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Old November 5th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #1
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Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

I spent a month over the summer running around filming a doc with a Sony NEX-FS700 (mostly handheld); and let's just say it made my chiropractor quite a bit richer!

I had initially resisted switching to the C100 due to the price to features ratio, but after being a long-time Sony user I jumped to the Canon C100 for the ergonomics and I haven't really regretted it, especially with the wide-DR picture and c-log picture profiles. I'm using it with my Atomos Samurai Blade connected via an Atomos Connect H2S cause I need a broadcast quality codec most of the time.

However three things I find a little annoying Ė 1. *having* to rig up the recorder every time I shoot. 2. Carrying and managing an extra set of batteries Ė especially in my hand luggage (plus charger, cables, etc.). 3. The piddly little EVF on the C100!

I'm now considering upgrading to a C300... to those who've used both what are your observations? Is the viewfinder in the C300 usable compared to the C100? And is the C300 noticeably larger in use? I love how compact the C100 is, especially after using the FS700 hand-held!

Thanks for any insights. :-)
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Old November 5th, 2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Alex-
Yes, the viewfinder is much better on the C300 and yes with the C300, the internal codec is broadcast approved and no need for the external recorder and the accessories that go with it. Also, the C300 is still the hottest rental camera here in town and the rental price ($450-500 per day) has been holding 1 3/4 yrs since they became available. If you can make it work financially ($13999.00USD, then go for it...and Canon has a lot of rebates going for the camera and both EF & Cine lenses....and there is 0% financing available for companies.

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Old November 7th, 2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Alex,
The C300 viewfinder is pretty good. You can steal shots using the C300 without the LCD and microphone attached. :) In fact we are planning for a feature where some of the shots need to be shot stealthily like that.

Jim,
The rental price you mentioned in your market is with or without kit?
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Old November 7th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

just the body.......

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Old November 7th, 2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Egad, I bought my C100 last November, and by the second week of December, I was going to auction off all my other kit to buy a C300.

I didn't, and I am glad.

1) You need an all-in-one 'Little Black Sausage of Joy' camera like an EX1 or maybe a 305 to handle those occasions when you're never quite sure what's happening next. 50% of my work in the last two years has been shot on the EX1, despite owning either an FS100/700 or a C100. Your mileage will, I assure you, vary wildly. But you NEVER want to be missing a shot because you were changing lenses.

2) C300 is not a panacea. It still does not do timelapse properly, it is just a 720/60 or 720/50 camera, and is just a little too bulky and paunchy to travel well via air.

3) There is no way - NO way - you're going to 'steal a shot' with a C300. It screams 'I am a Pro' - which is a good thing in some circumstances, but a C100? 'Yes, this is a medium format camera' - sure. I'm not really shooting video, am I? Put the handle on, add a matte box and some rails, and I'll shoot the CEO who will feel it's a proper shoot. Sigh.

If you're a broadcast shooter (as in, you need to fulfill technical standards on most of your shoots), get a C300 and stop worrying. If you're mostly corporate, need to keep a low profile on most of your GV shots, nobody giving a hoot on your main shots, get a C100. The camera was invented for us.

But - hey, Canon: thanks for the AF upgrade in 2014, but we need timelapse - proper timelapse with slow shutter. We also need slomo. Not 50/60i slomo, proper slomo. Sony did it.

But let's move on. LOL
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Old November 8th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #6
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Hi Alex,

The C300, as I'm sure you are aware, whilst not as small as the C100, can be configured in a number of different ways. It is possible to fit the LCD display unit directly on top of the camera, without the extension handle. It also has a very good viewfinder, so with a small active mic attached to the camera it's possible to operate directly off the camera body. It is possible to use the camera without the handgrip and still have full control of the camera functions through the controls on the back of the camera.

The LCD, Viewfinder and 422 broadcast file structure were inherited directly from the XF305 / 300 camera and are, HD, very clear and easy to use. I myself moved to the C300 from the XF305, I've still got it for those situations that Matt Davis talks about, where you just don't have time to change lenses but I hardly ever use it as the picture quality of the C300 is so creamy and rich. The XF305 produces very detailed HD but just doesn't have that 'je ne sais pas' quality that the Cinema Eos CMOS sensor provides.

I think the C100 is a fabulous camera but canít understand why Canon hobbled it with a low quality LCD and Viewfinder. I guess itís all to do with product differentiation but I feel it is a very shortsighted business philosophy when the technology already exists in units within the same price bracket.

Being able to adjust the position of the LCD on the monitor unit is a huge bonus for me, again an attribute inherited from the XF305 where the LCD can be moved to either side of the camera. This can be particularly useful when filming within vehicles or in very tight situations.

If you need the broadcast file structure, donít like the EVF and Viewfinder on the C100 and get frustrated by having additional kit to transport, rig and power, than the C300 would seem a natural progression.
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Old November 8th, 2013, 02:04 AM   #7
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Hi Alex, I have my C300 up for sale if you are interested. Purchased May 2012.

