Joe Simon reviews the Canon C100 for live events

Joe Simon reviews the Canon C100 for live events
Joe Simon operating the C100 on a slider

Joe Simon operating the C100 on a slider

Our friend Joe Simon, a very accomplished wedding filmmaker and commercial cinematographer (and first and foremost, a really nice guy) has shot a short review of the C100, especially focusing on his area of work, live events.

I want to highlight this because of Sebastian Wöber’s recent review of the C100 here on cinema5D, in which he highlighted that it’s an underestimated cinema camera despite its low price point. We are not interested in endless discussions about who owns the better camera, but that review resulted in a fiery discussion in comments on the post as well as on social media channels.

Watch Joe’s funny and educational review in which he highlights the C100’s feasibility for live event work such as weddings. He also compares the dynamic range and sharpness of the C100 with the 5D Mark III.

Using the Canon C100 for Live Events from Joe Simon Films on Vimeo.

Yes, there’s stuff missing (high speed recording, proper viewfinder), but the bang for the buck is incredible – when recording to an external recorder like the Ninja 2 you even get 4:2:2 colour sampling, which should put it right next to the C300 in terms of quality (which is almost 2,5 times as expensive).

It’s time to rethink this camera. The quality is unmatched by any video camera in this price range.

For a limited time the Canon EOS C100 is still -$1000 (=$5499) at B&H.
See link below.

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photojennette
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May 13th, 2013

I just love how no one has even mentioned 1DC…

Martijn Schroevers
Martijn Schroevers
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May 11th, 2013

The 5D mark III has much better dynamic range with the Technicolor Cinestyle setting. Unfair to compare these camera’s without that. Also, the EVF of the C100 is so poor it can hardly be used for focusing so the setup Joe is holding is practically unfit to do the kind of shooting he talks about. I think he has his C300 on his mind most of the time. But a camera at that pricepoimt gets blown out of the water by the Sony F5.

marklondon
Guest
May 12th, 2013

The Sony F5 is a lovely camera, but the C300 will still be the No1 doco/event camera in the world for a while yet. The F5 is just not as portable. I use a C300 often in the (very) wild on my Manfrotto monopod, and a $100 slider. That’s not happening with an F5.
In most controlled situations I’d choose the F5 – but the C300 is still the most versatile when you need small footprint/broadcast spec.

marklondon
Guest
May 12th, 2013

Martijn – re the LED: and yet people are managing to focus quite well with it.
Comparing this to the 5D3 is disingenuous – one of them is designed to be a video camera, the other is a stills camera that does nice video. Just the built-in NDs alone make the jump worthwhile to me.

filmersblog
Guest
May 11th, 2013

Great images and thanks for the review. Too bad about the viewfinder… that point of contact is so important in getting those solid shots. (Can’t someone design something to stick on there and magnify it…)
But for now, how do you do critical focus when walking around handheld? Do you use some sort of loop on the LCD?

filmersblog
Guest
May 12th, 2013
Reply to  Nino Leitner

I can’t afford 695,- for a viewfinder. I’ve heard people have been using Hoodman’s and are quite happy with it.
Since Joe does a lot of live stuff, he must be using some sort of viewfinder but I´m surprised he doesn´t mention anything about it… (and neither did Sebastian Wöber in his review)

This is crucial and I’d like to hear about their solutions…

marklondon
Guest
May 10th, 2013

Is it just me or has Vimeo become very unreliable since they implemented all the new features?

omar
omar
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August 28th, 2013
Reply to  marklondon

your right. vimeo has kind of sucked lately

Jim
Jim
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May 10th, 2013

I don’t agree the quality is unmatched. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has a better image, for less money. The hacked GH2 is also close to the image in good light, certainly is close on resolution and far better in terms of the internal codec!

marklondon
Guest
May 10th, 2013
Reply to  Jim

Good luck shooting a wedding on a BMDCC! I too love that camera, but its not shooter friendly. Its also TERRIBLE in low-light vs the C series.
And the GHs are a total pain to use. The video output is nice, but they are not ergonomic in any way.
I know you’re talking ONLY about the image quality, but in the context of this piece I think he has a point.

Aaron
Aaron
Guest
May 11th, 2013
Reply to  marklondon

I think he was simply responding to this statement: “The quality is unmatched by any video camera in this price range.”, which doesn’t mention any of the variables you suggested.

I also suggest the FS100 easily matches or exceeds the quality (with high speed recording too) for less $.

But sure, I’d never try to film a wedding/event with a BMCC, purely based on ergonomics and technical limitations in that environment. (Although the low light is not nearly as bad as its made out to be)

marklondon
Guest
May 12th, 2013
Reply to  Aaron

I’ve shot with it – the BMC. The low-light is ok, and works well in narrative if you like the natural ‘dark’ look. In an event video, disaster. Just not the right tool for the job.
I did point out that he means it in context. Perhaps you didn’t read that far.
As for your FS100 comment: there is a world of difference between the output of that camera and a C100. And then you have the ergonomics. Even comparing them stuns me – did the 100 in each name confuse you?

Bill
Bill
Guest
June 28th, 2013
Reply to  marklondon

Agree with Aaron – generally, FS100 output looks much better than the C100.

Viewing (downloading those available) all the videos on vimeo in the FS100 and C100 groups, in addition to the C100/FS100 combined channel, the C100′s footage is certainly not any better than the FS100. I really thought I wanted this camera at first, despite it’s price. The ergonomics beat the FS100 hands down… but they use the same codec, both Super 35 sensors and the C100 doesn’t even have 60p! I mean that’s a “prime” HD frame rate!

No 60p Canon??? What’s that about?

Post some clips that WOW like the FS100 does… I have not seen one video from the C100 that has blown me away – there are many FS100 vids that are stunning! Granted, the C100 hasn’t been out as long and I have seem ‘some’ nice C100 vids, but nothing exceeding the FS100 by any stretch.

Toby Lockerbie
Toby Lockerbie
Guest
May 11th, 2013
Reply to  Nino Leitner

I’m not sure this is fair Nino, as Aaron pointed out, all Jim said was that the BMC has a better image than the C100, it’s effectively a factually correct statement and it was in reply to “the quality is unmatched” which is a bold, controversial claim that appeared to be refering to the image quality and he reasonably, politely disagreed to.

Is the C100 useability ummatched at that price? Or the features? The build quality? The reliability? Maybe all of those though I’d probably disagree to some but Jim wasn’t talking about any of those.

The BMC definitely isn’t a very very small niche camera because of it’s poor useability, people got over the 5D2’s useability because the image was great at a great price, the insane popularity of the BMC shows people are okay to do the same. The Alexa is MUCH more niche than the BMC in terms of owners and users (or preorderers!), doesn’t make it a bad camera :)

I’m a big fan of yours Nino and I don’t want this to come across as a personal attack, I’m sure you hear a lot of cr about the BMC to have a reaction to it’s name but I don’t think you heard any unreasonable claims about it on this thread.

marklondon
Guest
May 12th, 2013
Reply to  Nino Leitner

I’m with your first comment. Very accurate. The BMC is a scalpel not a swiss army knife.

Will
Guest
May 11th, 2013
Reply to  Jim

Its not just the look of the film, it’s everything else. Better low light, dual recording, xlr input, flip screen, headphone jack and on screen monitoring, peaking, zebras, waveforms, dynamic range. If the BMCC can do all of that without spending a penny more, then yes, it is a better camera.

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