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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Closer Look at Canon C300 & C300 Mark II Firmware Updates

Canon Cinema C300 Mark II 4K camcorder

Canon announced the Cinema C300 Mark II camera in April, 2015. In July 2016, a firmware update was released, followed by another one in December 2016, but this latest firmware update is for both C300 and C300 Mark II bodies.

Read my earlier post on the C300 Mark II camera White Paper and let us take a look at the latest updates and how the new features can help on your next shoot. The following is an excerpt from Canon Digital Learning Center's article :

Shutter Angle Priority

This update was in direct response to requests from many operators for the camera to maintain a constant shutter angle -- regardless of changes to shooting frame rate. Called Shutter Angle Priority, this feature prevents the camera from automatically adjusting the shutter angle to compensate for the camera’s change in frame rate. This only applies to the shutter angle setting and does not affect the other shutter modes. Overall, it’s simply one less potential headache the DP or operator has to be concerned with while cranking through shots.

WFT-E8A Support

This adds support for Canon’s newest Wi-Fi® adaptor, the WFT-E8A, which offers improved connectivity options like IEEE 802.11ac, includes FTP support, and employs an updated user interface over its predecessor, the WFT-E6A. You’ll still be able to use the WFT-E6A with both cameras. The user interface for the WFT-E8A has been improved for an enhanced operating experience.

These Wi-Fi units are especially helpful if and when you need to change camera settings while the camera is mounted out of reach, or to enter script notes directly into the metadata of the clip file while shooting. The Wi-Fi units act like a tiny server, transmitting an easily identifiable network location allowing for connection with laptops, workstations, smartphones and tablets using just a simple web browser, and require no special download or other application. They give you control over just about all of the camera’s important operational functions -- including Dual Pixel Auto Focus.

Support for EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens

This one is for only the EF models of both cameras, adding Peripheral Illumination Correction data for a great new lens, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. It helps maintain a consistent brightness across the image area by reducing vignetting (corner darkness).

Updates for the C300 Mark II only :

Support for the EVF-V70 OLED Electronic Viewfinder

This firmware adds support for the newly developed EVF-V70 electronic viewfinder that was announced along with the EOS C700. This OLED viewfinder features 1920x1080 resolution, and offers industry standard operability worthy of a top-end cinema camera.

Support for Zebras at 65% or Less

With previous firmware versions, Zebra 1 ranged in plus or minus 5% (±5%) increments between 70% and 95%, and Zebra 2 could be adjusted in 5% increments between 70% and 100%. With this firmware update you can now adjust both Zebra settings beginning at just ±5% for Zebra 1 and 0% for Zebra 2. This should help you dial in exposure readings in shadowy areas, especially with darker skin tones, and should come in real handy when working in Log gammas where Canon Log middle gray falls in around plus or minus 35% (±35%), for instance – a setting that was previously unavailable.

And remember, you can use Zebra 1 and 2 together -- allowing for the possibility of using one Zebra to help you protect highlights and the other for gauging exposure on skin tones. Zebras can be output over the HDMI, Monitor, or EVF-V70 terminals as well, giving the option of remotely monitoring exposure on some devices and not others.

Built-in Microphone OFF

An added menu item allows you to now turn off the camera’s built-in monaural microphone on the camera body, which previously was always ON and without an option to turn it off. No need to go into detail on this one, as most everyone in the camera department can easily appreciate the importance of this update.

2K Crop Audio Recording

And then this – a very unique change for the C300 Mark II – an added feature called 2K Crop Audio Recording. Before this update, 2K Crop was a Slow & Fast motion special recording mode in which no audio could be recorded. Well, it’s still a Slow & Fast motion setting – with frame rates up to 120fps, but now when you select any of these combinations of settings, between frame rate and Slow & Fast motion frame rate, you can record sound in the 2K Crop mode. This is a significant change for those of you shooting documentaries or events with B4 mount broadcast lenses, and should work with many super 16mm lenses, as it offers the advantages of shooting in the more lens-compatible 2K crop mode.

More C300 Mark II updates

• When using the Browser Remote, the Focus Guide frame can now be displayed.

• Metadata related to the XF-AVC range has been corrected; the range of Canon Log, Canon Log2, and Canon Log3 has been corrected to full range.

• The quality of autofocus has been enhanced.

• The operation reliability after changing the recording mode has been enhanced.

Updates for the EOS C300 only :

Grip Zoom Function :

This feature brings the EOS C300 up to date with the recent firmware improvements the C300 Mark II and C100 Mark II received in the July 2016 firmware. It enables zoom functions to be controlled from the Grip Unit’s joystick (EF models only) for the CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 EF, COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF, and the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF lenses. You simply push up for telephoto, and press down for wide, and speed is controllable in 16 steps.

Additional Dual Pixel Auto Focus support for C300 EF with DAF Upgrade

Also, staying with EF lens mount models, you’ll now be able to get full Dual Pixel Auto Focus support for both the Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 EF, and the Compact-Servo 18-80mm T4.4 EF lenses on EOS C300’s outfitted with the Dual Pixel AF Upgrade.

And when you use the EOS C300 EF with either of those two lenses, or the Cine-Servo 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF, you can also get additional features and functions that those lenses offer -- like servo zoom, continuous Auto-Iris, Push Auto Iris functions, and Record Start/Stop from the lens. Additionally, aperture can be adjusted manually by operating the control dial on the camera. The zoom, focus, and iris can be adjusted using the optional Canon RC-V100 Remote Controller (sold separately). This firmware will also install Peripheral Illumination Correction data for the lenses, and from now on their important lens metadata will be displayed on the camera, recorded, and stored in the file.

Left to right: CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 EF, COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF, CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF

Download firmware version for the EOS C300 Mark II, firmware version for the EOS C300 with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF Feature Upgrade, and firmware version for the stock EOS C300 without the DPAF upgrade. Be sure to visit the Canon USA web site to download this important firmware starting December 13, 2016.

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