“A year with the Canon C300”
I don’t think I have owned a camera for as long as a year recently so it’s a testimony to Canon that the C300 has not been part-ex’d with H Preston Media ! Up until the Canon C100 I always thought my second camera had to be a standard video camcorder but my thoughts have since changed.
The restriction with having one Super 35mm camera is the time it takes to change from one lens to another, especially outdoors, I am not happy swapping lenses with the sensor exposed to the elements. If on the other hand like photography, you have two bodies then lens changing becomes less of a problem.
My Canon C300 is undoubtedly the best pictures I have had from any camera to date, having the shallow depth of field (SDOF) is an asset but not as important as it used to be, SDOF can destroy a good interview so must be used with caution.
During the year we have been commissioned to produce a 45m DVD about Type One Diabetes for the Scottish Government this has taken us from Aberdeen to Abernethy in the Scottish borders. The C300 has been invaluable with interviews and if we take 8 doctors and NHS staff, 20 patients and 5 carers plus more to film it’s been a joy having the continuity of the C300 throughout the shoot.
Every time without exception I still get a kick watching the footage back and the camera has come down almost £4K since I bought my C300.
1. Love the picture from the C300 it has a cinematic texture all of its own, especially good in low light.
2. The hand grip is one of the cameras strengths having so many controls to hand is a joy to use.
3. 50Mbps onto compact flash makes it relatively cheap compared to the competition.
4. Very user friendly menu system especially custom picture settings.
5. Dedicated Canon EF lenses give you such a wide scope
6. 3 ND filters plus clear gives you far more control over depth of field
1. Don’t like the LCD attached to the XLRs, makes sound recording very cumbersome.
2. Would prefer a dedicated switch on the side of the camera for ISO like the C100.
3. The CF flap doors can be fiddly to open.
4. The LCD can get stuck if you tighten the knob too much.
5. The two umbilical leads are messy and quite stiff to remove.
I have a lot of soul searching to do over the next few weeks as I decide on a new partner for the C300, I had set my mind on a JVC GY-HM600/650 till I saw the C100 pictures. The C100 is a perfect “B” camera to the C300 as it matches the C300 in both colour and noise.
The lesser price of the C100 is also a major bonus and the lighter body is also an asset for hand held filming.
So that’s my year with the C300 now it’s not all been a bundle of joy, having one camera body is very restricting when doing corporate work and can lead to missing shots or re takes due to having the wrong lens attached. The lack of servo zoom is also a pain but the solution certainly for corporate work is a second body or a more conventional camcorder.
The only problem with a conventional camcorder is the “look”, the C300 produces such a unique smooth cinematic punchy picture its very difficult to mix and match though not impossible.