- This is a brand new sensor, “designed from scratch by Canon, entirely for cine and video applications.”
- The native ISO of the camera is 850.
- Canon thinks that with their Canon-Log color space, the camera allows “800% overexposure… which translates to …an Exposure Latitude of 12 f-stops.” Graeme Nattress of Red disagrees.
- Graeme also points out that Canon is not obsessed with proper spelling.
- There’s a built-in waveform monitor overlay.
- And focus-asist peaking (which I learned here).
- No autofocus. Hilariously, Red promises that Scarlet X will autofocus your Canon lenses. File that under Red out-Canoning Canon tonight.
- There’s built-in vignette reduction for Canon lenses. EF-mount version only.
- Maximum ISO is 20,000, or 30dB of gain.
- You can specify shutter by angle.
- “The EOS C300 is equipped with three built-in, durable glass ND filters” Two stops, 4 stops, and 6 stops. Very nice.
- “When the Slow and Fast Motion setting is enabled, frame rate selections can be made in one frame per second increments…” So apparently you can shoot at funky frame rates.
- Everyone has been talking about how 60 fps recording is limited to 720p, but that’s not entirely true. The C300 also has 50i and 60i modes. So you could shoot 60i with a 1/120 shutter, and convert each field to a frame using the method I describe in The DV Rebel’s Guide for slow motion. Although this is likely to result in more flicker artifacts than simply shooting 720p60.
- A 32 GB CF card will hold 80 minutes of footage at 50Mb/s.
- The camera has two CF card slots. You can record across the two cards, or you can record redundantly to the two cards.
- A separate Wi-Fi unit will be offered that will allow any smart phone or tablet with a web browser to control basic camera functions.
- It has a fan.
- “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.” Nice.
- “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.”
- “Cinema Locked Mode… 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.” Very nice.
- There’s a “View Assist feature” designed for those shooting in Canon Log who wish to monitor a more pleasingly contrasty image. “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.” Again, very nice. There are some expensive cameras out there that require external hardware to accomplish this.
When you contemplate this camera’s seemingly high price point (reported to be anywhere from $16,000 to $20,000), you have to factor in all these little details. Many of these seem to me to bear the fingerprints of Canon’s Larry Thorpe, formerly of Sony, who was at the event today, knows more about cameras than anyone I’ve ever met, and was the first person I called back in 2008 when I began to sense that Canon might need help understanding the profound effect of the 5D Mark II on the filmmaking community.
There’s some very cool stuff here. And if it breaks, you can have it fixed or replaced at Canon’s new service center smack in the middle of Hollywood.
Red certainly seemed to sweep Canon’s leg today by pitching a Scarlet that out-specs the C300 at half the price, but I’m not content to leap to any conclusions without comparing these cameras—and the ecosystems that accompany them—at the atomic level. Allegiances are convenient. Analysis is difficult.
And Scotch is delicious. Goodnight.