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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


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Old September 10th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #1
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second camera

Hey guys, I have only been shooting video for a few years now but the business is growing and with that I am at the place where I need a cinema style camera. I have been shooting a xf300 mostly and two 5DIII's. Run and gun stuff, outdoor hunting videos, corporate promos, some corporate presentations etc. A lot of different types of work. I am starting to get request for more and more interview type stuff, and advertising promos, hence the cinema camera. I am wanting the 300II but I really don't want to put out the 16K+ but I am really on the fence. I like what I have heard and seen of the 100II and am leaning that way. I would prefer not to be behind the 4K curve and have the camera depreciate fast and need 4k in a year or so, but it is what it is. What would be great about 4K now is to have that cut away shot with just one camera, just push in on in post. The real question is the second camera problem. I don't know how hard or impossible to use the XF300 as b camera on interviews or would the 5d's be better, or neither one will work.
Or maybe the 100II and the XC10. That combination is doable although the XC isn't very versatile, but I would think the image would be able to match up closer.
I have been pretty successful to match the 5d's with the XF for the interviews now.
Just looking for someone to talk me down. What want to hear is you don't need 6 video cameras and the 5d's or the XF will pass with those cinema two camera shoots just fine.
Thanks
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Old September 10th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #2
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Re: second camera

C100 MKII is a great camera but it is only 1080. C300 MKII is a great camera, it is 4k capable but it cost about three times the price. Best advice I can give you is only buy a C300 MKII if you can afford it, if the amount of work and profit you make from it will comfortably pay for the C300 MKII within six months to a year. If it won't, buy something that does work financially for your business. As far as two cameras, that all depends on what type of interviews you shoot and how they are used. I shoot a few two camera interviews but mostly single camera. I like throwing in a Go Pro shot or I handhold my 5D MKII to intercut with my C100 MKI, it works okay.

You also have to ask yourself, do your clients know about, care and will pay extra for 4K? If not, I say forget 4k because technically, it is totally unnecessary. 4K is a marketing move to make production buy new gear and to make post people buy faster processors and bigger hard drives. To me, nobody needs 4k unless they are shooting content for clients who expressly require 4k delivery and are willing to pay for it. Very few of us out there have those clients. I shoot the majority of my content for the studios and our clients there in Marketing, Publicity and Home Entertainment do not care if we shoot in 4k and they definitely do NOT want delivery of 4k, they are setup for 1080. So for my business, 4k is a waste, I already bought a 4k camera and sold it for the C100 as our clients hated the look of the 4k camera and love the look of the C100. 4k is coming or here for some but for the majority, 1080 will suffice for quite a while to come. Video gear is outdated every year or two anyway so if you buy the C100 MKII, use it for a year, pay it off and make some profit with it, then sell it and buy whatever the next flavor of the month is, that is life in our business.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Re: second camera

Dan, Great points. I am looking into the new Sony PXW-FS5K that should be out in November. It should be better than the C100II and close to the C300II at a very good price point. I am probably not considering something but it looks like all I give up is autofocus? I have a lot of canon lenses so that is why I was leaning Canons way but for 6 thousand with a zoom lens it might be a good step up from the 5D's. I don't have any experience with using adaptors to get my glass on other cameras so I just don't know if that is viable or if it is problematic. Any thoughts would be appreciated
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Old September 14th, 2015, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: second camera

Have you shot Sony before? I have owned several and in a nutshell:

1. Many vehemently dislike the Sony color science. If you favor cyan/blue skin tones and weird motion signatures that make their 23.98 look video-ish, you'll love shooting Sony. If you shoot RAW formats and use that workflow, with S-Log, etc. I have seen and shot decent skin tones with the F55, the FS700 I shot with I was less impressed. Canons just have great skin tones and make people usually look better than they do in real life whereas with Sony, you are going to have to work to get good skin tones.

2. The Sony menu system are among the worse, most confusing and least intuitive on the market. Personally, I find Panasonic, overall have the best menu navigation but Canon's generally, are pretty intuitive also. YMMV. I can use Sony menus, I just find them and the logic used to map them out doesn't make sense.

3. Sony comes out with new video formats and codecs on an almost weekly basis. I shoot with the Ninja Blade so codecs don't really matter to me much anymore, I shoot Prores but if you use the camera's internal recording, Sony has so many formats and options, it makes your head spin. If you are a one man band, doesn't really matter but if you shoot with and interact with other producers and shoots with your gear, Sony can be a nightmare as far as what flavor of "XAVC 4:4:4 S-log Ci E=Mc2" codec you are using. Just my experience.

