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Old August 20th, 2015, 04:25 PM   #1
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Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

I am selling my JVC HM700 because it no longer meets my needs. It is too large and too heavy for a lot of the work I am doing down. I need something lighter, that is a bit easier to pack around all day.

Originally I was planning on getting something like the Sony PXW-X70. It is smaller, and the 1 inch sensor I figured would give me better control over DOF when compared to the HM700.

However, I have been hearing a lot of very good things about the C100. With its current price on B&H I can afford it, though its at the top of my price range.

Typically I'm shooting web content, about once a month in marathon shoots that can go as long as 14 hours in a day. These shoots are mostly handheld work, documentary style, so there is little time when the camera is not rolling. The C100, being able to shoot to the same SD cards I was using in my JVC is very attractive to me.

I come form an ENG background. The thought of changing from a proper ENG shoulder camera to a different form factor is a bit scary for me. I've done some DSLR work before, with my Pentax K-3, but this doesn't let me shoot handheld or documentary style. It has so little dynamic range, and is so hard to achieve focus, the camera really needed to be carefully set up in advance without being able to adjust anything on the fly.

So, I have some questions for C100 users-

Are you happy with the camera?

Would you get a different camera today?

What other cameras do you think I should be considering?

What challenges/surprises are there when shooting with the C100?

Are there any general tips or tricks I should be aware of?

What are the camera's weak points? Its strong points?

Thanks!
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Old August 20th, 2015, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

I got mine ( Mark I) when they lowered the price after the Mark II came out

I'm really happy with it as a replacement for my JVC 110 (that I was using with a Ninja as a tape replacement)

Being able to run for 5 hours on a small battery is marvelous after having to hang an AB battery on the back of the JVC to keep it running for a 2 hour shoot. I record classical orchestra concerts so long record time is important.

When I do a concert I still use the Ninja with the C100. I also got a good monopod for it which helps a lot when it isn't on a tripod.

The only "challenge/surprise" is the AVCHD progressive in an interleaved wrapper that you have to handle somehow in your NLE, but on the other hand, the video is very good and you get a lot of video on the SD cards. If the camera breaks long recordings into separate files on the SD card, there can be a couple of frames lost if you don't use the Canon capture utility to ingest the clips - or otherwise deal with it. I just use the Ninja if I plan on doing any long clips so no problem.

If you're looking at the Mark I the viewfinder is disliked by most, but I find it to be just fine. Mark II has improved the viewfinder. The autofocus is really quite good and it can be switched off if you don't like it.

All in all I'm extremely happy with the camera.
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Old August 20th, 2015, 08:45 PM   #3
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

How much for the HM700?
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Old August 20th, 2015, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

How much for the HM700?
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Old August 20th, 2015, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Paynter View Post
How much for the HM700?
I have it listed on eBay. Right now the high bid is $2,749, but there is five days left in the auction at the time I am writing this.

Included with the camera is a v-mount battery plate, two v-mount batteries, charger, tripod adapter plate, and the JVC SxS module.

Here is the link to the eBay listing- http://www.ebay.com/itm/262012431276...84.m1555.l2649
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Last edited by Adam Grunseth; August 20th, 2015 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Added eBay listing link.
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Old August 20th, 2015, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I got mine ( Mark I) when they lowered the price after the Mark II came out

I'm really happy with it as a replacement for my JVC 110 (that I was using with a Ninja as a tape replacement)

Being able to run for 5 hours on a small battery is marvelous after having to hang an AB battery on the back of the JVC to keep it running for a 2 hour shoot. I record classical orchestra concerts so long record time is important.

When I do a concert I still use the Ninja with the C100. I also got a good monopod for it which helps a lot when it isn't on a tripod.

The only "challenge/surprise" is the AVCHD progressive in an interleaved wrapper that you have to handle somehow in your NLE, but on the other hand, the video is very good and you get a lot of video on the SD cards. If the camera breaks long recordings into separate files on the SD card, there can be a couple of frames lost if you don't use the Canon capture utility to ingest the clips - or otherwise deal with it. I just use the Ninja if I plan on doing any long clips so no problem.

If you're looking at the Mark I the viewfinder is disliked by most, but I find it to be just fine. Mark II has improved the viewfinder. The autofocus is really quite good and it can be switched off if you don't like it.

All in all I'm extremely happy with the camera.
Hi Jim,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I appreciate it :) Especially coming from someone who has also switched from the JVC Pro HD cameras to the C100.

