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Old December 5th, 2011, 06:29 AM   #16
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

We already have cameras that don't require white balancing and in fact won't take it, outside of 3200 or 5600 (F3 in S-log, for instance). To me, that's not that big of a deal--baking in a warmer or cooler tone via white balance "cheat" or filtering is only a concern if you won't be consulted in the final color correction. That's the REAL offense and it's becoming more and more of an issue.

While it is "easier" to work in a raw or log mode that has a substantial amount more forgiveness than nailing exposure in a limited range environment (similar to negative vs reversal), as always the image is only as good as the individual behind the camera. I do get nervous about the wide range of possibilities for the final look that can now become a group effort, but at the same time, with budgets ever tightening and less crew and gear along with higher expectations, the higher dynamic range cameras do allow for better results with less "help".

Coincidentally I just watched dailies from a recent shot that started in backlit daylight, moved through 3/4 frontal daylight then through a door into a vast interior with no natural light. I elected to shoot it (on the F3) at 3200K with the knowledge that I could dial in the daylight correction in the opening section without any concerns, which allowed me greater lighting flexibility for the interior portion. I also had to do a remote iris pull from one end of the lens to the other during the transition from exterior to interior--T16 to T1.3 on a Superspeed--which was pretty hairy at the time but looks all but invisible on camera. Without the latitude of S-log, the exterior would not have contained itself at T16. Amazing to me that we can now pull off shots on relatively inexpensive HD cameras that rival or better the dynamic range of film.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #17
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

Have you seen the quality at really high ISOs? I think it is worth the hype, I know I'd rather have a C300 over my 550D, if I had the money.

I'm guessing the main reason behind it not being worth the hype is the price? Yes, it's much more expensive then any of the current DSLRs, but it is better then the DSLRs as well.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #18
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

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Originally Posted by Timothy R. Barksdale View Post
Soon we will be guided to cameras which will not need white balancing, and in my mind this is a difficult concept to play with. That being- just shoot it RAW and correct it all in post. After 20 years as a DP that is nearly offensive.
I'm working with a Red Epic now, and that's all i hear. 'We're shooting RAW, we'll fix it in post'. Seems very foreign. Neutral density filters don't seem to be needed either. It's a new reality. That means quicker set-ups in a lot of cases.

To the original poster. After shooting 2.5 years and 18,000 clips on a 5d2, I'm definitely aware of its strengths and shortcomings and I look at the c300 as a giant leap forward. The price of the c300 is nearly that of my XLH1 - 5 years ago. And personally, for 90% of the work i do, 1080p (with a solid codec) is more than enough.

As far as price goes, you are either young or new to the industry. No offense intended. Go back a few years and look at camera price/performance. Besides, if this camera were priced too low, it would only add many more supposed professionals to the ranks of camera ops. Slightly tongue in cheek on the last part.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #19
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

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Originally Posted by Timothy R. Barksdale View Post
Soon we will be guided to cameras which will not need white balancing, and in my mind this is a difficult concept to play with. That being- just shoot it RAW and correct it all in post. After 20 years as a DP that is nearly offensive.
It's worth taking a step back for a moment and considering what white balance does on a typical video camera, something like a PDW-700, EX1, XF305, C300 etc. Light is filtered in to it's R G and B components, either via a prism or on chip filters. The sensor pixels themselves just capture the light falling on them and output a monochrome luma signal, regardless of colour temperature etc. Through signal processing a colour image is created by mixing monochrome, luma only output from the R G and B chips in a 3 sensor design or the R G and B photo sites on a single sensor. Then we have a colour image. The white balance process is done during the combining of the mono chrome signals that represent R G and B levels by adjusting the gain of the R and B channels relative to G, so white balance is simply a gain operation performed away from the sensor itself. So, if you do have either a raw sensor data output (like red) or an RGB sensor output, it really doesn't make a great deal of difference whether you white balance on set or in post.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #20
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

Alisters post above is fundamentally correct - the photosites output values depending on the filtered light falling on them. White balancing basically just means altering the relative gains of RvGvB such that something intended to be white becomes it. If the exact values of the photosites can be recorded, it doesn't matter whether this gain changing happens in camera or at a later stage.

