This article was originally published on October 24, 2014 and has been updated.
What is most significant about the Canon EOS C100 Mark II Digital Video Camera, the second-generation version of the popular Canon EOS C100, is that most of the new or improved features compared to its predecessor were added in direct response to feedback from users. Designed as a one-person production beast, the EOS C100 has proven to be a widely popular model, and this new EOS C100 Mark II version tweaks the original’s components in all the right ways. This compact, lightweight camera is equipped with a more powerful image processor, a redesigned OLED display, a larger adjustable viewfinder, advanced autofocus capabilities, dual AVCHD and MP4 file formats with multiple recording options including 1920x1080 60P image capture, and wireless network compatibilities. There's little doubt that with these upgrades, this most recent edition to the Cinema EOS line of professional cameras is sure to get a lot of attention from filmmakers around the world. Let’s take a look at 10 important new features and improvements in the Canon EOS C100 Mark II:
① DIGIC DV 4 – A More Powerful Image Processor
While retaining the same Super 35mm 8.3 megapixel CMOS sensor found in the original EOS C100, (and the EOS C300 and EOS C500 for that matter), the EOS C100 Mark II incorporates an entirely new image-processing platform for Cinema EOS – the DIGIC DV 4. This is some serious processing horsepower and it offers improved image quality as well as reductions in the occurrences of false colors, moiré and "jaggies," as well as limiting levels of noise when high ISO speeds are used. Ever-higher “high ISO speeds” are now possible thanks to a new method of signal processing, which expands sensitivity from ISO 320 to an incredible ISO 102,400 -- with outstanding low-light performance! The DIGIC DV 4 processor is the driving force behind the C100 Mark II’s advanced new debayering algorithm for image processing, called Over Sampling HD Processing. Using this method, the camera captures a 4K image, the RGB channels are separated into three individual 8 megapixel 4K signals, and the 4K RGB signals are then multiplexed and scaled down internally into an HD (1920x1080) signal that is recorded. The bottom line here is that the perceived resolution has been improved, and ultimately the image you record internally or output via HDMI to an external recorder, should be significantly cleaner.
② Improved Viewing: Side Hinged OLED Display and a New Large Adjustable EVF
Canon's EOS C100 Mark II has a much-improved display panel and EVF. This model uses a new 3.5-inch 1.23 megapixel OLED display panel that offers approximately 100% field-of-view coverage with a 28.2° wide viewing angle, wide color range support, and improved viewing in brightly lit situations such as shooting outdoors. The monitor panel is hinged on the left side of the body (instead of at the top as with the EOS C100) and can be flipped and rotated 270°. This will allow you to face the screen towards the on-camera subject or close it flat against the operator’s side of the camera body. Additionally, the display panel now includes a joystick and 3 buttons (MENU/CANCEL/DISP), which offer MENU access even when the grip unit is not attached.
The EVF on EOS C100 Mark II has been substantially upgraded, and it’s now adjustable! It is now much larger and includes a large detachable eyecup. This improved viewfinder is the same quality and resolution as the Canon’s EOS C300 and C500 cameras with greatly improved visibility through the use of a .45-inch, 1.23 megapixel color EVF panel. The viewfinder can be tilted to an angle of 68 degrees allowing it to be used more effectively in a variety of shooting situations.
③ Built-In Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Face AF Autofocus
Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, introduced with the EOS 70D and available as a paid feature upgrade for the EOS C100 & C300, will come standard with the EOS C100 Mark II. Dual Pixel CMOS AF makes incredibly smooth and consistent autofocus, so focus transitions are natural and subjects remain tracked as they move -- as long as you keep the subject in the center portion of the frame. Additionally, One Shot AF, which is basically a quick ‘focus check’ button on the front of the body, is faster and more responsive, without unnecessary searching or hunting, by the addition of Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Dual Pixel CMOS AF is compatible with over 103 Canon EF lenses, and if an STM lens* is used, face detection AF (Face AF) becomes possible. This feature, when enabled, allows for incredibly responsive and reliable contrast detection auto-focusing. Face AF is capable of tracking more than one face at a time, allowing the shooter to switch from one face in frame to another. The result of this is a focusing that will detect and focus on faces in virtually the entire image area of the frame. When there are no faces present in the frame and the MENU is set to Face Priority, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (when activated) takes effect for the screen center only. If the menu is set in Face Only mode, when no face is detected in the frame, the camera reverts to manual focus. Of course, autofocus capabilities are optional and can be turned on or off in the MENU.
