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August 29, 2012

Canon Shrinks the C300 EOS Cinema Camera, Calls It the C100, and Prices It at $8,000

We all knew it was coming at some point -- a Canon EOS Cinema camera under $10,000. Today Canon announced the C100, the cheaper sibling of the C300 (a lot cheaper at half the price). While it looks like this camera should be able to go head to head with the FS700 (considering the price), it's actually an FS100 for $3,000 more and with a less compatible mount. Either way it's just another option for filmmakers to consider when choosing their next camera. Check out the specs and analysis below.

Here are some basic specs at a glance (thanks to Sebastian at cinema5D for reporting):

  • Super 35mm Sensor - EF/EF-S Mount Only
  • 85% the Size of the C300
  • EVF and 3.5 Inch LCD
  • ND Filters
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • ISO range of from 320 to 20,000
  • 24p/25p/30p/50i/60i
  • 4:2:0 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264: max of 24mbps
  • Wide DR Gamma and Canon Log Gamma modes
  • Uncompressed HDMI (probably 8-bit 4:2:2) with a locking mechanism
  • Price $8,000
  • Availability: November 30, 2012

There was no question that Canon was working on this camera, but the announcement came out of nowhere (at least for me, though I doubt I have any friends at Canon). While it's exciting that Canon is finally introducing the camera that many have been asking for, I'm sure they weren't looking for it at this price. Sony has continually beat Canon to the punch with models and features, and at $8,000, it would be extremely hard for me to recommend this camera over the FS700, which we know will be receiving an upgrade to 4K (price TBD).

While it would have upset quite a few people, this camera should really have been the C300. Canon has a more costly camera at every price point than Sony, and for the same money you can get a camera that does 240fps at 1080 -- instead of 60i at 1080. I think Canon is gambling on users buying or using this camera strictly for the white name etched into the front. There won't be any PL mount lenses on this camera, as Canon is only introducing an EF mount version.

Canon missed a perfect opportunity to introduce this camera at the same price point as the FS100, except with ND filters. They also missed out on putting their mirrorless mount on this camera. Maybe this is because Canon understands many people don't want to deal with adapters, but Sony's cameras have been extremely popular at the lower end specifically because of the ability to adapt almost any lens imaginable.

There's no question this camera will fly off the shelves just like the C300 did, but when I can get RAW and ProRes/DNxHD for $3,000, is paying another $5,000 for ND filters, a bigger sensor, and a little more light sensitivity really that enticing? At least not for me personally, but I'm sure this camera will perform admirably since it probably shares a similar, if not the same sensor as the C300.

I would expect pre-orders to begin soon, as the camera is already listed on B&H with a release date. Click on the images at the bottom for some wallpaper-sized views of the C100.

What do you guys think? Is this a camera that you would buy? If not, would it be more enticing if it was priced closer to the Sony FS100?

Links:

[via cinema5D]

Your Comment

118 Comments

My sentiments exactly! After educating myself over the weekend from a discussion last week in these comments about different camera types and hearing the price tag I just couldn't justify purchasing this over an FS-700 for the price or even FS-100.

August 29, 2012

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I've worked with C300 and 5dmkII in the same day, and after grading nobody recognize 5d's footage. I cannot buy a c300, I will not buy a C100. I really don't see any difference at the end.

August 29, 2012

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I have to strongly disagree with you here. I just shot a short film on the C300 and it blows away anything I've seen from 5D. The sensitivity, the clarity of the image, the dynamic range, the rock solid codec, and olp filter make it a digital cinema camera, which leaves the 5D far behind. Sorry, it has to be said.
Plus the built in audio is a dream to work with, goodbye dual sound, and lets not forget the built in waveform monitor. It has all the things that allow you to focus on the other aspects of your production. Not to be underestimated.

August 29, 2012

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Mike H.

The excessive DOF on a full-frame sensor sucks for motion pictures. Then there's the hideous aliasing on Canon's SLRs from the line-skipping.

The abysmal recording format of Canon's "cinema" cameras is a joke, but the proper downscaling of the image makes them better than the SLRs. Not that this excuses 24 Mbps, interframe-compressed, non-raw crap at 4:2:0.

