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Old February 26th, 2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon


Here's a video from Joe Simon and Canon discussing the C100. It gives a pretty neat insight into how Joe Simon works on a wedding day too. While this is obviously an ad for canon I thought it was interesting to see Joe work.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

He has some nice toys to play with :) About everything in that video was staged just for the purpose of the ad, would even think the couple where hired actors. Joe's videos are awesome though, he has a fine eye for creative shots.

edit: I found it funny when he said that he found it important not to carry a lot of weight with him because you might miss shots but he uses the Movi, a slider with a tripodhead attached, a glidecam hd4000, a c100 a c300, a 70d and a set of big and/or heavy lenses and don't forget the 3 tripods we saw in the Church and ofcourse his audio, good to know this doesn't slow you down, lol.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Good point on the gear. Haha.

The upgrade looks promising though for C100 users. Pretty impressive.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

i agree this upgrade is looking to be a great addition to c100. now i'm seriously thinking of going to c100 just because of this. no more second guessing.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Joe has shown before that he shoots with a 3 or 4 man crew, so that gear is spread over each of them, making it pretty reasonable.

We're strongly considering selling one or both of our 5d Mark ii's for another 70D. Sadly, the C100 is way out of our league.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Tried the only C100 they had on that Canon stand at BVE in London today that had this Dual Pixel AF Firmware on it. We tried first with a 17-55mm F2.8 IS EF-S lens and then with a 70-200mm F2.8 II IS EF.

Very fast and accurate. Nailed focus every time. Slightly faster with the 17-55mm.

It was way too busy and noisy at ExCeL to know how noisy the lenses were in achieving the focus lock but I have to say I was way more impressed than I expected to be. Sure, it will only lock onto a subject in the box in the centre of the screen but you can then lock focus and reposition the subject in the frame if needed.

My take home was that it's not perfect (because of the centre only target) but a useful tool one can choose to use in a number of situations, if needed.

The Canon rep who let us try it out said she think it costs £340 to do the upgrade here in the UK (but she did not know if that included VAT or not... so that would need to be confirmed). She said they have started accepting C100s for the upgrade already and that anyone who is interested should call Canon service directly.

I will go for it - just got to find a slot where I can be without my C100 whilst they do it! She did not know what the likely turn around time would be though.

Hope this helps.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #7
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Hey Andy, that was the one-touch rather than continuous AF, right?

Have you had any experience as to how usable the continuous AF is?
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Old February 27th, 2014, 03:02 AM   #8
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Just watch the video at the top of this thread. I am not normally someone who uses autofocus on anything I shoot but can see me using this on the C100. I would not be spending £340 on something I don't think is useful...

It's perhaps faster than you'd sometimes want for a focus pull ...but hey, you can always use the excellent frame rate options on the C100 for slowing it down in post...

British humour for those that don't understand ;-)
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Old February 27th, 2014, 04:10 AM   #9
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

I thought I read you could adjust settings for the speed of focus shift, if you find it too abrupt for your creative shots. I may have been reading about an entirely different camera though...
Can anyone confirm?
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Old February 27th, 2014, 04:34 PM   #10
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

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Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Tried the only C100 they had on that Canon stand at BVE in London today that had this Dual Pixel AF Firmware on it. We tried first with a 17-55mm F2.8 IS EF-S lens and then with a 70-200mm F2.8 II IS EF.

Very fast and accurate. Nailed focus every time. Slightly faster with the 17-55mm..
Ditto. Having played with it at BVE my C100 will certainly be going in for the upgrade. As you said, it nailed it every time. This without doubt means the C100 over the 5D3 for bride prep and for walking back down the isle :)
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Old February 27th, 2014, 04:43 PM   #11
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Hey Andy, that was the one-touch rather than continuous AF, right?
Have you had any experience as to how usable the continuous AF is?
For me, the one-thouch AF is too slow and useless, but the continuous AF is fast and accurate.

