On the second floor of a Burbank commercial building that is home to iHeartMedia, Warner Music Group and Morton’s Steakhouse is Canon’s newest technical service and support center.
The 12,000-square-foot facility at 3400 W. Olive Ave. is bigger than the company’s facility in Hollywood and offers more amenities for amateur and professional users of Canon’s products.
Dubbed Canon Burbank by company officials, the new center is designed to be more than a place where photographers and videographers can get their equipment repaired or tuned up. For Canon, it’s a facility where it can showcase its products and connect with professionals, especially those in the entertainment industry.
“We want someone to come in with a competitor’s camera and do a test,” said Timothy Smith, film and television production senior advisor for Canon, during a tour of the center on Wednesday.
“We want to go head-to-head with whoever we have to go head-to-head with to convince them that we have the right product for their show or film or project,” he added.
Smith made his statement while standing in the facility’s digital intermediate suite next to one of the company’s newest products, the ME20F-SH, a video camera that is capable of capturing footage in total darkness.
The device was recently used by scientists to capture footage of fluorescent sea turtles in the pitch-black ocean near the Solomon Islands.
There are other areas in the facility that also boast Canon’s latest offerings.
Not far from the digital intermediate suite is a workflow room, where a video editor can see what footage captured with Canon cameras looks like while using the company’s latest 4K reference monitors, one of which uses high-dynamic range technology and a high-definition television available to everyday consumers.
If a television or film producer wanted to see what the finished product would look like on a projector, they can do so in the facility’s 4K screening room. To make the editing-to-screening process smooth, each room on the floor is connected via fiber-optic cables and allows for up to six uncompressed streams of 4K footage to be played at once or one uncompressed 8K stream when that technology is available, said Joseph Bogacz, a professional engineering adviser for Canon.
Elliot Peck, executive vice president and general manager of imaging technologies and communications group for Canon, said there have been many technological advancements over the past five years the company needs to keep up with.
In order to stay connected with the photography and cinematography communities and meeting their needs as technology progresses, Peck said Canon needed to find a new location to serve those communities for at least the next five years.
“We’ll obviously fix things when they break, but we’ll evolve to create a sense of community here — a place where you can come in and talk about your project, and we demonstrate what we have,” he said.
“Every director, director of photography and camera operator is going to have a different vision of their project. We don’t sell anything here, but we can offer the experience and support,” he added.
Though the Burbank facility was built with the future in mind, Peck said he hopes the new support center will outgrow itself and become successful to the point where Canon needs to find a larger location to accommodate customers’ needs.
“If we outgrow this facility, that means that we’ve accomplished what we needed to accomplish, that we’re evolving and ready for the next step, whatever that will be,” he said.
“Whether it’s technology to 8K or the next generation of HDR or some other new technologies that come along, it might require for us to do more. We don’t know what that is yet, but if it does come, it means that we’ve done the right things.”