Canon responds to the Sony FS7 with a C300 Mark II but at an unappealing price of £11,299. You could be forgiven if you relate the C300 MkII price against the C500 at £14,299…a camera that never took off. Secondly Canon have just slashed the C300 down to £5,999 to half its original price.
A new body only Sony FS7 is £6,199 but still hard to get hold off, I told at least six C300 owners at BVE 2015 to hold off till Canon announce this new camera but seeing it from their eyes they have been dealt a double blow…very little second hand value on their existing C300 and a further £14,299 to find to upgrade to the new C300 MkII.
The last negative is the 4K frame rate of 25p against the FS7s 50p mode this is a deal breaker for me personally, if 25p is your bag then you will be happy with either camera.
Thats the negative part out of the way, what are you getting with the new C300 MkII…
You still get the “monitor unit” but Canon have also added an optional XLR unit that fits onto the hot shoe, a good idea as a lot of people will be using their own external viewfinders.
The EVF is now an OLED EVF with approximately 1770,000 dots (1024 x RGB x 576). It has a contrast ratio of 5000:1 vs 270:1 on the original C300. This is a vast improvement on the original LCD.
The colour range on the camera is also widened. The mkII is now capable of using the ITU-R BT.2020 colour gamut which is considerably wider than REC.709.
A 4K image can be recorded at 410Mbps in 10-bit 4:2:2 at up to 29.97 frames per second (fps) internally to CFast 2.0 cards using the new XF-AVC Intra codec.
2K and HD imagery can be recorded at RGB 444 in 10-bit at 210Mbps, or even 12-bit at 225Mbps to CFast 2.0 using the same codec.
The XF-AVC Intra is similar in concept to Sony’s XAVC Intra frame codec and Canon expects most major pro editing applications to support it by the time the camera ships. Lets hope Apple will add this into their up and coming FCPX update, possibly due this week ! The use of a modern I-frame codec should allow for excellent quality while maintaining manageable file sizes.
At the same time as the XF-AVC Intra file is being recorded to a CFast 2.0 card, a proxy file can be recorded in lower bitrate 8-bit 2K/HD 4:2:0 to a SD card. In some cases this may be good enough to be used as a deliverable where a file has to be rapidly sent to a broadcaster or client.
The 2K/HD high speed recording at 120 or 100fps (depending on the PAL/NTSC setting) is perhaps the most limiting feature of the C300 mkII compared to its nearest rivals. Additionally the C300 mkII needs to be set in a crop mode to attain these frame rates.
If you want RAW output then the C300 mkII can do that as well. It can output 4K 4:4:4 to an external recorder like the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q or.
The shape and ergonomics of the C300 mkII remain largely the same as those of the mkI. The body alone weighs 1880g, slightly more than the original’s 1430g. With LCD, grip and handle it weighs 3.37kg compared to the mkI at 2.7kg. Overall, Canon claim the body is stronger and more durable. There are rubber seals on the buttons and more die cast components. The buttons on the side of the camera now illuminate in the dark to aid setup. The stock handgrip too has been upgraded and is more robust than the original C300 grip.
Even though they look similar there have been several big improvements. The redesigned handle attaches to a top helmet which has been added. The handle is much more sturdy, with a useful 15mm rod clamp added, along with several 1/4” 20 mounting points.
As I am working today I have taken this section from http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/04/08/the-canon-c300-mkii-will-it-be-the-new-4k-production-workhorse
So there you have it the new Canon C300 MkII 4K internal recording cinema camera, there is a lot more to flesh out but thats all I can tell you till I come back after a shoot. There is one other new Canon camera the XC-10 4K camera, more about this later.