Canon C300 “CA” seem to be with certain older Canon lenses ! (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments

I have been watching the small but growing band of C300 users who are experiencing a form of Chromatic Aberration (CA) that only happens on blown out highlights but not everyone and I must stress this, not everyone including me is experiencing this problem.

The video above is a prime example of footage shot with the C300 and some severe lighting conditions which would have certainly produced CA if this was inherent in all C300s. Note the lenses being used to produce the video above…Zeiss 28mm and 50mm 2.1 CP.2 Lenses…hey presto !!!

It seems we are getting conflicting results depending on how old your Canon lens is, after looking at Alister’s shots Canon UK told me… “These frame grabs are very over exposed and designed to show the limits of 10 year old optics.
The 24-70 f/2.8L was launched in 2002 and the difference in optical performance between this and the replacement announced earlier this year is huge.”

Q2. Why is the CA not as bad using a DSLR

“The new DSLRs have chromatic aberration correction built in to the camera and lens profiles to understand characteristics.”

I have not seen this problem on my Canon C300 and it strikes me that some people seem to be looking for problems with the C300 and like any camera ever produced if you dig deep enough…need I say more, so there you have it as far as Canon is concerned it seems to be the limit of the lens itself depending how old your Canon glass is…interesting !

If you wish to read Alister’s findings why not have a look here : http://www.xdcam-user.com/2012/03/c300-color-fringing-update/#comment-5385

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7 comments on this post

  1. John Ford says:

    Hi Philip,
    Thanks for sharing this video. really nice stuff!

    Yesterday I was asked to head over to the guys who sold me the camera to do a test and demonstrate the issue. We were able to replicate the problem regardless of which lens we put on the camera.

    We tried the 28-70 2.8, followed by the 50mm 1.2 – both the L series canon lenses and they obviously showed it up. To try and iron out whether or not this was a lens issue we tried the brand new canon 50mm that has been released to go with the c300 and sure enough it was there too.

    I think that a worse lens that has worse flaring will exaggerate the effect because it is pulling the flare across more of the image but the colour change on edges of overexposed areas is still there.

    I have to say that, while your video does not have the same sever problems you experience when filming through trees or water, I can still see the issue on your footage!

    If you look at around 7 seconds, the edges of the roof in the backgroun have a slight green tint to them while the arm in the foreground has a purple tint.

    at 16 and again at 25 seconds look at the car window and the roof in the background, very green.

    in addition to which the original article that I saw on the RED user forum was not using a cheap lens. They were using the same lens on both e Scarlett and the c300.

    So, I’m afraid, that while it is slight on the types of shots you demonstrate here – the problem still exsists.

    hope that is of interest, certainly it was very interesting to see your example shot with such nice lenses and to see how the helps with the problem, but does not eliminate it!

    I’ll let you know what Canon say when they’ve looked through my examples.

    Many thanks,

    John Ford

  2. HD Warrior says:

    If its not just the glass then I still think this is a batch problem with some cameras worse than others and hopefully Canon will engineer a software fix for it, as I have not seen this problem in my own camera then I can’t comment plus are we still only seeing this on way over exposed shots, has anyone tested Nikon glass with this problem. Alistair also saw similar results with his Sony F3…is that faulty as well !!!
    So far the C300 has performed exceptionally well for most users I really think this CA phenomena is a batch problem.

  3. John Ford says:

    Hiya,

    It could well be a batch problem as I didn’t see the issue on Mobius or any pre-release footage.

    However, as mentioned above, you are having the same problem and I can see it all over you video. The shots you’ve demonstrated by no means show it at it’s worst but it is there nonetheless! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    However your better glass has less imperfections that the L series lenses so the effect seems to be diminished.

    If the F3 also has this problem then I’d say yes, it’s also faulty! I feel bad spending this much money on a product that has some notable drawbacks like this and perhaps I should have opted for the far more affordable 5dmkIII despite all of it’s drawbacks.

    Just a thought.

    Cheers and good chatting about this.

    John

  4. HD Warrior says:

    John…It’s not my footage… it is an example to show people how much better things are with more expensive glass. Don’t kid anyone with a 5D Mk111 argument…this is getting way out of proportion, so far this CA only happens in blown out highlights, lets see what Canon’s response is before any more scare mongering if you don’t mind.

  5. John Ford says:

    No scare mongering intended and certainly nothing out of proportion! There is a problem and we’re trying to find a solution. I’m really glad that you’ve not experienced it as that makes me very optimistic, however there is a problem with mine and certainly the footage above, to a lesser extent, has the same problem.

    I fully understand the difference in specs, professional quality and am an advocate of the c300 in many many ways.

    Am also working closely with Canon to identify the problem and help them find a solution. I was merely trying to show that I’m really not convinced it is just a lens issue and trying to show that the example above kinda goes a long way to showing that there are still colour artefacts even with awesome glass.

  6. Paul Joy says:

    You’re not alone John, this is causing me all kinds of problems at the moment. The C300 is capable of making lovely images but every time I start to trust the camera this problem rears up and bites me. Today I was shooting for a client and the only highlight in a shot was a hand rail in the distance, there’s no way I could have known that hand rail was clipping as it was probably 2 pixels high in the final shot. When I got home I played back the footage on my 46″ TV and just as I started to think wow this all looks great, there it was, five shots runnied because the hand rail in the background had become a quivering mess of red green and blue pixels that totally distracted from the subject.

    It’s not CA, at least not regular CA because if you look closely at the final results there are alternating patterns of red, green and blue pixels. It’s like a combination of moire and aliasing that only happens on highlights. As you said, it’s present regardless of lens and aperture if there’s highlights in the shot, that’s not the case for regular CA.

    I too am still complaining to CVP and Canon, both of whom are being very helpful but neither have suggested a solution. I’m glad you were able to demonstrate the issue to CVP, it’s good to know they have seen it first hand.

    Philip, I think that you either have a better performing camera or you just haven’t shot a subject that’s problematic for the camera yet. Some of the examples kicking around are lens CA and that can be dealt with. Things like tree branches for example which I spotted straight away are a different problem. What causes this issue the most is the opposite of tree branches, it’s darker or well exposed subjects with highlighted straight edges that are in focus.

    See this still from my shoot today, it might look normal until you see it playing when the green and red aliasing on that bright handrail in the distance seems to travel along it as the camera pans. I’ve also included a zoom in on the problem area to show in more detail what’s happening.

    http://www.pauljoy.com/downloads/c300_error.png

    http://www.pauljoy.com/downloads/close_c300_error.jpg

    Paul

  7. John Ford says:

    So pleased to see canon have released a patch that claims to fix, or improve, the fringing! Looks like it is not just a lens issue!

    So glad – will try out the firmware and see if it makes any difference.

    A year of filming and I’ve seriously enjoyed this camera, this can only make things even better!!

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