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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 24th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #1
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C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

In a real dilemma. I've been loving my XF300 and use it for lots of my work. For prep shots, details, and dark reception close-ups, I use a T3i with nice lenses and have grown accustomed to the focus challenges of DSLR and feel like I've struck a good balance between the two cameras/approaches (the DSLR stuff gets used more for highlights/trailer and the XF300 is great for the longer "running" footage.)

I'm so tempted by the C100 and feel that it would quickly become my main cam (with the XF300 serving as the second/long-shot ceremony cam). The C100 would be the DSLR+, not only doing the bridal prep/close-up, artsy stuff, but also having the ability to be the document/long-form camera, too.

What are people's thoughts? Yes, the XF300 has the CF card and better codec/rate, but could you still call it the better camera given the strengths and look of the C100's sensor?
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Old November 24th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

Hi Tim

Have Canon sorted out moire issues on the C100?? I know the the 5DIII has been magically fixed according to Nigel but I wasn't sure if the big sensor is prone to this issue being a still camera sensor??

The Sony sensors are still awful on fine patterns!!

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Old November 24th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #3
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

I am really looking froward to the C100. Right now I have 2 Canon 60D and 2 Panny AC130. I use the 60D for the highlights as well and sometime for the ceremonies, if they are small. In a big churches I just use the Pannys for the long reach. I am thinking of buying the C100 and 2 Canon 6D and selling my 2 AC130 and 1 Canon 60D. With the C100 I can use it pretty much in any situation.

I think the C100 will have a better picture them the XF300. I would go for it in that case.

Exciting times!
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Old November 25th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

The XF300 has a fantastic image but isn't great in low light. It's pretty decent in low light for a traditional 1/3" or 1/2" sensor camcorder but our standards for low light performance have been swayed in the last three years by what the 5D2 & 5D3 can do. The C100 uses the same sensor as the C300 which is magical & designed for video & definitely not a re-purposed stills sensor. The back end for the C300 comes from the XF cameras (MXF 50Mbps to compact flash) whereas the C100 back end is from the XA10 (AVCHD 24Mbps to SD cards). The C100 assuming the image is anywhere near that of the C300 will be a great match for the XF300.

For those contemplating a C100 plus DSLRs a word of warning. I have used my C300 alongside 5D2 & 5D3 but the image quality is so much better that it stands out like a sore thumb & in fact I reverted to DSLRs plus XF105 for the last couple of weddings of the season. The C300 is a fantastic camera but if I were spending the money today I would be very tempted to buy two C100s for the same money (always assuming that the image really is just as good as the C300).
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

Go with C100. Good for run & gun wedding, you will not worry about audio - time limited - pictures so sharp - you can record 2 slots with the same time - battery last longer around 3.5hr - One autofocus while you shooting - 3 ND filter e.t.c

I'm not Filmmaker. I'm wedding videographer and I love my Canon C100 for what I'm doing now :)
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

All great advice and from the look of the images so far... very promising indeed.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

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Originally Posted by Cuong Dinh View Post
Go with C100. Good for run & gun wedding, you will not worry about audio - time limited - pictures so sharp - you can record 2 slots with the same time - battery last longer around 3.5hr - One autofocus while you shooting - 3 ND filter e.t.c

I'm not Filmmaker. I'm wedding videographer and I love my Canon C100 for what I'm doing now :)
What about the drawback of not (as easily) having that big zoom on the camera during long aisle church ceremonies or long approach outdoor ceremonies? What do you use for your zoom on the C100 for such times? Or do you do more zooming with your feet?

One nice thing about the XF300 is the ability to vary your zoom so extremely (albeit losing some stops as you zoom in).
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Old December 16th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #8
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

Hey Tim, I think that's an interesting point. Shooting on DSLRs, there's plenty of times when:

-- (a) I don't have quite enough zoom for my taste with a 70-200; but I think the smaller sensor of the C100 will cure this problem;
-- (b) the zoom range isn't big enough. The 24-105L lens, with almost a 5x zoom, I think is about a big a range as you get in EF lenses; and 2x or 3x is more normal. Whereas in the 1/3" sensor world... Well, my HVX200a has a 13x range, I think. The XF300 might be more like 18x.
-- (c) you might be wanting a motorised zoom, for a slow creep or a smoother adjustment.

So, with a 5x zoom, I think, yep, you do end up zooming with your feet a lot more, and maybe you also miss things a lot more. If you spot someone laughing on the other side of the room, maybe you can't get in tight on their face; or if you spot someone close to you, maybe you can't pull it out wide enough.

But... shooting big churches hasn't really been a problem for me -- if, from the altar, the camera can't reach all the way to the church doors, it's something I'd try to solve with a second shooter or an unmanned camera. Failing that, I'd just watch her come in from the distance, and skip a clear shot of the church doors opening. Fortunately, I haven't been faced with that problem very often at all; the churches in my area aren't that big, except for the cathedrals.

