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Canon C300 Mark II Review

C300 Mark II cinema camera canon

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#21 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:54 AM

Well its the opposite of every single other major lens manufacturer ..  so unless you have only ever user Nikon .. then they are the wrong way round.. ..  actually why did they do that.. by mistake or just wanting to be different ..

I like to pretend it's in somehow related to the Mongol Invasion.


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#22 Samuel Berger

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:57 AM

I've shot with the C300 ii and the Ursa Mini 4.6k / Pro, and dynamic range felt similiar between the two. I believe the C200 is similar to the C300 ii in that regard. I'd say that if you thought you might make use of the Canon autofocus (which is lovely by the way) or were going to have some low light stuff, the C200 would be a no brainer over the Ursa Mini Pro. I haven't personally shot with the EVA1. Honestly, all three should be fine for cinema or FX work, but I'd say the C200 and UMP are more geared since they can shoot RAW.

If you have a skilled colorist and are shooting raw, that image wise you should be able to get whatever look you want out of either camera. If you don't have a skilled colorist (or are coloring yourself), then use whatever camera you think will get you the closest look you are going for without too much work. For instance, I found that it was always super easy to get Red Dragon footage (especially with the IPP2 workflow) to a place that I liked, whereas I always had to wrestle with Ursa Mini colors. A lot of people love the stock Blackmagic color science though. I find the stock Ursa Mini 4.6k lut to be awful to work with, so I usually color space transform into log c or red IPP2 and work from there.


According to Taikonaut on BMCUser, the Rec 709 video lut that came with Ursa Mini 4.6k is for live broadcast not for cinema work. Some people use the Rec 709 video lut and think the Mini 4.6k is not up to the job as a cinema camera.

I need to be taking notes, I forget which Canon does what. I think the Canon Raw is packed somehow rather than the multiple .DNG files you get from Blackmagic cameras.

I also think I'd need an Atomos Shogun Flame to record 4K with it, or is it the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+ OLED Monitor & 4K Recorder? One of those has a hidden cost in that you need a license to record Canon Raw with it, I think.

Like I said, I need to be more diligent in taking notes...but it was a long day and my son's birthday and it's harder to think when tired.
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#23 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:04 AM

I like to pretend it's in somehow related to the Mongol Invasion.

 

If I were the engineer who screwed it up thats what I would say..


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#24 Samuel Berger

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:44 PM

Why do you need a licence to record Canon Raw??
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#25 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:51 PM

Because it's a way for those recorder companies and canon to make extra money by licensing things  much as you need to "buy" the ability to record highspeed on some Arri cameras, or SGLOG and 4444 on the old sony F3 etc.


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#26 Samuel Berger

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:05 PM

So if you get an Odyssey, you have to fork over an extra $995 on top of the hardware, to use the hardware that you just bought?

I think that makes the Atomos Shogun the default to go to. I can't imagine why anyone would pay more to use the other recorder.

Which one do you think is best? Ninja Inferno?
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#27 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:06 PM

That's correct. To be honest I don't know; I typically rent and it comes working (normally we get the Odessey I haven't used Atmos stuff in a long while aside from once on a A7Sii, I think, and it worked fine)


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#28 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:35 AM

So to choose between the C300 Mark II or the Sony FS7, in the end what matters is if you trust Shane Hurlbut or Philip Bloom.

Shane would advocate for Canon while Bloom would preach the Sony.

We know Tyler would advocate for BM UMP.

 

Well the truth is that I love Hurlbut's work but I couldn't afford to light like him

 

Ironically, in his workshops, Shane will sometimes teach how to replace professional lighting with stuff you find at Home Depot.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 19 March 2018 - 12:37 AM.

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#29 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 02:24 PM

The two cameras are pretty much on a par in terms of features and codecs. The Canon has the benefit of a native EF mount, which obviously opens up a lot of choice in lenses, but an EF to E mount adapter for the Sony is unlikely to be that expensive. Personally, I think the form factor of the Sony is much more like a professional camera than the Canon, which looks like a consumer model.

 

Both cameras are capable of very nice pictures, but for form factor and familiarity, the Sony gets my vote.


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#30 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 02:53 PM

The two cameras are pretty much on a par in terms of features and codecs. The Canon has the benefit of a native EF mount, which obviously opens up a lot of choice in lenses, but an EF to E mount adapter for the Sony is unlikely to be that expensive. Personally, I think the form factor of the Sony is much more like a professional camera than the Canon, which looks like a consumer model.

