Cinema EOS C200: Canon’s Inbetweener

Camera tests

Canon C200 camera in interview setting
The C200 is easily set up for small-crew operation

Value for money and practicality

Canon positions the C200, quite logically, between the HD-only C100 mkII and the 4K, broadcast-friendly, C300 mkII. The C200 sells for around £5,750 (ex VAT) in the UK, against around £7500 for the C300 mkII.

For just over twice the price of the C100 mkII, the film maker gains 4K recording – the C100 is unable to record 4K internally or externally – the Cinema RAW Light mode, and ergonomics closer to the C300 series. The LCD screen can be removed or repositioned on the C200; on the C100 it is fixed toe the camera body. C200 buyers also gain a more robust recording medium, in the shape of a CFast slot.

Set against the C300 mkII, the gain is the Cinema RAW Light mode, and the ability to film at up to 50fps in UHD, XF-AVC and MP4. This is at the expense of losing some of the C300’s connectivity, such as Timecode.

The big trade off, though, is losing out on 10-bit recording. The C200 cannot record 4K 10-bit internally or externally. The only option for better-than-eight-bit recording is RAW. Even in its Cinema RAW Light version, RAW is a storage-intensive format, and not everyone wants to work with RAW. Note, the C200’s HDMI output is limited to UHD, not Cinema 4K, and is also 8-bit.

So surely no-one would pick a C200 over a C300 mkII? In fact, they might. The cost difference of £1750 (or around $2000) is still significant: it is enough to buy a good lens and some media.

Then there is the C300 mkII’s lack of higher frame rates in 4K: the C200 gives at least some slo-mo options. And there’s RAW. If you can handle the RAW workflow, Cinema RAW Light is a very good option to have, and the C200 records MP4s simultaneously too. The C300 mkII only records RAW via an external device.

Finally, the C200 is that bit smaller and lighter than the C300 mkII. Strip the camera down and it should work well on a gimbal or even a drone. You miss out on some of the C300’s more esoteric connections, but for the film maker on the go, it is probably worth it.

Next: Conclusions