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September 11, 2012

Watch the First Canon C100 Footage Available Online, How Does It Compare to Its Big Brother?

The camera that seemingly appeared out of nowhere at the end of last month, the Canon C100, looks like it has its first real footage online. While we don't have an official price yet from the largest American reseller, B&H, it's looking like the final price may be somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000. In typical Canon style, though, the video is something we've got to watch extremely compressed through an online streaming service (in this case Vimeo). The creator of the video, Sebastien Devaud, had a talk with Sebastian over at cinema5D at this year's IBC about the camera and shooting the video for Canon. There is also a behind-the-scenes of the video that is embedded below.

Here is the video, followed by the behind-the-scenes and the talk with Sebastien (thanks to the other Sebastian -- different spelling! -- also thanks to user Peter Kelly for first pointing out the video). The film was shot with three C100 bodies, 12 EF lenses, and recorded internally to AVCHD on SD cards:

Since Canon did not put its 50mbps codec inside the miniscule C100, compression could very well be an issue in certain instances (but more likely when you're doing heavy grading). Many don't seem to have a problem with the compression in the FS100, but that codec can also fall apart if you start pushing and pulling. It is very difficult to judge the picture quality from a camera that is recording a highly compressed image and then a video that is also doing the same. There's no doubt that you can get very good looking files on Vimeo, but it's probably too early to pass any final judgment on the quality.

At the moment it does seem sharp but a little muddy, but to my eyes it does look better than most DSLR footage that I've seen from these Canon videos. There is certainly a fidelity to the image that exists -- which I can tell just by looking at Vimeo, but in the end the AVCHD will be better for shoots that don't need a high quality (and therefore higher data rate) codec. Film-style shoots would benefit from a an external recorder using a high-quality codec like ProRes. I know I may have been a little harsh in my first opinion of a camera that hasn't even been released yet, but if Canon actually keeps the price around $6,000, even with the compressed codec, it would actually find itself competing admirably to the FS100, and not the FS700 like it is now.

Has this video swayed anyone's opinion on the camera?

Link: IBC 2012 – Sebastien Devaud’s Canon C100 film & interview - cinema5D

Your Comment

93 Comments

I know that it won't be productive to a discussion about the C100 to say so, but: holy crap. The debut clip is pretty awful, especially the audio. I think this is just one offshoot of Canon's empire that (barely) authorized it, within Europe, and we can expect more elegant and professional promotional work on the way.

September 11, 2012

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yes i agree, pretty bad presentation...i left the first video after only 2 minutes in...

September 11, 2012

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Ionesh

I liked this, but it could have been better if they would have put more pictures of the letter C in it. I really think they were lacking in this department and think that the absence of adequate C's really lowered the production value on this one.

September 11, 2012

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Totally agree with you. :D

September 11, 2012

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Why they not just rendered the movie in the "ALL-C" codec???

January 12, 2013

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Markus

I didn't think that promo was THAT bad. To me this camera looks like a nice little workhorse...Better than some other options? tough to tell.

September 11, 2012

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Shank

That was one of the worst videos for a debut camera. Screw the "C"!

September 11, 2012

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Moore

I think it is on par with MKIII footage. Good at times but not as much as its big brother. I would pay i little more and get the FS700. Seems a better deal...

And yeah, a little muddy at times and now with the new MFT mount on the BMCC I would probably rig it and go Prores all the way for the same price.

September 11, 2012

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Alex Mand

C power...really? The content distracted me from the footage. I like Canon and still use my 7D like crazy, but the pricing seems inflated. I guess we'll see when it's actually released. I'm still leaning toward the FS700.

September 11, 2012

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I'm speechless. What a pathetic concept. This is the kind of idea that a 1st year media studies student comes up with (and then throws away). It's so poor they had to prop it up with attractive women, which is the mark of the amateur.

September 11, 2012

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Ant

I'm still in a power struggle between an outfitted BMCC and the FS700. This clip does little to convince me otherwise.

