Jump to content
Sabyasachi Patra

Canon C300 Mark II Review

Recommended Posts

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

 

post-10433-0-73568500-1521500123_thumb.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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. :-/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 poop.

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Paralinx LLC



    Glidecam



    Ritter Battery



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Just Cinema Gear



    Wooden Camera



    Tai Audio



    G-Force Grips



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Abel Cine



    Metropolis Post



    FJS International



    CineLab



    Visual Products



    Serious Gear



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc


×
×
  • Create New...