The Canon EOS C300 Mark III builds on the successful Super 35mm formula that made the Canon EOS C300 Mark II the first choice 4K camera for discerning documentary filmmakers and broadcast productions.
Here we take a look at the key features and functions of the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, including a new Canon sensor innovation – Dual Gain Output (DGO).
A key innovation in the Canon EOS C300 Mark III is the sensor size, and technology behind it.
The sensor on the Canon EOS C300 Mark III shares the classic cinematic Super 35mm format of its predecessor, but has been redesigned with an innovative feature called Dual Gain Output.
The DGO sensor is a newly-developed imaging system that offers exceptionally clean low light image quality as well as superb HDR acquisition capabilities.
On the DGO sensor, each pixel will read out the image with two different amplification levels, one high and one low, which will then be combined to make a single image. The higher amplification read-out is optimised to capture clean details in darker areas, while the lower amplification read-out is optimised to capture the details in brighter areas. When combined, the details in the shadows and highlights will be maintained and enhanced, which enables the camera to achieve an impressive higher dynamic range of up to 16+ stops.
The new DGO sensor is also compatible with Dual Pixel AF giving the user greater freedom to achieve the image they desire.
The new DGO sensor technology means the Canon EOS C300 Mark III can deliver more than 16 stops of dynamic range when shooting in Canon Log 2 Gamma.
“In addition to the new DGO sensor and Canon Log 2, the Canon EOS C300 Mark III includes Canon Log 3 and Wide Dynamic Range options for Log recording,” says Canon's Paul Atkinson, European Product Specialist, Professional Video. “It’s fully compatible with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflow, including direct recording in Dolby PQ and HLG.”
The enhanced processing capability brings a new level of performance to the Canon EOS C300 range, including high bitrate 4K recording.
“You can record 4K or 2K RAW in Cinema RAW Light with the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, and it also has the option of shooting 4K/2K and Full HD in XF-AVC using ALL-Intra or Long GOP,” explains Paul. “All-Intra gives you a lower compression and higher data rate, so that’s going to appeal in situations such as drama productions, which don’t require a RAW workflow.
“For footage that needs a rapid turnaround, such as news features or interviews, you can use a lower data rate with Long GOP for more compression and a smaller file size. You’ve then got the option for a smaller transmission back to the newsroom by whatever means you prefer, or faster download and data input speeds.”
The Canon EOS C300 Mark II offers up to 120P recording in 4K Cinema RAW Light or XF-AVC with no crop and up-to 180fps with the sensor mode set to Super 16mm/2K crop. “These frame rates are available at all camera frequency settings,” explains Paul. “In addition, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF functionality is maintained when shooting in this mode. Proxy files, recorded to the SD card are also recorded at the same frame rate.
“The Canon EOS C300 Mark III inherits this functionality, and can do this in 4K and 2K RAW, as well as in Full HD, 2K or 4K XF-AVC. If we come down to a 2K Super 16mm crop, you can achieve 180fps.
“If you’re recording RAW at 120fps, proxy files are captured with the same settings as the main recording format at 4:2:0 8-bit.”
The processing muscle of DIGIC 7 means the Canon EOS C300 Mark III can record high bitrate 4K video. “When recording Cinema RAW Light you are capturing at 1Gbps,” says Paul. “Recording in XF-AVC the maximum data rate is 810Mbps when shooting with the ALL-I option,” he adds.
The Canon EOS C300 Mark III has flexibility when it comes to rigging up, and shares accessories with its full frame Canon EOS C500 Mark II stable-mate, making them perfect companions on set. If you’re used to handling a Canon EOS C500 Mark II, you’ll find it easy to incorporate a Canon EOS C300 Mark III into your workflow.
“In its bare-bones form you’ve got a camera that can easily be used handheld or rigged very simply to a gimbal or drone. You can make the most of its features even when it’s stripped back, because its 4K internal recording means you don’t have to attach additional accessories. But if, for example, you wanted to switch to IP streaming, you could simply add one of the expansion units.”
A Canon Extension Unit 2 (EU-V2) would provide maximum connectivity, also adding independently controlled XLR inputs for a four-channel audio system.
“The modular design makes the Canon EOS C300 Mark III a much more versatile camera,” says Paul. “If you don’t need any extras, you can keep it nice and light; if you do need additional connections, you can turn it into a fully-fledged production camera.”