November 7, 2013

Canon C100 Getting Significant AutoFocus Improvement with New Hardware Upgrade

The Canon 70D announced earlier in the year included a new technology for the company called Dual Pixel AF that was designed to be excellent in both photo and video modes. Now Canon is working out a hardware upgrade for the C100 that will include this Dual Pixel AF technology and should give the camera similar performance as the 70D in video mode. Click through for more on this upgrade and how much it's going to cost if you want to get in on the action.

If you missed the 70D autofocus test video from cinema5D, here's the kind of performance you can accept with the hardware upgraded C100:

Thanks to Dean for sending this my way, here's a description of how it works:

The upgrade provides a new Continuous AF (Autofocus) Function for all Canon EF Lenses, apart from manual-focused models, using Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. A new AF Lock setting also lets you change the image framing while holding the desired focus point. These critical focusing capabilities are designed to enhance the smooth capture of moving subjects and achieve more natural-looking autofocus so users can meet their creative needs in even more situations.

The EOS C100 camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology features a CMOS sensor that consists of an array of pixels that each feature two separate photodiodes. By continuously comparing their outputs during AF mode, phase-difference autofocus helps ensure non-blurred images even when the talent and/or camera are moving. The new feature places a high priority on image quality, providing a natural, smooth autofocus movement with all Canon EF lenses – including newer-generation STM lenses – offering quieter operation.

And who they're aiming at with the upgrade:

Specific markets include documentary filmmakers, electronic newsgathering, sports productions, weddings and similar special events, nature and wildlife, and many others.

There are two options for AF, Continuous and One-Shot, and AF Lock can become an assignable button on the camera, which is essential if you want a little more control over the Continuous AF:

Canon C100 AutoFocus chart_faster_smoother

If you have no use for it, you know who you are, but AutoFocus is getting better and better with these larger sensor cameras. We'll probably reach a point where it will be nearly perfect for many situations -- especially as the AF gets smarter and allows you more manual control over it. The other major benefit to this upgrade is that the C100 should now work with all Canon lenses, not just the STM lenses like with the firmware update that was released in June.

The upgrade is going to cost $500 and be available in Early 2014, but you'll have to send your camera in to be serviced, as it is a hardware upgrade. To read more about how all of this works, head on over to the Canon site.

Link: C100 Feature Upgrade -- Canon USA

Your Comment

90 Comments

Yay. Now the STM lenses aren't mandatory for doc work.

November 7, 2013 at 12:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Pointless. Anyone spending this change on a camera has long ago figured out why manually pulling focus is the right way to go. What's next, instagram-like in-camera color grading?

November 7, 2013 at 1:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The C100 is around the same price as a solid 3 chip MiniDV camera was at the height of that little revolution, and plenty of people got those to shoot docs or other kinds of events, and don't necessarily understand the finer points of shooting.

If you haven't, watch the video above - only autofocus was used with the 70D. I also don't think it's just for people who don't understand why they'd want to focus manually, I know there are situations I would find it useful.

Ever shot an interview by yourself and the subject moves forward or back significantly enough to be out of focus and you don't notice? If it's a mostly chest-up shot this autofocus should theoretically work perfectly and keep everything in, letting you worry about the interview.

November 7, 2013 at 1:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Gotta be honest for the money making side of my business (corporate video and talking head, and usually only a 2~3 person team) I definitely want accurate autofocus. Non-professional talent rarely hit their marks.

For narrative work, which is usually on my own time, manual is an aesthetic choice.

November 7, 2013 at 8:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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It's an aesthetic choice? Since when has focus been a choice? This is part of the whole problem with the industry these days - people relying on technology to cover up their lack of skill. Guess what? Professional actors rarely hit their marks too... that's why you learn to focus, anticipate movement... spend time practicing and developing the skills to be a good shooter. Don't rely on technology to do it for you, this really has become an issue in the business as a whole. Whether it's shooting, editing, whatever - people spending far too much time on toys and technology, and not enough time learning the craft of visual storytelling. It's why there's so much video diarrhea out there.

November 7, 2013 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike

Autofocus in some cases has nothing to do with skill, but rather everything to do with multiple things to worry about. I regularly shoot 2-3 camera interviews and with a shallow DOF it is very helpful.

Also, sometimes if you are trying to interview, check audio, and frame the shot (e.g. a documentary, news gathering, run and gun) while hand holding the camera, auto focus is very helpful.

November 7, 2013 at 12:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Morgan C.

Its very interesting to see such strong reactions to autofocus. Many of the arguments against autofocus here reminds me a lot of the folks in the 80s who resisted AF in pro still cameras. For the professional focus pullers, I suggest you guys branch out to stay relevant, it will take a while as the technology is still in its infancy but I can imagine future cinema auto-focus will eventually can be programmed to be more human like in its behaviour. If that day comes, you guys will be out of the job.

November 16, 2013 at 7:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Goryan

Hey Joe, maybe don't interview people at the park on a swing? that should help with focus lol

We really don't need auto focus for interviews, yes it could be good for the situations they have mentioned but seriously why do people not know how to focus but find themselves in a situation interviewing someone or capturing an important event and putting shallow depth of field above actually capturing the interview/event in focus?. They're probably using the wrong tool and should be opting for something that achieves a deeper depth of field at wider apertures such as a 2/3 inch or micro four thirds camera?, the old AF100 or a pimped GH3 would probably better if the content is that important and you must have interchangeable lenses, if not then buy the right tool. Also, if its this kind of critical event that we apparently need the auto focus for then we probably shouldn't be leaving selective focus down to the camera?

