Cinema EOS C200: Canon’s Inbetweener

Camera tests

Filming functions and recording formats

Canon C200 camera rear view
In control: Canon’s C200 positions most key controls to the rear

Canon claims 15 stops of dynamic range for the C200 in Cinema Raw Light, of which more below. ISO support runs from 100 to 102400.

Recording is in true cinema 4K or UHD, or HD. The C200 films in 25 or 50p (or 30/60) as well as 24p, and there’s a slow/fast motion and three-second recording buffer. Recording is either to a CFast card, as on the C300 mkII, or SD cards; there are two SD card slots.

This, though, is where it’s a little more complex. The C200 records MP4 or XF-AVC to SD cards, with support for dual and relay recording. Bitrates range from 35mbps in MP4, to 160Mbps in XF-AVC. XF-AVC support is via a firmware update which was not installed on our review sample. Both codecs are 4:2:0 eight bit; the firmware update also adds HLG support. XF-AVC has four channels of 24 bit audio, against two in 16 bit for MP4.

More interesting shooting options come with the CFast card, although this is at the expense of recording time and media cost.

Canon has created a new video format, Cinema RAW Light, for the C200. Filming in this format gives 12 or 10 but DCI 4K, but a 128GB CFast card only runs to 15 minutes. The bitrate is a staggering 1Gbps. Canon has its own explainer article about Cinema RAW Light on its website.

For some markets, such as scripted drama or other short narrative formats, perhaps including advertising, this might not matter. The advantages of the RAW Light footage, which is very pleasing to work with, will outweigh media costs or the need to offload footage during a shoot.

For documentaries, events, and corporate work media costs in RAW Light could quickly mount up. Here, the XF-AVC formats should really boost the camera’s practicality. It is less limiting than MP4, but without trading off too much recording time.

Although both formats are eight bit, they can record Canon Log and Canon Log 3. Log 3 gives 13 stops of dynamic range. Nor should potential C200 buyers shouldn’t dismiss the MP4 or XF-AVC options. Cinema RAW Light gives excellent results, especially when set up correctly.

But the MP4 files are also very useable, and will be more than good enough for corporate and online use. Our interior shots in the sample are MP4s. It is worth noting that Sony’s FS5 has no 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording option, although Panasonic’s EVA does.

Next: Value for money and practicality