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Canon C300 Mark II Review

C300 Mark II cinema camera canon

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#41 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 01:59 AM

 

As you don't specify which Rec709 mode you are talking about in either camera, this statement is hard to evaluate. The FS7 has a number of different 709 LUTs available. Which one are you referring to?

 

Great question and no matter how I respond, I will be somehow wrong. So I'm not going to. 


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#42 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:23 AM

You know, I think you are the one who shot that second picture. I really really love the Canon images, I can't say I agree with you as to the form factor because I use the Ursa Mini and that is a heavy camera. True, it might be because of the Angenieux 25-250 but still....I read that the C300 Mark II only weights like 1.45Kg or 3.2 pounds.


Yes I did shoot the second picture and yes we did grade that show slightly, but generally speaking, that's how it looked in camera with only a very small tweak.

The Angenieux 25-250 HR is 10lb, so if you have the 1st or 2nd gen, it's around 2lb heavier. So that's a 12lb lens and that's... :gulp: very heavy. It won't work on the Canon C300MKII at all without a very specialized camera mount which will allow the camera body to be offset from the lens enough to balance on a tripod.

The C300MKII weighs 4.4lb with a PL mount lens and the Ursa Mini Pro weighs 5.1lb in the same config. The difference is that it's impossible to make the C300MKII run on a different battery system then stock without all sorts of kluged together aftermarket parts. So much of the URSA Mini's added weight comes from the commercial/professional battery system, which even as lithium's, are still heavier then Canon's solution... but last WAY longer. Also, the Ursa Mini's viewfinder and shoulder kit, add substantial weight. All decked out it's around 8lb with battery and cards, but no lens. That's actually really light when it's sitting on your shoulder, vs being stuck in your hands.

The C300MKII is not capable of being used on your shoulder without serious rigging, so all that weight is in your hands all the time and having used it, umm no thanks. I gave up and put it on a tripod very fast because it's totally worthless to carry around a "rigged" C300MKII, with a monitor, lens, rails, follow focus, etc. We had wireless video but couldn't figure out how to make it work without the camera setup looking like shit.
 

I would like to see BlackMagic announce a 4K BMPCC but from what I read on BMCUser, that is never going to happen.


They did make one... I had friends who tested it and told me all about it. So IDK what the problem is, but yea it seems dead to me.
 

The Perfect Camera is an unreachable goal. :-/


There is always compromise. 

 

Personally, even though I do like the imager of the C300MKII, I don't like anything else about the camera really. Even though I do like the form factor of the FS7, I don't like anything else really. I mean these are two seriously flawed cameras and the URSA Mini Pro is also very flawed, but if you stick to it's boundaries it does work better than the other two in my opinion and it's impossible to compare it to your Ursa 4k... they are two wildly different cameras in my opinion. 


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#43 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 09:54 AM

So I looked at your 30 second Photoshop. Thank you for doing that. But, it actually doesn't really change my mind. The grey Sony stuff still looks lifeless while the desaturated Canon image actually retained vibrance.

 

I guess I would have to look at the Canon log and Sony log and look for differences, but like I said, I've never run into Sony footage that I actually liked. 

 

Samuel, it seems from what you've said here, and in other threads, that you've already made up your mind that you prefer Canon cameras to any of the other cameras in that price range. That being the case, maybe you should stop poring over Youtube videos of doubtful provenance in search of evidence to support your conclusion, and actually get your hands on one. Shoot some stuff, play with it. If it truly is the answer to your cinematic prayers, buy one. If not, don't.

 

There's really only so much useful advice that people can give. All of these cameras are very capable in the right hands, and all of them doubtless have quirks that can trip up the ill-prepared. At some point, you have to stop comparing opinions, and buy the camera that suits you.


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#44 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:33 PM

 

Great question and no matter how I respond, I will be somehow wrong. So I'm not going to. 

That's your prerogative, but it does rather undermine the validity of the comparison you made.


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#45 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 01:27 PM

That's your prerogative, but it does rather undermine the validity of the comparison you made.