So I guess it's another case of trade off with the C100 -- possibly very limiting zoom, depending on your shooting style, in return for a more shallow-depth look.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #9
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

By the way, for people trying to match C300/C100 to DSLRs, another consideration is that the colours are different (let alone sharpness and dynamic range).

"In most C300 matrices reds tend to skew towards green, so that most reds end up being a "fire engine" or orange red.

Green tends to be undersaturated. Also, most matrices skew green towards blue, so greens tend to be more blueish. (Adding blue to any bright color desaturates it, so this has the effect of muting bright greens.)

Blue tends to be accurate but undersaturated."

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Old December 16th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
-- (b) the zoom range isn't big enough. The 24-105L lens, with almost a 5x zoom, I think is about a big a range as you get in EF lenses;

How do people think that C100 would do with the 24-105L lens in interior situations given that it's only f/4 ?
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Old December 16th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

I've been using DSLR's since 2008 for video work, including all weddings and most recently MIII's. The C100 is a very viable camera but what's the point of the purchase for you? I had one on order but cancelled it for a few reasons and while it's a fantastic camera, keep in mind the following:

As per a previous post, there is no auto-focus unless you have the proper STM lens and other than the cheap 18-55 or whatever i it right now, nothing is available. Also note that it's not an end-all to focusing as they're generally slow and not necessarily correct.

Don't forget, too, that the camera has a 1.53x crop so your widest 16-35 becomes a relative 24 and your 70-200 becomes a 105-300. On the longer end that could be a great thing but even so far as the Canon 100mm Macro....it'll become a 150 so those really up close, tight shots, are not as easily possible.

Otherwise, it's fantastic if you know your shortcomings. I used one last week and it's great...but it all depends.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #12
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

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Originally Posted by Tim Bakland View Post
How do people think that C100 would do with the 24-105L lens in interior situations given that it's only f/4 ?
F4 is great on the MIII and relative to the C100, you should be fine. Keep in mind that the 24-105 will be a 36-157 on a 1.53x crop. F4 can't compare to a faster lens but unless you want to be really spot-on with focusing, consider a 24-70 2.8 on the C100 as that'll become a 36-105, despite non-IS.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #13
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

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Originally Posted by Tim Bakland View Post
How do people think that C100 would do with the 24-105L lens in interior situations given that it's only f/4 ?
Well, if you're happy with your XF300 indoors, you should be happy with a C100 + F/4. Google search claims that XF300 basically gains up to equivalent of ISO250. Does that seem about right? And the lens is an F/1.6-2.8.

In comparison...Well, it's a matter of taste and of how much dark is in frame what ISO is too noisy on the C100. Nigel is the best person to advise you here. But on a Mk3, maybe ISO levels up to 5000 or 6400 are acceptable (noise at 6400 is about equivalent to the noise of a Mk2 at 1600). Higher if you're willing to Neat Video it and put up with some blur. And the C100 is less noisy than a Mk3!

But it does depend on how dark your indoors... On a Mk3, I've quite happily used F/4 for prep at 5am in the morning, cranking up to 5000 when I have to. Receptions -- almost always will go to an F/2.8, and will not infrequently be wanting more. If you're pointed at the bridal table, f/4 is probably fine -- they're usually lit up. If you're pointed into the dark of the reception room at guests, you'll probably be hungry for light -- but maybe four or five stops less hungrier than when you're on an XF300.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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Re: C100 or stick with XF300 & T3i

I used to own an XF305 & still own an XF105 which has similar low light characteristics. Although the low light performance of the XF sensor is not great compared to a DSLR it's actually pretty decent compared to traditional small chip camcorders like a Canon XHA1 or Sony Z1. The XF300 does have a decent lens & because of the small chip the lens aperture is a variable f/1.6 f/2.8 with the zoom range around 30-525mm full frame equivalent. I never liked to push the gain above +12dB ideally no more than +6dB. The 5D3 & C100 can be pushed much higher & still achieve good results. The 5D3 is effectively noiseless at any ISO but does get softer the higher you go. My upper limit on the 5D2 is ISO3200 whereas on the 5D3 it's ISO6400 or even ISO12800 although I rarely need to use the latter. Assuming the C100 performs like the C300 (it's the same sensor) then there is more noise at high ISOs but the image still retains full resolution as there is none of the heavy duty noise reduction applied to the image like on the 5D3. The image cleans up very well with Neat Video but ideally I will not shoot above ISO3200 with my C300 & I am sure that the C100 performs the same.

BTW the C100 has no continuous autofocus. The new Canon STM lenses have the capability to provide continuous AF but it's not yet implemented. Aside from the 18-135mm F/3.5-F/5.6 & 18-55mm F/3.5-F/5.6 there is also a 40mm F/2.8 & a 22mm F/2. The C100 does have push AF which works with most (all?) Canon lenses. This is actually pretty quick & accurate in good light.
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