Canon C100 with Hoodman Loupe and 4″ hood riser

Categories: Miscellaneous 12 Comments

C100-hoodman

This is the best £100 you will spend for your Canon C100 a 3″ Hoodman Loupe with a 4″ Hood Riser. The one thing that had me in a tiz using the C100 was focusing, the C300 has a decent viewfinder but the C100 comes with a VF that quite frankly is a joke.

Add the Hoodman with a hood riser and you have cracked it, the 3.5″ LCD is more than capable of allowing critical focus, this brings the C100 into a different league adding a cracking second camera to the C300 and an all in one solution.

Hoodman-C100

As you can see the Hoodman loupe can be used in this upright position for lo-angle filming it comes with a flexible sheath that contains the 3″ loupe and the 4″ riser you will have to cut a section out of the sheath in order to get it to fit round the LCD.

Hood-adjust

Took the C100 out for a further spin today using it as a B camera just to satisfy my curiosity, as you can see both cameras match very well together and thats on a C300 @ 720p and the C100 @ 1080 50i.

I would have no second thoughts using the C100 as an A or B camera, Canon may have downgraded the camera to 4:2:0 @ 24Mbps but take it from me back in the edit suite taken onto a 720p timeline you cannot “see the join”.

Shazia-C300-v5

I now have a dilemma I was going for a JVC GY-HM600/650 for run and gun but the success of pairing the two Canon’s together has made me re-think what avenue to go down. I love the C100’s lighter body for hand held use…the far better use of XLR’s on the handle…the 3.5″ LCD on the back of the camera and finally the IOS button on the body of the camera.

Having dug out my Hoodman and hood riser has given me a far better feeling towards the C100 as it gives you the ability for critical focus something thats sadly missing from the standard C100 configuration. I also have the Zacuto EVF but that needs arms, batteries and adds weight…no thanks.

I hope to film a scenario with the C100 on new years eve just to give you a flavour of the run and gun performance and low light capabilities, this should be edited the next day and uploaded for all to see during this coming week, have a Happy New Year and a great 2013.

Update (September 2013) : Since writing this there is not any cheaper alternative for the Canon C100, The Hoodman is not perfect but works, especially if you are using it with the LCD in default mode (resting against the camera body).

Zacuto have this loupe called the C100 Z Finder Pro but at a cost of £311 from CVP.

C100-Z-Finder-Pro-1

 

Z-Finder-2

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

Canon C100 “First impressions”

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

First-impressions-C100

Having been a tad negative about the Canon C100 I gave it a spin today on a paying job and discovered it was far better than I was expecting.

Loosing a lot of the features I have come to expect from the C300 I was some what surprised to find a few new surprises, on the switch side of the camera Canon now include an ISO/gain button, very useful, the ND buttons have been changed for a rotating filter switch, far more positive.

C100-side

Before shooting I set up the “Custom Picture” to AC Neutral which was concocted by Alister Chapman before he sold his C300. I didn’t have time to check it against the C300 so off I went to film a 2 month old baby near Edinburgh. My first small disappointment was the lack of HD SDI socket but the full size HDMI was fine for my Sony 740 monitor.

I did the main work with the trusty C300 then decided to take the C100 out for a test drive, to my surprise it matched the C300 perfectly. A great feature is the carry handle with its onboard XLR connectors and adjustments on the other side not to mention an inbuilt microphone, so much better that the C300.

Baby-bottle-web

Here is a frame from todays shoot and the shots were indistinguishable from my C300 even shot at 1080 50i. I brought the 24Mbps footage into FCPX to allow me to get a few frames, I must take my hat off to Canon the C100 is a great wee camera.

baby-in-bedweb

These are not C300 4:2:2 50Mbps pictures but C100 4:2:0 24Mbps pictures but were equally stunning.

The only side of the C100 that I didn’t take to was the LCD for focusing but I used peeking which helped and I will use my extended Hoodman on Sunday when I will be taking it out for a further spin.

At just over £4,400 the C100 is a delight to use especially the lighter body, you can get better handheld shots far more easier with this camera and is a must for anyone using a C300 who needs a “B” camera.

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

16 Cameras in 2012 “Two more than last year”

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments

16-cameras-2012

The race is on…”How many cameras can we produce in one year” well it seems like this as once again we have been presented with 16 cameras mainly from Japan.

