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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

[via cinema5D]

Your Comment

118 Comments

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

Greets,
Matt

August 31, 2012 at 4:10AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Matthias

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.

August 31, 2012 at 5:14AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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TheFunkKnight

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.

September 1, 2012 at 9:41AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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TehRandax

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.

September 1, 2012 at 11:00AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter

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.

September 2, 2012 at 8:25AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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TehRandax

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.

September 13, 2012 at 5:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter

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

September 1, 2012 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Donnie

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.

September 1, 2012 at 12:57PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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john jeffreys

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.

September 2, 2012 at 12:55PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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dixter

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

September 2, 2012 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter Kelly

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

September 2, 2012 at 11:29AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter Kelly

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.

September 2, 2012 at 4:19PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Neil

you can get a used 5d mark II for around 1400-1500 dollars now, sure, not a t2i price but its the cheapest 24x36 sensor video-capable camera available. They will drop down to 1000 eventually.

September 11, 2012 at 7:43AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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john jeffreys

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

https://vimeo.com/groups/c300/videos/49083326?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm...

September 10, 2012 at 2:08PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter Kelly

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...
Thanks!

September 13, 2012 at 2:03AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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

September 13, 2012 at 2:10AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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

September 14, 2012 at 6:17PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter

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

That's just pathetic.

September 15, 2012 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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What Haveyou

AVCHD
=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.

September 25, 2012 at 1:54AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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5D makes my work better.

October 3, 2012 at 2:54AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Solomon White

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