As the name suggests, the C200 fits into the collection of Canon’s C-Series cameras right in between the old workhorse C100 MKII and the industry standard C300 MKII. While you may think the C200 is intended to replace the C100, think again. Rather its features offer a different type of experience all together.
Cinema RAW Light
One of the biggest changes Canon has made with the new C200 is the inclusion of their brand new Cinema RAW Light. This is different from the Cinema RAW formats we are familiar with from other brands as it allows you to capture much more detail and retain more information from your image than a standard codec. However, it is not a completely uncompressed image either - using only about ¼ the space on your card compared to traditional RAW files - sitting right in the middle of both the standard codecs and RAW files.
The Cinema RAW Light file also differs greatly from traditional Log footage. Log files start as uncompressed image data and then have a gamma curve applied to them in-camera as the image is recorded. Cinema Raw Light files work differently. Canon Europe explains this point in their fantastically informative article on RAW Light,
“[The Canon Raw Light file (.CRM)] isn’t a movie file at all, it’s simply a container for all that raw sensor data, and it has to be unpacked, debayered and modified in software before being exported in a choice of formats appropriate for ingestion into popular post-production packages.”
Just like traditional RAW, these Raw Light files provide users infinitely more room to creatively shape and mold the images into their own unique look. So while it may take a bit more work on the outset of post-production, the results will speak for themselves. Canon has also their own software to handle this workflow called Cinema RAW Development - which is free to download. In addition, loyalists of other NLE softwares can rest easy as Canon has worked closely with major programs such as Davinci Resolve, Final Cut, Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer to ensure RAW Light will be processable in their programs as well.
You can learn more in-depth information about RAW Light in Canon Europe’s full article linked below.
The New Design
The C200 also comes with a few new design improvements from the earlier 100 and 300 models. One of the best upgrades is the inclusion of XLR audio inputs on the actual body of the camera. In the past, Canon only included XLR inputs on the top handle (C100) and the top monitor (C300). The body inputs allow you to break down the C200 into a much smaller form-factor without losing the ability to record professional grade sound internally. Another design change is the size of the camera. The C200 does maintain Canon’s excellent ergonomic form and while it is physically smaller in size compared to the C300 - it is surprising still on the heavy side - weighing in at only about a half pound less than its big brother. One misstep we see with the new design is the mounting arm for the LCD Monitor and Mic holder. The piece itself is made from a visibly obvious cheaper plastic as compared to the rest of the design. With the LCD attached it can be awkward and clunky to attach and can throw off the cameras center of gravity depending on its attachment position. Additionally, the LCD mount has a seemingly infinite number of ways to turn, rotate and flip the screen which in theory could be very versatile - however in practice it proves to be confusing and frustrating more than anything. Overall though, our qualms with the LCD and the Mounting Arm are insignificant compared to the actual internal features and advantages the C200 provides.
Guts & Glory
Below you will find the highlights of the specs for the C200:
Super35 CMOS Sensor
Max Resolution: 4096 x 2160 (8.85 MP)
1 x Cfast 2.0 Slot
2 x SDXC Card Slots
Cinema RAW Light 12-bit (4K/60fps)
XF-AVC 4:2:0 8-bit (UHD/60fps or FHD/120fps)
MP4 4:2:0 8-bit (UHD/60fps or FHD/120fps)
Record TImes (128gb Cfast or SDXC)
4K = 15 min
UHD = 115 min.
FHD = 380 min.
4K - 24/30/60
UHD - 24/30/60
FHD - 24/30/60/120
1 x SDI Out
1 x HDMI Out
2 x XLR Audio In
1 x 3.5mm Stereo In
1 x Headphone Out
Weight = 3.2 lbs (No Lens)
BP-A30 = 2 hours
BP-A60 = 4.5 hours
Why You Should Use The C200
Now that we know where the C200 fits into Canon’s cinema camera lineup and what it is capable of, why and when should you use it? The C100 was the king on online content for a long time - it recorded to widely used codecs and produced Canon’s famous color science which made it’s post process easy and simple. The C300 MKII is often described as the standard for documentary and broadcast work. So why use the C200?
With its new RAW Light format, the C200 is an excellent option for indie shorts. The extra detail and information packaged in those images provides you with a very malleable product to play with in post. It is going to give you the most room for creativity to fine tune a unique look for you narrative short.
The C200 is a more compact camera than the C300 and it’s specs are still sufficient enough for a really excellent image. And although its weight isn’t too far off, the smaller size does make it a good candidate for flying on gimbals or large drones.
Finally, with the C200 spec load out, it could make an excellent B-cam to any C300 shoot. Plus with its price tag coming in around nearly half of its bigger brother, it’s a much more cost effective route for multicam work.
If you are interested in renting a C200, or just want to give it a test, please feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to help!
Resources & Further Reading