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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 December 25th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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C300 upgrade worth it?

I never really looked into the C300 until a few months ago. It seems to tick pretty much all the boxes for me. I do have a big question of if it's worth the upgrade.

In the UK they are about 10800. I am considering selling most of my exisiting gear to fund it but am I craxy? I am planning to sell my XF300 and 1Dx and my 70-200 f2.8 IS mkII plus put some cash into the deal. In my mind it's a crazy lot of things to sell to get a C300 but it really seems to be what I need.

I plan on producing a series of films of aeroplanes most of which will involve filming in cockpits in flight. The XF300 would be good but it's low light performance is just not really what I am after. If you've ever been in a flightdeck you will know they are pretty dark! The 1Dx just doesn't really have the features I am after like XLR audio inputs and focus peaking. I want to record all audio on camera for various reasons and focus peaking I find very useful.

I would keep my XF100 for it's full-time AF which is useful when filming planes landing and taking off from the side of the runway.

Am I crazy to think about this upgrade?

Andy
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Old December 25th, 2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

It would be sad to part with the 70-200 since it would be so nice with the C300.
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Old December 25th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

I would downgrade to the mkI version I think. I'm not sure the quality difference between mkI and mkII would be so great on video as it is on high res still images. There is about a 500 difference.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Have you also checked out the C100?

Same sensor, same image coming out of HDMI, Atomos Ninja 2 on top should you need a broadcast codec.

And the C100, being a little bit smaller and lighter, is a delight in 'hand held' mode. Especially with the Tokina 11-16 and Canon 17-55 2.8.

Sadly, I forget who originally came up with the quip that the C100 is 'the gateway drug' to C300 ownership, but it rings so true. Barely a week into C100 ownership (absolutely loving it), and I'm thinking about selling on my EX1s to part fund a C300...
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Old December 27th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

I've got an XF300 and a C300 and I'm mainly using the C300 for automotive shows/documentaries I'm producing.

The only time I use the XF300 is when I'm doing a lot of run & gun stuff and I feel more creative when using the C300 and so enjoy using it.

I'd keep the 70-200mm lens though as you'll regret it later.

Plus, you'll need to invest in more lenses if you don't already have them.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #6
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Like Syeed, I initially held on to my XF300 alongside the C300, fearing I would miss the former for run & gun work; however, I now use the latter for both as I actually find the C300 easier to shoot run & gun with given its much more forgiving dynamic range.

I would be tempted to follow Matt's suggestion of a C100 + ninja.

Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; December 28th, 2012 at 06:12 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Its been close to one and half months filming wildlife in India with the C300 and I am absolutely loving this camera. Go for the upgrade and you will be very happy. However, I would suggest that you keep the 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM lens. It works very well handheld due to the IS.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm finding it hard to come up with any reason not to get the C300!

Sadly the used price of the XF300 has slumped to around 2500 over here due to a price cut in the new models about six weeks ago. XF100s are going for about 1700-1800 so given that is only 700 less than the XF300 I'm wondering about selling the XF100 and keeping the XF300 for it's long reach and adding the 700 difference from my spare cash reserves. It just seems the XF300 is much more camera than the XF100 for 700 difference.

About the 70-200. My idea was to downgrade the mkII to a used mkI. The difference over here is about 700-800 and I'm not sure from my testing that the difference between the mkI and mkII lenses is that much when shooting video. It is just noticeable on an 18mp still image zoomed to 100% but video I can't tell the difference on my 1Dx when I compare my mkII to my friends mkI.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #9
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

I believe that one of the key differences between the Mk1 and Mk2 was the Image Stabilisation - the newer one had an improved setting for video and pans - therefore one more reason to keep the Mk2 IMHO. :)
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Old December 29th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #10
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Anyone know if you can buy and use the LCD/XLR module off the C300 on the C100? The tucked away and smaller LCD of the C100 is one of the reasons I had discounted it. Filming in planes it's very useful to have an LCD on the top of the camera so you can glance at it while looking at what is happening during flight. When I tried out a C300 last year at a trade show the nice big top mounted LCD was one of the features I really liked.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #11
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

I think you are asking the wrong question. You could always mount a good external HDMI monitor on a C100. C300 XLR/LCD assembly has 2 leads, one for video and one for audio.

C100 XLR assembly has one shorter lead. C100 body has just a socket for the audio this lead carries. I am told the audio connections on the C100 (plug and socket) are identical to the C300.

So in theory you could use the XLR audio....but someone with both cams would have to test - and what's the point as the LCD would be unusable as there is no home for the video lead.

