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

08.29.12 @ 10:07AM Tags : , , ,

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?


[via cinema5D]


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Description image 127 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • What Haveyou on 09.15.12 @ 1:11PM

      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.

  • What the f*ck Canon?

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

  • 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.

    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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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?”

    • “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.

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

  • 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.

    • What Haveyou on 09.15.12 @ 1:19PM

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    But yet too expensive for my taste.

  • 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.

  • Norman Lomax on 08.29.12 @ 11:20AM

    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

  • Clayton Arnall on 08.29.12 @ 11:31AM

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Wrango Davenlo on 08.29.12 @ 12:32PM

    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.

    • 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).

  • Also keep in mind that $7999 is just the announced price. Canon and Sony have always played the game of announcing higher than the actual retail. When the C300 came out it was announced at $15k – and it sold for about $13k – so this will probably be in the 5-7k range.

  • Joe: after the release of the BLACK MAGIC CINEMA CAMERA this canon thing does not make any sense at all.
    I’m racking my brain too figure out how Canon is planning these absurd moves.
    Canon ! BY CHANCE you changed an industry releasing the 5D mark II, now, ON PURPOSE, you cripple your destiny by releasing caricatures.

  • It looks great I just think that 8k for just the body is outrageous. I’ll stick to my t2i for now and see where that gets me.

  • john jeffreys on 08.29.12 @ 1:27PM

    We all knew this was coming. Too bad they crippled the codec. For the same price you can get a used red one m o_0

  • With my investment with the BMCC, I’m not even the slightest-bit interested. The sharpness, detail, skin tone and RAW richness shown by the clips John has shared puts to shame DSLR’s and even the C300. I do like the organic grain of the C300 and the fact that it takes 4k and properly debayers to 1080, but the codec is so THIN! Working with reversal vs a full negative is the difference between these cameras and the BMCC.

    The benefits of fast shooting with little disk space fail to take into account the ProRes or DNxHD options you have with Blackmagic. So, for $3k or more, I get a s35mm sensor and some greater ISO options. I’d rather put that money in glass or toward another camera.

    • You also get ND, external buttons not menus and a ton of other little features that might not appeal to you but would appeal to the broadcast guy doing documentaries or reality type shows. Not to mention a superior form factor out of the box.

      Comparing this camera and the BMCC is wrong as they are intended for different shooting styles in my opinion.

  • Eugenio Fernández Abril on 08.29.12 @ 1:41PM

    I think the BMC and this C100 are completely different beasts and this is what some people is failing to see here. There’s no much to compare between both. The BMC will be a pain in the ass for any other than studio while this camera might be much better at run and gun, indie film on the rush and doc. I don’t think I’ll be buying either as they are out of my range, but I just think comparing them is a little unfair.

  • hardbonemac on 08.29.12 @ 2:02PM

    and one day my beard is 30 inches long….
    i have ordered 2 BMC `s -for studio work- for controlled outwork and so on.
    the next thing was camer no.3.

    after c300 came it was clear ( if alitte bit of brain and market-mathemtica..and unlogiocall of all thex do)
    that exact NOW the c100 will come…mhh.. and if you go the line a bit longer
    in mid 2013 the C105 ( ore it is called c35) is in… then a billon dollar marketing show says you, why the
    c100 / c300/ c500 is out of line and so on..
    and the show must go on….
    in late winter i get my third cam.


    i am no lobotomic i-diot and not undr kosmic radiations
    and i will not be so old till somebody has done ..waht i need…

    and wheen i must push my hard earned $$$ over the store i say
    WHAT IS and NOT…

    a 550 can make exactly the same…. more skill and art is empowered..

  • We fully agree with you.

    “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. ”

    Canon is getting every camera overpriced when compared to others that offer more and better features for same or lower price.

    Not to mention, for instance, that FS700 will be recording at 4K in near future…

    We don’t support Canon’s marketing strategy, crippling their $15K EOS 1D C which does NOT even have some basic features like Peaking, and the $7K EOS 1D X does not have 1080p60!

    Of course, cheaper cameras don’t have any of those features either, while the perfectly COULD because they have more than enough processing power inside.

    This self-protecting segmentation has gone too far, it’s based in previous success and the brand name, but NOT in the real products they’re currently offering.

