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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


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Old January 23rd, 2016, 03:38 AM   #16
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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Originally Posted by Mark Dobson View Post
Hi Sabyasachi,

thanks for that reply and thoughtful video review (watch out Philip Bloom!)

I've no doubt that the MK 2 is a brilliant camera from the images I've seen.

If I do make the new investment it will be mainly for the advanced autofocus. I'm of an age where reading glasses are a necessity and sometimes I simply don't pin down the focus and the thought of working with a shallow depth of field in a dynamic documentary situation is pretty alluring.

As to future MK 2 firmware updates. My experience going back to the launch of the C300 is that Canon respond to firmware updates in a very oblique manner and that whilst they might improve operational aspects of the camera you need to be happy with what you are buying at point of sale.

Apart from restoring the very basic ability to punch in to the image on the monitor or viewfinder whilst recording my other desired improvement would be that they provide the ability to record 4K at a far lower bit rate - say 100mbs.

Oh yes, and an affordable small servo zoom lens. Sony manage it so why not Canon?
Flattered by that comparison with a hugely talented and flamboyant shooter/presenter like Philip Bloom.

I understand the need for a "lite" version of 4K. However, I don't think the low bit rate at say 100Mbps would be great. If you check the Full HD 50p footage it is fine but obviously the 4K has more details. However, since one can live with Go Pro 4 footage (I have been using it in aerials), then certainly we can also live with a lower bit rate footage for certain applications. It doesn't hurt to give it via a firmware if there is enough demand from users.

As far as servo zoom lens is concerned, the 17-120mm servo lens at 31K USD is not affordable for many productions. I think you should also try the constant aperture still lenses like EF 70-200 f2.8 L II USM and do the zoom in or zoom out. I have tried that with the C300 Mark I. If the subject is at the centre (for C300 Mark I) the focus holds on and it works. In C300 Mark II with better and face detect AF working on 80% of the area, you should be able to get away with using a still lens like EF 70-200 II. I will try this later with the Mark II.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 04:34 AM   #17
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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Gary - you seem to assume that the only people who will use the C300 Mk2 with is high 4k bitrate, will be or should be, broadcasters.
Not at all, I assume there are people who buy too much camera for the work they do. They absolutely exist. I also have a C300 Mark II and I do not consider myself a broadcaster, although my work has been broadcast live.

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But the C300 has been a huge success in many areas of the industry, cinema, broadcast documentary, advertising and industrial television.
Not sure why you're sounding like the brochure here, but that in no way displays a significant user base who would demand a consumer level 4K codec.

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The result is that many C300 owners have now moved over to the far better value Sony propositions such as the FS7 and the new FS5.
And yet the C300 Mark II is selling very well despite that. In fact, I heard just yesterday of an individual who purchased an FS5 and then returned it after use for the C300 Mark II, despite the price differences.

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Sony have actively and very publicly courted the views of top technicians and camera operators and created a new range of very powerful and versatile cameras. They also respond very quickly to feedback over issues with their equipment and rush out firmware updates.
Rushed out firmware just like 3.0 for the FS7, eh?

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So a request to have a few more bitrate options when recording 4K with the C300 Mk 2, and to have the ability to punch into the image to check focus whilst recording is not unreasonable.
The second is not, I am championing that myself. The first is. Again, if you need a consumer codec with 4K, then you shouldn't bother with 4K, or check out the myriad of other choices that shoot consumer-y 4K...like the FS5. People are so enthralled with the 4K option in that one, let me tell you.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 05:48 AM   #18
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

Gary - not quite sure where this one is going.

And I really don't want to get into a silly argument with you!

Your welcome to your viewpoint and I really haven't got anymore to add on this 4K bitrate ping pong match.

Compared to other forums this one tends to be pretty measured and respectful and lets keep it that way.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 05:53 AM   #19
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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Compared to other forums this one tends to be pretty measured and respectful and lets keep it that way.
There was no disrespect, unless you inability to retort back suddenly means you're being disrespected.