The only thing I may add is that it can be desirable to add a filter such that any one channel doesn't have to have excessive gain applied relative to the others - that would lead to noise. As example, it's normal for signal level balance to happen when "white" is about 3200K. Up the colour temperature to 6500K and the red channel will have a much lower output relative to blue. The addition of a daylight correction filter will put the nominal levels back in the right relationship - and that's also true whether the final balance is done in camera or subsequent post operation on RAW data.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 02:09 PM   #21
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

I don't think the C300 was suppose to be compared to DSLR, but primarily to the F3. Unfortunately for Canon, many of us are not cooperating.
Find the best people shots from the F3, and compare them to any of the C300 clips we have so far. That's why the C300 list is ~ $20K.
I'm disappointed too that Canon hasn't evolved DSLR video. But from the videos posted I don't see the C300 as overpriced.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #22
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

David is correct but the modern thinking is that if you normalise the camera for tungsten, when you electronically colour correct for daylight, you reduce the gain in the blue channel (which normally requires more gain than R or G even at 3200). This is highly desirable as due to this extra gain it is the blue channel that tends to produce the most noise. So electronic colour correction normally results in a reduction in noise. Using an optical CC filter would not bring this benefit. This is one of the reasons why the newer shoulder cams don't have CC filters in the filter wheel which used to be the norm.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #23
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

In the same maner, I hope one day they find a way to implement electronic ND.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #24
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
This is highly desirable as due to this extra gain it is the blue channel that tends to produce the most noise. So electronic colour correction normally results in a reduction in noise. Using an optical CC filter would not bring this benefit.
I'll try to explain my reasoning. The assumption is that none of the photosites see colour by themselves - that's down to either the on-chip filters, or the beam splitting of a three chip camera. As the light level increses, so the output level goes up, up to a certain point where limiting occurs. The total range will define the dynamic range of the sensor.

Now, start with "white" light, and each of the R,G,B photosites will give a certain output. To gain max dynamic range, in an ideal world they should all be a similar level - otherwise the dynamic range is being held back by the weakest link - the photosite giving the lowest output when the highest is near limiting.

Physically, "white" light will depend upon colour temperature - daylight will have more energy in the blue part of the spectrum than tungsten. Hence the optimum condition - R,G,B photosite outputs all reaching near limiting at the same time - will only occur at a single colour temperature. Hence the theoretical desirability of using CC filters to bring it about at other colour temperatures.

Of course, theory is one thing - how any camera actually does it another....... It was my impression that any absence of the CC filter wheel was more down to saving money than desirability though.....?
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Old December 6th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #25
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

The B gain reduction and noise improvement was something I learnt from several Sony engineers from the Atsugi factory. They explained that even on the F800 that using electronic CC was actually preferable to using the built in optical CC filters. I can't claim to 100% understand all the colour/gain theory going on here and I'm sure dynamic range plays it's part too in the design concept, but the engineers were adamant that electronic correction had benefits over optical.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 03:38 AM   #26
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

The problem with Canon is two-fold.

First, the 5D Mark III is long overdue and no where to be seen on the horizon.

Second, Canon marketed their Nov 3rd Event to the entire DSLR community, but then presented a product that DSLR users cannot afford.

If Canon had marketed the C300 similar to the Arri Alexa then we wouldn't be having the same discussion.

I just wish Nikon could step up and fill the void with a high ISO performing DSLR that does video right or Panasonic could somehow transition to an S35 sensor size.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 04:13 AM   #27
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

I don't think holding a launch at Paramount Studios in Hollywood really gives the feeling that this camera was aimed at the DSLR community. Perhaps it's more they wished that it was and they were hoping for a 5D Mark III, which, by it's very model name, is a stills camera rather than a cinema camera.