    Canon has gone overpriced, and the most irritating thing is they are intentionally crippling their cameras, preventing the REAL indie filmmaker to have basic and essential features.

  • The Panasonic AF100 didn’t always shoot 60fps in 1080 but then within the past year, it was able to upgrade via firmware. What do you think the possibilities for c100 to be upgraded or advanced in the future?

    • It’s really anyone’s guess, but you’re better off assuming it will never have it based on the way Canon has updated their cameras.

    • Artemis Jaen on 09.6.12 @ 1:07AM

      Slight correction — the AF100 always did 60fps 1080p, but before the update it would only do it in VFR mode (over/undercrank), so it had the limitation of shooting MOS only at that rate. The file also has the base frame rate encoded (usually 24, 25 or 30), so you needed to set the frame rate manually to avoid playing back in slow motion. With the new firmware, you get 60fps with sound and a slightly higher bitrate, and file that play normally unaltered.

  • Hi Guys:
    Thanks for the article Joe. I’m a little confused. I work more in the motion picture realm. My understanding is that broadcasters usually ask for 50 mbps at 4:2:2. Am I mistaken? Can someone point me to an article?

    • In the U.K. that has been the minimum, but they also allowed portions of shows to be shot on other cameras (25% if I remember correctly). In the U.S. it depends on the network, because there is plenty of material shot on DSLRs that is broadcast. For example, Last Call with Carson Daly is completely shot on DSLRs and broadcast in HD.

    • Yes, that is the case in Germany too. The big stations require your A-camera to record with a 50Mbit/s minimum.
      However, in the past, they always required Digibeta for SD and a lot smaller productions that were delivered to them on DigiBeta had been shot on formats like DVCPro 25 and DVCAM. I never heard of anyone getting their tapes back ;)

      So I guess this is how it is going to be for a lot of smaller productions where the stations can’t actually control the cameras being used: people will copy whatever they recorded with a 50Mbit or higher codec and give it to the stations and nobody will ever complain.
      That won’t work for bigger productions were a lot of color grading is being done – but that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ENG type weekly and daily stuff that is never color graded.

  • Yeah….I’m thinking this should’ve had 422 50mbps 8bit internal recording, priced at 8K and been called the C300. Oh yeah, and 60P. At this price I’d still go for an FS700.

    • No joke. 4:2:0 recording? I will put money down that the image from Canon’s own $500 HF-M500, which uses a sensor superior to its $4,300 XF-105, could produce a nearly identical image in a well lit environment. And it would grade the same. There are a lot of differences between the HF-M500 and the C100, but, um, not enough. People are so hung up on using a large sensor that they forget how good traditional camcorders really are. Sony’ $4K camcorder that records to 4:2:2 would probably look better image-wise (on average) and the footage would have a lot more color depth. fwiw.

  • I could go on a rant. But simplicity is best…

    Canon sucks.

  • There is no contest in my mind, the Fs700 is still the clear winner here and the one I intend to get. In reality, both cameras will most likely have extremely similar outputs in terms of picture quality, so as long as you have a cool story to tell why not have 240fps, 4k future proofing, extreme lens versatility and uncompressed external recording as an amazing bunch of extra bonuses for the same price?

    I’ve been a 5d II and now III user for a while and I agree with the comments above, Canon is really determined to give us feature reduced models at high prices to protect even more overpriced products above them. The only real expense is that of customers jumping brands like I am! We want to make films with the best tools available to us at the price point we can most afford and Canon just isn’t delivering anything I want to buy.

  • As someone who shoots with the c300 professionally on docs… yes, it’s a hot new toy, but using it on a daily basis is a joy compared to other cameras, such as the unwieldy and bulky fs100-700s or a DSLR.

    the ergonomics of these canon cinema cameras should not be undervalued. like a car with great handling, you get what you pay for.

  • I think the key here is simplicity. If you are making a living in the wedding video, event or creating corporate video for the web this might be a great camera. It likely has excellent build quality, probably few if any quirks in operation and looks very nice. This really matters to most customers. File size are also probably quite manageable.

    For myself I could see many advantages to a BMD Cinema camera coupled with the CineRaw35. A ton of bang for buck for $10-$12K. But even with that I’m not sure if it would be an intelligent purchase business wise. We are in the midst of a massive wave of innovation in the camera world. For what I do my 7D is still quite adequate. Perhaps a good time to upgrade sound, lighting and studio/location gear where equipment innovation is relatively flat.

