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Canon announces C100 Mark 2


Zach Ashcraft
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Wherve does it leave the C300 now? I am sure they'll need to update that now too.

The difference as it stands
-Mpeg 4:2:2 codec
-SDI output and genlock

That's it. For 7$K. Plus the first one can be solved with an external recorder. The C100 even adds 60p at 1080, Dual pixel AF and a smaller/lighter better design with two internal microphones.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

A good friend at Canon claims a more-than-expected image quality increase compared to mk I and c300, in all sharpness, aliasing/moire performance, high ISO noise, compression artefacts and colour fidelity. 

From what I could understand the difference is this, On the mk I, the four (R, G1, G2, B) components were combined and scaled down directly to 1080p, while on this mk II, the R channel is interpolated to form a full 4K red image, the B channel is interpolated to full 4K blue image, and the two G channels are combined and interpolated to a full 4k green channel, then the 3 4K images are combined and scaled down to full HD.

He says it's due to the signifcantly more powerful Digic IV processor that can perform super fast interpolation, upscaling and high quality super sampling. 

no idea whether this is true or not, but I trust the guy for what it's worth.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Starting with a higher quality source before crushing by AVCHD is always better than starting with a lower quality source, AVCHD is not that bad it's what happens to the source before that what matters, proof is FS100/C100 vs t2i. AVCHD is actually very sophisticated compression and provides a fraction of the file sizes with no visible loss in image quality. The visual loss only happens when heavily pushed in post either exposure or colour.

Anyway I haven't seen any C100 mk II footage but the one who saw it did notice a "big improvement". The interpolation of the additional colour information plus the elegant down sample could introduce lesser artefacts and more detailed image, and the new processor is said to give a boost in lowlight performance, with new noise reduction algorithms that effectively give around 2 stops advantage over the last generation 1. At least that's what a Canon employee says anyway! :D

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This is the kind of camera Jim Jannard would have criticised in 2008. Now 6 years later it's 2014 and it will look like standard definition playing in a high definition world. There is no reason this cannot do 4K. The sensor in the C100 Mk II does a 4K readout. I have a very good 4K video processor / LSI in my $899 pocket camera (LX100). I have a 4K HDMI tap (4:2:2 8bit) on my $2299 one (A7S) and a 10bit 4K HDMI at $1699 with the GH4. 4K raw from Blackmagic at not much more.

 

If you're busting a gut making art, and you want it to be timeless, appreciated by future audiences, then 1080p 8bit is not the format to shoot it on.

 

If on the other hand you just want to do a job efficiently with a minimum of fuss and get paid, the C100 Mk II is a bargain. I am sure it will sell very well to the large (but shrinking) crowd of workers who don't need anything more than 1080p and 8bit AVCHD.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I absolutely don't agree with Andrew. I believe that's looking too much into specs and not the actual image. The 8 bit 1080p out of the C100 (mk I) is more "timeless and appreciable by future audience" than most of the lower end 4k/10bit-offering cameras, because the image simply looks better than a gh4 or an a7s. Plus of course that whole usability/ergonomics ghost.

I believe the C100 mk II is one of the very few cameras that have no downsides, it has both the image quality and usability parts covered more than the rest of the competetion.

Only downside is no post reframing and no significant exposure pulling in post. Many (the majority) are perfectly able to live without both. Of course there's a minority who do need these, for example those shooting fiction cgi features, the c100 is not designed for them so they should just look past it. It's like being a wedding filmmaker and moaning about the Blackmagic raw/4K huge files and lack of easy controls, it's not a tool designed for you, just look else where.

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I don't agree. Sorry! To my eye the C100 and the very similar Mk II do not look better than the A7S, which has HD more in league with the F5. Actually better because it isn't as noisy. The A7S is full frame, nicer rendering of EF lenses than Super 35 and the 4K output is superior - 4x the data in the file than 1080p ProRes, not just 4x the detail. The only image quality related issues the C100 Mk II is superior over the A7S is rolling shutter. I dare say the A7S is better in low light too!

 

The Blackmagic cameras if you stay under ISO 800 offer better skin tones, more tones in the lows (much nicer shadows with less banding) and the BMCC in particular has a significant dynamic range advantage in raw.

 

In terms of grading, raw does not compare to AVCHD, nor ProRes via HDMI. It's obvious you can do more with raw. The C100 Mk II will not give you the advantages of raw, unlike the 5D3 with Magic Lantern.

 

The GH4 is of course more details and is 4x the amount of data in the H.264 file than is the case with H.264 on the C100 Mk II. The GH4 is a bit noisy at times and the smaller sensor needs Speed Booster which has trades offs of its own, but I will bet you a lot of money that if you gave me two shots, one from the C100 2 and one from the GH4 I could match them in post so closely you wouldn't be able to tell them apart at 1080p.

 

I can appreciate why the C100 Mk II is a work tool, and at $5500 it's a very solid one which does very good 1080p with some of the best ergonomics, excellent audio and built in ND filters. But let's not pretend that $5500 is getting you anything magical on the image side. Very good compressed 8bit 1080p yes, with decent colour straight off the bat with no grading. It's certainly convenient.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I guess it all depends on personal preference and how our eyes and minds see beauty.

