Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

By | Published April 28th, 2020 | in FILMMAKING

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Yes, it’s true. The Canon C300 Mark III is about to drop people!

Now I don’t want to start this out busting Canon’s balls here, but it’s about damn time my friends! — I say that with love. But seriously, Internal 4k RAW capture at 120fps — Thank you very much! And that’s not all, this camera comes jam packed with awesome key features that will make any DP’s head spin around and think twice before purchasing that Sony FX9.

I heard some rumors floating around in the ether about this camera, but I wasn’t prepared for these impressive specs to come with such a competitive and accessible price tag.

But at the end of the day it took them forever to get here. Did they arrive too late?

Let’s take a look at it!

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop



High Frame Rates

Right off the bat I’m going to bring it up again. We’ve been waiting so long for Canon to drop a 4K camera with the ability to capture 120fps using 100% of the sensor for a price tag around 10K (That’s a mouthful, I know). There’s always been little to no high speed capabilities that utilized the entirety of the sensor without cropping and running the risk of a noisier image.

When the C500 mark II dropped with it’s 5.9k sensor, it was only packing 120 fps at 2K resolution which left many scratching their heads. Same goes for the Canon C700. We got 72 — That was still an improvement from 60, but it was only in 4K and it was still cropping the sensor. 

C700 RAW Recording Format

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Now, thankfully our griping has been heard and the C300 Mark III is their response. And it’s also worth noting that you can shoot up to 180 fps in 2K which is super useful when you’re finishing in 1080 and 120 fps isn’t quite cutting it. 

C300 MkIII Recording Formats

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Body Design

One thing that was always a point of defeat for the C300 series next to Sony’s FX cameras — was their body design. It was never ergonomic and conveniently designed like the FX cameras were. As soon as the C500 Mark II and the C700 dropped, it was clear that Canon answered the prayers of many loyal consumers. The design definitely reminds me of an FX camera and seems way more practical. Now the C300 series has adopted this same design and we’re all happy they did. It’s almost exact to the C500 MkII.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

New Super 35mm DGO Sensor

When I heard about Canon’s new sensor, I got really excited. The Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) sensor at a size of 26.2 x 13.8 is capable of dynamic ranges in excess of 16 stops and is compatible with Canon’s exclusive Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus technology according to Canon. Shooting Canon log 2 will give you full use of the 16+ stops of dynamic range while using Canon Log 3 drops you down to 14 stops of DR.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

They just recently developed this imaging system and it’s cutting edge (for canon). It generates high dynamic range and maintains low noise levels by reading out EACH pixel with different gains. That’s genius! By combining images using pixels shot with a saturation-prioritizing amplifier for bright areas and a lower-noise noise-prioritizing amplifier for darker areas, you get pristine exposure from low to highlight with close to no noise in your shadows. I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera and see what the limits of this sensor are and how closely it compares to other sensors like Arri’s Alev III.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Like the Mark II, there’s no oversampling involved so you’ll be capturing 4K imagery that has a softer touch and feels a little more cinematic and less digital. Check out the example below — behind-the-scenes of ‘Boneyard Ballet’ and see what I mean.

Super 35mm

4K: 26.2 x 13.8 (29.6 mm diagonal)

UHD: 4K: 24.6 x 13.8 (28.2 mm diagonal)

Total Pixels – Approx. 9.6 Megapixels (4206×2280)

Effective Pixels – Approx. 8.85 Megapixels (4096×2160)

Sensor Modes:

Super 35mm

Super 16mm (cropped)

Progressive Scan

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

5 axis Image stabilization

Like it’s older brother, the C500 — the C300 Mark III includes built-in 5-axis electronic image stabilization. Many are against IS features like this due to it’s manipulation of the picture and the inevitable loss of quality to do so, but from what I’m seeing in some of the examples, that loss of quality is not noticeable to the human eye.

The data from the onboard gyroscopic sensor communicates with the Digic DV7 processor which then makes high speed calculations that instruct the repositioning of the selected active image area.

We first saw IS with the Canon EOS R5, then we saw a more advanced version of this IS system with the C500 MkII which is what the C300 MkIII comes equipped with. The camera is intuitive enough to utilize all 5 axis when coupled with a lens with no IS and works in tandem with a lens that does by dealing with only the axis (Roll, X/Y) that the lens IS (Yaw, Pitch) lacks.

The lens’s focal length is automatically or manually set to help the system adjust properly to the digital IS. It’s worth noting that this IS system is compatible with anamorphic lenses.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Internal cinema RAW Light

No longer do you have to record uncompressed RAW though dual 3G-SDI outputs to an external recorder. Now with the DIGIC DV7 image processor, the C300 MkIII can record Cinema RAW Light directly to onboard CF Express cards which is huge! You get so much more freedom in post when grading as opposed to the XF-AVC codec. 

