NAB Show: Canon Extends Its 4K Camera Lineup With C300 Mark II

Canon C300 Mark II - H 2015
Courtesy of Canon

Canon C300 Mark II - H 2015

Canon is unwrapping the C300 Mark II digital cinema camera — a new camera model that can record 10-bit 4:2:2 4K image data internally — next week at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, which is shaping up to be a big event for new digital cinematography cameras.

"The C300 Mark II is a step-up camera for those looking for a 4K version the [Canon] C3000,” said company spokesperson Tim Smith. “But with a whole new sensor, resolution … It's a different camera”

Expected to be available in September for $20,000, the C300 Mark II (pictured above) has a new 8.85 megapixel Super 35mm Cinema CMOS sensor and a new Canon XF-AVC codec for internal recording (to CFast 2.0 memory cards) of Full HD (1920x1080) and 2K (2048x1080) to 4K for UHDTV (3840x2160) and 4K for cinema (4096x2160), using Canon’s proprietary over sampling HD processing. It can also output its signal simultaneously through built-in 3G-SDI ports for uncompressed RAW recording to an external recorder.

According to Canon, features include 15 stops of dynamic range, simultaneous 4K and HD proxy recording, frame rates up to 120 frames per second (in 2K or Full HD), and either an EF or PL lens mount.

Cinematographer Gale Tattersall (House M.D.) has tested the camera and lensed some of the demonstration material that will be screened at the Canon exhibition booth at NAB.

Also next week, Canon is introducing the XC10 4K digital camcorder, a small, handheld model designed to shoot 4K and HD video as well as 12-megapixel still images. The camcorder also has a built-in function to extract 8-megapixel still images from recorded 4K video.

It’s designed for “people who can from the SLR world who want to step up to 4K., so advanced amateurs and prosumers,” related Canon’s Smith. “We also think this will be a big camera for the drone world because of its size and weight.”

Canon reported that XC10 features include a one-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, 12 stops of dynamic range, and a 10x wide angle zoom lens. It’s scheduled to be available in June for roughly $2,500 including a SanDisk 64GB CFast 2.0 card and card reader.  

The company also plans to unwrap a new 24-inch DP-V2410 4K reference display at its NAB booth. The monitor is scheduled for availability in November for $18,000.

It’s looking like the NAB Show will be a busy one for cinematographers. In addition to Canon’s plans, Red is unveiling upgraded Red Dragon camera technology that its calls the “Weapon.” And Arri will be showing the 4K upgrades to its Alexa and Amira cameras, as well as a 5-pound Alexa “Mini” camera model aimed at uses such as aerial photography with drones.