Extensive Canon C200 Review by Cloakroom Media

One of the big announcements at this year’s CineGear Expo in Los Angeles was the newest Canon Cinema EOS camera – the Canon C200. In a somewhat of a swerve, Canon decided to include internal 4K Raw recording onto a single CFast 2.0 card in a brand new format called Cinema Raw Light in the new C200. This addition is quite exciting given where the C200 sits in the lineup – between the C100 Mark II and the C300 Mark II. The Canon EOS C200 is the first Canon EOS Cinema camera to feature such an advanced recording format, which makes it a vey enticing proposition for those looking for a new 4K camcorder.

On the other hand, Canon gimped the other recording format by including only an 8bit 4:2:0 option in MP4 for non-raw recording. XF-AVC in 8bit 4:2:2 and 305 Mbps is supposedly coming as a firmware update in early 2018, which is a damn fine codec as implemented in the Canon XC15 (assuming that it will be the same codec of course). Canon have confirmed that the XF-AVC implementation in the C200 will be indeed 8bit 4:2:2 so forget about the C200 ever being a “10bit camera”, and it makes sense for them to port the existing codec onto the S35 C200.

Canon EOS C200 Media Production Show 2017

Canon EOS C200 at the Media Production Show 2017 in London

Melbourne based Cloakroom Media recently posted their extensive review of the Canon C200, which I think is one of the best reviews not only for the C200 out there (there aren’t that many, since they had early access to the camera), but for any camera in general that I have seen in a long time. They have also posted a series of tests and some excellent C200 footage on their Vimeo page – which I highly recommend you follow here.

CANON C200 REVIEW by Cloakroom Media from Cloakroom Media on Vimeo.

Canon EOS C200 Summary / Features

  • 4K DCI Cinema RAW Light
    • 4K/60p – 10 bit onto CFast 2.0
    • 4K/30p – 12 bit onto CFast 2.0
  • Internal Compressed Codec options:
    • 4K/60p Long GOP 8bit 4:2:0 at 150 Mbps in MP4
    • 4K/24/25/30p Long GOP 8bit 4:2:0 at 100 Mbps
    • 2K/HD at 35 Mbps 8bit 4:2:0 in MP4
    • Full HD 120fps Continuous with no sensor crop
    • Records onto SD cards
    • Can do 2K/Full HD Proxies on SD card and Raw on Cfast 2.0
  • Up to 15-stops dynamic range (Cinema RAW Light)
  • Wide DR, Canon LOG & Canon LOG 3
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with touch control and extensive shooting functions
  • Built-in NDs – 2/4/6/8/10 stops (like on C300 II)
  • ACES 1.0 Support
  • BT.2100 (PQ) HDR support
  • HDR ST-2084 LUT (in EVF)
  • Uses BP-A30 and BP-A60 batteries (same as C300 MK II)
  • 8bit 4:2:2 XF-AVC 4K internal codec coming Q1 2018 as free firmware
  • NO Way to Output 4K Raw (has to be recorded internally)
  • HDMI Output:
    • 1920 x 1080p – 10bit 4:2:2
    • 3840 x 2160 – 8bit 4:2:2
  • SDI Output:
    • 2048 x 1080 / 1920 x 1080 – 10bit 4:2:2 – Raw Light
    • 1920 x 1080 – 10bit 4:2:2 
  • Price:

Canon may have very well struck gold by doing what no-one else besides Blackmagic Design and RED are doing (notice both companies are not Japanese), and that is giving users an easy to work with compressed Raw format. That’s kind of a big deal, not just for the opportunities it presents, but also because it comes from Canon, who have been notoriously conservative in the (recent) past.

You can read my thoughts on the Canon C200 in more detail in this blog post here. What are your thoughts on the C200? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • rquick

    “The Canon EOS C200 is the first Canon EOS Cinema (or any) camera to
    feature such an advanced recording format at a sub $10K price level”.

    What about BMD’s Ursa’s? They offer internal RAW for almost half that price.

    • Ogy Stoilov

      You’re correct. Fixed. Thanks,

  • HenryEckstein

    If you’re willing to void your warranty and have some engineering chops,
    you actually CAN output 4K Raw Lite EXTERNALLY by opening up the
    Canon C200 camera and soldering a packet splitter chip assembly just
    before the CFAST connectors on the motherboard and drilling a hole
    in the case for a SATA-6 style connector to take the signal outboard
    to an SSD hard drive assembly. Total Cost? Less than $400 worth of
    materials and about 6-to-8 hours of time! (i.e. for the DSP resampler
    chip, voltage/impedance matching and noise reduction and
    signal regeneration parts and micro-soldering time!)

    Of course if you’re a normal prosumer/semi-pro shooter and
    HAVE NO electrical engineering experience, then DO NOT DO THIS!
    BUUUUUT…….if you want to save some real bucks, you can do this
    trick on C100, C300’s, 1Dc’s and almost any other camera system
    if you can find out WHERE on the camera motherboard you can
    get access to some pins or solder points for a split connection
    you can solder onto for a RAW YCbCr/RGBA signal path
    which can be split and regenerated for output externally!
    Just remember the KEEP the voltage and other electrical
    characteristics THE SAME across the split pins/solder points
    when you do your signal regeneration back out to the signal
    split point on the camera motherboard.

    Add a secondary heat-sink to keep the heat down
    and take into account the power draw off of your
    secondary DSP/signal regen chips. You MUST
    take the modified camera into an FCC or 3rd party
    radio certification and electrical systems certification
    facility to get the RF emissions and electrical safety
    re-checked at about $500 for one single specific
    user-modified item and keep multiple copies of the
    NEW FCC RF emissions and CSA/UL/EU Electrical
    modifications certificate with your camera AT ALL
    TIMES and send a copy to your insurance company
    — This is done for ELECTRONICS SAFETY REASONS!)

    So INSTEAD of me paying $40,000 for a Canon C700,
    I can just put in $400 worth of parts and $500 worth
    of RF and Electrical re-certification and make
    my C200 (and other cameras!) into a super-def RAW
    video camera with RAW external video output!

    That SAVES me over $30,000 which I can use to buy
    me a set of Zeiss Otus 28mm, 55mm and 85mm
    Canon EF mount Prime Lenses and a Sigma
    150-to-600mm Sports zoom lens modified by
    the Duclos Lenses Company ($15,000 for the
    3 Zeiss Otus lenses and another $4500 for the
    Sigma Zoom for iris declicking and cinema
    follow-focus gearing. Modified C200 with
    cinema-modified Zeiss Otus and Sigma
    Sports Zoom Glass equals Cinematography BLISS!