  • One thing I’m really curious about and am hoping someone can answer — with an external recorder, does that mean this camera can meet the magic 50mbps? I’m not techny enough to know.

    My impression is that 24mbps is a measure of the speed at which the camera processes sensor data. If this is true, doesn’t it mean that even if you can get “uncompressed” HDMI out, it’s still not broadcast ready? Not BBC-approved-list-of-cameras-for-commissioned-programming broadcast ready anyway.

    • The HDMI is uncompressed 8-bit so you’d get whatever bitrate the external recorder could do. With an external recorder I don’t see how the BBC wouldn’t approve this camera.

  • So I admit I haven’t done any serious research into this, but it seems like the image quality on this should be quite a bit better than the FS100? I mean, the C300′s resolution is similar to the F3, if not slightly better, but the FS100 doesn’t really come close, and it suffers from more artifacts as well. If the C100 has the same sensor as the C300 and the processing results in similar resolution it might be pretty nice. Like the C300 it definitely is overpriced, but I can see why someone might want one of these. How does/might the resolution on the FS700 compare to the FS100 and C100?

  • This recent wave of releases from Sony shows why it’s got such a stranglehold in the broadcast field. It gets the cameras out BEFORE anyone else can offer anything comparable, and by the time the others catch up, Sony is ready to drop its prices. Sony just seems so much more serious about capturing the market lately. Still haven’t seen anything I’d consider as a “must have” just yet though.

    • The trouble with the latest SONY FS-series is that the build and handling are pretty uncomfortable. Especially in comparison to their EX-series camera bodies, which are in every way superior handling-wise. I get the impression Sony is taking the fastest approach to releasing their new hardware to stay “on top of the market”, but unfortunately they’re not giving much effort into making the cameras intuitive or pleasing to use.

      • john jeffreys on 08.30.12 @ 3:43PM

        The FS series are designed to be modular. I doubt sony wants you to be hand holding a brick everywhere, its supposed to be set on a rail support with a battery pack, monitor, follow focus, shoulder mount, etc

  • If really the price is more like $ 6k than 8k then it changes a lot of thing. It becomes much more a competitor to the Fs100 than the Fs700 and much better spec than it with built in ND, waveform, ergonomic, build quality etc. In fact taking to the camera it has been compared to above, I would say that it would be less specialized than the fs700 and bmcc, but a better all rounder.

    One thing makes a big difference is the Canon 12 stop log format compared to the fs700 (until now don’t really know its DR, from abel cine it is 11 stop). For event work use the internal codec avchd 24 mbit, that we all know is quite good and secondly add a $ 300 hyperdeck to shoot 422 dnxhd for more quality job. I never thought I would write this on the still overprice Canon cinema line, but at $ 6k for many shooter it might be the very good camera.

    • I agree, after the news has had some time to sink in…at $6,000 it’s at least an option while at $8,000 it’s a no brainer from almost every angle to choose the FS700.

  • I think what we are seeing is Canon pushing out these models to maximise gains on R&D. I suppose Canon think that there are a never ending que of “would be filmmakers”, out there willing to drop 8k. I’m not so sure. If you were a budding and beginning filmmaker you might be better off with a Sony NEX5r – “99-point phase-detection and 25 contrast autofocus points, with 1920 x 1080 HD video recording at 60p”. All for $700. Does Canon offer 60p at 1080?

  • Lliam Worthington on 08.30.12 @ 9:55AM

    Agree entirely with the article.
    No way would I select this camera over an Fs700. Or a BMCC + more lenses and lights.
    But I don lt shoot events and docs… so I can see this may hold different appeal for others.

  • I am wondering why SD cards.

    It is understood that they have AVCHD to differentiate it from the C300. If one uses an external recorder then he/she is better off. I am not sure why this is compared with BMCC. Can you use a BMCC in barebones configuration?

