NAB 2015: Canon C300 Mark II With 4K Internal & 4K RAW Out Officially Announced

Earlier today, Canon officially announced their highly anticipated Canon EOS C300 Mark II professional camera. As expected it features 4K internal recording in a brand new Canon own XF-AVC codec, the ability to output 4K raw, 1080p/120fps and a similar form factor to its predecessor. The camera records onto CFast 2.0 media is expected to cost around $16,000 upon release in August/September. Pricing is not finalised and we hope it will be priced lower, but this may or may not change.

I had the rare opportunity to sit down with Canon a few weeks back and see what they’ve done with the C300 Mark II and their other new 4K camera, but couldn’t talk about it until now as I was under NDA, which expired earlier this morning. Here’s what I know about the Canon C300 Mark II – note: this article will be updated as specs come about. As Canon updates their PR materials and website, I’d be sure to update you on additional information about the new Canon C300 Mark II.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.00.08

 

Features and Highlights

  • 4K UHD and 4K DCI 10-bit 4:2:2 in 23.98, 24, 25, 30p
  • Brand New Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • 15 Stops Dynamic Range
  • CFast 2.0 – dual slots for relay or simultaneous recording
  • XF-AVC 4K codec (350 Mb/s to 410Mbps) in MXF
  • DAF – Dual Pixel CMOS built in
  • Fast Sensor Readout for less Rolling Shutter Artefacts
  • New Processors – Dual DIGIC 5 Processors
  • 10/12-bit 4:4:4
  • 2K crop mode
  • 1920 x 1080 up to 120fps slow-motion recording in camera
  • 12bit 4K RAW recording to external recorder
  • dual DIGIC DV5 processors
  • dual CFast 2.0 slots
  • 4 Channel Audio

A lot of you will compare the C300 Mark II to the Sony FS7, but Canon disagree. When I asked them, they said the new C300 Mark II will outperform the FS7 despite not having 4K/60 and 1080/180fps. Canon are very proud of their new 15 stop DR sensor and their brand new 4K codec. Whether that’s the case is yet to be see as I am sure towards the end of the year we’ll get a slew of FS7 vs Canon C300 II comparison tests videos.

Either way, I am glad to see Canon seeing the light and getting proper 4K in-camera for their new flagship camera. No word yet on a C500 refresh, and I am guessing this may be left for next year’s NAB or later in 2015.

Check out more info on Canon’s 4K codec below.

XF-AVC: Primary specifications

Resolution Bitrate Color sample Intra Frame2
/ Long GOP3
File format Compression format
4K 4096 x 2160 10 bit
8 bit
4:2:2 Intra Frame MXF MPEG-4
AVC/H.264
3840 x 2160
2K/HD 2048 x 1080 12 bit
10 bit
8 bit
4:4:44
4:2:2
4:2:0
Intra Frame5
/ Long GOP
1920 x 1080
1280 x 720 8 bit 4:2:2

 

PRESS RELEASE

TOKYO, April 8, 2015—Canon Inc. announced today the development of XF-AVC, a new proprietary video format for the efficient recording of high-image-quality 4K, 2K and HD video footage. Mainly targeting professional-use 4K video camcorders, XF-AVC will deliver enhanced workflows across various stages of the production process, from shooting to editing.

In recent years, the widespread use of digital data in cinema and video has become commonplace throughout the entire production workflow. Accordingly, amid growing demand for high-image-quality video, there have been increasing opportunities to record in 4K resolution video, which employs more than four times the number of pixels used in HD content. In light of this trend, Canon developed its XF-AVC video format to support greater workflow efficiency and convenience during the production process for high-image-quality video.

The new Canon XF-AVC is a standard that defines each recording method for the visual and audio data components that make up individual video files. Because XF-AVC employs the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression format, which realizes a high data-compression rate without sacrificing image quality, it supports the efficient recording on memory cards of high-image-quality 4K, 2K and HD video content captured on video camcorders. As a result, not only can external storage and other equipment required during shooting be kept compact, because it enables the recording of high-image-quality video data, the format also facilitates color grading and other high-precision editing processes.

Canon will employ XF-AVC primarily in the Company’s 4K-compatible professional-use video camcorders, such as the XC10 (to go on sale in mid June 2015) and EOS C300 Mark II (to go on sale in early September 2015). Additionally, by collaborating with various industry manufacturers in connection with the new video format, Canon will deliver improved ease and convenience during cinema and video production workflows for high-image-quality video.

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  • Kyle

    I feel the overwhelming need to point out that I could purchase two FS7’s for the [expected] price of one C300 Mark II.

