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Old November 4th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #1
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C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet



So, how do you like it?

I have to say i'm not that impressed. The short looks fine, but giving the huge crew, the ample resources given to it and the $20K price tag of the camera, I'm somewhat underwhelmed.

The overall image looks quite video-y at times. The highlights clip quite nastily and on high-contrast scenes there's a lot of noise in the shadows (as they obviously had to push up levels in post). This tells me there's a limited amount of latitude, which I'd assume it's due to the 8bit@50Mbps codec. I have to say I like the overall 5D2 looks better. There I said it.

Compared to its natural rival, I REALLY don't understand why Canon didn't implement a dual SDI like the F3, if they intend to sell it for $20k. The F3 with S-Log has (on paper at least) 2-3 more stops than the C300 and from the tests so far, the F3+Log with a Gemini or even a KiPro looks so much better, almost like an ALEXA.



On a side note I don't get how they invest so much time and resources for this show-off piece, but they don't light scenes properly, making it all look like a cheap amateur film. That's not the way to show the low light capabilities of the camera, specially when this one is not targeted at the DSLR guys -who don't light at all-, but at $20k plus all the other costly equipment required to shoot with it, it's destined to professionals who prepare each scene with care.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

I complete disagree, wholeheartedly.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

I've watched this with other DPs that do high-end commercials (Jaguar, Lancome, etc) and they all agree with me.
They say it looks like an amateur low budget movie, in the line of "el Mariachi" but with a video-DSLR look rather than cheap stock film.

BTW, Alister Chapman says in his blog, regarding the EOS C300 that "the Laforet video “Mobius” has quite a “video” look to it"
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Old November 4th, 2011, 11:45 PM   #4
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

I disagree as well. The video had no appreciable aliasing, excellent dynamic range, and low noise without losing texture. Isn't that all one needs from a camera? One may or may not like the look of this particular film, but from what I saw, it showed off the camera well.

I have yet to hear anything negative about the camera images from those who saw the footage projected at the event.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

Good high quality images but definitely does not look like a "film". Wouldn't shoot a feature with any sort of budget on it.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Coll View Post
I've watched this with other DPs that do high-end commercials (Jaguar, Lancome, etc) and they all agree with me.
They say it looks like an amateur low budget movie, in the line of "el Mariachi" but with a video-DSLR look rather than cheap stock film.

BTW, Alister Chapman says in his blog, regarding the EOS C300 that "the Laforet video “Mobius” has quite a “video” look to it"
Looks pretty good to me. Great details, excellent skin tones. Its impressive in every way.

The outdoor scenes (with no expensive lighting to control the environment) are particularly nice.

To me the 'DSLR' look means a couple of things: focus hunting, over use of narrow depth of field, aliasing, moire, artifcating, color banding. I have to say I see none of those things in this video. A typical DSLR video would have fallen to pieces during some of those chase scenes and the quick movements.

What are you actually seeing, specifically, that makes you think it looks like a DSLR, or videoish?
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Old November 5th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #7
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
What are you actually seeing, specifically, that makes you think it looks like a DSLR, or videoish?
I think people equate lifted blacks and/or lack of noise to be traits of video.

Looks to me like as a conscious choice, Laforet/Canon wanted to leave the material mostly uncolored. I myself understand what I'm looking at because it looks very similar to uncolored footage from my F3 with S-Log.

I see a few highlights that could be burning out a little prettier, but on the whole it looks like a very nice image to start post with. Certainly prettier than my stock F3, but now that I have S-Log it's much nicer.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 06:15 AM   #8
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

My DP friends and I are judging Laforet's "MÖBIUS" from two different points of view: image quality and approach.

Regarding the APPROACH, Canon has been boldly targeting Hollywood with his "revolutionary announcement" and even got Scorsese on stage to talk about it.
But then the show-off pieces, like this one from Laforet, resembles an amateur no-budget movie; with no proper lighting at all; mostly hand-held, even in scenes when it shouldn't; with a focus puller that misses all the time; with excessive use of ultra shallow depth of field, as if it was a novelty, etc, etc.
ALL of this as if the camera was targeted at the DSLR "I_have_zero_budget" crowd, just like Revere was.

