NAB: Canon’s C300 Mark II, 50-1000mm Lens Debuts With Short Film

Production also involved use of Intuitive Aerial's Aerigon drone, as well as AMPAS' ACES color management system.
Courtesy of Canon

Canon’s new C300 Mark II digital cinematography camera was previewed at NAB with a short film, Trick Shot, that was lensed by director of photography Gale Tattersall (House M.D.)

Expected to be available in September for $20,000, the compact camera is designed to record 10-bit 4:2:2 4K image data internally and offer 15 stops of dynamic range. It’s now being considered by Tattersall for season two of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, which per Netflix requirements will be shot in 4K resolution.

Trick Shot — photographed on location in Nevada's Valley of Fire — also shows off Canon’s new Cine Servo 50-1000mm T5.0-T8.9 zoom lens for Super 35mm large format cameras (now available at rental house Otto Nemenz), which was used to track a car in the dessert, from roughly 2 ½ miles away up to the point where it reaches the camera, according to Canon spokesperson Tim Smith.

Production on the short also involved use of the camera on Intuitive Aerial's Aerigon drone (designed for features), which got nine minutes of flight time with the C300 Mark II and was able to move at speeds up to 50 mph, said Smith.

Cinematographer Curtis Clark (The Draughtsman's Contract) served as Trick Shot's technical consultant and oversaw a production workflow that delivered 4K resolution with a high dynamic range pass.

At NAB, this was previewed on a 2000 nits (a measurement of light) prototype display. “There is some controversy about what that optimum light level needs to be, which Dolby has been promoting at 4000 nits. Others are saying 2000 is more practical for mastering," Clark told The Hollywood Reporter.

Clark noted that an “extraordinarily important” on-set tool was Canon’s 24-inch 400 nits reference display, scheduled to be available in November. “It was able to get a Raw image from the camera and monitor in a Rec2020 color space," he said. "It’s more than a convenience, it's a confidence builder.”

Postproduction was accomplished at Burbank-based post house Fotokem, using SGO’s Mistika, an HDR and 4K-capable color grading and finishing system.

Additionally, the production incorporated use of AMPAS’ Academy Color Encoding System (ACES), a color management and image interchange system that the Academy was demonstrating at NAB.

Fotokem and SGO are among more than 20 companies that are already supporting ACES. Those companies also include Deluxe, FilmLight, Quantel and Sony Electronics.