September 11, 2012

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Ian

Well you either need slow motion regularly or you dont. :) If you don't, and don't need to shoot in candle light, then BMCC is the only way to go. :)

September 11, 2012

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Ant

Still waiting to see what Sony does with the 4K upgrade and how the footage looks. Right now I definitely prefer the look of the BMCC over the HD FS700 footage but if their 4K is a 12 bit RAW with the same post grade options as the BMCC I would like to future proof myself a bit (even if that means spending more in the future on the firmware upgrade/acquisition etc). I know this is a C100 post so I wont go too far off in a tangent. lol

September 11, 2012

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Ian

........that being said, does anyone know how much (if any) more dynamic range will be unlocked with the 4k upgrade?

September 11, 2012

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Ian

None of Sony's current cameras...including the F3...shoot RAW. The 4K firmware upgrade will give you exactly that. 4K. Higher resolution that will require an external recorder. That's it. At least, that's all that's been said to this point. As for the price, it was said it would be similar to the F3 firmware upgrade which was $500 EU.

If you want RAW...you need BMCC or RED. Those are really your only two options for RAW footage right now. (at least under $20K)

I love the FS700 as well. However, I simply can't justify 3 times the cost of the BMCC for that cam. I'm on the list for the BMCC. Maybe in a year or so, I'll add the FS700 to my cabinet and have both ends covered ;)

September 11, 2012

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sean

"I love the FS700 as well. However, I simply can’t justify 3 times the cost of the BMCC for that cam."

240fps 1080p, S35 Sensor and 4K upgradeability?

September 11, 2012

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I thought according to this http://nofilmschool.com/2012/09/sony-fs700-4k-upgrade-could-be-weeks-away/ article it will allow 4K RAW recording. Again, this is an unofficial source, but still. The FS700 sensor is different than that of the FS100 and F3.

There's just something about the movement in the images from the FS700 that turns me off. Can't put my finger on it,....but I'm hoping it has to do with the 4K sensor doing HD. Maybe the 4K footage will look better? It's all conjecture at this point,.....NEED TO SEE THAT FOOTAGE, ARRRGH!!! lol

September 11, 2012

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Ian

The FS700 will output 4K RAW from its 3G-SDI, that is confirmed and not rumor or speculation, that is literally what we were told by Sony.

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
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243

That's awesome. This should mean similar control of the image in post as the BMCC, correct? Thanks.

September 11, 2012

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Ian

This is why I hate the french (semi jk here). Also, this would've been way funnier if after she went on the plane and they were high fiving, it blew up like a 007 film.

September 11, 2012

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z

Some problems with the film, mainly the overactive color correction. However, it's obvious that the tech behind the sensor is terrific, as there's very minimal rolling shutter. For those of us interested in filming motion, not just hunting pixels, it's a reconfirming of Canon's advancements. Hopefully the next black magic can follow suit.

September 11, 2012

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Lucas

That was six minutes of my life I will never get back. Actually, more like four, because I turned it off.

September 11, 2012

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Funny. :)

September 11, 2012

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BH is currently listing it for $6499.99.

September 11, 2012

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Mo

Or...

$2995 for an XF100
$2995 for a BMD

Always some poor soul doing run and gun in low light - Canon saw them coming that's for sure.

September 11, 2012

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nobody

Well, it seems to me someone fooled Canon into paying for their vacation. Just like Canon is trying to fool us into buying this camera with that ridiculous price tag.

September 11, 2012

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Ces

Ha! My thoughts exactly.

September 13, 2012

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Brynn

Next year Canon will release the C050 for 2.5k with the same image and less features.

September 11, 2012

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Marcus

Maybe I can get a free holiday by pitching them a video with me holding signs that say "50!!" everywhere with a budget of $500k.

September 11, 2012

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Ant

This camera looks great and the avchd probably wouldn't be a problem for me most of the time but I think there's a certain sub $2,000 panasonic hybrid camera that is going to shake things up big time in a few weeks. If the GH3 is as good as it sounds then the only thing going for this cam would be the ergonomics, xlr mic imputs and the sensor size imho.

