Canon C200: Tried and Tested


Ben Sherriff TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

There are many reviews about this camera online and a heap of incredibly detailed comparison and behind the scenes footage that will really give you a full insight into what it can do. So first a disclaimer - this review is less detailed and based on my personal reading of what this camera means for Canon and all other camera manufacturers and us – the users of these technologies. So, what’s all the fuss about?

The camera is capable of internally recording a new RAW codec Canon have developed which they’ve called Cinema Raw Light. The camera is part of the 3rd generation of Cinema EOS cameras which are aimed at the mid weight filmmakers creating content for commercials, drama, corporate and other theatrical uses. The really interesting thing is that this camera sits between the C100mkii and the C300mkii in the Canon Cinema EOS range and it boasts the ability to record 12 Bit RAW when shooting at 30, 25 or 24fps internally. This ability comes at a cost. The camera records to CFast II cards which are expensive, you will only get around 15mins per 128GB card in 4K. This means that to shoot RAW you are going to need to make a significant investment in media to record on and also have a solid post production infrastructure in place to deal with this vast amount of data.

But let’s place all that aside for one moment. I consider this as a big move from Canon when placed in context. The only other manufacturers to offer the ability to internally record RAW in 4K are Blackmagic Design and RED, (Arri’s Alexa Mini will do 3.4K via Open gate but not 4K). This might be a game changer – you don’t need more investment or power and rigging solutions for another piece of kit to acquire RAW. It suggests to me that other manufacturers will likely follow suit in 2018 and 2019, because capturing all the information from the sensor offers filmmakers increased flexibility and image quality and more importantly there is clearly a significant market demand for this functionality. Therefore, in my opinion RAW recording has the potential to be as big, if not bigger deal than further increasing resolutions or full frame technology over the coming year. Although we are still going to see these develop significantly as well. Sony already have their 16Bit X-OCN (Original Cinema Negative), for use with the F55 and Venice with the ASX-R7 recorder, the likes of Sony, Arri and Panasonic have kept the RAW functionality for the highest end systems and top-level licenses for these cameras so it is significant that Canon have managed to achieve RAW internally and put it out at this price point. Providing post production software can also be enhanced to integrate RAW data / RAW light codecs then this standpoint holds fast. I was able to run the Canon Cinema Raw Light footage in FCPX with the simple installation of a plugin.

So there’s the context and the lens through which I view the C200, now let me dive into some of the key points of note that I’ve shortlisted. If you don’t want to shoot in RAW then the camera also offers an SD card slot to which you can record proxies of 4K RAW you’re recording to the CFast II slot. You can also just record to the SD card in 4K Mp4 at 150Mbps 8 Bit 4:2:0 or in 1080p at 35Mbps. Somewhat problematically the camera doesn’t offer an edit friendly 10 Bit 4:2:2 internal codec to meet the minimum specs required for use in broadcast, so it’s unlikely to be used for broadcast / reality type shows like the original C300 was and take the place of where the Sony FS7 now sits. Canon are seemingly reserving the 4:2:2 recording for their top of the line models.

Ergonomically the camera is vastly improved with the addition of an Arri Rosette mount for the handgrip allowing the operator to deploy commonly available standard accessories / grip options. The XLR audio inputs have been integrated into the main body of the camera which is great news for gimbal work, and has enabled a re-design of the LCD screen which is now highly configurable. Also noteworthy is the fact that Canon are retailing this camera as a body only setup – without any kind of viewfinder. This setup clearly targeted at drone, gimbal or housing use, but also indicative of the fact that Canon are understanding their market. They are realising that the user configures a camera system to the way in which they work, and the Arri rosette mount showing us they want to provide enhancements that work with the rest of the expensive investments that filmmakers make. A big thumbs up from me regarding this embrace of modularity. Furthermore, the lens mount can be change to PL at a Canon service centre (paid for upgrade). The only negative I found with the form of the camera was that the heat exhaust is now on the left side of the body, so when the camera is on your shoulder it’s right by your ear. I am guessing this is down to the relocation of the XLR inputs and if so it’s a small price to pay.

Another important feature is the cameras extended ISO range; I shot with it in extremely low light at night and found very low noise, even when pushing the ISO well beyond the rated ISO 800 that will give you 15 stops of dynamic range in 12 Bit RAW. The extended range goes all the way up to an incredible if very noisy ISO 102,000. Even at high ISO ratings the RAW image is rescuable once a LUT and noise reduction are applied. Even more important than the extended ISO with the C200 Canon continue to lead the market with regards to their Dual pixel autofocus. They have increased functionality with their touch to focus and added track to focus technology for moving subjects, something especially useful for gimbal work and many filmmakers in this camera’s target market.

I would love to spend more time with the C200 and really get out in the field shooting with it because the images it produces from the RAW 12 Bit codec are stunning. Canon’s Cinema RAW Development software shows signs for future promise, and the plugins currently allow you to run the footage in FCPX and Avid. As it stands at the moment it can capably achieve simultaneous batch and proxy exporting to Pro Res 4444, DPX RGB 10 or 16 Bit, or Open EXR for an Aces workflow and offers control over Brightness, White balance and Sharpness. Clearly a way to go until it can rival REDCINE-X PRO but for processing the RAW files it works fine. The fact that you can use the RAW files natively in FCPX without venturing into the Canon software will be a big deal for many.