To be clear, yes, it is the C100 Mark I that I am looking at. And yes, I have seen the comments about the viewfinder, but I think I should be able to make do. Most the time I figure I will be using the LCD screen anyway.

I don't plan on using the autofocus. I have never used autofocus before, and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable using it anyway. I like having control.

The interlaced video is a bit concerning. My current workflow with the JVC HM700, I can just copy the files straight over to my media drive and import into premier. It sounds like there might be some extra steps involved for doing this with the C100. I would love it if someone could point me to some more information on this.

I'm also curious how the video recording in camera will hold up to color grading. Currently I am shooting with the widest possible latitude I can get in the HM700, than grading in Speed Grade. I think the video from the C100 looks great, but I hope it doesn't completely fall apart in grading.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 04:04 AM   #7
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

Hi Adam

I'm most certainly not a grading expert, but I've been using Resolve since I got a copy with my BMCC. I can "sort of" get good results by now.

Having said that, I think you'll be happy with the C100 - the color doesn't fall apart. I usually shoot in C-log and it holds up quite well. AVCHD has also been surprisingly better than I originally thought it would be, but since I have the Ninja I use it for most things that aren't just "walk around". It eliminates the problems with "fake" interleaved and the missing frames on long takes.

These aren't earth shaking problems by any means and there is a lot of info on how to deal with them around the web and on this forum so I wouldn't let it dissuade you from getting the camera.

Re autofocus, I know where you're coming from. I hate auto anything usually and I went back and forth for weeks over whether to add it or not and I finally went with it. And I'm glad I did. I use stills lenses and the autofocus is good enough that I can use my follow focus to zoom and let the AF compensate for the fact that stills lenses often don't hold focus while zooming. Lets me zoom and pan quite nicely. I was sorry to lose the powered zoom on the JVC when I switched and the AF saved the day for me. Hated to spend the extra $$$ but it was worth it.

Re viewfinder, I got the Z-finder plus with the top strap that supports the LCD and when I'm shooting a concert I use it along with the follow focus/zoom. I got a reasonably priced "Shape" baseplate with 15mm rails and a 7" magic arm - I screw the arm into the top strap and hang the Ninja from it. But when I'm walking around I just use the C-100 viewfinder and while it's a bit of a bad joke in some ways, it's quite usable after you get used to it in spite of what most people say (YMMV of course)

I also got the Manfrotto MVM500A monopod and I'm very happy with it. Only thing I don't like is that it won't collapse enough to go in a suitcase, but I haven't had any problem with it as carry-on, either with the TSA or the airlines. Although I wear a leg brace due to a worn out knee and maybe they think it's a fancy cane of some kind..
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Old August 21st, 2015, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

One of my second shooters (weddings) is ditching one of his XF300s and upgrading to a C100 (old one) to get more cinematic look.

I may pick one up as well now that they're in a more reasonable price bracket. lol
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Old August 21st, 2015, 11:09 PM   #9
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Hi Adam

I'm most certainly not a grading expert, but I've been using Resolve since I got a copy with my BMCC. I can "sort of" get good results by now.

Having said that, I think you'll be happy with the C100 - the color doesn't fall apart. I usually shoot in C-log and it holds up quite well. AVCHD has also been surprisingly better than I originally thought it would be, but since I have the Ninja I use it for most things that aren't just "walk around". It eliminates the problems with "fake" interleaved and the missing frames on long takes.

These aren't earth shaking problems by any means and there is a lot of info on how to deal with them around the web and on this forum so I wouldn't let it dissuade you from getting the camera.

Re autofocus, I know where you're coming from. I hate auto anything usually and I went back and forth for weeks over whether to add it or not and I finally went with it. And I'm glad I did. I use stills lenses and the autofocus is good enough that I can use my follow focus to zoom and let the AF compensate for the fact that stills lenses often don't hold focus while zooming. Lets me zoom and pan quite nicely. I was sorry to lose the powered zoom on the JVC when I switched and the AF saved the day for me. Hated to spend the extra $$$ but it was worth it.

Re viewfinder, I got the Z-finder plus with the top strap that supports the LCD and when I'm shooting a concert I use it along with the follow focus/zoom. I got a reasonably priced "Shape" baseplate with 15mm rails and a 7" magic arm - I screw the arm into the top strap and hang the Ninja from it. But when I'm walking around I just use the C-100 viewfinder and while it's a bit of a bad joke in some ways, it's quite usable after you get used to it in spite of what most people say (YMMV of course)

I also got the Manfrotto MVM500A monopod and I'm very happy with it. Only thing I don't like is that it won't collapse enough to go in a suitcase, but I haven't had any problem with it as carry-on, either with the TSA or the airlines. Although I wear a leg brace due to a worn out knee and maybe they think it's a fancy cane of some kind..
I was able to find some sample files from the camera to play around with. I was extremely pleased to find I didn't have any issue with them inside of Premier. They also held up much better than I expected to color grading. So overall I am pretty happy.

