Canon announces EOS C300 Mark II – 4K Cinema Camera

Canon today announced the long-awaited successor to its popular C300 camera, the C300 Mark II.

Canon EOS C300 Mark II

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After a long wait for a successor to the immensely popular C300 – which has been my main cameras for many years – telling from the specs it truly seems like Canon won’t disappoint with the C300 Mark II.

Canon uses a new high-bitrate codec called XF-AVC (which sounds remarkably similar to XAVC, which is what Sony is using in all their new cameras), with up to 410 Mbps (Sony’s XAVC I codec records up to 600Mbps).

They have switched recording from CF cards to CFast 2.0, which is also used by Arri in the new Alexa Mini. While still not exactly cheap, we have seen these cards come in price recently a lot (e.g. this Lexar 128GB CFast 2.0 card), and they compare favorably to Sony’s own XQD standard which is used in the FS7.

High-speed recording, which is something where Canon was clearly lacking behind the competition in the past, has been significantly improved as well: The C300 Mark II records up to 120 fps in 2K / 1080p (and 30p in 4K). That’s not as impressive as Sony FS7’s up to 180 fps, however a huge step up from the C300’s original 60p in 720p only.

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Here is a rundown of the significant tech specs:

  • 10-bit 4:2:2 in 4K recording (UHD 3840 x 2160 & DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160 pixels)
  • up to 410Mbps (in 4K)
  • 10/12-bit 4:4:4 in 2K & Full HD
  • up to 30p in 4K, 120p in 2K/Full HD
  • 4K RAW files to external recorder
  • dual DIGIC DV5 processors
  • dual CFast 2.0 slots
  • 15 stops of dynamic range with new Canon Log2
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • New XF-AVC Intra, Long GOP and Proxy H.265 codecs in 4K, UHD, 2K and 1080p
  • 4-channel audio in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz
  • sensor-read out 2x faster than C300, less rolling shutter

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The new C300 Mark II will be priced at $15,999, which is the original price bracket of the C300.

It’s expected to be available in September, but B&H has started to take preorders today.

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Full press release:

The EOS C300 Mark II – Stunning 4K quality, creativity and versatility

City, Country, 8 April 2014 – Canon today unveils the EOS C300 Mark II, a new 4K video camera allowing filmmakers and broadcast producers to realise their creative vision in stunning cinematic detail. Building on the unprecedented success of the acclaimed EOS C300, the more rugged EOS C300 Mark II features an advanced imaging engine with dual DIGIC DV5 processors, new professional codecs and outstanding dynamic range, making it the most capable, flexible and accessible Cinema EOS video camera to date.

Supreme 4K image quality and versatility

With the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 files internally at up to 410Mbps in 4K, or 10/12-bit 4:4:4 files in 2K/Full HD, with up to 15 stops of dynamic range, the
EOS C300 Mark II provides footage suitable for extensive post-production work, producing crisper images across the full colour spectrum with reduced “colour bleed”. The camera offers professional filmmakers and broadcasters alike the very best image quality, recording 4K in both broadcast (3840 x 2160) and DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160) resolutions.

The EOS C300 Mark II can record high bitrate 4K files internally to dual CFast 2.0™[i] media, while simultaneously recording 4K RAW files to an external recorder, offering the flexibility and universal appeal for production at the highest quality available today. Additionally, the ability to record 2K/Full HD Proxy files to an internal SD card, at the same time, further streamlines the production workflow process.

The new Canon-designed Super 35mm CMOS sensor and an increased ISO range up to ISO 102,400 deliver exceptional low light performance, allowing operators to capture low-noise footage across a variety of challenging environments without compromising on image quality.

To meet the requirements of a diverse range of shooting applications, the
EOS C300 Mark II offers both full manual control, ideal for cinematic environments, as well as automatic modes. These include, enhanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF (now covering approx. 80% of the frame vertically and 80% horizontally), auto white balance and Face Detection AF, all making it easier for independent news gatherers and documentary filmmakers to shoot on the go.

Instant integration into professional workflows

Canon’s new range of XF-AVC H.264 codecs, designed to be compatible with industry standard Non-Linear Edit systems, makes integrating both 4K and 2K/Full HD footage into workflows effortless, while maintaining the highest image quality. The range features XF-AVC intra for 4K, and XF-AVC Long GOP and Proxy options for 2K/Full HD recording, both of which utilise H.264 codec, offering post production flexibility and ease of use. Filmmakers can select the resolution and codec type that best suits their production, with the EOS C300 Mark II capable of shooting at up to 30P in 4K or up to 120P in 2K/Full HD.

The EOS C300 Mark II offers support for a wide range of colour space options, including BT.2020, the Canon Cinema Gamut and DCI-P3. The camera is also the first Cinema EOS model to feature brand new Canon Log2 technology, which enables the 15-stops of dynamic range, significantly wider than previous Cinema EOS cameras. The camera offers new versatility for sound recording too, supporting 4-channel audio recording in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz.

Designed for versatility

The EOS C300 Mark II boasts the iconic Cinema EOS design DNA – a modular body that can be adapted to suit the needs of each shooter and filming situation, through the extensive range of compatible accessories. Internally, the EOS C300 Mark II also includes built-in electronically controlled glass ND (neutral density) filters, which reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by up to 10 stops in expansion mode. Compatibility with the RC-V100 remote control and optional Wi-Fi control also enables ease of use in a wider range of locations.

The camera’s sensor read-out speed is now twice as fast as the original EOS C300, and further reduces rolling shutter distortion, allowing for crisp image capture in a moving environment, making it perfectly suited for capturing action sequences.

Leveraging Canon’s rich heritage in lens design, the EOS C300 Mark II is compatible with more than 90 current EF and EF Cinema lenses allowing operators to use their existing EF mount lenses. In addition, the EOS C300 Mark II comes equipped with Canon Cine servo zoom lens support, delivering one of the most comprehensive selections of lens possibilities for movie and broadcast production available in the market today. For further flexibility, shooters can opt to change the lens mount from the default EF Mount, to EF Mount with Cinema Lock, or to the industry standard PL mount, as a service option[ii].

EOS C300 Mark II key benefits:

  • High bitrate internal 4K recording with external RAW
  • High dynamic range files, ideal for post production
  • Seamlessly integrate with professional workflows
  • Automatic features make independent shooting easy
  • Shoot with confidence in low light with low noise

[i] Canon is an authorised licensee of the CFast 2.0™ trademark, which may be registered in various jurisdictions

[ii] Available via chargeable service

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