Canon Digital Learning Center offers answers to frequently asked questions about our Cinema EOS system. To view answers, click the questions below. For additional questions, comments, or suggestions about this FAQ, please contact us.
*Please note: Information and specs current as of November 18th, 2011, and subject to change at any time.
Is it true that there are two versions of the EOS C300 camera?
Yes. The EOS C300 has Canon's EF lens mount, while the EOS C300 PL uses the industry-standard PL type lens mount. Aside from the differences in lens mounts, the two cameras are essentially identical. (More information under "Lens Questions", below.)
How does the image quality of EOS C300 compare to current EOS HD-SLRs?
Image quality improvements have been made for image noise, detail, moiré, and dynamic range with the EOS C300. Image noise is kept under control throughout the entire selectable ISO range – even up to a staggering 20,000 ISO (30dB gain). The brand new sensor makes the most of every pixel, improving image detail and suppressing moiré. The dynamic range has been increased to 12 stops and the introduction of Canon Log Gamma increases the possibilities in post-production far beyond that of EOS HD SLRs.
SENSOR AND RESOLUTION
What size is the EOS C300's imaging sensor?
The sensor size on the EOS C300 is equivalent in size to Super 35mm, with an effective imaging area of 24.6 x 13.8 mm. This sensor has a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Why is the sensor not Full Frame (24 x 36 mm)?
The EOS C300 conforms to the industry standard Super 35mm Motion Picture Film frame size. This is large enough to evoke the shallow depth-of-field characteristics moviegoers and cinematographers love, and allows legacy lenses to work well with the camera. Almost all PL Mount motion picture lenses are designed to cover Super 35-size film or digital sensors, and tend to vignette heavily on Full Frame sensors since they are not designed to cover that frame size. The EOS C300 PL is compatible with all PL mount cinema lenses that were manufactured with Super 35mm in mind, allowing the cinematographer to match the same angle-of-view as when working with a motion picture film camera.
Is this sensor the same as that used in an EOS HD-SLR?
Definitely not. The EOS C300's CMOS imaging sensor was designed from scratch by Canon, entirely for cine and video applications. For this reason, it offers superb performance in areas such as noise in low light conditions, freedom from moire with finely-patterned subjects, and resistance to "rolling shutter" artifacts.
What is the sensor's resolution?
The brand new sensor of the EOS C300 has an effective resolution of 8.3 million pixels (3840 x 2160). It resolves over 1000 horizontal TV lines. Actual finished video output is Full HD resolution – 1920x1080 pixels.
What does it mean that your sensor is full RGB?
This 8.3 million pixel sensor combines information from four actual pixels on the sensor (two green, one red, one blue) to produce final output for one Full HD pixel, enhancing output quality and color rendition. This is different from the interpolation typically used in single-sensor cameras, where information from one given pixel (red, green or blue) is compared to surrounding pixels, and the resulting calculated color and brightness information applied to that original pixel.
Why 1080p instead of 4K?
1080p is the most commonly used and sought after shooting and delivery size for productions today. Heavy adoption allows 1080p images to seamlessly integrate into various production pipelines without the hiccups and massive storage requirements of proprietary 4K solutions. This makes the EOS C300 ready for the widest range of productions today, with a simplified and accepted workflow.
Is this camera 8-bit or 10-bit?
Digital conversion is done at 8-bits per channel.
The EOS C300/EOS C300 PL uses 4:2:2 color sampling; other systems record 4:4:2 or 4:4:4. What difference should I expect to see in the resulting image?
First, a correction to this question: There is no 4:4:2 component video set in use today. The choices popularly employed are: 4:4:4; 4:2:2; and 4:2:0
4:4:4 is the component set that delivers the full 1920 (H) x 1080 (V) digital sampling structure for each of the Red, Green, and Blue video components. This recording mode is used for high-end moviemaking where a great deal of image processing will be entailed in postproduction. It has the greatest information overhead that supports such complex processing. Attendant with that high image information is the penalty of a very high data rate that taxes recording abilities (although there is a considerable choice available in such recorders today), related high data storage costs, high data rates for networking such RGB components, and the need for high data rate processing for implementation of the postproduction processes.
4:2:2 is the matriced Y (Luma), Cr and Cb (the two separate color difference components). The Luma is at the full 1920 (H) x 1080 (V) digital sampling structure. The two color difference components are each at a 960 (H) x 1080 (V) digital sampling structure. They thus retain half the total digital samples as the Luma signal. This set retains a great deal of image information and will support the majority of high-end productions. They are the most widely used components yet employed in high-end production, and do an excellent job supporting green-screen and blue-screen digital compositing processes.
