Canon EOS C300 at BBC Scotland…First Impressions

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I got an email from our Canon rep asking me if I wanted to see the new EOS C300 at BBC Scotland, not an offer I could refuse.

There was a mixture of staff and freelancers all keen to try out the new C300 and thanks to Danny from CVP I even got a picture with me holding a C300. OK first impressions, a lot heavier than I was expecting, well made, nice and solid.

I was keen to see the viewfinder as I had read mixed reports on its usability but fret no more it was nice and sharp and critical focus will not be a problem in fact the second LCD that sits on the camera itself was also nice and sharp.

The first cameras into the UK will be late January and sport the EF mount, Canon recon the majority of freelancers will use the EF version and it will only be the rental houses that offer the PL version at first which does not appear till late March 2012.

An interesting quote from one of the Canon reps though chromatic aberrations differ big time from lens to lens.

chromatic aberration (CA, also called achromatism or chromatic distortion) is a type of distortion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colours to the same convergence point. It occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light (the dispersion of the lens). The refractive index decreases with increasing wavelength.

The select button just above the chaps index finger is your control over your iris it was relatively smooth but not something I would like to use in a live filming situation. I was guided through the menu and I have to say its very comprehensive.

We also had a chance to see the iPad working with the C300 now here is my dilemma, it looks the business but has a small delay in transmission making your moving shots staccato, personally for the extra £950 for the Wi-Fi dongle I love the concept but feel its a lot of money for a non realtime image.

We got a preview of two of the films made with the C300, Mobius and XXIT, out of the two films XXIT was the more impressive mainly for technical reasons, a lot of the scenes are against green screen which is a hard test on any camera.

My overall impression of the C300 is quality and a well thought out product from the glitzy Hollywood introduction to the quality of build to the most important feature…the quality of picture. I love the EF mount it makes so much sense in so many ways though a chap I got talking to said if only it had been about £5K to 6K in price he would have bought one.

At just under £10K plus vat this is not a camera for Joe Soap but Canon did not conceive this as an upgrade for 5D2 users, its a quantum leap into television drama, TV commercials, taking a chunk out of Sony and RED, a camera that has been built with the thoughts of the end user and not stunted by 35MBs.

DPs have been crying out for an HD broadcast spec large sensor camera and Canon once again have delivered.


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Transcend SDHC Class 10 cards are now 4x faster £32

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I was under the impression that SDHC cards had peaked and SDXC cards were the next generation of faster cards till now, Transcend have just announced a 16G card thats 4x faster than its pervious Class 10 card making it a must for HD video work.

Combining the already impressive Class 10 specification with the performance boost of UHS-I, Transcend’s Class 10 SDHC Ultra High Speed memory cards help your camera unleash its full potential. When paired with UHS-I compatible devices, these cards can realize transfer speeds of up to 85MB/s—four times the speed of current Class 10 cards, perfect for high-speed consecutive shooting and smooth full HD video recording.
– Supports Ultra High Speed – Class 1 specification
– Class 10 compliant
– Fully compatible with SD 3.01 standards
– Easy to use, plug-and-play operation
– Built-in Error Correcting Code (ECC) to detect and correct transfer errors
– Supports Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM)
– Allows In System Programming (ISP) for updating firmware
– Supports auto-standby, power-off and sleep modes
– Suitable for SDXC / SDHC compatible devices – Mechanical write-protection switch
– RoHS compliant
– Limited Lifetime Warranty*


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So you want to buy a Canon EOS C300 (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

So what do you need to know if you are planning to own the C300 well for a start there are two versions a PL mount and an EF mount, no price difference but two very different choices…financially, depending what glass you go for. The PL or prime lens version or to be accurate “Positive lock” will in my opinion be less popular due to the fact that very few of us own expensive PL glass. I think the PL version will be a rental choice as most of us also rent PL glass on the occasion that its needed for a job.

There is no doubt about it Canon are doing their level best to confuse a few of us with EF Primes, EF zooms and PL zooms, I think many DPs will be a wee bit miffed that Canon are not producing their sexy EF primes in a PL mount.

If you are remotely interested in the Canon 14.5-60mm T2.6 L lens you will need hefty £29,000 almost the price of three C300s !