The C300 Mark II getting a 100Mbps 4K codec is equally as plausible as the PMW-F5 getting it, because the C300 Mark II is priced in competition with that cam, not the FS5.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 10:04 AM   #20
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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Originally Posted by Mark Dobson View Post

But in someways Canon seem to want to maintain an elitist marketing and product development model whereby they presume to differentiate their products from the rest of the market place. The result is that many C300 owners have now moved over to the far better value Sony propositions such as the FS7 and the new FS5.
My guess, Mark, is that whatever form the C100 takes in it's next iteration, it will be with a 4k codec like you describe. The C300 is the top beast now, but that shouldn't suggest that canon doesn't know where the real market is, just look at the number of posts on any forum regarding the c100 versus the c300/500. The C100 is where that codec belongs and will most likely be...although I think it will be somewhere north of 100mbit.

While I see the value in putting it onto this existing camera, I think Canon won't consider it as they've always cut features (like 4k/60p, which this camera should have no problem with) when they felt there would be a quality penalty due to limitations of the codec. Sony having to answer questions about the Fs5 codec now is a pretty strong incentive NOT to put a low grade codec in the C300II.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 11:02 AM   #21
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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My guess, Mark, is that whatever form the C100 takes in it's next iteration, it will be with a 4k codec like you describe. The C300 is the top beast now, but that shouldn't suggest that canon doesn't know where the real market is, just look at the number of posts on any forum regarding the c100 versus the c300/500. The C100 is where that codec belongs and will most likely be...although I think it will be somewhere north of 100mbit.

While I see the value in putting it onto this existing camera, I think Canon won't consider it as they've always cut features (like 4k/60p, which this camera should have no problem with) when they felt there would be a quality penalty due to limitations of the codec. Sony having to answer questions about the Fs5 codec now is a pretty strong incentive NOT to put a low grade codec in the C300II.
Good points Barry.

Should the C100 be upgraded again I would think it would have the same 4K codec as the C300 Mk2. The XC10, which I owned for a short while, provided 4K Recording at 305Mbps/205Mbps at 25.00P. Thats using the same XF-AVC video format. (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

That camera is let down by a plastic fantastic viewfinder and mediocre lens. I feel they would have done well to have provided better components and charged a higher price.

From what I've read the problems with the FS5 codec seem to occur when users are pushing the camera in low light situations. Sony is responding to these concerns.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 05:13 PM   #22
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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The XC10, which I owned for a short while, provided 4K Recording at 305Mbps/205Mbps at 25.00P. Thats using the same XF-AVC video format. (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
It's also 8-bit and not 10-bit, hence the lower bitrate.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 11:40 PM   #23
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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To compare to another camera... my opinion as a working DP, is that the FS7 is a toy compared to the C300 Mark II. I just used an FS7 last week and I was surprised by how cheap and cheesy it felt in my hands. It does make a nice picture, and it is cheap to buy, but it doesn't inspire confidence... kinda like using an EX3. It is a cheap tool. The Canon, on the other hand, feels ergonomic and well laid out. It is easy to navigate and it doesn't have the damn Sony menus that I have grown to hate. That's my gut feeling on comparing the FS7 and the C300mII.
That's similar to my experience Scott. I've owned a C300 since it was released and it's been a superb tool for me. Just a really solid, reliable workhorse that delivers very predictable images.

I briefly owned an FS7 (lured by the price / spec combination) and found it a constant battle to work with. Despite the ergonomics being a selling point, I found it flimsy and hard to balance without a full rig. The menu system is painful. And in post, good skin tones were just so much harder to achieve than with the Canons. All in all, while it's a great camera on paper and the price is attractive, I just found myself fighting with the camera rather than being able to concentrate on the shot.

In the end I had to suck it up and sell the FS7 at a loss and pick the C300mk2 when it came out. Barring a few nuisance issues (lens and monitor compatibility, focus magnification), the camera is a joy to use, the images are great, and it's very simple to achieve great skin tones. The build, LCD & VF as well as the focussing system are all superior. All the little things just add up to being a vastly more intuitive camera to use. It's definitely worth the price premium over the Sony.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 11:12 AM   #24
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

I received my Mk 2 last week.

Initial impressions are of a far more robust and professional unit. I've yet to carry out any field tests and will probably start recording at a pretty basic level whilst I get used to it. That means pretty much matching the settings I use on my C300.

Still some deeply annoying design shortcomings such as having to use a hex spanner to to take the handle off, the inability to move the WMF display position about or off the screen and the lack of magnification whilst recording.