Looking at 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 on a large high quality HD display will reveal almost no subjective difference in image quality (4:2:2 was specifically developed to capitalize upon the limitations of the human visual system is perceiving color detail – and thus gain efficiencies in overall data rate)
4:2:0 is the matriced Y (Luma), Cr and Cb (two separate color difference signals) The Luma is at full 1920 (H) x 1080 (V) digital sampling structure. The two color difference signals are each at a 960 (H) x 540 (V) digital sampling structure. The vertical samples have been halved compared to the 4:2:2 set. These two color components thus have only a quarter of the total digital samples as the 4:2:2 component set.
Again, for many images there is only a small discernible difference between the subjective perception of image quality between 4:2;2 and 4:2:0. That is why 4:2:0 is very popular for Broadcast News acquisition and transmission – it affords high efficiencies in digital data rate. But, 4:2:0 is NOT good for supporting postproduction image manipulation – especially digital blue and green screen compositing. It lacks the requisite digital information required for such processes.
How much dynamic range/latitude does the sensor have?
12 stops of latitude, according to tests performed by Canon, Inc. engineers. The optimum dynamic range for both highlights and shadow detail occurs at ISO 850; at lower ISOs, the dynamic range shifts, with a bit more shadow detail and less detail in highlight areas. Dynamic range is rated at approx. 300% during normal shooting, and at approx. 800% at ISO 850 when Canon Log gamma is active.
What is the camera's signal to noise ratio?
54dB (typical); at 1920x1080 and either 29.97P or 25.00P; Canon Log base sensitivity ISO 850; Dynamic range 800%
What lens mounts are available for the EOS C300?
EOS C300 cameras come with a permanently-attached lens mount – Canon EF mount for the EOS C300 camera, and PL-mount for the EOS C300 PL. These are sold as two separate camera models.
Can I change the mount from EF/PL to PL/EF?
No. Lens mounts are not user-interchangeable. This is to assure maximum lens mount strength and precision, something Canon engineers determined was difficult to achieve with an interchangeable mount system.
What different EF lenses can I use with the EOS C300?
The EOS C300 is compatible with the following:
- All Canon EF lenses (including Tilt-Shift, MP-E, etc.)
- Canon EF-S lenses (there may be some visible vignetting with certain EF-S lenses)
- Canon Cinema EF lenses – zoom and fixed focal length
Will all Canon EF lenses work with the C300?
Yes. Every Canon EF lens, including special-purpose lenses such as TS-E (tilt-shift), macro and MP-E lenses, fisheye lenses, and Canon super-telephotos will mount on the EOS C300 camera.
Does the EF model support autofocus? If not, why?
No. Neither the EOS C300 nor the EOS C300 PL support autofocus. The autofocus needs of a still photographer are very different than that of the cinema user. In cinema use, focus is preferred to be fully manual for full control and smooth shot timing by an experienced focus puller or camera operator.
Does the Image Stabilization (IS) built into certain Canon EF and EF-S lenses work on EOS C300 cameras?
Yes. Image Stabilization will function if any Canon EF or EF-S lens with the IS feature is mounted onto the EOS C300 camera. Image Stabilization continues to provide a measure of shake-reduction, and can be effective when cameras are being hand-held, used in any sort of photographer-supported "rig", or even when mounted onto something like a moving vehicle. With most Canon EF lenses having Image Stabilization, it's recommended to turn the IS feature off (using the on-off switch on the lens) if the camera and lens are mounted onto a sturdy tripod that can be expected to fully eliminate camera movement. Critical users may also want to consider turning IS off in situations where an on-camera microphone is being used for audio recording, to avoid the slight noise of the stabilization system from being recorded. Please note that the use of Canon EF and EF-S lenses with Image Stabilization is only possible with the EF mount version of the EOS C300; as of November, 2011, Canon makes no PL-mount lenses with Image Stabilization for the EOS C300 PL (the PL-mount version of the camera).
Will all PL lenses work with the EOS C300 PL?
Yes, as long as they have an industry-standard PL-type lens mount, and as long as they're optically designed to cover the Super 35-size image sensor.
Does the EOS C300 PL have electronic data contacts for Cooke or Arri PL-mount lenses?
No, there are no electronic lens mount contacts on the EOS C300 PL. These lenses can certainly be mounted and used successfully on the EOS C300 PL, but lens metadata will not be communicated to the camera.
How does peripheral illumination correction work for EF lenses?
Peripheral Illumination Correction automatically corrects for any lens vignetting, accounting for specific lens characteristics such as focal length, working aperture, and distance setting. This produces even illumination across the frame, from center to corner. Canon engineers thoroughly test different Canon EF and EF-S lenses, map-out the specific vignetting characteristics of each lens, and this data is input into the camera. As images are taken, the camera records this information, and lens-specific correction is applied during in-camera processing to minimize the natural darkening that would otherwise occur toward the edges of video images.