The EF mount will be the most popular by far as you have such a wide scope of lenses that you can use with the EF C300 plus a lot of DPs including myself have a selection of Canon EF glass. In case you have not sussed it yet the select/set knob on the side of the camera controls the aperture of the EF lens in smaller than 1/3 increments but the onscreen display will show the closest 1/3 stop aperture value.

Canon have produced a range of Prime EF glass known as EF Cinema Prime lens but at almost £4500 each many of us will be sticking to “L” glass meantime, the Cinema lenses are 4K ready which is a hint for a future model, RED beware.

The C300 is the best Super 35mm to date in having 4 ND settings, clear, 2, 4, 6 stops you also have -6 and -3dB all in all far better than the Sony F3.

This is the first large sensor camera to take Canon EF glass after a year of promises from various adapter companies that EF adapters were just round the corner and lets be honest the C300 is made by the same company who designed the EF lens so compatibility issues will be non existent.

The main problem I have encountered with my FS100 and Nikon glass is the ultimately stupid decision by Nikon to manually focus the opposite way round to a Canon lens, this seems trivial but the Canon lens is the same way (clockwise) as all the camcorder lenses you have ever owned so pulling focus is a nightmare with Nikon glass (anti clockwise).

It took me a while to find out the minimum specs for the C300 but it will work with a 30MB/s CF card Canon also say in their manual that 40MB/s is recommended if you are using under & over cranking but for the ultimate in compatibility use a 60MB/s CF card, at todays prices a 32GB 60 MB/s card will set you back about £95 each, when you consider the price of 32G SxS (£440) or P2 (£450) this is indeed a far cheaper option. In my experience with solid state cameras its better to use faster than the recommended speed rating if possible in other words the Sony FS100 will work very well with Class 6 SDHC cards but I always use Class 10 cards.

Remember this camera is going to save money as it records the broadcast approved 50MB/s…It ticks the BBC HD box, that alone is also pushing this camera up in the top 5 “I need to have one” large sensor cameras.

The sensor is a Super 35mm motion CMOS sensor 24.6 x 13.8mm (16:9) not unlike the sensors in the Sony F3 and the FS100 all three cameras have a crop factor of 1.5x which needs to be taken into account when buying EF glass but some people who use DSLRs such as the Canon 600D will be used to a 1.6x crop with an APCS-C sensor.

The C300 can take a Wi-Fi remote transmitter called a WFT-E6 which can operate the camera remotely onto a compatible device like an iPad, the WFT-E6 costs a whopping £950 so you may need to justify such a feature at that price.

Thats just a taster of what you can expect if you join the ever increasing band of DPs looking to get their hands on one of the first Canon EOS C300 cameras. I have downloaded the C300 user manual so when I recommend certain types of CF card the information is not plucked off the top of my head !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Philip Bloom sends his RED EPIC back (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments

When you stick your head above the parapit you have to accept some flack, it seems like Philip has had his fair share of abusive comments from some users on RED USER a forum for people who like and use RED products.

Philip has written about his problems with his RED EPIC especially having Beta software installed and it seems to have let him down till it got to a stage his confidence was no longer with the camera… PB  “I was no longer comfortable with using the camera on paid jobs.”

You need to be 100% confident in your bread and butter otherwise it can cost you a job and possibly your reputation. If I ever spend $80K on a camera I would not tolerate anything going wrong with it let alone signing an EULA…thats an end-user license agreement which is a contract you sign between you and a manufacturer when you are usually assessing new equipment or software.

Mr Thomas from Philip Blooms comments page “When buying an Epic, RED gave my boss an EULA to agree to that included wording that made it clear that any issues were to go through RED and nobody else. Would be really surprised if you didn’t get the same terms of use.

If this is true its the one single point that would stop me from ever buying a RED camera, can you imaging Sony selling you an F3 and asking you to sign such a document…GET REAL !!! This must be the first time in my production life of over 25 years that a manufacturer has had the nerve to impose restrictions when buying a video product.

I think this episode has been very damaging to RED, Philip has a huge following of potential customers and if I were RED I would seriously be looking at improving my products reliability issues and stop being obsessed with what people might say about your product…good or bad.

And just like magic Jim has actually posted on RED USER with an apology to Philip Bloom.

