Pro videographer Simeon Quarrie tries out Canon’s EOS C300 Mark II and explains why it has become a “permanent resident” in his kit bag

Ever since the announcement of the Canon EOS C300 Mark II, plenty of videographers have been queuing up to put it through its paces and find out what it can do. Will it be the new industry-standard 4K workhorse? And how does the new Canon Log2 profile fare in real-world situations?

Pro videographer Simeon Quarrie had all these questions on his mind and more when Canon offered him the chance to test out the camera for himself. The good news? It seems that the C300 Mark II has passed muster with flying colours.

‘”Canon has a particular look that I love,’ he said. ‘The dynamic range is essential, as I was going for a natural light style.’

Simeon used the camera to create a video portrait of British hurdler Gabriel Odujobi. This meant he’d not only have a fast-moving subject for the camera’s autofocus to handle, but, he’d also be shooting in an indoor arena, with lots of natural light from glass windows and some changeable weather outside, meaning he’d have tricky lighting conditions for the Canon Log2 and its 15 stops of latitude to get their teeth into.

Simeon shot mostly handheld, occasionally using a hacked Manfrotto Sympla rig for shoulder work. He used XLR mics to get some audio of Gabriel warming up, and chose EF lenses rather than Canon’s Cinema range for the reduced size and weight. He used three EF lenses: the 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, the 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

The team shot at f/2.8, with the camera on a moving bicycle to match Gabriel’s movements, and Simeon relied on the autofocus rather than hiring in a focus puller. It was able to cope with plenty of different situations: ‘Whatever settings I selected it didn’t ever feel or look like a digital, mechanical autofocus system that’s juddering in and out. It’s fluid,’ he said.

The Log2 profile allowed him to capture balanced, well-exposed shots even though he was filming in a fairly dark arena and many of his shots were backlit from the window. Simeon admits that he found Log2 challenging to get to grips with, and learned a few lessons to use for next time: ‘You need to know when to use Canon Log2, and you need to know how to benefit from it. I did benefit on this shoot, but would have benefitted more by pushing the exposure up.’

Overall though, the shoot was a roaring success. ‘The C300 Mark II is now a permanent resident in my kit list,’ Simeon said. ‘The three days I spent with the preproduction unit started a love affair, after which I was lusting for it.’

Read Simeon’s full account of the shoot here: