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December 24, 2012

Is the Canon C100 Currently the Best Fully-Featured Budget Filmmaking Camera?

The Canon C100 is an interesting addition to the Cinema EOS line. Available for about a month now, the camera spec-wise falls right in line with the Sony FS100, except it has ND filters and isn't capable of anything higher than 30fps. It's designed to be a budget camera from Canon -- as it's basically a shrunken C300 with a different internal codec -- but it's more than twice as expensive as the nearest somewhat-affordable and high-quality DSLRs, the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800. Many have now gotten their hands on one, so let's take a look at some of the results, and check out some more real-world footage examples.

This was a piece done by the team over at stillmotion for the launch of the C100, so while they aren't going to bash the camera, I still believe you're getting much of their honest opinions about using the gear:

http://vimeo.com/54808760

Here is the behind the scenes video on that shoot:

http://vimeo.com/54914588

Video review from Luke Neumann. The lenses used were: Nikkor Ai-s 20mm f 2.8, Nikkor Ai-s 50mm f 1.2, Canon 70-200 f 2.8 L II, Canon CN-E 85mm T 1.3 and an Isco Ultra Star 1.9x Anamorphic lens provided by Vid-Atlantic. Luke also has uploaded raw footage, so you can head on over to his site to check some out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpP86vbpAM4

Some footage from , captured in cinema lock to ProRes 4:2:2 with the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2, and only slight color adjustments in post.   You can download this from Vimeo and get a better sense of the quality. On a side note, the C100 HDMI output is funky just like many other cameras, so you'll have a 24p image (whatever your frame rate might be) wrapped in a 60i file in post, unless the external recorder can extract the 24p image on the fly, like the Atomos Ninja and the AJA Ki Pro.

http://vimeo.com/55720107

Video review from :

http://vimeo.com/55247935

When this camera was first announced, I don't think I really understood why Canon was pricing it at $8,000. As it turns out, they were playing their MSRP to Street Price game, and the final price was always intended to be $6,500. Most of the big manufacturers do this with their video cameras, but not with their photo cameras. If anyone can explain this to me, I'm all ears. It could have something to do with tariffs or taxes, but from now on if Canon or Sony announce any new video cameras, it is safe to assume the prices will be 15%-20% lower than MSRP.

Watching the footage from Ryan above was actually one of the first times I really considered this to be a possible filmmaking camera. Up until now, I thought this was a good documentary/small commercial/wedding film camera. For those purposes, it's fantastic, even if it is a little more expensive than the FS100. You've got great low-light performance, ND filters, and if you need to shoot internally, codec-wise you're in the same ballpark as other Canon DSLRs -- you won't be able to push it infinitely and do tons of secondaries, but it's going to get the job done, especially for web video. For some of those situations, however, two cameras might be better than one, and while you could buy a couple used Mark IIs and a Mark III for the same price as this camera, if you need more than one C100, you're looking at $13,000. That's a much heavier investment, but let's get into where I think this can actually be used as a filmmaking camera.

If you're trying to make a film for no money and steal shots (which I've done countless times), this camera will give you the best image, for the least amount of money, in the smallest and most fully-featured/ergonomic package possible. Yes the Sony FS700 will give you slow motion and eventually 4K, but it's a bit more expensive, and the camera is a bit bigger and more unwieldy. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is not shipping in volume yet, but it's a far quirkier camera in terms of overall features, and it trades features for better image quality than either the C100 or the FS700/FS100. I don't think the C100 is the best camera for all filmmaking situations, but if you make work consistently in a specific way, and you want better resolution and image fidelity than you're currently getting with a DSLR, this camera makes a lot of sense. As far as whether it looks "cinematic" or not, I think it looks as good as any DSLR, and there is no question plenty of great work has been made with those cameras.

It's unfortunate that Canon didn't have a much higher quality codec that they could have put in the C300 and the C500, and then put the 50mbps 4:2:2 codec into the C100. If that were the case, I might not even bother with an external recorder for most situations, as that codec is very robust. For the type of running and gunning that people want to do, an external recorder could slow you down significantly -- not to mention there is always a risk of the HDMI being pulled out during a critical moment since this camera does not feature HD-SDI.

