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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
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Old September 21st, 2013, 12:53 PM   #1
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Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone owns these two cameras and how they have successfully matched each one together? Did you match Sony to Canon or vice versa? In your opinion which camera is better? For shooting a wedding?

Thanks in advance.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Hi Alen and welcome to DVinfo.

I use C100 and a 5 year old Sony EX3 - so not a million miles away from the PMW 200 in image quality, slightly noisier from what I've read - and of course maxed out at the 35 Mbps VBR XDCAM EX codec, not the 50 Mbps on the newer PMW 200.

I do corporate. For fast moving run-n-gun, especially in bright outdoor conditions, the EX3 with it's viewfinder arrangement is still a joy to use and "get the money shot". Of course, the PMW 200 is more akin to the EX1s in that you would be looking at a bare LCD, not always easy in the wall to wall brilliant sunshine Glasgow is re-known for (...I jest!)

The C100 is actually fine for run-n-gun (so much better than my 7D!) because of the size, great grip and button layout and excellent WFM, peaking etc. but needs more care with any critical focussing due to shallower DOF/bigger sensor, The LCD on the C100 is adequate rather than it's strong point. The EVF is usable but (as has been well discussed) a weak spot.

But, and here's the thing, the C100 produces cleaner images, more dynamic range (I'm mainly just using WDR for now - as it allows fast turn around), nicer skin tones and.... well, just lovely, lovely shots. I sometimes sit in my edit suite in front of my big monitors and think "wow" - just like I used to in the early days with the EX3. It's also a heck of a lot smaller and lighter and (with the good range of Canon glass I own) allows enormous shot flexibility and creativity, albeit without the excellent flexibility/control the Sony has with frame rates (for both slow motion or time lapse). I really like both cams for different reasons!

I do manage to match them together "reasonably well" - but the more I use the C100 the more I see the slight limitations in the images the EX3 can produce in my edit suite. Both are fine cameras but the EX3 is over 5 years old and technology moves on. We all know the PMW 200 has some very worthwhile incremental image upgrades (I'm actually thinking of replacing my EX3 with a PMW 300 when it eventually dies as I want a better viewfinder arrangement than the 200 offers).

I think it would be a tough call to say which is "better", C100 or PMW 200. It really depends on your style of shooting - a PMW 200 with a servo zoom would be easier to shoot for some, others would favour the C100. C100 is also much lighter on a Steadicam which may be important to you, especially in the wedding arena.

If you look on my website you'll see a 3-minute film about the new Co-op headquarters building in Manchester. That was one of the first films (that is not client confidential) I can show with both EX3 and C100 shots - about 50:50 - and generally the nicer looking shots are from the C100, just in cam, no Ninja 2. Note, the EX3 was used at 1080p and 720p (for slomo in some of the dolly shots). Back then, I was still learning to match the two cams - it was shot very soon after I got my C100 - I can match them a bit better now.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Hi Andy,

Thanks.

Good video, can hardly tell the difference between the two cams, probably need raw footage to do a better comparison. Good job!

DVinfo is a fantastic place for information and knowledgeable experienced hands.

I think itís best if I give you some background, Iíve been filming weddings / events for the past 15 years. I have recently replaced my Sony 150p with the PMW 200, as I was looking for something similar ergonomically. I didnít do enough research as I should of and I think I have bought the wrong camera. The wedding market is going towards film look and the customers that donít even know what this means want to come on board for a slice of the action. Shallow depth of field, cinematic tones, film grade noise, sliders, cranes etc.

I am considered the BMCC 4K (when if ever it comes available, no ND but cheaper than Sony equivalent), Sony FS700, Sony FS100 (no because no built in ND filters) cameras like these might be extremely difficult in run & gun situation as a wedding or event videographer requires. They have potential of 4K going for them future proof myself a little before 8K comes aroundÖ Also on the top of my list is the Canon C100 can use this with the Ninja to get 4:2:2 if I need this therefore no need to go for the C300. To shoot the flowing Steadicam shots going to make a 3 axis gimbal (Movi like) with a Black Magic Cinema pocket camera. Have I missed any cameras?

I have two options sell my PMW 200 and go for a Canon C100 or keep my PMW 200 and buy a Canon C100 plus a Pocket Cinema Camera. If I go for the latter that comes to my question above how do I match each camera- look, feel etc.

To match the look and feel of EX3 and the C100 did you shoot test colours and measure each shot with a colorimeter then created an in camera profile? How did you match?

After Iíve matched the three cameras- BMPCC, C100 (If I buy this), PMW 200 Iíll do some grading to get closer to cinematic look and feel.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Nope. Nothing as scientific as that I'm afraid! Both cameras were simply white balanced and then locked off on that and then I just adjusted colour profiles in post (CS suite) as needed on a shot by shot basis as best as my abilities and time allowed, although I did do some scope work to get the skin tones where I wanted them. Actually, the 3 interviewees were shot with the EX3 not the C100 just because of how it panned out during the very tight filming schedule.