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Old November 10th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

[QUOTE=Matt Davis;1819775]
But - hey, Canon: thanks for the AF upgrade in 2014, but we need timelapse - proper timelapse with slow shutter. We also need slomo. Not 50/60i slomo, proper slomo. Sony did it.

What do you mean? I do timelapses all the time with my slow shutter engaged and they're beautiful. you just have to go to the extra step and set the slow shutter in addition to the 'special record'. It's as good as anything I've shot with a Sony. Speaking of which, I just don't even pick up my Sony any more since picking up the C300. Yeah, it can be challenging managing lenses and making sure you don't get caught with your thumb up your... well, you know. I solve that by wearing my 'geek vest' with the most used lenses in it while I go mobile. Everything I need is right on hand. imho, (and all of my clients so far) it's well worth the trade off for the superlative image the C300 produces. The one thing I'll concede is the slomo aspect. if you want that, get the FS700. personally, I've never looked back and am even considering a second one. The ergonomics are wonderful for those of us who also do a lot of still photography (especially with Canons)... a few annoying things I'd like to see changed, but overall nothing that's enough to make me consider another camera just yet. (maybe when the Amira comes out....)
btw, I have a roller bag which fits in 'most' planes as carry on (forget commuter planes) which contains my C300, VF, 5 batteries, Lectro wireless transmitter/receiver (plus 3 batteries for the receiver) shotgun w/ dead cat, a multitude of media, filters, cables, and 9 lenses which completely cover focal lengths from 8mm to 400mm. oh, yeah, and I can fit a 17" MBP in a sleeve on the front.

Having just posted that.... I now realize you are referring to the C100 with the slow shutter missing? Sorry.... I didn't get that (blame the gin and tonic!) right away. Not having a C100, I didn't know that wasn't included as it is on the C300. Pity that, it works wonderfully on the 300....
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Last edited by Derek Reich; November 10th, 2013 at 06:54 PM. Reason: update something
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Old November 10th, 2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

[quote=Derek Reich;1820155]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Davis View Post
What do you mean? I do timelapses all the time with my slow shutter engaged and they're beautiful. you just have to go to the extra step and set the slow shutter in addition to the 'special record'. It's as good as anything I've shot with a Sony.
To be clear, yes the C100 doesn't have the option of a time-lapse mode so you have to shoot real-time with slow shutter and 'fix it in post', but then again, the C300 records 2 frames per image, rather than 1 frame, so requiring a 'doubling' in post if you're going for the full-on EX1/3 timelapse mode.

Not that the Sony method is infallible (there's a mismatch of timing using the accumulation shutter (16, 32, 64 frames) and taking 1 frame per 1, 2, 4 seconds, etc. - But hey, it works 'straight out of the box' and doesn't require post work. LOL

Looking forward to a G&T myself.... ;-)
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Old November 11th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

There is an option for 1 frame per second on the C300. I use it often.... and my results seem the same to me as an EX time lapse. Are you saying it's actually recording 2 frames per second (or whatever the interval is set for) instead of 1 when set this way? Why would it be designed to do that?
All of my content is handed off to editors.... so I can't speak with experience about any post effort needed to use the time lapse straight out of the camera, but I've never once had an editor mention anything to me. It plays and looks perfect to my eyes in the camera and on my computer following download, as well as in the broadcasts.

addendum: after reading your post, I did a little research (I know, tail wagging the dog) but I found my answer. I shoot NTSC, and you are PAL. Why on earth Canon does not offer the 1 frame interval recording for you guys is beyond me, but there it is. Must be some difficulty with the PAL frame rate to make that happen? Weird, and yes, I can see now how annoying that would be! (time for another G&T!)
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Last edited by Derek Reich; November 11th, 2013 at 09:52 AM. Reason: addition
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Old November 11th, 2013, 10:04 AM   #11
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Reich View Post
Weird, and yes, I can see now how annoying that would be! (time for another G&T!)
+1 - cheers!

Thank you so much for that - didn't know NTSC was different.

Hmmm. Right... So note to self - switch mode for 'proper' timelapse!
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Old November 14th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #12
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

Thanks for all the awesome replies and feedback. It was a bit of a tough call – but after weighing it all up I'm upgrading.

The C100 may be physically a little smaller than the C300, but having to rig it up with the Samurai Blade, Connect H2S, plus the extra weight of additional batteries... actually the C300 is potentially more stealthy than my C100 broadcast setup.

Reasons Against:
C100 has practically the same gorgeous image as the C300 (other than codec)
C100 is cheaper... especially as I already own it!
C100 itself is a little smaller and lighter.
C300 is 2 years old, so am I too late to the party, especially with 4K "around the corner"...

Reasons For:
C300 ready-to-shoot broadcast 4:2:2 is smaller than the C100 with recorder.
C300 viewfinder is not quite so much like looking at a postage stamp from 500 yards!
No external recorder means fewer batteries to carry round and remember to charge.
The LCD angles sideways, so I can see what I'm filming when interviewing.
And most importantly - new toys!

Now I just have to decide whether to go for the 5Diii or the 70D as my B-cam... :D
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Old November 14th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #13
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Re: Should I Upgrade C100 -> C300?

I like the last point best ;-)
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