Sony is leading Canon in features for the money, I acknowledge that and the FS7 is the hottest camera on the market. I asked a salesman at Abel Cine and he said that they sell hundreds of FS7s per month, no other camera comes close. It does have a lot of bang for the buck. There are no perfect cameras, they all have their limitations and idiosyncrasies that you have to live with. All of the above said, if I had a Sony (I owned the HDR FX1, TRV 900, BVW70, EX1 and EX3 over the years), I could make it work just fine and make a lot of money with it. I just prefer Canon these days. To my eye, it is much more flattering to talent and I shoot interviews with a lot Hollywood A-Listers at press junkets, docs, interviews. My clients and the studios like our Canon footage better than the times we rent Sonys generally. YMMV.

Last edited by Dan Brockett; September 14th, 2015 at 11:20 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: second camera

Go for Sony FS5! Similar price to Canon C100 mk2, but far far ahead of it.
Detractors might argue Sony is too "confusing", but that is only because Sony cameras are far far more powerful with many more options. Check out the discussions on dvxuser for instance about S log 3 / gamma3cine with the REC709A LUT for the Arri Alexa look they're getting out of them. (And thus no longer has the famous "Sony look", which some like but some others don't)
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Old September 14th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: second camera

I know lots of people who still shoot interviews on 5D2 and 5D3s with very happy clients. To me it sounds like things are going quite well with what you have and your clients seem pleased with the results, so it may not be necessary to upgrade right now. There are certainly many advantages to buying a new camera like the C100 Mk II or a Sony FS5, but that's also six to eight thousand dollars that you may not need to spend. As someone who's bought quite a bit of gear that I probably didn't need, I would suggest sticking with what's working until it doesn't work anymore :)
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: second camera

Thank you for the feedback it helps hearing what others have done. The 5D's and the xf300 for that matter, have done quite a bit of work for me and I am still using them but it is time to broaden the tool box a bit. As you can tell I like the canon look which is why I have shot them professionally for 25 years on the still side. I never liked the nikon digital look which is closer to the sony in my opinion. Sometimes I shoot with a local production company and they use sony and panasonic mostly. We spent a day matching up cameras and got a good match in camera. They don't like to shoot with logs or even raw so they want a particular look right out of the camera with as little grading as possible.
Dan I was wondering if your experience with sony; was it hard to get a good skin tone in camera or in grading?
It seems like what is going on in video is what happened in stills 6-10 years ago. Lots of changing resolutions and gear was being outdated every year or two, and the cameras were expensive. Now you can buy a 50 megapixel 5d for less than half what a mark 3, 16 mega pixel camera cost 8 years ago, and a tenth of what a 50mp medium format cost.
Which is why I want the c300II but am leaning to the sony fs5, having 16K depreciate at 500 a month is against my Scottish upbringing.
thanks again
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Old September 15th, 2015, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: second camera

Hi Scott:

I shot Sonys for years, especially the F900 and amazingly, I had a client want me to shoot it as recently as the documentary we did for the TV show Cosmos in 2013. But client only wanted me to shoot with it because Fox publicity was also shooting with it and they wanted camera match without a lot of drama. It was so weird shooting tape in 2013. I was not involved in post on that show but I did do post on a project I shot on the FS700 and it wasn't hard to color correct the footage to look decent. But as you know, skin tones are a really personal thing and you have many layers of translucence and overtones to deal with.

To me, I am rarely happy with how Sonys render people. I was a camera operator on a big, multi camera corporate shoot a few weeks ago, we used three Sony PMW-320s, which for this type of shoot, were fine, we needed servo zooms and didn't want to rent big shoulder mounted broadcast cameras and B4 lenses. But the whole time I was looking at my monitor, the people we were shooting just looked like mannequins in comparison to how they look when I shoot my C100 or rental C300s. Because that was a super quick turnaround corporate event, we could not shoot any kind of log footage, the producer set up and matched all three cameras the day before so I didn't have the chance to help them dial in a look. It was just typical Sony, bright, saturated colors with bluish/cyan skin tones.

I shot a spot with the F55 a year ago with S-Log, and they graded the final footage and it looked beautiful, no complaints, but they took the footage to Company 3, one of the best grading houses in the world, I don't think I could have made it look nearly as good. Personally, if you think you want the FS5, I would rent it or the FS7 before buying and see how the images look to your eye. If you like them, they are both feature rich, nice cameras. I agree about price. Until the C300 MKII drops down to the $10k-$12k, I think it is massively overpriced but it definitely makes beautiful images too. I rent expensive cameras anyway, I only own cheap cameras like the 5D MKII and my C100 MKI so for my needs, I would much rather rent the C300 MKII than the FS7 but if a client is enamored with Sony, I have no problems shooting Sony.