Which EF lenses are compatible with the C300's peripheral illumination correction?
The EOS C300 stores Peripheral Illumination Correction Data for approximately 96 EF and EF-S lenses.
Is Peripheral Illumination Correction available in the EOS C300 PL camera?
No. Canon engineers can only provide this data and correction for lenses they have tested and that can be identified specifically when mounted on the EOS C300.
What are the advantages of using the EF mount version of the EOS C300?
Using the EF mount version of the EOS C300 opens up a world of Canon's cumulative production (as of November 2011) of 70 million lenses, affordably opening the doors to perspectives beyond regular cine lenses (fisheye, tilt and shift, etc.). Also, when using the EF mount version of the EOS C300, lens data is communicated to the camera body. This lens data is recorded to the metadata of the shot clip, and also allows the peripheral illumination correction to be enabled at the user's discretion. With EF and EF-S lenses, f-stop settings can be controlled electronically through the on-camera dials (both on the body and hand grip) for quick, on-the-fly changes. The readouts of the stop information can be displayed on-screen. This is especially helpful for the documentary cameraman, who needs to make quick and easy exposure adjustments at a moment's notice and have the lens data information readout on the LCD screen or viewfinder.
Can metadata have EF lens information?
Yes. Using the EOS C300 with EF mount allows for lens metadata to be passed from the lens to the camera's metadata.
Canon has recently announced both PL-mount and EF mount versions of two very high-end cinema zoom lenses. Are these the same lens, aside from the lens mount?
Yes. The newly-announced Canon CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6L and CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7L lenses are optically and mechanically identical, except for the lens mounts. These lenses will optically cover formats up to Super 35 size, but the zooms are not designed to cover full-frame EOS HD-SLRs.
Canon EF mount:
CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6L S
CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7L S
CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6L SP
CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7L SP
Does the C300 support automatic exposure?
No, exposure control is always manual with either version of the EOS C300. Additionally, there is no built-in light metering function, although the camera's Waveform Monitor display can be used to judge brightness.
Can sensor sensitivity be set using Gain, instead of photographic ISO numbers?
Yes, this is easily achieved with a menu setting in either version of the EOS C300. This preference can be selected via the camera menu under CAMERA SETUP.
What is the camera's native ISO?
The EOS C300 has a native ISO of 850. It is at this setting that dynamic range, especially in highlight areas, reaches its maximum. At lower ISO settings, the dynamic range tends to shift more toward shadow detail.
Why 850 ISO?
ISO 850 on the EOS C300 provides an optimum balance between dynamic range and noise levels. At higher ISO or gain settings, dynamic range remains essentially the same, but digital noise tends to increase.
What range of ISOs and Gain settings are available?
The available ISO range of the EOS C300 is from 320 to 20,000. Gain can be set from -6dB to 30dB, available in the following steps…
|850 (native ISO setting, for optimum results; 2.5dB Gain setting)
What increments can ISO or Gain be set in?
ISO can be set in either full-stop or 1/3-stop increments. Gain can be set in 1dB increments ("Normal", -6dB~30dB) or 0.5dB increments ("Fine", over a range of 0dB~24dB)
Why do lower ISOs or Gain settings limit my range of highlight detail on the EOS C300?
The EOS C300's dynamic range remains relatively stable at all ISOs, at a total of about 12 stops of visible detail. But highlight latitude gradually diminishes at ISOs below 850 due to the methods used for signal processing. The total amount of dynamic range isn't reduced. It tends to shift at lower ISOs, providing more range in shadows, while curtailing highlight detail above 18% middle gray.
What forms of shutter control does the EOS C300 offer?
- Shutter angle (360˚~11.25˚)
- Shutter speed (1/24th~1/2000th)
- Slow shutter speed (1/3rd~1/30th)
- Clear scan (23.98Hz~250.27Hz)
These are chosen via the camera menu under CAMERA SETUP -> SHUTTER -> MODE. Actual range of settings varies, depending upon FPS rate selected. Only one method of shutter control can be active at a time.
Once I select a shutter control setting, how do I select an actual angle, speed, etc?
You can then dial in the setting you prefer by hitting the FUNCTION button until Shutter is selected, then turning the EOS style on-camera dial and pressing the center dial button to confirm your selection. The steps of adjustment can be set between 1/3 of a stop and 1/4 of a stop via the camera menu under CAMERA SETUP -> SHUTTER -> SHUTTER INCREMENT.
