Canon shows off a big lens to go with a big 4K camera

It’s not often you get to put your hands on a lens that lets you see across a body of water, but that’s exactly what Canon did this weekend, giving Sydneysiders the chance to use Vivid’s lightshow as the personal playground for testing a big new lens.

Canon’s new 200-400mm isn’t just a big lens with a big range, though, as it’s also the first in the world to feature a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, able to switch its 200-400mm range into 280-560mm at the flick of a switch. Literally.

A quick hands on with it on the weekend showed this massive lens to be quite impressive, with the build quality we’ve come to expect from Canon’s high-end gear, and some very impressive optics.

This isn’t the cheapest lens out there – far from it, actually – but what intrigued as most was the built-in teleconverter, which is just such an elegant solution for providing more range in a lens that already has a long reach to begin with.

In 1x mode, the 200-400mm manages the entire range with a minimum f-stop of 4 (f/4), while the 1.4x brings that up ever so slightly to f/5.6, and while its high price will put it out of reach for most people, we suspect those that can afford this lens and need it will love it.

Canon was also using its location at the Vivid Festival to show off more than just the big lens, and for the first time, we got to see Canon’s first 4K video camera, a solution made for those big new TVs being released this year.

The almost $13,000 camera isn’t going to be for everyone, but features many of the hallmarks made famous by Canon’s EOS-1D range, with a magnesium body, two CF card slots, and 61 points of auto-focus.

While the 18 megapixel sensor means images are capable, it can also shoot Full HD video, as well as 4K video, with roughly 16 minutes of content filling up a 64GB card.

At the moment, the need to shoot 4K is something that few consumers really need, and while this is pretty much specifically for the professional filmmakers out there, it will only be a matter of time before this technology as well as the built-in teleconverter from the lens trickle down into consumer tech.