Regarding interview's

The subject comes first over any addiction anyone has for shallow depth of field. How about just putting the talent in a chair with a back to it, not a stool? control there space without directly telling them anything i.e. remove any ability to lean back past a certain point and you only have to worry about them leaning forward on to there hands. For focus, place a mic stand or something about a foot in front of the chair and depending on what lens you are on try and get the mic stand in focus along with the back of the chair before the interview to get your focus area, when getting focus, rack as close to macro as you can and then bring the the back of the chair into focus, that way you are putting the talent on the edge of front focus and have given them an in focus area to lean into, if you still can't attain focus then you need to change lens or simply use a different tool, a GH2 will cost you $500 on ebay, pick that up for when you need more depth of field at a particular light transmission?.

This auto focus gimmick is just going to keep you all in the electronic L series lenses, Canon knows what they're doing and lets be honest, 1080 60p as standard on the C100&300 would make more sense than this DSLR port across.

November 7, 2013 at 8:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

You may have missed that this is targeted towards documentary filmmakers and news gathering. In a handheld run and gun situation where anything goes, not even the finest cameraman can focus pull fast enough every time. Even more true during intense following, where the subject has to be chased within the moment. Take for example HBO Juarez Witness where it shows the cameraman struggling to catch the moment because of how fast paced the situation is at times. For this instance, there's no denying AutoFocus can prove it's competency over manual focusing. If you can't see there's a market for this, you're missing the point and this definitely isn't for you.

November 7, 2013 at 2:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Luke Lee

You are pretty pedantic.

November 7, 2013 at 2:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tom

get off my lawn

November 7, 2013 at 10:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Uh.. steady cam.

And for doc work it's handy too.
I was in Ethiopia in a country a while back, shooting with the 60d, and sometimes it's hard to get natural footage because younger people love being on camera so much. I developed a strategy of keeping the camera flat against my chest (to pretend I wasn't recording) and then hitting record... I had to guess the focus. Autofocus would've been great.

Sometimes autofocus can be handy, and sometimes it isn't: tools are meant to be tools.

November 7, 2013 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

This is a foolish argument. People who need auto-focus on their camera will value this feature and people who don't, shouldn't mind so much. Based on personal experience, this sounds extremely useful for documentary and event work.

November 9, 2013 at 2:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Christian Anderson

Am I the only one here that thinks this upgrade is worthless and rather have lower appropriate prices and higher frame rates or bit rates? This is why canon keeps going down. Who's demanding auto focus on a "cinema" camera?

November 7, 2013 at 1:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edry

This isn't actually a cinema camera, it is just the lowest end in their new large sensor line up. Autofocus is just another tool available to you with this upgrade. Chill out.

Canon is not going 'down' I don't know where you are getting this information. No one is really over taking Canon in any regard, I mean a cool camera might come out and people will get excited... but most people are looking for a little more than a GH3 or X100s in terms of the whole experience. Also, professionals make up a small portion of these types of cameras, also, just in general, the working professional makes up just a small fraction of sales. We have seen this shift with other large companies, like Apple and the Final Cut Suite.

Bit rates are important and frame rates are handy, but just like film, everything has it's weakness. Sure, there are better cameras... and the opinion varies from person to person. Maybe there is a reason the BMCC is cheap, maybe it is inherently flawed in some way. Maybe the ALEXA is priced like that just because they can. Everything has it's flaws, and the best part is... we have choice! So choose what is best for you, this is a consumer culture where your dollars speak for you, and buy what you think is the right camera for you!

November 7, 2013 at 2:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jeff

" Everything has it’s flaws, and the best part is… we have choice! "

So well put :-)

November 7, 2013 at 6:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Yeah you're right, its just in a line of cameras that start with C and includes the "C" 500 cinema camera, totally not intended to be an entry level cinema camera at all, its meant for sports and live events, oh but it doesn't have higher frames rates? it doesn't have HD-SDI. My friend this camera is made for dialogue on a budget, be it a talking head, film school or for indie shooters it doesn't have the toolset for anything that a FS100/700/AF100 couldn't do better for similar money

November 7, 2013 at 8:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

It's true you probably can't go wrong choosing any one of the top, well made cameras. It's not the camera. Just pick the camera you feel comfortable with. Learn the menu like the back of your hand. Don't be someone that fumbles around with the menu on the day the job begins. Learn the menu. And love what you are doing. If it's a Panasonic, a Red, a Canon, a BlackMagic, an ARRI, whatever, it doesn't matter. Which is the one you feel comfortable with? Use it a make great work.

November 7, 2013 at 8:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Jeff. Like what your saying. You said that its not a " cinema camera ". Just shot an indie film with it that will be projected in the cinema and we shot at 24p. Thats kinda Cinema?

November 9, 2013 at 9:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The movie "Catfish" was shot on point and shoot cameras, mainly the Canon Tx1 and was projected at film festivals everywhere..

Guess the Canon TX1 is also a cinema camera.

http://www.canon.ca/inetCA/arcproducts?m=gp&pid=2907

The word cinema refers to a location, not a type of camera. It's just a place where you show cinematography.