 

Which is fine, I honestly have zero interest defending myself anymore. I gave my opinion, I'm moving on. 


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#46 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:56 PM


Personally, even though I do like the imager of the C300MKII, I don't like anything else about the camera really. Even though I do like the form factor of the FS7, I don't like anything else really. I mean these are two seriously flawed cameras and the URSA Mini Pro is also very flawed, but if you stick to it's boundaries it does work better than the other two in my opinion and it's impossible to compare it to your Ursa 4k... they are two wildly different cameras in my opinion. 

 

So you are saying I shouldn't judge the UMP based on my poor results with the Ursa Mini 4K. I do wonder if my poor results are due to user error and not the camera. I light like I do for 16mm and get very different results.

 

That Crimson Engine guy's videos with the C200 are amazing compared with my crappy Mini 4K stuff.

 

His result (C200):

 

My result (Ursa Mini 4K):

 

By the way, I was making her videos with the BMPCC but as you know the BMPCC audio was awful and I decided against buying a Rode microphone until I've saved enough to buy a C200 or C300 Mark II.

 

Some of the best cinematographers have never owned a camera. But I'm old and running out of time. Just a film guy trying to not get eaten by the Langoliers.

 

 

 

Samuel, it seems from what you've said here, and in other threads, that you've already made up your mind that you prefer Canon cameras to any of the other cameras in that price range. That being the case, maybe you should stop poring over Youtube videos of doubtful provenance in search of evidence to support your conclusion, and actually get your hands on one. Shoot some stuff, play with it. If it truly is the answer to your cinematic prayers, buy one. If not, don't.

 

There's really only so much useful advice that people can give. All of these cameras are very capable in the right hands, and all of them doubtless have quirks that can trip up the ill-prepared. At some point, you have to stop comparing opinions, and buy the camera that suits you.

 

This issue is driving me to despair. The wrong choice can cost me any chance of a career. It's a vital matter to me.

 

Some time ago Tyler gave me the very smart advice of waiting until after NAB. I'm very grateful to him for that. But after NAB a decision will have to be made and I will need to buy the camera, and learn to use it.

 

I'd love to ask Shane for his opinion, but needless to say I would never get a reply to any emails I'd send him.

 

Thank you guys for being there for me.


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#47 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:44 AM

Choosing a camera really won't, or rather, shouldn't, kill your career. I'd argue, in fact, that buying any camera might be a bad idea as clients will have wildly differing needs based on shoots. Just this year, so far I've used the following cameras  (In order looking over my shoot records)

 

Sony FDR-AX700 x3 (not a huge fan), Red Weapon 8K -w- Cooke Anamorphics, Panasonic GH5, Canon 5DMKiii, Sony FS7. Black Magic 2.5K, Sony A7Sii, Red Dragon, Arri Amira ,Red Raven, Canon C300.

 

Coming up I have another Red Dragon shoot, something possibly on a Nikon D800 (we'll see, I'm pushing back against that idea), and a few Alexa Mini gigs. Point being, that with few exceptions I coudln't really swap out cameras on most of those shoots and still as easily get to the desired delivery/look as easily at the budget level we were working. And had I owned a camera, many of those shoots would've been a bit more kludged together.

 

Now in your own case, you want to buy something, and that's great, but have to just look at the work you're currently doing, and that which you will be trying to be doing and then rent to evaluate packages which fit into that area at your price point to see which one is worth investing in.

Here in LA i'd say use Sharegrid, but sites like Borrowlenses will also be able to ship you out basically any camera around to test out (for a price, of course) to see if it works for you.

Any modern camera can be graded to look any way you need, so long as you're working in LOG, and the camera supports log. A 10bit camera will be better than an 8 bit, of course, but to be honest we were once working miracles with MiniDV and HDV footage back when those were the vogue recording formats not too long ago--- all in 3-way color corrector, or, if we were lucky Apple Color. Now with resolve for free (or very cheap comparatively to what a color suite used to cost) it is AMAZING what you can do on a lap-top.