The Dual Gain Output (DGO) technology produces 16+ stops of dynamic range while maintaining file sizes that are about 1/5 to 1/3 the size of Canon Cinema RAW. This gives you the same efficiency/quality while saving space and money.

This is another internal option we’ve been begging for, for some time now. It’s great to see it come to fruition and is something that will change the game when it comes to competing with the Sony FX line of cameras. I think it might be tilting in Canon’s favor a bit. Their color technology has always been superior to Sony’s in my opinion.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Anamorphic Lens support

I got really excited when I saw this. Another complaint that was answered with this camera was their ability to offer DPs support for both 2.0 and 1.33 Anamorphic lens types. This allows you to achieve beautiful cinematic imagery complete with vibrant flares and the much desired oval bokeh.

This is a big deal and sets the C300 MkIII apart from its competition in a massive way. Now more filmmakers are likely to take this camera more seriously as a back pocket tool and an A cam candidate for Narratives.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Interchangeable lens mount (Supports any lens)

Finally, they’ve got an interchangeable lens mount that works similar to cameras like RED and others where you unscrew and swap out the mount that you need. Comes stock with an EF mount, but can be changed to a Locking EF or PL mount. The purchase comes with shims that allow you to adjust back focus and dial in the accuracy necessary to execute on a professional level.

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop

Key Features

4K – 120fps

Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) sensor

16+ stops of dynamic range.

Electronic Image Stabilization (5-axis)

DIGIC DV7 Image Processor

Internal Cinema RAW Light and XF-AVC (H.264) Recording

XAVC Long GOP and 4:2:2 10-bit

Proxy Recording

2K Crop 180fps

Canon Log 2 and 3

LM-V2 4.3′ LCD Touch Screen Monitor

4-Channel Audio Recording


Dual Pixel Autofocus

RC-V100 Support and LANC Compatible

Support for Custom User LUTs

Interchangeable lens mount (Supports any lens)

Anamorphic Lens Support

2x CF express slots

Internal NDs

Low Power Draw

Modular Design for Expansion Units




If you’re looking to see an example that demonstrates some of the features talked about above, then you need to check out this awesome behind-the-scenes video for Boneyard Ballet — a short film that explores the strengths and limits of the C300 MkIII. I work with the film’s 1st AC, DIT, and Ariel DP on a regular basis and they’re expertise on this camera is sound — without ever testing it for myself, I trust their opinions and you should too.  

Behind the scenes of Boneyard Ballet


C300 MkIII First Look



Imaging Sensor

Effective Pixels

4096×2160: when 4096 x 2160 or 2048 x 1080 is selected as the resolution (Approx. 8.85 megapixels)

3840 x 2160: when 3840 x 2160 or 1920 x 1080 is selected as the resolution (Approx. 8.29 megapixels)

Total Pixels

4206 x 2280; Approx. 9.6 megapixels

Sensor Type



Sensor Size

Super 35mm

4K: 26.2 x 13.8 (29.6 mm diagonal)

UHD: 4K: 24.6 x 13.8 (28.2 mm diagonal)


Sensor Modes

Super 35mm, Super 16mm(cropped)


Pixel Pitch

6.4 μm


Scanning System



Number of Sensors




RGB Primary Color Filter (Bayer Array)


Imaging Processor

DiG!C DV 7


Lens System

Lens Mount

Default Mount: EF

Optional: EF-C locking, PL

*All mounts are interchangeable

**Supports both EF and EF-S lens


Zoom/Focus Preset

Not Available


Shockless Zoom

Not Available


Digital Teleconverter

Not Available


ND Filter

Mechanical ND filter system with option of clear, 2, 4, and 6 stops; 8 and 10 stops in extended mode


Peripheral Illumination Correction



Exposure and Metering

Exposure Modes

(1) Manual exposure based on shutter setting, iris setting, ISO/gain setting, and ND filter setting

(2) Push auto iris control, auto iris control


Metering Modes

Standard, Spotlight and Backlight



Normal Setting -6dB to 54dB TBD

Fine Setting -2dB to 54dB in 0.5 dB increments



100 to 102,400


Auto Gain Control (AGC)

Not Available


Shockless Gain

Not Available


Exposure Compensation/AE Shift

–2.0 to +2.0 in 0.25 point intervals


Shutter Modes

3 Modes: OFF; Speed; Angle; Slow Shutter; Clear Scan

Speed Mode is selected in 1/3 or 1/4 stop increments


Shutter Speed Range

59.94Hz/24.00Hz: 1/12 to 1/2000

50.00Hz: 1/12 to 1/2000


Shutter Angle Settings

59.94Hz/50.00Hz/24.00Hz: 360, 240, 180, 120, 90, 60, 45, 30, 22.5, 15, 11.25


Iris Settings (EF)

Can be set to 1/2 stop, 1/3 stop or Fine.