April-v2
April the month of NAB was the start of the new camcorders…Sony NEX-FS700, JVC GY-HM600, GY-HM650, Canon C500 and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The NEX-FS700 was the latest Super 35mm camcorder from Sony to take the world by storm having Full HD 200 fps slow motion via a 9 second burst, everyone wanted one of these camcorders but delivery was slow and the backorders diminished as other equally interesting cameras were announced.

The FS700 also added three positions of ND a new more robust carry handle and a very unexpected 4K ready CMOS sensor, the price was another bone of contention at £2500 more than the FS100 it was a fair hike that many decided to see how the competition would react.

1-cam-April

Canon also announced the 4K C500 but spoiled it by taking off the hand grip one of the best features when using the Canon C300. Canon also decided to make the C500 2K recordable internally leaving you the expense of having to buy an external 4K recorder, this in my opinion is the sole reason for the C500 sluggish sales.

Lastly during April we also got a sniff of a new camera from a manufacturer famous for low cost fantastic value for money known for its computer IO cards…Blackmagic Design.

The 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera was to set the heather alight but was soon extinguished with poor sensors leading to a January 2013 proposed delivery, 6 months from the scheduled delivery date.

At just over £2000 a camera this has to be the snip of the decade with a 2.5K sensor, 5″ touchsceen, SSD memory slot and cinematic pictures to die for. Having the ability to record RAW or to ProRes is adding to the giant pre order list. 13 stops of dynamic range in RAW mode also helps with a FREE copy of Blackmagics Resolve LE to boot.

2-April

Panasonic were to announce their 2/3″ HPX-600 shoulder mount camcorder and a new micro P2 card system allowing cameramen and women to finally rid themselves of expensive P2 cards but sadly the micro P2 adapters were still over a year away playing havoc with dwindling sales of the fantastic HPX-250 and the HPX-600 camcorders.

Sony were also to announce a further two camcorders in April, the PMW-100 and the HXR-NX30.

The Sony PMW-100 was Sony’s first hand held camcorder to achieve 50Mbps but the single sensor and general malaise like the hanging plastic lens cap did nothing to warm people to this camcorder.

3-April

The Sony HXR-NX30 was strange in looks but having a floating gyroscopic lens that really acts as good as any professional steady-cam gave this camera a sales boost and word of mouth soon spread. Not having any control over the gain was a major minus but the ability to view your rushes on any white wall via the inbuilt micro projector was it’s saving grace.

April was a month full of new camcorders in fact 8 at the last count, three models stood out for me and that was the Sony FS700 the Blackmagic camera and the JVC GY-HM650.

Junev2

Not a hoot till June then Sony were forced to announce the PMW-200 a three chip version of the dwindling 100. The PMW-200 was a different animal altogether having a 14x constant aperture lens, 4:2:2 50Mbps recording to SxS a far better spec camcorder all round.

200

Basically this was an EX1r in a new body plus 4:2:2 50Mbps, sadly the camera also sported a new recording format called XQD and at 125Mbps was certainly up to reading and writing anything the 200 was to throw at it but Sony’s message was clear “Only use XQD cards in 50Mbps mode in an emergency situation”. This was in my opinion a marketing ploy to make sure you always bought into the SxS card system which apart from expensive works fine.

Over the last two years Sony have lost a ton of sales to the Australian MxR adapter system allowing XDCAM EX users to enjoy Full HD 35Mbps onto a £25 SDHC card so Sony were gunning for a way to stop the sales haemorrhage of SxS cards and 50Mbps clinched it.

August-v2

We had three new cameras during August, the Canon C100 the Sony NEX-EA50 and the Panasonic AC90.

The Canon C100 was very much a cut down C300 but with many of the bells and whistles removed, not having 720 50p was in my opinion a step too far and the included viewfinder is far to small to be of any use.

One of the C100s endearing features is the carry handle with the XLRs and built in microphone, many C300 users would swap this at the drop of a hat as the C300 has the LCD attached onto the handle making it very cumbersome to use.

Fortunately Canon kept the hand grip on the C100 which for technical reasons has been left off the C500, you also get the lesser 4:2:0 AVCHD recording onto SDHC cards but if you add an external HDMI recorder you can get the full 4:2:2 signal making it equal in quality to the C300 but not in frame rates.