So there you go, I have seemingly done a 180 on this camera, but not necessarily for every situation. If your budget is about $3,000 to about $8,000 (keeping in mind that cameras always cost more than their street price), there are really only a few options for large sensor video cameras. You've got the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, FS100, C100, and FS700. If you aren't constantly running and gunning, and more cameras is better than one good camera, the C100 might be a bit too expensive, and the only other two options are the FS100 and the BMCC. If you're in controlled situations much of the time, and you don't need the low-light performance, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is going to be the best bang for the buck (whenever they finally start shipping). The next more expensive camera, the FS700, gives way better slow motion options -- so if that's what you need most, I wouldn't even give the C100 a look -- but it's not going to be the most comfortable or the most discreet camera in the world.

If, however, you're shooting in lots of different situations with varying degrees of lighting control, you shoot anything from narrative to documentary to commercials, you need to operate with a tiny rig or no rig at all, you want XLR and ND filters on-board, and you need/want better resolution than a DSLR, then I think the C100 might be your best option right now. Does that mean it will always be that way? Of course not, but you shoot with the best camera you can get right now, because there will always be something better 6 months down the road. The C100 might have some slight usability issues, but if you look at the rest of the pack, all of the cameras below $10,000 are sacrificing something to save on the final cost.

I don't think we're too far off from having excellent cameras that are as good, if not better, than this one in the $3,000-$6,000 range. I would have loved to have seen Canon introduce this around $3,000-$4,000 and really put pressure on the rest of the industry, but they are a business and what I think something is worth is irrelevant -- because it's all about how much it's worth to you if it can make your life easier and let you achieve high-quality results. If you look at it another way, this is a great rental camera if you're on a really tight budget. While the C300 usually rents for only a little bit more, if you're trying to save every penny, you could rent 2 of these for only a little more money than one C300. I think when it comes down to it, in a right camera for the right job scenario, the C100 checks off plenty of boxes.

What do you guys think? Has any of the footage above convinced you otherwise about this camera? Could you see yourself making a full narrative film with the C100 on the cheap? What about as a rental option? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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101 Comments

Besides ND filters and codecs, what does the C100 provide that a 5D3 does not? Does it e.g. solve rolling shutter issues?

December 24, 2012

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I think the most important features are (effective) resolution and dynamic range. The final image has substantially more useful information than that of a 5D3.

Also my opinion is that the images from this camera are subjectively very nice.

December 24, 2012

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cows

Also XLR inputs

December 24, 2012

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Daniel

While i appreciate the post and to answer your question and questions of others, Let me ask does the FS100,D800, OR 5D MARK III HAVE A 4K SENSOR? No neither of those cameras have a damn near 4k sensor, which is the most often overlooked spec of this camera.

The footage from this camera could be projected on a 2k or 4k camera and actually hold up without fancy upscaling that you would have to do with fs100 or other dslr's with the exception of the 4k 1dc.

This is what seperates the camera from the pact. Not to meniton battery life, lowlight capabilities that overshadow the red epic, or any other cinema camera.

The fs100 or dslr's are not cinema cameras because of there inferior sensor.

December 24, 2012

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JAY CHASE

While I understand what you mean, both the 5D and D800 have a sensor with more pixels than 4k.

December 24, 2012

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Kandre

The FS100 has a 3K sensor, the D800 has a 7K sensor, and the Mark III has a 5K, almost 6K sensor. Now, in video, none of them are capable of more than 1080p, so I think what you're talking about is how the images are downscaled and how much resolved detail makes its way through to the final image before aliasing.

If that's what you mean, the FS100 and the C100 are in the same league in terms of resolution, and they would both likely upscale to 4K in a similar way. The D800 is just below those in resolution, and the Mark III is below all of them.

December 24, 2012

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

JOE neither the fs100, nor does any dslr south of 1DC have video picuture final resolution of the c300/c100

Are you saying the the fs100,d800 are on par with the c300? And im not talking about upscaling etc, im talking right out the box with no extra post upscaling, can the fs100 and d800 compare with final video resolution of the c100/c300? i dont think so, which should downplay the question of even comparing the latter of the mentioned dslr cameras paired up against the c100 which is basically a c300 with external recorder minus about 26mbps.

