Canon Intros EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera with New 35mm Sensor and 4K Video

Canon just announced the new EOS C300 Mark II digital cinema camera, which is designed for serious filmmaking including for feature-length movies, documentaries, event, and commercial videography. The Canon C300 Mark II is the follow-up to the C300, which was released in 2011 and was the company’s first cinema-level camera.

Upgraded features in the new C300 Mark II include a new 8.85-megapixel Super 35mm Cinema CMOS Sensor, new dual DIGIC DV 5 processors, and a new Canon XF-AVC Codec that allows 10-bit 4:2:2 4K image data to be recorded internally, and an expanded dynamic range of up to 15 stops.

In response to feedback from cinematographers, the C300 Mark II has been redesigned from the previous model for better comfortable and usability, Canon said. The new camera features a built-in microphone for scratch audio as well as dual CFast 2.0 card slots for MXF recording and an SD card slot for 8-bit 4:2:0 Full HD proxy recordings.

The C300 Mark II’s modular design allows different components to be added or removed as needed, Canon said. Along with the core camera body, the new EOS C300 Mark II comes with a removable hand grip and an improved low angle camera handle extension which features new additional attachment points. There’s also a removable LCD monitor with detachable cables, and control panel with XLR inputs.

The Canon EOS C300 Mark II digital cinema camera, which was announced ahead of the NAB show in Las Vegas, NV, next week, goes on sale in September 2015 for $20,000, in either EF or PL mounts. The C300 Mark II will sit below the Canon C500 and above the C300 (which will remain available) in Canon’s Cinema EOS line.

Here’s a rundown of more of the key specs in the Canon C300 Mark II.

Canon EOS C300 Mark II Features

• New Super 35mm CMOS sensor supports internal video recording from Full HD (1920x1080) and 2K DCI (2048x1080) to 4K UHD (3840x2160) and 4K DCI (4096x2160), utilizing Canon’s proprietary Over Sampling HD Processing to help meet the needs of multi-purpose productions.

• New image sensor, according to Canon, maximizes the amount of light that falls on each photosite through a wider pixel pitch, enhancing the EOS C300 Mark II’s sensitivity, while minimizing noise and supporting ISOs up to 102,400.

• New sensor also capable of twice the readout speed compared to the original, which is designed to reduce the occurrence of rolling shutter distortion

• Uses Canon’s new XF-AVC codec that compresses the camera’s 4K image data at a high level of quality for internal recording using CFast 2.0 memory cards.

• Can output its signal simultaneously through built-in 3G-SDI ports for full uncompressed Raw recording to an external recorder.

• Features a new log gamma tone curve - Canon Log Gamma 2 - which was designed to help maximize the recording capabilities of the camera.

• Log format files help for post-production by allowing users to apply processes where corrections, color matching and grading are applied

• Supports both ACES and REC .2020 workflows, and utilizes the Material Exchange Format (MXF) for its file structure

•  Dual DIGIC DV 5 processors with new CMOS sensor help offer 15 stops of dynamic range, bit rates up to 410 Mbps, Canon Log Gamma 2, XF-AVC Codec, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, simultaneous 4K and HD Proxy recording and 2K/FHD frame rates up to 120 frames per second.

• 10-bit recording with 4:2:2 color sampling is available at all resolution settings, but the 2K and Full HD resolutions also support 12-bit recording at 4:4:4 color sampling for maximum color fidelity.

• Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology expands selection of the autofocusing area to approximately 80 percent (vertically) x 80 percent (horizontally) of the total image area.

• Capable of face detection AF with EF lenses in addition to existing Canon stepping motor (STM) lenses.

• New feature called AF-Boosted MF, which offers increased autofocusing stability. A super-imposed graphic interface called the Dual Pixel Focus Guide can also be added as a visual aid for autofocusing or to assist with the focusing of manual, cinema-style lenses.

• The C300 Mark II camera comes with either a standard EF or PL lens mount, but can be modified for cinematographers who prefer either locking EF mount or PL mount.

For more information on the C300 Mark II and Canon’s other NAB product announcements, go here.