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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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C100: Great Images - Impressive Audio Too?

Nice sunny afternoon here in England and I finally found an hour to take a break from editing a corporate film. So I took my new C100 walkabout around town with a Canon 70-200mm F4 IS on (as its such a sharp lens) to get some long shots/see what this baby can do and especially to see how much usable audio I could get with just the C100, it's top handle and grip.

To my surprise I found that I could use the EVF for focussing too (with peaking 2 on/using magnify). Generally the ergonomics for run and gun are superb - but I already knew that - so much better than my 7D and getting close to the usability of my EX3.

Just had a quick look at the clips and as well as truly stunningly sharp, stable and usable images (which I was fully expecting) I'm amazed at just how good the audio is from the handle's in-built stereo mics. They picked up remarkably little of the IS noise from this lens (the noisiest one I have). Sure, in a very quiet room I know they will pick up the IS noise but outside it was no problem. At one point I got a bit of wind noise with the breeze, but otherwise pretty damn good.

I've read somewhere that the audio pre-amps in the C100 are remarkably good too, very clean when using external XLR mics - but I stress that I've yet to confirm that myself.

Anyone got any comments specifically about C100 audio to share?
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; December 9th, 2012 at 02:37 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

This is great news - I'm on the cusp of moving from FS100 to C100 due to ergonomics, C-Log, EOS lenses, timelapse and on and on... but your Audio report is even more of a boon.

I need to do this test again with the C100:


Whilst not as bad as the EX1 mic pre-amps, the FS100's were acceptable but not up to your sound guy's SQN or 702 - of course it shouldn't be at its price point, but a lot of us are One Man Bands shoving a lav on someone's lapel as there's nobody to point a 416 (with its nice hot output) at the interviewee's orifice and therefore we ask a lot of the internal mic pre-amps.

Glad you like the 70-200 IS. It's looking like the ultimate R&G/Event glass cabinet is Tokina 11-16, 17-55 2.8 IS, 24-105 f4 IS and now the 70-200 IS (with the 50mm 1.4 of choice to hand too).
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

I recorded some audio with my sennheiser wireless and a tram TR50 yesterday to check things out. I am no audio pro...but I heard very little noise. Sounded great. One question I have is if there might be some way to use a mixer (sound devices?) bypass the handle audio and go right into the connection on the camera. I think in theory this would work? Someone would have to make the cable. I tried searching to see if anyone had done this with a c300 but didn't see anything. I'm just assuming that audio would be even better with a good mixer and would keep away camera movement during interviews, etc. one other question...does the handle on your c100's wobble a bit side to side? Mine does...annoys me a bit.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Very slight wobble on my top handle too with the locking knob done up tight. This is my second C100 - the first one had no wobble at all. Only about a mm at most and not what I would call loose. I think I have a simple non-destructive idea that might eliminate this wobble - but need to try it out first.

The first C100 that I had suffered from a very stiff/often difficult and non responsive joystick by comparison to this one. That one would often fail to recognise upward selections unless pressed really hard.

Funny thing is that I rejected that one for another reason (stuck sensor pixel) and thought it was just me needing to get used to the joystick as an aside! However, since this one has a lovely, so easy to use joystick, I now realise that the other one was inferior by comparison.

I can live with a slight handle wobble, not with a permanently stuck pixel! The lovely joystick is an unexpected bonus!

Regarding stuck pixels, in case anyone thinks they might have one, read the manual section about doing an Automatic Black Balance (ABB in the menu) as that may well cure them. If not, talk to your dealer and it might have to go back to Canon.

Back on C100 audio, I just want to stress that I have not had time yet to really evaluate how good the handle mics are - I would be surprised if built in mics on any camera were good enough for serious use. However, my first impressions are that the handle mics are much better than I imagined they would be!

Regarding how clean the C100s pre-amps are, if Matt could do one of his excellent tests, like the above that would be great...

Until we know more about the C100s audio performance I have slightly revised this threads title. EDIT: I now see the title change does not seem to have "stuck", ah well, I tried!
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; December 9th, 2012 at 02:38 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:32 AM   #5
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Andy T
It is still a bit early on Sunday morning so I may have misunderstood your posting.
Wouldn't it be easier to plug the mixer into one of the xlr sockets on the handle? This will give you a line feed into the camera.
BTW my handle wobbles too!
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:59 AM   #6
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Davis View Post

Glad you like the 70-200 IS. It's looking like the ultimate R&G/Event glass cabinet is Tokina 11-16, 17-55 2.8 IS, 24-105 f4 IS and now the 70-200 IS (with the 50mm 1.4 of choice to hand too).
That's a good bag load of lenses.

I would also really recommend the very new Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS lens.

I have read that that a continuous focus function will be added to the C100 next year and this is one of the lenses that this will work with.

It is a very sharp lens with a useful focal range for working in a documentary style situation.

And with the C100s one button ability to adjust the iris this lens could be a very useful addition.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Has anyone tried the EF-S 18-135mm mentioned by Mark? Great range (27-200mm, 35mm equivalent no?). Just the lack of fixed aperature.

Wondering how it stacks up to 17-55 f2.8 and 24-105 f4 in terms of sharpness, build quality, etc

Saving up for the C100, but I'll have to invest in glass, as I only have an old EF 50mm. Other lenses are m4/3 (shame as I really like the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8).