 

Both cameras are capable of very nice pictures, but for form factor and familiarity, the Sony gets my vote.

 

Thanks, Stuart. But would you consider either of them "pro" cameras? I know MarVista uses FS7 for features but I often hear it's not on the level of the F55, for instance.

On the other hand, I saw that Bailee Madison thing that Tyler shot with the C300 MkII. I don't think he liked it very much (the experience of using the Canon) but I thought the image quality was higher than the FS7 stuff.

 

The only reason I know the C500 is a "pro" camera is because of Shane. ;-) And people say the C300 II is a better choice than the C500.


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#31 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 03:11 PM

 

 Would you consider either of them "pro" cameras? I know MarVista uses FS7 for features but I often hear it's not on the level of the F55, for instance.

If a camera is used for professional work, it is not a professional camera? No, the FS7 is not on the level of the F55, but neither is the Canon, nor any other camera in that price range.

 

 

I thought the image quality was higher than the FS7 stuff.

I really don't see how you can make informed judgements about how cameras 'look' without knowing how they've been color-timed. These days, most cameras look pretty damn good. They may look different to each other straight out of the box, but that's not generally how they are used.


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#32 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 03:56 PM

If a camera is used for professional work, it is not a professional camera?

 

By that standard, the iPhone camera is professional now thanks to TANGERINE and that Soderbergh movie. ;-)

 

 

I really don't see how you can make informed judgements about how cameras 'look' without knowing how they've been color-timed. These days, most cameras look pretty damn good. They may look different to each other straight out of the box, but that's not generally how they are used.

 

That's a bit trickier. But there seems to be a consistent look to Canon footage, even after grading. Maybe it's all in my head but I seem to be able to guess when a Canon camera is used.

I don't think I've ever seen anything shot on a Sony that I really, really liked. Could be their version of Log isn't at the same level as Canon so colourists start at a disadvantage. Or my brain is wired differently. Who knows.

 


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#33 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 05:32 PM

By that standard, the iPhone camera is professional now thanks to TANGERINE and that Soderbergh movie. ;-).

 

I think you just need to define what a 'pro' camera is.

 

Does it use an advanced 10 bit codec (or better)?

Can it use professional lenses?

Is is compatible with professional accessories?

 

Both the Sony and Canon satisfy these criteria.

 

That's a bit trickier. But there seems to be a consistent look to Canon footage, even after grading. Maybe it's all in my head but I seem to be able to guess when a Canon camera is used.

I don't think I've ever seen anything shot on a Sony that I really, really liked. Could be their version of Log isn't at the same level as Canon so colourists start at a disadvantage. Or my brain is wired differently. Who knows.

 

You could argue that you are predisposed to like Canon material, and when you know that you are looking at it, you prefer it. A proper double blind test would answer that question. I doubt very much that's there's anything wrong with the Sony sLog curve. It's based on Cineon, which is the same as the Alexa LogC


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#34 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 06:00 PM

This was shot on the FS7. It looks awful, dark and grey. I don't understand why so much stuff is grey these days. There was this Tim Allen sitcom that got canceled called "Last Man Standing", where people are wondering whether its cancellation was due to political reasons. I'm willing to bet it was canceled because it was visually dark and grey. It was like looking at a grey card. "Haters Back Off" has the same problem.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

It's not my monitor, that is grey as all heck broke loose.

 

Now, here is the same actor, in something shot with a C300 Mark II:

 

cowgirl2.jpg

 

Obviously you are going to say that it's the colourist's fault, but the skin tones are really unpleasant in that first pic. It's the same person. I'm guessing that as a starting point, both used something like a ColorChecker card and went from there. I'm not going pretend I understand colour grading, something I'm very new to, but I know what I'm seeing and the Sony looks bad. Especially considering it's a kids movie where you'd expect the ambience to not be dark, grey and dreary.

 

I'm tired of seeing grey.

 

Edit: Oh....I just realised something. I live in Seattle so maybe I don't see the grey thing as an artistic choice but as torture, and a cruel reminder of the world outside my window.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 19 March 2018 - 06:03 PM.

