Adding any new camera to our rental lineup is always an exciting experience but deciding which one to buy…now that is a very difficult decision . With camera technology evolving everyday and with manufacturers pushing 4k…..that decision becomes more critical…..well not that much . Since there was a budget limitation we had to build a camera system which would not only fit in that budget but also deliver in terms of image quality .
Canon moved into the “Cinema” line of cameras with the C300 taking what they had learned from the 5D mark II to the next level . The image quality from the C300 was gorgeous and along with its unique form factor and broadcast ready codec gave film makers a great tool to work with . But it was way out of budget for most film makers included us , so when Canon announced the C100 we were quite excited even though the specs were underwhelming a bit , but since it shared the same sensor as its bigger and more expensive siblings gave us some peace of mind . So after checking it out at “Broadcast Exhibition 2012” in Mumbai ,testing it and after watching a lot of videos on Vimeo and Youtube we finally decided to buy it .
Lets have a look at what all we got in the box . The package was delivered to us by “ Big Camera” who is one of the authorised dealers for Canon in the state .
The usual suspects
The Canon 5D Mark2 and now the Mark3 have long been the cameras of choice for a lot of documentary and indie film makers out there because of its size and affordability, but it is a camera meant to do shoot stills and does video as well . Where as the C100 is designed from ground up to purely shoot video which it does brilliantly . Some might argue that the 5d is affordable but to make it a proper functioning video camera one will need
- ND Filters
- External monitor for focus peaking,histogram and other functions
- A preamp for audio recording and XLR audio
which means adding extra gear where as the C100 has all this and much more in built and works straight out of the box .
As far as the codec goes..it outputs AVCHD and records on to SD cards . It is a compressed codec but having worked with the AVCHD on our Sony FS700 I must say that it is a very good compressed codec to work with . When it comes to shooting content for broadcast which has specific requirements , you can do that via the uncompressed HDMI port into the Atomos Ninja 2 external recorder and record ProRes & DNxHD of your choice.
The Atomos Ninja 2 can also be used with the 5D mark3 to record broadcast ready content ,so why to opt for the C100 you ask ! Even though it does uncompressed through its HDMI the quality will still be very different because the sensor is different and that is where the Cinema EOS cameras are king . Below is a video comparing the 5d3 & C100 both recording ProRes externally . The quality of the sensor and the images from it demonstrate that difference .
One of the neat features of this camera is its ability to use the Canon EF-S lenses which are not compatible with the full frame cameras . By enabling the EF-S function in the C100 you can use the EF-S lenses . The EF-S 17-55 f 2.8 IS which is equivalent to a 24-70 on a full frame works like a treat with this camera and along with its IS feature makes for a perfect kit lens .
Review by Philip Bloom
This camera is meant to be an upgrade to DSLR film makers who want the Cinema EOS quality for a fraction of the cost of the C300 . Because it shares the same sensor as the C300 & C500 it works as perfect B cam to your existing C300 setup and can also work well as the A cam . With all the goodies like the Canon C-log and the one push autofocus its great for the Run n Gun type shooter .
BUT…but it does have its share of cons as well . The camera records 24P , PF25 , 50i & 60i . While the PF 25 can be undone when recorded with the Ninja , there is no slowmo in this camera i.e there is no 50p not even at 720p like the C300 & C500 because there is no 720p mode in the camera . But the 50i does make a good 50p after some nifty post work shown in the video below .
It would have been nice if it were there but it is one of those things which can be worked around as its rarely used . Apart from this there nothing holding the camera back .
Short film Titled ” Bart ” captured with the Canon C100 and the BTS
” Bart” Behind the scenes video
A friend of mine Arjun Suri who is a film makers based in Delhi recently shot a short film with the C100 . One of the scenes was shot in Candle light at ISO 12800 and was blown away by the fact that there was no noise, he was kind enough to share a sample image with me . It is the best low light camera and paired with the new Canon CN-E lenses makes for a powerful shooting package .
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