On the eve of NAB, Canon announced a new 70-200mm 4K zoom lens, the second in its line of compact-servo lenses intended to fill a need for cinema-style EF lenses at a price point falling between lenses designed for still photography and more expensive CN-E cinema lenses.

Canon CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S telephoto zoom lens

Canon CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S telephoto zoom lens

The new compact-servo telephoto zoom lens, formally known as the CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S, is compatible with EF-mount Super 35mm large-format cameras. Its design is completely in keeping with that of the compact-servo 18-80mm lens already available, meaning the two lenses together cover an enormous range of focal lengths for cinematographers, and it is designed to maintain brightness through its entire focal range at T4.4, Canon said.

“Because of the constant aperture over the entire focal range on each lens, these can be used as very good primes,” Canon Senior Fellow Larry Thorpe said. “Some people frown at T4.4, but when we make a small lens, optics determine your speed and input port determines your speed, and we believe this lens is a stop less than T2.8. Most cameras are remarkably sensitive, so this is a functional lens over a wide range of scene illuminations.”

Canon noted that the new zoom is compatible with the Canon EF 1.4x III and EF x III extenders, expanding its range even farther with a one-stop penalty.

The new lens has autofocus, optical image stabilization, and auto iris functions that will be enabled on Canon’s C100 Mark II, C300 Mark II and C700 cameras via firmware update coming later this year, Canon said. A 20-pin connector will allow the use of standard broadcast focus or zoom controllers, Thorpe said, noting that Zacuto makes the Z-CNYC Y-cable that will allow the use of both types of controller in a studio configuration.

The lens is expected out “later in 2017,” Canon said. Pricing wasn’t announced, but Thorpe said it should be around $5,500.

Canon Compact-Servo Lenses: www.usa.canon.com

Finally, Canon Log Comes to a DSLR

The other big pre-NAB announcement from Canon was the arrival of a long-requested feature — Canon Log recording for its EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR. Beginning in July, current 5D Mk IV owners can turn on Canon Log recording to yield an image better matching the look of Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras.

Don’t expect a big increase in image quality from this upgrade — the 5D will still output only 8-bit 4:2:0 video over HDMI, which is a substantial limitation. It’s more about how the picture holds up in color grading, and Canon Log should help in that regard.

“This is in response to an overwhelming request from filmmakers to put [Canon Log] on an SLR,” said Canon Senior Adviser Tim Smith. When using DSLRs as B cameras and C cameras, Smith said, “they didn’t have enough information for a deep color grade. Canon Log will allow them to grade information off a 5D the same way they do a C300 Mk II or the C700.”

Unfortunately, the upgrade will require the camera to be serviced, meaning you have to have it installed at a Canon service center for a $99 fee, plus shipping and handling. The upgrade will be available beginning in July, Canon said. At that time, the camera body will also be available for sale with Canon Log preinstalled, at an estimated retail price of $3,599.

EOS 5D Mark IV Canon Log: www.usa.canon.com