    Wondering what would be the total cost of this with a good external recorder

    • With the bmc touch screen no, the production work flow with that camera will be slow, what I think people don’t realize is that this camera is only .3 lbs heavier than a 5d with little to no rolling shutter with the best handheld ergonomics, it is a run and gun dream, not to mention awesome color and dynamic range, you won’t be able to operate faster on any cam in the price range, if time is money even the list price is a deal

    • The BMCC is the cheapest digital cinema camera with a native Canon mount. I don’t see why you couldn’t use the BMCC in a barebones configuration. Handholding either of these cameras will never be as stable as putting them on your shoulder, and as for the BMCC battery and SSD, for about $600 more you’ve got a 256GB SSD and a battery solution from Switronix that mounts right to the camera and provides 5-6 hours of power – plus the internal battery that lasts 90 minutes. Shoot that camera in log ProRes or DNxHD and you’ve got far superior files to work with in post than the C100 (of course you could purchase an external recorder for the C100, but I would prefer a barebones kit to not have anything hanging off the camera).

      But different cameras for different jobs, as the BMCC will probably be a bit more difficult to work with in a shooting situation where you can’t control anything (but I’m aiming to prove that wrong).

      • First off disclaimer, I think the BMC will be a unbelievable awesome camera, but its not going to be the best options when speed, and ease of use and assembly time is priority.

        Touchscreen will be slower than short cut keys, the C100 won’t require assembly to hold it in your hands, and I may be wrong here but I haven’t been able to find info about on board exposure monitoring without ultrascopes. Getting the program free is awesome, but if you have to use a light meter or be tethered to a laptop to get exposure, c100 is faster with heavily detailed waveforms and scopes onboard

        All I’m saying is that people shouldn’t throw this camera under the bus. For filming 9-5 year round work, this camera will be very easy to operate and you’re not sacrificing a lot a quality. Of course, for narrative projects that you care about BMC all the way.

        • It’s getting thrown under the bus mostly for price, but I’ll be addressing who Canon made this camera for and why it might be a good option for some people.

          • Have you heard about any onboard exposure monitoring on the BMC?

            • Yeah it has zebras already. Not sure if it’s included in the shipping camera at the moment, but there will be histogram and waveform internally available. If not now, then with a firmware upgrade.

    • So it definitely has the same sensor as the C300/C500. That means there’s a good chance that the resolution is about the same as the C300, so this could actually be a pretty neat thing. 24mbps 4:2:0 isn’t a great thing but it’s also pretty decent; good enough to do some grading and would be more managable on, say, a laptop than a huge RAW file (which is not to say that NOT providing the option is ever a GOOD thing).

      $8,000 is too much for this camera, probably. At $6,000, with the exception of Blackmagic, I think it might offer the highest resolution at this price or below, so I’d think it would be a serious option for quite a few people. At $4,000-$5,000 I think this would be a very serious thing, particularly for documentary and documentary-ish narrative. Is this a plausible assessment or am I missing some serious downsides?

  • Pre orders in the UK have begun for $6500. Maybe Canon wised up….

  • ok guys the sony fs700 is a great camera and has an adaptable lens mount, but think of the metabones ef adapter: pricey and often out of stock. as soon as this camera drops a little in price it’ll sell very well, as a run & gun, doco shooting camera with a streamlined workflow. yes, blackmagic does raw for 3000 $, but is a very different beast from the c100.
    i hope it will perform well as i’m very interested in this camera for handheld shoot. i come from the dslr world, my rig is composed of a heavily modded gini with viewfinder and cage, it weights a lot too! with the c100 and a hyperdeck shuttle i’ll be able to record prores 4:2:2 to ssd’s for 300 €!

  • Any educated guesses on rolling shutter on this one? Could it handele it in a way comparable to the C300?


  • TheFunkKnight on 08.31.12 @ 8:14AM

    I just read this has a 4K sensor! So – even with HDMI out – should the external output on this be just as good as the C300? Yeah – Shame about the slow mo, but here in the UK its priced maybe £500 more than the FS100 and £1300 (ish) cheaper than the FS700. With C-Log and great ergonomics, it’s not a bad alternative for the price.

  • Here’s what I think about when people compare the FS700/BMCC to the C100:

    “But the FS700 has super slow mo!” Yeah, that’s cool. For narrative work. If you’re shooting a documentary, not only is the slow mo not gonna mean much to you, but you’re gonna need a ridiculously high shutter speed to make sure it’s smooth.

    “But the C100 only records 4:2:0 AVCHD!” Yeah. So does the FS700. Plus, both can be helped with an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja 2.

