Took a look at some of the differences between the two cameras –
– Both cameras are under 10 pounds but their shapes are very different.
– Both cameras can shoot full 4K and UHD.
– Both cameras offer a variety of imaging settings, including several Log profiles.
– Both cameras do show noise in the blacks in underexposed images, with Canon’s blacks being slightly cleaner.
– Both can easily be setup for studio-style shooting with the addition of rods, matte box, follow-focus, and other accessories.
– The Sony FS7 is superior to the C300 Mark II when it comes to slow-motion recording.
– The Sony FS7 longer body was designed with handheld shooting in mind, Shoulder mount comfort without rigs or rigmarole.
– The C300 can be gawky to handhold, especially with zoom lenses. However, its shape and size are perfect for use with gimbals or drones.
With the C300 Mark II, Canon decided to keep the boxy form factor it developed for the first gen C300. Though the Mark II is slightly larger than the original, its body is more compact than the FS7 and is not nearly as long. This allows the Mark II to be used on three-axis gimbals or many of the larger hexacopters and octocopters, much more easily than the Sony. Because the Canon’s viewfinder is permanently mounted on the top center axis of the camera, the operator has to be directly behind the camera to view the image, which can make handholding awkward.
There is an external 4” LCD monitor that comes with the C300. It normally mounts a few inches above the top of the camera, but with a little shifting about you can place it off to the left side and use it as a viewscreen.
The Sony FS7 has a longer body and a more normal style viewfinder. You can snap an optical eyepiece onto the camera’s 3.5” LCD screen and use it on the left (or right) side, with the camera resting on your shoulder.
Next let’s look at usability. The Sony FS7 has an extremely extensive menu. This offers a lot of options and flexibility. In the Canon C300 Mark II the menu system is a little more user friendly, but not as much as the original C300. This is understandable because you have more shooting options in the Mark II.
Lens compatibility can be an issue for the Sony FS7 because it has a proprietary E-mount. Because the majority of shooters want to use less-expensive Canon EF-mount lenses, you’ll need to have an E-to-EF lens-mount adapter, like the Metabones, in your package. The Canon C300 comes with the EF-mount, so it accepts all those EF lenses, and it can be adapted to use PL, Nikon, or other lenses. Both cameras have autofocus features that work with their respective OEM lenses. Canon’s dual pixel and face detection takes the cake in that category. One feature I like in the Mark II is the built-in 5-position neutral density (ND) filter system, which covers 10 stops, as opposed to the FS7 which has a 3-position ND setup (6 stops).
Image quality should always be a shooter’s first priority. At the end of the day the audience doesn’t care about your camera’s functionality. They care about what they see on the screen. So, here are the specs of these cameras:
Sony FS7 –
The Sony FS7 uses an Exmor CMOS Super 35 sensor, also with 8.8 megapixels. Latitude is 14 stops. The native ISO tops out at 2,000, but you change it from menus and increase that to 3,200.
A great feature with the Canon C300 Mark II is the ability to shoot in 2K/12-bit 4444. The 12-bit 4444, although not 4K resolution, creates a very pleasing image, and is recommended for green screen shots due to its extensive color space.
Where the Sony FS7 really outshines the Canon is in high frame rate capability. The Sony can do up to 60fps in 4K and 180fps in 1080 HD. The Canon can only go up to 30fps in 4K (i.e., normal shooting speed) and 120fps in 2K crop mode. The crop mode punches in 2x on the sensor when shooting at 120 fps. This can become a challenge when trying to maintain a wide composition.
Canon C300 Mark II –
The Canon C300 Mark II features an 8.85 Megapixel Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor (24.6 x 13.8mm) that supports 4K (DCI) recording with a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels.
The camera fully utilizes the image data delivered by the sensor to also enable over sampling HD processing for 2K (DCI) and full HD1080/60p recording. There are 15 stops of latitude. The native ISO is 800, but you can crank that up to an astonishing 102,400, perfect for those low-low-low-light work.
The Sony FS7 and Canon C300 Mark II offer very similar features. Right out of the case the Sony is able to be used on the shoulder, the Canon not so much (unless you add a shoulder mount rig). But the Canon’s form factor is better for mounting on drones and gimbals. In a studio setup, they’re comparable. The Canon’s image is a bit warmer, the Sony’s a bit cooler. The Canon has a more versatile original mount, but with adapters either camera can take a huge range of lenses. Last the choice depends down to you.