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Old August 12th, 2015, 12:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,325
C300 MKII Quick hands on

WARNING: This is NOT any kind of scientific test - rather a quick hands on report and *personal* impressions. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!

A couple of Canon reps brought out one of their new C300 MKIIs to the video studio yesterday.

To cut to the quick, I am really impressed with this camera. Canon has truly listened to all the gripes and done well in solving them. (Check out the Zacuto review video with Guru (formerly of Sony) Larry Thorpe for details).
The C300II does now 10 bit and even 12 bit recording. Has a better top handle (zacuto goes even further) more and easier connections, etc.

We took the camera and hooked it up. First stumble was when we were un-able to get the 4K via HDMI to one of our 4K monitors to work. I guess that is not yet enabled? OR at least when the canon rep called home, that is what he was told.
NOTE: Their smaller cam did output 4K to our monitor, so it wasn't the monitor or cable ;-)
I am sure that a firmware update is being worked on (better be - right? :-)
Perhaps RAW 4K out works, but we didn't have an Odyssey 7Q.

Anyway, what was mind blowing was the C300 MKII's low light capability. I put a 2K fresnel on a white product photography table we have and using the Canon 50mm Cine prime, I was at F22! F22 without turning the light up even close to full. This at ISO800 (its native rating). Next to test was to see what it could do with our 6000 lumen projection. So, on the back white cyc of the studio, we brought up color bars in a ~ 32'w x 20't window (read = large and not very bright). Normally on our Sony EX3, it would read at 2.8, but not very well depending on the content.
With the C300 II, I was able to blow the color bars OUT without adding any gain and not even approaching wide. The camera also seems to have a wide dynamic range. Example: In our product photograph table, we had a brown ceramic frog. The other canon cameras we checked out seem to crush the blacks to avoid noise, but the C300 II was able to see into the shadows and image really nice and smooth detail = <3

Another cool feature is its auto focus which like that on the 70D seems to be a real winner.

As one who bitched up a storm about the first C300, especially its $16K price, I have to say that Canon's team has come up with a camera that is now worth the dough. We hope to have it back for a weeks trial and really put it through some courses sometime in October.

Two things I would love to see would be 1) compressed RAW recording (like 5:1) - both external output and internal if possible. And 1080P at 240fps.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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