Rodney Charters on the Canon C300, RED, and ARRI ALEXA (and a C300 Short Doc)
UPDATE: B&H has posted official U.S. pricing for the C300, and it is $16k (ships “after January 30″). Thanks to everyone who commented on my post about the Sony F3 versus the Canon C300, I have a clearer sense of the C300′s strengths (that post was largely about its weaknesses). As I said in a comment, for a documentary camera (especially of the cinéma vérité variety) the C300 may be the best option out there. Several years ago, for example, I shot a short doc in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, and in that setting the recording time — both in terms of storage space and battery power — was a chief concern, as was low light ability (there was no electricity for 200 miles and night scenes were candlelit with no other option). The C300 would be the absolute best camera in the world for this. In the below series of videos, Rodney Charters, Lan Bui and Drew Gardner weigh in on the C300. But first, since we’re talking about documentary use, here’s Dan Chung’s picturesque short C300 doc:
Here’s the first video of Charters and co., which starts off with the question for Rodney, “do you ever use a Kelvin (color temperature) meter?”
Rodney says you can take a RED to 2,000 ISO before you start getting fixed-pattern noise, the ALEXA to 3,600, and the C300 to ____ (16,000?). He also says the ALEXA has a higher dynamic range and more satisfying image than the RED, which I agree with… but there is also the question of whether he’s talking about a RED ONE MX or EPIC/SCARLET. I’m a huge ALEXA fan but it’s not an owner/operator camera, and I’ve been more than satisfied with the SCARLET in my brief time with it so far. Then there’s Rodney’s point (and I’m paraphrasing here), “[the C300] is the camera for people who don’t need makeup, wardrobe, or hair… if you’re in a public space you can get away with it.” A valuable consideration.
Here’s part two:
Thanks to Rodney Charters, Lan Bui and Drew Gardner for posting these videos — — it’s wonderful to have a DP of Charters’ stature sharing openly. Here’s the third and final video: