November 10, 2011

Hands-On Impressions of the Canon EOS C300

This is a guest post by cinematographer Angelo Lorenzo.

I am torn between the Canon EOS C300 and RED SCARLET-X, I really am. In 2009 I felt like a pioneer on the Canon 5DmkII: before Redrock or any number of accessory companies were popping out rods and mounts, I had my camera with a custom machined PL adapter and iris rod bracket, and I was slapping it on everything from technocranes to steadicams. More recently I’ve been racking up hours with the Red One MX, including an AC position on a million dollar film. I’ve grown to love both the Canon and Red camps for different reasons. In the wake of both companies’ recent announcements though, the collective internet conscience has declared Red’s Scarlet as winner in some imaginary zero-sum game.

After looking at the specs of each camera, it became clear that these are two very different tools. The Scarlet X demolishes most cameras with the sheer power of its specs, and its price point puts it in reach of those willing to purchase it. The bootstrapped indie filmmaker should consider the hidden cost of the upgraded post production pipeline for dealing with 4K footage efficiently – a sneaky, oft forgot expense. The Canon hits a price point that puts it pretty firmly in the rental market, but filmmakers can use existing HD edit and finishing systems without fuss. Filmmakers could even consider thinning out their grip and electric rental due to the C300’s obscene ISO performance, which I’ll get into further detail in a moment.

During Canon’s press demonstrations at Paramount Studios Hollywood I was able to do two valuable things: look at projected footage and actually touch the C300. I watched three of the four projected demonstration films (as I had some time constraints), and the image quality superb was in each. Although all of the footage was color timed, the C300’s skin tones remained especially true through all films even in some demanding high ISO situations. Speaking of, ISO on the camera reaches an astounding 20,000 ISO – and yes I have the comma in the right place. Was it noisy? Noise was apparent, but it was grungy and reminiscent of shooting T-MAX 3200 film. The noise felt right and added some amount of acutance -- the opposite of common digital noise.

My previous article covered the importance of exposure latitude and, of course, I had to get the skinny on that. The C300’s base sensitivity is rated at 640 ISO or 850 ISO (if you’re using Canon Log color) and spans a full 12 stops even at 20,000 ISO (higher ISO settings are known to reduce exposure latitude). A Canon rep pulled me aside to hint that their spec sheet is conservative, with 13+ stops in the field.

The specs are a little surprising, for better or worse, but the form factor was rather familiar looking. The camera is slightly deeper than a DSLR which I’m sure gave Redrock and Zacuto a sigh of relief. Because of the added depth, the C300 feels stable and balanced with the side and top handles if equipped with smaller lenses. The included monitor is married both to an auxiliary control panel for playback and navigation as well as the dual channel XLR input. Its full build-out weight with included accessories puts it at a svelte 6 pounds.

Some of the backlash towards the C300 stems from the expectation of a 4K camera rather than a 2K camera. With most digital cinema projectors in the world being 2K for the foreseeable future, the slightly shadowboxed 1920x1080 works perfectly. How soon we forget how many films, shorts, and commercials are produced on the likes of Panavision’s Genesis and Sony’s CineAlta cameras, all at 1920x1080. Panavision’s John Galt spoke with Creative Cow with his thoughts on the 2K/4K debate, and even thought the article is 2 years old it is worth reading. While I’ll reserve my full judgment until both cameras officially ship, it’s refreshing to see Canon open up creativity in a different way: rock solid low light performance.

[video via Engadget]


Angelo Lorenzo is a Los Angeles based cinematographer and camera operator that has worked on a number of commercial, music video, and film sets. When he’s not on set, he’s readying the launch of Films For Us, a platform that allows filmmakers to sell their films and shorts while blogging and connecting with their audience.

Your Comment

97 Comments

"Panavision’s John Galt spoke with Creative Cow with his thoughts on the 2K/4K debate"----> 404 not found

November 10, 2011

2
Reply

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
JS

Oh, and yes -- the article is old, but still relevant. Since then RED has taken the EPIC up to 5K specifically because the debayering process drops the true resolution. You get a true 4K out of the 5K EPIC, and I think what you get out of their 4K sensors (including the SCARLET-X) is more like 3.2K.

November 10, 2011

-3
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Koo, here's what Red's site says about the sensor resolution.

Scarlet-X:
SENSOR 14 MEGAPIXEL MYSTERIUM-X™
PIXEL ARRAY 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)

Epic:
SENSOR 14 MEGAPIXEL MYSTERIUM-X™
PIXEL ARRAY 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
S/N RATIO 66db"

What is the source for the comment about the Scarlet-X having a 4K sensor?