December 24, 2012

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JAY CHASE

What do you mean by final resolution? I think you're referring to resolved detail, which comes from shooting a camera on a resolution chart. I've seen the FS100 and the C300 on the big screen, on a 2K projection, which is why I linked to the Zacuto shootout.

Right out of the box the FS100 is on par with the C100 and the C300. This isn't guesswork, this comes from actual measurements and real-world examples. Which image looks better is completely subjective, but they are still just 1080p cameras.

December 24, 2012

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

Have you ever seen an actual FS100 footage up close? The resolution is awesome it could intercut with a BMCC footage anyday. It wont grade as well, but sharpness, detail and resolution wise the fs100 can hold its own. And don'nt even get me started on its lowlight capability. It will crush any full frame camera any day. I think its one of Sony's most amazing sensor ever (same one as in the F3) and would LOVE to see it in a new more ergonomic cheaper model. To answer the question of this article, no the C100 is not the best value for money run and gun cinema camera..its the FS100. If only. But please Sony, update it with a new design, keep the sensor, make it look more like a dslr/bmcc.

December 24, 2012

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Quobetah

The c100 do a 4k actually, but the final output is 1080, but i can't see a real deference from other cameras with big sensor, especially in 4k screen projector, so i think the canon c100 is a full HD camera with big sensor.

December 24, 2012

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Does it solve rolling shutter issue though, as per original comment? Does sensor overheat?

January 3, 2013

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Jackson

After selling my ex1 almost a year ago, and having the challenging task of relying almost solely on DSLR for all of my work (weddings/events/web commercial/doc) the limitations of DSLR had frustrated me so much that I had become almost desperate to find something that could deliver the image i had become accustomed to with the 5d, with the features i loved on previous video cameras. Seemed like the promises were endless, but nothing was stepping up (that didn't have considerable short comings re: fs100). The fs700 came close, and I came very close to buying it, but poor ergonomics, despite great image and slow mo put me off (after hiring). This came along and I knew straight away it was for me. I've had it for 4 weeks now, shot a couple of weddings, a few short commercials, a few lectures and some musical performances. Each situation it's outperformed my mkiii (which you would expect) in all areas - ergonomics, ease of use, low light, image quality, dynamic range and of course xlr audio, zebras etc are great. This to me is hands down the best budget prof. camera going around - for my work anyway. As mentioned in one of the videos.. the EVF sucks (perhaps calibration would help - must get round to it).. and the codec/lack of frame rate variability is very disappointing - and no slowmo/timelapse has robbed us of important tools (can someone hack this? plz).. other than that, I really think this camera will be a very strong (albeit quiet) achiever.. there's definitely room in the market for something to trump this.. but i'm guessing it will be a few years before we see it. And with samples like that from Ryan coming along, it's exciting to see the camera's genuine potential for cinematic performance, as well as it's very practical uses in the type of work myself and i'm sure many fellow readers undertake.

December 24, 2012

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J

@David, the codec is actually pretty much the same as the codec used in the 5D3; so it doesn't really "solve" that. What the C100 offers is sharpness, much better dynamic range, less moire, and a locking uncompressed HDMI output. Check out this comparison, and you'll see the differences: https://vimeo.com/54264270

@Joe Marine, you took the words right out of my mouth. Yes, the BMCC footage is incredible, and the Sony FS700 has insane slow motion capabilities, and DSLRs are cheap, but the C100 has a place too. I had also given up hope that this could work as a cinema camera, but that short from Ryan really convinced me otherwise. Think about it this way: C100 + Atomos Ninja 2 + Zacuto Z-Finder = about $8500. And suddenly you have a C300! (minus the measly 720p 60 fps, which is a huge bummer--I am still baffled that they didn't allow any overcranking at all). Sure, with an external recorder the package will get a little more bulky, but it still won't be as bad as a Scarlet or an FS700+external recorder. For someone that wants to do some cinematic work on the cheap, using existing light, this is a great camera.
I'm seriously looking at it as a possibility for a noir picture.