(1) Push auto iris control

(2) Auto iris control (Compatible lens required)

(1/2, 1/3 stop or fine setting can be selected)



Focus Control

Dual Pixel CMOS AF


Focus Modes

Manual focus, continuous AF, one-shot AF, AF-Boosted MF, face detection AF

Only lenses that support AF functions can be used in AF modes


External Recording Output

System Frequency

59.94 Hz, 50.00 Hz, 24.00 Hz

59.94 Hz mode: 59.94i/59.94P/29.97P/23.98P

50.00 Hz mode: 50.00i/50.00P/25.00P

24.00 Hz mode: 24.00P





Frame Rates

Cinema RAW Light


59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /

50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p


59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /

50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p


4096×2160 / 3840×2160

59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /

50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p

2048×1080 / 1920×1080

59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /

50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p/ 59.94i / 50i


59.94p / 50p


Color Gamuts

Cinema Gamut, BT.709, BT.2020


Gamma Curves

BT.709, Wide DR, Canon Log 2, Canon Log 3, PQ, HLG


Recording / Codec


XF-AVC (10 bit 4:2:2 (CFexpress) or 8 bit 4:2:0 (SD card))

Cinema RAW Light (CFexpress)


Recording Media

CFexpress 2,0 (Type B) x 2 slots

SD Card (Still Images (JPEG), Custom Picture Data, Clip Metadata, and menu settings); SD/SDHC/SDXC Supported


Recording Time


Cinema RAW Light


1 Gbps

250 Mbps

512 GB

64 Minutes

256 Minutes




810 Mbps

410 Mbps

310 Mbps

160 Mbps

512 GB

79 Minutes

156 Minutes

207 Minutes

401 Minutes


Long GOP


260 Mbps

160 Mbps

50 Mbps

24 Mbps

512 GB

246 Minutes

401 Minutes

1284 Minutes

2675 Minutes


Long GOP


35 Mbps

24 Mbps

17 Mbps


512 GB

1945 Minutes

2840 Minutes

4010 Minutes


File Format




File System

CFexpress: exFat

SDHC card: (up to 32 GB): FAT32

SDXC card (more than 32 GB): exFAT

File division unit: 4 GB for FAT32, none for exFAT


Maximum Clip Number

999 (per media)



Recording Format

Linear PCM; 4-Channel; 24-Bit; 48 kHz


Built-in Microphone



External Audio Inputs

2 – XLR inputs (Auto and Manual level settings)

External microphone terminal: (3.5 mm diameter)


Recording Channel Selection

Up to 4 channel audio recording is supported.


XLR Mic Trimming

Available; -12dB, -6 dB, 0dB or +12 dB





Recording Level Adjustment Range

– Infinity to +18dB


Phantom Power

Available; +48V


Headphone Adjustment

16 Settings; Volume is muted at lowest setting


Built-in Speaker

Available; Volume Adjustable


1KHz Tone

Available (off, -12, -18, or -20 dB)


Features and Performance


Clip Display: 3×4 Index Display.

Clip Playback: Forward Search (x5, x15, x60), Reverse Search (x5, x15, x60), Forward frame Advance, Reverse Frame Advance, Record Review, Skip to next clip, skip to previous clip

Clip information Display: Clip Metadata display, custom picture settings

Playback Functions: Clip Delete

Photo Playback: index, single playback, delete, protect


Slow and Fast Motion Recording

Available; Records at a different frame rate then the playback rate allowing for fast and slow motion effects:


Sensor Mode

Recording Mode

Available Frame Rates


Cinema RAW Light

23.98P/24P: 12-120

29.97P: 15-120

25P/50P: 15-120

59.94P: 15-120


Cinema RAW Light

23.98P/24P: 12-180

29.97P: 15-180

25P/50P: 15-180

59.94P: 15-180



23.98P/24P: 12-120

23.98P/24P: 12-120

25P/50P: 15-120

59.94P: 15-120



23.98P/24P: 12-120

29.97P: 15-180

25P/50P: 15-180

59.94P: 15-180


Special Recording Functions

Relay Recording*; Double-Slot Recording**

* Not available during Slow Motion recording

** Not available in combination with Slow and fast motion recording or relay recording


Photo Recording Mode

Available; Images captured to SD Card


Waveform Monitor

Available (HDR Compatible);

(a) Line display

(b) Line + spot: Line display over a red waveform in a red frame.