Can we all have a link to the trailer for your film??

November 11, 2013 at 2:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jeff

Greg, did you see this part of the article?
"And who they’re aiming at with the upgrade:
Specific markets include documentary filmmakers, electronic newsgathering, sports productions, weddings and similar special events, nature and wildlife, and many others."

November 7, 2013 at 2:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike Hendzelm

There are a bunch of 70D videos around. Most reviews give its AF feature major thumbs up. If you have a constant line-of-sight - otherwise, use focus peaking - and a reasonably moderate movement, you pretty much can ignore the need to pull focus manually. Now, if you're shooting a ping-pong match from a foot away, then you're going to be screwed regardless.

November 7, 2013 at 2:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I was initially excited, because I'd love to make the C100 my next cam and 500 dollar update sounds better than buying a completely new mk2. Unfortunately the DP AF sensor area is way too small, smaller than the one on the 70D and you can't take advantage of a touch screen to use it either. This means it'll only be a situational replacement for manual focussing and makes sense when you're shooting a lot of interviews with AF lenses, but it's not good enough yet for cinema.

I wonder how many years it will take before Canon releases AF Cine Lenses that make use of a full DP AF sensor via wireless touchscreen. No doubt they could come out with something tomorrow, but building an entire system requires the hope that it'll at least be adopted.

November 7, 2013 at 2:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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IAN

I'm more excited that canon are offering paid feature upgrades, might mean we get something else offered in future?? I will get this regardless.. Sure I would prefer 50/60p but I'm happy they have continued to support this line of cameras.. Can't wait to test out 80k ISO this month.

November 7, 2013 at 2:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Derek

I am a C100 owner and am happy that Canon are offering upgrade paths for the cameras we own. I shot something on stedicam the other day and I wished i had some autofocus on the super wide end to help when tracking into a subject.

To Edry: Yes slow mo and bit rate is a great thing, but thats not the camera we purchased and we don't have to go back into why the C100 doesn't have those things or this will turn into another C300 vs C100 thread.

Looking forward to any advancements to my investments.

November 7, 2013 at 2:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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C100 chaps might like this comparison to the BMPCC: http://youtu.be/ijUUtLUIMtE

November 7, 2013 at 5:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Conan

I, for one, always like comparisons. And it did what the best comparisons do---put them side by side. Side by side reveals the most. The Canon looks better than the BMPCC in that there is more detail, and a more pleasant color after grade. The only thing is that the blur that is in the leaves in the BMPCC, I don't know if that's from the low frame rate or not. There's also no way of knowing if the color in the BMPCC would have looked better if graded a little differently. But still, I think the C100 has a little better image---of course it costs 5 1/2 times as much....

November 7, 2013 at 7:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

The blue color of the skyscraper in the C100 shot looks nice!

November 7, 2013 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

That was a great test. If boils down to money the BMPCC wins, but for functionality, feature set in a professional environment etc etc etc the c100 is the go to camera. Still amazing though a small chipped camera, 4x's less in price comes that close. Thanks for sharing :)

November 7, 2013 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

Anthony that test is worthless, wrong ISO for the dynamic range needed out of each camera in this situation and he's shooting at F/16 to compensate for a lack of ND which has introduced diffraction which has reduced sharpness on both cameras, because he's using different lenses you can't compare the image as different glass has different contrast characteristics. All you can Judge from this test is colour and 10 bit log and 13 stops of dynamic range is not being beaten by the 8 bit canon in the slightest.

This is what I was mentioning the other day, this guy doesn't know what he's doing but you have now watched the comparison and made a decision on the images from these cameras. This is the white noise that the rest of the industry has to contend with. It's not fair to both cameras by the way.

November 8, 2013 at 3:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

I'm viewing the footage on an iPad. I've noticed the screen "hides" some imperfections even heavy compression compared to my desktop (my dt computer shows too much, lol) but from my angle I didn't think the BMPCC did bad at all, I'll view it on the computer though. Yes I do understand what you're saying about the aperture, fairness of the test etc. I love my BMPCC, from what I'm use to using, 8-bit that little camera sure packs a good punch. My point was for the price the bm wasn't that far off from a camera costing 4x's as much. But a much cleaner test (I agree) would show even more what these cameras can do. Thanks

November 8, 2013 at 9:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

AB, some very good points, additionally, a fair amount of BMPCC shots are soft focus, and it seems a little disingenuous comparing out-of-the-camera footage to footage recorded on the Ninja. In that combination, though, the C100 + Ninja seems like a perfectly fine camera setup, but the BMPCC doesn't have blown out highlights. Different tools for different users. Agreed 100%, though - this comparison has a few too many flaws to be useful in any major capacity.

November 8, 2013 at 11:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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It's a little pointless, a comparison has to have control factors but besides that, one camera shoots for the edit bay and is really image only and the other is fully featured (low end) camera shooting 8bit ready files.

What gets me is that we are saying the BMPCC did well against the Canon? I think it's the other way around if we are talking about image if were not then the C100 destroys it obviously as it has all the toys. They shouldn't be compared, it's pointless, no one is going to switch to £5000 camera over the £800 camera, they are being bought for very different reasons.