November 18, 2011

0
Reply

5K at 12 FPS, 4K at 24p.

November 18, 2011

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Ah, I thought you were making a blanket statement about the output resolution - I didn't infer that it was frame-rate specific. My bad. :)

November 19, 2011

-2
Reply

Thanks, damn "smart" quotes were messing up the link. Fixed.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Not to nitpick, but he's calling it a 300C, when it is in fact a C300. Just to avoid mild confusion.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply

Wow, missed that. Fixed too!

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

"Was it noisy? Noise was apparent, but it was grungy and reminiscent of shooting T-MAX 3200 film. The noise felt right and added some amount of acutance"
I can't get behind this, man. Noise is noise. If you want a high-iso 1920x1080 cam, use the new gh2 hack for about 1/20th of the price? Or add it in post for the 'grunge' look?
"With most digital cinema projectors in the world being 2K for the foreseeable future, the slightly shadowboxed 1920×1080 works perfectly."
"While I’ll reserve my full judgment until both cameras officially ship, it’s refreshing to see Canon open up creativity in a different way: rock solid low light performance."
How forseeable? And am I in crazytown, or is this completely ignoring the fact that the competing RED camera shoots in 4k, thus is twice as gradable anyway? It may (emphasis on "may", as people aren't talking much about lowlight on RED) not have the lowlight performance of the Canon, but guys... use a lightsource or two that you can esthetically control!
"How soon we forget how many films, shorts, and commercials are produced on the likes of Panavision’s Genesis and Sony’s CineAlta cameras, all at 1920×1080. Panavision’s John Galt spoke with Creative Cow with his thoughts on the 2K/4K debate, and even thought the article is 2 years old it is worth reading."
That's two years ago. Two cameras just released recently, at similar pricepoints. One shoots 4k. The other shoots like cameras that are comparable to what you can get for 1/20th of the price.

All the articles I read seem to be apologetic and very "yeah guys, but the Canon has to have SOME merit..." biased towards Canon, probably bc that's what's worth writing about. Everyone just knows that the Scarlet is wonderful at the pricepoint, so articles apologizing for RED's specs aren't popping up. I mean doesn't that say something? Am I going insane here?!

November 10, 2011

2
Reply
RevBenjamin

You're not going insane. Right before Canon came out with the C300 I said if it's 1080p then it's not a "hollywood historical" event. What I see from Canon is an excuse, they made the 5DMK2 for so cheap it blew away their other videocameras. They wanted to make as much money as possible and that greed shows. It's laughable.

From the biased articles I am reading, people seem to try and make excuses for not buying the Red Scarlet such as, "it having too high a resolution." Fine, there are multiple resolution sizes you can change to! If you want your slow motion KOO, the Scarlet can shoot slow motion at 2k for you.

REVBENJAMIN you're right with EVERYTHING you're saying. If I wanted to shoot a feature in 1080p I would pick up two gh2s and trick them out with the best lenses. The best part about buying a Scarlet right now is that it will survive over years! It can be upgraded to the Red Dragon sensor and camera companies will continue to compete(Canon isn't coming close to competing) but the Scarlet is not being beat when it comes to that price. And I am not a Canon hater, I love my T2i, it has done me well, but my I am growing up with my career and the T2i isn't cutting it. Especially as I work with a RED ONE MX. The Red Scarlet is not going to be outdated for awhile, the C300 is outdated before release. DONE

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Julian

Slow motion on scarlet at 2K forces you to use a window of the sensor that is less than the size of a 2/3" sensor, so you better get some new lenses if you want to maintain FOV with your S35 frame.

While I love the gh2 (I have one, shoot with it often), it isn't an appropriate tool for professional situations. I work on several broadcast shows and I would never ever ever bring on a hacked gh2 as an A camera - too much can go wrong, and there's too much at stake. I'd be laughed out of my job. However, I would have no qualms about using a C300 as an A-camera: network approved broadcast codec, quick and simple workflow, worldwide company with reliable product history, and a camera that gives a perfect sharp alias-free 1080 picture with filmic noise, small form factor, light weight and brilliant low-light capabilities - these things go a long way. In fact, two network shows I currently work on already plan on incorporating C300's into production.