The C100 mk I (not to mention II as they say it's even better) looks much better than the GH4 and I used both. The most prominent advantage bring the colours and skin, the image is just nicer, with higher dynamic range in both the highlights and shadows, s35 depth of field, much lower noise even at lowest ISOs, and more grain-like structure of noise and texture. It also has less artefacrs like jello. Just better overall and I say that alone makes it worth it, add ergonomics to that and all the extra tools and it's more than worth it. The GH4 only looks as good in resolution, it can be reframed in post, that's it. And though I haven't tried the A7a yet but nothing I've seen come out of the A7s looks as good as the C100, not even close. This one comes more down to personal views rather than the GH4 which is "technically" inferior (but that is not to ve held against the GH4, it's 1/4 the price! Best little camera in that range)

What I believe is the reason for the C line success is the combination of both great image quality AND usability.

Many companies are getting one part right and not both. For example, blackmagic, which makes the best image quality but is impaired with the horrible ergonomics and usability and lowlight performance. Other one is sony with their comparable FS100/700 which do produce great images but very awkward in usability. And of course all the other manufacturers that make video/eng cameras that are a joy to use but with horrible tiny sensors. The Cion will me great images yet again but without NDs, small, easy batteries, effecient worflow, lowlight performance, usability is overally not good. The panasonic AF100 has great usability but the image was just not as good as the c100/fs100.

The C300 was the first to combine both perfect usability and one of the best HD images out there. It's the secret to success which I wish every company would realize.

Sony seems t have figured it out from the C300 by making the FS7, whch I predict will one of the most successful camras ever made by Sony. It has the same combination.

Panasonic figured it out with the GH4 and combined both great image quality and perfect usability. Which is why it's the best selling video camera now.

The more the companies try to imitate the C100/300 combination the more cameras they will sell.

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I see no truly compelling reason here to upgrade from our current C100s for corporate/event work. Unless of course the image is significantly better, which is possible, but not likely.

 

The FS7 just makes more sense as a future-proof device, even though colour-wise it just doesn't match the Canons. I think the big C are on the verge of pushing the conservative upgrades too far for their own good...

 

The only odd positive side-effect is how long their kit holds value for, since they don't trump their own equipment every five minutes like Sony. But unfortunately they'll soon be lagging a long way behind competitor specs...

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"There is no reason this cannot do 4K".

 

The new Canon C300 Mark 2 will have 4K. (NAB 2015 at latest this will be out, maybe sooner)

 

Don't forget about the new Canon 1D C - 2, (or whatever they will call it) which will no doubt be the best small 4K camera in the world.

 

Canon C500 Mark 2 or the new body design for this cam.

 

Can't forget about the amazing selection of lenses from Canon. More new cine lenses on the way as well for NAB 2015!

 

By mid 2015 Canon will again be the top dog. 

 

These are the reasons.

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The new Canon C300 Mark 2 will have 4K. (NAB 2015 at latest this will be out, maybe sooner)

 

Don't forget about the new Canon 1D C - 2, (or whatever they will call it) which will no doubt be the best small 4K camera in the world.

 

Canon C500 Mark 2 or the new body design for this cam.

 

Can't forget about the amazing selection of lenses from Canon. More new cine lenses on the way as well for NAB 2015!

 

By mid 2015 Canon will again be the top dog. 

 

These are the reasons.

 

O rly?

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If the C300 mk2 has 4k then thats great, but what about the video-looking treatment of highlights you see on the C cameras right through to the C500? Great for weddings and reality shows, but I thought 'C' meant cinema?

 

Supposedly the Fs7 has 14 stops of dynamic range, do you think they will improve the C300 sensor at all? Seems unlikely judging from the c100 conservative upgrades.

But at least it will have Wifi and good marketing. 

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This is a camera intended for event shooters (weddings, ceremonies..) and documentaries, who else in this pricerange gives you full Canon lens compability (stabilization, video usable AF), with s35 DOF ?

 

About the price, make these considerations, if you don't have a other equipment, from the 5500$ of the c100mII subtract about 750$ value for 3 good NDs that you'll have to buy for other cameras (and hey, a click and you have your ND applied, clean from dust and fingerprints and without time to open the mattebox if u use it), subtract the price of a double XLR adaptor (no idea about the price, but it has a cost for sure), subtract the price for a cage with top handle and in some cases (if you compare it with 5DmIII for example) subtract the price of an external EVF with unsecure cables that can break when you really need them, since the c100mII has it built in and it's supposed to be real good this time.

 

If you do not grade (stylize) your footage but simply color correct it to make it look natural you should also subtract the time and costs of grading it since the C series creates the best looking video out there in this price range, and probably c100mII will be even better (maybe not maybe yes.. time will tell).

 

If like me you also work with gimbals (I use the DJI Ronin) you need a short camera, and light, on my last feature I've been filming with Brick-Black-Magic production camera and EOS lenses, sooo heavy guys and so much battery usage.

 

Imho the price is just slightly overpriced, not that much, what I would love to know before buying it are the possible future upgrades (10 bit hdmi via firmware, 4k, h.265)

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