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Old June 4th, 2014, 01:34 PM   #1
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C100 opinions

I'm gonna pull the trigger on a new C100 (thanks to the 0% offer from canon)....any feedback from you guys on the AF upgrade and the "ninja" or "ninja blade" (yay or nay?). I'd be using it mostly for shooting interviews, some broadcast. I have an XF300 that I'll probably still use for "run and gun" or event shooting. I also already have a couple canon lenses....(18-135-STM and 50mm 1.4).

thanks.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 02:43 PM   #2
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Re: C100 opinions

Do you need to shoot live events? I don't think the AF upgrade is worth it unless you are. It might be useful for interviews if you need to shoot at a really wide aperture though.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: C100 opinions

I'll probably stick with my XF300 for any live events. I might just go with the AF, because over 24 months (current canon offer), it's only an extra $30 a month.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 06:14 PM   #4
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Re: C100 opinions

I came from an XF300 and they are two completely different tools. The AF on the 300 works much better and I used to rely on the face detect. The AF on the C100 has uses and works very well once you understand the limitations.. Whatever fills the bulk of the AF box is what gets focused. You can setup a button to toggle it off and on which gives a bit more options. I think it's worth every penny. Makes shooting Stedicam and crane much easier too. Sorry focus pullers!
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Old June 5th, 2014, 03:31 AM   #5
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Re: C100 opinions

I have yet to upgrade to the AF. I can see us using it on our Steadicam C100 but not much else as we tend to keep our subjects off centre (or your filming a wedding from the back and the person in centre is the priest but you want to focus on the couple).

The AF all depend on how good your manual focus skills are. We are pretty fast and accurate now and know what we want to focus on. The AF isnt a mind reader and doesnt know what you want to focus on. Worth it in run and gun but for interviews your fine doing it manually.

We've found the quality of the built in codec just fine. We also dont like the bulk the Ninja would add to what is an awesome tiny package. For broadcast you may want it as they tend to like the extra bitrate.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: C100 opinions

BTW, hello Danny - I guess we're both doing massive render/outputs? LOL

I have a C100 and two EX1Rs. I've wondered about ditching the EX1Rs to fund another C100 or maybe even a C300. But no - EX1Rs, XF305, PMW300s, all have their position in the pantheon of 'useful and profitable video cameras'.

For the last two weeks, I've been filming large scale corporate events. You're filming the plenary sessions on 2-3 cameras for 3-4 hours a day, then as soon as the crowd walks out, you need to be grabbing a camera, a gun mic (with cable and cans for monitoring), an on-camera lamp and maybe a tripod/monopod, and trying to capture interactions between delegates, the busy crowds amongst the inevitable trade show, and be ready at a moments notice (REALLY a moment's notice) to shoot a voxpop or interview. If you're mucking around trying to change lenses or put the audio bridge on, you're toast. If you're unable to judge White Balance in the worst conditions (daylight, tungsten and fluoro) in less than 10 seconds, you're toast. People walk away, shots are missed, moods are buried in manure, and so on.

That's why I don't shoot corporate events on a C100. I'll shoot everything I can on a C100, but corporate events, or 'events in general' where I'll get a wide angle, a closeup and an overhead GV in 15 seconds, faking slider shots with 'Elvis the Pelvis' moves and shooting 12' away from the interviewee and interviewer just to get some DoF effects.

BUT... That's not what you're asking (though I think you should think about it).

Ninja? Buy A Blade. Seriously. C100 should come with a Blade in the Box. Interviews, B-Roll, Chromakey, Client previews, Lighting, Monitoring, even just playing back the last bloody take to the client, YOU NEED A NINJA BLADE. Quality? Nah - you could probably do without. Well actually no - you probably will love the extra quality and broadcasters will accept your footage. But the need for a Ninja is not about 422. It's about making the C100 equal to a C300 in terms of monitoring, quality, flexibility and client friendliness.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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Re: C100 opinions

my main two cameras are C100s, i got AF on both of them, i tried to use it at first, now i don't use it at all,
my second shooter likes technology in general, so he keeps experementing with it :)
for some tracking shots it's priceless, as long as you manage to keep your target inside that tiny square,
but be aware that different lenses work differently with this feature,
the only thing i don't like about this camera is a codec, but i have to admit that for 24Mbs it looks fantastic.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: C100 opinions

