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Canon to offer dual-pixel autofocus upgrade for C100

Those using Canon's lower-end cinema camera can soon spend $500 for a sensor that improves autofocus performance. The dual-pixel technology debuted this year on Canon's 70D SLR.

Canon's C100 cinema camera
Canon's C100 cinema camera Canon

Most cameras are lucky to get an update to their firmware, but Canon next year will offer a $500 upgrade to sensor hardware to endow its C100 cinema camera with the new dual-pixel autofocus technology.

The upgrade price isn't cheap, even for a $5,500 camera, but Canon promises significantly better performance from the refit. The dual-pixel sensor technology, which debuted this year on Canon's D70 SLR, splits each pixel on the sensor into two halves; comparing the signals from each side lets the camera better judge which way to adjust focus and to do so more smoothly.

Canon announced the upgrade on its US and European sites Wednesday. In the US, the upgrade will be available in February, and in Europe, the first quarter of 2014, Canon said.

The Canon C100, C300, and C500 are newer members of Canon's camera family. These videocameras are aimed at the cinema set -- those who shoot TV shows, commercials, and of course movies. The fact that Canon is offering this upgrade to the lower-end model could be a harbinger of further updates, too, though higher-end productions are much more comfortable with manual focus setups.

Canon's explanation of dual-pixel autofocus technology.
Canon's explanation of dual-pixel autofocus technology. Canon USA