1-Aug

The Sony NEX-EA50 is the one stranger to me, I have seen very little footage from this camcorder though I did get a glance at on during BVE North to see it was a slim longish camcorder, a shoulder mount with some beef taken off.

The EA50 suffers from having an APS-C sensor which is known for its moire and severe rolling shutter not to mention the lack of ND filters, records onto MPEG-4 AVCHD 2.0 format and sadly only one SDHC card slot.

The plus points are the side mounted LCD with loupe, shoulder mount extendable pad and an 18-200mm servo zoom very useful for those looking to use this camcorder for weddings.

2-Aug

Lastly the Panasonic AG-AC90 once again I saw this camcorder at BVE North and was pleasently surprised by the picture quality using three (RGB) backside illuminated 1/4.7 type MOS image sensors.

Many people think Panasonic reverse engineered the HDC-Z10000 3D camcorder but I am reliably informed that the AC90 was built from the ground up recording onto 2 card slots using cheap SDHC cards with AVCHD and 1080 50p.

The AC90 has a 12x optical zoom with manual aperture ring on the lens, 2 channel XLR connectors and full remote functions of both lens, iris and camera start/stop functions at just over £1300 it has to be the snip of 2012.

Sept-v2

September brought us two camcorders the Sony VG900 and the Sony PMW-150.

The Sony VG900 is the first Sony camcorder to include a full frame 36x24mm sensor its a bit of a dark horse as I have not seen one and little footage online. Once again recording onto AVCHD at 1080 50p, one card slot offering Memory stick duo or SDHC.

Choosing the right lens a SELP-18-200 E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Power Zoom lens you have the facility for servo zoom on the VG900, at £3,500 body only this full frame camcorder is not cheap.

1-Sept

Also in September Sony decided we must have a camcorder to fit in between the PMW-100 and the 200…enter the PMW-150 a further 50Mbps camcorder with 1/3″ CMOS chips once again a bit of a dark horse but noisy compared to the Panasonic AC90 or the JVC GY-HM600.

With a 20x Fujinon lens and recording onto two SxS card slots once again Sony have restricted the 50Mbps recording to SxS and 35Mbps to SDHC via the Sony MEAD adapter.

October-v3

October 2012 was to be the last month this year for a major camera announcement and for many Sony’s best.

Enter not one but two camcorders the PMW-F5 and the PMW-F55 both cracking Super 35mm camcorders but very individual when it came to specifications.

The PMW-F5 is basically a 4K camcorder with the ability to record 2K internally onto SxS cards while the PMW-F55 has the capability to record 4K onto special SxS cards internally and has that all important global shutter.

Having a global shutter means a large sensor camera that does not suffer from rolling shutter or as they call it the Jello effect.

1-Oct

Both cameras use the same optional viewfinders the DVF-L350 £2,400 or a higher resolution DVF-EL100 £3,300 as you can see these cameras are not a cheap option as the body’s alone cost F55 £22,800 and F5 £12,300 respectively but at a serious 16bit 4:2:2 RAW output these cameras are the best within their price range as you can get.

So there you have it 16 cameras in one year two more than 2011 the question is are we getting camera-overdosing, can you suffer too much of a good thing ? What about 2013 what have the manufacturers got in store for us next year ?

I think things will settle down a wee bit next year, Panasonic will have their micro P2 card allowing a few of us to enjoy P2 without the ongoing expense of £500 a pop for a 64G card, I think Panasonic will also show a new P2 Super 35mm large sensor camera.

Sony have had a fair run this year with 9 camcorders, one for every conceivable pocket but I hope they can review their policy of giving us 50Mbps camcorders that only use SxS cards.

JVC have had a great year with their HM600 range of CMOS camcorders and I predict this will now evolve into the shoulder mount 700 series next year.

Canon must update their XF300 camcorders this year as their getting long in the tooth and a tad dated, as for the EOS Super 35mm range a re-design of the camera would finally see the XLRs on the body of the cameras and a move over to 10bit.

Blackmagic have enough on their plate getting their camera out and delivered by January but as all good manufacturers they will have version 2 on the drawing board ready for an August announcement.