(c) Line select display

(d) RGB (parade)

(e) YPrPb (parade)


Output gain can be selected as either 1x or 2x. With gain set to 2x, the vertical axis (Y-position) offset value can be chosen.


When gamma is set to PQ, an PQ index (nits index) can be displayed. When gamma is set to HLG, an HLG index (0.0–1.0 relative index) can be displayed.





False Color



Exposure / Focus Aids

Peaking (2 types), Zebra Pattern, Magnify, Black and White Mode, Focus Guide


Frame Record

Not Available



Yes, 3 seconds cache (Audio and Video)


Time code

Drop Frame (DF) and Non-Drop Frame (NDF)


Time Code Modes

Regeneration, Record Run, Free Run and External Source


Auto White Balance (AWB)



White Balance

Kelvin Setting:

2,000K to 15,000K in 100K increment

-20CC to +20CC in 1 CC increments


White Balance Presets

Daylight (5,600K); Tungsten (3,200K), Custom A, Custom B


Auto Black Balance



Custom Picture Settings

20 Custom Picture settings

Custom pictures can be adjusted using the following settings and saved for later recall:

Gamma, Black, Black Gamma, Low Key Saturation, Knee, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Skin Detail, Selective Noise Reduction, Color Matrix, White Balance, Color Correction, Setup Level

Custom Pictures can be saved to an SD card for later use or transferring between cameras


Custom Display

Yes; LCD panel and EVF information display can be customized


On Screen Markers

Available marker options include center, horizontal, grid, aspect, safety zone, and user marker.


With user markers, users can set their preferred size and position.

Markers can be displayed in yellow, blue, green, red, black, gray, or white.


Assign Buttons

18 total assignable button (15 assign buttons provided on camera body, 1 on the grip and 2 buttons on the monitor unit)


Color Bars

Color bars compliant with SMPTE, EBU, or ARIB standards can be selected depending on system frequency selected



59.94 Hz: f/10 (2048×1080/59.94P) or f/14 (1920×1080/29.97P)

50.00 Hz: f/11 (2048×1080/50.00P) or f/16 (1920×1080/25.00P)

All values for ISO 800, 2000 lux, and reflectance rate of 89.9%


Dynamic Range

Canon Log 2: 1600% / 16+ stops (ISO 800)

Canon Log 3: 1600% / 14 stops (ISO 800)


LCD Monitor


4.3-inch (10.9 cm diagonal) color wide-screen LCD

Approx. 2,760,000 dots (1280 x RGB x 720),


Aspect Ratio



Field of View Coverage



Display Adjustments

Brightness, Contrast, Color, Sharpness, and Luminance




3G: SMPTE 424, SMPTE 425

6G: SMPTE ST 2081

12G: SMPTE ST 2082

Audio: SMPTE ST 299

BNC Connector, output only


Monitor Out



Resolution: 2048×1080 / 1920×1080


Frame Rates: 23.98p/24.00p/25.00p/29.97p/30p/59.94p/50p/60p


Time code In/Out

Yes; BNC Connector (Input and Output)



Supported when optional expansion unit EU-V1 or EU-V2 in attached (Shares function with Synch Out)

Adjustment range: -1023 to +1023


Synch Out

Supported when optional expansion unit EU-V1 or EU-V2 in attached (Shares function with Genlock)

HD tri-level signal (HD Sync) 1920×1080: 59.94i/50i/23.98/24.00, 1280×720: 59.94p/50p/23.98, 24.00



Yes (Type A)



Audio Input Terminal

2 – Balanced 3-pin XLR (Mic Level, Mic Level with phantom power and Line Level)

3.5mm Microphone terminal


Headphone Jack

Available; 3.5mm stereo mini-jack


Remote Terminals

Remote A (Standard – LANC Compatible or RC-V100)

Remote B available In conjunction with expansion unit EU-V1 and EU-V2

Remote control through WFT-E9






Optional RC-V100




14.4V DC (Battery Pack)


Power Terminal

DC IN 12V jack: DC 11.5V – 20V

DC 12–20V (using V-mount battery with EU-V2)



BP-A Series


Compact Power Adapter




Tripod Adapter

Canon TA-100


Wi-Fi Adapter



Expansion Units

EU-V1, EU-V2



EVF-V50, EVF-V70



PL Mount Kit PM-V1, EF Cinema Lock Mount Kit CM-V1



MO-4E (EF to B4), MO-4P (PL to B4)




(Width x height x depth, excluding cable and grip belt)

Body Only: Approx. 153 x 148 x 168 mm (6.0 x 5.8 x 6.6 in.)