September 15, 2012

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What Haveyou

What the f*ck Canon?

August 29, 2012

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honest

8K$? Omfg. They're not even trying anymore.

August 29, 2012

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I do like this camera, the FS700 has a worthy competitor now, especially if the rumored street price of the C100 is more like $6,700. You lose the 240fps and future 4K features, but you get better ergonomics, build, native EF mount. This also is much better than the FS100 which lacks ND's. The BMCC offers 2.5K RAW and 13 stops vs. 12, but the low light and DOF and rolling shutter can't compete. Plus no NDs, as-yet-uninvented rigging, Battery and EVF and HD-SDI to HDMI converters probably needed, etc.

Canon's Specs claim that the color space is 4:2:2. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras...

Which makes me wonder, with that much chroma information being kept at 24mbit AVCHD, if the codec will suffer. With an external recorder direct to ProRes (they don't say yet what the color bit depth is on the HDMI) this will certainly be a credible 1080p doc/event camera, if you like the look.

I do think the C300 just died.

August 29, 2012

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Peter

The color space is 4:2:2, meaning that's what you get out of the HDMI, but the AVCHD is 4:2:0 as stated in their press release.

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
212

Hrm. Misleading specification then. Thanks for clarifying that Joe. External recorder then for green screen and anything serious, but that's not so bad, they are cheap, and some have value-added monitors etc. The internal quality will be fine for convenience.

August 29, 2012

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Peter

Just curious. Why no mention in the article to Black Magic Cinema camera. Isn't that also a cheaper alternative to the C100? Or is there a spec or market difference that I'm missing?

August 29, 2012

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Shawn

He did:

"There’s no question this camera will fly off the shelves just like the C300 did, but when I can get RAW and ProRes/DNxHD for $3,000, is paying another $5,000 for ND filters, a bigger sensor, and a little more light sensitivity really that enticing?"

August 29, 2012

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Ah. You're right. Thanks! I read over that obliviously.

August 29, 2012

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Shawn

"There’s no question this camera will fly off the shelves just like the C300 did, but when I can get RAW and ProRes/DNxHD for $3,000, is paying another $5,000 for ND filters, a bigger sensor, and a little more light sensitivity really that enticing?"

That is the mention.

August 29, 2012

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Canon has a fundamental misunderstanding as to why their popular cameras are popular.

August 29, 2012

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Through their announcements and releases, Canon consistently proves that they are quite out of touch with reality and the rapidly evolving market. From the one side, I admire how they're sticking to their guns and committing to their C- range of cameras. On the other hand, this market is highly volatile at the moment and survival may require rapid changes and deviations from a long-term plan.
Either way, this is a compromised product (much like the C300 was and is) which seemingly offers nothing of any real value to pretty much anyone. At least the C300 had an HD broadcast spec codec built in.

August 29, 2012

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Yep. Canon has demonstrated an appalling lack of common sense or even basic knowledge of motion pictures throughout its history with them. First came their failure to recognize the importance of progressive scanning, as they continued to trot out interlaced cameras for YEARS after Panasonic ate their lunch with the DVX100.

Then they took the step of putting video acquisition on the 5D II, but inexplicably left out 24 FPS. And, years later, there's still no Canon SLR with legitimate downscaling of the image for video. Instead, we have hideously aliased images.

Now Canon releases one "cinema" camera after another that records garbage. 24 Mbps? Interframe compression? 4:2:0? These are pathetic specs that have no place on anything but a cell phone in 2012.

The other players feared Canon's entry to the "serious" video-camera market, because of their imagers and lenses; but Canon has blown its opportunity in spectacular fashion.

September 15, 2012

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What Haveyou

Another waste of my time. This camera does not shoot raw, it's way over priced versus the 7D, 5D, and it gives you way less features then it should. There is no way that anyone will pay $8000 for this camera when there are at least 10 better/cheaper options.

August 29, 2012

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Joe Robba

I wonder how many people are in the same boat as me?