A Blu-Ray is 8bit, there's nothing wrong with 8 bit as a presentation codec or for locked acquisition but it can't compete with 10 bit for acquisition, more is just more when it's going through an edit phase. The Ninja is really doing nothing to the image worth writing home about, I've shot to the Hyperdeck for about a year on the AF100, external 8 bit capture is really not worth the cost and hassle, I had a Hyperdeck to overcome the non broadcast codec of the AF100 (I live in the uk, 50 and up) and I did find that noise reduction was perceptibly better on the prores capture over the compressed but honestly I could have shot with out it. The camera forum white noise made me think I wanted one and I defended owning one but in all honesty it's not doing enough to warrant.

November 10, 2013 at 1:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

In my day we had cameras that shot everything in focus. But when the time came we pulled our own focus. And we liked it.

November 7, 2013 at 7:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dana Carvey did Grumpy Old Man on Saturday Night Live with that line "In my day..... and we liked it!" He did one of the funniest skits I ever saw on that show with that character once. :-)

November 7, 2013 at 7:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

$500
haha

November 7, 2013 at 8:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

this will make this a great choice for things like the MoVI.

November 7, 2013 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

While i kind of agree if you are operating by yourself, if you have the cash for a movi then you probably have the cash for wireless focus no??

November 7, 2013 at 8:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

most people rent these type of things

November 8, 2013 at 12:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

I wouldn't say that, most who use a Movi are going to be buying and advertising then selves as Movi operators just how Stedicam guys do. Even a Stedicam operator has a £1000-£2500 vest setup with all kinds of additional accessories for the camera platform. Besides, even renting a Movi is saying you're on a fairly serious shoot and in that situation you are not going to be relying on auto focus

November 8, 2013 at 3:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

Awesome! Now for 60p...

November 7, 2013 at 10:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Just wanted to point out the Panasonic GH3 has this function already built into it with 1080 60p. Works very well for the same scenario. $1k for the body. Not bad. . .

November 7, 2013 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RUSTY

Great, more excuses for people to spend less time learning the craft of cinematography. There's a reason manual focus has been the choice for decades - if you're not learning to pull focus, you shouldn't be sitting behind a camera. Period. But then again, given the number of videos I see out there that confuse depth of field with out of focus, maybe this is a good thing.

November 7, 2013 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike

There are certain advantages to having autofocus, and really.. there's no need to complain about it. If you don't need it, don't use it.
You're right that autofocus is no replacement for pulling focus, but it is a replacement for the times when pulling focus isn't an option. (Such as running a steady cam)

November 7, 2013 at 5:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Whatever. I'm a Steadicam operator. On jobs that ain't afford an AC...I don't take the job...I'd shoot without a focus puller on a small chip camera, but when was the last time anyone shot with one of those? I'd gladly use autofocus on an iPhone, but I'm not shooting super-35 without an analog follow focus (aka a human) Autofocus can't figure where and when you want I change focus from one character/subject to the next. A person, not a machine needs to make these decisions...anything regarding personal choice or artistic decisions or rhythm (not based on something you can program in like a drum machine), you can't get good results. Also, autofocus acts like a very fast bad amateur AC. Good AC's predict instead of react. Autofocus reacts to what happens...when it is out of focus, it realizes it and goes back in focus. A good AC never does this unless he or she's working on A Bourne movie or The Newsroom.

November 7, 2013 at 5:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

Bang on! most like the camera to be slightly behind the action and others go all out directing the audience around the scene. Apart from running around a tree doing a "autofocus test" (that we are now going to be sifting through on youtube/vimeo) when else would a stedicam op want to use autofocus over an AC

November 7, 2013 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

For a steadycam tracking scene, you would actually prefer to have an AC following you around and potentially messing with the balance of the rig?

Let's not forget, the C100 is aimed at single-shooting documentary filmmakers, not large crews.
Do you shoot with small crews? Do you own a C100? To me it sounds like neither.

However, if you do own a C100 and think this optional upgrade is an insult to your cinematic skills... good for you. Don't get it. Simple as that.

Do whatever works for you.

November 9, 2013 at 1:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

An AC would use a wireless follow focus when assisting a Stedicam operator, what did you think they are touching the camera?

This is nothing to do with big shoots it small shoots, the guy said auto focus would help on a stedicam and it wouldn't replace am AC, the only time you would yes the auto focus is on non paying low end shoots, you wouldn't bank on it getting it right. You would either shoot fixed and watch your distance for the shot, shoot wide and stepped down or use an AC with a wireless follow focus and monitor. You would not rely on auto focus for stedicam in a semi/professional paying environment.

November 10, 2013 at 2:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

I'm a documentary filmmaker, so I've never used a wireless Follow Focus. (Or needed an AC for that matter)
I'm a one man shooter, and that's what this camera (and this upgrade) is targeted towards.
I have however used a steady cam more times than I can count, and I see the usefulness in this upgrade.

That is, depending on how good the autofocus is. If it works well, why not use it?

You haven't provided a good reason yet. Other than displaying your greater knowledge of follow focus systems that I've never used or never will need to use.

I do know how easy it is to use a wide lens and stop down the aperture when using a steady cam, but having autofocus might just give you the option to shoot at a faster aperture.
Who cares whether it's a computer or a man keeping the object in focus? I sure don't. In fact, I'd prefer if it wasn't a man, because that means one less man on the crew, and less of a footprint for documentary work.