I've ordered the Zacuto Graphical HD viewfinder and intend to use their scopes and magnification whilst recording.

Probably the only information I'll need displayed over the image will be the focusing aids.

But overal I'm really delighted with the camera and the only problem I have now is the decision of whether to keep my C300 or sell it at a silly price.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #25
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

Congratulations Mark. It is a big step up from the C300 in most areas.

Completely agree on top handle (it's much improved but needing a hex key is a pain for transport), focus mag and WFM position. Hopefully the latter two can be fixed soon via firmware.

The little thing that's bugging me is the extra two channels of sound being force recorded to channel 3/4. That is, if you record to either or both inputs 1/2 via XLR, channels 3/4 record junk audio from the tiny built in mic. I understand this might be useful for two system audio slate (although even that's hard to figure if you have two XLRs in use), but generally it's a nuisance.

There doesn't appear to be any way to disable it in camera: you must remember to manually remove it in post and tell others to do so if you're handing the footage over.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 07:23 AM   #26
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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understand this might be useful for two system audio slate (although even that's hard to figure if you have two XLRs in use), but generally it's a nuisance.
The problem with being able to disable the extra two channels is that, by the time you realize you might need it, it'll be two late.

Is it really that hard to disable it or to pass it down the line? At some point if some third-party editor cannot figure it out, perhaps they should not be paid to be editing? It's no different than disabling your safety second channel set at a slightly lower input volume than your first channel.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #27
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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The problem with being able to disable the extra two channels is that, by the time you realize you might need it, it'll be two late.

Is it really that hard to disable it....
I don't have a use for the audio recorded to channels 3/4 by the pin prick mic. It's not "hard" to disable in post, but as a FCPX user (which does not have a traditional timeline) it's certainly a nuisance. It adds an unnecessary step every time you add a clip to a project as the audio properties have to be changed within individual clips.

It would simply be nice to be able to control the volume of these channels, as you can for 1/2 (or indeed for 3/4 if you plug a stereo mic in via 3.5mm jack).
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Old February 16th, 2016, 02:33 PM   #28
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

I agree it would be nice to have some additional control over channels 3/4 in the Mark II, but I am happy that a scratch track is there. It certainly was missing in the original C300, which became problematic anytime you needed to use pluraleyes and didn't have a mic connected.

It is also nice to have scratch camera mic just to always have some ambient recording for post to access. They probably won't need it, and usually I have soundie sending or recording clean audio anyways, but when you break away from soundies and suddenly you have no mic attached for broll... the camera's scratch solves the problem.

Post will understand instantly that the 3/4 audio from the camera is just scratch. It will not sound great, but provides something for Pluraleyes to sync to and provides at least a sound bed for broll.

I am confused, though, why it isn't more configurable... would be great to have access to those channels to record outside sources. Why send scratch to two channels, anyway? It just needs to be on one of them. I'm sensing a firmware update by Canon that would address channels 3/4 (at least I am hoping Canon will do so!).
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Old February 16th, 2016, 02:44 PM   #29
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

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Post will understand instantly that the 3/4 audio from the camera is just scratch. It will not sound great, but provides something for Pluraleyes to sync to and provides at least a sound bed for broll.
I use it specifically for this purpose with two cameras, even though I have a Shogun which will do LTC in. There's a bug where it won't do it for 24p when 24p has 3:2 pulldown applied to it (i.e. C100 Mark II with a Shogun and the C300 Mark II as the primary). Thus, for 24p projects, I have to use the scratch track to sync.

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configurable... would be great to have access to those channels to record outside sources.
If you plug a source into the 3.5mm jack doesn't that record to 3/4?
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Old February 16th, 2016, 03:35 PM   #30
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Re: C300 vs C300 Mk2 vs ?

I will have to test the mini plug input... which I will admit... I didn't even pay attention to on the camera. I guess I need more time with my own camera!

If it does take external input to channels 3/4, then it would still be great to be able to adjust those channels and have some configurability. I can imagine using a stereo mic to channels 1/2, an IFB source from mixer on channel 3 and the camera's mic on channel 4. Or, perhaps using a tentacle (tentacle sync) on channel 3 along with camera mic on 4, etc.

More options, more better!
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