The new Canon C300 Mark II and the Sony FS7 are extremely popular cameras among filmmakers, cinematographers and broadcasters around the globe these days and the buzz they are creating increases even as we speak. Canon C300 Mark II has been creating, even more, hype in comparison to its predecessor since it was initially unveiled at this years’ NAB trade show. Sony PXW-FS7, on the other hand, comes with a serious plethora of features and an extremely aggressive price tag in comparison to its main competitor in Canon’s professional EOS lineup.
If you are one of those videographers still wondering which of both cameras would suit your needs better, the comparison video ahead might give you some of the answers you’ve been looking for lately. Evan from LensProToGo dives into a comparison between the new Canon C300 Mark II and the Sony FS7 with some test footage.
The video looks both cameras across several criteria such as dynamic range, low-light performance, usability, slow motion, ergonomic and more trying to make some sense of what differentiates these two units despite their huge price gap and identify which is the right tool.
In the first place, this test confirms that both cameras provide not only similar features but also similar dynamic range measured at around 13 stops. It’s also interesting to note that the colour science the two cameras deliver is pretty close as well. The Canon C300 Mark II has a bit of an edge in regards to skin tones and some other minor areas of the image but nothing too fancy in comparison to the Sony FS7.
In terms of frame rates we definitely have a clear winner and that is the Sony FS7. The camera tops at 60p at 4K, whereas the Canon C300 Mark II does only 60p in Full HD mode. Plus, the C300 II uses significantly cropped area of the sensor while utilising all modes above 60fps. The FS7 on the other hand does not.
In regards to usability and ergonomics, the C300 Mark II seems to be more intuitive and more user-friendly camera to shoot with right off the bat. The Sony FS7 experience can be definitely more frustrating and overwhelming, especially when you are using the camera for the first time. With the C300 Mark II, you don’t have to dig deep into the menus and even if you do you’ll find out that the menus are well organised, extremely simple and intuitive to navigate through.
It’s worth noting that Canon C300 also has a 10 stops five-position ND filters as opposed to the three-position six stops ND filter on the FS7. In terms of high ISO and low-light sensitivity Canon C300 is again a winner. You can go up to ISO 6400 on both cameras without any noticeable issues.
Yet, neither of the two cameras likes to be underexposed. The shadow area tends to get pretty noisy when using ISOs above 8,000 on both units. The difference between the two cameras in regards to overexposed images is that the Canon C300 delivers slightly sharper images and slightly better dynamic range.
If you need more precise colour and more bit depth in terms of colour fidelity, its worth noting that the C300 Mark II is capable of recording 12-bit 4:4:4 in Full HD and 2K mode whereas the Sony FS internal recording is limited to 10-bit 4:2:2 colour sampling. The camera also has the ability to record 1080p proxy footage on an SD card internally, while recording 4K internally along with the ability to record 4K on CFast cards while outputting 4K raw signal to an external recorder.
According to Evan from LensProToGo, it’s really hard to pick the clear overall winner. The Canon C300 Mark II has a slightly better colour science, but the Sony FS7 is better in terms of slow motion. If you are shooting every day, the C300 Mark II will make your life easier on set, but all these goodness comes at a hefty price.
On the other hand, if you are really on a tight budget or the higher frame rates are your top priority then the FS7 would be the better choice for you, even if you have to find some workarounds around the quirks the latter brings to the table.