You can program the button on the grip (your right thumb) to be the focus on/off button (toggle) and also program it to be hold to focus, so you press it when you want AF to happen and when you let go it stops AF and holds. While ever you press & hold it's in continuous AF with tracking.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:09 PM   #12
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Ah I'm so confused about what to do in the coming months. LOL

For quite some time (obviously in no hurry because what I've got works and is making me money), I've been debating getting a camera that can get me shallow DOF shots for some eye candy shots during bridal preps and at the reception.

Right now I'm leaning towards a Nikon D800 - because I've recently completed my F2.8 trifecta by getting the Nikon 70-20 VR2 (L O V E I T).

However, one of my beefs with DSLRs and Cinema cameras like this is that at weddings, often times things happen rather quickly and with a traditional camera you can be pretty positive pretty quickly that things are in focus.... but with the other kinds of cameras you obviously have to check and double check (having focus peaking helps I'm sure, and I love it on my Sony).

I remember watching Ray Roman's cinematography class on Creative Live back in November and he kept stressing to check and re check focus on every single shot with the 1DC.

Anyways, this upgrade to the C100 really gives it some weight to me. And I know with an adapter, I could use my Nikon glass on it.

Decisions Decisions!
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Old February 28th, 2014, 04:39 AM   #13
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

Focus is the one reason I don't use the 5DIII apart from evening receptions where I need it's low light ability. I have to attach a SmallHD monitor and use it's focus peaking but it adds weight and bulk. If I ever retire my EA50 (maybe next year) I might seriously be tempted with the C100 although still no continuous autofocus :(
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Old February 28th, 2014, 05:27 AM   #14
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

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Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
Right now I'm leaning towards a Nikon D800 - because I've recently completed my F2.8 trifecta by getting the Nikon 70-20 VR2 (L O V E I T).
I'm not going to knock the D800. I had one and shot photos with it for about a year alongside my D700, and video with it for about 9 months. I also had the 14-24 and 24-70 as well as the 70-200 VR2.

I absolutely love lots of things about the D800 (and the D700 I had). I loved the consistent user interface where the front dial is always the aperture (which makes sense - because the lens is at the front) and the rear dial was always the shutter speed (again, makes sense since the shutter is behind the lens, not in front). I loved the stills from it, the shadow recovery was awesome for photos, letting me recover shots where the shadows were 3 stops under exposed.

Alas, the video side of things were not great. Tops out at ISO2500 max. After that things get really ugly very quickly.

The ISO button is really badly placed. With the Canon you just move your index finger a little, push the ISO button, roll the dial and you're all set. With the D800 is was a two handed job. The ISO button on the left made you take you're eye away from the subject (which all costs time) and then while holding the button you can adjust the dial. Oops, the moment is gone. Never mind.

The aliasing and moiré was as bad if not worse than the 5D2.

I did a side by side test of the D800 and 5D3 specifically for video and the D800 was without doubt sharper than the 5D3 straight out of camera, but while you can add sharpening to the 5D3 (in fact often it requires it) the D800 didn't tolerate much if any further sharpening and all it did was worsen the noise and aliasing.

The 5D3 totally destroyed the D800 for high ISO shots with the D800 migrating further and further in to a purple hue with tons of noise the higher you went. Hmmm.... I was soooo disappointed in the D800 video side of things since I really loved the D800 for photos.

I didn't want to keep both systems so I ended up selling all my Nikon gear (for the second time!).
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Old February 28th, 2014, 05:29 AM   #15
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Re: C100 autofocus upgrade and Joe Simon

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Focus is the one reason I don't use the 5DIII apart from evening receptions where I need it's low light ability. I have to attach a SmallHD monitor and use it's focus peaking but it adds weight and bulk. If I ever retire my EA50 (maybe next year) I might seriously be tempted with the C100 although still no continuous autofocus :(
I have the 'set' button programmed to punch in to 5x and 10x magnification on the 5D3 so focusing has never ever been an issue. In fact, it's the one thing I really miss on the C100 since it only pouches in to 2x maximum.
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