All of this is said in consideration of who the C100 is marketed toward. (Documentary and event shooters)
I am one of those people, and that's why I shoot on this camera.
Let's be real. If you're on a high-end shoot with an AC and a wireless follow focus and all the blah blah gadgets and unnecessary elitism, would you really be shooting with a C100 anyway?

It sounds to me like you've ever used this camera, and if so, that's okay. Keep up your work with the Alexa and let us guerrilla filmmakers appreciate a potentially useful upgrade on an already useful camera.

November 10, 2013 at 11:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Dude your point is getting lost, I've already said this is in regards to the Stedicam point. Would you be using a Stedicam for your run and gun doc work? I doubt it., the C series of cameras are already very well designed for handheld doc work and for real run and gun moments where action could happen at any moment you are going to want control of your camera, heck on a Stedicam you pretty much lose your zoom lenses and swapping out primes to use said auto focus on a wide aperture will put your Stedicam rig completely out of whack so no, you wouldn't use a Stedicam for mission critical shots in an environment so hectic that you need auto focus to take over from you. Even in a doc there are times when you have control such as in a sit down interview or maybe for some pre planned location/crowd b-roll shots but if it's a planned set of shots then manual focus isn't a problem, if it's not critical then sure you can use auto focus. To say auto focus is a critical update is ridiculous, it should have been there as standard and not a $500 patch up, its ludicrous this is being considered an upgrade, this fancy auto focus is needed mainly down to canon not going down the Mirrorless route with there video camera lines, instead your stuck with a not very flexible mount and having to buy into lenses that can't use contrast detect auto focus which has been around for a while and is pretty darn good for both photo and video. To spout all the times you think you would use it when you really wouldn't is just foolish.

Canon should of worked on an electronic tethered follow focus and left this great auto focus technology to the next camera or provided it for free, I don't care how awesome it is, you guys should if something my little Gf3 has from the beginning, only reason you didn't is because you was left with a camera that can only use phase detect lenses, canon put you guys on that path and it's taken the stills division to make it work.

November 11, 2013 at 4:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

And stop with the condescending camera snobbery, if they use DSLRs on Hollywood movies I'm sure a C100 or 5 could be used to great effect on a low budget film or mid level documentary or even b - cam to a C300 shoot. Low to no budget stuff would be a great opportunity for having an AC, I regularly hire/work with the a we guys, sometimes paid such as on a Fujitsu corporate I did the other week and sometimes not on a short film we shot in the summer, working with ACs is truly great, it's not elitist it's called team work.

November 11, 2013 at 4:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

My point was never lost. I said the upgrade is a useful option and I stuck to that point.
I have used steady cam for doc work plenty of times. And there have been plenty of times I wished I had accurate autofocus. For run and gun situations I have not used a steadycam because it’s just not practical. But I do use a monopod, and often use the monopod as a DUI steadycam, so the autofocus advantage there is the same thing.

DSLR’s and C100’s are used on Hollywood movies, but usually as crash cams or for tight spaces.
There is rarely anyone pulling focus on these cameras.
But like I’ve said from the start, AC’s are superior to autofocus. Just like a Red Dragon camera is superior to the C100. But some situations don't call for a Red Dragon and some situations don’t call for an AC. I’m not going to bring an AC to Ethiopia or India, or anywhere that needs an invisible crew. I’ve firsthand been in situations that call for autofocus. As a tool. An option, That’s all it’s meant to be.

The C100 has plenty of disadvantages like you mentioned. But the advantage is it's form factor and amazing sensor that shoots spectacular images in the dark, and until technology improves, a sensor like this isn’t capable with mirror less (I look forward to when it is, and I will sell my C100).

We could go on and on about the disadvantages of the C100.
But that would be a waste of both of our time.
There’s no point talking about hypotheticals, or comparisons, because that’s sidetracking from the point: The autofocus update.

I agree with you on is the 500 dollar price tag. It should’ve been free.
But that’s Canon for you. In fact, I feel the C100 already costs 500 dollars more than it ought to. But I don’t care about price so much as whether the camera performs. Because if it performs, I make my money back.
And if the autofocus performs, I’ll make my 500 dollars back.

November 11, 2013 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

*DIY steadycam. (Not DUI steadycam)

Let's hope the autofucus update works better than auto-spell.

November 11, 2013 at 1:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

I agree with all that you're saying but back to stedicam, if you have a vest, sled and c100 balancing on you do you really think an AC is going to be that one thing to much that gets you noticed? That's why I'm saying if your shooting stedicam for doc work there is never going to be a discreet moment, maybe with a little Gopro but not a counter balanced C100?.

Auto focus might get you out of a jam but your not going to approach any shot that way, your going to think "I'm going to focus on that and rack/track to that" or your just going to shoot, wait for the actio and see opportunities, focus and move, focus and move. My main argument is that there is no where in the professional world that will call for auto focus and consider this an essential "upgrade" but that's not to say even I wouldn't use it, I just would never put anything critical in the hands of a computer chip. Personally I think if we compare the two genres, narrative film will give you a few takes to nail something, documentary will not. Apart from when there is no other option are you seriously saying you would pick auto focus over pulling your own focus?

The situations you mention using a stedicam, was it ever story critical work for your doc? Was it ever a sensitive area? I'm just guessing you'd rather be discreet and adding to a camera seems the opposite of what your want to do?