    • Jacob Landis-Eigsti

      For some the FS7 will be a much better option.
      When the C300 was announced at the same time as the red scarlet, people talked about how the C300 was the dumbest camera ever with terrible specs. There’s a lot more to a camera than just specs. The C300 is the most rented camera in the UK, ahead of the alexa. The Scarlett isn’t in the top 10. C300 generally isn’t the ideal choice for something like the Hobbit, but C300 is great at great ergonomics, color, workflow, overall image, size, and layout. I’m pretty impressed with the upgrades, improved screen, 4k resolution, 4k raw external option, 120 fps in 2k (vs the crappy 720p 60 of the old version), much improved autofocus, much improved dynamic range and rolling shutter. The FS7 sounds great, I’d prefer the C300 mark ii (though I agree it’s not worth double). 3 years ago the C300 was 16,000 and now you can get it for 6500.

      • 4kshooters

        It won’t be cheaper or price matched to the FS7 , for what it is, i believe its priced accordingly , albeit it would be arguably more competitive if priced below $15K. Still, the EF native lenses, Canon Log2, 15 stops DR new sensor, proven rock solid reliability, – most rented camera in the UK, it will sell like hot cakes no doubt about it. It just that the FS7 was underpriced by Sony on purpose, they could have originally released it at 10K+ if they wanted to, but they wanted to grab a share of the mid-range 4k cam market quickly before Canon came back and reclaimed it. I think the FS7 crowd is different thatn the Canon crowd. I am a Canon shooter, and at this point wont consider the FS7 a competitor to the C300 II, but it would be seen as such by most, granted. Its not that the C300 II is too expensive, but the FS7 is too cheap. Thats another way to look at it. From a highend pro perspective (which I am not, I am a C100 /GH4 shooter) I can see why people would go for a C300 at 15K+ (stree price sill be more like 14K upon release in september)

        • abbottoklus

          Have to disagree with you on the price and Fs7 as a competitor. The big problem here with the C300 II is that Canon is just shitting on the little guys. They claimed it would be priced aggressively, but what are they comparing that to? Canon kept the C100 II crippled vs the 4K market, updating it to really be the camera it should’ve been in the first place. Then they have NOTHING covering the gap between C100 II and 300 II. The competitors fill that spot – Black Magic, Sony, even AJA with the CION. 300 II really insn’t worth more than $12K with what it has to offer. They would have absolutely destroyed the market if they released it at that price. Now instead, they’re pushing away anyone with a lower budget who would’ve sprung a little more for that great Canon image and extra features. They easily could’ve sold 2 – 3 times as many cameras at least. It’s really frustrating as someone who’s been a Canon faithful since the XL-1s days to see them miss the mark and not care about their lower-class customers yet again. I’ll be picking up a GH4 I guess to compliment my C100 and fill the gap until I can replace both with an all-in-one solution, and it really doesn’t look like that’s going to be a Canon at this point.

          • 4kshooters

            The C300/and C300 II were never meant for the “little guys” as you said it. There was never meant to be a camera between C100 and C300. That’s why BMD makes cameras 🙂 and the Gh4/A7s exist – you said it. C300 and the new Mark II is a serious pro camera for a mid to upper level owner/op with the appropriate TV/broadcast/docu clientele. I own a C100 and a GH4 and want to move up at some point but my time has not come financially and in terms of such clients. But I know why its costs so much. To separate me from shooters above me.

            Pricing at £11K/$16,000 in that sense makes perfect sense. It’s a mid-range camera. Next level up is an AMIRA/Alexa thats it. The Varicam 35 is trying to get to that level too and its £30K camera+ with the spec and performance to back it up and theres a good reason for that.

            Anything up to $5K is for a small level production. Fine, nothing wrong with that, things in between are rare – like the FS7, which is a pricing anomally and a very well planned sabotage device by Sony kudos to them for that. But the FS7 killed the future of the F5 IMHO. F55 is still popular as it’s a different beast.

            You do with what you can afford and strive to get the next level. If you can’t afford a C300 Mark II, then its not the camera for you. There’s plenty of other options out there. Regardless of budget. GH4, A7s, Canon 5d3, 70d’s BMCC/BMPCC’s whatever floats your boat financially and artistically.

          • Guest

            I would still argue that the C300 II isn’t an upper level camera because of its features, only its price. The fact the competition offers essentially the same and still in some areas better features is why it should not be anywhere near double the price of the Fs7. This is why they have the C500 line, that’s what their upper tier product should be. 4K maxing out at 30p and 4:2:2. Crop-sensor only high speed in 1080, and maxing out at 120 at that. Rolling shutter!?? These are not specs of a camera that boasts to be on another level above the competition. A $12K camera is still a significant step up from the price of BM, Sony and AJA. This camera is just plain overpriced.