If you can afford it, go for a C300. If you can't (like me!) buy a C100. Stick a Ninja 2 on it and you'll have some amazing capabilities at a more reasonable price.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #12
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Good points there Andy.

So in terms of actual picture quality how much difference would there be between a C100 + Ninja 2 and a C300? One advantage of the Ninja 2 is that I could also hook it up to whichever of my XF cameras I keep and be able to record loads of data without having to worry about CF cards.

Another plus of the C100 is the auto Iris and Auto AF functions. As we all know manual is the way to go but when shooting things like I am in planes then the ability to set things fast if needed can be very useful.
Having said that I can usually manually focus faster and more accurately than the AF on the XF300, especially in low light when it hunts quite a bit.

So the C100 + Ninja 2 would be a shade over 5000 and a C300 10400 which is quite a difference and makes the C100 much more in my budget range. However I do have a slight worry that I might get the C100 then quickly wish I had got the C300 and end up selling the C100 and losing a lot of money if you see what I mean.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #13
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Somebody quipped that the C100 was the gateway drug to C300 ownership - I would agree, I have been fantasising about selling off my kit to fund such a purchase.

C100 + Ninja2 is pretty much = C300, and I think that's the point. You don't get 720p50, you don't get the intervalometer, you don't get a couple of other things, and THAT REMAINS the point: the C100 is a cut down version of the C300, not a cut BACK version. The image quality is the same, it's just the 'features' we're missing. And for that, I applaud Canon. I fully understood what I was missing out on with the C100, and that negative price is one I am willing to pay to enjoy the benefits it provides.

In some respects, the C100 is destined for certain features that may take time to reach the C300 - continuous AF being one of them. No self respecting pro would want to admit to using Continuous AF, untill they need to capture a raging crowd using a monopod to waft a camera overhead.

I've bought a C100 and it will sit with my FS100 and EX1s - however, I could liquidate those to fund a C300. However, I do feel that... in my limited niche of an industry... I could live with an FS700 and an C100 over a C300 and C100. I don't need the broadcast codec for my work (the difference between Broadcast and AVCHD is minimal over 3-4 generations and is solved in Greenscreen/Action with a Ninja or similar).
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Old December 30th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Matt you've hit the nail on the head really. The C100 is at the right price point but the C300 is more of a "do everything in one" camera.In my mind I see the C300 as the kind of camera I coudl buy and not really have to upgrade for a good many years. I think buying the C100 might be just an easy way of plugging the gap until I could get a C300 which will always cost me money in the long run due to buying new and selling used depreciation. I want the C300 if I'm honest it's just finding the extra cash is proving difficult. I had the impression that my XF300 was worth at least 3500 as that is what I was offered six months ago. Now the new ones have had a price cut it seems the used ones are more like 2500. That's a big chunk of my budget gone.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #15
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Re: C300 upgrade worth it?

Andy, in a way I looked at it differently - regarding longevity.

I did not believe that any cam I bought right now would last a good many years unless I really went top end, semi-future proof 4K (Sony F55 area) and that would be totally overkill since 90% of what I do is for web - not to mention you cannot yet buy one even if I did have the funds for a F55!

Camera technology is changing so fast that (for me) the 4K to 5K area was the sweet spot, 10K was too much to sink into one camera body. Having said that I think the C300 will have a longer shelf life than most comparative cams.

Essential features for me were; true 1080p resolution, superb image rendition from the excellent sensor design approach used on these cams, rugged build quality, excellent ergonomics, best in class low light performance, uncompressed 4:2:2 out (should I ever need it) and ability to use the Canon glass I already own. The small, relatively light form factor was a bonus as was the Wide DR.

In my line of corporate work I end up doing a lot of run and gun in dim, dusty or wet industrial/factory environments, it's not all carefully set up talking head CEO stuff in pristine offices or hi-tech labs, even around Cambridge. Maximum flexibility is needed as sometimes I have to shoot in very tight spaces too, including in old aircraft, trains or modern luxury cars etc. now and again.

The C100 ticks the right boxes for my needs. Sure, I would love a C300 but, until the much talked about firmware update comes out, it cannot do some run and gun things as elegantly as the C100. It seems Canon took some of the feedback from C300 owners when designing the C100. Pity they stuffed up the EVF though!

One other thing. Nigel Barker in Norfolk was selling his nearly new C300 in the classifieds on here (not sure if its still listed but please check) so that might give you something to think about. I've seen/handled his C300 and it is exactly as he describes it.

Edit: Just checked and Nigel's C300 is still listed. It was posted mid-Dec.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; December 30th, 2012 at 02:29 PM.
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