Responding to input from the motion picture and television production communities, Canon has announced a number of significant firmware upgrades for Cinema EOS and XF300/305 series cameras. The EOS C500 will receive some major enhancements while the EOS C100 and EOS C300 are both due to receive updates adding increased functionality and user improvements. Additionally, the XF305 and XF300 series cameras will receive GPS support and improved tele-converter capabilities. These updates are designed to extend image capture capabilities, increase operational convenience, enhance the versatility of recorded files and facilitate post-production workflow efficiency, particularly with regard to maintaining industry standard color values. Let’s take a look at these new firmware updates for the Cinema EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera.
Wide DR Gamma has developed a large following since it was first included with the release of the EOS C100. Optimized for display monitors output or situations that require less color grading, Wide DR Gamma is designed for perfect color out of the box. Wide DR Gamma has a high dynamic range, which suppresses brightness and preserves perfect gradations of color. This makes it ideal for shooters who wish to capture the full dynamic range of the sensor with little or no post-production processing – thus saving time and money!
With an ISO range of up to 80,000, the C300 image sensor is now more sensitive to light than ever before. Filmmakers in need of that extra boost can now record shots in low-light conditions where ambient light is at a premium or practically non-existent. This low-light option may help you get a shot you could have previously missed and is squarely one of those camera resources that’s comforting to know you have – should you ever need it – in any extreme low-light circumstance. This gives the shooter more control and makes the camera even more versatile in dark situations.
This format enables a highly utilized recording mode and is designed to seamlessly align the EOS C300 with standard workflows used by many major news broadcast organizations. Recorded at either 60i or 50i, the 1440 X 1080 resolution will maintain the 16:9 display aspect ratio in a timeline. It is generally used in broadcast as a means to conserve transmission bandwidth, whereas in editorial it’s less demanding on the central processing unit.
Added support of Canon’s optional GPS Receiver GP-E1 will provide EOS C300 operators with a range of accurate information about where and when each video clip was shot. With latitude, longitude and altitude information written directly into the XML metadata that accompanies each recorded media file, you will be able to accurately map out all previously recorded setups. This capability will be especially valuable when handling fast-paced news gathering, multi-camera documentaries or reality shows operating in a number of locations. The recorded metadata should provide producers and editors with a confident match to a particular camera unit’s footage based upon the location parameters provided from the GPS Receiver GP-E1.
When the Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A is hooked up to the EOS C300, it produces a powerful, wireless, remote control station that can be accessed via laptop, tablet or smartphone. Canon’s new multi-person login permits two users to log into the Canon Wi-Fi remote browser application on a single EOS C300. This allows for one user to maintain operation and control of camera functions, while the other simultaneously inputs metadata – saving time and money, while getting the most out of this important remote camera operation feature. Previously, only one user could access the Wi-Fi remote browser at a time.
This update will now make it possible to assign ISO or Iris to the control dial and the dial on the removable Grip Unit. Previously, the EOS C300’s control dial and the dial on the Grip Unit were only programmed for Iris adjustment. Other than simply user choice, one of the biggest benefits of adding ISO as an option for these control dials will be that now, a camera equipped with a cinema style lens and only manual Iris adjustments can set the dials to change the ISO and maintain their functionality.
Users will now be able to manually shift the magnification location to one of 25 different locations using one of the joysticks on the camera. Previously, the EOS C300 allowed only magnification to the center of the frame. Now, the user will be able to select and magnify to precise areas of the frame where focus is most critical, even if it’s off-center.
The lock setting on the Key Lock now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the record button. This helps prevent accidental operation or changing of any functions assigned to external buttons and dials. Of course, all of the EOS C300’s operational modes, including record, can still be accessed and controlled remotely while using the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A on a tablet, laptop or smartphone – ideal for remote camera operation. Previously, the Key Lock position locked everything except record.
Duplicating a couple of the more popular features of the EOS C100 – Push Auto Iris and One Shot AF – makes the EOS C300 an attractive option for run-and-gun style cinema verité shooting. Now, EOS C300 users will have the ability to grab a quick exposure setting and set focus at the push of a button.
AE Shift can be used to compensate the automatic exposure set by the camera when using the Push Auto Iris function. With this feature, users can engage AE Shift in the camera menu and make slight adjustments to the image brightness. In this way, the automatic exposure can be altered to consistently lighten or darken the image as desired. This allows for an instant and automatic adjustment whenever Push Auto Iris is activated. The new AE Shift capability provides 15 steps, from -2 to + 2.
The new firmware also enables three light metering mode options to be selected: Standard, Backlight or Spotlight. By selecting a metering mode that matches one of these three recording conditions, users will help ensure that the EOS C300 obtains a suitable exposure level when the Push Auto Iris function is used.
When recording under artificial light, the camera’s monitor may flicker depending on the shutter speed. By setting Flicker Reduction to “Automatic,” the EOS C300 will automatically detect and reduce flicker in the camera’s monitor.
This new firmware upgrade will add Peripheral Lens Correction for an additional 14 new EF lenses including the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, and seven of the new Canon CN-E series cinema lenses including the CN-E 15.5-47mm T2.8 L and CN-E 30-105mm T2.8 L S compact cinema zooms, the CN-E 14mm T3.1 L F cinema prime, CN-E 50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E 85mm T1.3 L F cinema primes, the CN-E 24mm T1.5 L F cinema prime, and the CN-E 135mm T2.2 L F cinema prime. This valuable lens correction feature maintains even illumination from corner to corner across the image and virtually eliminates vignetting or any unevenness of light.
With the addition of Push Auto Iris and One Shot AF to the C300, support for the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom lens has been implemented to increase functionality. This will equip the camera with one of the more popular lenses that takes full advantage of both features. In addition, Peripheral Lens Correction has been incorporated, thus virtually eliminating vignetting and any unevenness of light across the image.
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