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

Sony PMW-F55 Review 2012

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Sony-F55

The camera that caused the most interest at BVE North 2012 was the Sony PMW-F55, finally Sony produce a large sensor camera that not only looks the part, is fit for purpose but is a major threat to both RED and ARRI because they appear to have taken note of all of their rival’s key features and combined them all to create what appears to be the most versatile and capable mid-market digital cinematography camera. I say mid-market because Sony are making it very clear that the F55 is positioned below their flagship F65.

F55-handheld

Here are the key and enhanced features of the F55

  • Full HD & 4K
  • Super 35mm 4K CMOS Imager
  • 4,096 x 2,160, 11.6M total pixels, 8.9M effective pixels, Bayer Pattern
  • High sensitivity (ISO 2000) and low noise (S/N 57dB with noise reduction off)
  • High Frame Rate of up to 120fps
  • Internal Recording to SxS media
  • Modular Design
  • RAW Recording capability to a new modular “dockable” external recorder, the AXS-R5
  • 50Mb/s / 4:2:2 Broadcast Friendly HD
  • New XAVC Codec for efficient 4K
  • Shoulder Pad & Class-leading OLED HD viewfinder & mount options to provide a genuine shoulder-mount camcorder
  • Dual lens mount as standard – Arri PL & Sony FZ
  • Higher frame rate of up to 240fps (Full HD RAW or 60fps (4k RAW) with optional  AXS-R5 recorder
  • Internal recording at up to 180fps onto SxS media using XAVC Codec (HD / 4K)
  • Simultaneous XAVC and MPEG 2 recording capability – onto the same SxS media card
  • Slightly reduced sensitivity of ISO 1250 when compared to F5
  • Global Shutter (Eliminates rolling shutter effect)
  • F65 Colour Gamut

F55-Frame-Rate

At £22,800 the F55 is for a small number of specialist DP’s in both drama and well paid commercial TV work, this is the Super 35mm 4K/2K camera of 2012 it beats the competition hands down. Sony dragged their heals with various large sensor camcorders the F3 being the first but eventually caught up and overtook the competition though you need a hefty bank balance to fully kit yourself out with an F55 plus 4K recorder though unlike the F5 you can record 4K direct to SxS with the F55.

Best-S35mm

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The Queen’s Speech in 3D ? “BBC HD NOT IN 3D”

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Queen-in-3D

 

Only Sky with a heavy investment in 3D HD would even consider filming the Queens speech in 3D. With less than 2% of the UK population having invested in 3D capable television it beggars belief that Sky decide to film the Queen in 3D.

As we all know, certainly within the video industry that 3D once again has been a passing phase. Mr Cameron and Mr Jackson are a handful of directors who keep the 3D flame burning along with the Hobbit being the most recent major title to be filmed in 3D.

3D at this years production trade shows like IBC and BVE North was almost non existent with no camera manufacturer showing off any 3D capable camcorder.

I don’t understand why anyone would entertain 3D till we get true 3D with no glasses, I have a Panasonic 3D TV and I have watched less that 1 hour in total of 3D TV. 3D was a phase once again and the next time it will raise it’s head will be true 3D TV with no need for flickering, light reducing glasses.

UPDATE : OK so 3pm arrives and hey presto BBC HD decide not to give us a signal in 3D so I had to find a Sky channel showing it in side by side mode…joke !

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

A Merry Christmas to all my readers and my sponsors

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

xmas

 

It’s Monday the 24th of December 2012 the night before Christmas, I hope you all have a great Christmas with your friends and family over the festive period and I will be back on boxing day with another camera review of 2012.

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

BlackMagic Cinema Camera Review 2012

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

BM-Cinema-Camera-title-v2

The BlackMagic Cinema Camera has been field tested by Rick Young both in Australia and the UK. This is a strange looking camera very different in it’s concept but at a price that you can’t argue with.

Rick “I was in Australia when I got my hands on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Footage in this report was filmed in Australia and then later in the UK. Id never worked with RAW, the last time I shot film was in 1992, and suddenly, in my hands, was something like a big DSLR capable of turning out images at 2.5K recorded to SSD as 12-bit RAW, not only that I could use all my existing Canon EF lenses and I could shoot ProRes if I chose.

