Canon will soon make free firmware available for 4K remote cameras and remote controllers, intended to improve the functionality and performance of features such as auto-tracking.

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Canon will soon make firmware available for 4K remote cameras and remote camera controllers, intended to improve the functionality and performance of features such as auto-tracking, free of charge from July 2024. Upgraded versions of various applications, including Auto Tracking Application RA-AT001 released in April 2023, will also be available.

Canon has been enhancing its product line-up of remote camera systems by supplying application software that adds functions to camera systems according to their applications, including 4K remote cameras and specialised controllers. With upgrades to firmware and applications across the system to improve ease of use and performance, Canon aims to support workflow improvements on video production projects and aid visual communication in situations such as web conferences and lecture broadcasts.

Updated Auto Tracking

The tracking function will be improved so that the updated Auto Tracking Application RA-AT001 will now be able to continue to track subjects even when they intersect with another person – such as someone cutting in front or crossing paths – without transferring to the other person. It will also be able to achieve more natural and flowing movement as it tracks the beginning and end of a subject's movements.

Advanced settings for auto-tracking can now be adjusted via the controller so that cameras can be operated without using a PC. Canon will also begin supplying, free of charge, the basic (Lite) functions of Auto Tracking Application RA-AT001 in order to accommodate a broader range of users. Currently, Canon also offers a paid version of Auto Tracking Application RA-AT001.

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The update will improve the video output framerate during USB connection. Remote cameras CR-N300 and CR-N100 comply with USB Video Class, the standard for USB transmission, and by simply connecting them to a PC via cable they can be used for web conferences. The output frame rate will be improved from FHD12.5fps, which the camera was originally equipped to handle, to a maximum of FHD30fps.

As well as Motion JPEG format (which compresses each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence separately as a JPEG image), the output format will now be delivered in YUV (where 'Y' represents the brightness, or 'luma' value, and 'UV' represents the colour, or 'chroma' values) format as well, to facilitate image processing after shooting. As they are compatible with the two formats, the remote cameras – with updated firmware – can be used for various kinds of web conferences.

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Remote Controllers

The functionality of the dedicated controller will be enhanced so that it will now be possible for the touch panel on the RC-IP1000 remote camera controller to display thumbnail images of presets and trace functions registered on the camera. Users can access the function while displaying the thumbnail image to reduce operational mistakes, and to help them control operation more naturally.

If desired, images shown on the touch panel, displaying up to nine cameras at once, can be output to an external monitor via an SDI and HDMI. This controller firmware update will improve on-site operations by enabling users to control the cameras while checking the multiple views simultaneously displayed on a large screen.

Firmware updates will be free to download from the Canon website pages for the CR-N700, CR-N500, CR-N300, CR-N100 and CR-X300 from July 2024.