The Case of Philip Bloom… – Today, 06:29 PM By Jim Jannard

“I guess everyone makes mistakes… this one was mine.

A lot has been posted about this so I thought I would clarify from our perspective.

This situation is my fault… no one else’s. My apology was offered to Philip and apparently accepted.

Philip has returned his EPIC and cancelled his Scarlet order.

We will not allow any disrespectful posts here on Reduser about Philip or anyone else…

We consider the case closed. Nothing to see here… move along.”


Lets hope Philip is back to his cheery old self as was seen here at the Skywalker Ranch 2 years ago.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Canon EOS C300 what’s all the hype about

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

So why is their so much hype leading up to the shipment of the first Canon C300’s …simple…after almost a year we finally have a camera that will accept Canon EF lenses if you choose the C300 flavour, the C300 PL only takes prime lenses, not an option I would choose…not having any PL glass !

Secondly as usual Canon sit, watch and enter the market with a camera fit for HD broadcast, at 50Mbps (CBR) 4:2:2 422P@HL you no longer need to attach those cumbersome add on recorders to meet HD broadcast standards and to a cameraman/woman that’s mighty important.

I have said this till I am “blue in the puss” but we (camera persons) DO NOT LIKE ADD ON’S especially ones that make or break a production like an external recorder, Sony not only missed the point with the 35Mb F3 but will find it a struggle to compete with the Canon at £9940 plus vat.

What ever happened to the EF adapters we were promised for the Panasonic AF101, Sony F3 and FS100, so far only RedRock have managed to ship their LiveLens adapter and thats only for the AF101, Birger Engineering seem to have dropped of the radar leaving us MTF who should be shipping early January 2012 with adapters for the AF101, F3 and the FS100 allowing you to control the iris on the Canon EF lens.

The adapters are welcome but you can’t beat the feel of the EF lens bayonet fit straight onto the front of the camera which is the major appeal of the C300 also if you choose the EF version you have a wider range of cost effective Canon glass and a far wider angle of view not seen on PL glass.

I am off to get my hands on a C300 this coming Tuesday not to do a review but just to see and feel the camera for myself, I hope to have a production model late January and you can be assured a full in-depth user review will be produced and as a new feature for 2012 all my video reviews will be uploaded in HD.


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Fantastic price on the Canon EOS C300 or C300 PL at H Preston Media

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Remember everyone will have a limited stock come January-February so get your order in ASAP. XXIT from Stargate Studios was filmed using the EOS C300 and the quality looks very good indeed, I have not seen anything comparable shot with a Sony F3 though its not to say one is being produced as I write.

XXIT from Stargate Studios on Vimeo.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Redundancies announced after ITN wins back contract from Channel 5

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The Guardian home

Richard Desmond’s Channel 5 will relaunch its news output next year with on-air reporters editing their own footage.

5 News is making more than a third of its news staff redundant – including all editors and newsroom staff – in a fresh bid to cut costs at the broadcaster.

About 16 staff are being made redundant as part of changes to the Channel 5 news output, which will see some on-air presenters edit their own footage and the introduction of “low-budget” cameras.

The redundancies were announced to staff after ITN won back the contract to produce 5 News from Sky News. ITN will take over the daily bulletin, fronted by presenters Matt Barbet and Emma Crosby, in February 2012.

ITN said most of the redundant staff would be replaced but in different roles. “We’ve always said the majority of 5 News staff will be transferring to ITN,” a spokesman for ITN said. “We are currently in consultation with the workforce as we reconfigure roles on the service. As with any change, ITN does have different working practices to other news producers and we are supporting staff through this process.”

Some 5 News cameramen are understood to be furious after being told that their job title would be changed to “video journalist”, which incorporates a broader range of editorial duties, and given what they claim are low-budget cameras. Some on-air reporters will edit their own footage.

“They’ve been given old [Sony] EX1s,” said one 5 News insider. “They were told that they’re award-winning cameras – but that’s only because they’re used in war zones.”

The 5 News budget for international coverage is also understood to have been squeezed, with foreign coverage next year restricted to the US presidential election.

Desmond was expected to make sweeping changes to the 5 News budget after he bought the terrestrial broadcaster for £103.5m in August last year.

Channel 5 and Sky News had held on/off discussions over the past year to cancel the agreement – thought to be worth £9m a year – as Desmond sought to cut the cost of 5 News. ITN’s new deal is thought to be worth considerably less.