I'm enjoying the conversation, I'm not trying to be a dick ;0)

November 11, 2013 at 6:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

I forgot to say that a Mirrorless mount is a mount not a sensor, Canon has already created one using the same sensor from the 600d which could easily be the 70d. Sony has the A77 and A77R full frame Mirrorless cameras coming out and the Sony FS100/700 is a Mirrorless Super35 sensor and was the low light king the C series.

Mirrorless is not tech, it's mechanic and totally open to any camera manufacturer. Canon, even with there M mount chose to stay with the fixed EF mount when really they should have made an official EF powered adapter (easy for them) and provided you guys with a flexible Mirrorless mount that could accept tons of lenses.

November 11, 2013 at 6:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

There were a lot of times in travel work that I really wished I had autofocus. Sometimes you have time and are able to set things up (Monopod, steady cam etc), other times you just have to be really discreet.
Much of what I was filming recently was when I was hanging out with the street children in Ethiopia, and there are times when you can’t set up a monopod or steady cam or anything professional looking because the government there doesn’t want you filming anything poverty related.

So I had to be really discreet and pretend like I was simply a tourist with a camera.
Often street children get into fights, and in order to capture video of this I developed a strategy of putting the camera up to my chest and hitting record, all the while pretending I was simply watching and not recording. Sometimes the images were a bit out of focus because I had to guess to focus points and distance.

So after all this I starting looking into STM lenses for autofocus with the C100, and when I heard this announcement I thought, “Cool. Now I don’t have to add a pointless lens to my bag”
For me, Autofocus is essential for what I do and plan to do. I’m excited about the potential of this update.

I heard a bit about the M series lenses, but just assumed they were Canon’s movement into Micro Four Thirds? So then, these lenses are made for a mirrorless Full Frame or APSC system?
If so that should rightfully butcher their previous market. (And the Micro Four Thirds system) |

Why should anybody go Mirror or MFT anymore?
I'm looking forward to this. Small size without the disadvantages of MFT sounds incredible.

November 12, 2013 at 4:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

ps: No problem. I was being a bit of a douche before. :')
The internet's more fun with douchebaggary added in.

November 12, 2013 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ian B

Wow...a lot of back and forth between Ian B and Anthony Brown here... Sorry on the late post, I know this is getting old, but I've been working and just caught up with it.

I have to say, thanks for apologizing about douchebaggery...I felt it was more than a little out of place to jump to conclusions that Anthony Brown was being an elitist and all that and that about higher end cameras...etc....

I feel fairly qualified to talk about both documentary work and Steadicam work as I do both of those two things professionally more than just about anything else.

I'm actually concurrently working on a narrative feature as the Steadicam operator, while simultaneously, I'm DP for a feature doc. The feature doc is being shot over a whole year (or possibly more, but the producers are trying to keep it down to a year) and the two rarely have scheduling conflicts. The feature doc is Clearwater, for Longhouse Media. It is the 1st documentary to be awarded partial funding through Washington Filmworks (the 501(c) that manages Washington State film and production incentives for the state---gotta stay competitive against the Canuckians 200 miles to the north (or 320km to them), and the Portlandians 200 miles to the south)...

We're shooting with my Red One (not run and gun portions, obviously), the director/producer's C100, as well as the local PBS affiliate's C300 (when they haven't checked it out on their own productions.

I've used Canon C-series cameras on and off Steadicam, on this doc as well as other doc work and narrative work. BTW, it's "steadicam" or "Steadicam" when you're referring to the branded product, not a stedicam, steady cam, steadi cam, steadi-cam or any other variation. (I know it may seem nitpicky, but things like this is why it's almost impossible to get a whole list of steadicam credits on IMDB. It's really hard to find an operator and who has done what b/c it's listed a million different ways.)

Anyway, Anthony Brown gets it 100% right. I would never let an AC pull focus without a wireless controller. Even with a whip...it still affects the stability of the image. Even when I use an AC on sticks, when I have my options, I like the AC to operate wirelessly b/c it really affects the fluidity of pans and tilts. I only do this b/c, well, as a steadicam op, I have to have it, and it costs so damned much few productions pay for it... (I realize I'm not the only one who likes wireless FF on sticks...Soderberg can be seen in the Haywire BTS with his R1MX and a wireless setup while on sticks.)

To jump to another comment by Anthony, yeah, any Movi op needs wireless FF. Yes, it's costly, but I think it's very shifty for a Movi operator, or a steadicam op to low ball professionals with all the required gear to turn around and tell production after they get hired, hey, you'll need to spend another $100-$150/day on a Bartech...or now for less, you can prolly get that blue one...whatever that is---Red Rocks Micro? Can that be right b/c I would think that would be red and not blue, but whatever...there are a couple cheaper (and lighter) options now)... but whatever...it's expensive... and absolutely required. If you spend all this money being all over the world in different places, or have a whole bunch of people on set...or are spending other money in other places and not shooting for free in your backyard on your day off...anyway you slice it, how can you let it be out of focus? And how is an autofocus going to know when and where and how fast to change the focus? Changes need to be based on where the eye is going from one subject to another...how can you depend on a machine to change this timing? It depends on a lot of factors that would be impossible for a computer to do until they're like, you know, HAL or C-3PO or something.

Ian, I would never use autofocus on anything ever. (Except maybe on my iPhone or a small chip camera---I wouldn't even use it on a super-35 camera at f32...b/c it would be horrible for the optical quality of the lens at f32!.) We're doing a doc with this very camera, and no, I think it'd be a waste of time for the director/producer to "upgrade" this thing for $500 to do something you have no control over..

