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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 January 22nd, 2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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C300 or C100 best for me?

I'm really having a hard time deciding if I need a C100 + Ninja 2 or a C300 for some upcoming work.

I film in aircraft and my XF300 just doesn't cut it in the low light of the flightdeck.

The C100 seems to have a few features that are better than the C300 for this type of work mainly the push AF and push Isis buttons, the Auto White Balance and the ISO control on the body rather than in the menu system. I wouldn't use these features all of the time but I could see that they might be very useful when there is a lot of action happening and you don't have time to set everything up.

The C300 doesn't require the Ninja which could be another thing to get in the way and have to set up. I like it's slightly larger form factor more when I tried one a year ago. I also like the fact that there is the small display on the back for audio levels and the fact that it shoots CF cards not SD as I have quite a few CF cards.

In the UK I could get a package that has a C100 + Ninja 2 for about 5300 but the C300 on it's own is 10,400 minimum price. So there is quite a big difference.
I don't know which to buy because on one hand I don't want to get the C300 and find I don't need it's extra features over the C100 but on the other hand I don't want to get a C100 and wish I had spent a bit more on the C300. So hard to decide!

Can anyone give me any guidance on how best to use my money on getting the right equipment?

Thanks in advance,

Andy

Last edited by Andy Solaini; January 22nd, 2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

In a similar quandary , decided to go for the c100 plus ninja. I like the screen on the back,of the LCD on the c100 instead of the handle mount LCD on the c300

The c100 is half the price of the c300 , but it's certainly not half the camera.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

I've been shooting with both cameras recently.

The C300 is our A cam for a documentary about barge workers on the Mississippi river (BARGE), and it has been a real treat to work with. The image so impressed me that, in accordance with more of a bootstrap budget, I chose the C100/Ninja 2 as the A cam for another documentary (The Show Must Go On | A film about high school drama.).

Yesterday was actually the first opportunity I've had to put the C100 and myself through a full (very full) production day, shooting mostly handheld with with the Ninja strapped to the top. I don't have the Ninja attached in a way that I'm fully satisfied with yet, but all things considered I found this setup to be quite user friendly. The often-complained-about EVF was perfectly usable with a few adjustments in the menu and a $7 eye cushion. The workflow, thanks to the Ninja, was a snap - my director downloaded all the high-bitrate, Avid friendly footage before we made it home from location.

Obviously the camera has some flaws, but all told I found the C100/Ninja equally easy to use as the C300. SD cards are relatively cheap, and straight out of the camera the internally recorded video looks identical to the stuff recorded on the Ninja. Depending on your exact needs, I'd find it hard to justify the extra cost of the C300.

If the budget is really tight though, I'd find the C100 hard to justify, what with all those FS-100/Ninja/Speedboosters right over there.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Hi andrew , would you be able to post any pics of your set up / rig with the c100? Do you have a link to the eye cushion you mentioned?

Cheers

James
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Hi James. Sure, I posted a photo of the setup in post number 8 of this thread: C100: With Rode NTG3 & WS7 Plus Canon 10-22mm Lens

I'm trying to configure the Ninja so that it's balanced and out of the way. This setup is working along those lines, but I'd rather have one connector between the handle and the Ninja (instead of three: coldshoe, ball head, and the piece that connects them), even though this is plenty solid for run and gun. My setup also has the Ninja up higher than I'd like. I'm thinking a short articulating arm interfacing directly between the handle and the mounting hole the top of the Ninja will do the trick.

The eye cushion can be found here:
Blue Star Extra Small Round Eye Cushion (Microfiber - Red) 20102

I'll continue to look for a better solution, but I liked this cushion enough that I ordered a backup right away. Blocks out all the light, and it's comfortable enough to jam into your eyeball!
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Old January 28th, 2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Cheers andrew.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 12:19 AM   #7
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

I chose the C300 for a few reasons.

Codec. I also have an AF-100 that shoots AVCHD and I wanted 4:2:2. Mainly for grading. The Canon MXF is solid and edits very easily. I'm not a fan of external recorders. Less stuff I have to attach to the camera the better off I am. I also need room for a Lectrosonics wireless. Not the smallest receiver out their.