A focus on lighter news and the introduction of the entertainment news magazine spin-off OK! TV – which was scrapped last week after just nine months on air – followed 80 redundancies at the network, in a clearout some compared to the brutal aftermath of Desmond’s Express Newspapers purchase, which saw 130 staff made redundant 11 years ago.

Josh Halliday

HDW : Once again we see the rot setting into UK independent television with staff being made redundant for a do it yourself news output, not just as bad as CNN but skilled professionals out of a job is bad news in my books.

There is a mention of replacing some of the staff in different roles which is no bad thing but the cameramen are now to be called video journalists is a joke.


The Sony EX1r I presume as EX1s are now discontinued will produce great broadcast footage at 35Mbs its only the BBC that have some hang up about everything in HD land must be 50Mbs or more.

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An early review of the Canon C300

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

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See the new Sony F65 at CVP

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CNN lay off 50 staffers for FREE content by non professionals

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Walter Biscardi “As has been reported recently, CNN laid off 50 staffers, primarily videographers and editors.   Why?   Essentially after a three year internal review, CNN has determined that professional editors are not necessary to craft news stories any longer.   Instead they are expanding their iReport section allowing for more user generated content to be provided to the network, at absolutely zero cost to the network.

I have to have to say, this is the first time I’ve seen a broadcaster literally coming out and saying we’re going to replace professionals with consumers and hobbyists. They save the salaries of 50 professionals and get all sorts of free content, no matter how it’s shot or edited with no regard for sound or video quality. Kind of ironic to see this push to the lowest common denominator at the same time that so many editors are discovering the joys of high end color correction tools.”

You can read the full story at :

This is a very chilling story especially when you can bet the bean counters over here in the UK will be watching this story with great interest.

Television news in its basic form is someone passing on some information with the odd video thrown in for good measure so why do I care ?

I care because my craft is being eroded by shareholders and bean counters who could not care less what rubbish you see on your televisions as long as the bottom line is saving money. Many a poor decision has been taken with shareholders in mind.

British television news has always been at the forefront of innovative yet interesting formats the best in my mind is still the national BBC news network with Sky news coming a close second.

We still get on the whole well produced news items filmed by experienced camera men/women and edited usually by the news staff reporters themselves. Its all cuts and the reporters are taught how to do simple editing with the more involved story being cut by an editor.

VJs or Video Journalists as they are known by are staff reporters who turn up to a news story with a semi professional camcorder and produce simple point and shoot news story’s, sadly this has also meant laying off cameramen and women and using less freelancers for daily news.

To go down the CNN road is to completely rip the heart out of a newsroom by using amateur footage full stop…anyone can work for zero and you can be well assured that the free footage producers for CNN will get sick of working for nothing after a while or worse still produce utter rubbish because their enthusiasm has diminished.

People eventually click that big companies are taking the rip and I think CNN will 100% live to regret this unprofessional move towards free TV news input.

As news watchers we accept the odd news story with amateur footage usually filmed on a mobile phone but could you imaging everything filmed at that quality !

Newspapers are always looking for free content from their readers for their web sites but their is a marked difference in standards between web news and television news.

This is part of Scottish Televisions local news input via the web it’s more like a community news port with some footage shot locally by the web providers, not as professional as the main news coverage that STV provides but it keeps someone in a job.

People are savvy creatures they may not be television producers but they know when they are being short changed and amateur footage shines through like a sore thumb, lest we forget ratings why would Ted Turner forgo the all important ratings just to save a few bucks in peoples wages, this news is a sad day for world television news and even sadder for those professionals who after many years service lose their highly skilled jobs to a bunch of amateurs it beggars belief.

Just in case you have some smashing FREE footage that you want to get rid of then Final Cut Pro 10 has the answer , (I knew FCP-10 was useful for something) the drop down panel under sharing you have surprise, surprise an option called iReport so you can see CNN were thinking of this move well over a year ago.

Fortunately for us in the UK the BBC should remain relatively free from the amateur poking their nose into television news reporting but you do have to keep an eye on companies like CNN who seem to think they have the perfect solution to the wage-less news room when it will fall flat on their face in years to come and a legacy they will certainly not be proud of.

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