Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

So what do you need to know if you are planning to own the C300 well for a start there are two versions a PL mount and an EF mount, no price difference but two very different choices…financially, depending what glass you go for. The PL or prime lens version or to be accurate “Positive lock” will in my opinion be less popular due to the fact that very few of us own expensive PL glass. I think the PL version will be a rental choice as most of us also rent PL glass on the occasion that its needed for a job.

There is no doubt about it Canon are doing their level best to confuse a few of us with EF Primes, EF zooms and PL zooms, I think many DPs will be a wee bit miffed that Canon are not producing their sexy EF primes in a PL mount.

If you are remotely interested in the Canon 14.5-60mm T2.6 L lens you will need hefty £29,000 almost the price of three C300s !

The EF mount will be the most popular by far as you have such a wide scope of lenses that you can use with the EF C300 plus a lot of DPs including myself have a selection of Canon EF glass. In case you have not sussed it yet the select/set knob on the side of the camera controls the aperture of the EF lens in smaller than 1/3 increments but the onscreen display will show the closest 1/3 stop aperture value.

Canon have produced a range of Prime EF glass known as EF Cinema Prime lens but at almost £4500 each many of us will be sticking to “L” glass meantime, the Cinema lenses are 4K ready which is a hint for a future model, RED beware.

The C300 is the best Super 35mm to date in having 4 ND settings, clear, 2, 4, 6 stops you also have -6 and -3dB all in all far better than the Sony F3.

This is the first large sensor camera to take Canon EF glass after a year of promises from various adapter companies that EF adapters were just round the corner and lets be honest the C300 is made by the same company who designed the EF lens so compatibility issues will be non existent.

The main problem I have encountered with my FS100 and Nikon glass is the ultimately stupid decision by Nikon to manually focus the opposite way round to a Canon lens, this seems trivial but the Canon lens is the same way (clockwise) as all the camcorder lenses you have ever owned so pulling focus is a nightmare with Nikon glass (anti clockwise).

It took me a while to find out the minimum specs for the C300 but it will work with a 30MB/s CF card Canon also say in their manual that 40MB/s is recommended if you are using under & over cranking but for the ultimate in compatibility use a 60MB/s CF card, at todays prices a 32GB 60 MB/s card will set you back about £95 each, when you consider the price of 32G SxS (£440) or P2 (£450) this is indeed a far cheaper option. In my experience with solid state cameras its better to use faster than the recommended speed rating if possible in other words the Sony FS100 will work very well with Class 6 SDHC cards but I always use Class 10 cards.

Remember this camera is going to save money as it records the broadcast approved 50MB/s…It ticks the BBC HD box, that alone is also pushing this camera up in the top 5 “I need to have one” large sensor cameras.

The sensor is a Super 35mm motion CMOS sensor 24.6 x 13.8mm (16:9) not unlike the sensors in the Sony F3 and the FS100 all three cameras have a crop factor of 1.5x which needs to be taken into account when buying EF glass but some people who use DSLRs such as the Canon 600D will be used to a 1.6x crop with an APCS-C sensor.

The C300 can take a Wi-Fi remote transmitter called a WFT-E6 which can operate the camera remotely onto a compatible device like an iPad, the WFT-E6 costs a whopping £950 so you may need to justify such a feature at that price.

Thats just a taster of what you can expect if you join the ever increasing band of DPs looking to get their hands on one of the first Canon EOS C300 cameras. I have downloaded the C300 user manual so when I recommend certain types of CF card the information is not plucked off the top of my head !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “So you want to buy a Canon EOS C300 (Updated)

  1. “PL” in PL mount stands for “positive lock”, not for “prime lens”. That’s a completely different meaning and so the C300PL does of course work with zooms as well as with prime lenses. A few PL zooms are even made by Canon.

  2. I notice the lens mount on the 1.3x crop C300 has a red dot as well as a white dot. That’s great news also for EF-S lens owners who have wide fast zoom lenses like the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8.

  3. Thanks. Thought I read somewhere that it was about the same as the Canon 1DMIV sensor size but it’s only slightly larger than an APS-C chip.

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