November 10, 2011

2
Reply
Brian

Listen to the Vincent Laforet podcast about the C300. He rates it very highly and is also one of the few people so far to have actually shot with it rather than just read a spec sheet. Also, have a look at that creative cow article because it's fascinating. C300 looks like a great B or C camera if you're shooting a project on Alexa ProRes 4444 LogC. Pal of mine just DP'ed a film in the UK called Sket that he shot on the Alexa on ProRes. His words "I think ProRes definitely holds up on the big screen, the colourist was in awe how amazing the proRes log c behaved in the grade, very filmic." Sometimes 1080p isn't just 'good enough', it's actually really good. I just think people get a little obsessed with judging numbers versus judging images.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Will

Ultimately it still comes down to price. No-one's arguing the C300 isn't a good camera. Image quality looks good, ergonomics look good, etc etc. But for $20k? Really? I totally agree that 1080p is a great resolution, and in most cases you don't need more. But... $20k. Come on.

As has been said elsewhere - this is a broadcast camera. It makes sense there, where you want zero-hassle performance, and $20k isn't really a big deal. For indies, it gives too little at too high a price. For hollywood, it gives too little full stop. Again, not a bad camera by any means, just not aimed at what I would loosely classify as "us".

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Luke

Yeah, I agree it is expensive but I'd never buy one - it'd only be for rent. They're pretty much the same price as a Z3 and they're cheap to hire (in London). If you need to own the gear it's probably not the right camera.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Will

As much as I respect Vincent, he was hired and paid by Canon to shoot a short film with the C300. He's hardly in a position to be objective...

November 11, 2011

-1
Reply
Fabdex

+1
I am with you dude, all the way

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
carlos

reffering to revbenjamin and julian

November 10, 2011

-2
Reply
carlos

If the image alone cannot convince you when you see it projected on a huge screen, then you either have a bias, or are blind...Specs are nothing, image is everything...Obey your image. :)

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Dave

Nice Sprite advertising reference. :)

November 18, 2011

0
Reply

20,000 ISO. 12 stops of dynamic range. A film like noise grain pattern. Perfect 1920x1080 resolution with no moire or aliasing.

I think this is a real contender for a lot of projects.

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Nathan

The Red Scarlet has 18 stops with HDRX, you can add better film grain noise afterwords. This camera would have been a contender 8 years ago.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Julian

HDRx is for limited situations and not usable for the majority of shots. Jim said it himself. Adding film grain in post takes a lot of render time. Not having to deal with sensor pattern noise and having it be much more filmic is very rare and very welcome for higher ISO shooting

November 10, 2011

-2
Reply
Brian

HDRX is a myth, I have yet to see any legit project shot with that feature, or any post work flow that can handle it.

November 11, 2011

-1
Reply
goose

Grain and noise are entirely different things.

November 11, 2011

-1
Reply
Fabdex

Something to note, on the scarlet you can change between ef and pl mount. Canon you cannot.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Ryan Emanuel

You can add adapters to your canon mount though, but there's no adapter that could fix 720p 60...

November 10, 2011

-2
Reply
Julian

With not light loss or cropping?

November 10, 2011

-2
Reply
Ryan Emanuel

There is no cropping or light loss in the 720p mode on the C300. It downsamples from the entire sensor readout (vs cropping in to smaller than 2/3" sensor size on the Scarlet)

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Brian

I'm talking about the adapter not 720 modes

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Ryan Emanuel

The adapter is not optical, just mechanical. No light loss or cropping

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Brian

True. I don't think anyone would argue against having interchangeable adapters on a $20,000 camera, though.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

The RED's 60fps mode is almost as useless though - 2K at a whopping 3.9x crop factor which I find utterly bizarre.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Clayton

Just to clarify, you mean on the Scarlet-X (1-60 fps 1080p HD) not the Epic (1-300 fps 2K), correct?

November 18, 2011

1
Reply

Or did you actually mean the Red One (1-60 fps 3K), because it hadn't been mentioned in the discussion yet and so relying on the brand name was a little unclear.

November 18, 2011

0
Reply

Why not? Put a PL adapter on the EF mount. Problem solved.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Brian

There has been a lot of talk about low light performance, but really only in the camera's ability to expose. I think other variables impact low light performance that aren't being considered. For instance, the signal to noise ratios in underexposed regions, I feel, is far superior in epic/scarlet then the C300 or f3. I think people should take a second look at "Tattoo" shot on epic. In barely any light, it was practically noiseless. Plus everything was under exposed in the first scene. With red, you can have a subject in darkness and get a clean image. Yes f3 and c300 can expose with barely any light, but will they give you a clean image in the darks. If you look at mobius at 2:55, the camera is exposed for the exterior of the car. The subject is underexposed and is very noisy. Clean underexposure has been one of the greatest advantages film has over digital. I know the epic/scarlet can handle it, but I'm not sure the c300 can.