*Lenses that support face detection AF:
EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM
④ 59.94P/50.00P Recording
Everyone asked for it, and thanks to a significant processor upgrade, Full HD (1920x1080) 59.94P/50.00P recording is now possible with both the high quality AVCHD format and the web friendly MP4 format (at 28 Mbps and 35 Mbps, respectively). Both share the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression format. Slow & Fast motion recording is now possible with the MP4 recording mode, giving C100 Mark II users the HD frame rates required for a variety of productions.
⑤ AVCHD and MP4 File Formats
Besides 60P recording options, another important benefit from the extra processor power is that the EOS C100 Mark II can record in both the AVCHD or MP4 format at a variety of bit rates, resolutions, and frame rates in two distinct recording modes. Besides Slow and Fast motion MP4 recording, the EOS C100’s dual SD card slots offer Double Slot Recording (AVCHD+AVCHD, MP4+MP4, or AVCHD+MP4) for precise back ups in the same or mixed modes, simultaneous recording with mixed bit rates in one or both formats (AVCHD+MP4 or MP4+MP4), up to 12 hours of continuous recording with shot indexing (AVCHD), and MP4 conversion, which converts an AVCHD or MP4 recording from the main SD card slot into a 3Mbps (640x360) MP4 movie in the other SD slot. This gives you a smaller file that is easier and faster to wirelessly transmit. MP4 conversion is not possible for MP4 files at 35 Mbps and AVCHD files at 28 Mbps.
⑥ Built-In Wi-Fi® for Rapid File Sharing and Remote Camera Control
The addition of wireless file-transfer enables the EOS C100 Mark II to function in multiple production applications, including the transfer of time-critical news video or off-site file back ups. Utilizing dual 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, the camera can transfer video files via FTP server for instant relay, or send MP4 video to the web browsers of laptops or tablets for viewing, and storage (even on PC’s lacking playback software). Remote control of the camera via a simple browser window is now possible via a compatible smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
⑦ Built–In Microphone in the Camera Body
The camera body is now equipped with a monaural microphone. This makes it possible to record scratch audio or simple messages without the need for the handle unit, and offers a sound solution for working with the camera in its smallest configuration.
⑧ Canon Log LUT for Corrected On-Set Viewing
Canon Log gives you a versatile file, providing maximum dynamic range for post-production, but in its ungraded form doesn’t accurately represent what the final image will look like while the camera’s output is viewed on a monitor. The EOS C100 Mark II has a new option that offers a built-in Canon Log LUT (Look Up Table). It allows for a live, corrected signal to be viewed on a monitor connected through the HDMI.
Corrected images can be viewed in Wide DR or BT.709 color spaces. Since this would be used for monitoring only, the Canon Log LUT can be turned on or off in the camera’s menu when you want to record the uncompressed HDMI output on an external recorder.
⑨ A Cleaner Uncompressed Output over the HDMI
Thanks again to the DIGIC DV 4 Processor, the uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 8-bit video signal (with time code data and 2:3 pull-down markers superimposed) output over the HDMI, should be cleaner with fewer visual artifacts and less noise at high ISO settings. Additionally, you can output 1920x1080 59.94P through the HDMI.
⑩ …And Ten More Awesome Little Things
- Vectorscope display (formerly available on only the C300 and C500)
- 17 assignable recessed function buttons (2 new ones have been added -- 1 for the Display and 1 for the Waveform Monitor)
- Dual SD card slots with a new transparent cover (You can check to make sure you have media without opening the SD card cover)
- Simplified battery insertion and removal (the release is now right next to the battery and not on the side of the body)
- A new Viewfinder ON/OFF button (to save battery life)
- New easily identified bright red START/STOP buttons
- Peripheral Illumination Correction (which basically prevents vignetting by maintaining image brightness around the corners of the frame) has been registered for 114 EF, EF-S and EF Cinema Lenses to date
- GPS compatibility adds location information to your clips (latitude, longitude and altitude) with an attached, optional GP-E2
- Noise free operation of the control buttons (silent operation of external buttons)
- Tripod mount comes with both ¼”-20 and 3/8” connections