    “But the FS700 has a more compatible lens mount!” Are you kidding me? Honestly, if you’re not using a manual aperture lens such as Nikkor or Leica, you’re probably using an EF lens. I mean, who uses E mount lenses? Really? And before you mention PL lenses….you’re paying $6-8,000 for a camera. You can’t afford PL lenses.

    “But the BMCC records 2.5K!” Cool. That’s barely over 1080p. And if you take that thing to a wedding or a documentary shoot, you’re gonna be ripping your hair out. Sure, it’s cheaper, but it’s tailor made for narrative work.

    Now I’m not saying the FS700 is a bad camera, nor am I saying that for the BMCC. If you’re doing strictly narrative/commercial work, get the FS700 or the BMCC. Those cameras are fantastic at those things, but only good at other things. What does the C100 do?

    The only thing the C100 does fantastically is documentary, thanks to it’s extreme low light capabilities (let’s face it: unless you’re using a prime lens on a documentary, which is ridiculous, you’re not gonna get very good low light on an FS700 or a BMCC). How is the C100 at (almost) everything else? Great.

    You can use it for narrative work. You can use it for commercials. You can use it for weddings. You can use it for documentary/run and gun shooting.

    So for documentaries, the C100 is fantastic. For everything (almost) else, the C100 is great.

    If you want a camera that is great at everything, just in case a gig for something you weren’t expecting pops up, get the C100. If you know all you want to do is narrative films/commercials, get the FS700 or the BMCC, depending on your needs for dynamic range/slow motion/depth of field/resolution.

    Here’s the main point of this extremely long comment: If a camera is not good for you, that doesn’t give you the right to crap all over it, because all cameras have their shortcomings and strengths.

    • Terrific post ruined by the hypocritical last sentence. Just because people are protecting each other from a potential purchasing disappointment doesn’t give you the right to crap all over them for doing so. Educating each other about the shortcomings of a product is necessary because the people trying to sell those products sure aren’t going to do so for us. And educating them about what we are unhappy with is how progress happens.

      • I understand that, but I was just getting a little bit mad. Some people in the comments above aren’t explaining the shortcomings of a camera and helping each other. They are just flat out saying “Canon sucks.”

        They aren’t saying “Oh, I see the strengths of this camera, such as ______, but it’s not good for me because of ______.” or “This won’t work for me because ______.” They are simply pointing out as many flaws as they can to try and make it look bad just because it doesn’t work for them, and that’s why I was trying to show that those little flaws aren’t that big of an argument.

        I can fully understand protecting each other from bad purchase decisions, but just flat out saying that Canon sucks doesn’t help at all.

        • It helps to the extent that that is one potential buyer who is registering their disappointment for the offering. NFS could put a thumbs down button for people to just vote against rather than verbalize it I suppose, maybe that would be less irksome for you.

          Given I have a lot of EF lenses already, and considering this has been confirmed to have 8 bit 4:2:2 uncompressed HDMI out that will work fine with a recorder (even controlling start and stop recording via the HDMi cable afaik), I have come to the conclusion this is the best overall video camera for me right now under $15,000. New ones come out every week, and the FS700 has superior features and futureproofing, but this camera sits right with me as I am quite certain it will be a sturdy and dependable workhorse for years.

          Note how Philip Bloom who could shoot with anything shoots with a C300…did Canon bribe him to do that? It doesn’t feel like it to me. The pro operators I know who shoot 12 hours every day and have bought C300′s can’t manage to come up with a complaint for me other than one didn’t like the handle and replaced it. The C100 is really not going to be a pain, and slomo can be a day rental of an FS700. 4K isn’t ready for primetime yet. RAW and the BMC look honestly to be more of a pain than it’s worth right now, and the external recorder with the C100 will give you direct to ProRes in a log gamma if you are being precious.

          It’s a great all-around camera and finally the perfect upgrade for the Canon DSLR shooter. If Sony made an official, fully supported EF lens to E mount adapter, got their build and ergonomics this good and kept upping the feature set, they could take a lot of that biz. BMD needs to finish their EF product. Nikon are years behind in video. Panasonic makes toys. RED went high-end. Canon may have felt they could get $8000 initially but caved at $6500 and it’s hard to argue against it. No one will be weeping into their beer at the end of the day with a C100…not sure about the others.