I know its a matter of style whether you want a lot of luminance in you night scenes or clean darks, but for me being able to have the choice of a full range of exposures for the subject is better to me.

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Jeff

As for the Epic shooting clean in low-light, Neat Video works a treat! Red cams are known for their inherent weakness here.

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Dave

A question: were you watching the 1080p version? And if so, what do you exactly by "clean image"? I don't think I"ve ever seen film handle low shadows without grain and as far as I know, this camera deals with them the same way. Only at high ISOs that film can't reach.

November 11, 2011

2
Reply

The only problem I have with this argument is this phrase:

"Panavision’s Genesis and Sony’s CineAlta cameras, all at 1920×1080"

Yes, thats true, but also consider the date those camera came out. The Panavision Genesis came out in 2005 and Cinealta was released in 2001 or somewhere around that range. ( the first release movie was 2003)

So I think people's expectation for more in 2012 is EXPECTED! Comparing the C300 to a 6 year old camera and its specs is not helping Canon's case. I found that to be a pathetic comparison.

Its also wrong because Sony Just updated the Cinealta line with the F65 which shootswith an 8k senonor that outputs to 4k and 2k at 16 bit raw data which absolutely astonishing amounts of information.

So nobody forgot things were were being shot at 1080p Were already knew that, thats why were were expecting something new from a new product that more advanced.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
pixel wiz

A very basic F65 shooting package with no lens will cost you around $100,000.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
Brian

I wish more people read that creative cow link, specially the part about pixels vs frame rates, and this guy is like the expert of digital video. Then we might start to have good full HD at 120 fps ? When I just saw the grain from C300 on Vincent Laforet's blog, I just realized how true it is that our own eyes won't see much difference between 2k and 4k. It's the same in the photography world, who runs after 24 Megapixels after he has seen D3s pictures ?

November 10, 2011

3
Reply

Do either the Scarlett or C300 cameras have any sort of auto focus?

November 10, 2011

2
Reply
Jim

Ironically, only the RED -- with Canon lenses. But it remains to be seen how fast it will be.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

did you notice the on the face of the main actor in MOBIUS 1:17minutes . I dont know if it is a filter or ...please check. I am not sure if we know all the truth about this movie..

November 11, 2011

-2
Reply
Panasonic AF300...

Who is John Galt?

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Mike

Mike,

John Galt is Panavision's Senior Vice President of Advanced Digital Imaging

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Angelo

Missed that one, didn't you?

November 12, 2011

0
Reply
Bryan

Angelo, thanks for the write-up. 2 questions for you if you can answer:

1) How is the balance of the camera once the LCD is on top, particularly when it's mounted to the top grip. It seems very top heavy in the pics.

2) Dynamic range: I'm assuming the 12-13 stops is with Log enabled. I thought Canon had noted that it's 9 stops without log. Is that right

Thanks.

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Steve

Steve,

1) Surprisingly balanced. The LCD monitor is light and thin; since it is married to a mini control panel and the XLR inputs, it keeps the center of gravity low toward the handle. It's nowhere near as hefty as a Marshall or other common 7" that a lot of 5D owners have.

2) It's subjective. The C300 uses picture styles so I'm sure there is some variations per setting. I didn't get any specs on any of the default picture styles besides the log profile.

November 10, 2011

-2
Reply
Angelo

Thanks Angelo

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Steve

So while I acknowledge that the C300 has some real flaws, I think the initial disappointment of it being 1920*1080 rather than 4k might be causing people to be unfair to it. In fact from what I'm reading, the C300 does similarly to or better than the RED in most things except resolution (albeit in all dimensions including color depth) and frame-rate. In particular low-light performance, (effective) sensor size, and color reproduction all seem to favor the C300.

It sounds like the RED wins at dynamic range (at least within certain constraints?), but I'm not totally clear on this.

This is not to say that in general I'd pick the Canon over the RED, but the idea that the Canon's problem is that it "doesn't bring anything new" just seems weird; neither the C300 or the Scarlet have ground-breaking features but they both seem to provide something new in this price range.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
cows

Does the c300 have better color, I thought the scarlet was 16 bit vs c300 8 bit

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Jeff

The way the sensors process color info is far different, and yes, you'll need all 16 bits to have a pryers chance to get skin tones right on the Red...8 bit in the C300 is the best you've ever seen (or not), and there are no banding issues whatsoever. This camera is truly revolutionary, and very, very, very efficient.

