How and When to Shoot 4K on the C300 Mark II
The Canon C300 Mark 2 has brought serious broadcast-ready 4K power to the Cinema EOS line, just in time to join the revolution. But that’s not the only trick it has up its sleeve. This workhorse camera can shoot in so many different recording formats that you might soon find yourself straying from the strictly 4K options.
How to Shoot in 4K
The first question that needs to be asked is: do you want to record 4K internally or externally? Internal is certainly the simplest answer, and requires the fewest moving pieces. Just go to Recording/Media Setup > Resolution/Color Sampling, and select either 3840p or 4096p. It’s really that simple.
Recording externally is not quite so easy, but for your troubles you get access to 4K RAW recording. Our first stop is Recording/Media Setup > REC OUT 4K RAW Mode. If you are served a little error message informing you that only 2K is available, then you need to change your picture profile first.
So, we go back up to the Custom Picture menu, and select a flavor of C-Log 2 or C-log 3 from the preset menu. When you return to the 4K RAW mode, you should find all of your options now available and selectable. Note that the color space here doesn’t effect your RAW Output, that is controlled by the Recording/Media Setup > 4K RAW Color Space.
When to Shoot in 4K, When NOT to Shoot in 4K
Unlike on some smaller mirrorless cameras, the 4K recording on the C300 Mark II is full-featured and robust with a whopping bit rate of 410 mbps in a 10-bit 4:2:2 color space. Canon isn’t afraid to pour all of the system resources into creating the best 4K image possible, so you shouldn’t be afraid to utilize it in any scenarios where the increased resolution could be of use.
That said, by shooting at a lower resolution, you can free up some of those resources which can be allocated in other interesting ways. The C300 Mark II, for example, can shoot 1080p in a 12-bit 444 color space. This is an amazing shooting mode that preserves image fidelity in a compressed format much lighter and smaller than RAW. It really shines in green screen work and any application that requires heavy keying or grading.
Access to high frame-rate recording is another classic reason users will drop their resolution. In 4K recording, the C300 Mark II can only output 30fps. Step down to 2K however, and you can record up to 120fps. You can read our guide on Slow Motion for the C300 Mark II to learn more.
The Canon C300 Mark II is an excellent choice for any shoot or production that wants a top-notch 4K pipeline. It records compressed 4K internally and 4K RAW externally, but packs a lot of other exciting features that might easily tempt you away from shooting at the maximum resolution.