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#35 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 06:43 PM

Samuel, once again, you have no idea how these images were color-timed. To say that one is gray and cold and the other is colorful and warm, therefore Camera A is better than Camera B, just makes no sense. You say you know very little about color grading, so I'm willing to bet that you would be amazed at what a colorist can do with a Log image in a professional color suite.

 

The only way to objectively compare cameras is to look at them side by side, shooting identical material. See how they look with a straightforward 709 look. See how they look when color-timed in various ways. Then, if you have a preference, fine, but there's really no other way to compare.


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#36 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 06:51 PM

This took me about 30 seconds in Photoshop.

 

 

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#37 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:05 PM

I mean, I don't much care for either camera. The FS7 in my opinion is hard to work with and doesn't make natively attractive images. It needs very precise lighting, camera setup and actual post production team to look good. The C300MKII in Rec709 mode blows the doors off anything captured with the FS7 when it comes to skin tones, no comparison. However as pointed out above, the C300MKII is a toy in the body/configuration. It's just such a piece of junk to use, that it makes you not wanna use it. 

 

So yea... it's all about compromise. Also, both cameras at their best still only record MPEG at this moment without upgrades. 

 

This is why when I look at them, I look at the URSA mini pro. Sure you can't shoot in the dark with it, but I rarely use anything over 800 ISO anyway. If you NEED more than that, I'm sorry but you need to learn how to light. 

 

This is what I need in a camera: 

- A naturally warm imager that mimic's film 

- Simple built-in metering and focus tools which don't clog up the viewfinder 

- Edit-native codec's and variable types of codec's (I prefer 12 bit workflow for 444 color space) 

- Menu's which actually work without having to touch a user manual. Thus, when you're tired on set and want to make a change, you can do so without thinking at all about that 7 layers deep menu that you've touched once. 

- A camera that doesn't lock the user out of making changes because the functions are overly complex 

- A body/shape that works well for shoulder-mount hand-held

- A high-quality viewfinder that presses against your face 

- The ability to use inexpensive off-the-shelf media 

- The ability to use differing lenses (mount changing or inexpensive adaptors)

- An imager through coloring workflow that is pre-defined, without the need of 3rd party tools

- 23.98, 24, 25 and 29.97 fps minimal 

- Not pay lots of money for a "name" because the manufacturer holds clout 


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#38 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:25 PM

 The C300MKII in Rec709 mode blows the doors off anything captured with the FS7 when it comes to skin tones, no comparison. 

 

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?


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#39 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:22 AM

Samuel, once again, you have no idea how these images were color-timed. To say that one is gray and cold and the other is colorful and warm, therefore Camera A is better than Camera B, just makes no sense. You say you know very little about color grading, so I'm willing to bet that you would be amazed at what a colorist can do with a Log image in a professional color suite.

 

The only way to objectively compare cameras is to look at them side by side, shooting identical material. See how they look with a straightforward 709 look. See how they look when color-timed in various ways. Then, if you have a preference, fine, but there's really no other way to compare.

 

So you're saying I'm screwed either way?

 

Interesting they still call it colour "timing" even though no processing and printing is involved. Anyway, this whole grading thing makes me miss black and white film.

 

I really don't know where to go from here, I have an Ursa Mini 4K. All I can use it for is to record my niece's Youtube unboxing videos. This is it with an Angenieux 25-250 shot wide open.

 

 

I can't make the grading look professional no matter what. But when I see people grading the Canon stuff on Youtube, it all looks amazing. And there's this guy in a channel called Crimson Engine doing incredible stuff with a C200. A lot of the time he uses a Arri Alexa LogC to Rec709 LUT and that's all he needs, if he exposed correctly.

 

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. There's this site called ShotOnWhat and I looked up the stuff shot on Sonys. The stuff I've seen on their lists really doesn't impress me as much as the Canon stuff, although I will say that Shane Hurlbut seems to be pioneering the Canon usage in Hollywood.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 20 March 2018 - 12:30 AM.

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#40 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:29 AM

I mean, I don't much care for either camera. The FS7 in my opinion is hard to work with and doesn't make natively attractive images. It needs very precise lighting, camera setup and actual post production team to look good. The C300MKII in Rec709 mode blows the doors off anything captured with the FS7 when it comes to skin tones, no comparison. However as pointed out above, the C300MKII is a toy in the body/configuration. It's just such a piece of junk to use, that it makes you not wanna use it.

 

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.

 

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

 

The Perfect Camera is an unreachable goal. :-/


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