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Canon Brings the Dual Pixel Autofocus Upgrade to the C300

A few months ago, Canon initiated a Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade offer for the C100. Since the C300 and C100 share the same image sensor, many users wondered if the C300 was also capable of this feature. Well, Canon has confirmed that it is, and is now offering the same hardware upgrade to users of the C300.

Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology first debuted in the 70D DSLR. It uses sub-pixels as tiny phase-detect autofocus sensors. The advantage of phase-detect autofocus over contrast-based autofocus is that the camera knows which way it needs to go when adjusting focus. This reduces the focus time and allows for much better focus tracking of moving subjects. The 70D has two sub-pixels in every one of its 20MP output. Since the C300 is an HD camera with a 4K sensor, there are a number of sub-pixels for each final pixel of the 1920 x 1080 image, as well.

With this upgrade, the C300 will have one focus point in the center of the image. This can be a bit constraining, but it makes the AF a lot more predictable. Canon also adds the ability to program one of the hardware buttons on the C300 as an AF lock, which allows you to effectively toggle the AF on and off for greater control. This is very useful for situations where you don’t want the AF constantly changing. For example, when panning between two close-up objects, locking the AF would prevent the camera from focusing on the background in the middle of the pan.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade costs $500, and requires the camera to be taken or sent to an accredited Canon service center. It's only available for EF mount versions of the C300 and, of course, requires lenses with AF to work.