As I write this I’m rather struggling to find a conclusion to this article because I basically began with one. The camera’s internal RAW capability is clearly the headline, not just for Canon but for other manufacturers too. Canon seem to understand their customers and it strikes me that with the C200 they aren’t aiming at broadcast and adhering to standards but playing left of field and kicking the hornets’ nest by offering RAW to the online commercial filmmaker market. Perhaps then internal RAW will be the next big thing? Who knows it might even overshadow the arguments for and against more pixels over the next year and I hypothesise become the new norm in indie priced cinema camera technology. What will the C300mkIII have instore for us?


Tags: iss129 | spellbinder | canon | c200 | c100mkii | c300 | red | alexa | asx-r7 | Ben Sherriff
Contributing Author Ben Sherriff

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

    Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

  • Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

    Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

  • Lens Adaptor at BVE 2013

    Lens Adaptor at BVE 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • Hireacamera at BVE North 2012

    Hireacamera at BVE North 2012

  • Tiffen at NAB 2012

    Tiffen at NAB 2012

  • MTF at IBC2011

    MTF at IBC2011

  • Root6 at IBC2011

    Root6 at IBC2011

  • Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

    Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

  • Hireacamera at BVE 2013

    Hireacamera at BVE 2013

  • Hireacamera at BVE 2012

    Hireacamera at BVE 2012

  • Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

    Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

  • PhotonBeard - LED Redhead - at BVE 2015

    PhotonBeard - LED Redhead - at BVE 2015

  • Altered Images at BVE North 2011

    Altered Images at BVE North 2011

  • PAG at IBC2011

    PAG at IBC2011

  • Hypercore Mini from Core SWX at NAB 2017

    Hypercore Mini from Core SWX at NAB 2017

  • Photon Beard at IBC 2015

    Photon Beard at IBC 2015

  • Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

    Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

  • BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

    BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Photon Beard Photon Beam at IBC 2014

    Photon Beard Photon Beam at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

    GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

    Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

    Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2012

    Facilis at NAB 2012

  • Facilis at BVE 2012

    Facilis at BVE 2012

  • Teradek at BVE 2012

    Teradek at BVE 2012

  • The Vision Charity at BVE North 2011

    The Vision Charity at BVE North 2011

  • Autocue at BVE North 2011

    Autocue at BVE North 2011

  • Autodesk at IBC2011

    Autodesk at IBC2011

  • Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

    Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

  • Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Anton Bauer at IBC2011

    Anton Bauer at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • The new ARRI Alexa Mini with Den Lennie

    The new ARRI Alexa Mini with Den Lennie


Articles
Keeping Pace with the Content Revolution
Kevin Fitzgerald These are uniquely challenging times for broadcasters and their technical teams. Not only are they having to negotiate the move to IP-based infrastructures and the introduction of new formats and techniques such as 4K and HDR, they are also having to generate more content than ever before to support OTT and web services as well as traditional linear broadcast.
Tags: iss139 | streamstar | streaming | case 800 | ipx | ipx-3g | Kevin Fitzgerald
Contributing Author Kevin Fitzgerald Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF
Why MADI is Still Relevant
Stephen Brownsill While the original idea for MADI was to cater to a very narrow recording studio application, the standard remains a viable go-to multichannel audio technology. Beginning as a standard in 1991, MADI was first introduced to the world as digital production was beginning to come of age. MADI was put together in 1988 by Solid State Logic, AMS-Neve, Sony (DASH) and Mitsubishi (ProDigi) as a way to transport up to 56 channels of digital audio between large-format audio consoles of the day and digital multi-channel tape machines via 75-Ohm coaxial cables. Both tape-based machines have long since disappeared from the equipment landscape.
Tags: iss139 | madi | tsl products | aes10 | aes | dolby atmos | st-2110 | sam-q | Stephen Brownsill
Contributing Author Stephen Brownsill Click to read or download PDF
Increasing Diversity in the UK Indie Market
Sam Addo

London director Sam Addo tells us more about how he aims to change the status quo when it comes to onscreen diversity with his new feature, Cards on the Table.

“Over the past thirty years, filmmakers have made movies telling a wide range of stories, however, in my humble opinion, those with disabilities, from the LGBTQ+ community and or those from ethnic minorities remain underrepresented on screen. For example, it is rare to find a film where the lead character has a disabil ity, and that underrepresentation is worrying.”

Tags: iss139 | cards on the table | feature | diversity | blackmagic | ursa mini pro 4.6k | lut | davinci resolve | Sam Addo
Contributing Author Sam Addo Click to read or download PDF
The LED Lighting Revolution
Neil Vann Back in April 2019, the National Association of Broadcasters hosted the annual NAB show in Las Vegas where over 90,000 people from more than 160 countries came to see the latest broadcast technology from around the world. Honouring the highlights of the show were NAB’s 2019 Product of the Year awards, where the newly launched Chroma-Q Space Force onebytwo – a bright, tuneable white LED softlight with a high CRI, TLCI and TM-30 - picked up one of these prestigious awards in the lighting category.
Tags: iss139 | ac-ent | led | lighting | chroma-q space | softlight | studio force phosphor | Neil Vann
Contributing Author Neil Vann Click to read or download PDF