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Old December 19th, 2013, 04:27 AM   #1
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Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Right, this is potentially a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway :)

I have a JVC HM600 for event/doco work. I recently purchased a Sony NEX-EA50 for the more "cinematic" side of my work (short films, weddings, nature videos, etc). However I've been finding I don't often use it, mostly because lack of built-in ND filters is frustrating, and the image quality/low light performance is yet to impress me in comparison to my HM600.

I've been considering replacing my EA50 with a Canon C100, mainly for its built-in ND filters, small and portable size, and exceptional low light performance.

My question is, is it worth the upgrade? Am I really going to benefit from selling the EA50 and spending the extra money on the C100? Or am I better off just to put a variable ND filter on the EA50 and buy a faster lens?

Thanks in advance for any info :)

Note: I have no other E-Mount or EF lenses, so that isn't a factor.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 05:06 AM   #2
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

To be brief, the IQ from the C100 is in another class compared to the Sony EA50's. It's superior in many aspects not just the low light sensitivity. If you feel you don't really like what you see in the EA50 footage and think the lack of built-in NDs is impractical then trading the Sony in for a C100 looks to be worth it. The difference you'll have to pay shouldn't be much.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

I have not worked on the ea, but as someone who can shoot on xf305, 5dmkiii or c100, i almost always choose the c100. A fabulous camera for the money. I think you won't be dissapointed. Dialing in ND on the fly is a critical timesaver. If I could only keep one, the C100 would be the choice.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Thanks for that, appreciate the feedback.

The C100 is looking more and more tempting. Might be time to sell the EA50 :)
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Old December 20th, 2013, 04:13 AM   #5
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Note: I have no other E-Mount or EF lenses, so that isn't a factor.
Your last note caught my eye. I think what you're saying is that you're not committed to any particular lens system.

However, at the risk of saying the obvious, it's possibly worth me mentioning that your lens kit cost will far outstrip the investment in the body. To give you a similar focal range to your HM600, you're probably looking at 3 or 4 + lenses.

Canon and Sony etc really want you to invest in their lens system, as it makes it more painful to jump ship to other camera bodies and lenses further down the line.

I really like the C100. We've bought two of them and a 5DIII for stills. But we've also invested thousands in Canon L Glass.

So, your question comparing a 15K+ system investment with a variable ND filter appears slightly lopsided to me - although, coming from an AF101 before the C100, I totally understand that itch to find image quality that pleased me.

Yes, I'm confident that anyone who's delivering principally for web presentation will love the C100. I would just say, don't underestimate the "system" cost to change.

Ben.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

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Originally Posted by Ben Giles View Post
Your last note caught my eye. I think what you're saying is that you're not committed to any particular lens system.

However, at the risk of saying the obvious, it's possibly worth me mentioning that your lens kit cost will far outstrip the investment in the body. To give you a similar focal range to your HM600, you're probably looking at 3 or 4 + lenses.

Canon and Sony etc really want you to invest in their lens system, as it makes it more painful to jump ship to other camera bodies and lenses further down the line.

I really like the C100. We've bought two of them and a 5DIII for stills. But we've also invested thousands in Canon L Glass.

So, your question comparing a 15K+ system investment with a variable ND filter appears slightly lopsided to me - although, coming from an AF101 before the C100, I totally understand that itch to find image quality that pleased me.

Yes, I'm confident that anyone who's delivering principally for web presentation will love the C100. I would just say, don't underestimate the "system" cost to change.

Ben.
The HM600 has a very long lens yes, but I very rarely find I ever use more than half of the zoom range. So would a decent 18-200 f3.5-5.6 lens (or similar) not be suitable for the majority of shooting situations?

I've never used interchangeable lens cameras (aside from the EA50 with stock lens), so not having a fixed lens is a bit new to me. My work is a lot of run and gun, so having a good all-round lens is a must. Any recommendations?
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Old December 20th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Jody, I have two Sony EX1-R cameras in addition to my C100, and it's with a bit of a wince that I'll admit that 50% of my work is best done with the EX1s - similar to your JVC HM600. There are times when you really don't know what's going to happen next, when you're 'observing' situations and will need constant access to wide and telephoto. You'll also appreciate the optical image stabilisation designed for video rather than stills.

I know the EA50, the FS100/700 and the C100 - and I'm firmly in the C100 camp (even though I'd really like an FS700, my clients are better served by the C100). The EA50 has a chip derived from a stills camera, its low light capabilities are somewhat compromised, and you will see aliasing in the images. IMHO the NX5 is better! Of course, what we all want is the FS700 put into the EA50 body so its ergonomics improve. But that hasn't happened. Yet.

So we're back on the C100. I wouldn't put your hopes into an 18-200 lens to replace your JVC. Such a lens is an interesting option if that's all you have, or can take, but that's why I kept my EX1s. Folks like Ben and myself are in a position where we choose lenses not by 'covering off the focal lengths' but for given situations so we're not constantly swapping lenses.

So, if I am doing mostly GVs, externals, interiors, plus the occasional voxpop/talking head, the camera will wear my 17-55 2.8. If I am wandering the halls of an exhibition for interviews, reactions, cutaways and people, I'll use the 24-105 f4. If I need closeups, candids and details, I'll have the 70-200 on standby. I'll usually have my Tokina 11-16 on hand too. That means I'm wandering around with a lens on the camera and 2 lenses in pockets (in addition to the sound gear et al) and every time I see a little situation developing, it's a mad scramble to get the lenses switched without dropping something or getting the elements dirty. Hence the stress-free all-in-one 'little black sausage of joy' that is an EX1 or HM600.