December 24, 2012

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Kenneth

Agree you have some that may complain about the bulk of adding external recorder, buy technically the BLACK MAGIC camera will require a external battery, which will require a battery plate and basically most prime time cinema cameras used on sets are all rigged up, im upset of them not allowing the internal 422 codec but the atomos is not that bad.

4k sensor+atomos= c300 , long battery life just amazing camera

December 24, 2012

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JAY CHASE

thanks for the link, shall check it out! i find that with cinestyle flat picture styles and a few other tweaks, the dynamic range of even a lowly 7D can be pretty impressive (as in shooting outside in the snow on a blinding sunny day works) so range does not seem to be a really big concern at this point, while xlr inputs and uncompressed hdmi definitely add to the appeal!

December 24, 2012

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Actually the C100 does allow a 60/50i overcrank. You then effectively get a 1920x540 60 frames per second. It takes a bit more work than 720p but it is there. Interlaced is always a bit of a pain but way before 720p became the norm, people regularly did slowmotion with 50i/60i. Has that skill disappeared?

December 24, 2012

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Yes thank god. That was a horrible period.

December 24, 2012

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marklondon

Just for price comparison, the new Panasonic AG-AC90 does 95% of what the C100 does for $1,850. Sure there is no lens interchangeability, its not great in low light (has some very nice noise reduction though), but it has a very advanced OIS, time lapse, has a built-in (although automatic) ND, shoots very sharp 60fps 1080p, can shoot 4.4.2, and has a very advanced automatic mode. My point is the C100 is way over priced in todays market. I think $4000 - $4500 street price would have been more realistic. Yes the ability to put on the very pretty lens is a factor, but so does the BMC. So you could buy both the AG-AC90 and the BMC for LESS than one C100. Anyone shooting events knows 2 cameras are better than one so you would be way ahead.

December 24, 2012

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Steve V

Steve the panasonic does not have a large 4k sensor buddy, nor does it have the lowlight capability of the c100, the panasonic could not grace the big screen.

December 24, 2012

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JAY CHASE

Lowlight, yes, absolutely, but for some reason you're confusing 4K sensor with final image format and resolved detail. That AG-AC90 and the C100 will resolve a similar 1080p image. If I read the specs right, the AC90 has three 2.6K sensors (each of them is much smaller in physical size than the C100's), one each for red, green, and blue. Also, it looks like the AC90 actually has the same number of total effective pixels as the C100 - right around 8K.

These links might help understand the whole situation:

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/11/red-epic-monochrome-vs-red-epic-comparison/

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/06/thoughts-after-seeing-zacuto-2012-shootout/

December 24, 2012

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

HAHHAHA
rationalizing ancient comcorders in 2012. the world has moved on

December 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

Can we see your work? Please.

December 24, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

December 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

mommy and daddy buy you that red yet? let us big boys talk.

December 24, 2012

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David

i'm probably bigger than you just sayin

December 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

Wished you would've just let him remain a troll. Now I have to actually remember the first sixty seconds of that short film or whatever you call it.

Thanks.

December 25, 2012

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Think of it this way Kholi, before we merely though he was a fool, now he has removed all doubt.

December 25, 2012

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Raphael Wood

Sometimes the mystery is much better... I actually thought at one point he might have been a genius filmmaker and a super troll, which is hard to fight.

=T Looks like everyone can really ignore him now. Sucks.

December 25, 2012

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Kholi

I'm not sure it's meaningful to say a budget range is $3k-$8k. That's a HUGE difference. I am squeezing the pocket book to death to make $3k work (previously using 7D's). I don't consider almost 3 times that amount ($8K) in the same category. We are still waiting for our BMCC [argh], which seems to be the absolute best bang for your buck at the moment. I'm sure this will change soon, as with all things tech, but I don't consider the Sony or Canon in the same price range as the BMCC (they're more than twice as much). We also shoot in more "controlled situations" as the article mentions, so we have that luxury when it comes to the possibility of using the BMCC.

December 24, 2012

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I know right! $5000 is a massive difference to pretty much anybody.