I *always* have an AC when I'm doing steadicam...and on the doc, I prettymuch never do...but not having one, doesn't mean autofocus replaces it. It just means I have to pull focus while operating, like doc operators have done for over 100 years.. The C100 has a terrible terrible screen and an even more terriblerer viewfinder...but a damned good focus peaking mode. (I prefer to use an external monitor and it's focus peaking---it sucks that it's HDMI, but whatever...it's better than using their terrible viewfinder and/or tiny screen).

I really like Anthony's comments about collaborating...it's team work, not elitism. An AC isn't a moron doing the job of an automaton...and I suspect anyone who doesn't appreciate a second pair of eyes (that's focused on more specific tasks than you are, either as a cinematographer or just an operator) either has control issues or some sort of anxieties about their own abilities. When an AC knows more than me, I'm actually extra happy b/c it means that that money is well spent and the production will be better off for having that person there.

I like doing doc work b/c it keeps me from becoming proscribed and it forces me to be flexible and improvisational, which is opposite what you do on tightly planned narrative work. I find doing some of each keeps me well rounded and one helps the other and vice versa.

November 17, 2013 at 11:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

Eager to see how well this works on my C100, but what would really make this upgrade useful for me would be the ability to choose the focus point within the frame. Methinks it will be only center weighted.

November 7, 2013 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Exactly. This is what needs to be discussed. Even though I thought I read with the new firmware that we can move the magnifying box around in screen, maybe that will allow us to change the auto focus point?

November 9, 2013 at 11:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

Anyone knows if this actually means that they will be installing a new sensor or just a new layer or side chip?

Ps: (To all the SpecsPixelPeeper nerds) I have a C100, I'm a professional and it's a great camera, I just saw the DCP version of my new documentary on a cinema screen and looks stunning.

November 7, 2013 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Supposedly software update only but it'll probably have to be calibrated too.

November 7, 2013 at 6:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Does anyone know when/if this inhancement will ship with a newly purchased camera or will you have to buy the camera AND pay for the upgrade once it is available? I assume it will be baked into all the future new models but wondering about the C100 that ship after this upgrade releases?

November 7, 2013 at 11:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Matthew

I wouldn't trust this at all. Rather spend $500 a day on a focus puller than 500 for an upgrade so my camera can think it knows what's sharp.

November 7, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lee

All that dough and no 50P?

November 7, 2013 at 12:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

I like the c300….not red…or alexa (I think this is a better camera) but with cost of rental and post we just shoot on kodak 35mm or 16mm and get stunning results

November 7, 2013 at 3:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

Leave it to Canon to work hard on things I don't give two $#its about and ignore things that matter (dynamic range, raw video, and resolution).

November 7, 2013 at 3:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Harry Pray IV

AGREE!

Magic Lantern boys give you Canon guys all these great features for free and Canon in 2013 figure out autofocus on a video camera thats already released and charge you $500 for this "revolutionary" system that you WILL switch off….

November 7, 2013 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Brown

Maaannnn!!............you guys need to lay off Canon.....who hate on an upgrade..... in my Allen Iverson voice......we talking about an upgrade.....who hate on a upgrade....upgrade!!!....upgrade!!!

November 7, 2013 at 5:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Al

Why do people come on this site just to troll?

November 7, 2013 at 7:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sahntokey

They pretend to have a professional life, act all experienced in the world of Cinematography.. yet they rag on the tools that are available to cinematographers. Naysayers have been around for millennia. Nothing new, they just crumble at our feets.

"PFFTTT DIGITAL??? That will never catch on!"
- Kodak

November 7, 2013 at 11:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tom

Kodak should probably go into memory cards and tech for making the handling of 4K faster. Those needs are just waiting for someone to capitalize on. Standing room for celluloid grows smaller and smaller all the time. Kodak be nimble, Kodak be quick.....

November 8, 2013 at 12:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Speaking of media, there's a new specification/class of SD cards called U-3 that is designed for your typical DSLR's to record 4K2K data. Which means that 4K is going mainstream across the board.
.
(the official release in PDF)
.
https://www.sdcard.org/home/New_SDXC_and_SDHC_Memory_Cards_Now_Support_4...

November 9, 2013 at 12:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Does the C100 shoot RAW?

November 8, 2013 at 2:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Boz Nilton

I has C-log.

November 8, 2013 at 4:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I don't know how anyone could be defending canon. The c100 Should definitely be able to shoot 60fps at least At 720p but canon took that out on purpose. How can you defend a massive corp like that? To me they clearly don't care. Yes I believe you need the right camera for the right job, but at that price point there's no excuse for having lower frame rates. Like stu said, its not fear for manufactures to cripple cameras. I cant believe any of you would choose having this autofocus feature rather than higher frame rates and or bit rates, or was there a cry out there for auto focus for a "cinema" camera? I don't think so. And yes I called a "cinema" camera if it wasn't intended for that then canon wouldn't have slapped a "c" on it. Cheaper cameras can do this and more, why can't this one? I know why, because canon it's too greedy and they want you to buy one of their more overpriced cameras.
Ps. Also making a reference to old dv cams is irrelevant at this time. Technology has moved forward making things cheaper and efficiently therefore reducing cost. Go pay 28k for an slr because at some point an 8mp slr camera cost that much. See irrelevant.