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#48 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:46 AM

 

So you are saying I shouldn't judge the UMP based on my poor results with the Ursa Mini 4K. I do wonder if my poor results are due to user error and not the camera. I light like I do for 16mm and get very different results.

 

That Crimson Engine guy's videos with the C200 are amazing compared with my crappy Mini 4K stuff.

 

 

 

I think that you could make any camera look like the first clip. It's not just straight out of camera, and he actually tells you how he did it. He says that he applies an ARRI Alexa LUT to the footage, not the Canon 709. He adjusts black levels, contrast and color. Right at the end he applies another special look to it, although it's unclear if that's the look he uses all the way through the clip. The fact that he's not even using the Canon 709 LUT should tell you that the look is less about the camera, and more about the lighting and color-timing.

 

He's using a soft source as a key, and it looks like it's pretty close to the edge of frame, judging from the fall off. He's also overexposing it, probably by around a stop. He actually describes this when he talks about the gray card being at around 50% on the waveform, rather than 42%. When he puts the clip in Resolve, with the LUT applied, you can see that his skintones are almost at 90%. He's against a dark background, which gives him good separation, and makes his face 'pop'. The out of focus highlights in the background look great, but they are purely a cosmetic touch.

 

Try applying this same approach to your own material, and see if you like the results any better.


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#49 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 12:21 PM

@ Samuel Berger

 

 

Shane's site has detailed test on the Ursa 4K and Ursa Mini (4.6k ?).
Have you seen them?
 

 

Ursa 4K - Part 1, Part 2

Ursa Mini - Part 1  (links to other available parts at the end of the article)

 


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#50 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:41 PM

So you are saying I shouldn't judge the UMP based on my poor results with the Ursa Mini 4K. I do wonder if my poor results are due to user error and not the camera. I light like I do for 16mm and get very different results.


Right, you can make that camera look great no problem. I've worked with it and even though it does have moire issues, the image can be made to look nice. I haven't done any studio work with one, but I did a recent test comparing it to more expensive cameras and I felt it came in a close 2nd to the Red Epic, IF you graded it well. The Epic kinda looks great with the base LUT.

I use the same techniques for lighting digital as film. I generally try to light for between 250 - 500 iso and since I like shallow depth of field, I generally keep it in the F2 - F4 range.
 

What Crimson Engine guy's videos with the C200 are amazing compared with my crappy Mini 4K stuff.


Yea, that's just due to lighting really. Their lighting pops really nicely, with a warm close soft key and a background that's gone. Subject separation from background is really important to help with contrast of an image.
 
Gym.png


By the way, I was making her videos with the BMPCC but as you know the BMPCC audio was awful and I decided against buying a Rode microphone until I've saved enough to buy a C200 or C300 Mark II.


Umm... you still need a wireless lav for any camera you buy, it's kinda one of the critical things. There isn't a specific kit for either camera, I use the Sennheiser's because they work so well and a lot of people on productions have them, so they come in handy a lot. A shotgun mic on the camera doesn't constitute "audio" in my book unless it's capturing a concert, background or room tone. A person speaking on camera is always done with a lav and/or very close shotgun mic with an operator behind it.

Some of the best cinematographers have never owned a camera. But I'm old and running out of time. Just a film guy trying to not get eaten by the Langoliers.


I love owning equipment because it's an enabler to create your own products, rather than always waiting for someone to pay you, which could take forever. I know for me, I rarely use my own equipment on pay jobs, we usually rent because I don't have the "right stuff" according to other people who don't know anything. This is partially the reason I bought film cameras instead of investing in an URSA Mini Pro, because now I got the right stuff and it will never change or go out of style.

If you were already a known DP with a client base, this discussion would be moot. However in your shoes, I think owning something decent would help you become a better cinematographer. Funny enough, you already own something that works fine, so in my eyes I'd just keep it. You won't gain clients for owning a C200 or FS7, nobody at that price range cares what you've got. The Ursa Mini Pro would be a better camera to own, but at what cost? Where do you draw the line on buying stuff? I've done doezens of pay gigs using my pocket cameras for instance.
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#51 Samuel Berger

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:41 AM

Yes I did shoot the second picture and yes we did grade that show slightly, but generally speaking, that's how it looked in camera with only a very small tweak.

