February 4, 2016 at 9:22AM, Edited February 4, 9:34AM


Help building around a C100

Hi All! I'm about to upgrade from my Ol' Faithful Canon 60D to a beautiful Canon C100. Been a long time coming and I can't wait for it to get here! So the reason I'm posting this is to get some opinions on what other things I should get/work on getting to go with my C100. I'm really getting into shooting wedding films, but I'm also getting into some events coverage as well as sports. But my big thing is shooting short-documentary style vignettes and news videos. And I'll also be doing short films here and there. I do a lot of different stuff and I feel the C100 gives me exactly what I need to do all of that. Here is what I have now:

Canon 60D
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
Sigma 18-35mm f1.8
Canon 50mm f1.4
Canon 85mm f1.8
Canon 70-200mm f4 IS
Zacuto C100 Z-Finder
Dinky old tripod

And here is what I'm looking to get soon:

Canon C100
Rode Videomic Pro
Manfrotto Monopod
Rodelink Lav set
Canon 24-105mm f4
Atomos Ninja 2 (or Ninja Blade, which one do you guys prefer?)

What do you guys think? Is there anything that I'm totally overlooking that I need to get right away? Or is there anything that's nice to have that I could save up for and get eventually? Or is there anything on here that I really don't need? I would really love to get your guys' opinions! Especially those of you who use a C100 for your productions! Also, if anyone knows of any decent light kits I would love to hear about that as well because I borrow a cheapo kit from a friend now and would like to upgrade there as well! Thanks!!


What are you mostly shooting?
I'm curious, why do you want to get the 24-105?
Also, definitely the Ninja Blade if you can afford it, the C100 doesn't have a great EVF or flip out screen. If you've got the Zacuto EVF, you should be mostly good, but it's really nice to have the Blade's sharp screen, waveforms, etc.
Especially if your in a situation where you can't have your eye glued to the Zacuto.

February 7, 2016 at 9:30PM

Will Stackable
Creative Director

I said above but I'll be using it primarily for documentaries and weddings. I'll also use it for my short films and some commercials/event coverage once I get some more work like that. I didn't do it before because I wasn't comfortable with my 60D but I know I can do it now with the C100. I want the 24-105 because I've heard how great of a run and gun lens it is, which is a big part of my style. I love my lens collection and I feel really confident about getting great stuff with it, but I don't want to get caught changing lenses at critical moments.

Is the Ninja Blade worth the $200 extra over the Ninja 2? I don't mind spending the extra money at all, I just want to make sure that the investment is worth it because I could buy a mic or put that extra money to something else that I may need.

Thanks for the input!

Tyler McDonald

February 9, 2016 at 10:45AM

looks like a good bit of investing, only thing I personally would recommend against is the videomic pro. Get a decent shotgun mic instead and fit it in the designated holder.

February 9, 2016 at 6:17AM


Is the videomic pro not good enough quality? I know it's not like an NTG3 or a Sennheiser shotgun mic and I will get a mic like that when I get the money, but I wanted the videomic pro because it would make my C100 that much smaller which is always great for run and gun situations. Thanks for the input!

Tyler McDonald

February 9, 2016 at 10:47AM

you can get an ntg4 (or 4+), it's nearly as good as the ntg3 and the normal 4 is also just 5cm longer than the video mic pro.
you will have better sound and are also more flexible with booms etc later on.
the videomic pro is super practical if you use just your dslr, otherwise, go for quality.

Jonas Zed

February 10, 2016 at 10:29AM

I would go Ninja 2, the Blade is a waste of money unless you need SDI which the C100 doesn't have last I checked. Ninja 2 is only HDMI.

February 9, 2016 at 2:52PM

Clark McCauley

I will definitely look into the Ninja 2 then. Thanks for the advice!

Tyler McDonald

February 9, 2016 at 7:43PM

I like handheld, so I'm getting a Zacuto Recoil V2 with ENG grip relocator. That paired with a Small HD 501 that I already own and I'm happy. That rig, a decent tripod, and a Duzi slider + head is all I need for most things that I shoot/want to shoot. Also, not sure what your budget is, but the Sennheiser AVX wireless mic system is amazing. And I'm probably going to end up getting a Ninja Star because it's smaller and I already have a great screen.

Also, in regards to the video mic pro, maybe get a cheap video *micro* instead for lightweight shooting and go for a Rode NTG2. Decent starter mic, million times better than the video mic, and you're taking advantage of great clean XLR inputs and sound with the C100. I own a Sennheiser 416, but if someone told me I had no choice but to shoot a project with the NTG2 I wouldn't really sweat it.

One more note: this is just stylistically subjective silliness, but I think a "normal" lens up close to a subject vs. a long lens zoomed in to get the same framing feels better and looks better in most situations. I don't own an 18-35, but if I did I would rarely take it off. It covers pretty much the entire focal range I shoot 90% of my stuff in (24-30). I like the 24-105, but I feel like a lazy shooter when I use something that has a huge zoom range. I only use it if I'm going for something specific, or if being discrete is essential to getting the footage I need.

February 10, 2016 at 7:03AM, Edited February 10, 7:12AM

Steven Bailey

I tried out a recoil rig at NAB last year and that's definitely going to be my shoulder rig eventually, it's all I've ever wanted in one haha. I'm looking into getting the Rhino EVO Carbon Fiber 24" slider, but I'm trying to get these other essentials before I get that or the shoulder rig. But I feel that how you built your kit would work perfect for me as well.