December 24, 2012

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Tyler

The C100 with the Atomos Ninja2 and SSD is the best small, guerrilla-workable camera I've ever worked with. And I've worked with Scarlets, all flavors of HDSLRs, and on and on. The picture is pretty amazing, and capturing in ProRes HQ with the "cine switch" on means you get a ton of color gradability in post. We're using our C100 for a documentary for Oxford U right now, and we'll be doing a nighttime short film with it in a couple of months, too.

December 24, 2012

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I would argue that the D800 is.
Stills and photo.
Clean image capable of 8bit 422 color.
Only diff is XLRs and great low light.
buc compare a complete $4k package for D800 with Ninja, to $8k package for C100 and Ninja.

December 24, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

I've never shot on D800, so I don't know if it has on board IR ND filters, but that alone makes for a better deal if the D800 doesn't have it. To get similar speed in adjusting filtration, you would need a matte box , IR ND filter, ND filters, and rail support system, and it still wouldn't be as fast as flipping a switch. Most likely you'll have to have a camera assistant to swap lenses and filters for daylight filming. Though you're upfront costs might be less, the cost of production and crew would be little more I think.

December 24, 2012

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ryan

interesting.

December 24, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

image of c100 is much better than d800

December 24, 2012

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gerald

I have to ask when $6500 became "budget". I think that cutoff is around $3500 max for an individual who isn't wealthy. Kinda like how a $30,000 car isn't "expensive", but is far from "budget".

Having said that, this does seem to be the best camera in it's price range if you aren't too tied to having slo-mo (an unforgivable omission for a ~$7000 camera). The XLR, lowlight, interchangeable batteries, articulating screen and ND filters make it a much more convenient camera than the BMCC which I think a lot of us consider to be the alternative to this camera. Also easier to find fast/wide glass for it.

I'm still opting for the BMCC because it's cheaper for me (I own a lot of the kit you need) and the image quality is better.

December 24, 2012

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It's all relative. I'm talking specifically about large sensor video cameras when I mention fully-featured, which can still cost over $100,000. So $6,500 vs. $100,000 is definitely budget, especially when you consider that any camera for filmmaking before DSLRs was in that same range of about $4,000-$8,000 or more - and those were budget options then when you compared them to expensive shoulder cameras.

December 24, 2012

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

I think most people are either new to the business or have lapses of memory... ;-) A few years ago a Sony Betacam SP camera recorder(BVV-5) cost over 10k....a Sony D-30 (camera head) was easily with a fujinon budget zoom lens at least 25k. Now we have a full HD camera that records digital files (no tape) and people think 6.5k is not budget??? A Sony Digibeta recorder/player still used in broadcast standards all over the world was priced at 50k a few years ago!!! Come on guys is your work cheap? I am sorry but mine isn´t...I make good money but it is Canon, Sony, Panasonic etc...that supply us with the tools. A balance is required, I know manufacturers could give us the perfect camera today but in reality they have been funding their own R&D due to the fact we now can make better quality movies than ever before with a 1k photo camera....Is this not enough? People comparing film dynamic range with 10k cameras? If the market was like this 25 years ago when I started I would have already fulfilled almost all my professional/artistic dreams. Please be grateful and enjoy what is given to you in these exciting times.

December 27, 2012

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Augusto Alves d...

Yes, we're all blubbering masses of gratitude. But I think you're confusing "limited budget" with "stinginess". Doesn't matter how inexpensive a camera is if you can't afford to buy it. Most of us aren't dedicated cameramen, we also have to purchase - and upgrade! - other production equipment (sound, lightning, studio accessories, backdrops, computer, software, etc.). So if we're spending $10k on equipment in a year, it can't all be on a camera.

December 29, 2012

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Jacques E. Bouchard

I kinda have to agree that $6500 isn't really a "budget" camera for most of us NFS readers. To me right now a Sony FS-100 used seems to be the most attractive option by far. Waiting for what Sony's next iteration of the camera might be before pulling the trigger on that one.

December 24, 2012

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It's a lot cheaper than many car's and this is what people are going to be making their living from, it's an investment! For anyone looking to make the step up from DSLR's it certainly is budget compared to the new Sony's, Red Scarlett ETC.