November 10, 2011

-1
Reply
Dave

What kills me is that none of these cameras are actually out in the field right now. So the bulk of all these comments is purely speculative and biased on their camera preference. I agree that the expectation of 4K has caused people to be (prematurely) unfair to the C300.

The argument of "well, this is 2011, we expect more than 1080!" is, to me, ridiculous. True, the first digital cinema cameras were 1080, and they've been more than enough for the big screen. Just because you have some overachieving players in the field, doesn't take away the competency of HD (hell, two of the most recent blockbusters in Puerto Rico theaters were entirely filmed with 7Ds). Would I rather have 4k? Of course. Do I absolutely, desperately need it? No. But a 4k sensor outputted at 1080 will yield crisp(er), beautiful images that other HD cameras aren't able to achieve.

I am a DSLR shooter. My content is seen on BluRay, or heavily compressed at 5mbps on the internet. I don't want to stress over 4K workflows (and it's increased post-processing workflow) for a documentary, for a web show, for a music video, or an EPK, or whatever it is I'm doing for my clients. Why do I need a (seemingly superior) Scarlet (and it's increased needs for processing power)? Do I want one? You bet your ass. Do I need one? No. Matter-of-fact, I'd be better off with a C300, when it comes to workflow.

Scarlett is an incredibly tempting,powerful little camera. A marvel of technology. It's also amazingly overqualified for many, many applications. (Like an engineer applying for a job at a Wendy's restaurant.) Why all these people sit for hours complaining about the size of a screwdriver head, when all they have to do is pick the right one for their particular project is mind boggling... and it all comes down to speculation by a bunch of people more preocuppied about counting pixels than going out and making beautiful pictures.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave N.

Dave N. the Scarlet has supposedly been 'in the field", though there is no footage to prove this. On the other hand the C300 is and has been in the field and several short films and one feature have been and are been shot with it. Go to Canon's website to see the films.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave

Oh, I'm sure both have been tested by very competent hands. I think I may have chosen my wording incorrectly. I meant out in the market (where the bulk of the speculative (and quite harsh) criticism is coming from, especially coming from people who have not had hands on experience with either camera*).

That's what I meant. :)

*Using an Epic is not the same as using a Scarlet, even though they share the same components, just like my T2i isn't a 7D, even though the sensor, processor, and video output are pretty much the same.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave N.

Ahh, I understand :)

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave

I notice lots of different perspectives here. I'm coming from the "money first, creativity second" camp. I generate...lets just say...a lot of money with video. The amount I generate is far greater than any typical filmmaker, small production company or videographer. All because I can sell and market well.

From a business standpoint I find the C300 to be a very wack camera. The specs and the performance seen so far is not a money maker for me. I can sell clients on 4k and RED, I can just send them to the site and I'm done. The C300 I would have to explain...and convince...and show people the images. Its a waaaay harder sell. To me...that means less money. In my world, the newest camera with the newest stuff means my clients get a jump on the competition.

The price to spec ratio is just to hard to sell. It requires to much explaining. Its easy for me to sell the use of an F3 because of Sony's logical upgrade plan. ( Nex-5, to A77 to Fs100 etc...) I can just show them where they are on the scale. With the Canon, if you look at the specs, then look at the price....its off in another world somewhere.

So If I need $100k in 5 months, I can get it with the Scarlet and the Fs100 ( faster with the FS100).

Most people seem to be talking about "creativity", "the sensor" "8 bit efficiency" , picture quality means nothing when you make $30k a year. The audience can't tell. As long as it looks professional, no red flags will be raised. This is where Canon's $20k msrp price tag becomes a major problem.

Like I said, I can sell RED and Sony, but what about the C300...well....its crappy on the sheet, but it makes up for it in effort...look at how efficient it is"

If I bid for a project and someone looks up the canon C300 I am screwed. Because the camera is priced in the big leagues ( independent wise) . It sounds like the C300 is made for people with little to no budget, but is priced for people with a medium to large budget. WTF?! If you go against me with a C300...I'm taking your client because of all the explaining you have to do for why its good. I can use a shock statement like " 8 bits?!!, do you know what 8 bits are, well my camera...." And I can do that because of C300 price, to get it and rent it you would need to price accordingly.

So its a big L if you're sales and marketing. You can read Canon FAQ section if you don't believe me...

