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Sony F3 and Canon C300 Footage Side-by-Side (and Some C300 Ungraded Files to Download)

12.12.11 @ 9:40AM Tags : , , , , , , ,

How do the Canon C300 and Sony F3, pictured respectively at left, compare? Mario Feil, director of the just-posted C300 short, has released the following comparison video. There’s also a Canon 1D Mark IV thrown in, which quite frankly looks awful at these high ISO levels:

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The 1D Mark IV was shot using the Cinestyle picture profile, the C300 using Canon Log, and the F3 using the “basic” setting (not S-log). There was a bit of color correction applied. I must say I like the C300′s look, but I still have a hard time believing the 8-bit codec yields the maximum amount of flexibility in post-production. But everyone who’s actually shot with it — which I have not — laud the camera. Of course, the best way to find out how far you could push the C300′s .MXF files in post would be to download some .MXF files straight from the camera, right? You can do so on Nino Leitner’s blog right here (scroll to the bottom for the files).


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  • Hi,

    Here’s an invite to everyone who wants to have a go at grading the C300 source files: once you’re done, upload them to your account and add them to the C300 Grading channel on Vimeo:

    Nice to see how far we can push 8-bit 4:2:2

    Happy grading!


  • In this test the F3 looks the best to me, but it may be in part due to the picture setting used in the C300.

  • yup, the F3 looks more “finished”, that’s why most people say it looks best. The file straight out of the camera looks a bit too sharp. Stu Maschwitz matched the 2 shots together and I couldn’t tell the difference (besides field of view…). He says it’s basically the basic picture profile which adds contrast and sharpness.
    Without it, it would look almost similar to the C300 footage. Would love to see S-Log thrown in but the F3 I received from Sony didn’t have S-Log installed. Sebastian Wiegärtner said he wants to do a comparison of F3-SLog vs. C300 Canon Log

    • F3-SLog vs. C300 Canon Log I look forward to that. Again, thank you for the test you have done. Good in getting a sense of the cameras.

      Would be interesting for someone to compare the image quality between the GH2(hack), FS100, and the C300.

  • I’d give the slight edge to Sony in this test. And I still have no idea where I would put my right hand if I were trying to be sneaky… ala sans rig…

  • I took a quick pass. (Heading to catch a plane though).

  • Whereas the Sony PMW F3 is without the Slog, really liked the comparative differences are few, and when we know that the maximum Canon C300 and minimum Sony Pmw F3.
    We also clearly more noise and more chrome on the Canon that actually is not an advantage.
    I also realized that the dark side of the face have much more detail with the Sony in low light
    Now in January will launch the Sony SS-R1 Here we can make a real text. However I strongly believe that the fight will not be with Canon.

    • Is SS-R1 the correct name? Googling seems to only return results for a rack mounted Tascam recorder and an old Sony Loudspeaker.

  • Sony releasing a camera called the R1? lol… nice sony, subtle. ;)

    • Its called the SR-R1 and its not a camera, its an external recorder that can record hdcam sr, it’ll offer 440mb and 880mb codecs. On the plus side, this codec is far superior to the c300′s 50mbs, but on the negative side its 10k.

      It’ll probably be used as most as a rental, but its cool that you can get extremely awesome quality out of the f3 if you want it.

      • Ahh, very cool. I imagine it will definitely be packaged with an F3 kit at many rental houses then.

      • Thanks for clearing that up. The google search for “Sony SS-R1″ didn’t produce any coherent results, and I misunderstood Williams post.

  • Someone needs to do a side by side of the C300, F3, AF-100, and Scarlet. Who wants to wait until the next Zacuto shoot out?

  • Will Gilbey on 12.12.11 @ 2:51PM

    Think they both look good. Just checked on a British kit hire website and both cameras are crazy cheap to rent. F3 is £180 a day + £50 for Slog and +£65 for a Ki Pro Mini or equivalent. C300 is £180 a day. This is without lenses etc and before deals have been struck but they both seem to represent a lot of camera for not much money. If you can’t afford to buy or don’t think it’s wise, rental would seem to be a very sensible option for a lot of projects.

    • Agreed- they seem to hit a nice price rental price point for short film and commercial productions. And, as you mentioned, that’s without figuring in deals like a 3 or 4 day week, which reduces rental costs significantly.

  • Go to and click on “Download Preliminary Brochure” To learn about all of the SRMASTER family

  • The c300 seem very nice but so far, I’d still rather purchase an f3 with s-log & a gemini. Oh, and some solid state drives. If I just absolutely couldn’t get an f3, I’d settle for a c300.

  • Marco Vasquez on 12.13.11 @ 5:02AM

    F3 all the way!

  • A great attempt but I don’t believe it’s a very accurate test. I own a 7D and have never seen such a horrible image. Frame cropping does make it difficult to match, not to mention sensitivity, so it’s not easy. Really the aim is to get the best picture possible form each camera. Good try though guys, and thanks for posting, does give some vague idea.

    • like I wrote in the description: I didn’t want to try to match all the shots, I simply wanted to see how the cameras hold up under SAME setups and SAME output. It’s by far no scientific test but the 7D looked really bad. It’s simply the high ISO that makes it ugly. I don’t push my 7D or even 1D beyond 3200ISO and if so, only if I don’t have a litepanels with me, which is… never.
      The comparison showed that the I really got used to the look of DSLRs, which is quite good straight out of the camera but it’s not enough for 50% of my work anymore. Clients like the look sometimes, but not always. That said, all of the cameras produce great images. All in a unique way. I loved the image of C300 and F3. But my favorite of all: Alexa which I have to steal now because I can’t work with other cameras since I worked with her :)

  • There was only one F3 shot in that whole test…..

    I dont understand. This was a C300, 1DMKIV, 7D test.

  • Another test where DSLR material is intentionally overexposed to make it look worse than it actually is.

  • According to the test shots, I think F3 won. C300 is also expressive, but there’s pronounce colourcast. Please make comparison between 7D and NEX. 20 next time. I owned only 7D. Thank you.

  • OK for starters, your lighting is rubbish. You also struggle to get correct exposure on all camera’s.
    And most importantly nobody is going to shoot anything for broadcast at those high iso’s.
    Try giving the camera’s to real DP’s. They know how to make the most of whatever camera they work with.
    Yes they are all different, and you make the most of what you are working with.
    Enjoy the rest of film school kids