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Canon C300 Mark II: 15 Stops of Dynamic Range and More

Caleb Ward

Canon’s latest camera brings some much appreciated improvements to the C300.

With NAB 2015 just around the corner, it’s safe to say that there will be dozens of noteworthy announcements and releases from all the major camera companies. It’s been rumored that Canon would be releasing a new C300 for some time and now the wait is over.

The Canon C300 Mark II

The Canon C300 Mark II has many added improvements over its predecessor, most notably the ability to record 4K footage internally and 4K RAW footage externally. This will hopefully make the C300 Mark II more competitive in the modern production world.

Canon C300 Mark II: Up Close

Another jaw-dropping feature added to the C300 is the ability to record footage with up to 15 stops of dynamic range. Yes. You read that right.

At 15 stops, the C300 Mark II would have a dynamic range greater than that of a human eye. This has huge implications for those looking to get the most control over their color in post.

The camera is available in both Canon EF and PL lens mounts. In line with the Blackmagic URSA, the Canon C300 Mark II’s lens mounts were designed to be interchangeable. However, to change the mounts you must send your camera in to Canon.

Canon C300 Mark II: Diagonal View

The new camera will feature 3 card slots: 2 CFast and 1 SD. The SD slot is only capable of recording up to 2K video in 4:2:0, but the CFast card slots can record up to 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at 30fps.

The only area that the C300 Mark II doesn’t shine greatly is FPS. As of the time of this writing, the camera can only record up to 120fps at a cropped 2K and only 30fps at 4K. This makes it slower than the Blackmagic URSA and much slower than the Sony FS7.

Who knows… maybe Canon will increase the specs in a later firmware update in the future.

Canon C300 Mark II Specs

  Sensor   Super 35mm CMOS Sensor with Dual Pixel
  Resolution   4K, 2K, 1080
  Frame Rate   Up to 30fps at 4K, Up to 60fps at 2K/HD, Up to 120fps with Cropped 2K
  Compression    XF-AVC Intra, Long GOP and Proxy H.265
  Cards   2x CFast, 1x SD
  Audio   4 Channel Audio 16 or 24-bit
  Dynamic Range   Up to 15 Stops
  Color Depth   4:4:4 HD/2K, 4:2:2 4K
  Lens Mount   EF or PL
  Output   2x 3D-SDI Output, 2x SLR Inputs
  Monitoring   Rotating 4″ Monitor
  Battery   Canon BP-A30 or BP-A60
  Color   Black

The following video, released by Canon, gives us a quick tour of the new C300 Mark II.

There is currently no test footage shot using the C300 Mark II, but if the footage is anything like the specs? It’s going to be amazing.

Pricing and Availability

The C300 Mark II in both the EF mount and PL mount is only available for pre-order at the moment for $16,000. The camera is expected to be released in September 2015.

Want to learn more about the new Canon C300 Mark II? Check out a few of the following resources:

  1. Canon C300 Mark II Now Official with Internal 4K & 15 Stops of Dynamic Range – No Film School
  2. The Canon C300 Mark II: Will it be the New 4K Production Workhorse? – PremiumBeat
  3. Canon announces EOS C300 Mark II: 4K Cinema Camera – Cinema 5D

Do you think the C300 Mark II specs justify the $16,000 price tag? Sound off in the comments below.