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New Cameras Unveiled in Time for NAB: Here’s Why C300 Mark II Is One to Watch

New Cameras Unveiled in Time for NAB: Here's Why C300 Mark II Is One to Watch

This year more camera manufacturers than ever are opting to announce new cameras right before NAB, as opposed to at the show itself. The latest camera to fall in this category would be the C300 Mark II which was officially announced earlier this week and has some impressive (but predictable) specs.

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In a nutshell, the new C300 Mark II is a 4K version of its predecessor with some much needed functionality including: 15 stops of dynamic range, RAW ability (to an external recorder), a better codec, 120fps slow motion, and much more. It will retail for $15,999.

Here are the specs:

– 10-bit 4:2:2 in 4K recording (UHD 3840 x 2160 & DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160 pixels)
–  up to 410Mbps (in 4K)
– 10/12-bit 4:4:4 in 2K & Full HD
–  up to 30p in 4K, 120p in 2K/Full HD
–  4K RAW files to external recorder
–  dual DIGIC DV5 processors
–  dual CFast 2.0 slots
–  15 stops of dynamic range with new Canon Log2
–  Dual Pixel CMOS AF
–  New XF-AVC Intra, Long GOP and Proxy H.265 codecs in 4K, UHD, 2K and 1080p
–  4-channel audio in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz
–  sensor-read out 2x faster than C300, less rolling shutter

READ MORE: RED Announces 8K Weapon at NAB: Here’s Why It’s Impressive…And Disappointing

Overall, I think the specs look great on paper, but there are no huge surprises here. With a price tag of around $16k, you would assume that the camera should be able to shoot 4K, have decent slow motion functionality and a better codec. If it didn’t offer any of those capabilities, no one would be happy. So thankfully, Canon has gone ahead and added some much needed usability to their latest iteration of the C300, and for many users that will be enough.

In the last year or two Canon lost some users, due in part to the popularity of the GH4 and A7s. But this camera will give Canon a chance to redeem themselves and hold onto much of their user base. A lot of documentary shooters, television programs, rental houses and owner/operators swore by the original C300 from the beginning, and I see many of those same types of users considering the C300 Mark II.

Are there cameras that offer better specs than the C300 MK II for less money? Absolutely. But for the segments of the film/television/digital industries that have been loving the C300 for years, that won’t matter. Specs aren’t the only thing to consider when buying a camera, and for certain types of shooters the Mark II is going to be exactly what they want: a C300 brought up to 2015 standards.

In the below video, Canon U.S.A.’s Technical Advisor Brent Ramsey discusses the new features and benefits of the EOS C300 Mark II Cinema.

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and founder of the boutique production company Creative Rebellion. This article was originally published on his blog.

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