If you want professional-grade video and sound, or if it’s crucial to be able to capture broadcast-standard 4K footage and edit it natively at full resolution with the widest selection of software, you need a good camera. Currently, we are talking about two direct competitors, the Canon C300 Mark II and the Sony FS7.
Both have been praised to high heaven by their owners, but which one suits you best?
Despite some shortcomings, its overall performance and feature set make it one of the best all-around camcorders available.
A Comprehensive Tool For The Cinematic Expression
Canon has thrown down the gauntlet in response to Sony’s popular F5 and F55 cameras.
While those models are like digital film cameras that happen to record video (and can’t be beaten for video quality), Canon has gone back to basics by creating a true cinema camera – albeit one without interchangeable lenses – which is at the same time capable of excellent video quality.
Canon EOS C300 Mark II
The Canon C300s make a good impression during the first contact. It looks good and feels solid – just as a professional camera should. Its design is based on that of the original C300, so it has a similar body shape, including a large shoulder rest for comfortable handheld operation.
In fact, the only external difference to be seen between this new version and its predecessor are two small letters: “II”. In appearance as well as in functionality there’s no difference between old and new models.
This means that besides several cosmetic changes such as an improved lens mount, moisture protection seals at various points, and a redesigned grip for more comfortable handheld use While the C300 Mark II is oriented towards professionals, it can capture broadcast-standard 4K footage and edit it natively at full resolution with the widest selection of software.
Like its predecessor, the C300, it’s aimed mostly at indie filmmakers who need only one camera to shoot movies, TV shows, and even commercials without compromises. However, new features like Dual Pixel CMOS AF for autofocusing while recording video could give some pros second thoughts about using DSLRs for serious work again.
The camcorder’s body has been redesigned in numerous ways that make it larger yet lighter than before; they’ve also made provision for accessory handgrips (and thus shoulder rigs), while softening the camera’s prominent handgrip to make it more comfortable for shorter fingers.
What hasn’t changed is the C300 Mark II’s overall performance, which remains great (especially when you consider that its internal 4K recording is done without pixel binning).
Its low-light capability has also been retained, and while dynamic range isn’t as wide as some DSLRs or other camcorders equipped with an APS-C sensor, it still offers up to 14 stops of latitude in Canon Log gamma mode.
- Sensor size: Super35mm CMOS (23.5 x 12.7 mm)
- Effective Resolution: 8192 x 4320
- Still image resolution: 8448 x 3168
- Frame rates: 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 50i, 59.94i
- Audio channels: 4
- Dimensions: 14x12x16 inches
- Weight: 11 lbs
Sony has created the FS7 as a “true” option for indie filmmakers to shoot their movies. As well as having 4K resolution, you can attach an array of lenses, giving you much more flexibility than with rival cameras like the C300 Mark II (which is limited to EF-mount models).
The FS7 offers internal XAVC recording at up to 100 Mbps in 4K or 120 fps full HD, and it can take Sony E-mount pancake lenses (which are ideal for handheld use) via the included LA-EA3 adapter. It’s also ready for external (and wireless) monitoring, audio input, and metadata entry via its 3G-SDI connections on the left side of its body.
The FS7 is, in fact, a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, and it’s the only camera on this list with integrated ND filters.
It’s also one of the best-priced 4K models on the market, and its fully articulating screen and large grip make it easy to shoot while using an external monitor or EVF.
The FS5 does all this at a lower price than its nearest competitor (the Canon C300 Mark II), but you’ll need to budget for lenses and more powerful lighting if you’re shooting outside (and purchase an outboard recorder if you want slow motion above 120 fps).
More benefits of the SF7 include being able to attach other lens types, which is ideal if you’re looking to use vintage lenses. Its swivel screen also allows for better low-angle shots without having to lay down while shooting.
- Sensor size: Super35mm CMOS (23.5 x 12.7 mm)
- Effective Resolution: 4096 x 2160
- Still image resolution: 6016 x 3384
- Frame rates 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 50i
- Sound channels: 2 (stereo)
- Dimensions: 15x13x17 inches
- Weight: 19 lbs
Canon C300 Mark II vs Sony fs7
Based on our comparison of the camera specs listed above, we can conclude that these cameras are fairly equal in the following aspects, including price.
Their weight is an important aspect because if you intend to carry your camera around with you for extended periods, then you might want to consider the weight first. The Canon weighs 11 pounds and measures 14x12x16 inches, while the Sony comes in at 19 lbs and 15x13x17 inches.
Although this gives you more bulk and size with the FS7 than the C300 Mark II’s smaller frame and lighter weight (11 lb). The other technical specifications such as megapixels and sensor size make the two comparable in this area.
The difference between Sony FS7 vs Canon C300 is not so clear cut. While the Canon C300 Mark II has slightly better lowlight capability (and higher bitrate codec), Sony FS7 has much more flexibility with its interchangeable lenses and ND filter (which are lacking in Canon camera).
If you’re looking for something that can do both filmmaking and TV production, go for FS7; if you’re only needed one camera to shoot movies like Star Wars, the C300 Mark II is your answer.