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REVIEW Ben Sherriff THE C300 MKII HOW’S THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK SETTLING IN? THE TECH It’s been just over eight months since the release of the updated C300 camera the C300 MkII and almost five years since Vincent Laforet shot Möbius with a pre-production C300. In a landscape dominated by self-shooters and the continued rise of internet video, the C300 perhaps surprisingly like it’s forefather the 5DMkII came to become a solid staple of broadcast / reality production, independent film and online content. In fact, it became the most hired camera in Great Britain, so when I was offered the opportunity to shoot for two weeks with the MkII on a job and review the camera for KitPlus, I was keen to really get to grips with the new offering. The recent announcement that the camera had been given EBU certification for Tier 1 HD and Tier 2 UHD classification is hoped to silence the web’s doubters and naysayers, some of whom have contested the 15 stops of dynamic range that Canon claimed back in October 2015. The EBU certification supports this claim when shooting in Canon Log 2 Gamma. With that caveat in mind, this review is not about debating the cameras dynamic range, colour science and so forth, but it is about the key thing that matters to a camera operator, director of photography, self-shooter and producer alike – the results you can achieve and the experience in getting to those results. I used the camera for shooting a series of films for a corporate client which will be screened at a major awards ceremony in London and then released on YouTube. Now, despite this destination for the final work, I am always keen to shoot at, or close to, the maximum resolution settings possible. Who 62 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 114 JUNE 2016 wouldn’t try to get the best out of the new 8.85MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor? I set the camera to record Canon Log 2 3840 X 2160 25p in 422 10 Bit, and also revelled in the ability to record simultaneous proxy HD 420 35mbps files to SDHC card. I shot this job as a self- shooter with little or no assistance in operating camera, lighting, sound and movement kit. Personally, I think this is a great test for the camera as it’s a situation that pushes an individual. You need a tool in that situation that you can rely on, that is familiar, that is simple to rig and to operate. A great deal of the production work that the MkII will be used for, will be of this nature. When you pick up the camera for the first time you immediately notice it’s become a little heavier – due in part to the new die cast body which results in a slightly steadier handled image. It feels well made and stronger in the hands. The new body allows for repositioning of circuit boards and integration of the fan cooling system, which is fairly quiet and can be set through the menu to your preference. I found no need to alter the factory fan settings during two weeks shooting. A plethora of custom keys (22 in total) are found around the body where you can provide access to common functions, however most of them are already there on the C300 MkII. I was shooting mainly with a 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Possibly the most common lens to accompany the camera. Design wise, other key improvements are; new handle design with solid top cheese plate, the audio and video cables are now detachable from the (brighter) LCD monitor and audio unit, the ND filter system is now variable with up to 10 stops, a very useful on board microphone for recording scratch audio, and finally, and definitely most curious - dual pixel auto-focus and lens integration.