Initial tests were amazing and difficult. Amazing… the quality and detail which I captured, difficult …because I had no idea how to use DaVinci Resolve, I had recorded over 30 minutes of RAW footage and couldnt do anything with it. I looked at Resolve with no clue what to do.

I opened the manual and starting reading. I read info. online and searched for video tutorials… I got there. A few hours later and I was able to bring footage in and out of the system, do basic correction, and output.

The images were the most film-like images I have worked with since I worked with film. I realise thats a big statement, though let me qualify it by saying Ive been shooting and working with video since 1989. My experiences with video gear go back to the 1980s in days of 4:3, one inch C-format and Betacam before SP or DigiBeta even existed. Ive used a lot cameras and a lot of formats and the video look has persisted.

blackmagiccinemacamera-v2

Given that the camera works native with Canon EF lenses means some of the best glass on the planet can be used. Not only can you use Canon lenses, Nikon lenses can also be used: via adapters. With adapter attached Nikon lenses can be mounted onto the Canon EF lens mount on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The world of camera technology is red hot right now. With 4K cameras announced by Sony, price drops from RED, Canon D500 shooting 4K, Alexa at the high-end… and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera slips in at an unimaginable price-point and delivers in terms of image quality and resolution. Having shot with the camera now for several months I would say this camera is definitely a capable shooting machine and not something which has been overhyped.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is now slowly coming to market. It is shipping in limited quantities. Soon these cameras will be everywhere and the world of digital filmmaking will be changed forever.

Rick

The BlackMagic Cinema Camera represents fantastic value for money, their attention to quality control has meant a major hold up in production till the sensor is free from problems which is a major plus in BlackMagics honesty rather than punting the end users with faulty goods. Everything I have seen and read about this camera earns it a 6 star rating.

BM-Cine-cam

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

Sony NEX-FS700 Review 2012

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Sony-NEX-FS700-title

Once again I need a third party to assess the FS700 as I have never used one. I have chosen my good friend Frank Glencairn who took the camcorder for a test just after it appeared on the market.

Frank..

It looks like Sony has really listened to the users. We finally have that ND Filter wheel, a lot of guys where asking for. The top handle is super beefy now and feels like it is milled out of one massive block of aluminum. Also the front mount sits on a big black metal base, very solid and twice the size of the FS100 counterpart. Overall the whole body feels more rugged and solid, but gained some weight, because of all the extra metal.

The buttons on the body are all raised, for much easier access, you can even find them blind now.
There are also two new buttons. Face detection, which works surprisingly good, once it`s really locked in – something that can be handy in a complex steadycam shot or run & gun situations. Also there is a “HOLD” button, that can block some functions to prevent, changing them accidentally. You can choose the functions you want to block in the menu.

The new side grip has a big Arri style rosette and is much easier to mount/adjust. It features additional buttons for iris push auto, start/stop, photo, expanded focus and a zoom rocker. I guess that means, that we can expect to see some motorized zoom glass from SONY soon.

The card slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards or Memory Sticks. In addition to the HDMI output, the FS700 got a HD-SDI/3G output – something I personally really appreciate.
Also there are a component, video and audio out jacks. One of the XLR inputs got moved forward, closer to the camera microphone.

The monitor seems to be the same, but with touch focus and touch focus transition, like in the Epic, also you can change the displayed units like ISO/db, distance and the like. It also gives you – up to 8x – magnifying.

The FS700 comes as a “World Camera”. So you can switch between 50Hz and 60Hz and the corresponding frame rates in the menu.

Frank-FS700

This is an other exciting new feature, that nobody saw coming in a camera, in this class and price tag.

It´s a burst mode and works like this:

1. Set your frame rate
2. Hit the trigger (start, or end-trigger)
3. Watch your glorious Super Slow Motion clip on the monitor, while it is dumped to the card, or your external recorder in real time.

This are the speeds available:
When selecting 60Hz: 120fps, 240fps, 480fps, 960fps
When selecting 50Hz: 100fps, 200fps, 400fps, 800fps

Recording formats:
When selecting 60Hz 1080/60p PS, 1080/30p FX, 1080/30p FH, 1080/24p FX, 1080/24p FH
When selecting 50Hz 1080/50p PS, 1080/25p FX, 1080/25p FH

Recording Burst Times:
When selecting 60Hz: 960/19sec, 480/10sec, 240/8sec, 120/16sec
When selecting 50Hz 800/23sec, 400/12sec, 200/9sec, 100/19sec

I found speeds up to 200/240 looking fantastic, 480/400 are still usable, but you can see the difference. everything faster, is for use at lower resolutions.