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
pixel wiz

None of this addresses content or quality.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
Will

He was quite clear about that. What's wrong with discussing something which isn't content or quality? It's not saying content and quality don't matter, it's simply talking about something else.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
Luke

Fair point.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
Will

I don't think anybody is being unfair to Canon, it's half the camera we want at double the price we'd like. Go check the price of Canons xf100, aside from the sensor frontend the internals are (almost definately) identical.

Canons 4k MJPEG DSLR looks interesting, let's hope they see fit to price it below $10k.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
nobody

I don't get it. They have completely different sensors and they process the data from the sensors in completely different ways. I don't really see what's even sort of similar about them.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
cows

Try 8 bit 4:2:2, 50mbps recording, long GOP, MXF container. What odds would you take on that part of the hardware being identical? Must be some expensive sensor and downscaling board and at that price Canon are not planning on recouping the R&D cost through volume are they?

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
nobody

It seems to me like the sensor and down-sampling board should be by far the most expensive components. In any case it's not surprising that it's what you're paying for since it's what makes the C300 interesting. I guess I'd be more likely to buy the "half the camera we want at double the price we’d like" claims if there were actually cameras that cost half as much and were twice as... camera. Even if the xf100 ultimately stores the data in exactly the same way as the C300, that doesn't mean a great deal, because at no point prior is the data at all the same (or even close to as good).

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
cows

http://www.cmosis.com/news/press_releases/2010/towerjazzs_advanced_cis_t...

I understand engineering samples have been availiable for some time at around $2000. Plus Canon already have their digic processors being produced in bulk for the consumer market. I have the C300 as the sum of its commodity parts valued around $11,000 retail and I'd still personally be favoring an upgradable Scarlet if that were the case.

And it's perfectly fine to be dissapointed with Canons offering and for the market to dictate they need to make higher quality, more affordable tools.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
nobody

I have a feeling the C300 is going to boost and be very popular. i personally think it looks cool as hell

it has everything I need. wouldn't be surprised if the street price upon release is reduced to be more competitive against the scarlet. plus the bonuses of going straight into an NLE on your MBP or whatnot is gold

you will see a lot of dslr heads selling up their 5d's and heading in this direction - since they already will have full kit & lenses

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Matt

bette yet keeping the 5d. what a killer kit that would be

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Matt

Matt, while the 5d is a great camera, the C300 is in a totally different league. You COULD intercut the two, but after seeing the results, the 5d would be your go to stills camera only.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave

Interesting. Thanks for the advice!

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Matt

And that's a point many people are missing. It's not the same to have a 5D resolving in HD, than a 4k sensor outputting in HD. The C300 yields a lot more detail in it's image.

1080 in the 5DmkII is not the same as 1080 in a C300.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Dave N.

The human eye can resolve more detail than 1080, that arri 4k DI paper claimed a 3k resolution limit out to 32 meters from the screen. I expect Sony and Barco will move a few 4k projectors next quarter and 1080 will only be used on low budget shoots where, traditionally 16mm would have been used. For home theatre, we should all agree that 1080 / 2k is good enough.

November 10, 2011

1
Reply
nobody

If you look to the digital stills world you can see these arguments came out years ago and have somewhat died down. The DSLR market has cameras of every resolution, ergonomic style, sensor size etc but no one in their right mind would argue a Nikon D700 over a Hasselblad H4d, they'd just ask you what you wanted to shoot! Then they'd just wanna see your prints. I hope once we see the films from these cameras people will stop worrying about spec sheets and worry more about what their trying to shoot. There's so much more to a camera than resolution.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
RW

What kind of steadicam would be required to "fly" this bad boy? I am about to buy a pilot to fly my 7D but of course you have to wonder if it would work with the C300. What did you use to "fly" your 5DmarkII?

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Garth

Garth,

We've used a dedicated Stedi-cam operator on a few jobs so I'm not exactly sure of the model he's using; probably a higher end Stedi-cam Clipper and vest. If I were stepping up to the C300... considering the weight of a full build-out with mattebox... it's over the Pilot's 10lb limit. I'd step up to a Scout or Zephyr, or at least rent them as they can handle heavier loads.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Angelo

I think the issue of 1080 vs. 4K isn't being fully considered here. All the points about projection and true visual comparison can be debated, but what can't be ignored is the value of 4k information. Raw gives resolution, color depth and huge editing latitude; a raw 4k image has so much information behind it, that its possible to do drastic relighting and color correction. Additionally, 4k resolution allows for visually loss-less digital stabilization, an editing feature that is barely usable with 1080 footage. We can debate all day about the aesthetics of 4k vs. 1080, but when it comes to mature editing capability, the advantage of 4k is undeniable. Koo said it himself when he posted the feature on Warp stabilizer months ago, - warp stabilizer will shine and become truly useable once 4k resolution becomes a wider reality.

