Canon C300 Mark II – Complete Review 2021

The Canon C300 mark II is the latest addition to Canon’s Cinema EOS line of professional digital cinematography cameras. The Canon EOS C300 Mark II Cinema is a film camera intended for cinematography, documentaries, commercials and all kinds of events.

Giving you the newest tech available and having some nifty upgrades that will make your workflow easier and video recording looking even better. It offers an EF Mount that will provide you with the opportunity for quicker autofocusing that will be more accurate and more usable in smaller teams.

Canon’s Log 3 Gamma supports 14 stops of dynamic range. While not a full upgrade from its predecessor, the c300 mark ii has a lot to offer for those that were previously considering buying their own camera.

Many improvements have been done under-the-hood, while some of the features that made the original C300 great are still present in this new model.

Canon C300 Mark II

Canon C300 Mark II

 

About the C300 Mark II

Predecessors of the C300 have become very popular since their release, being praised for their outstanding image quality, internal codec, and form factor. Despite the praise they’ve received, there were some things that could have been improved upon.

A major drawback of the original c300 was its lack of an external output which would have allowed shooters to send uncompressed video with timecode directly to an external recorder via SDI.

Another common complaint with the first-generation camera was its difficulty in operating one-handed. The display screen didn’t tilt or rotate out of the box so zooming was not possible nor focusing if you wanted to operate wirelessly without a second person assisting you with focus pulling.

The new model is now equipped with built-in wireless functionality as well as a fully adjustable screen. Another user-friendly feature is the addition of a joystick to control focus, which should make it easier for one-person shoots.

What’s New In The C300 Mark II

Canon C300 Mark II

Another big update for this new model is its internal 4K RAW output via single 3G/6G SDI or HDMI. This allows for full-quality 4K at up to 60 fps without having to worry about an external recorder being expensive and cumbersome to attach.

The C300 Mark II features 12 stops of latitude, allowing you to achieve rich colors in both day and night shots that are incredibly accurate whether you’re using Canon Log2 or the newer Canon Log3 gamma curves.

The camera package includes EF mount lenses as well as PL mount lenses with support for interchangeable mounts during production so you don’t have to worry about switching lenses during a shoot.

This camera is also capable of DCI 4K at up to 60 fps, Ultra HD at up to 120 fps, full HD at up to 180 fps, and sub-sampling of UHD 4:2:2 footage for getting the best possible image quality even if bandwidth isn’t quite enough for uncompressed video.

An easy to use, compact design makes this camera ideal for both people that are still learning as well as professional videographers on set.

There are so many amazing things about this camera, but there’s definitely a lot of confusion surrounding it due to how much technology Canon has jammed into their latest creation.

To help understand some of the features included in the C300 mark II, I have created a list of pros and cons below that will hopefully allow you to decide if this is right for your production or not.

Pros

  • 12 stops of Dynamic range with Canon Log 2 Gamma (14+stops with Canon Log Gamma, Wide DR Mode)
  • Dual Pixel Auto Focus for super smooth rack focusing and video auto-focus features
  • 5.2K RAW Recording up to 30 FPS with external recording device (Atomos Shogun)
  • 4K RAW internal recording at 24 FPS max speed on CFast Cards
  • Excellent Image Quality from same sensor as Canon 1D X DSLR camera
  • EF lens mount is a huge plus for many shooters because of the many accessories already available for this type of mount.

Cons 

What’s not so great about it?

  • Banding occurs in shadows on internal 4K RAW Recorder when shooting over cranked ISO speeds
  • External Raw Recorder (Atomos Shogun) works best with 60p and lower frame rates
  • External Recorder is needed to get the full 10 stops of DR
  • No built in ND filters for shooting outdoors during very bright days
  • Rolling shutter can become quite heavy when using CMOS readout and shooting over cranked frame rates
  • When C-Log is used, image looks flat and washed out due to limited Dynamic range
  • Lack of good codec choices for internal 4K RAW Recording: only 422 HQ at 150 Mbps (to be updated via Firmware).  
  • It’s a bit on the pricey side. For what you’re getting, this isn’t an inexpensive camera by any means!

Conclusion

Overall, Canon’s C300 mark II is an outstanding professional digital cinema camera with excellent internal codecs, great low-light capabilities and improved battery life so you can keep shooting all day long without needing lengthy breaks or requiring expensive batteries that can break down on set.

Its predecessor was already one of the best cameras on the market but this new model has taken it several steps

If you’re a professional videographer and have the budget for this product, you will not be disappointed. The image quality it produces is outstanding, Dynamic Range is incredible even at low ISOs due to Canon Log 2 Gamma, and ergonomically-speaking this camera is built like a tank!

It’s compact and easy to use which makes transport extremely convenient. If you don’t already own the original c300 mark i, we highly recommend picking up the mark ii if it fits your production needs.