Will the Canon C300 Mark II gain the popularity of it’s predecessor?

By | Published September 25th, 2015 | in Gear

Will the Canon C300 Mark II gain the popularity of it’s predecessor?

Let’s face it, the Canon C300 kicked ass for awhile, but it’s slowly fading off into the sunset.

Other companies have surpassed this workhorse, and since the price is not getting any cheaper, it’s hard to tell if the camera can stay relevant.

Enter the Mark II, a new wave in digital filmmaking that promises to deliver on the durability and accuracy of the Canon C300 with added value.

But does it offer all it promises?

Today, we find out.

I am a huge fan of most camera brands, Canon, Sony, Arri, RED, Panasonic, Vision Research, Black Magic, you name it so don’t get it mixed up, this is not a biased discussion.

Let’s dive in.

 

The Canon C300 Mark II: An unbiased review

Having an affinity with all cameras, it’s my humble opinion that each one has their place and application.

People have different tastes, styles, needs, budgets and it’s all relative. It’s nice to see so much competition for once, even though it may be getting a little ridiculous.

That being said, some cameras definitely perform better than others thanks to their design internally/externally and the consideration their creators have for the DP’s in the preliminary stage of a camera’s creation.

So where does the C300 fit in when it comes to the ideals above?

The Canon C300 was a workhorse but it was destined to meet a competitor that would blow it out of the water.

Why, might you ask? Because the camera has a ton of flaws.

The flaws of the first Canon C300

The C300 captures amazing imagery, don’t get me wrong.

The Canon Super 35mm CMOS Sensor coupled with the Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor yields a wide amount of dynamic range and great low light performance.

But as you know, Canon is almost always on point when it comes to image creation. It’s the rest of the package that comes into question.

As with any camera, there are strong and weak points.

Besides the crispy clean picture you can capture with low noise and easy menu navigation…there are some big issues with the camera.

Here are some qualms that others and myself have had with the C300

 

The Canon C300’s Main Issues:

Internally 

  • Highlight rolloff could use improvement. The depth of the image suffers slightly because of this. Images tend to have less of a 3D effect.
  • The C300 only captures in HD (1920×1080). This definitely left the impression that Canon was “sandbagging” since the C300 was using the same 4K sensor that the C500 had.
  • It has no high speed capabilities. This was a big drawback for a lot of people and many could not understand how Canon justified charging the price that they did for the camera. The best you could capture was 60fps at 720 HD resolution.

 

Externally

  • The flimsy top handle is unreliable. Anytime I’ve had to use this camera, I’m forced to constantly tighten the dial to keep it from loosening to the point of slipping off. Not a very good design and the material it’s made of is even more questionable.
  • It’s not ergonomic, the shape of the body is awkward. Though the menu navigation allows me to move quickly and efficiently, the shape of the camera and weight distribution becomes an issue when rigging it up.

 

What changed from the C300 to the Mark II?

Now that we just tore the camera apart, let’s look at some of the improvements to its successor.

I’m seeing awesome results from the C300 Mark II thanks to it’s internal/external design improvements.

The best improvement to me was the expanded 15 stops of dynamic range and the ability to record 4K,2K,HD internally or externally (including 4K RAW output). The next best feature is the implementation of the new 10-bit Canon Log 2 Gamma which gives much more flexibility in post.

Another great feature I like is the oversampled 2K/HD that reduces moire in the image and things like the improved focus assist and expanded focusing area that helps for run and gun scenarios.

This is a great camera, there is no doubt about it.

 

The C300 Mark II is not without it’s own new set of flaws though, check out this interesting video highlighting the best and worst things about this new camera.

Canon’s Jon Sagud walks through all of the features with Zacuto’s Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn.

Short Film – Trick Shot 

Filmed with the Canon C300 Mark II

Summing up the Canon C300 Mark II Review

So the C300 mark II is definitely gonna make a splash, the question is, will it make as big of a splash as its predecessor.

I think it most certainly has the potential to as long as Canon keeps its faithful fans and the benefits of using Sony’s new line of recent cameras remain veiled to that loyal crowd.

Still, with every other company releasing similar models, Canon truly has to watch its back.

 

The digital revolution is happening incredibly fast, and it’s not just about crisp images any more.

 

It’s about manipulation, durability, ease of use, and budget.

 

On that, the Mark II has made ground, but there’s a lot we expect from the next iteration.

 

Canon C300 Mark II EF-Mount Specs

Image Sensor

Image Sensor Size 24.6 x 13.8 mm (Super35)
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Resolution Actual: 4206 x 2340 (9.84 MP)

Effective: 4096 x 2160 (8.85 MP)

Pixel Pitch 6.4 μm
Color Filter Bayer
ISO 160 to 25,600 (Native)

100 to 102,400 (Expanded)

Gain -2 to 44 dB (Native)

-6 to 54 dB (Expanded)

Camera

Lens Mount Canon EF
Lens Communication Yes, with Autofocus Support
Shutter Speed 1/24 to 1/2000 sec
Shutter Angle 11.25 to 360°
Built-In ND Filter Mechanical Filter Wheel with 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters
Built-In Microphone Type None
Recording Media 2 x CFast 2.0 Card Slots

1 x SDXC Card Slot

Internal Recording

Recording Modes MXF:

4096 x 2160p (225 to 410 MB/s)

3840 x 2160p (225 to 410 MB/s)

Audio Recording 2-Channel 24-Bit 48 kHz

Interfaces

Video Connectors 2 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output

1 x HDMI Output

Audio Connectors 2 x 3-Pin XLR Mic Level (+48 V Phantom Power) Input

1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Stereo Mic Level Input

1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Stereo Headphone Output

Other I/O 1 x BNC Timecode Input

1 x BNC Timecode Input/Output

1 x 2.5 mm LANC Control Input

Display

Display Type LCD
Screen Size 4″
Screen Resolution 1,230,000 Dots

EVF

Screen Size .46″
EVF Resolution 1,170,000 Dots

Power

Battery Type Canon BP-A Series
Power Connectors 1 x 4-Pin LEMO Input

General

Accessory Mount 1 x 1/4″-20 Female

1 x Cold Shoe Mount

Dimensions 5.9 x 7.2 x 7.2″ / 149 x 183 x 183 mm (Without Grip)

7.5 x 7.2 x 7.4″ / 19.1 x 18.3 x 18.8 cm (With Grip)

 


 

Check out some additional resources discussing camera comparisons and other useful tips to help gain more knowledge about various video production topics.

The Canon C300 Vs. Sony Fs7 camera package

The right length for video commercials and online advertisement?

Defining DIT: The big misconception

Straight Outta Compton’s DOP chose to fly with the RED Dragon

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Trenton Massey