Despite bearing the now-universal second-generation indicator "Mark II", Canon's update to its Cinema EOS C300 looks like a considerable update -- at a considerable uptick in price. The current model is going for about $6,500 for the old EF-mount model (about £7,750 and AU$14,500); the Mark II will cost $20,000 (directly converted, that's £13,500 or AU$26,200) when it ships in September.
One of the notable improvements is that the C300M2 can record DCI or UHD 4K/30p internally to a CFast 2.0 card at 4:2:2 10-bit -- HD up to 4:4:4 12-bit -- as well as uncompressed to an external recorder via 3G-SDI. Like its new, relatively inexpensive sibling, the XC10, it uses Canon's new XF-AVC codec, H.264 in an MXF wrapper.
It incorporates a new 8.9-megapixel Super 35mm Dual Pixel CMOS sensor with a rated 15-stop dynamic range (up from 12) and a broader sensitivity range from ISO 100 through ISO 102,400.
A new Canon Log Gamma 2 profile was designed to accommodate the broader range as well as the dual Digic DV 5 chips used to process it. It also has two more stops of neutral-density filtering.
Canon claims the increased processing power will kill rolling-shutter artifacts despite the lack of a global shutter. It also enables dual recording, 4K to one of the two CFast cards (or an external drive) plus an 8-bit HD proxy file to the SD card. Other production-friendly updates include a 24-bit audio scratch track.
Ergonomic upgrades include improved color on the LCD display and a higher pixel density in the viewfinder; a redesigned clamshell unit that allows for interchangeable, field-serviceable cables; and a cleaner viewfinder view without an information overlay. Post-purchase upgrades include the option for a locking EF or PL mount and a redesigned run-and-gun handle option with far more control points.