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Canon C300 Mark II Black Orb Problem

Date : 2016-03-24
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Black Orb problem

The Canon C300 Mark II suffers from a know problem with nowadays CMOS sensors, the Black Orb or Black Hole Sun problem, which is a misinterpretation of very high exposure values like when having the sun directly within the frame, in the middle of the bright source the image error is visible as a black hole.

The Canon C300 Mark II had a slow start, but prooved to be a high quality cinema camera and seemed to be almost free of any bugs (except a few dropframes while highspeed recording, which is already fixed with an earlier firmware update).

The Black Orb problem is only visible at extreme exposure situations, I had no problem whatsoever ojn normal shoots, but if you filming out in the sun and get sun in the frame, you will see this black orb in the middle of the sun, car light or any other light source.

It seems that the problem is ISO related and all gammas behave different. The orb apears in pink with lower ISO settings and after a certain ISO threshold it is just a black hole in the middle of the lightsource.

Black Orb behaviour at different gammas and ISOs

  • Norm 1-4 ISO: 160, 320 (pinkish) and from 1000 up (black)
  • Wide DR ISO: 160-400 (pinkish) and from 2500 up
  • Canon Log ISO: 160-400,800 (pinkish) and from 2500 up
  • Canon Log 2 ISO: 160-800 (pinkish) and from 5000 up

No official statements from Canon yet, but let’s hope they are aware of the bug and that they already worked on a fix and present a firmware update at NAB 2016.

In the video below the phenomenon known as black orb or black hole sun is seen very clearly in the center of the light were the illumination is strongest. This test was made with firmware v1. as well with the latest v1. (2016-05-24).

We hope that Canon is working quick on a fix for this problem which surfaces from time to time like a virus on several cameras from many manufacturers.

By the way, Amadeusz Andrzejewski (Twitter), a polish camera operator, also reported this phenomenon on the C300MkII. Read his article on his blog (polish).

Meanwhile read the indepth-review of the Canon C300 Mark II on



Filmmaker and Electronics Gadget Specialist with background in 3D-Animation and Compositing based in Vienna, Austria.