After shooting primarily with a DSLR for the last few years, photography has become a much bigger part of my business and has become well-integrated into my shooting style, workflow, and creative process. So a video camera that's only a video camera has less appeal to me now. When I think about what is the best investment for me and my work, considering multiple cameras isn't really in the budget, a DSLR with improved video and great stills (and fits my current lenses and redrock micro gear) really works best for me.

I'd love an FS700 for slomo and BMC for raw video (I would loooove to grade video in Lightroom!), but having 3 different specialized cameras with 3 different form factors just isn't practical in my current job. Of the new cameras released this year, the 5DIII is really at the sweet spot for my work.

August 29, 2012

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Yes I am in that boat. Though I also have an RX100 which gives me pocketability, 60fps slomo at 1080p, a codec even better spec'd than the C100's, nice internal stabilization (optical and digital) and super light weight and small size for steadicam, clamp mounting, etc.

Don't feel bad about the 5D3 video IQ. Yes it is soft and somewhat dreamy, but that is not necessarily a liability. It's forgiving to the imperfections of the talent. It puts less pressure on makeup and set dressing etc. It takes away the you-are-there factor, but a lot of people don't like 60fps HFR video precisely because it has the you-are-there factor as opposed to the dreamy romance of 1/48 shutter blur of 24fps movies. And the whole love of shallow DOF is because it makes things blurry, not sharp. A bit of sharpening in post and your talent's eyes pop nicely regardless.

If you shoot as I do with Faithful 0, -3, -2, 0 and manually adjust white balance to taste, you will get lovely skin tones right out of camera, and a good amount of latitude in post. ISO 5000 is completely practical. The 5D3's a look, it is what it is, and you can make something great leveraging its look as opposed to feeling you need to fight it.

August 29, 2012

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Peter

I think more people would be happy with the Mark III if it hadn't come after the Mark II. Personally I do actually like the look, but I like the D800 a little better - though I know that's a subjective choice.

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
212

Hello,

I am in the exact same boat as Jim here. I always shoot photos and video and I am sick of carrying two cameras. So the HDSLR for video is the best thing for me.

In addition - $6500-$8000 for this camera shooting AVCHD? Really not sure why I should get one. The Sony A99 will be announced soon and it will add 60p at 28Mbit AVCHD.

The one thing I really miss from the HDSLR is a proper screen and XLR inputs which of course the C100 has. But it looses therefore the capability to shoot photos. Proper screen and XLR can be added to an HDSLR but not shooting photos on the C100.

August 29, 2012

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Don't know where I stand on this one. Will wait and see if the ergonomics can work. I wish the screen would be in front instead of the same place as the viewfinder. I'm not feeling 4:2:0 with max of 24mbps. Canon is not trying to stay ahead, they just want to be in the ballpark which is irksome. The Black Magic camera and the Pro Res/DNxHD to SSD is the new baseline. So essentially, what these camera manufacturers should be shooting for is BMD camera in better form factor and features for 7k.

August 29, 2012

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Ajit

I like to imagine there are a number of Japanese men excitedly discussing the future of video deep within the heart of Canon corporate.

In their excitement, and as they filter through the feature requests from filmmakers around the world, they forget to check the date of these requests: 2009.

August 29, 2012

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That's hilarious, but I can't help but think that there's a little bit of truth to it. At least this would explain why Canon's actions in terms of video have been so short-sighted for the past year or so.

August 29, 2012

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Robert

The whole issue for me is the price tag, with the FS700 out there the C100 is obviously overpriced, it should have been in between the FS100 and the FS700. But Canon knows there's always a Canon lover to buy their overpriced cameras.

August 29, 2012

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Marcus

Well, after frank's low light test yesterday with the FS100 and the BMC it's really hard to pass BMCC. It shines in RAW and also very good in low light.

This camera on the bright side is MPEG4 4:2:2 not 4:2:0.

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras...

But yet too expensive for my taste.

