This is a very worthy successor to the incredibly popular Canon C300 in EOS mount.
The Canon C300 Mk II is a Super-35, full 4K camcorder which is here is EOS mount, though a B4 mount is optionally available and offers fully automatic operation including an effective autofocus (subject to being used with suitable lenses). It recordson board 4K/Full HD video with HDR and Canon Log2 of the new REC 2020 colour gamut.
It may look like the original C300 but it has been completely redesigned and is built around a brand new 8.85mp Super 35mm CMOS Sensor. Canon are quoting 15 stops of dynamic range and the system is capable of recording incredible 10 bit 4K images on CFast 2 cards at up to 410Mbps/10-bit with the Canon XF-AVC H.264 codec for easy 4K integration into existing workflows.
It offers fully automatic operation including an effective autofocus (subject to being used with suitable lenses) and is capable of internal capture of stunning 4K / Full HD video with a wide dynamic range, external RAW output and Canon Log2 to shoot a high dynamic range (HDR) of the new REC 2020 colour gamut and DCI-P3 colour space.
For almost universal compatibility to existing post production system, the C300 Mk II records 4K images to the XF AVC Codec, which is an H.264 format wrapped in the widely-supported MXF wrapper.
You can even simultaneously record 4K to dual internal CFast 2 cards, 2K/FHD proxy files to SD card and output 4K RAW to external devices.
Read more from VMI paper, Canon C300 Mk II - what's the fuss all about? on what the fuss is all about with our comparison of the original C300 with the new Mark II.
Interchangeable Mount - Compatibility with all lenses
The original C300 was supplied in either EF or PL configurations but the new Canon C300 Mk II goes one better by making the lens mount interchangeable (VMI Workshop service only). This means that you have a choice compatibility not only with Canon's existing broad range of DSLR lenses and EF-mount CN-E cinema prime and zoom lenses but also (with suitable lens adapters), also Nikon ZF and other DSLR lenses too. The PL mount permits conventional film zoom and prime lenses to be used and B4 mount adapters available from VMI also permit the full choice of electronic HD zooms and Primes as well.
Colour performance improved with new sensor and DIGIC DV 5 Image Processor
Canon’s newly developed sensor captures in a Super 35 format (24.4 x 13.5mm) and features 4096 x 2160 resolution to deliver Cine 4K images, as well as supporting Ultra HD (3840 x 2160), and Full HD (1920 x 1080). The DIGIC DV 5 image processor improves colour performance considerably, assisting the wide on a level that would otherwise require three separate chips. The camera records up to. For more flexibility to adjust your image during postproduction, the camera also offers Canon's Log gamma mode, which results in excellent tonal reproduction in the highlight and lowlight regions of an image, and an expanded dynamic range.
The EOS C300 Mk II body is compact and easily handheld at just over 1.4kg (3 lb). The body has a modular design that can either be stripped down completely or be built up using the included handle, 4" rotating LCD unit with full controls, grip, and thumb rest – useful if being used in a lightweight Gimbal type configuration.
The LCD is built into the removable audio module and the integral high resolution (0.46"), 1.17 Megapixel colour EVF has a 60 degree tilt adjustment too. It has a contrast ratio of 5000:1 vs 270:1 on the original C300. This should make it very usable when handholding the camera without a support rig.
There is a bright 1.55 Megapixel electronic viewfinder, and the camera comes bundled with a removable combination 4", 1.23 Megapixel monitor and control panel. The camera also has a removable handgrip with a control dial and function buttons for handheld shooting in DSLR style, or remove it and use the supplied thumb rest for completely stripped-down shooting.
The EOS C300 Mk II has a manually operated built-in neutral density (ND) glass filter offering 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64th steps of filtering. Handheld or using a tripod, on location or in the studio, even on 3-D rigs, the EOS C300 fits shooting situations that are challenging for larger cameras.
The camcorder features two 3G-SDI outputs, timecode I/O, and genlock input BNCs.
Autofocus that really works (AKA Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology)
The C300 Mk II amazingly provides continuous AF (Autofocus) function for all autofocus lenses, using Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. A new AF Lock setting also lets you change the image framing while holding the desired focus. This feature works well and is practical for location shooting, as it doesn’t hunt. This may even work with Canon electronic HD zooms and Canon film zoom lenses which feature integral servo focus modules (To be tested).
Canon explain why this autofocus is so good with the paragraph below. We just know that it seems to work well!
Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology features a CMOS sensor that consists of an array of pixels that each feature two separate photodiodes. By continuously comparing their outputs during AF mode, phase-difference autofocus helps ensure non-blurred images and smooth focus transitions even when the talent and/or camera are moving. The new feature places a high priority on maintaining sharp focus while providing a natural, smooth autofocus movement with select Canon EF lenses - including newer-generation STM lenses - which offer even smoother and quieter operation
Ergonomonic control layout
A logical layout of buttons and dials make operation simple. A lock switch turns off all controls except the recording button and function buttons. Small ridges between the buttons help prevent activating functions by mistake. A backlit display panel is great for low-light viewing. A tally lamp is clearly visible from the side or behind the camera.
Rugged, Durable & Quiet
The EOS C300 Mk II's dust-proof and splash-proof design includes sealing gaskets around the edges of all access covers, dials fitted with O-rings on the axis of rotation, and button key-tops sealed with rubber. The EOS C300 also features a built-in silent cooling system with a heat-dissipating duct in the centre of the body, a graphite sheet that conducts sensor heat towards the heat sink, three ventilation holes, and a cooling fan that pulls hot air out through an exhaust opening. All air is directed through a discrete pathway that keeps dust particles away from sensitive components. Your camera runs cool, quiet, and clean.
Good Audio Controls
The removable audio module provides two XLR audio inputs with +48V phantom power. A 3.5mm microphone terminal is also built in to the camera. Audio is recorded uncompressed in 16-bit PCM format at 48 kHz for high fidelity sound. Both XLR inputs, as well as the mic terminal have the option for automatic, as well as full manual gain control (-Infinity to +18dB). Additionally, a 3.5mm headphone terminal with 16 volume settings offers accurate audio monitoring. The audio module also holds the LCD monitor, which can be repositioned in a variety of places to suit the operator.
CF Memory Card Recording
The camera records to CFast 2 cards through two slots.
High-Speed, Slow-Motion, Time-Lapse & Stop-Motion
Beyond the advantages of file-based recording, the camera offers a number of creative possibilities in post-production including Slow & Fast motion. (max. 120 fps supported), frame recording, pre-recording, interval recording
Full Manual Control & Focusing Aids
The camera has a Waveform Monitor (WFM) function that shows the overall brightness of a scene, with RGB Parade Display to view red, green, and blue brightness or Spot Display to isolate the luminance distribution of a chosen area. The Vectorscope (VS) display shows real-time hue and saturation levels. For sharp focus, EOS C300 Mk II camera has two peaking modes and a magnified focus assist function. An Edge Monitor Focus Assist provides both a waveform representing the overall degree of focus and a red waveform that represents focus in three specific areas displayed on the camera's 4" LCD monitor. To maintain proper highlight exposure, it offers a zebra bar feature as well.
VMI Package (provisional)
- Canon C300 Mk II Camera
- Choice of EF or PL Mount
- 3 x Canon BPA60 batteries
- ARRI Pro Broadcast set with 15mm bars system and top handle
- 2 x 120GB CFast 2 cards
- D-Tap to C300 Mk II cable