Pre-NAB 2011: Canon announced a firmware upgrade for the 1Ds Mark III today unlocking a hidden HDSLR video capture feature. Firmware v1.3 enables HDSLR video shooting in 1080P at frame rates of 25P and 24P, and in 720P at frame rates of up to 60P and 50P.
The firmware utilizes a new algorithm which, similar to Panasonic GH2, allows for HD video without line skipping reducing the risks of artifacts and moire. The 1Ds Mark III does not have an HDMI out but Canon will be releasing an accessory, the Video Transfer Attachment VTA-E1A, which adds HDMI and BNC ports to the side of the camera.
The firmware upgrade and VTA-E1A will be available in early May. The firmware upgrade is free and the VTA-E1A is expected to retail for a street price of $500.
Breaking with tradition, a Vincent Laforet movie using the 1Ds Mark III is not available at the time of this announcement. Canon had sent Laforet the firmware update and VTA-E1A two days ago but Laforet had liquidated the bulk of his HDSLR gear earlier this year.
In related Pre-NAB HDSLR news: Zacuto USA, a Chicago-based film, grip, and accessories manufacturer, has announced that they are purchasing Really Right Stuff, the San Luis Obispo-based manufacturer of Arca-style camera quick release plates and accessories. The new company will be called Zacuto Stuff.
Steve Weiss, president of Zacuto, called this a match made in heaven and cited both companies expertise in making high quality expertly crafted anodized aluminum products. Joe Johnson, president of Really Right Stuff, has stated that Really Right Stuff products will be sold with red accents effective immediately.
Update 5/31/11 – Please note: This story continues to get translated via Google searches into many languages. It was posted on 4/1/11, April Fools’ Day in the United States. Everything in the story is true except for the parts about Canon, Zacuto, and Really Right Stuff.
Update 8/11/12 – Wow, this post continues to get tons of hits and has recently jumped to one of the most popular on my site. I also get many emails asking me if it is indeed true. Thinking that there was more than enough clues above, including the 5/31/11 update, but realizing that somethings may got lost in translation (especially automated Google Translate) I cannot emphasize enough that it is not true. You cannot upgrade the 1Ds Mark III to have video features via a Canon firmware update. This was a 2011 April Fools’ Day post…