If you guys could only have one lens for doc/news feature work (muchof which is handheld), which would it be?
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Not tried the 18-135mm, but 'lack of fixed aperture' not necessarily an issue if you can work at the restricted aperture and beyond. As I'm adding a C100 to my NEX-FS100, which has a similar lens (18-200 f3.5-6.3), I did a test whereby I compared similar shot compositions from an EX1 and the FS100, and at f8 (!!), the big sensor camera had slightly larger bokeh than the EX (half inch chip) at f2.8, so smaller apertures aren't something to be scared of.


One lens? Tricky - I'll vote for the 24-105 even though I haven't got it yet. I've been using the 17-55 f2.8 as a standard lens, but about to get the 24-105 f4 IS - it's that extra reach and IS which tipped me over the 28-70 2.8 - I'll trade a stop for the longer reach and IS on something like a C100, just so long as I've got the 17-55 to fall back on.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #9
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

OK since were on lenses still, not audio,..I agree with Matt. IS is a must have feature for the way I typically work (for all but wide angles) with lots of hand-held shots.

I think I've got most bases covered with my Canon 10-22mm EF-S, Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS EF-S, Canon 70-200mm F4 IS L (which I much prefer over the original F2.8 version as I find that far too heavy for extended handheld use - it's razor sharp too), Canon 100mm Macro F2.8 HIS L (lovely images!), Canon 1.4x Extender and a load of old fast Olympus OM-Zuiko glass of moderate quality from about 20 years ago (which I can use via cheap adapters). Been using these lenses the last 2 years on my 7D and love them.

If I buy another lens it might be the Canon 24-105mm F4 IS L - but there is no rush for that as I've overlapped coverage already, it would just be for the L build quality. More likely I'll see what the new STM IS lens is like when I eventually get a chance to try one out at a Canon event.

Right now, if I could have only one lens for the C100 for hand-held/docu work, it would definitely have to be the Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS. The IS on mine is very quiet and effective too. Images are excellent, very sharp. The build quality is so so, adequate, but only just. Range is terrifically useful, just occasionally I'd like longer reach. Others would favour the 24-105, but then there will be times in small rooms where you can't go wide enough - of course!
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Old December 9th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Sounds like its down to the 17-55 2.8 IS or the 24-105 f4 ... or possibly the new 18-135 (though reviews with the C100 or C300 look few and far between). How to decide ....

I find I often shoot wide with my GH2 (say around 30mm - 35mm equivalent).
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
Andy T
It is still a bit early on Sunday morning so I may have misunderstood your posting.
Wouldn't it be easier to plug the mixer into one of the xlr sockets on the handle? This will give you a line feed into the camera.
BTW my handle wobbles too!

Your point is a good one...I was just thinking outloud about eliminating the handle. Not sure if what I was thinking about is even possible.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #12
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

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Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
I think I have a simple non-destructive idea that might eliminate this wobble - but need to try it out first.

Interested to hear more about this :)
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

I could be wrong on this (in fact, it's highly likely), but I believe the Stereo Minijack audio input on the C100 body basically gives you the same audio as the mic jack on a 5D Mark III. I've got a Sound Devices MixPre-D, and I can feed a mic-level signal via the TA3 connector to the C100. That would allow level control on the mixer, while being able to feed XLR mics into the mixer.

I'm not saying I'd do this, because generally when I'm in a scenario to use a mixer, I'd have no issue bringing the handle, but I'm pretty sure one could do this.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #14
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

Hi Andy T. Regarding that Handle play I had 2 immediate ideas.

One is to put 2 narrow strips of tape on the underside of the C100 Handle's "foot" (either side of where the thumb screw hole comes through) and see if that reduced clearances enough to take out any tendency to move slightly. It's a bit like what I did on this thread (see post 87 on this link - which should take you direct to page 6). That was on my little TM900s shoe attachment, which in that case removed an annoying rattle - the last thing you need with an attachment designed to hold a microphone!!!

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...-thread-6.html

However, my engineering background tells me that this tape idea probably won't work with this C100 thing as the force is a torsional (twisting) force. So the other idea I had was to use one or two strips of black modeller's 'Plasticard micro strips' and lightly superglue them in one or both sides of the C100s shoe, i.e. inside the folded over metal lugs, the bits that stop the Handle from lifting up.

That would effectively narrow the slot width by a tiny amount when the shoe is slid in and so reduce any torsional play. If that worked then I might replace them with metal strip or wire as a more robust solution.

In plain English, it's as if the shoe on the C100's top is slightly too wide (or the foot on the bottom of the C100's Handle is slightly too narrow).

I'd need to check that other things I have with shoes on fit OK into the C100 top shoe first. I know some items I have from various manufacturers have varying shoe width dimensions (sometimes by more than a mm!). I've had to file down some "feet" before!

In truth, this very slight play does not bother me as I know it's on very secure regardless. As long as it does not loosen and develop into rattle over time it's TOTALLY a non-issue - so I suspect I'll just leave it as it is, especially since I'm up to my neck with editing deadlines right now. Everyone want's their films before Xmas!
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Old December 10th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #15
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Re: C100: Impressive Audio!

On a semi-unrelated note, I got to play with the c100 and c300 last week, and my biggest qualm on the 100 is that the EVF sucks... I found it hard to compose with, nevermind judge focus. Seems a SmallHD or similar would be required on it.
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