Canon sets out its 4K stall with the new C300 Mark II 4K camera and smaller XC10 4K camera – PLUS a 24" 4K Grade 1 monitorWednesday, April 08, 2015 12:00 AM
With NAB upon us, Canon's announcement that they have upgraded the hugely popular C300 to offer – amongst other new features – 4K recording and a 15-stop dynamic range is bound to have film makers licking their lips, and rival manufacturers looking over their shoulders. WTS Production Specialist and cameraman Patrick van Weeren guides us through the highlights of the Canon EOS C300 Mark II - and looks at a new 4K compact camera and 4K monitor announced by Canon.
Canon’s much-loved C300 was the most rented camera in the UK in 2014. But with Sony’s PXW-FS7 gaining more and more popularity, Canon couldn’t afford to rest on their laurels.
And so, just days before most of the broadcast industry descends on Las Vegas for NAB 2015, Canon has announced the C300 Mark II – and it’s an update that’s clearly designed to enable the older C300 to compete with Sony’s new kid on the block. With 4K recording and up to 120fps slow-motion in HD, the C300 Mark II is set to be the biggest rival to the Sony FS7 with its XDCA-FS7 extension unit configuration.
Improved auto-focus systems
Canon really does excel in its combination of lens technology and camera-manufacturing, and the C300 Mark II is no exception. By adding the AF systems that we’ve already seen implemented in DSLRs such as the 70D and 7D Mark II, and in the EOS C100 Mark II cinema video camera, they will be winning big plus points with 4K users who enjoy shallow depth of field but want extra help maintaining focus. The key features here are dual-pixel AF on an 80% surface and the new option to have wireless focus via the Browser remote.
Browser remote control
The C300 Mark II works with a Browser Remote to allow users to operate the camera from a remote device - perfect for filming with drones or on rigs. The graphics below highlight the key features.
Expanded dynamic range
Canon’s name is synonymous with high sensitivity and with a spec of up to 102,400 ISO, it's likely that the camera will wow users on this front. The specs released today also emphasise the expanded 15-stop dynamic range (compared to 12 stops on the original C300). A new Canon Log 2 and support for BT.2020 Canon Cinema Gamut will surely prove a big help when grading in post-production.
120 fps slow motion
It's also the first time that Canon has built a serious slow-motion feature into one of its cameras – up to 120 fps (NTSC) in HD on the XF-AVC codec. Canon has stayed with CF cards and the C300 Mark II can record 4K simultaneously to internal CFast 2.0 CF cards. On-board 3G-SDI outputs for 4K RAW are available without the need for an external extension, and so are time code and genlock.
There is also a new viewfinder, improved battery technology, a lower rolling shutter distortion and 2K recording in addition to HD, UHD and 4K. The bitrate has been updated to 10-bit 4:2:2 with recording in an XF-AVC codec in a .MXF file.
The lens mount can be EF or PL and, if you buy a mount kit, it's possible to change the mount without the need of a servicing outlet – though it's still recommended to take that route, and no warranty is given when using the mount kit. A word of warning: the PL mount will not support Cooke's /1 data.
XC10 4K/12MP compact camera
The new XC-10 4K camera, also announced today, is an interesting move from Canon. It’s a mix between a video camera and a DSLR, and as such will be best suited to smaller rigs, drones and B-camera usage. It’s a camera aimed at the semi-pro and professional user who needs a B camera or stunt camera. Instead of having a DSLR that does both photography and film, the XC-10 is more specifically aimed at people filming and extracting stills from the video – an idea that Canon started with the 1DC.
The new one-inch sensor will give a depth of field that's wider than the shallow depth of field from the full-frame or S35mm-sized sensors, but, according to Canon, will match with EOS cinema cameras. A 12-stop dynamic range is also on the spec sheet.
The XC10 boasts an impressive 305Mbps 4L2L2/8bit Intra Frame recording in an XF-AVC codec in a .MXF file. It comes with a fixed 24-241mm lens and stabilized (HD) 10x optical zoom with 8 iris-blades - higher than the average camcorder in the semi-pro range. And just like it's bigger brother the C300 Mark II, the XC-10 will work on 2.4 Ghz/5Ghz dual-band with Canon's Browser remote.
The Canon XC-10 4K camera is available from June 2015 - call the WTS team on +44 (0)20 7871 0700 to place a deposit and reserve yours! You can find more details on our website
DP-V2410 4K Monitor
Last but not least is Canon's new 4K 24" Grade 1 on-set monitor, the DP-V2410. It has direct de-bayering for RAW input from Canon Cinema EOS cameras, and supports BT.2020, DCI-P3 and ACES Proxy version 1.0.
A 4K-capable Wave Form Monitor and Vectorscope, combined with (3D)-LUTs mean it comes equipped with an extensive range of on-set functions, and a 24v DC power input will enable it to be used in remote locations or vehicles.