Canon works to address the major complaint about its platform—the price premium—with the C200, offering internal 4K raw at $7500.
The new Canon C200, available for pre order next Monday, fills in a hole in the Canon Cinema line between the entry level C100 and the C300mkII, with a price point under $7500. However, in some ways, the new camera—which uses the same sensor as the C300mkII and the top of the line C700—outperforms its older sibling, the C300. This is specifically true in terms of its internal raw recording options, and by being the first Canon cinema camera to have dual pixel auto focus.
In some ways, the new camera outperforms its older sibling, the C300.
While autofocus has dominated in stills for decades, filmmakers have traditionally gone out with focus pullers, since the type of images filmmakers capture generally overwhelm auto focus tools. Nothing is worse than seeing the auto focus drift in and out, or correct itself, in the middle of a shot. In the last few years, however, autofocus is getting more sophisticated, and many users find the dual pixel auto focus used in Canon's high end still cameras to be the best option out there. With the C200, that functionality now comes to a fully fledged cinema camera. Combined with a 4" OLED touch screen viewfinder that allows you to touch for focus, plus face detection, auto focus will now be a highly useable tool for interviews and gimbal work in a way it has never been before.The other premiere feature is internal raw, using Canon's new Cinema Raw Light format. As opposed to the internal raw of the C700, which is Cinema Raw, the light flavor uses variable bit rates to keep file sizes down. Even with this compression, the file sizes are still large, with a 128GB CFast card only holding around 15 minutes of 4K raw media. While hard drive and SSD prices stay where they are, the raw option isn't likely to be the main function of the camera, but it will be a great feature to turn on for the occasional commercial or narrative gig where intense color grading will be required.
While the camera requires CFast for that internal 4K raw, it's capable of a whole host of other formats on the two internal SD card slots, primarily built on H.264 MP4 files, but with 4K data rates of 150mpbs. XF-AVC wlll be available in a future firmware update. One particularly nice feature is the ability to shoot simultaneous raw to the CFast cards and proxy files to the SD slot, for faster turnaround into post.
Of course, Blackmagic has long offered internal raw via Cinema DNG recording at very reasonable prices, but they don't have the marketshare of Canon yet. While the URSA Mini Pro comes in at slightly less than the C200, it requires larger broadcast batteries while the C200 uses the less expensive BP-A batteries which, combined with other accessories mean the package prices will come out roughly the same. The URSA Mini Pro also doesn't have Canon's dual pixel auto focus. When you look at this camera's main competitors from another manufacturer with big camera market share, namely the FS5 and FS7 from Sony, neither of those cameras offer raw internal recording, and neither handle color reproduction as well as Canon does. With the C200, it's the combination of internal raw with dual pixel auto focus that makes it an exciting package.
Canon will have the C200 available for evaluation at Cine Gear this weekend, and several of our writers will be there. We hope to see you on the Paramount lot! Between the FS7 Mark II, the C200, and the soon-to-be-announced camera from Panasonic that has to be in the same price point to stay under the Varicam LT price, the under-$10K camera market is heating up.
- Internal 4K recording with Cinema RAW Light and MP4 format
- Continuous 120fps (maximum) High Frame Rate with no cropping at Full HD
- Up to 15-stops dynamic range (Cinema RAW Light)
- Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology
- Dual DIGIC DV 6 Processors
- 4K DCI and UHD, 1920 x 1080
- 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p
- Canon RAW Light, MP4, MP4 Proxy
- Integrated EVF, 2 x XLR Audio Inputs
- Rotating 4" LCD Monitor, Camera Grip
- 1 x CFast Card, 2 x SD Card Slots
- 1 x SDI Output, 1 x Ethernet Connector