September 11, 2012

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Weak sauce

September 11, 2012

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Marko

A lot of the muddiness you might be seeing is actually not from the camera: it's the image stablization (i.e. "Smoothcam" or "Warp stabilizer") done in post. Visible most on the helicam shots. What it looks like is frame suddenly blurring in an image that otherwise remains still. This can be compensated for, to an extent, by using a faster shutter (smaller shutter angle) to minimize the blurring. Another way is to drop the blurred frames, though it makes the motion jerky. A better codec will not compensate for this.

This camera probably has the best build and ergonomics of anything under $10,000 (and maybe a lot higher) right now and the only thing crippled in it really is the codec. For an effortless workflow with web delivery it's really hard not to like...the total cost of ownership is very low given you only need a handful of SDXC cards to last you an entire day of shooting, and there are 80 milliion EF lenses (and plenty of Nikon F's too) that can be fitted to it in the field with full support. And those lenses will cover any sensor size or flange distance in the forseeable future, preserving investment and resale value.

I like the FS700's features but the C100 really looks like something that, as long as you are happy with the look and are disciplined enough to expose your shots properly, people are going to find very pleasant to work with. Even though I am into cameras right now because it's in an exciting development period, I really would rather the thing just work and let me ignore it. Canon will sell enough of these and if they don't they can always trickle the C500 features (which is their only uncrippled camera in the C line) down to the lower price points. They clearly have their stuff together even though we like to moan about the pricing.

September 11, 2012

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Peter

When I talk about muddy, I'm literally referring to close up shots of people's faces and the tell-tale signs of heavy compression. Camera or Vimeo? Who knows, but it's there - if only Canon would release a full resolution file and there wouldn't be any speculation.

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
243

Well I agree with what you said about web delivery...the current state of streaming means that e.g. the banding on the shot of the sun is inevitable. I imagine even with the 8 bit color space the camera is handling a lot of those gradients fine in practice. I didn't notice noise or aliasing or false color, and I don't mind they chose a saturated color look, the skin tones were fine enough especially on the beach girls, and the highlight handling was nice on the water.

As for the video, it was very French, and just a silly excuse to show various shots on a camera compact enough to be happy in action settings. The notable absence is slow motion of course, but the rolling shutter performance in the airport terminal looks good. The interesting choice was the woman who I interpret as playing the Canon representative on her way to Tokyo was not Japanese. It's sad that the promos for the western markets are still Japanese-free for the most part, we are almost encouraged to forget most of our camera gear is made there.

September 11, 2012

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Peter

I kinda like this camera. Ergonomics and body design are unmatched, 6500 is a way more tolerable price than 8000. The video was horrible thoug- shit was overgraded and the "story" and "acting" was cheesy. And for everybody complaining about the compression/codec, it DOES have a clean HDMI out, doesn't it? ;) slap a nanoflash behind it and you are good to go.

September 11, 2012

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john jeffreys

If I could get uncompressed video out of the HDMI port that would hold up in post and delivery, it might be worth my while. I don't see the lack of PL mount a major issue, just the price. I'd like this a lot better if it were closer to $5K.

September 11, 2012

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Marc B

HDMI port is uncompressed 8-bit, just like the C300

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
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I still don't know whether that HDMI output color space is 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. Anyone with a definitive on that yet?

September 11, 2012

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Peter

The HDMI is 4:2:2 8-bit, just like the C300.

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
243

That's very good news, it means we would just need an external recorder for green screen work, which isn't a pain in studio setups.

Can I trouble you for a link that confirms that? Canon USA site had 4:2:2 listed for a few days for the whole camera, then quietly changed it to 4:2:0, and has no mention of the color space of the HDMI out other than "uncompressed." "Uncompressed" is too vague a term, it's not as if it is streaming RAW, right?

September 11, 2012

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Peter

Don't have a link off-hand but it's been talked about by pros. Canon also doesn't state the HDMI color space for the C300, either, so I wouldn't worry about it.