Can exposure be controlled via Neutral Density filters? Does the EOS C300 have built-in ND filters?
Yes and yes. The EOS C300 is equipped with three built-in, durable glass ND filters, which are invaluable for preserving broad shutter angle settings or moderate shutter speeds in bright lighting conditions.
What ND filters are available?
2 stops (ND 0.6; 2-stop reduction)
4 stops (ND 1.2; 4-stop reduction)
6 stops (ND 1.8; 6-stop reduction)
How are the built-in ND filters accessed?
Two ND selector buttons on the left side of the camera, toward the front, allow users to toggle forward or backward in sequence between each of the available built-in ND filters, or having no filter in place at all. The built-in ND filters can only be used one at a time, and cannot be "stacked" or combined.
Do I need to be worried about IR shift when using the internal ND filters?
An Infrared Absorption filter placed in front of the ND filter mechanism greatly reduces the possibility of IR shift when using the EOS C300's internal ND filters.
Can I use regular external ND filters without worrying about IR contamination?
The EOS C300's internal IR Absorption filter prevents IR contamination whether or not external filters are placed in front of the lens in use.
Since the built-in filters use a motorized drive system to put each in-place, is there any sort of back-up system in the event the electronic system were to fail on-location?
Yes. Canon engineers developed a manual back-up system for ND filter actuation. A small cover on the right side of the body can be removed, and a suitable screwdriver can be used to turn the actuating gear. This is an emergency back-up system, and Canon recommends that any EOS C300 camera which cannot move the built-in ND filters via the conventional buttons be examined by an authorized Canon service facility as soon as possible.
BATTERY AND POWER SUPPLY
What kind of battery is included with the EOS C300?
The EOS C300 and C300 PL come with one rechargeable Canon Battery Pack BP-955 (additional battery packs may be purchased as optional accessories).
Can other Canon-brand rechargeable batteries be used in the EOS C300?
Yes. Canon's BP-9xx series battery packs are compatible with the EOS C300 and C300 PL. Please note that larger batteries such as the BP-975 will power the camera, but you will not be able to close the battery door due to the size of the battery pack.
What are the nominal power ratings of these rechargeable batteries?
BP-955: 4900mAh (Rated minimum capacity); 4200mAh (Nominal capacity)
BP-950G: 4790mAH (rated minimum capacity); 5200mAh (nominal)
BP-970G: 6600mAh (rated minimum capacity); 7200mAh (nominal)
BP-975: 7350mAh (rated minimum capacity); 7800mAh (nominal)
What kind of battery life can I expect during video recording, at normal temperatures?
Assuming both the camera's eye-level electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor are active, the following chart (based on Canon Inc. test methods) gives an idea. Please note that if SDI is on, power consumption increases slightly (by approximately 3~5%), with a corresponding drop in available recording time per battery charge.
||Approx. Power consumption
What is the camera's maximum rated power consumption?
20.9 W, based on Canon Inc. test methods.
Can I run the camera off of AC power?
Yes. The camera comes with a Compact Power Adapter (CA-940) which is used with the included DC Cable to power the camera from AC power.
WORKING ON SET QUESTIONS
How do I adjust ISO or Gain?
Sensor sensitivity is easily adjusted by hitting the FUNCTION button until it highlights the ISO setting, turning the familiar EOS on-camera dial and confirming your selection with the dial button. It will display in either ISO or Gain, depending upon the menu preference the user has assigned (only one at a time is selectable).
How do I change my frame rates and recording time base?
Recording time base parameters can be adjusted via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> FRAME RATE.
Different frame rate recording modes, such as Slow and Fast Motion, Interval Record and Frame Record can be enabled via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> SPECIAL REC.
When the Slow and Fast Motion setting is enabled, frame rate selections can be made in one frame per second increments via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> Slow & Fast Motion.
When the Interval Record setting is enabled, parameters can be selected via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> INTERVAL REC.
When the Frame Record setting is enabled, parameters can be selected via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> FRAME REC.
How do I change my shooting resolution settings?
These parameters can be adjusted via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> BIT RATE/RESOLUTION
50 Mb/sec (Continuous Bit Rate); 4:2:2
- 1920 x 1080 – 59.94i
- 1920 x 1080 – 29.97P
- 1920 x 1080 – 23.98P
- 1920 x 1080 – 24.00P (separate menu setting)
35 Mb/sec (Variable Bit Rate); 4:2:0
- 1280 x 720 – 59.94P
- 1280 x 720 – 29.97P
- 1280 x 720 – 23.98P
- 1280 x 720 – 24.00P (separate menu setting)
- 1920 x 1080 – 59.94i
- 1920 x 1080 – 29.97P
- 1920 x 1080 – 23.98P
25 Mb/sec (Continuous Bit Rate); 4:2:0
- 1280 x 720 – 59.94P
- 1280 x 720 – 29.97P
- 1280 x 720 – 23.98P
- 1440 x 1080 – 59.94i
- 1440 x 1080 – 29.97P
- 1440 x 1080 – 23.98P
How do I switch between NTSC/PAL?
