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Best Canon PTZ controllers: RC-IP1000 vs RC-IP100

Which Canon PTZ controller is the best option for your production requirements and budget? Here, we compare the key features of the RC-IP1000 vs the RC-IP100 to help you make the right choice.
Two Canon PTZ cameras positioned for live broadcast in a sports studio.

Canon's PTZ system includes several options for remote control of multiple PTZ cameras, via free software or hardware controllers. This increased functionality makes PTZ cameras ideal for a wide range of applications, including as part of a wider imaging ecosystem.

Canon's PTZ controllers provide streamlined control of your remote cameras. Using the Canon RC-IP1000 or RC-IP100 hardware controllers or the free Remote Camera Control Application for Windows and Mac, a single operator is able to make accurate adjustments to the movement and settings of multiple PTZ cameras.

But which Canon PTZ controller is the best option for you? What do the hardware controllers allow you to do that the software solution doesn't? And why would you choose the RC-IP1000 over the RC-IP100?

A computer screen displaying the Canon Remote Camera Control Application software for PTZ cameras.

The free Remote Camera Control Application software enables you to preview up to nine cameras on screen and make adjustments to focus, pan, zoom and tilt in real time, straight from your computer.

How to choose the best Canon PTZ controller for your needs

As Matthew Koshy, Product Marketing Specialist at Canon Europe, explains, Canon's hardware options offer the precision, speed and control over a multi-cam setup that professionals need – although the software option is a good way to get up and running.

"The Remote Camera Control Application is a good choice for someone who's just getting started in PTZ video and doesn't want to invest in a controller yet. This free software will give them full control of up to 20 Canon PTZ cameras and preview nine live feeds, all from their PC.

"This level of functionality can suit low-budget applications, such as corporates that are starting to make content, individual content creators or small departments in colleges."

Step up to a hardware controller such as the Canon RC-IP1000 or RC-IP100, however, and you get seamless control over PTZ cameras. There's no lag between making an adjustment to a camera and seeing it happen, with the hardware controller's joystick enabling fine and smooth camera movements.

A technician wearing white gloves cleans the sensor of a Canon camera.

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A top-down view of the Canon RC-IP1000 PTZ controller.

The number of physical buttons and dials on the Canon RC-IP1000 makes it the perfect choice for TV studios, high-end live events and other environments where rapid camera adjustments are required.

The rear of the Canon RC-IP1000 PTZ controller.

The Canon RC-IP1000 offers a greater range of connectivity options than the Canon RC-IP100. "Both controllers have RS-422 Serial ports for you to connect cameras such as the CR-X500" Matthew says. "But the RC-IP1000 has five compared with the RC-IP100's single port." The RC-IP1000 also has SDI input/output, HDMI output and a LAN connection that supports PoE+ which can also handle video signal.

Best PTZ controller for high-end broadcast: Canon RC-IP1000

The Canon RC-IP1000 is a powerful, broadcast-level PTZ controller for high-end applications. Pairing effortlessly with professional PTZ cameras such as the Canon CR-N700 and CR-N500, the RC-IP1000 provides the ergonomic control that camera operators working in high-end live events and TV studios need.

Highlights of the RC-IP1000 PTZ controller include IP video and input monitoring, PC-less camera setup, an expansive range of professional connectivity options – including SDI and HDMI output – and a newly designed multi-function joystick.

In addition to SDI and HDMI connectivity, the RC-IP1000 supports POE+ over LAN, enabling the controller to be powered without a 12-volt power input. It features five RS-422 Serial ports, an SDI input and GPIO inputs for tally control.

As the world's first PTZ controller to offer IP video and input monitoring, the RC-IP1000 makes for a more efficient remote camera workflow, Matthew explains. "Previously you would have had to connect an external monitor to see the feed. But the RC-IP1000 controller allows you to monitor all your feeds on its 7-inch LCD touchscreen. You have different views available too, so you can choose a full-screen display, or 2x2 and 3x3 views. The RC-IP1000's SDI and HDMI outputs also enable you to monitor the full feed live on an external screen, should you wish to do so."

The touchscreen also offers enhanced functionality, such as letting you select the AF point using Touch AF. "Canon PTZ cameras have Dual Pixel CMOS AF or Hybrid AF, which is one of their major strengths," Matthew points out. "Obviously, a PTZ camera doesn't have a viewfinder or screen that enables you to manually select an AF point in the same way that you can on a mirrorless or DSLR camera, but the RC-IP1000's touchscreen solves that problem."

In addition to autofocus control, the RC-IP1000 allows you to manage specific settings within the optional Auto Tracking app that is available for selected PTZ cameras. It's also possible to adjust the video crop area using the touchscreen. "This means you're able to essentially take two separate feeds from one PTZ camera," Matthew explains. "So you can connect a CR-N700 via 12G-SDI and 3G-SDI, for example, and within the touchscreen you can draw boxes around what you want to be the main feed, and what you want to be the secondary feed.

"Previously you would have had to go into the web browser settings page to do that, but that's now all contained within the RC-IP1000."

A man operating a Canon RC-IP100 PTZ controller alongside a Canon CR-N300 PTZ camera in a lecture theatre.