I am indeed planning on purchasing the Manfrotto MVM500A, as it seems like it will lend itself well to my style of shooting.

As I am primarily shooting for web, I plan on simply recording in camera. The files are more than high enough quality for what I am doing. Some day, in the future, I may add an external recorder/monitor like the Atomos Ninja or the new Blackmagic Video Assist.

To start, I don't plan on rigging out the camera with a lot of stuff. One of the reasons I am looking at this camera is to be fast and flexible, like I was with my HM700. I have found that difficult when you have a lot of gear hanging off the camera.

Audio isn't too much of a concern for me. I've already been shooting dual system with my HM700. This way I'm free to move around with the camera, unencumbered by mic cables, and my sound person can do their thing without having to chase me all over.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 11:45 PM   #10
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

I own two C100s and they've been an absolutely amazing to use for weddings and corporate videos. The C100 is very good in low light, easy to use, the image quality is about as good as you can get in 1080p, and it's a really fun camera to work with. Skin tones look much better on this camera than on any DSLR I've used or seen except maybe the Canon 1DC. Dynamic range is quite good and the colors are very appealing. It has a very warm look to it that I haven't seen in the A7S or GH4 footage that I've edited.

For the work that I do, the only other cameras that I would really consider are the GH4 with the XLR adaptor or the Sony FS7. The reason is that both of those cameras handle skin tones and highlights very similarly to the C100. The GH4 is not very good in low light and the F7S is much more expensive, so right now I'd still go for the C100 rather than either of those.

If you don't need NDs, XLRs, or good low light capabilities then the GH4 is another good camera to look at because the price is very reasonable and overall it's a great camera. However, it will likely be more of an adjustment from your ENG style camera because the GH4 is very small and the controls are mostly menu based.

I would stay away from the Sony X70 because the 1080p footage Iíve seen from it was not very impressive (very little dynamic range, video look to the footage). Also, the 4K upgrade has been kind of a mess because itís a very low bitrate 4K and users have said itís extremely hard to grade.

If you want a very nice camera thatís a pretty easy transition from your JVC then the C100 Mk I is a great choice. It has lots of customizable buttons, the autofocus is very useful, and the built in NDs and XLRs come in handy even if you donít think they will. The AVCHD holds up quite well in post and I find that itís easier to grade than even the Sony A7Sís XAVC which records at 50 Megabits/second. I also use a Ninja star quite often which makes grading even easier when recording to ProRes 422 or HQ.

I'd say the biggest challenges are the LCD screen which tends to show things a bit too cool and the unusable viewfinder. However, the LCD screen is quite sharp and very usable as long as you know that the footage may look a bit warmer than the LCD shows. Iíve learned how to get by without the viewfinder so itís rare that I even think about it.

I use the AF functions on almost every shoot because once you practice with them they are very helpful to use in certain situations. When I'm shooting an interview and need tack sharp focus, I will use the magnification button and set focus manually. In almost every other situation I'll either use the Push AF button or the Continuous AF.

So overall I think the C100 is a great option especially at the current price.
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 08:07 PM   #11
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

And if you want to be inconspicuous just take off the handgrip and the top handle and you have a really small package. When I travel I take both off and then the camera fits easily into my briefcase and the top handle and handgrip along with an extra lens and the monopod head fit in there too. I normally use the 24 - 105, but I also have the 10 - 22 (non L) that I like for close quarters.
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth View Post
To be clear, yes, it is the C100 Mark I that I am looking at. And yes, I have seen the comments about the viewfinder, but I think I should be able to make do. Most the time I figure I will be using the LCD screen anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I got the Z-finder plus with the top strap that supports the LCD and when I'm shooting a concert I use it along with the follow focus/zoom.
I highly recommend the C-Cup. It made the EVF so usable that I got rid of my Z-Finder. It also makes you hold the camera close to your body when you use the EVF in that position (as opposed to jutting out from the rear of the camera with the Z-Finder) and that helps with stability and fatigue.

Quote:
I don't plan on using the autofocus. I have never used autofocus before, and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable using it anyway. I like having control.
The autofocus has been amazing for me. I have control of it, I have a toggle button that switches it on and off. It allows me to pull off shots that would require many takes otherwise.