VERDICT

In a nutshell: After I shot a few days with the FS700, my FS100 is for sale. The camera I had, worked great, without any hick-ups or any other problems, even from the bed of a truck at 80 MPH.

Noise is about the same as in the FS100, and it looks like we lost a bit of low light sensitivity (still impressive), but the downsampled images from the new sensor are stunning and the option of future 4k raw output is amazing.

We get better highlight roll off, because of the new Hypergammas (maybe they also did something to the processing), DR also seems a tad better, but hard to say, without proper testing.

I´m very pleased, that Sony not only listened to us, and made most of the wishes, FS100 owners had come true, but on top of that, they gave us a great new Exmor sensor with 4k Super Slo-Mo capabilities.

Please bear in mind, that all I found, relates to a pre production model and that Sony is still optimizing some functions.

Frank-bio

Sony brought us this camera under the wire, no one knew it was coming and everyone who has tried it has had nothing but praise for the FS700, as Frank said finally ND filters, a decent hand grip and although not as sensitive as the FS100 it has a 4K ready Super 35mm CMOS sensor and that alone gives the Sony 6 out of 6. Like it’s wee sister having 1080 50p is a sensation and at the body only price of £6,216 is the cheapest 4K camcorder by far.

Sony-FS700-6-out-of-6

 

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

JVC GY-HM600 Review 2012

Categories: Miscellaneous 29 Comments

JVC-GY-HM600

As I am now assessing the GY-HM650 I feel quite at liberty to reflect my feelings using the GY-HM600. I used the HM600 twice over the last month and was very impressed.

Out of the box this camcorder performed fantastic taking on board the camera is JVCs first 1/3″ CMOS camcorder they could not have produced a better camera if they tried.

The best bit about JVC is their ability to listen and add firmware updates within a month of implementation, this is unheard of in the video manufacturing world, the best you get from their competitors is 6 months.

JVC took this initial camcorder re-jigged the electronics and WOW, the performance in standard mode is stunning and I mean stunning, at 0dB the camera is as quiet as I have seen from any camera 2-3 times the price.

Not only that but it has variable shutter which to all intent purposes “Syncro Scan”, with variable scan you can dial out the flicker on a CRT, it has dual record onto both SDHC cards, Pre Record, 5,10 and 15 seconds, Clip Continuous Rec where you can consolidate all your clips into one large clip, Frame record for stop motion effects and Interval time record allowing you to record a process over time…the amount of competitors camcorders in the last few years that have left out interval time record is shocking.

JVC-GY-HM600-camcorder-v2

Even dare I say it 1080 50p is being looked into by JVC as a firmware upgrade which would bring this camcorder above all other competitors for features and frame rates.

35Mbps onto Quick Time (MPEG2) brings your footage onto FCPX without needing transcoded and is broadcast news ready, though from my past experience don’t  buy this camcorder hoping to earn big bucks from poor paying news outlets the best you will get is £35-50 for your footage which is an insult to your intelligence.

I am one camera down at the moment and let me tell you the GY-HM600/650 are top of my list for run and gun, my only problem is deciding wether to go for a 600 or a 650.

What can I say about the price of £3,474 for the GY-HM600 a camera that has every conceivable feature not to mention the 23x lens (29-667mm 35mm guide) plus face tracking…plus flashband compensation the list goes on and on.

For sheer fantastic value for money, feature set and quality of picture the JVC GY-HM600 is the first camcorder to be awarded a 6 star rating.

JVC-6-star

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

Canon C100 2012 Review

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

C100-title-v2

Matt Davis “Detailed images, great highlight control with both Wide Dynamic Range and C-Log settings, a small neat hand-held form factor and plenty of features for Pro Videographers rather than indie film shooters. WFM, Cache Record, Dual Media slots with an option to record simultaneously on two cards, the ability to fine-tune shutter speeds to wayward computer/TV screens, fractional iris and gain, 0-6 stops of ND and a solid Canon EF mount that incorporates Auto Focus and Image Stabilisation where fitted. It’s the joy of DSLR video but with all the Pro accoutrements.