"The Canon RC-IP100 has very few buttons, and you've just got a couple of user-assignable controls," says Matthew. "But this streamlined setup is likely to be more appealing to users looking for an entry-level controller."

Best entry-level PTZ controller: Canon RC-IP100

The compact Canon RC-IP100 provides control of up to 100 cameras over IP connection. Like the RC-IP1000, it's equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen that allows cameras and settings to be switched easily. Two user-assignable buttons, two dedicated function buttons and a customisable control knob on the joystick enable the RC-IP100 to be configured for different shooting scenarios, and a professional zoom rocker gives smooth wide-to-tele adjustments.

"The RC-IP100 is a really good controller for a small- to medium-sized multi-cam setup where only basic functionality is required – such as panning the camera, switching between cameras and activating a couple of presets," Matthew explains.

"This PTZ controller is perfect for this type of work because it's so clean and streamlined from a user interface point of view. The touchscreen control-panel display provides easy access to menus, and you've got five customisable buttons that you can use to tailor the controller to how you like to work – whether you're using it for corporate video, education, startup live events or houses of worship."

It's equally at home in smaller TV studios, Matthew adds, as its use by Slovakian channel, TV JOJ, attests.

A Canon RC-IP1000 PTZ controller

"You don't need to have a computer running separate software to search for the IP network and the cameras," Matthew says. "All you have to do is make sure that the RC-IP1000 is on the same network as your PTZ camera, and the controller can do the initial setup for you without any issues."

A Canon RC-IP100 PTZ controller.

"For broadcasters working with limited space, and who maybe don't need that much functionality out of their PTZ cameras, the Canon RC-IP100 is a solid choice. It really comes down to budget and whether the type of and scale of the production needs the additional functionality of the RC-IP1000," says Matthew.

PTZ controller comparison: Canon RC-IP1000 vs RC-IP100

Fundamentally, both hardware options enable remote control of multiple cameras. So, budget aside, why would you choose the Canon RC-IP1000 over the RC-IP100?

One of the main benefits of the RC-IP1000 versus the RC-IP100 is the level of hands-on control it offers. "There are more physical buttons and knobs on the RC-IP1000 controller compared to the RC-IP100," Matthew says. "With the RC-IP100, there's a zoom rocker, a joystick and five assignable buttons, whereas the RC-IP1000 features 42 dedicated physical buttons, 14 dials and 66 LEDs, plus an improved zoom rocker and a joystick that's ergonomically designed to fit seamlessly in a human hand.

"The number of controls might be overwhelming for some people, but users in the broadcasting industry will want that quick access to be able to adjust all aspects of the cameras."

The RC-IP1000 has dedicated buttons for zoom speed and image quality settings, including iris and white balance, as well as custom buttons that are function-assignable as per the operator’s preference.

"To get to all of these functions on the RC-IP100, you have to scroll through menus on the touchscreen," Matthew adds. "If you're working on a high-end TV production, that might take too long."

Four-way arrow buttons also enable rapid navigation of the RC-IP1000's menus. "On mirrorless cameras you have physical buttons to navigate through the menus, as well as a touchscreen, and the RC-IP1000 offers this functionality as well," Matthew says.

Another key difference between the Canon RC-IP1000 versus the RC-IP100 is in the number of PTZ cameras you can control. While the RC-IP100 can control up to 100 remote cameras, you can double that amount to 200 with the RC-IP1000.

As Matthew explains, the RC-IP1000 offers multi-camera control and setting changes that allow efficient and quick control of key functions such as PTZ control/Preset/Exposure settings.

A Canon CR-N300 PTZ camera on a tripod, with a desk full of other AV equipment in the background.

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"Additionally, you can group connected PTZ cameras together," he continues. "You're able to have up to 10 units in 20 different groups, allowing the cameras in each group to be controlled simultaneously."

The RC-IP1000 also introduces a bigger joystick for finer control over the PTZ movements. "The height has been improved so that it fits more naturally in the palm of the hand," Matthew says “Zoom, focus and iris can be assigned to the twisting motion of the joystick, so you can use this as a customisable function button.”

"There's also a button on top of the controller to which you can assign functions such as One-Shot AF and return to home position. While the RC-IP100's joystick also has the twisting motion, it doesn't have the additional customisable button on top."

Maximum number of connected cameras

200
100

Number of camera groups

20 (with up to 10 cameras per group)
10 (up to 10 cameras per group)

Presets for each camera

Up to 100
Up to 100

Control buttons/knobs

56
6

LCD display

7-inch colour touch panel
7-inch colour touch panel

Video display on touch panel

Yes
No

Touch focus from screen

Yes
No

Video I/O

IP IN
12G-SDI IN/OUT
HDMI OUT
Serial RS-422 x 5
IP IN
Serial RS-422

USB terminal(s)

2 x Type A (Service)
Type A (Service only)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

342x115x245mm
350x110x182mm

Weight

Approx 3.5kg
Approx 2.1kg

Ultimately, choosing between the Canon RC-IP1000 and the RC-IP100 comes down to your budget and whether the type of production you're working on demands the sophisticated control and expandability of the RC-IP1000.

Regardless of which you choose, you can be assured that a Canon PTZ hardware controller will give you the capability to run a multi-cam setup with more precision and efficiency than a software solution alone.

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