Canon Breaks Down Dual Pixel Autofocus Update for Cinema EOS Cameras

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Last November, Canon announced that the EOS C100 Cinema Camera would be getting a firmware update that will bring their new Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus as part of its feature set. Now that updates are underway, and to make sure everyone understands what Dual Pixel AF brings to the cinematic party, Canon has released a white paper online to talk users through it.

The EOS C100 is a large sensor video camera that’s designed with the single shooter in mind – it already offers functions such as One-Shot AF, Push Auto Iris, auto white balance and a built-in microphone to aid individual camerawork. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade for the EOS C100 will expand the shooting possibilities by providing smooth, accurate autofocus with a huge range of lenses. For cameramen requiring more precise control the responsiveness of the One-Shot AF function has been greatly enhanced with increased focus speed. – Canon Professional Network, Europe

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Although Canon C100 users will have to spring for the upgrade, it does provide some features that many runners and gunners will appreciate. But how does Dual Pixel AF work? Using Dual Pixel AF, the Canon C100 takes advantage of the dual photodiode design of each pixel in the CMOS sensor. By measuring the phase-difference between the two, it can keep more accurate running focus, especially when there’s movement in the scene.

“After this modification, the EOS C100 camera’s Continuous AF function active area represents 20% of the image vertically and 25% horizontally, yielding a very large, centrally located autofocus zone,” says Canon.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF’s Key features include:

  • Continuous AF with the majority of EF and EF-S lenses1
  • Improved One-Shot AF performance
  • AF Lock function allows user to change the framing
  • Stable AF movement
  • Reduced focus ‘hunting’
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Once updated, the Canon C100 will have two options in the setup menu for autofocus or “AF Mode:” One shot AF and Continuous Autofocus. Users can also lock focus onto a subject and have it keep focus on that subject while the camera changes framing. AF lock can also be set by assigning it to a custom button. This provides a one touch focus lock when shooting live

And users can also enjoy a faster one-shot AF thanks to the C100’s ability to combine Contrast Autofocus with Dual Pixel AF, which gives it twice the focus speed without the jerky overshoot that can occur with Contrast AF only.

Note, the updates will also be available for the C300, as well, starting this May. There’s no word, though, when C500 users will also get the upgrade.

Canon USA will perform this feature upgrade at a cost of $500 US, and requires that EOS C100 cameras be sent to an accredited Canon service center. So users have to book their update and ship the camera in (or drop it off). Shipping and handling charges also may apply. Contact a Canon Customer Support Center for details. Toll Free: 1-855-CINE-EOS, TTD: 1-866-251-3752, Email:

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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