November 9, 2013 at 12:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edry

Dear Edry

Again, I am a C100 owner. I am thrilled that I made the purchase because for my run and gun, tripod, to stedi, to monopod, to sound instantly, to lapel mic, to strip it down and hang it out the car... etc etc kind of workflow where I am shooting and editing within 2 days, this camera works great. I throw it around with confidence and have it rigged up and ready to shoot any time without hassle.

As far as you " not believing " that we would choose this auto focus feature rather than higher frame rates.
I am not being given a choice of higher frame rates. Canon is telling us that if we would like to pay then they will give those who want to have it an enhanced sensor that handles autofocus better than the current generation. Quite simple so I don't see what the fuss is about.

Then you go on to bash canon for sticking a C on it cos its ... blah blah.. Jeeze man if you don't like the camera just " tut tut " at the computer screen and save us all the hassle of scrolling past your post.

C100 cost what is cost and people like me bought it because we can make money 100% back on it in 4 to 5 jobs. It is a professional tool that you would respect if you were in the situations that I have been in where I look at the camera after shooting with it and think thank " expletive " that I had this with me.

It makes my life easier simple as that. If i can slap my C100 on a Stedicam with an STM lens and run around a conference or wedding all day without worrying about the focus... well.. I can get some more sleep.

Anyhoo I took too much time away from an edit to rant at you so back to work. Try the camera bud. You might just like it.

Claire

November 9, 2013 at 9:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I don't know why this needs to get personal? We were strictly talking about a camera. I believe they added the comment section to posts so people can share their opinion and therefore I shared mine. If the camera works for you so be it. You could have paid 1 billion dollars for it for all I care, my thing is it worth the price? No. I have gotten man hands on the camera, and it's a great camera except for the price. I still can't wrap my head around with anyone being ok with canon crippling the camera for their good not for the end user. Again please defer yourself from getting into a personal level on this ("Jeeze man if you don’t like the camera just ” tut tut ” at the computer screen and save us all the hassle of scrolling past your post.") going on a personal level on this makes it seem that you are worse than what you're describing me as. I'm just rightfully sharing my opinion, simple as that. Turns out if you read some post above other people seem to have the similar opinion about the camera.

November 9, 2013 at 11:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edry

I don't mean to offend and I did not intend for it to be taken too personally but I see allot of camera and company bashing on comment threads and it can get frustrating at times. Yup its just a camera. And Canon is just a company who I'm sure is very happy to take my money, but at the same time there are some hard working people there who I'm sure are trying to make a difference. My " tut tut " remark was a response to your inflammatory rant about Canon as a company and your opinion that they are overpricing, behind the curve gear and not prioritizing the features that you feel more people would prefer. Again you are more than entitled to say anything you wish about that.

But don't expect camera women like myself to let you get away with it :)

its all light hearted bud. Dont sweat it.

November 9, 2013 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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All i can say is when I'm sweating, aching, and hoping that climbing that last sand dune will get me the shot I really need to Finnish the video while I'm dehydrated, can barely think and the light is almost gone, a camera like this one can make me feel better about my situation. I think there is some truth to weapons becoming an extension of a person. I think there does develop a personal attachment to our things, like cars, houses, jewelry and why not cameras. I think thats why arguments about BMCC vs SONY vs CANON etc get so exciting.

Sorry for being a pain :)

November 9, 2013 at 1:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Amen!

November 10, 2013 at 11:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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This is a good upgrade. Very useful for event photography or glidecam work. I just got the 5d mark iii for RAW though so :(. What I am surprised about is that this is only going to cost 500$. Seriously the sensor is so cheap! Put it in a rebel already giving us a lower cost cinema dslr which can do 8 mp stills. That resolution is good enough for me.

November 9, 2013 at 10:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Aneesh Arora

Well, let's see. If you think autofocus for video is a big joke then the good news is you can save your $500. If it sounds like something you'd like to have for your C100 then it will soon be available. So it's good news for both sides and there is really no argument here that I can see.

November 12, 2013 at 1:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brad

Here is a video from Inter BEE 2013. At 9:58 they talk about the upgrade.

https://vimeo.com/79361465

November 14, 2013 at 7:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael Bishop

I should of took the "s' out of the link.

http://vimeo.com/79361465

November 14, 2013 at 7:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael Bishop

Thanks for the post. Do you know if this upgrade will already be incorporated into new C!00 cameras purchased after the upgrade is released, or will this always be an optional upgrade where you have to send the camera in? I see someone else asked that question above but I didn't see an answer, so I ask again. Thanks in advance for your reply.

November 17, 2013 at 11:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Francisco Litardo

Woah! Okay, I finally just saw this video...I figured after knocking autofocus, it would be hypocritical to not see the video...and it's exactly why you should bender use autofocus us! It looks terrible! It kept happening too late and it doesn't ever relax into it... Honestly, this video is a perfect example of why autofocus totally sucks for video.

November 18, 2013 at 5:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

"never", not "bender". I thought editing comments was coming to nfs? Sorry. iPads and phones just make it worse.

November 18, 2013 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

Are they going to put the 70d sensor in the C100? It won't have the 4k sensor it share with the C300 anymore?

December 10, 2013 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Leo

Here is a test with the new upgrade..
https://vimeo.com/88725067

March 11, 2014 at 1:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel