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Old January 17th, 2015, 07:01 PM   #1
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Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

For those who currently have a C100, will you be making the jump?

For those who are considering making the transition into the Cinema EOS line are you going straight to a Mark II or saving some cash and picking up an original C100?

Original C100 prices are hovering around $3,000 used and $4,000 new. Is 60p, a new OLED, and better viewfinder worth an extra $1,500-2,500?
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Old January 17th, 2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Isn't there also face recognition and tracking with STM lenses and a higher bitrate recording format?
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Old January 17th, 2015, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

As a current C100 owner, I won't rush to upgrade... but I would appreciate a firmware upgrade to 60p, and a .mov file option, vs. being stuck with AVCHD internally.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 10:49 PM   #4
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
As a current C100 owner, I won't rush to upgrade... but I would appreciate a firmware upgrade to 60p, and a .mov file option, vs. being stuck with AVCHD internally.
Highly doubt you will see that, and 60p would definitely not be above 720 if they added that. Digic DV III cannot do 1080p60.

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Originally Posted by Kyle Hawthorne View Post
Is 60p, a new OLED, and better viewfinder worth an extra $1,500-2,500?
For me? It was.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 02:24 AM   #5
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

I took the jump from 5D MkIII to the C100 MkII. Got it 4 weeks ago and my impression so far is good. Iīm doing mostly wildlife recordings and have a bunch of Canon L lenses, so I did not want to jump to another brand cause of this.
The camcorder is quite nice and light of weight. Buttons are easy to find and operate. A minor issue is that one of the start/stop buttons is placed on the front right side, and difficult to access when camcorder is placed on a tripod. Would prefer to have this in the back side of the camcorder instead, but when using the hand grip and the top handle I got 2 more start/stop buttons so I am happy!
The oled screen is very sharp, when using the peak and magnifying itīs easy to focus manually. Turning illuminating to ON help a lot too.
Auto focus holds good but only in the center of the frame, but if using STM lenses you got more autofocus possibilities with face detections which are not limited to the center of the frame. But for wildlife there are not so much of STM lenses suitable as I think the you donīt get any lense above 135mm?
Autofocus maintains even when using extenders both 1,4x and 2.0x with a fast Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM.
The camcorder is good under dark contitions, even if itīs possible to go up to ISO 102400, I found that my limit will be around ISO 8000, where grain is starting to be annoying.
Using the top handle you got 2x XLR inputs which is nice, but the small adjusting wheels for audio level is too small and a bit difficult to adjust properly, especially when out in cold temperatures.
The camcorder are able to record full HD 1920x1080 in 60p. For me this is important when filming wild species like birds.
I have not investigated the internal codec too much, but first impression is that it holds up quite well. So I will hold some more time before I eventually buy an external recorder for this unit.
Battery capacity is nice, using the Canon BP-975 battey for recording and also feeding the microphones, battery last for hours even in temperatures below zero degrees celsius.
Built-in ND filters is also nice, 2-, 4- and 6 stops is available.
Start up time is just a second or two and the camcorder also function flawless in cold temperatures well below zero degrees celsius.
You also got some nice tools for exposure, like the waveform monitor. Bright light and snow conditons is not easy to exposure correctly, but I think I did quite well if you look in the attached video!

As a conclusion for me this is the right tool for the moment. Compact, light and easy to use.

Below is a short video from some days in a blind out in the wild, recording Golden Eagles:
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Old January 18th, 2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

C100 owner her. If the mk2 did 4k, I would have upgraded in an instant, but I don't find it feasible investing in a new camera now without any form of 4k recording.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Debono View Post
C100 owner her. If the mk2 did 4k, I would have upgraded in an instant, but I don't find it feasible investing in a new camera now without any form of 4k recording.
I thought about this, but for what I need now, I'm starting to dial back on 4K fever. Here's why:

a) I'm not mastering in 4K. I've done a few projects:
a
that have been mastered in 4K, and it's a giant PITA. First is the space requirements. I cannot even upload a basic Pro Res LT render in 4K to my Vimeo Plus account (would need Pro) as it's too large (and this was for a very short clip). I make it a habit of uploading LT to Vimeo because I just think it looks better, instead of an H.264 being re-transcoded as H.264.

b) The transfer speeds and storage capacity aren't ready for 4K capture. If I was going to do it, it would need to be a high bitrate. 500GB hour (-ish) is a lot of hard disk space at Pro Res HQ in 4K (which I can get on my GH4 + Shogun). I do a lot of shooting where I give the client the footage at the end of the day, and when I am provided a 5,200 RPM LaCie Thunderbolt drive, we are going to be sitting there for quite a long time while it all gets dumped. Without going RAID 0 SSD arrays and TB2 it can be frustrating copying stuff over. I am also having clients request 422 or LT instead of HQ as that's even too big for many of them in 1080!

c) Backing up. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of users are simply tossing their 4K Pro Res or equivalent bitrate footage on a single drive and letting it sit there. That's unacceptable for me, which requires at least a RAID 5 setup (or multiple RAID 1 Guardian Maximuses like I use) and then BDXL archival discs, which is at the limit for most of my projects. I just finished backing up a 7 minute doc I did, which took three of those (100GB each) and if I had shot it in 4K, that would have been quadruple that amount of space. Now we're talking LTO tape, which is $3000 for the drive and $50/tape, which would take a long time to back up to, and is very noisy for a home office right next to the bedroom. The alternative is loosing footage to a corrupted drive, which is not something I will entertain.

d) I routinely crop about 15-20% with no issues on C100 Pro Res HQ footage. Yes, you can crop 100% with 4K in 1080, but when there is noise in the picture, it magnifies the noise when you zoom in that much, so now you're looking at a 4K de-noiser pass. I also rarely have to crop, as I shoot what needs to be shot and not rely on a "fix it in post" mentality, as that's where a lot of indie projects go to die. Working with 4K on my maxed out MacBook Pro is already something of a frustrating experience and I can't imagine getting too heavily invested in it without upgrading to a loaded Mac Pro or a Windows-based workstation. And a RAID array just to work from.

e) So you can eliminate a lot of the above by simply transcoding to 1080 after shooting in 4K...but that's what the C100 gives you upfront. The above issues mean, to me, a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen that you have no control over (transcoding, rendering, uploading, copying, etc.). With the C100 Mark II, I get a camera that eliminates most of the usability concerns (EVF, Slow motion option, fully articulating LCD), gives me the 4K->1080 look without requiring me to transcode, can make use of a Ninja Star to give me Pro Res for everything but 60p (which I need so rarely that the Star is the primary recorder for me now), and has the best autofocus system I have ever used (comes in handy since most people never have a dedicated focus puller and I have used it to pull off shots that would have taken many takes to get right). And here's what it looks like if you have to deliver in 4K:

Those are my thoughts that led me to not worry so much about the 4K option for now. Yes, it's coming, and eventually it will be a prerequisite I assume, just like 1080 replaced SD. But, in my world, clients will ask for it without being prepared to use it. And, besides, I have spent quite a lot of time taking 5K Red Epic footage and crunching it down to Pro Res HQ in 1080, which is often used for anOnline edit material and never relinked back to the REDCODE. Besides, if I really need 4K for something, I have the GH4 and the Shogun, so I can choke those data transfer cables!
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Old January 18th, 2015, 02:27 PM   #8
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Isn't there also face recognition and tracking with STM lenses and a higher bitrate recording format?
Yes, I do believe there are some additional changes beyond what I mentioned, but the major upgrades are 60p/OLED/viewfinder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
As a current C100 owner, I won't rush to upgrade... but I would appreciate a firmware upgrade to 60p, and a .mov file option, vs. being stuck with AVCHD internally.
No way is Canon going to give the original C100 a firmware update to give it 60p and I'm not entirely sure this is even possible. Canon made it seem like 60p is only possible in the mark II due to the new processor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
I took the jump from 5D MkIII to the C100 MkII. Got it 4 weeks ago and my impression so far is good. Iīm doing mostly wildlife recordings and have a bunch of Canon L lenses, so I did not want to jump to another brand cause of this.
I'm in the same boat. I currently shoot with a 1DX and 5DMKIII with a ton of nice L and Zeiss glass. The only two other systems I am even considering are Sony and Panasonic. The problem is I'm not very fond of Sony colors and prefer the look of c-log to s-log. The GH4 is tempting mostly due to high frame rate options, but the sensor is small and the image lacks a certain filmic quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Debono View Post
C100 owner her. If the mk2 did 4k, I would have upgraded in an instant, but I don't find it feasible investing in a new camera now without any form of 4k recording.
Are you wanting 4k so you can crop, stabilize, and reframe your image in post? To me, this is the only reason I may want 4k. If I was to shoot in 4k to achieve additional detail this would require downscaling the image to 1080p in post. The nice thing about the C100 is it does all this in camera.

Really the biggest advantage I see is 60p in full HD. I'm just not sure if this is worth $2,500.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Gary Huff - excelent.