You’re getting the C300’s sensor and processing, fed to the non-broadcast AVCHD codec which – in the world of Corporate and Event videography – will be absolutely fine. When you need 4:2:2, simply hook up a separate recorder (the Ninja 2 works very well) and you’re all set for Broadcast or Chromakey.

It’s definitely not a perfect camera. The main downside is that Canon’s Marketing Department were overzealous in crippling the C100 to protect the C300 – 720p50/60 is the standard for DVD material (great SD with web friendly HD) but is absent from the C100. There’s no intervalometer even though there’s a half-hearted Slow Shutter mode. The EVF is barely adequate for ensuring that the camera is pointing in the right direction, and neither the EVF or the Panel should be trusted for exposure and colour balance.

But it comes down to the pictures, which are lovely.

Slomo, Timelapse and 1080p50/60 aficionados must look elsewhere (specifically the FS700). However, if you’re shooting Run & Gun, need to be inconspicuous, work fast and light, the C100 is a very well balanced camera with very good image quality. However, it’s gaining a reputation as ‘the Gateway Camera to C300 ownership”.
C100-webC100 Moan/Wish List:

– White balance 1: please can we have a more ‘spot mode’ for white set – currently we must fill the screen for an accurate white set, often requiring we remove the camera from its position, move to the subject and white set. We don’t have long ENG lenses to isolate a bit of white, and I note how EASY it is to achieve poor WB if you don’t fill the screen with a white sample.

– White balance 2: please can we have a more intelligent ‘ambient white set’ like Sonys – if no real white is available, one can white set on a scene and certain colours (e.g. skin tone) are picked up on and a fairly good WB is achieved especially in mixed light (e.g. daylight/fluoro, tungsten/MH).

– Intervalometer: Timelapse is a staple of videography – make dull exteriors or boring subjects like crowds or queues interesting by a little timelapse (1 frame every 1-10 seconds) – WITH SLOW SHUTTER. The latter is vital to achieve the ‘smeary/dreamy’ look. We could bring a DSLR and do it properly, but 1) it requires another ‘camera ecosystem’ with power, lenses, etc) and more importantly 2) I work alone, and don’t want to leave a camera unattended where it could be a H&S or even theft issue. EX1 was a dream in this respect.

– Focus Magnify: we need to be able to move the focus area (like a DSLR) so we can check critical focus on areas other than dead centre during a shot. Rule of thirds composition usually means interviewees eyes are always tantalisingly out of the magnified area just when we need this most. Secondly, the 1x/2x/4x dual zoom mode found on DSLRs would be much appreciated – especially if using the EVF!

– Shot Duration: with almost all interviews, at the end of the take a presenter will ask ‘how long was that?’ – surely a simple option to incorporate a ‘Duration’ display in place of the ‘Timecode’ display would be easy to implement, but I see it’s not even on the C300? This is a very valid requirement on pro video kit! (we don’t have Production Assistants with stopwatches any more)

– Is it possible to set the progressive recording modes to a proper Progressive, rather than ‘PSF’ mode? Same thing, but it’s causing issues with editors who receive rushes – apps such as FCPX and Premiere Pro don’t quite understand this implementation and we’re seeing examples of incorrectly ‘deinterlaced’ PSF being put online that leads to ugly aliasing artefacts. This little engineering cheat is going to cause a lot of tears before bedtime between shooters and editors.

– Will Canon be encouraging AJA, Black Magic and Sound Devices to implement their slightly odd implementation of HDMI? Currently, only the Atomos Ninja plays nice with the C100 – due to a lot of hard work by Atomos.

– Whilst we have ‘Preset free-run’ TimeCode which can be approximated to Time Of Day Code, a proper ‘Time of Day’ code which respects the clock settings (specifically shifting the time zone) would be appreciated.

Matt-Davis

My thanks to Matt for this comprehensive user review of his Canon C100, while it is a great camera it looses points due to stupidness like not having 720 50p and a viewfinder that quite frankly is not worth having. Plus points are the splendid carry handle with XLR and internal mic which is far better than the carbuncle seen on the C300 and the ability to turn off the noisy fan. Due to some protest I have updated the star rating to 5 stars as it does have the same sensor as the C300 and low noise performance.

C100-update

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