Let us know which you decide.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: second camera

Hi Scott. It sounds like you are a Canon fan. One of the nice things about the C300mkII is having built in color profiles to match the EOS DSLR color or the standard XF color. As a few other people have mentioned, the Sony 'look' is just so different. I like the above recommendation of renting the FS7 and maybe doing your own side-by-sides to get a feel for the differences. You did mention the XC10. One of the surprising and often overlooked aspects of the XC10 is that it uses the same codec and several of the same standard set of image profiles as the C300mkII. The XC10 isn't a perfect solution, as you said it can be a bit limiting. But in terms of a C300mkII 'B' camera, it might be just the right fit.

Finally, it sounded like the biggest concern of the C300mkII was the price (as $16 is a lot of money). You could consider utilizing financing through Canon. The exact rate would vary slightly but it would be in the neighborhood of $475 a month over 36 months.

Good luck with your decision. Let me know if i can help in any way.

Eric Petrie
epetrie@provideoandtape.com
Finance the NEW Sony FS5 for $171/month, $0 down
Finance the Canon C100mkII for $158/month, $0down
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: second camera

I own two C100 Mk I's and I am a huge fan of them. I have a second shooter who will often bring his Sony A7S along to weddings, and in almost every situation I prefer the look of the C100 to the A7S. I find the A7S colors to look very sterile and unflattering in many situations.

I also have another person who shoots weddings for me and he shot one recently with his new Sony FS7 and I have to say I was REALLY impressed with the footage from the FS7. I'm a huge fan of the way that skin tones look on my C100 and I feel that the A7S just doesn't cut it in most situations. However, after reviewing the footage from the FS7 I feel that it makes people look even better than the C100 does!

I've worked with footage from the Sony F3, A7S, and FS7 and I can say that to my eyes the FS7 handles skin tones the best. If the FS5 can do the same thing then I think that would be a great choice.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 09:38 PM   #11
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Re: second camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverman View Post
However, after reviewing the footage from the FS7 I feel that it makes people look even better than the C100 does!
What profile are you using on the C100? My experience has been the opposite comparing the way people look between the FS7 and the C100 Mark II in Clog and WDR.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: second camera

I always use Wide DR on my C100s. I've been extremely happy with the C100 and am a huge fan of the camera. I was expecting the FS7 to look similar to the A7S and F3 (which I think are both great cameras but give people an unflattering look much of the time). However, the FS7 footage looks different than either of them. I think it's mostly in how it handles the highlights on skin tones. It's very realistic and pleasing to me whereas the A7S in particular is a bit harsher and more similar to my old Panasonic HMC150.

So I'm definitely not bashing the C100 because I'm a huge fan, but I just think the FS7 looks better to my eyes.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 09:31 AM   #13
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Re: second camera

Do you have a link to that FS7 footage? All of the FS7 footage I have seen on-line ranged from horrible to merely adequate, just barely, as far as skin tones, would love to see something that looks as good or better than what I get from my Canons. Also, what recording settings were used with the FS7 to make it look so good? Would like to see this because of the FS7/FS5 are capable of not shooting with the typical Sony look, I would be much more interested in them.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 01:11 PM   #14
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Re: second camera

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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Do you have a link to that FS7 footage? All of the FS7 footage I have seen on-line ranged from horrible to merely adequate, just barely, as far as skin tones, would love to see something that looks as good or better than what I get from my Canons. Also, what recording settings were used with the FS7 to make it look so good? Would like to see this because of the FS7/FS5 are capable of not shooting with the typical Sony look, I would be much more interested in them.
We haven't edited the wedding video yet so I only have the unedited footage. Here's a link to some unedited, ungraded footage from the first look:

Password: wedding

In my opinion the way that it handles the highlights on skin is very pleasing, much more so than the A7S. This footage was shot on a day that was overcast so there was nice, soft lighting coming in through the window but no fill cards or reflectors were used. I'm very pleased with it and I'm also pleased with my C100 :)

I definitely prefer the C100 over the A7S, but I feel like the FS7 looks very similar to the C100. Of course, the true test would be to use both cameras at once but I don't have any footage directly comparing them.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: second camera

This is through Vimeo, looking on a 27" Imac screen but to me, those skin tones just look adequate. They don't look terrible and I am sure with some grading could look better but they still have that video-ish Sony blue/cyan overtone to my eye. Canon's veer toward red, which can end up looking too warm or pink so they aren't perfect either but to me, they are easier to get the result I want than the Sonys. It's all personal and I think your clips look good, but it still has the Sony look to me.

Last edited by Dan Brockett; September 20th, 2015 at 09:05 PM.
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