UHD at 10bit and 25p FPS has about 730Mbps (I-frame only, 422, UHD, 10bit, Avid DNxHR).
A lot of cameras have UHD recording at 250Mbps (8bit, 422, 25p), it is about 140GB/hour.
18TB raid6 is about 100hours of materials.

LCD for color correction at UHD,10bit is about 2000USD.

Yes, I'm so happy with HD 1920x1080/25p .-) .
I hope that we will get more DR, it would be nice, or better colors (10bit TV?),
but 4K is not for me right now.

I have a C100 and Ninja Star, and slow motion is nice with the 50i to 25p conversion. Better viewfinder is not the reason to upgrade.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

It probably depends on what your client expectations are but 4K to me is only between 50 to 100mbs and even if my paying clients would require 4K delivery then working in that format is hardly any different then shooting in HD to be honest, my 2 year old pc handles native 4K fine and I didn't have to upgrade my harddrives either.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:41 PM   #11
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
my 2 year old pc handles native 4K fine and I didn't have to upgrade my harddrives either.
What effects do you typically use on 4K? Or how do you color grade it otherwise if not within your NLE?
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Old January 20th, 2015, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

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Originally Posted by Pavel Sedlak View Post
I have a C100 and Ninja Star, and slow motion is nice with the 50i to 25p conversion. Better viewfinder is not the reason to upgrade.
I'm curious if you have any examples of slow-motion taken with the C100 Mark I in 50i converted to 25p?

Does the Ninja Star help clean up the conversion?
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Old January 20th, 2015, 05:38 PM   #13
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

Shot with a Mk1/Mk2 pair today, and while it might partially be due to my lens selection, the Mk2 is SO sharp. Even with the detail at -10 in Cinema mode. It's crazy sharp. I love it! :)

Overall a good upgrade, the MP4 recording is nice workflow-wise, the OLED is fantastic, a bit disappointed with the color rendering of the EVF (washed out), but still nice and big and useable. Haven't used the 60p but that's an obvious upgrade, the WiFi is workable but the application/website itself is pretty poor - Canon needs to put out a true "App" as soon as possible. Like the internal mic as well for multicam stuff - keeps the size of the package down. The autofocus is really fantastic as well.

I shoot A LOT of stuff year round, so this upgrade will pay for itself rather quickly. Had to spend some money at the end of the year to save on taxes, so it made sense for me. I don't think it's groundbreaking better than the Mk1, but if you are buying new, the upgrade is worth it, especially if you like to keep your rig small. If you're planning on using a monitor, don't need autofocus, don't need the EVF, you might want to skip the Mk2.
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Old January 21st, 2015, 02:14 AM   #14
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

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What effects do you typically use on 4K? Or how do you color grade it otherwise if not within your NLE?
I use edius, colorgrading also has no effect on realtime performance and not sure what you mean with effects as I never apply those. For my use I don't need to transcode, just work with the native files. One stream is native, only once I start applying two 4K streams in a multicam environment it's not realtime anymore and in that case if I want to make it easy on myself I'd convert to canopus hqx avi. But one stream 4K and 2 streams 1080p are realtime when I"m doing multicam. Also exporting to a 1080p file is faster then realtime.
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Old January 21st, 2015, 03:30 PM   #15
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Re: Canon C100 Mark II -- Worth the upgrade?

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I use edius, colorgrading also has no effect on realtime performance and not sure what you mean with effects as I never apply those.
Well, color grading is technically an effect, but I use a lot of Curves, Colorista II, LUTs, and Beauty Box for my post. All of those make 4K footage slow down to a crawl. And, as you point out, doing a second layer (I am doing more and more multicam stuff) kills realtime even for Edius.

4K is fine for simple edits that don't involve much more than a quick pass in something akin to Fast Color Corrector in Premiere or the Color Board in FCPX, but add anything else and performance erodes quickly, unlike the AVC/ProRes 1080 clips I get off my C100 M2. It's so bad that most projects I have a Ninja Star hooked up to my GH4 (with an HDMI-out downscale and 8-bit recording to do 4K internally and 1080 to the Star) and primarily use it unless I need a closeup or something.

That's why asking how smooth it is to work with single tracks of 4K or simply playing back is something of a mistake. I want to know what it performs like with a LUT and Curves effect at the minimum (both Beauty Box and Colorista II are resource hogs, but there's supposed to be a Beauty Box Realtime pluging coming out I will be taking a look at) and definitely what kind of render speed you look at. At the end of the day, the render speed is a huge deal to me.
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