Home > Awesome, Gear, News, Reviews > Initial thoughts on the Canon EOS C100.

Initial thoughts on the Canon EOS C100.


Reading the specs on the Baby brother to the Canon C300 but one thing jumps out at me like a flasher in the bushes… there appears to be no slow motion feature at all! Not even 720p.

Surely this is an omission in the specs. I will check it out and report back. But if they have done this,it’s a huge mistake. I don’t use it often, but even a DSLR does 720p slow motion and of course its competition the Sony FS100 does 1080p 50p/ 60 and the FS700 does its super high speed 240FPS at 1080p… not having any form of slow motion in-camera is going to hurt this camera, which would be a huge shame as it looks lovely and priced at just over $6,700. It’s a very attractive price range as the form factor and log out of the C300 are killer and they are both in this camera.

For the record, my C300 is easily the best camera I used. Its images always blow me away and its handling and form factor are just superb. the clarity and detail in the image are epic! (pun intended!) Really hoping the lack of high speed is a mistake in the specs, as it would make a very strong B camera for my documentaries. Having C log would mean my images would match my c300 footage and Premiere CS6 wouldn’t care about the different codecs. Fingers crossed.

Going through my initial thoughts so far on the announced Canon EOS C100. I will endeavour to update this page as and when more details come online. But for now…

Its been called the baby brother to the Canon C300. Standing 15% smaller than the already very handhold-able C300, actually very slightly wider though. The body weighs just 1020g (410g lighter than the EOS C300)
It uses the same pistol side grip as C300, and this is such a welcome feature and gives a very solid feel.

If you’re using on a rig, Zacuto make a Pistol Grip relocator that may be very useful. C300-grip-re-locator Just going off the beauty shots and the C300 as reference, you know it’s a camera that is very sturdy and well built.

Quick specs as pulled from the official Canon page.

Super 35mm CMOS Sensor, running at 24,25,30,50i,60i FPS at a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Its codec is H.264 under an AVCHD wrapper. Bitrates are up to 24 Mbps in 1920 x 1080 or 7 Mbps (1440 x 1080).

As with the C300, the C100 has built in Glass ND filters giving you 2, 4 and 6 stops of ND. Note that the ND filters are now on a manual wheel rather than two buttons with the c300. This is a helpful amendment in situations where you need a fast change.

ISO range is 320 to 20,000.

Colour space is listed at 4:2:0 – this is a limitation for AVCHD.

Size:
Dimensions (W x H x D)
C100 (Body plus Thumb Rest):
Approx. 5.3 x 6.7 x 5.1 in (135 x 170 x 129 mm)

Compared to the C300:
Dimensions (W x H x D)
EOS C300 + Thumb Rest: 5.2 x 7.0 x 6.7 in / 133 x 179 x 171mm

To me being a Sony NEX FS100 shooter, I have to look at how this compares to the FS100 & also the newer FS700. At the moment they are pitched at the same price (Sony website), but I’m sure that price will drop to be under that of the Sony FS700. CVP in the UK have it listed at $6,700– http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/889545-REG/Canon_EOS_C100_EF_Cinema.html so that’s a great start and puts it just above the cracking little Sony NEX FS100.

I have shot with the C300 a few times and always loved using the eye piece viewfinder rather than the LCD screen that swung from the top handle. I felt more connected to the camera filming handheld with no support.

The C100 has the same viewfinder and LCD Screen as the C300, but it’s mounted on the rear. At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the position as a bad location but I think I’ll like it. I really love to be connected to a camera when filming and have always loved the 5D with a simple Zacuto Z-finder glued to the rear LCD screen. The LCD on the C100 is on the same plane as the sensor and I always like this. When folded open the screen is slightly offset to the left, and I’m sure a suitable eyepiece adapter can made by Zacuto to cater for its needs. I’m left eye dominant so either way I can never see where I’m walking, so using the cameras screen at the same viewpoint is important for me.

The LCD flip out/over screen is 3.5-inch (8.8cm), 920,000-dot panel and can be moved upwards by up to 100 degrees for low angles.

I use the Z-finder on the Sony FS100, connected via a small magic arm. It does not cover the entire screen as it’s not as wide, but it is such an improvement over the Plastic optics offered by Sony.

So would I buy a Canon C100 over the FS700? Well if it does ship at the £4,000 mark, it should be compared more to the FS100.

I’ve not seen any footage from the C100 yet and would love to try one. The C100 will use AVCHD (H.264 in a wrapper) as does the Sony FS100, FS700, and they do a very good job with that so I’m not that worried about the codec. I also think it’s great that it has available a ‘Log Gamma’ pushing some 12-stop dynamic range, something Sony never included on the FS cameras.

The C100 does not have an SDI port unlike the FS700, so capturing using the Atomos Samaria is not possible. You would have to use the HDMI Atomos Ninja2 like you do with the FS100, but that has its own issues with interlaced flagging. But the non-compressed HDMI signals from the C100 can be processed as SDI video signals (comparable to HD-SDI).

Although I love the fact that the FS700 does 240FPS bursts, I find the 50/60fps at 1080p on the FS100 suitable for most editorials. The C100 only manages 50/60i. This is a real shame and something that I though AVCHD would allow on this camera, but not even a 720p option for 50/60p. Fingers crossed they will pull something out of the bag on this one.

It also features a Pre REC function and starts recording video about three seconds ahead of time to ensure that you don’t miss a shot.

Of course it’s lovely to have built-in glass ND filters, something the FS100 does not have. The FS700 does have ND filters, if a little clunky in operation.

Something Canon have though of is the ability to combine files greater than 2GB together into one seamless file using their new Data import utility. Something you had to do by hand using clipwrap on the FS100 footage. Really makes a difference if filming speeches or long interviews and you have to hand over the rushes.

So really I find my self comparing the C100 to the FS100 if those lower prices advertised by CVP are accurate.

This really is the next progressive move from Canon DSLR’s. A small package easy codec with whats going likely to be a very attractive image and price.

References:

Canon C100:-
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c100#Specifications

Canon C300:-
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c300#Specifications

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