (a high-end camcorder-only affair), which put the nail in the coffin of the D90 and crowned Canon king of DSLR video. As they weren’t “trying” to reshape the low-budget landscape as we know it, Canon wasn’t prepared to handle the onslaught of incoming filmmakers buying their stills cameras and demanding new things of the company as a whole. This new service center aims to bridge that gap.

[Read the full article, with pictures, at ProVideo Coalition]