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
243

4:2:2 is a compression ratio. That ain't uncompressed. :)

Plus if you're wanting RAW, consider this 8 bit 4:2:2 compared to BMC 12 bit uncompressed.

September 11, 2012

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Ant

4:2:2 is just sub-sampling of color information. If you want to think about it like that I guess it's a sort of compression, but it's really not, it's really just averaging and interpolation.

September 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
243

The one thing Canon has right now that the BMCC doesn't ... durable body and better design and many software options (like delete). But at that price with a compressed codec... I just don't feel it's worth it.

September 11, 2012

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Sean

I'm so tired of seeing this kind of content. It's fine for something like GoPro because the adventure film style is all part of its brand but for the C100? Canon marketing folks need to give their heads a shake. Maybe I'm just getting old but people leaping off cliffs screaming "Whoo-Hoo!" together with shallow DOF (i.e. lazy to non-existant focus pulling) and overly graded footage does not make me want to save up and buy this camera.

September 11, 2012

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Neil

+1 on that.

September 11, 2012

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Martin

Really guys? I could really care less about the content of the promo as I just want to see what kind of images this camera produces. I'm pretty sold on it having seen this. I like the skin tones and the general look of the footage. I can see it being something my clients would like, large sensor look with compact design. While I'm not a big fan of AVCHD, it is easy to work with, doesn't fill up my drive and allows for fast turn around.

If I need higher quality, then 4:2:2 ProRes via a separate recorder would be just fine. If it's the same sensor as the C300, then the low light performance will be killer. I may be the schmuck doing run 'n gun in the dark, but that's the reality of some of the work I do, you know, the stuff where people pay you to shoot and they don't really have any clue about lighting conditions?

I see this as a work camera and in that sense the BMCC just wouldn't cut it for a number of reasons. Not to knock the image which is pretty impressive, but it's not as flexible a camera for the variety of jobs I do. The FS100/700 are pretty interesting, but having shot on one, not ergonomic and need lots of bits to make useful. For starters, it's an E mount camera, so you have to invest in adapters and that just adds to the price along with all the other gadgets 3rd party vendors want you to buy. $$$

With the C100, just slap a mic and headphones on it and you're ready to shoot, bam. I already have Canon glass, so not a problem. I know it's horses for courses, but I wouldn't be so hasty to write this one off. B&H has it listed for $6499, that's not a bad price for a professional camera. A new EX-1 costs more. I don't know what you guys do, but I shoot and edit every day for a living. Give me a tool that's makes my life easier and ups my game and I'm a happy camper.

September 11, 2012

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JW

"I may be the schmuck doing run ‘n gun in the dark,"

If that was initiated by my earlier comment, I wasn't having a pop at anything other than the price. Now you mention it though, do you really want to be operating and manually focusing using a large sensor camera in low light?

September 11, 2012

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nobody

No worries, but that's a pretty big part of what I do. Yes, focusing a larger sensor in the dark is hard. The 2 things this camera does to address that are 1. Quick auto focus, like a still camera, to get you close and 2. useful high ISO performance. I've seen that sensor look pretty decent at 10,000 ISO, so it can see in the dark better than virtually anything else out there and not look like crap. Even an EX-1 at +12db looks pretty shabby. If you can get to at least a useable f4, then you've got a fighting chance at it. If it got really dark, I'll pull out my 50m f1.8 and rave about the virtues of shallow depth of field LOL.

I've shot the FS100 in dark venues and bright lights that pushed the DR beyond it's capabilities, and it looked like video. The C100 has some sort of variant on the C log setting, so there's another way to extend the DR.

September 11, 2012

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JW

The C300 didn't have AF though and I'm guessing the C100 doesn't have it either? The ISO capabilities, I agree are impressive. My days of struggling with a bounce board strapped to my chest are thankfully over. Sooner write "foresake all hope" on the thing, down a bottle of whiskey and go and stand outside a bar shouting at strangers.

If you can get a result as a solo operator, shooting wide open at high ISO through this codec... well go for it. You won't be short of work.

September 11, 2012

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nobody

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