Canon didn't market anything, just an impression was created on line of what it might be because of what people hoped for in their messages. However, Canon didn't say what was going to be there, only "Canon is making an historic global announcement." I guess viral marketing spread the interest, when people started speculating about what this was about.

Canon seem to be coming up with DSLR cameras that do better video. Canon USA Introduces EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:08 PM   #28
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

I spent most of the morning at the Visual Impact C300 open house. They had 3 C300's on show. One on a camera set alongside an F3 and an Alexa, the other was a very simple handheld configuration for people to play with and a 3rd on a stedicam rig.
What impressed me the most was how nice the camera was to hand hold and how good the rear viewfinder is. You certainly don't need anything extra to shoot with it.
On the camera set I was a little less impressed. For some reason the C300 looked a little soft or not quite in focus. No matter how I played with the focus, the edges of the image looked soft compared to the F3 next to it. Both the F3 and the C300 had Arri 32mm master primes so they should have been similar. I was told all the cameras were set up with standard gammas, but looking at the C300 it looked quite flat, so perhaps it was setup with the Canon Log gamma and the resulting lower contrast was making the image appear softer. There were so many people at the event that it was difficult to really get at the camera to figure out what was going on. I asked if I could record some footage but was told that this was not possible on this occasion as these are pre-production cameras. Shame, I had a pocket full of CF cards and SxS cards. Anyway I have been promised a test shoot very soon.

I really hope that the softness was a peculiarity of that particular camera or the way it was set up as the C300 would for me be fantastic for my storm chasing and extreme weather assignments. I'd love to take one up to Norway in January to see if it sensitive enough to shoot the Northern Lights without having to resort to slow shutters or long exposures. I've done the math, and according to my calculations it should just about be sensitive enough at 22,000iso with a f1.4 lens to shoot the Aurora in real time. It would be really cool to try and stream the Aurora live from Norway in January. On other assignments I could shoot using Canon L series glass or my B4 to Canon adapter and get broadcast ready material without needing an external recorder. I still think the Sony F3 with S-Log and an external 444 recorder is capable of a better image, but that's a significantly more expensive package and more cumbersome, power hungry etc. It's horses for courses. The C300 for me looks to be fantastic for simple, fast, easy shoots where shallow DoF is desirable, while I would continue to use the F3 where the extra bulk of an external recorder and the slightly more complex S-Log workflow will not be an issue as I think the ultimate image quality will be better.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #29
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
I don't think holding a launch at Paramount Studios in Hollywood really gives the feeling that this camera was aimed at the DSLR community. Perhaps it's more they wished that it was and they were hoping for a 5D Mark III, which, by it's very model name, is a stills camera rather than a cinema camera.

Canon didn't market anything, just an impression was created on line of what it might be because of what people hoped for in their messages. However, Canon didn't say what was going to be there, only "Canon is making an historic global announcement." I guess viral marketing spread the interest, when people started speculating about what this was about.

Canon seem to be coming up with DSLR cameras that do better video. Canon USA Introduces EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera
My take on this is that Canon's original launch was off-target, causing the question raised in this thread. Originally, they targeted the Hollywood movie maker -- pretty clear given the venue and videos shown during the opening. People in the blogosphere either endorsed this or complained that the camera isn't really a cine camera (mostly because of 8-bit). Now, I'm hearing things like "this was always meant as a TV/doco camera" (and thus no need for 10-bit, the benefit of in-camera 50 MBPS 4:2:2, etc).

I think this is a case of not managing expectations on Canon's part. The camera clearly looks to be fantastic, but, as is always the case, the initial presentation has to avoid "cognitive dissonance"
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:44 PM   #30
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Re: Is the C300 worth all the hype?

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
What impressed me the most was how nice the camera was to hand hold and how good the rear viewfinder is. You certainly don't need anything extra to shoot with it.
Alister: How long do you think you could handhold it? I ask because, having shot video with a DSLR (D3s) with a viewfinder, I find it's OK for a minute or 2 but then simply gets too heavy.

Thanks.
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