These two videos were shot with the Mark II, but the Mark I could have been used as well. It leans heavily on Dual Pixel AF for a lot of the shots (even the racks):



Quote:
The interlaced video is a bit concerning. My current workflow with the JVC HM700, I can just copy the files straight over to my media drive and import into premier. It sounds like there might be some extra steps involved for doing this with the C100. I would love it if someone could point me to some more information on this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
since I have the Ninja I use it for most things that aren't just "walk around". It eliminates the problems with "fake" interleaved and the missing frames on long takes.

Never, ever, ever shoot PF24. Only PF30 and 24P. PF30 is easy to deal with, just bring up your footage properties and tell your NLE that it's progressive and not interlaced and that takes care of it. There is no reason to ever shoot PF24, and if you do, you'll have to do an AE or Compressor pass with all of your footage and transcode it to get the 24P out of it.

The Ninja removes 2:2 pulldown in 30p so you get straight 30p footage, but the native AVCHD 30p is easy to deal with in any modern NLE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth View Post
Some day, in the future, I may add an external recorder/monitor like the Atomos Ninja or the new Blackmagic Video Assist.
The Blackmagic Video Assist is a worthless add-on for the C100. It outputs 60i over HDMI with 2:2 pulldown for 30p and 3:2 pulldown for 24p. The Video Assist will not remove that pulldown so everything you record with it will be 60i and you'll be required to remove it yourself. For 24p, as mentioned previously, that requires either After Effects or Compressor to do.

The Atomos products will all automagically remove the pulldown for you with little fuss.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 02:04 AM   #13
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

re the C-Cup, I rigged up something similar with a part from one of my still cameras and it works OK. But I don't have any problem using the EVF as is - maybe my eyesight is sufficiently hosed up that I find it quite usable - to my surprise I might add.

I already had the Ninja so no reason not to use it when the camera is on a tripod and the camera can trigger the Ninja when you hit "record" which is nice. (I never forgot to trigger the Ninja when I had it on the JVC, right? Yeah, sure!) But as Gary says, the native AVCHD codec is surprisingly good. The Ninja is definitely not necessary to get great results.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 09:31 AM   #14
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

I agree with everything said here. The C100 is a great little camera. I shoot a ton of green screen for a certain client with it for broadcast and home video and it works great with the Atomos Ninja Blade. The VF is marginally usable with the C Cup, I shot a full b-roll day in Cape Town last year with nothing but the C Cup and the camera and got some nice looking footage. I have to say, if I was a wedding videographer or did just mostly "normal" shooting for corporate where I was editing the footage, I wouldn't bother with the Blade, the AVCHD mostly looks identical. I use the Blade because several clients have editors who are on FCP 7 and it is much easier for them to deal with Prores HQ than to deal with AVCHD from a workflow standpoint and as I said, I shoot a lot of green screen so the greater color space matters.

Owning the C100 MKI, I must say that I do miss the eyepiece and 60p of the C100 MKII but with the C100 MKI at almost half the price right now, I would rather spend a bit more and buy two C100 MKIs. Having two cameras is much more useful for the kind of work I do, YMMV. I really miss not being able to shoot 60p though, but it all depends on what you shoot. The other beautiful thing with the C100 is the vast choice of glass you can mount. There are some exceptional values, you can find a used Nikon 80-200 2.8 for around $500.00 to $600.00 that is every bit as sharp as Canon's state of the art 70-200 2.8 VRII at around a quarter of the cost. I use old circa 1970s AiS and AI Nikon glass for interviews and they look beautiful although you do have to watch the flaring.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 11:33 AM   #15
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Re: Saying goodbye to my ENG camera and hello to the C100.

I picked up a C100 fairly recently, and it is a wonderful little camera. Low light is just insanely good. This was a deal killer on several other cameras that were in consideration. I will never shoot with a DSLR again. The focus assist functions are a god send. Audio handling is also a joy on this little guy.

I thought it might even take the place of my Sony NX5, and the output on the Canon is most definitely superior. One thing that will keep the old camcorder around Sony's native lens has such a crazy wide focal range. It still has a home here.

Speaking of which, both the Sony and the Canon are native AVCHD, which is great for my workflow. The Canon "Data Import Utility" is surprisingly crude. Sony's "Content Management Utility" is so much nicer. You can browse media, look at metadata, play clips, etc. I do hope Canon comes up with a fuller featured tool for this. Could be a third party solution, but I have not yet looked.
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