Also, note that the brief for those Co-op films (only one of which is public) was to show the furniture within the stunning architectural environment rather than any shallow depth of field close-up shots. This meant that the C100 was used a lot with my Canon 10-22mm EF-S lens to get extreme wide angle shots with deep DOF and razor sharp images that the client needed.

In fact, I have been using the C100 and EX3 together a lot this year - mostly on high profile client confidential stuff I can't show I'm afraid - and it has been a great combination for me since both can give at least similar looking shots if used in certain ways. Other times I do 2 cam interviews with the EX3 on the wide shot and the C100 with either my Canon 70-200mm F4 IS or Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro IS (both typically on F4 or F5.6) on the much tighter/shallower DOF beauty/head shot and cut between the two as needed. I also have the excellent Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS which is sharp optically, when needed, but a bit plastic fantastic in build quality. Note that IS is very important for any hand held work on the C100 unless you go the support rig route - but I like to keep things simple.

As you know, there is no one perfect cam. The trick is to have several and try to use each to its strengths and that seems to be the way you're heading, albeit it makes this game blummin expensive!

Anyway enough from me. I am sure others will offer advice as to your next steps. Good luck on what you decide and welcome again to DVinfo.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

So if you were in my situation would you sell the PMW 200? Or would you buy a C100 and use the PMW 200 as a B cam with a C100? Taking into account customers who are looking for a cinematic look.

If not, would you take a different approach if you had to start again?
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:18 AM   #6
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Briefly - I have 2x EX1Rs and 1x C100, and I shoot candid and B-roll stuff to cover A-roll stuff on both C100 and EX1R.

If I'm lighting the interview, I can use either EX1R or C100 as main shot - former using CineGama 1-4, latter using WDR (or same minus sharpening in-camera). I'd prefer WDR, but CineGamma is fine. The C100 has the edge.

I really do appreciate the EX1 form factor and lens - there are times, there are locations, there are shoots, when only the little black sausage of joy will do. One little unit that will cope with pretty much any situation you throw at it. But I wouldn't be without my C100 for all the usual reasons - better picture in interiors, better DoF, better in low light, and so on.

Having said that, I'm often cutting the two together. Many of the people I shoot with are EX1 and F3 based. I've compared picture profiles, and HiSat matrix with CineGamma 3 & 4 on the PWM (haven't tried the HyperGammas of the PMW200 yet) works well with WDR - just watch out for sharpening on both cameras. The EX1 especially.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Thanks

Just wondering if you never had your EX1 or EX3 and were starting afresh. What camera would you choose to get the cinematic look? Still a C100 and what other camera? Please don't say an F65, keeping to your budget of say up to £8K per camera and taking into consideration shooting a wedding / event. Where half a day to set up is not an option!
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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

LOL - If I were being paid for a cinematic look above all, in my pay grade, I'd go for the C100 - mainly because I won't get paid for all the in-between work nor all the backup/archive work on a Black Magic camera, but here's the twist...

I'd be looking at the FS700 too. It's still the geek rather than the jock, but hey - it does an awful lot if you can work with its ergonomics. I still prefer the C100 image for skin tones, but if I still owned an FS700 (I rent it in now), I could bring in the 4K back end for the really 'wow' stuff. But... ergonomically it's not the best until you put $2k of bracketry on it, and I'm still not sure about the permanent use of adaptors to mount lenses. But hey, that's just me.

The Cinematic Look is elusive - it's more of an attitude, or a direction to where you're going to obsess. After unclipped highlights with detail, the use of primes and the camera in motion are the two key motivators in my book. You can do that with any camera if you're shrewd and have time to prepare and rehearse. But of course it's more about how you paint with light, how you move the camera, how you frame, how you exploit your glass and your environment... (sigh)

Note in the following examples, I've been using the HiSat matrix on the EX1, which ups the chroma a bit (clients love happy saturated pictures), and I'd wind it down for cinematic stuff!

Now... If I were being paid to deliver sharp, colourful pictures that capture fast moving situations in a vast array of shooting conditions, gimme a PMW200 - or better still, the PMW300 if there's a way of making it fit in an airline friendly carry-on (with that wonderful wide angle lens too) (oh, and if I can add the adaptor to use 2/3" ENG lenses, and have one of those with a doubler, that would be great).

I can afford a PMW200 and a C100. The two together can do great stuff. I've tried working with an EX1 and Canon 550D - that sometimes worked, but quite a lot of times didn't work. EX1 and C100 can work really well, but the EX1 is noisy in comparison to the C100.

I really do like the C100 - it's a one trick pony, but that trick is really good: lovely pictures. But I am about to spend money and take valuable time out of my working life to get that devoted and loveable Labrador of my life - the EX1-R - tuned up and ready for another 5 years of sterling work. It works really well with the C100.
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Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200-c100.085.jpg   Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200-c100.083.jpg  

Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200-c100.084.jpg  
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Old September 25th, 2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

OK - I'll bite again! C100 - for that look you're after.