In my humble opinion, if we're gonna compare these cameras and their resolution differences, we shouldn't be talking about projection and aesthetics, but rather about editing.

4k input isn't what's important - for either camera. 4k output is what matters (raw 4k at that).

4k raw, gives orders of magnitude more editing capability, for someone who takes editing seriously, I believe that is a deal breaker.

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Progman

Regarding the 4K for grading argument, I use the Iknoskop A-Cam with it's tiny super 16 sensor, it shoots DNG each frame is 3.5 MB in size and the data rate is something like 240mbs.. The files it produces are amazing for grading! There is an absolute ton of information there from a true RAW file. Red 4k is great for warp stabiliser deffinately, really good point. But you don't need 4K for amazing grading possibilities.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
RW

i have to say i'm falling for the c300. chek out the way the screen articulates in the 360 degree views on this page. thats some damn versatile action!

http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/products.php?type=Camera&model=C300

November 10, 2011

0
Reply
Matt T.

How many people would REALLY like to be processing RAW 444 footage on there computer right now?

November 11, 2011

0
Reply

I've got a workstation that can handle it sat idle or I could dust off a 5 year old machine and struggle editing 1080P. I admit I never figured out how to edit footage direct from a hard drive using a flat bed... eventually I just had to accept that technology has moved on :P

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
nobody

Men, I don't even know what to think of all this now. As a filmmaker I think the story line matters the most for me. It's true that for some particular scenes and action we need a certain type of camera (Slow motion for instance) . There is no perfect camera. If you are not in rush I would advise to wait untill next year . maybe Panasonic will come out with his S35 and you could make a choice.
The internet is getting better and better for movie .. this is the future of the cinema there. As far as I am concerned I will work with what I have or I can afford. If I can rent I will if needed until my work will get noticed.
"Monsters" Directed by Gareth Edwards was shot on sony EX3 I think won some film festival. We have a lot of examples with the 5D markII.

Don't forget that the first goal of thoses companies is to make money money and money Period . I am done ...

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
Menelikk

I agree. If you can wait a littlle bit , do so. +1

November 11, 2011

-1
Reply
Panasonic AF300...

I had a good laugh.... "Who is John Galt" is the opening line from Ayn Rand's masterwork "Atlas Shrugged". I'm a bit surprised that nobody got the joke. Wonder if Mr. Galt knows about it.

And, while we're talking about cameras and the C300, can anybody tell me if the HDMI output on the C300 is a full-size HDMI or the C-type HDMI (as you find on the 5D Mark II).

Steve Lampen
Belden

November 11, 2011

0
Reply

To answer your question it is a full size HDMI, not a mini HDMI like on our beloved HDSLR. And the choice of connectors is really pro : multi XLR, HD SDI, etc...

November 12, 2011

0
Reply
Alexandre Lepretre

People are debating camera systems. The blog post is titled "Hands-On Impressions of the Canon EOS C300". Discussing gear and understanding tech is one of the first steps to understanding the format (film/tv/internet). Understanding your format leads to being able to produce creative work.

November 11, 2011

1
Reply
Will

The best cinematogrophers, Stanley Kubrick or Andrei Tarkovski, knew everything about technics, and were using specific technology for specific purposes. See how Kubrick was working with NASA for Barry Lindon and what kind of film and processing Tarkovski was demanding for Stalker...

November 11, 2011

0
Reply

Suggest everyone listen to the recent fxguide podcast
http://www.fxguide.com/therc/the-rc-100-c300-with-dir-laforet-red-scarletx/

I agree with one of the posters, great time to wait 6 months to a year and use what you have. Maybe the long anticipated 5Dmark3 will actually be released...

November 11, 2011

1
Reply
eco_bach

I have discussions about the 5DmkIII all the time. I have a feeling you won't see it until August of 2012 (it'll probably be announced months earlier though). Why? I don't think Canon wants to cannibalize sales of the 1DX for the 2012 Olympics.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply
Angelo

My disappointment in the c300 is not that it's a 20k 1080p when I expected a 4k. It that it's a 20k 8bit camera when I expected 10bit.

Furthermore, a 1080p camera with 10bit capability that shoots in a dual gain HDR system like Alexa would blow the socks off anything 4k. So tired of ppl getting caught up in "the k's.". Wish ppl would get more excited about dynamic range rather than 4k.