Add on the cost of a decent DSLR rig, an audio work around and a ton of CF and they begin to become a lot more competitive in price

December 24, 2012

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Chris Lambert

Honestly, it's just not a good bang for your buck. It's a fine camera, but in low budget situations you could get similar results (if not better) with cameras that cost a lot less and that take EF glass. Those thousands of dollars in the difference in price would be better served for other production costs.

December 24, 2012

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Thanks for the shout out Joe on the short film. One thing I would like to point out thats great about the camera is the color science. Since there is no spec per say to identify great color science, the c100's claim to fame is missed especially when people are hung up on 8 bit. But periodically in the edit I saw a similar color contrast to the BMC, the C100 skin tones were accurate and there was hyper saturation of medium saturated reds and blues. What I really like is that secondaries are not as necessary to use as with RED to create saturation contrast.

I feel like C series are trying to get the best possible image with the least amount of work both in operation and post, maybe not the c500. I shot another camera test with controlled lighting below.

https://vimeo.com/56250007

I had a crew of two including myself, and the camera was very easy to manage even on a rig. I have a Scarlet, but it would have been impossible to manage that beast with only two people and focus on lighting and directing. If you have less 5 people and you're trying to get short film, the c100 is fantastic!

The only downside that I have been able to find is that detail in the darks is a little bad. The second you adjust contrast naturally, brown hair in the fill light goes black. But if you overexpose by a stop you can get some detail down there. I'm definitely more weary about the darks than the highlights. I feel like if you expose properly in canon log highlights are rarely an issue.

One last thing, I don't recommend cinema lock anymore. There is a slight green cast when white balanced properly in tungsten. Cinema Lock doesn't allow a manual adjustment white balance RGB to fix it. Art Adams talks about the issue at provideocoalition.com on the c300. Its a common issue in most digital cinema cameras

December 24, 2012

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ryan

Ryan you say you wouldnt recommend cinelock, great info , by anychance do you have a vimeo channel link to your work, basically trying to get as much info on this camera before making a decision of getting 2 or more for productions.

What im getting so far is that the c100 paper specs dont equate to what the final picture does in terms of quality. Im getting that image in dark is not the best but other than that, skintones and highlights hold up pretty damnnn well .

Ryan appreciate the words and info and Joe you have provided alot of great information, really appreciate it

December 24, 2012

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JAY CHASE

Nice work Ryan I thought you were going to demonstrate Godard's maxim and have her pull out a gun from that bag at the end. ;-)

Are you saying cinelock is not perfectly balanced even with custom white balance? For quick use of tungsten preset I was using -1 anyway...sort of a hidden feature that you have tweak numbers on tungsten and daylight if you don't have time to custom white balance. I found tungsten -1 better than what I could get with Kelvin. I also typically do a minus green -1 on DSLRs...note the BMCC doesn't have this function for ProRes shooters, and its sensor seems to have an inherent green cast anyway.

-----

Joe, above, I've mentioned before that locking HDMI cables are available (e.g. from Gefen) for the C100, there's a picture of how they screw in on Canon USA's C100 page. The same screw mount is available on the Zacuto EVF, which I also have, but sadly not on the Ninja 2. However I haven't had any problems with regular or swivel-type HDMIs falling out of either jack.

Also I'm surprised you say "the footage looks as good as any DSLR." Joe the footage from the C100 + Ninja is in fact better than the C300's internal or external for half the price since they use the same exact sensor and engine but have tweaked the color science on the C100, fixed fringing, and improved other things. If you want to see what the C100 can do, look for externally recorded Canon Log video from the C300, and improve the color. As I posted the other day I just shot multicam C100/Ninja + 5D3 and some other DSLRs and the footage from the Ninja was so much better than any DSLR I threw all that footage out.

The Ninja is THE essential add-on for the C100...it's completely designed around it and that's why there's no slo-mo (due to the limits of the HDMI implementation). They work absolutely hand in glove and the Ninja does the 3:2 pulldown perfectly after taking a second when first booting up to analyze the image. I doubt I'll ever use internal footage and I really don't care about people's opinions of the camera or its image that haven't worked it with the Ninja 2. Missed the boat completely.

