Canon EOS C300 Review

Canon EOS C300 Review

The Canon EOS C300 is a professional video camera that falls in the $13,999 price range and represents the company’s intermediate offering.

Because of its position as the middle child in the EOS Cinema family, it struggles to find its place, and ultimately, it is challenging to market. If you don’t need the broadcast features, the C100 Mark II is an attractive alternative that costs less than half as much. If, on the other hand, you need to go highly high-end, you might as well future-proof your investment by choosing the C500, which can record in 4K.

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Canon EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camcorder Body - EF Lens Mount

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 12:55 pm

Structure and Specifications

The Canon C300 possesses all of the hallmarks of a professional-grade video camera, including a modular design with a detachable handgrip, an external LCD that can mount on the chassis or be relocated off-camera, two CompactFlash memory card ports, and more buttons than you can shake a stick at.

The body has dimensions of 7 inches in height, 5.2 inches in width, and 6.7 inches in depth (HDW), and it weighs around 3.2 pounds. When it is completely loaded, however, the dimensions and weight of the C300 increase significantly; with the handle, monitor, and handgrip all attached, the C300 has dimensions of 11.2 by 7.3 by 11.9 inches and weighs close to 6 pounds.

When examining any region of the body, it is nearly impossible not to notice the presence of controls. The left-hand side of the device contains the majority of the rules, including dials and buttons. These feature buttons modify the camera’s multi-step neutral density filter, enlarge the view to confirm critical focus, and alter the lens aperture. Additionally, these buttons allow you to adjust the camera’s critical focus magnifier.

You can exercise direct control over the exposure thanks to the camera’s straightforward shutter speed, ISO, and aperture controls. Additionally, it provides an on-screen waveform and zebra highlights, allowing you to ensure that the material you are working with is not underexposed or overexposed.

Because there is no autoexposure mode, it will be up to you to determine whether or not the scene has the appropriate amount of light. People who make documentaries and sometimes need to acquire a shot quickly may be dissatisfied by this news.

Some extra features are on the back of the camera, including a monochrome information screen and a button labeled “Func.” allowing the user to choose between the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture settings. The CF card slots and most I/O ports are also located in this area.

These include Sync Out, Genlock, Time Code, and HD/SD SDI for use in broadcast applications; a clean HDMI output for connecting to an external recorder; a remote control port; connectors for the external modular LCD; an SD slot for updating the firmware; a headphone socket; and the DC power input.

It is possible to detach the handgrip from the right side of the device, as it is attached to that side. When you do so, the interface jack that the handgrip is connected to will become visible.

A handle may be detached from the top of the body and carried separately. Through a cold shoe interface, the external LCD, which has a size of 4 inches and a resolution of 1.23 megapixels, may be mounted to either the front or the top of the handle. In addition, the LCD features a mount for a shotgun mic and two XLR inputs; however, Canon does not offer a mic with the camera.

A shotgun microphone is incorporated into the Sony VG900, giving it an advantage. However, because broadcast functions are in the C300 and are not built to the same robust criteria as the C300, it is better suited for work related to events and documentaries.

Even if you decide to utilize the sizeable eye-level EVF to frame your photos, you must keep the LCD installed because an external mic is necessary to obtain high-quality sound. However, the image through the viewfinder, which has a diameter of 0.52 inches and a resolution of 1,555 thousand dots, is exceptionally crisp.

The external LCD can be folded down to make it less intrusive; however, doing so prevents the user from accessing the controls for playing, audio volume, and shooting that it incorporates. The C100 Mark II has an LCD integrated into the body, reducing the amount of space it takes up. Additionally, the C100 Mark II’s removable handle has dual XLR inputs and a microphone mount built into it. However, the C100 Mark II’s LCD is not quite as versatile as its predecessor’s.

Video Quality

The C300 can record video at a resolution of up to 1080p30. Unfortunately, that falls short of the 1080p60 footage the C100 Mark II can record. However, the color sample rate of the C300 is superior, and it can record MPEG-2 film to CF cards at a quality of 8 bits 4:2:2 with a bitrate of 50 Mbps.

That is plenty for transmission, and it preserves sufficient data for color grading and uses with a green screen. Unfortunately, when recording to a card, the C100 Mark II only allows recording AVCHD at 28Mbps or MP4 at 35Mbps.

However, you can save significant money by connecting an Atomos Ninja 2 recorder (which costs $695) to the camera. This will let you record 10-bit footage in the PRORES 422 format while still gaining the advantage of a 60 fps frame rate.

The C300 utilizes a Super35 image sensor with 8.3 megapixels. It measures 24.6 by 13.8 millimeters, roughly the exact dimensions of an APS-C sensor in a still camera. The low pixel density makes it possible to photograph at a high ISO; the standard ISO is 320, but the camera’s sensitivity can be increased to 80,000.