August 29, 2012

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Alex Mand

I feel like people almost think I reported the codec wrong? This is from Canon's press release:

"The camera's AVCHD codec utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression similar to the codec used in Canon's XA10 professional HD camcorder. AVCHD features a maximum recording bit rate of 24Mbps in full HD 1920 x 1080 and 4:2:0 color space for sharp, vivid images."

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
212

August 29, 2012

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Peter

Yes, which is linked at the bottom of the page already, but I guess I named it strangely. I'll fix that.

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
212

Not your fault Joe but since they kept this info on their C100 site I guess this is probably the most accurate info. Or not! lol

And yet... Too expensive.

August 29, 2012

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Alex Mand

Just got your info from above. Right, 4:2:0 AVCHD

4:2:2 via HDMI... hummm

Have to buy an external recorder...

Perhaps wait for sony's 4K recorder price will be a better choice.

August 29, 2012

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Alex Mand

I want to know what the heck Panasonic is doing ... besides not engaging in the battle of relevant new cameras at $4,000-$8,000.

Also I would say that as a doc filmmaker the FS100 isn't a good option it's a non-issue for me about how much cheaper it is. No ND is a doc deal breaker, especially when paired with Sony's more video-looking results. A sony video camera (at any price point) still has the distinct Sony look. A look which IMO harkens to news TV 10 years ago, just upgraded to current tech specs.

August 29, 2012

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I'm in the market for a new camera and am loving the choices now available. On the fence regarding this latest offer but you might be interested to know its available for pre - order in UK for just over $6500 - so not nearly $8K

August 29, 2012

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Norman Lomax

What he said:
http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index.php?t=product/canon_eos_c100

I also think the price will be closer to $6,5k.

August 29, 2012

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Eugenio Fernánd...

Could be, I'll wait on B&H for US confirmation. Does it make any sense for Canon (or any company for that matter) to keep releasing list prices instead of actual prices? I know there are reasons for doing so, but it makes things awfully confusing when a camera is first announced.

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
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Shooter/Writer/Director
212

I'm sure it'd be a decent enough camera if it's was $4K or so, but to be honest, this announcement just makes me want to raise my middle finger in salute to Canon. They've severely let me down over the last year.

August 29, 2012

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Clayton Arnall

Exactly. They haven't done much right since the Mark II IMO. My middle finger has been up since the C300 price was announced.

August 29, 2012

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I thought most people disliked the image out of the FS700. I guess not.

"There’s no question this camera will fly off the shelves just like the C300 did, but when I can get RAW and ProRes/DNxHD for $3,000, is paying another $5,000 for ND filters, a bigger sensor, and a little more light sensitivity really that enticing?"

Probably not for you and me Joe, but for event videographers and documentary filmmakers...probably.

I'll wait to see the street price before crucifying Canon.

August 29, 2012

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I would consider buying this assuming the sensor is the same as the C300's. Why would I take this over the FS100 or 700?

Form-factor, for one. I shoot only docs, and having a smaller camera is a BIG plus in my book. I'm not actually 100% sure this IS smaller, but it certainly looks smaller than the FS100 or 700 and it also looks like it's a bit more ergonomically friendly.

Low light performance and ND filters are another. If it's really $8,000 that's one thing, but it looks like the street price is more like $6.5k, so here's how I'm seeing this: close-to-DSLR size with pro video features (NDs, waveform/zebras/peaking/XLRs etc.)....if the image that comes out of it is as good or close to as good as the c300, there are a lot of reasons for me to be interested in this camera. I'd be interested in the FS700 too, but it's just too big and bulky for what I generally do. There'd be too many situations I couldn't use it in.

August 29, 2012

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great response

August 29, 2012

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controls engineer

Honestly, if purchasing would be an option for me today, I'd rather go for the BlackMagic just because it has a reliable company producing it plus RAW-output, thus combining advantages of the Canon Cinema cameras and the the - to me, at least - still a bit dubious Kinefinity model, while disadvantages are neglectable. Combining 5D footage (if shallow DoF is needed) with BlackMagic-footage seems to be a solid solution for your own fleet of cameras. But since the Black Magic and the Kinefinity will most likely still have more noticable rolling shutter and that could become an issue in your shooting, it could be interesting how the C100 deals with it, making it a rental option more than a purchasing option.
LUCKILY though as I plan to update my lens pool rather than my camera pool, I have no financial options for buying another camera at the moment. Luckily that is because I can wait now how each camera performs in different conditions plus hearing a little gossip from my local rental store and in about a year or so might think about buying a BlackMagic or a Canon or maybe a Sony, but for now won't feel tempted, as investing in EF-mountable lenses is a very save investment for the future.