That's a good point since the NTG2 is just a bit more than the videomic pro and like you said would utilize the XLR. I have used the NTG2 on a lot of my student productions and I've always loved the sound. Thankfully the C100 I bought has the holder for a mic like that so that may just work in my favor haha. And then I can use that mic on a boom pole for other productions. That all sounds a lot better to me haha thanks!

I feel the exact same way about the 18-35mm range as I use that lens quite extensively and I appreciate your opinion. I just lean towards this lens because of the range and the IS which would be good for running around at events and just grabbing stuff where I may not have the time/want to switch lenses. But honestly I'm really happy with my lens collection and I feel like I should get the mic and tripod and all that before the lens. Thanks for the advice!

Tyler McDonald

February 10, 2016 at 9:41AM

In regard to the Rode videomicro, it will not work on the C100. There is no phantom power out of the 1/8" jack, only out of the XLRs. Even though it does work on dslrs like the 60D, or even a smartphone, it's just a no go on the C100. I made this mistake. You have to get the video mic pro that is powered by it's own battery.

Derek Olson

February 11, 2016 at 10:04AM

@Derek, really? Dang, that's too bad. Well in that case, it might be worth looking into something similar that runs on a double a or something.

Steven Bailey

February 11, 2016 at 11:08AM

Steven, I've just started a thread re: the Recoil V2 and I noticed your reply here. How has your experience been with the recoil v2 + the grip relocator? I'm planning to buy it and use it with my Ikan DH5 external monitor. The DH5 is great but isn't like a Zacuto EVF where you're able to rest your eye against it for added stability. Is that added bit of stability needed when using the recoil?

Sean Stiller

May 7, 2016 at 12:17PM

You'll be happy with your new plans I think!

I agree with Steven in many ways that the feel of a longer lens zoomed in just isn't as nice, but obviously in some situations it could be argued that the longer reach would be great to have.

I have the Canon 17-55 f2.8 with my c100 mk2, and I rarely take it off. I also own the Sigma 18-35 which is nicer for more narrative/cinematic stuff but when I'm running and gunning I tend to stick with the 17-55 as it's light and fast and stabilised. Worth looking into but if you feel you'd like the longer reach with the 24-105 then it may be for you.

Agreed about making the jump to a proper shotgun mic, just about to do that myself and thinking I'll spend the extra this time on the NTG3, but all the NTG mics are good really.

Lights wise. They may seem expensive for what they are, but I bought a Rotolight NEO a few months ago. It fits in my camera bag so I take it everywhere, and it's the only light of its size that I can comfortably blast in someones face and get good results. It's small, but flattering, which isn't easy to come by as far as I've experienced. For run and gun I have it on a magic arm coming off the camera to avoid that top of camera horror light, or just use a cheap stand from amazon if I'm using it stand alone. Powerful for the size too.

I'm obviously preaching to the choir here but I was concerned about going with a c100 in a 4k crazy climate just under a year ago, and now I don't regret it a bit. The URSA Mini 4.6k footage I've seen I haven't liked (the 4k version has nicer colour but....low light for run and gun still not an option), I still can't get on with the Sony colours, and there isn't much else out there that will do the job as simply and consistently as the c100 or c300. Enjoy! It's a great camera.

February 12, 2016 at 2:30AM, Edited February 12, 2:35AM

Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director

I agree about the look of zoomed in as well. Optically wise, how would you say the 17-55 stacks up to the 24-105? While having that extra zoom range for weddings and tight moments would be nice, I do own a 70-200 so if I really need that extra throw I can just put that bad boy on. But the only reason I'm slightly hesitant to the 17-55 is if the image quality stacks up to that of the L series 24-105. The f2.8 is nicer than the f4, but with the lowlight capability of this camera that's not really a big issue.

I took the advice and my NTG2 will be arriving sometime today! I guess I hadn't put enough thought into that and I'm glad that someone pointed it out haha. It's nice too cause once I get a boom pole I can use it for that where as the videomic pro isn't quite suited for that. I've heard nothing but great things about the NTG3 and I"m sure that'll be a solid investment!

Thanks for the light suggestion! I actually just ordered the Aputure Amaran AL-528W and AL-528S, but I will definitely look into the Rotolight NEO and I would like to get another light as well.

I prefer the 4k over the 4.6k URSA mini as well, very nice colors for sure. But I feel the exact same way! I was really close to pulling the trigger on a GH4, but I just kept thinking about how much I enjoyed shooting with the C100. 4k was definitely alluring, but after thinking about it enough I realized that it wasn't a necessity compared to built-in ND filters, XLR inputs, good lowlight etc. Eventually we will have to buy a 4k camera, but I feel like we are definitely safe with our great 1080 cameras for a bit while longer.

I got the camera last weekend and shot a few interviews and it's been phenomenal! Can't get enough of the image and using it just feels so right. Easily my best investment yet. Thanks for the input!

Tyler McDonald

February 12, 2016 at 2:47PM

Indeed. You'll feel liberated by that camera if you're used to DSLR's. A colleague of mine has one of those Aputure lights and they're decent. Lots of light for not much money!

Lens wise, that 17-55 is definitely optically strong. There are people who consider it the only non-L lens that should be an L lens. Mechanically though, it's a bit ropey, nothing compared to the build quality of the Sigma 18-35. Each have their place though and although I own the Sigma too the 17-55 gets used a lot more often.

I'd like to try the 24-105 for a few shoots and see if I'd miss the f2.8 and wider FOV. I'll get round to it at some point!

Enjoy your new cam!

February 15, 2016 at 2:23AM

Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director

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