C300 and F3 Grading Tests.

Ungraded C300

I spent some time today looking at how gradable the C300 C-Log footage is. I chose to compare this against my F3 as I know many of you would like to know how they compare.  Rather than try to show the differences with some jpeg frame grabs I have provided a link to some high quality TIFF from grabs at the bottom of this post. Please download these and take a look for yourself because the difference is very small indeed. Now I did only look at one scenario which was the usual view from the back of my house and today we had some very bright sky with scattered cloud. Quite a challenge for any camera to deal with. I tested the cameras with their internal recordings as well as outputting to a Samurai, recording ProResHQ 422.

C300 Graded

Rather than go all out to try to break the codecs, I really wanted to see how they would perform with an average grade, so the grading is not extreme. Due to the very different base color differences, the images from both cameras are quite different. I didn’t try, to bring them closer together in the grade as I felt doing this may skew the results in the favour of one camera or the other due to whichever had the most pushing to get it close to the other.

So, what are my conclusions? Well both the cameras grade well, even the 35Mb/s 4:2:0 of the F3 holds up OK.

The C300 50Mb/s 422 comes out a little cleaner than the F3 35Mb/s 420 after grading.

The F3 recording to the Samurai at 10 bit ProRes HQ is cleaner than the C300 50Mb/s 422 after grading.

The C300 recording to the Samurai at 8 bit ProRes HQ falls between the F3 ProRes and the C300 native 50Mb/s. It’s closer to the C300 50Mb/s than the ProRes F3.

So, no surprises at all. This was what I was expecting and confirms my view that for run and gun the C300 is going to be a great choice, but for applications where an external recorder is not an issue the F3 has the edge.


There are no big surprises in the results. [downloads_box title=”C300 and F3 Tiff frame grabs (24MB)”]
Canon C300 and Sony F3 frame grabs.

When I get the time I’ll repeat the test with a low key scene. The results may be different!

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