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Old December 8th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #16
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

Agree, this seems to be the best outfit if you need long lens reach and broadcast specs.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #17
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post

News guys commonly work alone with 2/3" cameras.
He needs to be lighter and bring support too. It would be miserable trying to bring an ENG setup into the backcountry. I'm sure it has been done, but even at my fittest I wouldn't want to do it.

As far as the EX3 with nanoflash, it's an interesting question as to if that's good enough for a 2012 purchase. It certainly is for making DVDs, but not for Discovery Channel 'A' camera it seems.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #18
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

A Video 18 head with carbon fibre legs weighs about 14 lbs. In the end, I suspect you're talking about 40 lb combined with the camera and some batteries. You don't need to carry extra lenses because the zoom with x 2 extender will replace those and you can achieve approximately the same angle of view as 750 mm lens on a Super 35mm sensor.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #19
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

I echo what others have said - the C300 has too large a sensor for Wildlife, go for 2/3inch as a max. Thats the industry standard for wildlife. I expect that 1/2 and 1/3 inch CMOS cameras will become more common for lower-budget wildlife films - provided that their footage is being recorded at 100mbps/422.

I would advise against the EX3 - its not well designed, particularly when it comes to the tripod mount - and if you attach a long lens to it you've got to be really careful that the mounting point doesn't get ripped out of the camera... so then you have to invest in more accessories to hopefully prevent this from happening... And of course its an old camera and thus not a wise investment.

As weight is so important, you don't have too many options. If you have an H1, these cameras can provide stunning results when attached to a remote recorder. I am not a big fan of the lenses, or the viewfinder, which can be hard to operate in cold temperatures... If weight weren't such an issue, I'd advise the Panasonic HPX370... but then you have to invest in good glass too...

The XF300 is a good camera - I too have one with the 1.6 Century, and agree its not long enough. The inbuilt digital zoom works to an extent - when shooting in 1080, it renders and image thats equivalent in sharpness to 720 (approx) and works fine if delivering in SD...

Once the C300 has come out, it'd be great if Canon could bring out a new H1 style camera with the same codec etc as the XF300 - and improved lenses. That would be great!

I know the C300 is tempting, but it really isn't suitable for long-lens wildlife...
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Old December 8th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #20
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

I am stil using my older JVC HD100 for wildlife with a firestore CF drive. I am using older nikon MF lens with the mft adapter and while its not the smallest setup it does work great and you get the 7.2 magnification
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Old December 8th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #21
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

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If you have an H1, these cameras can provide stunning results when attached to a remote recorder.
I know the C300 is tempting, but it really isn't suitable for long-lens wildlife...
That was my original point. Leon already has an XLH1. if you just add a Nano, an EOS adapter, and even an f4 70-200 (lighter than the 2.8), you'll max out the resolution, the reach, and it will only cost 4,000 for all the above. A 70-200 becomes about a 500-1400mm lens. It's nasty trying to find small things in the viewfinder though. But for bighorn sheep and stuff, I would think it would work pretty well.

I agree that the EX3 would be the best solution if starting from scratch.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #22
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

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With the good high ISO performance of the C300 there should be no problem stopping down, even in low light..
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I'm only aware of 2/3 cameras being shot with a crew of two or three..
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The next generation of DSLR video looks like a viable solution too for the solo shooter.
I agree in general with Don's post. [Thanks Don for bringing up the point concerning low light scenarios.] A lot of wildlife is either crepuscular; nocturnal; live under forest cover; underwater; or in other lowlight situations such as caves or abandoned buildings.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #23
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

I used to single handed lug a BVP7/BVV5 combo weighing in around 18kg (40lbs) along with a Sachtler 20 and a rucksack full of tapes and batteries several miles into mountains and forests and back when I used to shoot the world rally championship. We would do this 3 or 4 times a day. Not saying it was pleasurable but it can be done. Many people shoot solo with full size shoulder cams.

The EX3 is approved for Discovery use as an "A" camera without an external recorder, it's in their Silver status so can be used for 100% production. There have been many wildlife docs shot with EX3's with and without Nanoflashes and either DSLR lenses or 2/3" broadcast lenses. Yes the base design is weak but a reinforcing plate only costs about $150 and makes the EX3 a rugged camera.

As others have said, where long focal lengths are required DSLR's or super 35mm camcorders may not be the best option. Don't get caught up in the hype and buy the wrong tool for the job just because it's "cool". It could be like trying to use a Ferrari to plough a field.

I recommend you take a look at the BBC series "The Bear Family and Me" for an idea of what an EX3 can do.

