Canon C300 Mark III Breakdown
Here at Foundation Digital Media, we are constantly searching for the best technologies available and comparing gear breakdowns to deliver our customer’s the highest quality product for their budget. We’d like to begin passing these evaluations on to you, our customers, and to our colleagues in Washington D.C. video production and elsewhere. We’d love to help elevate your next project to a professional video standard, but we hope these breakdowns will provide you with the tools to get started today in developing your own incredible video content.
Today we’re taking a look at a gear breakdown for the new Canon EOS C300 Mark III camera. It’s an incredibly powerful, lightweight, and energy-efficient offering from the camera OS heavyweight that is meant to deliver professional-grade video quality in a diverse set of shooting environments and for a wide variety of media. At a price point of $10,999, it’s not for the casual hobbyist, but we’re certain the gear breakdown below will show you why it’s a must-have for any high-level project.
According to Canon’s official company release, the “next-generation Super 35mm workhorse” that is the C300 III comes packing a brand new Dual Gain Output (DGO), CMOS Sensor inside the body. Like it’s predecessor, the Mark II, it employs a robustly modular design with “an interchangeable lens mount optional accessory that allows users to easily customize the camera.” Meaning it is powerful but not one-dimensional, and you’ll see why.
The groundbreaking 4K Super 35mm DGO imaging system, with Canon’s renowned dual-pixel autofocus technology, is able to generate “high dynamic range and maintains low noise levels by reading out each photodiode with two different gains. One gain prioritizes saturation in highlight areas while the other suppresses noise in the shadows.” Essentially taking two raw images for every frame, with each taking a different gain signature from the shot, and combining to create the final raw frame. This sort of dual gain architecture is not brand new, as you can see it in other industry leader’s offerings like ARRI’s ALEV sensor available in a few of its products, but it is no less capable and well designed.
The result, in the case of the C300 Mark III, is an image with “up to 16+ stops of dynamic range, clean rich shadows and vibrant highlights in up to 4K/60p.” A remarkable claim may be somewhat difficult to achieve in practice but absolutely possible with the technology within the camera. Equipped with Canon’s latest video imaging processor, the DIGIC DV 7, the camera achieves “more fluid and efficient recording of 4K and HDR and can process high-speed video recording, including 4K at up to 120p.” For even greater performance in low-light shooting environments, it allows for an ISO of up to 102,000.
Another critical element to its success is its utilization of Cinema RAW Light, “a very powerful and useful tool for helping to cut the data size of a file to about one-third to one-fifth of a similar Cinema RAW file, without losing grading flexibility.” Beyond storage, it is even developing a reputation as a workhorse because of its supreme energy efficiency and run-time potential given its power draw of only 31W. According to Newsshooter, “you can continuously record 130 minutes of Cinema RAW Light (1Gbps) when using a single BP-A60 battery.”
A few other noteworthy features in this release are the Mark III’s continued support of Canon’s proprietary C-Log 2 and 3 for enhanced dynamic range and color grading potential. You are also able to input your own look-up-tables to apply custom LUT’s while shooting. Lastly, it has a 5-axis electronic image stabilization which is nothing to gawk at but still quite capable.
How’s It Built
The official specifications list the camera body as approximately “6 in (width) x 5.8 in (height) x 6.6 in (depth) with a bodyweight of approximately 3.9 lbs., making it compact and lightweight” and almost identical to the C300 Mark II, despite its increased performance ability. Canon has also chosen to continue making use of CFexpress as its preferred storage media, with 2 dual-recording slots on the Mark III.
As mentioned before, the camera is highly customizable and modular. The camera comes with a ton of accessories such as a 4.3-inch LCD monitor, which is both touch-screen and intuitive like those that came before it, and the GR-V1 grip. There are also a wide variety of optional add-ons to elevate the potential of the Mark III even further. There is the “EVF-V70 electronic viewfinder” for more intelligent shooting and the “SU-15 shoulder support unit” for greater mobility and stability.
There are also plenty of body modifications that allow for different applications like remote use, ethernet connection, battery power, and additional XLR ports. Additionally, there are mount kits (sold separately) that allow users to exchange the EF mount with an EF cinema lock mount or PL mount, which is a very unique and super handy feature for challenging shoots.
While the C300 Mark III is an absolute powerhouse to be sure, it is caught in a sort of precarious situation. Essentially they have created the perfect version of their C300 family, with minimal surface-level changes from the Mark II but critical performance upgrades, but still leave it just a touch shy of meeting the threshold set by its big brother, the C500 Mark II. It is clear from Canon’s press releases that this was intentional in order to create an economical option for professionals in broadcasting and corporate video production that doesn’t need the cinema bells and whistles of the C500 but is no less capable of blowing you away. So while they have set a new standard by far, you might be hesitant to upgrade if you’re already working with one of those other two bodies.
If this exciting product seems appealing for your next video content or digital media project, you can find it and its accessories today at sites like Adorama. If it seems beyond your needs or budget right now to invest in something like this, there are still resources for you! Get in touch with us now to discuss what our years of video broadcasting experience and technological expertise have to offer your next campaign or project.