KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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Overall the ergonomics are pretty much the same as the MkI: there is a new battery system and a 4-pin lemo 14.7v input on the back of the camera. There is an increased processing power, developed from the processing system off the C500, and the ability to crop in the sensor at 2k. This can be used to achieve higher frame rates. You can shoot HD, UHD, and 4k (including RAW output) in various flavours and bit rates. All of the aforementioned qualities are rounded off by quicker servicing and the possibility of swapping your EF mount to a PL. Technically speaking on paper (given the certification) the C300 MkII offers us HDR, better build quality and more flattering images than the predecessor. But the key question for me is where the camera actually sits in comparison to other options? One that I’ll return to later in the article. The top handle and the LCD mounting system are still not strong enough for the price tag. The mounting options are improved but there are better third party solutions out there. A few weeks ago I shot with a MkII with the Arri top plate from Genesis Plus Hire and it’s a much more robust solution, that allows more options in terms of where you position the LCD and rigging other accessories. The same goes for the microphone bracket, these are going to break (but should be easily replaceable). THE EXPERIENCE I’d like to be able to view a Vectorscope and also change the position of the Waveform monitor on the LCD, it’s stuck on the right hand side which is a nuisance when you’re shooting an interviewee on the right of frame. Excuse the metaphor but it’s like going out for dinner with an old friend who you haven’t seen for a while, you pick up exactly where you left off but your friend is now better dressed and successful. In truth there’s not much I don’t like about the C300 MkII. For the most part it’s the perfect camera for a single shooter, but it’s also got a lot more to offer than that. I know it will be incredibly popular because the images you can achieve are beautiful, but there are some slight things I hope will change when Canon release another 4k system. Most all of my critical comments relate to the form factor. Now this is a somewhat contentious point because you could also argue that the camera has an amazing form factor in that it can be adopted to be big or small, drama or doco, handheld from the hip, shoulder or gimbal, gryo or drone. But from a pure shooting perspective here’s what I’ve found: Higher frame rates in UHD. It’s not an absolute game changer because ask yourself do you really need 100fps? But keep in mind it has to compete with other cameras that can do this so for some this will be a negative. Now I want to talk about the feature that has probably blown me away the most after the skin tones and images from the new sensor. The single most impressive and also useful feature for me, was the dual pixel auto-focus. Now this is an odd one, when I first heard about it my instant reaction was ‘what a gimmick’. It’s a cardinal sin that goes against everything you’ve ever been taught to use autofocus as a camera operator, but trust me, it is no gimmick. I used the C300 MkII on the Steadicam Scout without a focus puller and so it was the perfect test bed for the auto-focus system. The camera is ideally suited to the Scout, sitting right in the middle of the load range (up to 8 Kilos.) Having used the feature in a real world scenario for a good few days now, I can honestly say I am confident KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 114 JUNE 2016 | 63