August 29, 2012

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Matthias

If this camera has the c300 benifits of 12 bit processing and a 4k sub sample, then I dont care about the 4:2:0. People are worrying about the wrong specs, it has a log profile and superior ergonomics to the fs700, if you have ever had to grab a apple box just to see the monitor you know what I'm talking about. It most likely will have more dynamic range than Sony and better color reproduction. Until 4k tvs are out and about the fs700 4k which will be more expensive will be downrezed to 1080 for output, the c100 will do that internally for you out of the box. Man, and if it has the marker waveforms the c300 has this cam will be good for busy production companies, online content, and media organizations. It will sell like Joe said. I think a lot of the people asking for Raw, have never done a RAW workflow before, and many without experience or patience will be running back to avchd.

Lastly for all those who are wondering why canon left you, look at the comments for any camera post, there's someone talking about sticking with the 5d, some people are turning down the fully featured bmc to stick, that market is polarized, they have voiced that they will not spend money, so why not make cameras for them.

August 29, 2012

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Ryan

I am going against the flow now but - quality of the camera is not just numbers, it is first and most important picture. I am not Canon lover, I have Sony XDCAM, Canon DSLR and c300 cameras in my company and I choose them based on what is best for the job. In last 5 months I was watching 5DMII, XDCAM and c300 side by side. Yesterday I received some Sony FS700 test videos from my friends and I have to say it is beautiful slow motion video. Great to have it in this price range, it is new way of filmmaking with this camera. But side by side: MarkII, fs700 and c300 on HD monitor - you can see why last one has presumptuous "cinema" in the name. No other camera in under 30 000 USD range has resolution, sharpness and color quality like c300. I will not compare it to RED as this is another class - 2K above. Yes Canon Cinema is too expensive and c100 is in line with this, but 5DMIII with monitor, rig, good power solution, mtb and NDs and external audio recorder will be more then 6500USD. This is why I understand how it is segmented and I believe it will be no1 documentary camera. Cant wait to get BMCC, this really looks promising...

August 29, 2012

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danny

I'll second that panasonic comment. ALL I HAVE EVER WANTED IS A DVX-100 WITH A FULL FRAME SENSOR!!!!!! That really was such a great camera. Great ergonomics, I like the Panasonic look, I liked the glass -- I would gladly sacrifice the versatility of using multiple lenses for a FULL FRAME SENSOR DVX-100!!!! 60p would be nice, clean HDMI would be great for green screen, NDs (just like the DVX) would be an absolute.

August 29, 2012

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d

I'll probably get this over the BMCC. Bigger sensor, faster rendering compared to dealing with RAW. I wont have to stack up on hard drives to support all my rendered out files.
Also, I wont have to pawn off all my lenses I invested in.
The FS700 form factor was a turn off. Who ever designed it should be put up against the wall.
I much prefer canon's digital emulation of Film look, compared to sonys Digital emulation of digital look.

The other thing I'm interested in, is we get Canon Log profiles and then there is something called 800% dynamic range feature. I don't know why they didn't measure it in stops.

August 29, 2012

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Wrango Davenlo

You know the BMCC doesn't have to shoot RAW? You also get log ProRes or DNxHD (which happen to be the preferred professional formats for post houses - so that right there should tell you something).

August 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
212

$8,000??! For what?!

August 29, 2012

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No longer $8K pre orders are coming in at just over $6k.

@Joe.
That's true. I keep resorting to the RAW output. But the lens issue is still a big one for me.

August 29, 2012

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Wrango Davenlo

$6,000??! For what?!

August 29, 2012

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JK

August 29, 2012

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