As Ryan mentions you need to understand white balance and exposure and shoot Canon Log (I'm fine with cinelock and custom white balance personally but I'll do further tests to be certain). Otherwise you aren't getting better 1080p24 images out of anything under $20K TCO... teeny moire-ridden BMCC sensor included. Because this is a cheaper camera, a lot of people who can actually shoot and grade etc. won't take it seriously, but the ones that do will save a fortune over the C300 or Scarlet packages they might have otherwise been asked to buy or rent.

December 24, 2012

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Peter

Jay here's a rough cut of a short film I shot on Saturday, I posted some clips before, still needs a sound mix but...
https://vimeo.com/56264185

Peter, I found that the custom balance gives a small green cast. Even when the custom balance reads 3000K under only controlled tungsten light. When RGB channels are overlaid for the grey card, I was seeing a tint even though mathematically it should have been grey. I was looking at it on an FSI monitor with their color fidelity engine in rec 709. I got the same results as in this article

http://provideocoalition.com/aadams/story/canon_c300_trimming_white_bala...

The other reason why I'm not down with cinema lock anymore is that the sharpness is locked at -10, Cinema Lock is a great feature, you know you're settings will work no matter who uses your camera, but I need a little customization.

I've found that I need to over expose over 32% IRE by a stop to get detail in darks, after a contrast adjustment. Have you had a similar experience?

December 24, 2012

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ryan

"reads 3000k"

December 24, 2012

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ryan

I ran tests on cinelock with custom white balance. Yes subjectively it may look a bit green, but I checked on my scopes with saturation full up and middle gray is dead on the money.

I made a custom picture from CINEMA to play with so thanks for nudging me toward that, but I think in grab & go situations I'm still going to use cinelock because even if you think it's off a touch, it's going to be consistently off every shoot and you can have a standard treatment in place that's going to be just as good as doing it in-camera in practice (because the difference is so small). And as that article points out the skin tones are always good on the Canons which is what matters most.

I haven't played with sharpness control yet. I haven't felt a need for sharpening in post, nor am I seeing haloing. This camera is so detailed already compared to DSLRs I'm still getting used to it...it can be very unforgiving to talent compared to a 5D3. There is a lot of latitude for exposure so if you want more shadow detail or highlight detail go ahead and expose accordingly. You can compensate with the LCD brightness setting for comfort.

I've been trying to rescue the use of my 5D3 with Cinestyle...I'll update with what I find works if anything. That you need to underexpose fairly dramatically to get highlights out...it's going to be a tradeoff. A C100 in cinelock with custom white balance and exposed to taste in View Assist wont provide quite as much latitude as RAW but I think it will be all I need without regrets.

Situations where I shoot with the camera completely mis-set you could argue that RAW would save the footage, but if I'm in such a situation most likely the camera won't be set to RAW capture anyway when I grab it. Use green rectangle on a DSLR or an iPhone if you're in that much of an emergency shoot. All the shots I'm going to do in practice I can custom white balance with one button and dial in a decent exposure (also with the one auto-iris button if all else fails, or one knob on a manual iris lens). So I don't miss RAW nor do my hard drives.

December 25, 2012

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Peter

The c100 is a terrific choice for event guys, live music, doc work, especially with a Ninja, and of course you can make narratives with it. However, it's 3k overpriced and no immediately workable slowmo is nuts. And the viewfinder is terrible. If you are earning your living shooting corporates and events this is a great choice if you can afford it. However, the BMDCC is far better quality for the money. It's not even close. I've worked with footage from both.

December 24, 2012

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marklondon

Again, though, you know this, you can't work with a camera that basically doesn't exist, and right now, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera might as well not exist, and there's no guarantee when you'd get one if you pre-ordered tomorrow.

While I am confident they will resolve their production issues, from a shooting standpoint, the Cinema Camera is 2-3 firmware updates from being as complete in a production situation as the C100 is right now. While it looks like aperture display is coming, you have no idea how much footage you've shot and what's left on the card, and there is no media management within the camera, and no way to format cards. Even in a controlled situation these are major issues. I'm all for the BMCC, and it does have better image quality, but at this point it's going to fight you for it.

December 24, 2012

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Joe Marine
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