Canon C300 MK II

Here’s a short “field test” video I made together with Joosep a couple of months ago. Our purpose was to try out the new Canon C300 MK II camera, using it in similar ways as we’ve used the BMCC and GH4. Mostly we were interested in how well it would perform when pushed in hard and uncontrolled conditions.
Canon kindly borrowed it for 2 days which unfortunately wasn’t long enough to establish any deeper opinion but here are at least our initial thoughts:

We have been thinking about upgrading our A camera from the Blackmagic cinema camera to something newer and more practical for our needs. Many different cameras has been on our minds from brands like Sony, RED, Blackmagic and Arri cameras. Canon hadn’t come out with anything very spectacular in a while so we hadn’t thought too much about them.

Earlier this autumn we happened to meet a guy from the Estonian Canon dealer at a film festival. They got interested in our work and offered us to borrow their new C300 MK II camera.

We got to borrow the camera for 2 days. We didn’t have time to make a review, overview or any kind of personal experience of it in such a short time. Instead we did the thing we were most interested in. How well will this camera perform on an ordinary wildlife shoot. Hence the kinda boring title, Field test.

– 2 Days in different weather conditions and 2 different lenses. The Canon 200-400mm f4 L with integrated 1,4x converter and the 16-35mm f2,8 L lens.

After the shoot we did some experimenting in the post.
And here’s a short summary of what we think about it at the moment.

[These are our own personal views and thoughts. We also might look at cameras from a slightly different perspective since our main field of work is wildlife film making where some specs are worth more than in other fields.]

The pros:

– Weather proofed, compact, sturdy and strong
– Professional connectors
– ND Filters!
– Easy to use (mostly thinking about button layout and menus)
– The side handle is great!
– Available in different mounts
– The C-log2 is nice and has pretty decent dynamic range
– The auto focus seems to work very well. However 2 days of occasionally using it is not enough to have a real opinion of it yet.
– High frame rates

The cons:

– Low light capability is not very good. It’s a bit hard to see the noise in this compressed video but some of the shots, at least in the end with the fire and when the ISO was pushed the noise gets noticeable.

-No HFR in 4K

-The HFR is both a pro and a con. It seems that the footage is more noisy and a bit softer in HFR mode. At some place it even dropped a couple of frames without giving an error.

-There’s a weird magenta ring inside the shot with the sun shining directly in the lens at 01:58. It can be some similar problem as the BMCC cameras had with their black sun spot.

All in all it feels like a lovely camera with some minor cons that probably will be fixed in future firmware upgrades.
The real issue here is the price. Without mentioning brands, There are quite a few cameras with similar specs that are priced less than half of this camera.

If you are thinking about renting this, then the price probably wont matter or differ very much from the other brands. but for people who are interested in buying this will probably question why this camera is so much more expensive than the other ones?

Drop us a comment below! Especially if you have some more information regarding the cons of the camera. 2 days really isn’t enough time to get to know a camera.

A big thank you to Canon for borrowing us this camera!


Here’s a slightly higher quality version on Vimeo:

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