The EOS C300 is switchable between NTSC and PAL. You can select which you would prefer via the camera menu under OTHER FUNCTIONS -> NTSC/PAL.
What FPS settings are available when the C300 is set to PAL?
25.00P is available at all resolution settings. At full 1920 x 1080, 50.00i is the other PAL option; 50.00P is possible in PAL at 1280 x 720.
Can I control the aperture of my lens using the dials on the camera body and handle?
Yes. When using the EF Mount model of the EOS C300 in conjunction with an EF lens with electronically controllable aperture, you can control the aperture of the lens using the dials on the camera body and grip.
Does the C300 support automatic white balance?
No. There are ways to dial in the white balance in manual degrees Kelvin, as well as a white balance button feature and presets for daylight and tungsten, but there is no AUTO WB setting included in the camera.
Do the shutter angle settings hold when I dial in a different frame rate for slow or fast motion (for example - does it behave like 180 degrees in different frame rates if I'm in that setting)?
Shutter angle settings remain constant at all frame rates greater than or equal to 9 fps. For example, if you select 180 degrees, it will hold for everything 9 fps and above. Below 9 fps, however, the EOS C300 will force a smaller shutter angle, reducing motion blur characteristics.
How do I change my white balance in numerical Kelvin degrees?
First, press the FUNCTION button on the camera body several times until the white balance option is highlighted on the LCD screen. Then use the EOS on-camera dial to select the KELVIN white balance mode. While KELVIN (K) white balance is highlighted, press the WHITE BALANCE button on the side of the camera to move the highlighted area to the degree numbers. Now, the EOS dial can quickly dial-in the Kelvin degree number you want to choose. While in this mode, you can easily fine tune your degrees at any time by pressing the WHITE BALANCE button on the side of the camera body and then turning the EOS dial on the camera body.
How do I register a custom white balance?
First, press the FUNCTION button on the camera body several times until the white balance option is highlighted on the LCD screen. Then use the EOS on-camera dial to select the custom white balance mode. Then, point the camera toward a white or neutral gray subject and press the on-camera WHITE BALANCE button.
What video outputs does it have?
The EOS C300 has outputs in HD/SD-SDI, HDMI and SYNC OUT (HD Sync, HD-Y, black burst or composite).
What kinds of CF Cards are compatible with the C300?
Engineers at Canon, Inc. regularly perform compatibility tests under specific conditions to verify operation with popular, pro-level media cards. This information is updated regularly on Canon USA's web site, and should be periodically checked by users for up-to-date information. As of November, 2011, here is Canon's list of "approved" cards, which successfully passed these tests:
||CF card model
||Z III (UDMA-5)
* Operation confirmed in all recording modes EXCEPT slow motion
Can't a user simply tell from a CF card's speed rating whether it will successfully work in the EOS C300 or not?
Unfortunately, no. CF card speed ratings do not take into account consistent and sustainable data transfer rates, which isn't usually a huge problem for still-image shooters. But for professional, Full HD video cameras, the large volumes of data that are continually streamed require memory cards that can consistently maintain fast read/write rates. For this reason, the compatibility tests Canon, Inc. provides give prospective users and dealers a much more reliable indicator of whether a given card can be successfully used in these cameras or not.
I have a card that seems to work fine in the camera, but is not on Canon's tested and approved list. Is it OK to use?
Perhaps, but Canon cannot guarantee it will work properly, consistently or reliably in all circumstances.
How much run time do I have for my CF Cards?
Typical recording durations for CF cards, at different EOS C300 quality settings:
With two CF card slots, what recording options does the EOS C300 offer?
Users are free to use one or two CF cards at a time, and they don't have to be identical brand, model or even capacity. Some of the recording options include:
- Record to one card at a time only
- Relay recording: when one card fills, camera instantly switches to the other
- Double-slot recording: instant back-up, with same file data recorded onto two cards
Hot-swapping of cards is possible during relay recording (remove the card not being recorded to, and replace it with a fresh one); it's also possible to format one card while another is recording – and this menu-driven feature makes it impossible to apply formatting to a card slot which is actively recording.
What are the camera's timecode capabilities?