            The fact is that Canon is losing customers with their pricing schemes. Everyone knows Canon overcharges, it’s pretty much an accepted norm. But $4K overprice is just a whole new level of absurdity. They’re looking at their previous prices, ignoring what’s around them, and playing their own game – badly at that. The XC10 is further proof of how out of touch with what people want they are. That could’ve been the perfect alternative to a GH4 or a7s. Instead it’s $1000 more than the GH4 with substantially less features, including a fixed lens. The only good things it offers is a higher codec for internal UHD and C-Log.

            You’re right that Sony killed the F5 with the Fs7, but it was the smart move to make. Sometimes you kill your own product to replace it with a better one and stay in the game with the rest of the industry. Canon refuses to compromise internally, and would rather make their customers compromise instead. Unless Canon has something up their sleeve for NAB, I think this is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me as far as brand loyalty goes.

          • abbottoklus

            Sorry for the double post, don’t know what happened there

          • abbottoklus

            You’re defending it on the basis that it’s meant to be an upper tier camera, intentionally out of the range of smaller productions/indy filmmakers. I would still argue that the C300 II isn’t an upper level camera based on its features, only its price. The fact the competition offers essentially the same and still in some areas better features is why it should not be anywhere near double the price of the Fs7. This is why they have the C500 line, that’s what their upper tier product should be. 4K maxing out at 30p and 4:2:2. Crop-sensor only high speed in 1080, and maxing out at 120 at that. Rolling shutter!?? These are not specs of a camera that boasts to be on another level above the competition. A $12K camera is still a significant step up from the price of BM, Sony and AJA. This camera is just plain overpriced.

            The fact is that Canon is losing customers with their pricing schemes. Everyone knows Canon overcharges, it’s pretty much an accepted norm. But $4K overprice is just a whole new level of absurdity. They’re looking at their previous prices, ignoring what’s around them, and playing their own game – badly at that. The XC10 is further proof of how out of touch with what people want they are. That could’ve been the perfect alternative to a GH4 or a7s. Instead it’s $1000 more than the GH4 with substantially less features, including a fixed lens. The only good things it offers is a higher codec for internal UHD and C-Log.

            You’re right that Sony killed the F5 with the Fs7, but it was the smart move to make. Sometimes you kill your own product to replace it with a better one and stay in the game with the rest of the industry. Canon refuses to compromise internally, and would rather make their customers compromise instead. Unless Canon has something up their sleeve for NAB, I think this is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me as far as brand loyalty goes.

          • 4kshooters

            The C300 II will sell for about $14K street in September when the finally start shipping or October whenever. It just wont be soon. And when they do , there will be a limited supply as usual. Gradually people who are used to the C300 will get on board, as well as people who are in that market but jump from other manufacturers. In a years time, it will be canon’s best selling pro camera, guaranteed. It offers a new 15 stop DR sensor, with 2K/12bit 444 and options to match to Alexas – the other camera most likelty to be intecut with a C300 II. 4K/60p RAW out – on an Odyssey or Codex will make a lot of DP’s who are shooting low budget features smiling. TV/Docu crowd which is the bread and butter C300 market – will stick to 1080p/2K and rarely use slowmo. The Ef native mount, proven rock solid reliability and the fact that all producers are familiar with the predecessor , is a recipe for success. Most, if not all of the negative feedback towards the C300 II comes from folks who are not its demographic and market and are not really familiar with the benefits of a C300 production. At that mid to upper pro level – whether its 12k, 14, or 20K is not that huge of a difference as its an investment which will pay off relatively quickly and guarantee one steady jobs. DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras for the most part are write-offs right off the bat.

          • abbottoklus

            I haven’t seen any indication that 4K RAW out of the camera would be 60p, only 30 and limited to 4:2:2 at that.

            You’re probably right, I’m sure it will be a huge seller. But it could have been a PHENOMENAL seller if they priced it accordingly. They’ve stuck their heads in the mud and stayed greedy. Even at $13K it would be a lot more considerable an option, though frankly still overpriced vs. the competition. But if Canon doesn’t want our business that’s their choice I guess. They’ve made their message loud and clear at this point.

    • 4kshooters

      That’s what people said in Nov 2011 when the mark I C300 was announced, but in a years time, the C300 was on every single cooking Tv show, /Doc/ corporate job that I was on.

      • Aurie Kuroda

        Yep I agree, both the C100 (which I own) and the C300 which I rented a few times are phenomenal cameras. However I believe that things would have been a bit different if Sony released the FS7 back then. I for one would have given it a very very hard look.

    • ax49

      I shoot with the FS7 the majority of the time love the camera, but here is what people will tell you in the TV industry. The most important factor is that clients all know the Canon name they trust it, that’s the camera they will ask for. High level productions don’t really care about a couple thousand dollars difference in price. Canon color is superior to the FS7 and produces a significantly different look. Having no 4k 60P will hamper the camera, but having 12bit internal 2k will allow the c300 mkII to dominate until clients are asking for 4k delivery.

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