The Canon Cinema EOS System: C300 and C300PL

November 4th, 2011 Jump to Comment Section


In an event with as much fanfare as any Hollywood movie premiere, Canon EOS finally released what we’ve all been waiting for, The Canon EOS C300.  Not truly a DSLR and definitely not your traditional cinema rig, this tiny wonder will lead their full frontal assault on RED and Arri.  Here’s the specs thus far:

  • The C300 has an EF mount supporting Canon’s own extensive line of still photography lenses.
  • C300 PL has the popular Arri “Positive Lock” PL mount is compatible with a broad range of third-party PL-mount lenses
  • Single 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor
  • Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots
  • Canon Log gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series
  • Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no AE or AF on either camera
  • Sold as a system, incl. LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, batt. & charger
  • Availability: Jan. 2012
Price: $20,000  

The rest of the Cinema EOS system includes Canon’s own high-end cinema zoom lenses… first their two zooms, the PL-mount versions of which were previously announced and exhibited earlier this year back in April at NAB 2011. All resolve to 4K:

  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S (wide zoom, EF version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP (wide zoom, PL version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S (telephoto zoom, EF version)
  • Canon Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP (telephoto zoom, PL version)

And three yet-to-be-released primes, all resolve to 4K but all are EF-mount only:

  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-029 (24mm)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-030 (50mm)
  • Canon Prime Lens CTZ-031 (85mm)
The Event began in the Paramount Theatre promptly at 6Pm with an opening address from Terri Schwartz, Dean UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.  Following Dean Schwartz came Chairman and CEO of Canon, Inc. Fujio Mitarai who actually introduced the world to the EOS Cinema System.  Mr. Mitarai then segued into three examples of just what the C300 can do with three shorts:
  • Richard Crudo’s  “Max is Back”
  • “Sword” by veteran director Felix Alcala
  • “XXIT” from ASC Sam Nicholson
  • “Mobius” from Vincent Laforet

After the shorts, Martin Scorsese took the stage to show his enthusiasm for what he feels is an end to large bulky camera systems that actually impede the production process.  Finally, there was a panel of the filmmakers involved in making the previously mentioned shorts.

So, did the event live up to everyone’s expectations?  For me it confirmed the fact that Canon is adapting their EOS system in the form of a cinematic camera that looks to not only go after RED, but Sony and Arri as well.  Of course this is all very exciting, but even if it does come with an EF mount, it’s still way out of the scope of the budget of many of us who have embraced HDSLR because of it’s low cost/high quality imagery.

What happened next was a total surprise to everyone, and it was the news of this guy:


For more information about the new Canon Cinema EOS System, go to their website at:


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