The EOS C300 has a GENLOCK terminal (BNC) for synchronizing with an external video device, as well as a TIMECODE IN/OUT (BNC) to either send out from the camera or receive timecode from an external generator. Timecode can be set using RecRun or Free run methods, can be input from external sources, and offers the choice of Drop Frame (DF) or non-Drop Frame (NDF) counting.
How do I add metadata to my shots?
Use the XF Utility software provided with the EOS C300 to manage metadata.
Is the Wi-Fi remote included in the basic camera package?
No. The Canon Wireless Controller WFT-E6 is an optional accessory that can be purchased and added to the EOS C300 package. Pricing is TBA.
What are some of the capabilities when the WFT-E6 is combined with the EOS C300?
Outstanding remote control possibilities, using nearly any web-enabled "smart-phone" or digital pad. Some of the camera controls which are possible include:
- Adjust focus, forward or backward (EF lenses on EOS C300)
- Adjust iris, shutter speed/angle, gain/ISO, White Balance
- Change image parameters
- View status display of camera
- Input metadata
- Start/stop recording
What mobile devices are going to be supported by the Wi-Fi remote?
Both Android and iOS mobile devices are supported.
What are the compatible Web Browsers for the Wi-Fi remote?
Internet Explorer 8 and up, Safari (iOS), Safari (Mac OS), and Android standard browsers are supported.
CAMERA BODY AND ERGONOMICS
What is the size/weight of the camera?
It depends on how many accessories are attached, and also varies according to EOS C300 or EOS C300 PL. Basic preliminary specs*
, however, are:
||EOS C300 PL
|Body plus grip
(W x H x D)
|6.9 x 7.0 x 6.7 in
174 x 179 x 171mm
|6.9 x 7.0 x 7.0 in
174 x 179 x 177mm
(Body, grip, monitor, battery, x2 CF cards)
|6.0 lb. (2700g)
||6.4 lb. (2900g)
Note: based on pre-production cameras and accessories, and subject to change
What do I need to get in order to get a working handheld rig?
For a multitude of handheld shooting options, the EOS C300 does not need any additional accessories. The basic package includes a grip, top-mounted handle, thumb rest, viewfinder and monitor unit which allow for effective handheld shooting.
What is the camera body made of?
The internal structure of the EOS C300 insures durability and rigidity, even with extremely heavy lenses and accessories mounted. The front cover surrounding the lens mount is magnesium alloy, while a strong aluminum alloy structure is used at the base and tripod mounting area. This base is noteworthy as well for the long, flat surface it provides, allowing the EOS C300 to either be placed on flat surfaces, or to provide a reliable mounting surface when combined with tripod-mount accessories. The chassis is especially designed to keep the plane of the imaging sensor parallel to the lens mount plane, even if excessive weight and bending force is applied to the front of the camera. The exterior body panels are polycarbonate resin, providing dust- and moisture-resistance approximately equal to Canon's EOS 5D Mark II camera.
Does the EOS C300 have a sensor cooling system?
Yes. For starters, the CMOS imaging sensor is anchored to a rigid aluminum plate with high thermal conductivity, which allows heat during extended recording sessions to be pulled away from the sensor itself. Furthermore, there are vent openings on the front and side of the camera, and a sealed duct system with a super-quiet fan that draws fresh air upward from the base of the camera, channeling heat away from the aluminum structure which the sensor mounts to, and exhausting it from tiny outlets at the top of the camera body. This cooling duct is sealed and isolated from other internal parts of the camera, so incoming air cannot spread dust or foreign matter through the interior of the camera body. The fan is quiet enough to avoid problems during in-camera audio recording; there is no separate on-off setting for the camera's cooling system.
Are there any precautions users should take to avoid issues with sensor heat?
The only concern shooters should be aware of is not to block the tiny ventilation holes on the camera body with tape or other materials. Users should familiarize themselves with the location of these vents, and from there, simply not block them with accessories or foreign materials such as tape.
What type of file does the EOS C300 write to the memory card?
Both versions of the EOS C300 write the same, proven MPEG-2, MXF, 4:2:2 file type used by Canon's existing XF300 and XF305 cameras. Bit rates up to 50Mb/sec – an industry-leading spec among Super 35-sensor cameras in the sub-$20,000 price category – are possible with the EOS C300, at Full HD 1920x1080.
Can the EOS C300 record RAW video files?
No. Files are always recorded using the high-quality compression method listed directly above. Users do have a choice of recording at highest quality 50Mb/sec, or at 35Mb/sec or 25Mb/sec for longer recording times on a given memory card.
What is MXF?
MXF stands for Material eXchange Format. It is an internationally standardized file format. The MXF codec that Canon employs in the EOS C300 uses the highly versatile MPEG-2 Long GOP 4:2:2 codec with class-leading image quality at 50 Mbps (CBR).
