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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


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Old February 23rd, 2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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F3 and C300 side by side

I've taken a look at the C300 and F3 side by side. Very, very close in most respects. Colorimetry is quite different, but dynamic range and even the cinegammas are very similar. Interestingly the C300 has a bigger sensor than the F3. Full results along with frame grabs and clips to download are on my web site. Canon C300 and Sony F3 footage to download. | XDCAM-USER.COM
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 06:48 PM   #2
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Very interesting results, Alister. I look forward to reading and seeing more from you on this. Comparing these two cameras is very high on my list of priorities at the moment, so it's good to see what you are up to with this.

I'd love to see some skin tones in your next set of tests, with expected amounts of over- and under-exposure to see how the two sensors render these.

Slightly off-topic but: I collected a series of Tokinas for my DSLR setup and the last to come was a 28-70, which many have raved about. It does appear to be one of the "good ones", aka Anegenieux design, not the later cheaper versions. However, I have found it softer and lower contrast than my 28-80 or 80-200 Tokinas. Was planning on selling it. Thoughts?
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Old February 24th, 2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Re Tokina's. There are better lenses optically than the original Angenieux design AT-X-Pros. But, and for me this is a big one, the ergonomics of the older AT-X's are really good for video. The fact that it does not telescope when you zoom is a massive boon when using a matte box or follow focus. You have accurate iris and focus markings and it's built like a tank. At f2.6 the lens is not at it's best, but at f4 it improves dramatically and is very, very close to modern lenses.

I will try to get some skin tone shots over the weekend.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #4
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Colorimetry is quite different...| XDCAM-USER.COM[/url]
Yes, very. Actually if I'm not mistaking the F3 colorimetry reminds of the Canons 7D and 5D colorimetry. While the C300 doesn't.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #5
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Nice comparison, thanks.

Do i see quite a bit of moire on the C300 though, the bricks of the house to the right (just to the left of the lamppost)? Is that over sharpening or would that still be there with no detail/sharpening i wonder. How does it look in movement?

There's a lot of CA on those lenses at the edges. I've been looking at all sorts of 24-70 ranges yet not really found an ideal options. I would say that the Zeiss Contax zooms are good all rounders, but not f2.8. Always open to other opinions about decent handling fast-ish zooms

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Old February 24th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Yes it is moire on the brickwork. Been able to repeat it again on another fine saturated pattern. It's no worse than the F3. It does move as the camera moves, but it's right at the limit of the 1920x1080 system so you need a really good monitor to see it. Not a big issue I don't think.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #7
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

Very interesting, and I find your conclusion especially so - "The C300 will be a great grab and go camera, a very capable drama and documentary camera, but the F3 will still be my choice when I am doing high end drama or studio work. Iím fortunate enough to be able to afford both". I doubt many people will disagree with that. (It'll be interesting to see what people not able to choose both most go for! :-) My suspicion would be the C300, but we'll see.)

It's worth commenting on what you find about sensor size. The general feeling seems to be that it is only a matter of time before the C300 sensor makes an appearance in a 4k camera, not directly read as in the C300. Most likely would then be making fuller use of the available photosites, probably 4096 horizontally, rather than 3840.

The implications then are even wider coverage, and it also makes me wonder about lens implications? I had suspected you'd find the opposite, the C300 windowing to a little smaller than s35, the s35 size being that of a 4096x2304 window. But if the 3840x2160 window is s35, will common available lenses be able to cover the 4k window?
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Old February 26th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

If you have to choose between the C300 and the F3 it will be tough and I would strongly urge anyone in that situation to rent both and try them. They are quite different. I love the C300 stripped down without the LCD and it's cables. Just body only plus an EF lens and it's great. But I don't like the almost afterthought LCD and handle arrangement. I much prefer the F3's flip out LCD. The C300 starts to become a mess of cables when you add the LCD unit and then connect your mics to that. I also miss having dedicated switches for the shutter, gain and white balance on the C300. Plus the iris wheel is at the back of the camera, so it's going to be really hard to use it on any kind of balanced shoulder mount. Yes you can assign buttons for the shutter and gain, but I like to glance at the side of my F3 and see where the switches are.

I do think that the C300 will be incredibly popular and it's a great camera, but then so is the F3. If I could only have one????? It's almost a case of tossing a coin in the air and seeing which way it falls, but on balance I would probably end up with an F3 as I can ultimately take the F3 image further than the C300. IMHO the F3 is more expandable and adaptable. But if you don't want to expand and adapt then maybe the C300 is the better choice, especially if you already own a lot of Canon glass. If all you want is broadcast spec s35 shooting with DSLR lenses then the C300 is the obvious choice. Why spend more on external recorders and PL mount glass when you don't need to. But if your working on commercials or features, then the F3 can be taken that bit further and you can choose between PL and DSLR lenses (although I do hear of a PL adapter for the EF C300 in the pipelines).
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: F3 and C300 side by side

I compared moire on the C300 to the F3 the other day briefly by looking at the screen of my Macbook Pro. Shoot lots of screens out here in Silicon Valley. I was quite surprised to see much more moire on the Canon. Kind of shocked me as the F3 was already worse than my Ex-1.

Colorimetry out of the box was quite pleasing though and I preferred it to the F3 out of the box but its not that important as I don't use the default look on the F3 anyway. I liked the usability of canon Log.
I'll get to use one Friday and am looking forward to it.
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