However, in terms of actual use, you will not be able to push it that far and still get quality footage; the highest level that I recommend is ISO 5000. Another area in which the Sony VG900 excels is its use of a full-frame 35mm (24 by 36mm) picture sensor. This gives the user more control over the focus depth and enables them to take wide-angle photographs.

On the VG900, a 24mm lens can capture an angle more than wide, but on the C300, it can only capture a moderately wide angle. The VG900, on the other hand, is more constrained in terms of frame rates; it can only record footage at 1080p24.

Even when shooting with a wide aperture lens like Canon’s superb EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, it is feasible to nail focus because of the abundance of manual focus aids that are available. These aids include peaking and magnification, making it possible to decide on a direction. However, the autofocus system has a lot of potential as well.

The AF system in the C300 is identical to that in the EOS 70D digital single-lens reflex camera. It focuses seamlessly as the scene around it changes, and the region that will be in focus is highlighted on the Live View feed so that you can make sure your subject is within that area. However, as we discovered with the 70D, dual-pixel AF can suffer in environments with deficient light levels. Therefore, it would be best to use manual focus when photographing in such tricky lighting to get the best results.

The Canon EOS C300 is a very powerful video camera; nevertheless, the price may be a barrier to entry depending on how you intend to put it to use.

It is designed for broadcast and film production, given its price tag of almost $14,000; unless your finances are minimal, you will probably want to move on to the C500 for those purposes. Additionally, it supports 4K video capture, a format that cannot be ignored in the present market as it has become increasingly prevalent.

Suppose you don’t need broadcast abilities and want to shoot the best video possible for your documentary or event filmmaking. In that case, the EOS C100 Mark II is just an all-around superior option for you to consider. In addition, it is pretty inexpensive, and if you want the video quality to be on par with that of the C300, all you need to do is add a cheap external recorder.

In this particular scenario, selecting a model that falls somewhere in the middle will not result in a bowl of porridge that is just right; instead, you will end up with either an excessive or insufficient amount of camera.

