Back in 2011, Canon started their Cinema EOS journey with the hugely successful C300. 9 years later, we have the mark 3 version. A hugely powerful and modern take on the exact same principles which made their original C300 so great. This could just be the broadcast ready workhorse from Canon that many people have been waiting for, so let's go over what is new.
Super 35mm 4K "Dual Gain Output" Sensor
The main thing separating this new C300 III from its higher priced sibling, the C500 II, is it's super35mm sensor, as opposed to the larger full frame sensor inside the C500 II. Having a super35mm sensor is no surprise here and will appeal greatly to the core target market of broadcast operators who are very well accustomed now to the S35 format.
What is a surprise though is what Canon are calling their new DGO or "Dual Gain Output" technology. This is similar in some regards to the technology behind Dual Native ISO's like we have seen on some cameras from other manufacturers. However there are some crucial differences. DGO uses two sets of circuits for each pixel set to different gains, but thats about where the similarities to a dual native ISO camera ends. With the C300 III, both sets of circuitry are live at the same time. With one focusing on the highlight information, and one focusing on reducing the noise levels in the shadows. This is all with the goal of increasing the usable dynamic range of the sensor, and makes for some fantastic, noise free images with a very smooth highlight roll off.
Powerful High Frame Rate Options
Canon have given the C300 III some surprisingly powerful high frame rate options. We get 120fps in 4K using the full width of the sensor, and 180fps in 1080p with a super16mm crop. This without changing your codec at all, you can remain in XFAVC or even Cinema Raw light, and swap over to high frame rates instantly with just a single button.
Core Body Concept
With the C500 II, Canon took the body sytle of the C200 and refined it, making it modular with a slightly squarer body shape. With the C300 III, Canon have now started calling this their 'Core Body Concept', so it looks like this body design might be here to stay. The C300 III looks almost identical to the C500 II, the same dimensions, rear modules, LCD mounting system and lens mounts.
This is no bad thing, we are a big fan of the design of the C500 II, the only improvements we would like to see is the addition of a second video port so you can use their fantastic EVF-V70 and the LCD touchscreen at the same time, and a better way to control your audio on the fly when the camera is on your shoulder. With the C300 III and C500 II, the audio dials are on the right hand side of the camera, hidden behind your wrist when you are using the handgrip.
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