Viewfinder and LCD are overall better and the placement of the LCD is more versatile.
SDI and HDMI out instead of only HDMI.

I work in broadcast so having genlock and timecode out is a plus.

Overcranking even if only at 720P. I need this.

These are the big ones. I like the C100 a lot as well but the C300 just fit what I do better. That's the real question to ask yourself.

I do wish the C300 had push to focus. I cant figure that one out.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

I'd say if it comes down to shooting with C100 with the Ninja all the time versus the naked C300, I'd go with the C300. Having another piece of equipment with it's own battery hanging of the camera is not ideal. It partially eliminates the advantage of the C100, which is to be light and quick.

However, if you can live with the AVCHD (which to my eye looks quite good and adequate for my work), I'd go for the C100. It's lighter - that extra pound or two makes a big difference. My arms definitely feel it after shooting a whole day with the C300. The controls and features on the C100 are better for run and gun. I remain hopeful that these features will show up on the C300 with a firmware update.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

When it comes to AVCHD vs MXF how much difference are we talking? My main output at this point would be either web (ie youtube/vimeo) or HD and BlueRay DVD to sell direct to public. For those uses how much difference is there likely to be between the two codecs?

I have used MXF in my XF camcorders and h.264 in my 1Dx but other than that I don't have much experience of other codecs.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

To the naked eye not much. But if you do any green screen or grading then the 4:2:2 will help a lot.
You get uncompressed 4:2:2 8bit out of the HDMI so for those special shoots an external recorder would be great to use with the C100. I graded the AVCHD C100 Canon log footage and it did well. I was surprised that Canon added log with the C100. That's a nice feature if you like to grade.

These two spots were shot with the C100 in Canon log AVCHD. I did push it hard and for a couple of shots I wish I had a little more to work with but then I created the problem when I shot it.

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Old January 31st, 2013, 04:23 AM   #11
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Naso View Post
I do wish the C300 had push to focus. I cant figure that one out.
It doesnt have expanded focus? that seems crazy, does the C100?
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Old January 31st, 2013, 06:49 AM   #12
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

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It doesnt have expanded focus? that seems crazy, does the C100?
I wasn't aware the C300 doesn't have expanded focus. The C100 does, though it's not like the Canon DSLRs where you get multiple levels of expanded focus (nor can you move the area it expands either). I typical use it in conjunction with peaking, and haven't had any issues.

I use a C100 with a Ninja, and frankly I feel like the Ninja is light enough to not add much weight, while at the same time being an external monitor to boot! (not the best external monitor, but it's totally functional).

I just don't feel the price difference is worth it to get MPEG-2 50Mbps 4:2:2 when I can get ProRes HQ 4:2:2 for just $1k more with a bid of added weight.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 07:43 AM   #13
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

C100 does have it. I'm stunned that the C300 wouldn't. It's what I hated about the AF100. Other than the sensor size, maybe the most important feature for what I do.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Sorry guys misunderstanding. The C300 doesn't have auto focus of any kind. "Push to focus" is what the C100 has (auto focus) The C300 does have magnification like the C100.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 08:21 PM   #15
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Re: C300 or C100 best for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Solaini View Post
When it comes to AVCHD vs MXF how much difference are we talking? My main output at this point would be either web (ie youtube/vimeo) or HD and BlueRay DVD to sell direct to public. For those uses how much difference is there likely to be between the two codecs?

I have used MXF in my XF camcorders and h.264 in my 1Dx but other than that I don't have much experience of other codecs.
Sounds like the C100 is a great camera for you :D
The image is really good. If you dont need 4:2:2 (green screen and heavy post) then you cant go wrong with C100. I do wish the C100 had the same features the AF-100 has. 60fps, SDI, but the image is sooooooooo good. One thing I dont like about AVCHD is how the format gives every formatted card the same name. Like 000001. This is a pain when you have multiple cards in a project and for whatever reason they go offline (Premiere Pro editing native) Makes relinking a pain.
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