The camera sells at $20K and will need another $20K at the very least to be able to shoot (lenses, tripod, FF, MB, Mics+transmiters, VF, 17", etc), though many pros will raise that amount to well over $100K. Laforet uses a huge crew, a lot of expensive tools and professional Post resources, but then the results are targeted -at least in our opinion- at the DSLR crowd, who is now amazed by the film (read the forums), and the camera ( that they cannot afford).

On the other hand, professional people, for instance from the high-end advertising world -not to mention the Scorseses- are left scratching their heads saying what is this amateur thing?




On the IMAGE QUALITY, yes, the camera doesn't have moire, aliasing and there's hardly any skewing. But the image looks at times as it was shot with an EX1, with clipped highlights and limited dynamic range, which is mostly what diferentiates video from film. The bare F3 also does look like this, but when equipped with S-Log and a proper recorder (HDCAM, Gemini or even a KiPro) it totally transforms into a film camera, with an enormous amount of latitude, excellent color rendition, etc.

That's what's lacking from the Laforet short and it's therefore -to us- an odd example for trying to sell the virtues of a camera that, again, sells for $20K and is competing with the F3, and supposedly looks like film, as Hollywood needs.

Do have a look a the short again. Does it look like film or like video to you?
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Old November 5th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

Could you post some of your work please. Because I don't see one of the thing you are describing, perhaps if we see some of your work we might understand your point of view. I did not see one of your criticism in this short movie. In fact I was quite impressed by the DR of the camera. It was shot outdoor in very contrasty desert environment. I was only looking when the guy was in the car at the background through the window and I was telling myself if they have used tinted glass in the car because the highlight was still there, in a desert contrast lighting it is quite impressive.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #10
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

One well known EU commercials DP at the actual screening thought that the C300 gave "subtle good looking pictures", although one demo film had grading problems and someone else has done some experimental grading with the camera and over all he was impressed.

Looking at highly compressed pictures on line isn't the best way to make a final judgement, especially looking at just one film.

The price is a common complaint, so it'll be interesting to how Canon respond to that particular issue over the next few months.

The RED One doesn't look like film and I've seen the Alexa not looking like film, often that look is something which part of the grading process. I've a suspicion that the resolution of the C300 may be higher than that of the F3, which also may give it a cleaner look.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #11
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

For me Mobious is the perfect film to showcase the camera Nice story that is enjoyable on repeat viewings. As for the footage mostly it did look like film and does it well. If this is straight out of the camera like I expect it to be as a demonstration then I want one. If it had of been around £6000 my order would be in I had already called the shop before the camera was out and told them to put me in the front of the queue. Some very lucky people who can afford this as a luxury item will be having a lovely early xmas present!

Not me though or any indy film makers I know.

Having said that I'd still give it a miss because of the 8 bit HDSDI I'd still like it as my fav toy though.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

How would "proper lighting" (whatever that is) sell a camera? With proper lighting you can make all kinds of junk take a great picture.
If it looks like they just whipped it out on the side of the road at noon in the desert and it still looks great that's got to be a plus.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #13
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

There is one ideal way to judge the quality of a camera against others in the marketplace, and that is to shoot properly designed tests (or view someone else's). I don't intend to make any decisions about which sub $20K camera is going to be the choice for me until I do so. I'm not as blown away by the specs of the C300, but then again, if one judged the DSLR's purely on specs, they would have never used them. Demo films such as these are always worth a look but you can't fully judge a camera on them--too many variables in the chain. A great DP may be able to make an inferior camera look better than a poor DP can achieve with a superior camera.

It is true that having enough crew and resources to make a camera look its best helps considerably, especially in an exterior, high contrast situation. You can bring a subject up to key with a silver flexfill or a 20x20 bleached muslin; of course the latter will look more realistic and less "lit".

Heading to the Canon event today and looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #14
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

If the film looks videoish, it is because it is shot with a video camera. Everyone on this forum keeps going on about how wonderful pin sharp focus is, and now they want to see the softness of film it seems. My point being, that the only time it looks video like to me is when we see the close-ups where you can see every blemish in the actors complexion. Then again, this could be sorted out in post in five minutes if required.

The question for me is not whether it looks like film (or video), but whether it looks cinematic.

And my answer is an unequivocal yes. Nice one Canon.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #15
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re: C300 Demo: Mobius by Vincent Laforet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Heading to the Canon event today and looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.
Also, the Steadicam work on this one was lacking compared to Laforet's prior projects. That's probably part of the problem.
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