Can EOS C300 files be readily edited by major NLE editing software programs?
What are the system requirements for the bundled XF Utility software?
- Mac OS X, v.10.5 and v.10.6
- Compatible computers:
Macintosh with one of the above operating systems pre-installed
CPU – Intel CPU (Core2 Duo, 2.66 GHz or faster is recommended; not compatible with Power PC)
RAM – 1GB or greater
Display – Screen resolution 1024 x 768 or greater; Screen Colors: Approx. 32,000 colors or more
Supported camera models – XF300, XF305, XF100, XF105
- Windows 7 (All 32-bit/64-bit systems, except Starter Edition)
- Windows Vista (including SP1, SP2; all 32- and 64-bit systems, except Starter Edition)
- Windows XP – SP3 (Home Edition/Professional)
- Compatible computers:
Windows PC with one of the above operating systems pre-installed
CPU – Intel Core or greater; SSE2 compatible (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.66 GHz or faster is recommended)
RAM – 1GB or greater; 2GB or greater for Windows 7, 64-bit
Display – Screen resolution 1024x768 or greater; Screen Colors 16-bit color (high color)
Supported camera models - XF300, XF305, XF100, XF105
What audio inputs are on this camera?
Two XLR inputs are available on the monitor unit, which are switchable between line level, mic level and mic level with phantom power. In addition, the camera body has a 3.5mm diameter stereo mini-jack input for smaller mic units.
Is the audio compressed?
No. The EOS C300 supports uncompressed 16-bit audio at 48 khz.
Is the EOS C300 suitable for 3D applications?
Yes. The size and build of the EOS C300 lends itself very well to 3D applications. In particular, the camera's extremely narrow width allows two EOS C300's to be positioned extremely closely together, side-by-side – depending on the lens attached, in some cases, it may be possible for the lenses to be touching. This minimizes the need for sophisticated 3D mirror rigs for camera positioning. And, if mirror rigs are used, the camera's relatively light weight and minimal front-to-back length further aids camera positioning.
CONTROLLING THE "LOOK": CUSTOM PICTURE SETTINGS
What options are possible in the EOS C300 to modify the "look" recorded by the camera?
The EOS C300 provides a host of gamma settings and fine-tuning possibilities that allow critical users to either produce video footage that's precisely tailored to the subject and lighting they're shooting in, or alternatively the Canon Log and Cinema Lock options allow motion picture users to get a very flat, low-contrast result that's ready for extensive color grading during the editing process.
Where are these choices in the EOS C300?
They're located in the Custom Pictures menu, which is a separate menu – it's activated by pressing the Custom Picture button on the side of the camera.
In the Custom Pictures menu, there are a list of seven settings that seem to have nothing applied, yet settings 8 and 9 have items listed when I first call-up this menu. What's happening?
There are seven empty spaces in this menu, allowing users to enter any or all of them, and select their choice of Gamma setting, and employ a host of further manipulations (adjustments to Black settings, Knee, Sharpness, and a host of others) as desired... each of these can be saved, with a user-defined name. They can even be saved to an SD memory card, and then transferred to another EOS C300 camera – ideal for multiple-camera shoots.
What are the available Gamma options in the EOS C300?
- Normal 1: Typical contrast and saturation; assumes viewing on TV monitor
- Normal 2: Similar, but bright areas are rendered even brighter
- Normal 3: Greater expansion of tones in shadow areas
- Normal 4: Similar, but even more detail in dark shadows
- Cine 1: Crisp, fairly vivid image, simulating motion picture film
- Cine 2: Similar, but reduced contrast
- C8: CINEMA: Canon Log (see below; not to be confused with Cine 1 and 2)
- C9: EOS Standard: Crisp, vivid image, similar to Standard Picture Style on Canon EOS HD-SLRs
Any of these can be selected, and then further modified to suit the tastes of a camera operator, DP or director. The idea is that files will be produced in-camera that will require little, if any, further color and contrast adjustments in post-processing. This is ideal for users shooting on tight deadlines, or who simply don't have available budget for extensive color grading.
What is Canon Log?
Canon Log is a log gamma setting that retains maximum image information for post-production. It has high dynamic range and records the image with a flat image quality with subdued contrast and sharpness. This is ideal for color correction.
Why would I want to use Canon Log?
Any project that will be going through professional color correction or heavy post-production will benefit from using Canon Log. It allows for the most amount of image information to be recorded, leaving maximum control to colorists and effects artists to make image adjustments in ways that aren't possible with traditionally "baked-in" images.
What types of users would typically benefit most from Canon Log recording?