Body and Grip: Approx. 183 x 148 x 189 mm (7.2 x 5.8 x 7.4 in.)

Body, Grip, Handle, Mic Holder, LCD Monitor LM-V2 and Expansion Unit EU-V2: Approx. 343 x 277 x 333 mm (13.5 x 10.9 x 13.1 in)



EF Camera body (without Camera Grip GR-V1 or thumb rest) Approx. 1.75 kg ( 3.9 lb)*

*Body with PL Mount body; Approx. 2030g (4.5 lb.)

*Body with EF Cinema lock Mount body; Approx. 1860g (4.1 lb.)

Camera Grip GR-V1: Approx. 260 g (9.2 oz.)

LCD Monitor LM-V2: Approx. 204 g (7.2 oz.)

Handle unit: Approx. 227 g (8.0 oz.)

Battery Pack BP-A60: Approx. 434 g (15.3 oz.)

Compact Power Adapter CA-CP200B: Approx. 290 g (10.2 oz.) *Not including AC cable

Battery Charger CG-A20: Approx. 145 g (5.10 oz.)

Eyecap: Approx. 26 g ( 0.92 oz.)

Mic holder unit:Approx. 56 g ( 2.0 oz.)

LCD Attachment Unit LA-V2: Approx. 265 g (9.3 oz.)

Thumb rest: Approx. 9 g ( 0.32 oz.)

Extension System Attachment Bracket: Approx. 11 g (0.39 oz.)

Unit Cable UN-5: Approx. 80 g (2.8 oz.)

Body cap: Approx. 17 g (0.60 oz.)


Temperature and Humidity

Performance requirements: 0°C to 40°C, 85% (relative humidity)

Operating requirements: -5°C to 45°C, 60% (relative humidity)


Language Support

English, Japanese, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Russian


Time and Date

Automatic Calendar range January 1st, 2020 through December 31, 2050


World Clock

World Clock support – UTC time setting: Setting range from +14:00 to -12:00

Look Out FX9! The Canon C300 Mark III Is About To Drop


The Sony FX9 utilizes a 6K sensor that records oversampled 4K footage, so what you’ll end up with is an image that looks more digital. That can be a plus for some if a sharper image is what you’re looking to achieve, but if you want that soft 35mm look that feels more cinematic, then the C300 MkIII is the obvious winner. 

Beside that, the C300 MkIII is offering 120fps 4K RAW recording while the FX9 can only record 120fps in S35 mode, recording RAW QFHD 3840×2160, but this is only available with future firmware updates and an external XDCA-FX9 extension unit with a single BNC cable connection to compatible external RAW recorders. I’d say Canon wins for not forcing you to utilize/purchase an external recorder/extension.

When it comes to the body design, no longer do the Sony FX cameras dominate in the ergonomics category, Canon has stepped it up and delivered a construction that is efficient for accessories, stabilization and weight distribution.

The C300 MkIII is only $1 more than the FX9. This makes it really competitive, but has many wondering — Did Canon miss the moat? The FX9 has been out for a while now and I’m sure many C300 MkII owners crossed over and jumped ship. I’ve even read that some think they should have released the C300 MkIII alongside the C500 MkII, but it is what it is. In my opinion, I think the camera will contend well against the FX9 and other competitors under 12K regardless of the late arrival.

The C300 MkIII offers the Dual Gain Output with their sensor and the Sony FX9 offers Dual Base ISO. Both might sound like they’re doing the same thing, but they’re really not. The Dual Gain Output creates an HDR image that reads out each pixel with different gains and this works with any ISO setting, but clearly works best with their base ISO. The Dual Base ISO works a little different. It’s not an HDR image persay, but it achieves one of the key functions — less noise. I’d have to play with both cameras before I came to a conclusion about which is better.

Possible Drawbacks

There’s not many drawbacks with this camera. I’d have to admit that I was reaching for the few that I came up with.

  • Image stabilization doesn’t work with RAW recording. It only works when recording in XF-AVC or XAVC Long GOP.
  • 2K (Super 16mm) crops the image and doesn’t oversample. Possibly due to keeping a consistent soft image.
  • The internal NDs likely forced the designers to stray away from an RF mount and instead we have to pay $1600 for a PL mount and swap it out with a screwdriver.

Either way, these drawbacks are minor! From the looks of it, this camera kicks major ass and I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

About The Author:

Trenton Massey


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Have a project in mind?
We can't wait to hear from you!

The easiest ways to get in touch with us are to request a meeting, give us a call, or shoot us an email.

[email protected]
(480) 420 4368

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