I really think you'll find the C100 so good that your HM600 will be relegated to 'second camera', but by having the two, your shooting life will be less stressful when you pick the right camera design for the job.

One last little wrinkle... I have built up a collection of EF and EF-S lenses. A colleague ditched his Canon bag of glass and went Nikkor - mainly because he shoots on Sony F3s and wanted a manual iris that can be de-clicked. Canon glass, as a rule, does not have click-free iris. You can put Nikkors on a Canon, you cannot put Canon glass on a Nikon.

The rule is 'invest in good glass' and conventional wisdom is to go for manual lenses using the Nikkor mount, so if you were to switch from Canon C100 to, say, BM or Sony F5 or even Scarlet perhaps, all your glass comes with you. Putting a Canon lens on a BM can be tricky because of the electronic iris.

But... Then again... Soon the C100 will have continual 'phase detection style' auto focus, and that's a Canon-only thing. So I'm continuing my slightly controversial investment in Canon glass. Decisions, decisions, eh?
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Old December 20th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
and the image quality/low light performance is yet to impress me in comparison to my HM600.
If you use the stocklens then yes, I can imagine the hm600 would outperfom the nex-ea50, but not if you add a f1.4 prime lens. When it comes to image quality I do agree, it's not the sharpest or moire/aliasing free camera around. The c100 will be worth the upgrade if you have the budget as it's twice the price of a nex-ea50.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

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If you use the stocklens then yes, I can imagine the hm600 would outperfom the nex-ea50, but not if you add a f1.4 prime lens. When it comes to image quality I do agree, it's not the sharpest or moire/aliasing free camera around. The c100 will be worth the upgrade if you have the budget as it's twice the price of a nex-ea50.
Good point, the moire/aliasing is something I forgot to mention. I did a property shoot a few weeks ago and it was just terrible. The HM600 is completely free of any moire or aliasing, so maybe I was just surprised, but I don't find it acceptable. I realise it's mainly due to the 16MP sensor having to skip lines (or whatever it does to get a 1080p image). But from what I've read the C100 doesn't suffer from this?

As for the price, here in NZ the C100 is only $1-2k more than the EA50, so it's not a big leap.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

you are forgetting one thing, the c100 is excl lens, the ea50 has a 800 euro lens attached to it so you need to consider that as well.
edit: I just see it's a 1200 euro lens, if I'd buy it here the nex-ea50 body would be 2200 euro, the c100 is 5300 euro, that's more then double the price.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Gotta put in another good word for the c100.

the main thing to realize with the C100, is that its sensor and processing was designed JUST for video, not stills, cameras like the ea50 are video cameras with sensors pulled out of photo cameras.

i do miss my ex1 though, having an eng zoom lens is such a good thing to have. with my c100 im currently resorting to a sigma 18-250mm to cover the range, but no zooming during recording....

i also just picked up the sony rx10, which won't ever replace an ex1 or c100, but the darn thing has a 24-200mm FF equivalent, par-focal, constant f2.8 lens on it! and it zooms smoothly just like an eng cam!

im probably going to sling it over my shoulder while using the c100 and grab some eng zooms when i need them.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:31 AM   #12
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

That "eng" zoom on the rx10 is next to useless, unless you can afford to wait 12 seconds from wide to tele in record mode, that's what I liked so much about the zoom in the nex-ea50 if you operated it manually, it was very smooth and responsive and came close to a real eng lens.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

i said it zooms smooth like an eng, and that no it wont replace one like the ex1. hence why i suggested it as a B cam to my c100 just for such slow smooth zooms when needed. to combine the two i'd take an ex1 over the ea50, despite its larger sensor, it actually isn't much more sensitive in low light, and plenty worse if using that slow zoom lens, 3x sensor plus a constant 1.9 lens is what keeps the ex1 series quite relevant in the low light department
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Old December 21st, 2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Still it's miles away from what a eng lens can do, the rx10 has one reeeaaaally slow constant zoom and that's it, it's not even variable during zoom, the nex-ea50 could do that as well but at least you could switch to manual and have a very smooth slow to very fast zoom ability if you wanted and that made it much more versatile in run and gun. That's actually the only thing about that rx10 which I"m so frustrated about, if you shoot alone you can benefit a lot when you can zoom in quick on any action that is happening, then zoom quickly out for some medium wide shot or zoom completely out for a establishing shot that you could combine in post, the nex-ea50 you could perform from tele to wide in less then 2 secs manually, the rx10 takes 12 seconds, that's not exactly "eng" camera worthy if you ask me. I think it's important for anyone that want's to buy the camera to know how limiting the zoom operation on the lens is, if you need only slow creeping zooms, then fine but that's about the only advantage it has in that department.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 05:44 AM   #15
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Re: Upgrade to C100 worth it?

Hey guys,

I'm dragging up this old thread because my finances finally allow me to go ahead and purchase the C100. But I've been going back and forth for weeks trying to decide if it really is the best decision.

Owning such a light and portable camera is very appealing to me. And I feel that having a camera with such exceptional image quality would improve the quality of my work.

I already own a Sony NEX-EA50, which is also a great camera, but I feel the image quality falls short (I'm using the kit lens). And lack of built-in ND filters is a constant annoyance.

Basically what I'm trying to decide is this; would image quality of the C100 really be that much better than the EA50 if both were using the same lens? Or would buying a NEX to EF mount adapter and a few lenses for the EA50 be a better idea?

Any further advice would be really appreciated :)
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