November 4, 2016 at 12:06AM, Edited November 4, 12:10AM

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C100 vs C100 Mark II vs C300

I'm narrowing down on a Cinema Camera I want to use for narrative filmmaking more on the one man operation level. I've scratched out Digital Bolex, BMCC and Ursa Mini. It's down to Canon from the looks of it so question is

C100 + (optional External Recorder) vs. C100 Mark II + (optional External Recorder) vs C300

So what is the more budget friendly/efficient way to approach which Canon EOS camera to look into. Which lower camera with external recorder would be greater than or equal to ________. And what will give me more play room in post for color as well as greater dynamic range. Also which recorders should I look into. Thanks!

6 Comments

As far as I can tell, they all have the same sensor. Unless you like lighting a warehouse with a single candle, there isn't much difference in IQ between the C100 and C100 MKII. The advantage there is stronger processing in the MKII. They did give the C300 4:2:2 sub-sampling which would make compositing easier but the 50Mbps CODEC itself won't look that much better than the C100's at 24Mbps. With I-frame encoding, it's a very different story. Is the CODEC alone worth the price? I won't make that judgement.
I really wish manufacturers would stop assuming SD cards cost $5,000 each and give us some edit-worthy CODECs. There's no reason a camera like the C100 shouldn't have something like 4:2:2 MJPEG at 200mbps. It's virtually free, requires little processing, most current SD cards can handle the bandwidth etc. I suspect it's to force people into buying much higher priced cameras that have virtually the same internal hardware.

November 4, 2016 at 7:28AM, Edited November 4, 7:58AM

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Thanks for always responding helpful tips!

Jackson Flowers

November 4, 2016 at 5:20PM

Sure thing!

November 6, 2016 at 11:13AM

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All of those cameras are really great. Having used each one, I can say that there is a noticeable difference in IQ between the C100's and the C300. Even though they both have roughly the same DR, the colors are more robust and more nuanced in the C300, and it stands up to grading better. It's probably not something most people would be able to see, but I can tell. You'll have to weight he cost/benefit of that I guess.

At this point I would buy whichever one you choose used. The new prices are ridiculous for the market we live in today, and Canons are reliable workhorses so you can worry less about any issues with a used unit. If you plan to shoot any slow motion, your obvious choice is the C100 II, as it's the only one that can shoot 1080p at 50/60fps. If you don't plan to shoot slow motion, I really might go with the C300. It's just more of a proper camera.
At this point, I wouldn't recommend buying a C100 MkI. The lack of slow motion AND the poor functionality of the EVF, non-articulable LCD, and lack of camera control on the body (only joystick on the side grip :P) make it a pain to use compared to the other two cameras. It's also reaching the extreme end of its life in the market.

November 7, 2016 at 12:56AM

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Kenneth Merrill
Director
1036

Sorry, I missed the part about the external recorders. I've never personally used a recorder with the C100's. It's possible that with an external recorder a C100 could match a C300 in image quality. The numbers would seem to add up that way. I will say that having those kinds of peripherals on the camera can be a real pain in the butt, though. I'll always opt for a more simple-to-use solution if I can. So I might still lean toward the C300 (as long as you don't need slow motion!).

November 7, 2016 at 1:00AM

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Kenneth Merrill
Director
1036

As an owner of a c100 mark ii i would definitely recommend the c300. The c100 mark ii has great bang for your buck but for serious handheld shooting it can be a bit of a drag (the og c100 is even worse). The 1080 60p on the mark ii is a nice to have but i rarely use it especially for verite doc work. Ergonomically the c300 is much more flexible orienting the screen is super nice for stripped down handheld. Its also WAY easier and cheaper to build a solid shoulder rig for the c300. I hate HDMI cables they get knocked out all the time when you're moving around, being locked in to HDMI for any monitoring or recording is a total bummer on the c100. I think the c300 internal codec grades a bit nicer than the c100 mark ii though the prores image you can get with a recorder out of a c100 is solid. Go with the c300 and just rent things like a recorder when you really need em.

November 8, 2016 at 9:16PM

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Jon Gourlay
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