Canon will showcase its new Canon EOS 80D and EOS M3 Video Creator Kits during VidCon 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center, June 23-25. Visitors will have touch-and-try areas to examine the products and will also have access to engaging live speakers and guest appearances as Anna Akana or Bertie Gregory.
Considered a video-centric DSLR, the EOS 80D is the new top of the line model for the Video Creator Kit series from Canon. The new EOS 80D Video Creator Kit is currently scheduled to be available in August 2016 with an estimated retail price of $2,049.00, and can already be pre-ordered on Canon’s online shop.
The Canon EOS 80D Video Creator Kit includes the camera, with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Nano) lens, an external microphone and 32GB SD card. This kit also includes the Canon Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 which allows creators to smoothly control their zoom at the push of a button or right from their compatible smartphone by using the Canon Camera Connect app.
One aspect I find puzzling is that although Canon announced recently (along with the launch of the EOS 80D) a new microphone, the Directional Stereo Microphone DM-E1, a compact stereo directional microphone providing, according to Canon, “exceptional performance for when high-quality sound matters just as much as the visuals” and designed to “complement the movie quality of the EOS range”, the Video Creator Kit for the EOS 80D uses a RODE VideoMic GO. As Canon’s DM-E1 is scheduled to be available in the end of June and the EOS 80D Video Creator Kit is only available in August, I was expecting to see Canon promote their own microphone with the new kits. I’ve asked for a DM-E1 unit for testing, as I am curious about this accessory, but I’ve not heard from Canon yet.
The RODE VideoMic GO is, anyway, a logic solution for Canon’s Video Creator Kits, and that explains why the microphone is part of each of the kits available, as has been for quite a while. The microphone also appears associated with the EOS M3 Video Creator Kit, which is currently scheduled to be available in late June 2016 for an estimated retail price of $899.99. The EOS M3 Video Creator Kit includes an EOS M3 digital camera, a EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, the external microphone and a 32GB SD card.
With the introduction of the EOS 80D Canon redesigned the box for the Video Creator Kit, ostensibly promoting the Dual Pixel Autofocus used in this new model. The other model with Dual Pixel AF, the EOS 70D, is the second DSLR on this family, offering three packages based on different lenses: the EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens, the EF-S 55-250mm IS STM, and the EF 70-300mm IS USM Lens.
Besides the EOS 80D, EOS 70D with three versions, Canon also has Video Creator Kits based on the models Rebel EOS T5i (two versions) and Rebel EOS T6i (two versions), and the new mirrorless model EOS M3. The new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Nano) is reserved for the EOS 80D for now, and it probably will until Canon sells all the “only” STM lenses, now that the new technology (Nano) seems to be the way forward.
At VidCon 2016, where the new Video Creator Kits will be available for visitors to try, there is also a chance to connect with some of the YouTube generation of video creators. Names like Tiffany Ma, Clarissa May, RJ Aguiar, Sawyer Hartman or Loey Lane will share their experience regarding their video and content creation experience. On the information provided Canon says that “YouTube sensation Anna Akana will discuss various topics, such as how she got her start on YouTube, what inspires her, and the challenges she faces during the creative and filmmaking process.”
Meanwhile, Canon will also host an on-site social media contest that encourages attendees to share their talents (Fashion/Costume, Beauty, Dance, Skit, or Talent Tricks). Participants will have the chance to create their own unique 30-second video using Canon Video Creator Kits. One lucky winner will be selected to create a video with a YouTube star at the Canon Experience Center in Cosa Mesa, CA and win an EOS Rebel T6i Video Creator Kit!
The VidCon 2016 event will also be the place to go if you want to listen to Chris Peterson, Director of Photography, or wildlife photographer, filmmaker and host of Nat Geo WILD’s first digital series wild_life Bertie Gregory, talk about their experiences.
One last note: while the Video Creator Kits do grab one’s attention, if you take your time to buy each of the elements included in a package like the one for the EOS 80D, you might spare some money you can invest in something else… maybe a good tripod. In fact, browsing through B&H website one finds the EOS 80D with lens for $1,599.00, the RODE VideoMic GO for $99.00, the Canon Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 for $149.00 and a 32GB card, of which I picked the Sandisk Extreme version, instead of the Ultra in the package, for $30,95. So, with a better card, my total is $1,877.95, meaning I’ve some $170 extra to use on a good tripod. It is strange that a bundle costs more than the total of each of the products included into it… but maybe for some people just grabbing a box to take home is easier than to go round looking for the different equipment. Anyway, Canon also indicates that “availability, pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary”, so some of these prices might change with time.