Last month, Canon announced an updated version of their popular C100, the low-end entry in their Cinema EOS line of cameras. But just how does this updated build compare to the original, both in terms of features and image quality? The answer may surprise you.
Our friends over at Cinema5D recently got their hands on an early version of the C100 Mark II, and they dutifully compared it to the original from a number of different perspectives, including build quality, hardware features, software features, and even image quality. Here's their video comparison of the two cameras.
And here's a short profile piece shot with a beta version of the C100 MkII by Johnnie Behiri
As a refresher, here are the full specs on the C100 Mark II:
- Same Super 35mm CMOS Sensor (24.6 x 13.8 mm) as previous C100
- 1080p: 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
- 720p: 23.98, 25, 29.97
- 640 x 360: 23.98, 25, 29.97
- ISO 320 to 80,000 in 1/3-step increments
- Dual Pixel CMOS AutoFocus is Now Standard (Also includes Face Detection AF with STM Lenses)
- Canon Log LUT Support on the HDMI Output (so you can see what the final image will look like while still recording log)
- 4:2:0 to SD card, 4:2:2 via uncompressed HDMI out, Timecode over HDMI
- Dual SDHC/SDXC Card Slots
- AVCHD: 28, 24, 17, 7 Mb/s
- MP4: 35, 24, 17, 4, 3, Mb/s
- New 40% slow motion to 250% fast motion in MP4
- AAC Audio Recording
- Built-in 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi support
- New internal mic built into the body, not just the top handle
- New 1.23MP OLED Screen that can be tilted to the side of the camera (camera can now be controlled without side handle)
- New 0.45" 1.23 MP viewfinder
- Availability: December 2014
- Price: $5,500
From the looks of it, the C100 MkII isn't necessarily a spectacular upgrade of any kind, especially considering that higher resolution video and high frame rates don't seem to be on Canon's roadmap for their lower end cameras. We already knew that. However, where the C100 truly excels is in providing a solid and reliable entry-level cinema camera that makes great images and is usable right out of the box. It's very much a workhorse camera that is the next logical step for anyone who has been shooting on DSLRs and is already heavily-invested in Canon glass.
With the Mark II version, it's not only capable of 60fps in full HD (finally), but it's also more user friendly in a number of key areas, especially with a decent viewfinder that can be used for critical focus and a tiltable LCD screen for shooting at high and low angles. Add to that the fact that the image quality seems to have improved at higher ISOs, and it seems clear that the C100 Mark II will continue to be a respectable option for people who don't need 4K video for their work.