The Rise of Remote Control
Today, Canon have announced a new range of PTZ cameras the N300, N500, X500 along with a new PTZ controller to control them, the RC-IP100.
The past year has seen demand for PTZ cameras shoot straight up and Canon seem to be trying to capitalise on that. It's been some years since Canon has released a new PTZ camera, so these new additions are most welcome.
So the N500 is possibly the most interesting of the cameras. It features a 1" sensor, which might possibly be the same sensor as the XF400/405, so it's quite possible the image quality from the N500 will be comparable. Unlike most PTZ cameras, the N500 features a solid autofocus system in the form of Canon's Dual Pixel AF, which will be a fantastic addition to a PTZ camera. Internal ND filters are also included, which aren't usually featured on PTZ cameras, so for outdoor use or bright stage lighting, these will be a great addition, especially if you wish to open the aperture for a more shallow depth of field. Canon also features Clog3, Wide DR as well as HDR options, so these cameras will fit in well in a setup with other Canon cameras.
N300 & X500
The N300 is the little sibling to the N500, it's much smaller, lighter and cheaper. It has a 1/2" sensor as opposed to the 1" sensor of the N500, but does have a 20x optical zoom. It lacks Canon's Dual Pixel AF unfortunately but does have their hybrid AF system, along with a sensor on the front of the camera to measure the distance between the camera and subject, so we still expect the AF performance of the N300 to at the very least be on par with other PTZ cameras. The X500 is essentially an N500, in a much larger & robust housing for use outdoors and is the more specialist of the three cameras.
Along with the new cameras, there is also a new PTZ controller in the form of the RC-IP100 which can control all three of the new cameras, and features a large touchscreen in the middle of the panel for changing settings. Canon has also released control software that can be used to control the cameras using a Windows PC if needed.
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