A very flat, low-contrast "look" is heavily-requested by high-end DPs and camera operators in the motion picture industry. Often, there's the expectation that much or all of their digital footage will be color-graded during the editing process – and, there's typically time and budget to accomplish this.
Since Canon Log produces a very flat and somewhat darkened image on the camera's LCD monitor, how can I show a "normal" image to anyone else on-set who needs to see how a particular scene or shot is being recorded?
Use the EOS C300's View Assist feature. When it's active, View Assist lets the user toggle back and forth from the flat look of an actual Canon Log file, and a generic, contrasty and saturated look that simulates typical results after color grading in post-production. View Assist can also be very useful for camera operators to see a more contrasty image to check focus, and for lighting crew members to get a better idea of how lighting effects will be rendered in-camera.
How do I use View Assist?
View Assist can be engaged via the camera menu under LCD/VF SETUP -> VIEW ASSIST.
Does the View Assist preview image output via HDMI or HD-SDI?
No. The View Assist preview image is only applied to the camera viewfinder and LCD. This is to ensure that people attempting to shoot Canon Log Gamma to an external recorder do not mistakenly output an affected image. It keeps the outputs clean for that purpose but allows the operator to see a preview on the camera LCD and viewfinder.
What do I need to be prepared for in post if I choose to shoot with Canon Log Gamma?
Workflow will be effectively the same when using Canon Log Gamma, but you should keep in mind that the image will look very flat in nature until a colorist can apply a look. If you don't have the time or budget to allow for extensive color correcting and color grading of your footage, Canon Log may not be the best option for your workflow. The other available Gamma options provide choices for video files that produce a "finished" look, when close deadlines mean there's no time for extensive color grading during editing.
Is Canon Log supported by the NLE I am using to edit?
Canon Log is supported by any NLE that is compatible with Canon's MXF codec (please see WORKFLOW QUESTIONS section for more details). No special procedures in the editing process are required for Canon Log video files, other than understanding that they'll likely need color and contrast manipulation.
Do I need any special processing software in order to work with Canon Log?
No. Canon Log does not change the recording format, so footage recorded in Canon Log behaves the same in a post-production environment as footage shot in any other gamma mode with the EOS C300. Canon Log does not create a "Raw" video file on the memory card.
How is Canon Log activated?
To simply activate Canon Log, and preserve access to all other image controls and camera functions, press the Custom Picture button on the left side of the EOS C300. In the Custom Pictures menu that appears, select option "C8: CINEMA". This calls-up the Canon Log gamma. (Please note – "Cinema" here refers to Canon Log, and is not the same as the "Cine 1" and "Cine 2" gamma options, mentioned above.)
What is Cinema Locked Mode?
Cinema Locked Mode is a setting engaged via the camera menu under CAMERA SETUP -> CP CINEMA LOCKED. It enables Canon Log Gamma, and effectively "locks out" any other image adjustments. This is a no-nonsense way for cinematographers to ensure that all settings are optimized for post-production, without having to dig deep into menus to check and re-set parameters back to zero. It simplifies the whole process to ensure that no matter what, you are getting the most out of your camera for post-production.
Why would I want to use Cinema Locked mode instead of just adding the Canon Log gamma to my custom picture profile?
Cinema Locked Mode simplifies the process. For a cinematographer who wants to make sure the camera is recording in its utmost quality for post-production, Cinema Locked Mode allows a simple switch to guarantee that all other possible image quality adjustments are set to "zero". It is preferred when a user does not have the time to ensure that every parameter in a custom picture profile hasn't been bumped or adjusted. This is especially helpful for rental camera scenarios, where multiple users could have meddled with custom pictures for different projects and purposes. Cinema Locked Mode is guaranteed to give the cinematographer the most out of the camera in the simplest setup possible – assuming what he or she wants is a flat, base image that will be ideal for color grading during post-production.
Where can I get technical support for my C300?
For technical support please contact Canon USA's dedicated pro support team for Cinema EOS products at (855) CINE-EOS.
Where can I service my C300?
Canon has established a network of service facilities for use exclusively by professionals. With walk-in locations supporting Hollywood, New York City and the Chicago markets, and nationwide mail-in repair depots on both coasts, Canon has a service facility convenient for you. For detailed information on how to get your product repaired please visit pro.usa.canon.com/support
Can I expect cinema industry level customer service and support for this product?
Yes, whether your need involves product training, contact center support, product repair, or maintenance services, Canon has a dedicated team of professional staff ready to help quickly and effectively resolve your issue with industry leading customer service and response times. For more information about Canon's service and support for Cinema EOS products, please visit pro.usa.canon.com/support