Chris Newport shoots on the Canon C300 Mark II

Chief Cameraman, Chris Newport was lucky enough to be one of the first people in Sydney to get his hands on the new Canon C300 Mark II, thanks to the team at SUNSTUDIOS.

Chris Newport reflects on his experience with the Canon C300 Mark II shooting Network Ten's annual V8 Supercar Race.

"Just 3 days before heading to Bathurst as part of Network Ten’s coverage of the annual V8 Supercar Race I took delivery of my new C300 Mark II.

Richard from the SUNSTUDIOS Sydney Sales Team worked hard to secure me one of the first cameras that made it into the country and I was away.

Having owned the previous Canon C300 and having a bag full of Canon lenses it was a no-brainer in what to buy as my next camera system.

This new camera continues on from the old line of Cinema EOS cameras with familiar menus and button layout.

The new improved top handle gives the camera a sturdier feel to it and the buttons now light up in the dark, which is very helpful.

Rather than go into a list of specs, colour space numbers and bit rates, all of which have been mentioned and debated more than enough on online forums and blog posts, I would like to say that the pictures out my new C300 Mark II are beautiful.

The amazing Canon Cinema EOS skin tones and the lovely warmth of the Canon glass make for some truly remarkable images.

Footage I shot up and down Pit Lane at Bathurst was used throughout Ten’s Coverage over the weekend and looked great. I used the new higher frame feature and shot some Driver Promo material at 100 Frames which the editors loved. These days it seems all producers want is high frame rate stuff and the C300 Mark II can help you keep the producers and editors happy!

All the footage I shot worked in well with Adobe Premier and once we got the correct codec installed onto our Avid it played nice in this workspace too! The options of a couple of flavours of C-Log are great for post, however for this tight turn-around production I shot mainly in Wide DR and everyone seemed happy with the result.

The other neat party trick is the Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus… like every other cameraman who hears about “autofocus” I was extremely sceptical. However, after having a play I am now not ashamed to say I’d be happy to use autofocus! I used it paired with the Canon EF 24-70 2.8L II lens and it worked so well…. It was able to track a driver’s face moving through the pit and into a race car like I had a Focus Puller standing alongside me tracking the action across the frame…. It’s actually crazy how well it works. My fat fingers no longer make me look for excuses for soft pics!

Shooting Run and Gun at the Bathurst 1000 this year I enjoyed my time with the Canon C300 Mark II…  it performed well in the elements, sadly I got caught away from shelter filming fans around the track and exposed my new camera to more rain than I would have liked in its first week but it never missed a beat!

The new batteries seem to last well and the Cfast cards are easy to work with. Hopefully with more and more cameras now starting to use them the price of these will come down, however they are still way cheaper than SxS Cards which is a plus!

So thank you Canon for taking my favourite camera and making it better!"

- Chris Newport