November 11, 2011

0
Reply

I Just had the chance to approach the C300 this week at the SATIS in Paris and I have to say this a well designed camera, no doubt about that !
The image quality is really impressive thanks to the 4 x 2K captors natively used : no pixel decimation, no rolling shutter, 2 x 2K captors for green tints (60% of the spectra) 2K for red, 2K for blue. The editing is made comfortable by the intraframe CODEC used and the 2K resolution.
Ok it is not 4K and its price has somehow missed the target as said rightly in the earlier comments. But Canon is a clever brand and I wouldn't be surprised to see the price of this camera fall quickly...
And the Canon officials on the SATIS announced that it was just the 1st one, and that others (meaning 4K of course) would follow more or less quickly, with the experience gathered on this one. Canon hears what their customers have to say, they won't let the indie market slip out of their fingers without reacting. There will be a C400 and a C500 even they are not named that way...
I know I might be criticized for telling this but look at Apple and the iPhone 4s : it is just a very pricy upgrade of the existing one with few new functions. BUT it is extremely comfortable to use, its ergonomy is well know and needs no new learning curve. It does what it is conceived for brilliantly even if on the paper it is slightly aged and overwhelmed by others. And you know what : it is selling by millions, because Apple, as Canon, launched a product that is comfortable and easy to use right NOW. It is almost already aged but it does the job really well for the moment ! There will be an iPhone 5, there will be a C400, and they might be rather above the crowd the next time.
What I can say is don't think Canon is finished : they read blogs like this one and they will react to follow the community and do it better next time. But this time is already really nice, even if it not jaw dropping ;-)
Use the C300 on the field and on screen before judging it on paper, it is a very good camera, just overpriced but I'm confident that will change quickly...

November 12, 2011

0
Reply
Alexandre Lepretre

Are you sure it's intraframe MPEG on the C300? I've consistently read it's long GOP.

November 12, 2011

0
Reply
nobody

Yes this information is confirmed by Canon : it is a MPEG 2 Intraframe codec (Motion JPEG like) , no predictive nor bidirectional frames, every frame is encoded, with a gamma log on a separate file (optional, but it seems to be a good compromise between compatibility and advanced color grading, approaching the RAW functionalities at a lower cost). This is a XDCam HD codec, at 50 or 25 Mbps selectable bitrate (100 could be unlocked later, if the Digic 3 processor can follow, along with the dual CF Cards). Of course MPEG-2 Intraframe encoding means far less compression and computing power necessity for editing, and an output file that can be re-encoded with H264 without destroying too much information (for Blu-ray authoring or broadcast diffusion). The output HD SDI seems at least partly unlocked for external recording at 422, even uncompressed 444 could be made available but I am not sure about that so we'll have to wait to be sure...

November 12, 2011

0
Reply
Alexandre Lepretre

Confirmed where? This contradicts everything I've read, including info from Canon.

"The 50mbps, 4:2:2 codec used in the EOS C300 is based on the MPEG-2 Long GOP standard"

http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/c300_onset_data_mgmnt...

November 12, 2011

1
Reply
nobody

OK, that link is an interesting article.
The Canon demonstrators on SATIS were saying clearly "intraframe MPEG-2 encoding with I-Frames only" for quality editing, no P or B frames. The Powerpoint dispayed on the screen was stating that too, but they might be wrong as the information is still hard to find on the net. I don't have access to a native file to analyse its type of encoding (GOP or not GOP), I'm sorry if my previous post were not correct, that is what I was told by Canon France !
But I will keep searching for that info to be sure once and for all...

November 15, 2011

0
Reply
Alexandre LEPRETRE

I have the official printed marketing brochure. It states MPEG-2 8bit long GOP.

There is a large sticker on the back stating that specifications can change without notice. This thing doesn't ship until January, so I wouldn't be surprised there are some final tweaks via firmware versions before shipment.

November 15, 2011

0
Reply
Angelo

ISO 20,000 may be interesting, but it depends on how it compares to the next top of the line DSLRs from both Canon and Nikon next year. The currently available generation of each can reach ISO 102,400 and Canon's already announced EOS-1DX will double that. While that says little about how each of the three compares at ISO 20,000, it does mean that people shooting under the most intense low-light conditions (night interviews for documentaries using available light, etc.) the C300 won't go to the same extremes (whether or not it fares better on the way there).

Nonetheless, I really look forward to low-light comparisons that go head to head with the current and next generations of the top of the line DSLRs and to seeing how much better the high ISO situation will get.

November 18, 2011

1
Reply