How Far Should You Push the Canon C200 in Extreme Low Light Situations?

Beyond any doubt, the Canon EOS C200 is one of the best cinema cameras on the market right now. Not only can it shoot DCI-compliant 4K RAW video, but it also has some mind-blowing low light capabilities that give it an edge even over some high-end rivals costing a few times more.

It’s reasonable to ask, though, how far should you push the camera’s ISO settings to get usable images without ruining your project. Filmmaker Carlos Quintero has already tested the camera in such extreme low light conditions and in the video below he gives us his insight on the topic.

Let’s get something straight. Shooting at ISO 25,600 on any camera system poses certain challenges, especially when you are filming in RAW or when you are shooting with a Log profile.

Sure, that way you’ll be able to capture all raw data coming straight from the sensor without any additional processing applied whatsoever, but unfortunately, this also includes the atrocious noise artifacts that will inevitably pop up in your image when shooting at those extremely high ISOs regardless of the camera system you are using.

The Canon C200 isn’t an exception to that rule either. Nevertheless, you can easily tackle the issue and de-noise the footage in post. The three options recommended by Carlos include the noise reduction tool inside DaVinci Resolve Studio, Neat Video’s software as well as the RED Giant’s Denoiser III plugin.

Keep in mind, though, that each one of those solutions will set you back a few hundred dollars, so opt for the one that best suits your creative needs.

When it comes to efficiency and optimal results, Quintero recommends using the noise reduction tool inside DaVinci Resolve Studio. To take advantage of it, you’ll need a license for the actual software.

The good news is that if you have already bought any of the Blackmagic Design cameras, you’ll have it included for free anyway, which will save you the additional $299 you’ll need to pay to buy the suite as a separate purchase.

The other two options will also work, but unfortunately, they also come at a price. The Neat Video Denoiser will set you back between $129 and $159 depending on the NLE you are currently using, plus you’ll need to pick the Pro version if you want to process videos with higher resolution than Full HD.

The RED Giant Denoiser III, on the other hand, seems to be in the middle regarding price selling for $199, but according to Carlos, it will also yield the least satisfactory results when compared to the other two solutions.

Ultimately, the ability to shoot at the maximum ISO setting on the Canon C200 and get usable images is already a stunning achievement on it own, so big shout out to Canon for delivering such an amazing cinema camera that not only is a low light beast but also comes with some fantastic pro features such as Dual AF, ND filters, exceptional battery life, XLR inputs, RAW capabilities and much more.

[source: Carlos Quintero]

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Canon EOS C200 Cinema Camera

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