The C300 is a great camera, of that I have no doubt, but is it the right tool for this job? As for DSLR's? No matter how good you make it, if it's primary function is to to take very high resolution photographs, the video performance will be compromised.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #24
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

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Originally Posted by Don Miller View Post
As far as the EX3 with nanoflash, it's an interesting question as to if that's good enough for a 2012 purchase. It certainly is for making DVDs, but not for Discovery Channel 'A' camera it seems.
Should be, certainly with a nanoFlash. Real question is, what else is better? If 2/3" are out for weight considerations, most 1/3" cameras are out for non-interchangeable lenses (amongst other things), and large format cameras mean long focal length lenses, doesn't the EX3 become the most logical choice?
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A 4/3 would give up a stop of light, but produce about a 2x FL crop equivalent. I'm assuming 4/3 can be made into a smaller field camera than 3 x 2/3.
The one stop difference between s35 and 4/3 is assuming all else is equal.

At the moment, that's not true - s35 chips are "designed for video", 4/3 chips are designed for stills use and "made the best of" for video. And one implication of that is sensitivity - as can be seen in practice with the AF101 and the FS100, the FS100 is far more than a single stop more sensitive than just sensor size would predict. It's not just chip size - it's the way the data gets read out that determines sensitivity.

Theoretically, there's nothing to stop a manufacturer designing a "made for video" chip in the 4/3 size - which means either about 3 megapixel and deBayering, or about 8 megapixel like the C300 - but is it economically worth it? It's one thing to make the best of a chip that already exists for cost reasons, but the main large format market seems to be swinging firmly behind s35. If you're designing from scratch, why not do it for where the preferred market is?
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Old December 11th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #25
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

To quote from Nino Leitner's blog:

"But, as mentioned above, the F3 is internally really an EX3, and it uses the same internal recording onto SxS cards in the XDCAM EX format, at 35 Mbit/s in a 4:2:0 colour space. I love the format and still shoot very often broadcast stuff with my 3-year-old EX3, but to be honest, the standard is quite obsolete now and there are much more efficient codecs. The fact that Sony put such a relatively weak codec into a quite expensive camera that is capable of so much more was a big disappointment for me."

That's really my concern with starting with the EX3 in 2012.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #26
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

From Sony talk around the launch of the F3, they rather saw the internal codec as something for editing and ease of quickly getting a form of proxy to the editor, rather than actual the master material. The s-log etc being recorded being on HDCAM SR or other codec being the master, which is recorded on external recorders.

In principle, this is similar to how the Aaton digital camera's proposed workflow would work, although in that case the master is RAW.

To be obsolete, the codec would not need to be general use, which doesn't appear to be the case and with the amount of kit around still being used by various people I suspect it won't be it won't be for a while. Not everyone needs full broadcast spec, although with a Nanoflash you have the option of this spec.

If Sony will upgrade the F3 to match the C300 codec will be another matter, since that's what a number of people were wanting at the time the camera came out. The EX3 never had the full gold standard HD codec for the BBC and other broadcasters, so that situation hasn't really changed, but a lot of people are using it and will continue to do so for a number of years. Broadcasters don't change as quickly as the latest talk on specs on the internet, they make investments which last for a number of years and then gradually change over. Often the pressure is for them to reduce their standards rather than to increase them.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #27
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

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Originally Posted by Don Miller View Post
".......but to be honest, the standard is quite obsolete now and there are much more efficient codecs."

That's really my concern with starting with the EX3 in 2012.
There's a flaw in his reasoning, and it's to do with his equating "much more efficient" with "better".

All that "much more efficient" means in this context is achieving a given quality standard with a lower bitrate. There is undoubtably an upside to that (bitrate and filesize) - but the downside is that it's likely to mean more computing power to encode and decode. Which can mean a more expensive (and likely power hungry) camera processor, and likely more difficult editing. A given NLE may not manage to viably edit such "efficient" native footage - but have no problem with XDCAM EX.

All that said, then it leaves the question of why the EX3 hasn't got the 50Mbs XDCAM codec as native. Is it the end of the world? Probably not, there's little viable alternative, and you can always add an external recorder - you can never put an add-on to a 1/3" camera to give it bigger chips.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #28
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

There are nature film makers who own the Epic. Often I think with other cameras. I feel there isn't an ideal choice, especially for projects that could benefit from the highest quality.
The C300 at this point seems to be a more agreeable field camera than the Scarlet. Most buyers of a $10K+ camera should already know the reach they need.
I have the idea that the C300 can be used in the field without an additional monitor. Perhaps this is not realistic.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #29
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

I would think anything nature means lots of fast tracking etc. Which surely cancels out cmos camera's with rolling shutters. So to me, your only option is a 2/3 CCD camera.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:51 PM   #30
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Re: C300 for wildlife filmmaking?

Perhaps this camera is not good enough in low-light for you (it is not known for capability in that regard), but I use a JVC HM750 for wildlife videography, and a simple adapter ring that allows me to use all the Nikon 35mm film lenses. The body of the camera is ideal to balance the longer lenses in particular, and though it's shoulder-mount ENG, it's only about half the size of a Panasonic or Sony.

The 7x crop-factor creates amazing photography from a distance. I can almost completely fill the frame with the moon just using an 80-200mm zoom.
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