Canon EOS C300 Specifications

Image Sensor 1x CMOS sensor, equivalent to 3-perf Super 35mm – 24.6 x 13.8mm effective size (6.4 x 6.4µm pixel pitch) 
Effective Pixels Approx. 8.29 Mp (3840 x 2160) 
Total Pixels Approx. 9.84 Mp (4206 x 2340) 
Scanning System Progressive 
Filter RGB primary color filter (Bayer array) 
Lens Mount EF or PL, depending on model
LCD Screen 4″ diagonal, 1.23-megapixel color 16:9 rotatable LCD, 100% field of view
Viewfinder 0.52″ diagonal, color 16:9 LCD, 1,555,000 dots, +2.0 to -5.5 diopter eye adjustment, 100% field of view
Signal System NTSC/PAL 
Compression 8-bit MPEG-2 Long GOP (Canon XF codec) 
Color Space 4:2:2 at 50 Mb/s recording 
File Format MXF (OP-1a) 
Recording Formats – 50 MBPS(CBR) 4:2:2 422P@HL – 1920 x 1080 59.94i / 29.97p / 23.98p 50i / 25p True 24 (24.00) – 1280 x 720 59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p 50p / 25p True 24 (24.00)
Recording Formats – 35 MBPS(VBR) 4:2:0 MP@HL 1920 x 1080 59.94i / 29.97 p /23.98p
50i/25p – 1280 x 720 59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p 50p / 25p)
Recording Formats – 25MBPS(CBR) 4:2:0 MP@H14 – 1440 x 1080 59.94i / 29.97p / 23.98p
50i / 25p
Recording Media CF & SD
Recording Time With (1) 64 GB CompactFlash (CF) card: 310 min @ 25 Mbps; 225 min @ 35 Mbps; 160 min @ 50 Mbps
Audio Recording Linear PCM; 2-channel; 16-bit; 48 kHz 
Built-In Microphone None 
Audio Inputs 2x XLR inputs, switchable between mic/line, -12, -6, 0, or +12 dB XLR trimming 
Channel Selection 2-channel recording 
Recording Levels -∞ to +18dB 
Phantom Power Available: +48V 
Headphone Output Level 16 settings; volume is muted at the lowest setting 
Tone 1 kHz tone available; -12, -18, or -20 dB 
Focusing System Manual; autofocus system not available 
Iris Control The Iris dial is on the camera body for EOS EF lenses and electronic iris control. 
Exposure Modes Manual 
Gain Manual: Normal setting -6 dB to 30 dB 
Shutter Modes OFF, Speed, Angle, Slow Shutter, Clear Scan 
Shutter Speed Max 1/2000
ISO Range 320 to 20,000, 1-stop or 1/3-stop 
Built-in ND Filter Mechanical ND filter system with the option of clear or 2, 4, or 6 stops 
White Balance Auto, manual, two custom (2000-15,000K in 100K increments), daylight (5400K), tungsten (3200K) 
Frame Rates – 50 Mbps1920 x 1080 – Record Rate: 1-30 fps (Playback Rate: 29.97p/23.98p/24.00p) – Record Rate: 1-25 fps (Playback Rate: 50i/25p); 1280 x 720 – Record Rate: 1-60 fps (Playback Rate: 59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/24.00p) – Record Rate: 1-50 fps (Playback Rate: 50p/25p)
Frame Rates – 35 Mbps1920 x 1080 – Record Rate: 1-30 fps (Playback Rate: 29.97p/23.98p/24.00p) – Record Rate: 1-25 fps (Playback Rate: 50i/25p); 1280 x 720 – Record Rate: 1-60 fps (Playback Rate: 59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/24.00p) – Record Rate: 1-50 fps (Playback Rate: 50p/25p)
Frame Rates – 25 Mbps1440 x 1080 – Record Rate: 1-30 fps (Playback Rate: 29.97p/23.98p) 
Interval Recording The interval can be set in 25 levels ranging from 1 second to 10 minutes
Frame Record NTSC 59.94i/23.98p/24.00p: Selectable between 1, 3, 6, 9 frames; NTSC 59.94p: Selectable between 2, 6, 12 frames; PAL 50i/25p/50p: Selectable between 2, 6, 12 frames 
Pre-Record Buffer 3 sec. cache (video & audio) 
Still, Capture 1920 x 1080 images captured to SD card 
Custom Function Nine total functions are available 
Assignable Buttons 15; can be assigned from among 30 functions 
Color Bars Color bars compliant with SMPTE, EBU, or ARIB standards can be selected 
Dynamic Range Up to 800% with Canon Log Gamma and ISO 850 (+2.5 dB) and above 
Video Outputs HD/SD-SDI: 1x BNC (output only) – Composite: 1x BNC – HDMI: 1x Type A 
Headphone Connector 3.5mm stereo mini-jack 
Genlock BNC (input only)
TimecodeBNC (input/output)
Sync BNC connector (output)
Remote LANC-compatible terminal 
Wi-Fi WFT terminal for compatible Wi-Fi accessory 
Power Supply 7.4V DC (battery pack), 8.4V DC (DC input) 
Dimensions (WxHxD)EOS C300 + Thumb Rest: 5.2 x 7.0 x 6.7″ (133 x 179 x 171mm)
EOS C300 PL + Thumb Rest: 5.2 x 7.0 x 7.0″ (133 x 179 x 179mm)
Camera + Handle + Monitor: 7.3 x 11.2 x 11.9″ (185 x 284 x 301mm) 
Weight (without Lens)EOS C300: 3.2 lb (1.43 kg)
EOS C300 PL: 3.6 lb (1.63 kg)
EOS C300 with Grip, Monitor, Handle, BP-955 & 2x CF Cards: 6.0 lb (2.70 kg) 
EOS C300 PL with Grip, Monitor, Handle, BP-955 & 2x CF Cards: 6.4 lb (2.90 kg)

Canon EOS C300 Price

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Canon EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camcorder Body - EF Lens Mount

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 12:55 pm

Canon EOS C300 FAQs

What image quality is Canon C300?

The Canon C300 is a professional theater camera with the highest resolution of 1080p and can capture video of very high quality.

What is Canon C300 used for?

The Canon C300 is most commonly employed in producing videos, such as television programs, documentaries, and advertisements.

Is Canon C300 Netflix approved?

The Canon C300 has been given the green light by Netflix and satisfies all of their requirements regarding recording their original material.

Does the Canon C300 have autofocus?

The Canon C300 features an autofocus system called Dual Pixel CMOS, renowned for its quickness and precision.

Is Canon C300 a DSLR?

The Canon C300 is not a DSLR camera, contrary to popular belief. Instead, it is a movie camera that was developed primarily for use in the production of videos.

What is the maximum resolution of C300?

The Canon C300 has a resolution that can reach 1920 by 1080 pixels at its highest setting. (1080p).

Is the Canon C300 weather sealed?

Yes, the Canon C300 is protected from the elements by a weather-sealing mechanism, and its magnesium alloy frame is strong enough to withstand a wide range of difficult photography circumstances.

Does C300 have a built-in mic?

In addition to having a single internal microphone, the Canon C300 also has two XLR connectors that can be used to connect external microphones.



Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

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