  • I own a can, which I will be selling soon. Let’s be for real, why and the hell would I buy this camera over the sony fs700 which has less features? Canon’s marketing team is reaching for anything to regain momentum but there marketing team is failing!! To be honest they are horrible right now. I would buy BMC before I even consider this C100 crap. I’m no longer a fan of Canon’s extremely high priced cameras with less features than their competition. NOT COOL

    • john jeffreys on 09.1.12 @ 3:57PM

      This might be a little subjective, but Sony cameras have a very “boring” video-ish look to the footage, while canon’s have a lot of more arguably filmic/contrasty character. Of course, everything can be graded out in post, but out of the box Canon C/dslr footage looks more attractive than Sony footage. Of course, again, purely subjective but its just from my experience.

      • I think it’s VERY subjective. Back in the days of film, I preferred the look of Ektachrome 64 (EPR) to everything else out there. Especially, the offerings from Fuji which, particularly in the case of Velvia, the emulsion was engineered to have a warmer look… particularly, warmer skin tones. EPR was much more neutral in color across the board and, consequently, since starting with a more neutral palette, easier to filter to a desired color effect. I remember a Fuji rep telling me that, even though they had formulated a warmer emulsion, for the throngs of photographers and clients who craved that built in warm quality (the masses) that I so strongly disliked, Ektachrome 64 was the film they (Fuji) held as the standard of excellence. I suppose what I’m driving at here is that the Canon’s, to me, have this same kind of ‘quality’, warmer maybe even dreamier. I call it ‘romantic’ and I, personally, do not want that look for the bulk of what I do. I tend to use certain cameras for certain things. Sometimes Canon seems right, sometimes Sony seems right. I have no doubt I am in the minority but, I’ve never really felt I was part of the majority or the masses.

        So, Mr. Jeffries, you are welcome to your opinion, of course, and I’m sure it’s an opinion held by the larger constituency of NFS but, please be aware, there may be some of us out there that might prefer the look you, rather callously, refer to as “boring”. What is ‘boring’, Mr. Jeffries, are blanket statements and condemnations based on personal preference. Nothing ‘wrong’ with Canon’s imaging capabilities but, what is attractive to some may not be attractive to others. Just my $0.02.

    • Peter Kelly on 09.2.12 @ 2:25PM

      Uhm, because it’s way cheaper then the FS700 and unless you’re one of the few people making money off narrative work like short and feature length films then the BMCC mightn’t be the best camera. This camera is very appealing as a DSLR upgrade for people like me who’s business is corporate, promos, and documentaries

  • Peter Kelly on 09.2.12 @ 2:29PM

    This camera should no longer be compared with FS700 as its probably going to be at least $2000 cheaper. Similar to comparing a T2i to BMCC

  • I really wish they’d make a full framed t2i. That’s all I want. You can even take away the auto focus features and even the ability to take pictures. Just give me a full frame, cheap ass camera. Please, no more reading. My brain hurts.

    • john jeffreys on 09.11.12 @ 10:43AM

      you can get a used 5d mark II for around 1400-1500 dollars now, sure, not a t2i price but its the cheapest 24×36 sensor video-capable camera available. They will drop down to 1000 eventually.

  • Peter Kelly on 09.10.12 @ 5:08PM

    Here is a video I came across, this footage looks great, if this is what the camera can do, $6000 dollars or so seems like a good deal

  • Can somebody give me a hand in understanding: C100 is 25 mps AVCHD? Canon 7D is 48mbs H264?
    Is this the case? is it half the data rate of a VDSLR? If yes it’s quite absurd then…

    • From Wikipedia: 5D mark II: HD bitrate is approximately 38 Megabits per second (4.8 Mbyte/s)….

    • That DSLR may waste half of those bits just reproducing awful aliasing and moire. Bitrate, like many specs, is nowhere near the whole story.

  • What Haveyou on 09.15.12 @ 1:07PM

    “4:2:0 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264: max of 24mbps”

    That’s just pathetic.

    =24 Mbps [Megabit-per-second]
    =24000 Kbps [Kilobit-per-second]
    =3 MB/sec [Megabyte-per-second]
    =3000 KB/sec [Kilobyte-per-second]

    Considering the quality of vimeo and the Vimeo guidelines Data rate: 5000 kbps (HD) maybe it’s not that bad… it’s almost 5 times the data rate.

  • Solomon White on 10.3.12 @ 5:54AM

    5D makes my work better.