AND best in class ergonomics to shoot right out of the bag - without lots of expensive add ons, rigs etc. (compared to DSLRs etc., but still not as ergonomic as ENG type cams).
PLUS excellent reliability/rugged build quality.
PLUS ability to add a Ninja 2 - if you ever felt the need (so far I have not).

Some would go the 5DMkIII route, which with Magic lantern is one heck of a good tool for that look, at a slightly lower price point (however the C100 definitely has the edge on video resolution, when needed, plus really great things like wave form monitor etc.).

Others would say go the Blackmagic route (but I would imagine it would be hard work as a run-n-gun cam, especially in any fast moving scenarios where you've GOT to get the shot).

FS700 would be hard work as a run-n-gun cam I would think too.

Damn it, why can't we just have one cam that does EVERYTHING!
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Old September 29th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

What I really need to do is hire a C100 and see if it fits in within my workflow.

Any idea who is selling the C100 the cheapest in the UK, the lowest I've seen it is £4000 with the charger and extra battery offer.

In terms of lens what do you recomend I should have in my kit bag to cover wide, zoom etc. What do you recomend for a fast lens? Prime lens?
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Old September 30th, 2013, 05:16 AM   #11
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

There's two sort of 'starter' lenses offered with the C100 at the moment:

24-105 f4 with IS - good solid lens, useful range for filming people handheld. Yes, there's a bit iris oddness, but don't feel put off by the f4 maximum aperture. The C100 will cope with it.

18-135 f3.5-5.6 IS - hmmm, odd lens. I have one, it's great as a 'Dad-cam' stills lens, offers continual AF with the C100, but not really enough to write home about.

The 17-55 f2.8 IS is a sweet lens if you're mainly doing interior/exterior General Views, but for me, doesn't quite go long enough for people.

Note the common thread - all are IS. You need IS for hand-holding (yes you do).

If you're mainly tripod based in fixed setups (narrative, pack shots, formal interviews) primes win. But you can't hand-hold, and you end up faffing around if things don't quite work out. Tip: I take my 550D with the 18-135 on it (see, it does have a use) and work out what focal length(s) I'll need, then use the closest primes. Most 'lit' interviews look great with a 50mm 1.4 at around 2.0 to 2.8.

HTH...

I usually tote 5 lenses: 24-105, 17-55, 11-16, 70-200 and Fast 50.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 02:08 AM   #12
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Re: Canon C100 & Sony PMW 200

I have the C100 and the EX1, and have shot multicam shoots using a PMW200. I can match them however if you want the 'creamy' DSLR look which honestly is what the wedding looks is, it is much harder to get that on the EX1/PMW200. Some of that is the built-in lenses, some is the Sony sensor, and a lot is the small sensor.

You can use the EX/PMW200 zoomed in to blur the background a bit, but there is something about the sharpness and edges that makes it video-like. That being said, I have made the EX1 look very 'filmic', it's just harder, using proper picture profiles, etc, low sharpness settings. You'll spend a lot of effort making that work for you. Prior to DSLRs I even used a Letus Extreme SLR lens adapter I wanted the film look so much. Wow, that was a pain.

I also have owned the FS100 and still own the FS700. The FS700 does have the ability to get a very filmic look with some Canon and other DSLR lenses, the FS100 does as well, but it's harder. Ergonomically the FS700 is a disaster in a way, when you get it to the point where it is usable for run and gun, it's huge and heavy. I also have a 5DMKIII. It has an excellent filmic look, more so in a way than the C100, but it's a DSLR, with bad Audio, and bad focusing and exposure aids built in. (I don't use Magic Lantern - yet.) My C100 is my 'go to' camcorder when I want high quality and less work. I use all kinds of fixed and zoom lenses on the C100, the 24-105 is probably the most versatile, the 17-55 is one of the best-looking. Currently I'm using a cheaper zoom lens, the 17-135mm which has good IS and a pretty good look. Not as good as the others but more reach.

If you'd like, you can listen to my Podcast, "TechMove" at TechMove is the Podcast all about Digital Filmmaking, Gear, Mac Computers, and iOS Devices from a Unique Perspective! where I talk a lot about these camcorders as well as my workflow and other geeky stuff. Good luck.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 12:33 PM   #13
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Sony PMW 200 & EX3 Diffraction issue

Hi, first time to this forum. Wonder if someone can help me please?

I am about to use a PMW200 for the first time. I have used an EX3 in the past and was blown away by the way it couldn't cope with bright lights on high F Stops. I have also used a Canon 305 a lot for network docs and it had the same issues but it was no where as bad. Obviously I have got used to making sure I don't use an F Stop above F8 on the 305 but I was wondering what is the PMW 200 like for this all too familiar HD Diffraction issue?

If it does have the same issue can anyone recommend which F stop I should try not to go over?

Many thanks

Ken
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