I use a couple of C100s and have the Af on one but not on the other. I'm finding I use it more and more for events and doco work where things are moving fast and it's fine that the main subject is in the middle of the screen. For anything slower and more considered composition wise, I can use the other cam. But all in all, I'm glad I got it, because when things get a bit frantic, it's nice not to have to worry about focus too much. I use the focus lock button occasionally too, but it takes a little practice to know when's a good time to use it and when not to.
I have a Ninja 2 and would only use it in good light as it's a tad noisy in lower lighting situations. So mostly - it doesn't get used.
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Old June 19th, 2014, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: C100 opinions

I took Philip Blooms advice and set the #7 function button (defaults to magnify) on the C100 to AF Lock and love using dual pixel autofocus that way for interviews, broll, run and gun situations... It allows me to quickly get focus, push the lock button and re-frame (The auto-focus system only works on a small area of center screen). If I'm using a fast lens and stopping it down, manual focus can be really hard with some of the EF lenses (they can be very touchy and not parfocal). I have not had the luxury to use or even rent a proper cine lens for the C100 yet...

Trying out the Canon C100 Autofocus…does it actually work? Can autofocus in video ever truly work? | Philip Bloom
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Old July 27th, 2014, 09:52 PM   #10
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Re: C100 opinions

My C100 is now my run-and-gun news camera for free-lance work to TV stations. I use the new Ninja Star ProRes recorder with CFast cards, an Audio Technica 1800 dual channel wireless and use both the 24-105 and 70-200 zooms with primary lenses. Backup camera is the 5D MKIII with a Ninja2 recorder and Sony Wireless System.

I've found the C100 with the autofocus upgrade and the Ninja Star provides the same quality as the C300 and the dual channel wireless system provides excellent audio. Just wrapped up five days of FloydFest music event just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and have just over 300GB of footage transferred from the 128 CFast cards to a LaCie raid setup on my MacPro. Very pleased with the footage.

Bottom Line: A C100 with the auto focus upgrade is perfect for news shooting and documentary work and with the Ninja Star and a good duel channel wireless I have a good setup for less than the base C300 would have cost. For more complicated setups I use the Redrock Micro cage and an Anton Bauer adapter to provide extra power for everything. Even with that the cost is less than a base C300.
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Old July 28th, 2014, 03:37 AM   #11
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Re: C100 opinions

If you can get the AF upgrade before you get your C100, I'd say 100% go for it. Believe it or not, the hardest part of upgrading is later finding two weeks of dead time when you can send the camera in.

The AF upgrade (with the on/off switch on the Magn button on the handle) is really helpful when you put the camera up high or down low and can't comfortably keep a second hand on the focus ring. It's also perfect for tracking with a long lens (turn AF on/off a few times throughout a long walk). And finallly, sometimes you think you have good focus but every once in a while just pressing the AF button is reassuring.

As for the Ninja Blade, whereas it's not totally necessary for run and gun if you're good with the internal codec, for interview setups I think it's a must. Not only for monitoring with more realistic colors, but also when you're ready to start editing, that's hours of interview footage that don't need to be clipwrapped. And your SD cards can still be recording for redundancy.
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Old July 29th, 2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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Re: C100 opinions

I ended up getting the c100 w/ AF upgrade, and the ninja blade. I used it on a shoot for the first time yesterday....love it! The blade monitor is very impressive. I set the c100 monitor to b&w because it's soooo blue in comparison, and just used it for the wf monitor and zebras which I left on the whole day for reference, rather then use the ninja for that and have to keep switching on/off.

No...all I have to do is get some lenses. :)
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Old July 30th, 2014, 12:34 AM   #13
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Re: C100 opinions

I think you will be happy with the C100 Mike. It has become my goto camera for video along with my 1D-X for still shooting. I may try some of the Canon Cine glass someday but I'm happy with my collection of EF lenses. The Ninja adds just the right touch for uncompressed ProRes footage.

Congrats on the choice.

Doug
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