 

Was it shot in 4K Raw?


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#52 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 02:28 AM

 

Was it shot in 4K Raw?

 

 

Actually it was shot XAVC iframe 410Mbps 4k with REC709 LUT. Tho funny enough when I threw the clips into DaVinci they didn't have a LUT applied like they did in Avid. So clearly the LUT was a metadata LUT which worked great actually. I'm not sure if the Blackmagic cameras do the same thing with the updated software my pocket camera does not.


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#53 Samuel Berger

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:06 AM

 

 

Actually it was shot XAVC iframe 410Mbps 4k with REC709 LUT. Tho funny enough when I threw the clips into DaVinci they didn't have a LUT applied like they did in Avid. So clearly the LUT was a metadata LUT which worked great actually. I'm not sure if the Blackmagic cameras do the same thing with the updated software my pocket camera does not.

 

I know very little about codecs, but was it XF-AVC? 10 bit? The C200 just had a firmware update that added XF-AVC to it but it's like 8-bit or some nonsense.
 


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#54 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 06:35 PM

 
I know very little about codecs, but was it XF-AVC? 10 bit? The C200 just had a firmware update that added XF-AVC to it but it's like 8-bit or some nonsense.
 


The c200 is an 8 bit 4:2:0 camera like my iPhone.

The c300II is a 10 bit 4:2:2 camera like the blackmagic cameras.

Im not aware of the c200 being able to capture in 10 bit because it would be a direct competitor to the c300II if it did. If it does, im sure its not an iFrame codec which means you need to really transcode before doing any post work meaning you need a fast computer.
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#55 Samuel Berger

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:23 PM

The c200 is an 8 bit 4:2:0 camera like my iPhone.

The c300II is a 10 bit 4:2:2 camera like the blackmagic cameras.

Im not aware of the c200 being able to capture in 10 bit because it would be a direct competitor to the c300II if it did. If it does, im sure its not an iFrame codec which means you need to really transcode before doing any post work meaning you need a fast computer.

 

It captures 12-bit raw. But, it doesn't have 10-bit anything. It's like they forgot to put something between the 12-bit Raw light and the 8-bit Mp4.

 

Here's an interesting camera test. What makes it hard to judge the quality is that they put this truly beautiful woman in it, so it automatically makes the footage beautiful, hehe.

 


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#56 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:39 PM

Just remember, the 12 bit files won't be editable in real time, they require proxy files. :(
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#57 Samuel Berger

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:58 PM

Just remember, the 12 bit files won't be editable in real time, they require proxy files. :(

 

Really? I edit 12-bit DNG from the Mini 4K in real time all the time...maybe the Canon Raw Light is different since it's not an image sequence...

 

EDIT: Wait, actually I don't, I use the "generate optimised media" thing...doh.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 14 April 2018 - 11:03 PM.

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#58 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 11:36 PM

Cinema DNG is native to Premiere, Final Cut X and DaVinci, so it works flawlessly. The Canon Raw is JPEG based, so it doesn't have hardware acceleration unless you have software that can manage it with your GPU.
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#59 Samuel Berger

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:45 AM

The C300 Mark II setup for a feature looks very simple. Look at these guys:

 

c300.jpg

 

 

No Frankenstein rig full of weird parts coming out everywhere. Even the lens looks like a simple Canon 70-200.

 

I don't know what tripod that is, but looks like overkill for such a small, lightweight camera.  I wonder what external recorder they're using. And of course, why they'd replace the factory top-handle with that.

 


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#60 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:31 AM

I'm sure you will make a good choice on a camera. Remember, they're all just little boxes that record the focused light from a lens.....Whether you rent or buy, just get into the filmmaking again and enjoy the creative process. Making a good thing is fun.


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 16 April 2018 - 02:38 AM.

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