A Year with Large Sensor cameras

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As I write my Sony FS100 is tucked away in her Kata bag ready for the next job, its been a funny old year and I will share my experiences with you using various large sensor video cameras.

January : My Panasonic AF101 arrived after first seeing it at IBC 2010 in Amsterdam, it was a camera generously loaned to me by H Preston Media who I work part time for as a technical consultant.

I was pleasantly surprised with the AF101, well built, great easy to understand menu system and that all important micro Four Thirds chip set, never before had I seen virtually  noiseless gain at 18dBs.

lenses…I had far to many lenses for the AF101 from Panasonics own to Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Voigtlander. The latter was the lens of the century the 25mm f0.95 Nokton lens from Voigtlander probably the best shallow depth of field lens second only to the Canon 50mm f1.2.

It was the first time in history I sold a lens for virtually what I had payed for it as the Nokton was not only scarcer than gold dust but almost as precious due to the volcanic eruption hitting Japan at the time.

My prime lens for interviews was the 25mm Nokton mFT followed by Canons 50mm f1.2 L lens with Kippon EF adapter and Panasonics 7-14mm F4 wide angle zoom for opening shots these were my main contenders.

Two things set the large sensor cameras head and shoulders above conventional camcorders and that is noiseless gain and shallow depth of field (SDoF), they are not particularly good run and gun cameras or off tripod in general due to lack of stabilisation and manual focusing.

After about 3 months I got a Sony F3 for review and used aside the AF101, the Panasonic showed itself to be a lot softer than the F3 which is not difficult as the AF101 is only 800 lines compared to Sonys 1000+ lines. The F3 was also a lot less noisy in low light and the extra resolution was also a bonus in low light.

June : I gave back my AF101 to Prestons to take delivery of the Sony FS100 now I have got to put my hand up and say I was more than a bit scathing of this camera before I actually began to use one myself. The lack of ND filters is just laziness on Sonys part and not having SDI out was also a poor decision by Sony but having lived with the camera for six months now it soon grows on you in fact I have actually bought my loan camera.

It comes with a body only or a Sony E 18-200 f3.5-6.3 manual zoom lens, personally forget the lens version and buy yourself an MTF Nikon to E mount adapter, sadly no one has yet appeared with a Canon adapter for the Sony E mount though MTF should be shipping during January 2012 but at just under £1000 its a dear alternative.

As you use Large Sensor cameras you become more savvy when choosing lenses for it so my three stock lenses for the FS100 are the Nikon 50mm f1.4 for interviews the Nikon DX 17-55 f2.8 lens for general filming and the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 wide zoom for establishing shots.

You learn through experience that you don’t need a bag full of lenses to produce a competent job nor the extra expense that extra lenses cost, my regret is selling off some cracking Canon L glass to move over to Nikon, not because the Canon is better glass because it isn’t but merely the extra expense of buying it all over again.

At the moment I am using a new Sony A77 DSLR and what a performance choosing decent glass for it, Sony present you with three sets of glass the Sony G lens, the Carl Zeiss lens and Sonys own zooms and prime glass, in other words three levels of quality which I do not care for. The Zeiss is good but expensive, the G glass is also good depending what you buy into and the standard glass is also surprisingly good with a cheaper look and price tag.

I mention the A77 because it has a similar look and chip to the FS100 but as yet I have done no side by side comparisons, one things for sure its not as good as the FS100 in low light noise.

Fortunately I did buy a Sony Alpha to E mount adapter and tried my three Sony lenses with the FS100, a Sony 30mm F2.8 macro lens, a Sony 16-50mm f2.8 wide zoom lens as an aside I did purchase the 50% cheaper Tamaron 17-50mm f2.8 but was disappointed by its chromatic aberrations so I sent it back. I wanted a telephoto so my budget stretched for the Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 “G” lens the lenses are all very sharp though the electronic f stop thumb wheel on the FS100 makes a very steppy, clanky manual iris, definitely not recommended for use during filming. Nothing else gets transferred via the electronic pins i.e. auto focus nor auto iris which is a surprise.

Conclusion : I love the large sensor cameras they give me that look and feel that no other camcorder can touch, the extra noiseless gain is a fantastic bonus especially when you are forced to use lenses smaller than f2.8.

My recommendation is to get a prime lens that is f1.4-f1.2 for producing interviews and don’t be scared to give the subject breathing space by shutting down the iris to f2.8 there is nothing worse than a person moving in and out of focus during an interview, 9 times out of 10 you won’t know that till you have started the interview wether they sway back and forth.

The large sensor is not for everyone or every situation hence my purchase of two Sony NX70s but as long as you follow the basic rules when filming you can get some fantastic footage that only the Super 35mm sensor can produce.


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

The need for more cameras…Why ?

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We seem to be witnessing a new trend of having more than one camera, especially large sensor cameras, I asked Alister Chapman why he needed a Canon C300 when he already had two Sony F3s.

Alister “I purchased my first pro camera and recorder back in the late 80’s. It cost me an arm and a leg, around £50k with the lens in todays money. Until a year ago I always had a main 2/3” shoulder mount camcorder. The last one was a PDW-700, which with the lens cost about £30k. With such a large investment in a single camera, it HAD to be a jack of all trades, which in many respects it was. However when Sony launched the EX1 almost 5 years ago, I felt that the writing was on the wall for the traditional, shoulder mount camcorder.

Once external recorders like the NanoFlash could be paired up with good cameras like the EX1 to meet and even exceed broadcast requirements it became harder and harder to justify the expense of a single, bulky camcorder. Remember a smaller camcorder also means smaller batteries and support equipment, all significantly reducing the cost of ownership, size of vehicle needed, insurance etc.

Now I have the luxury of owning an EX1R for run and gun, quick and easy shooting, the EX1R works very well in that type of application. Next came the PMW-F3 for those more set up shoots, interviews, documentaries, shorts and movies. I now have 2 of them as I shoot a lot of 3D and they are fantastic in this role. However the F3 (which is my all time favourite camcorder) just isn’t suitable for some of the things I shoot, especially things like tornadoes, which are often fleeting, fast moving and unpredictable. It can be done, but the EX1R is a much better camera for this type of thing.

Now I’m planning on getting a C300. Why? Well in part it’s experimental. I want to spend time learning the menu’s and setups to see what it’s capable of. But I also think that the C300 with the EOS mount may sit somewhere between the F3 and EX1R. It’s more compact than the F3 and with an L series zoom will make a very portable system that can produce broadcast quality images without an external recorder. Perhaps not quite as quick and easy to use as the EX1R but with size and weight benefits over the F3. I still think the images from an S-Log F3 with an external recorder will be superior, but that’s a pretty bulky rig. I think it might be a good fit for some of my expeditions, I’d really like to have one for my Northern Lights trip in January, but I don’t think deliveries will be in time.

I’ve also considered a Scarlet or Epic, these are great cameras, but not suited to the kinds of productions I make. Perhaps that will change. What I really want is a 4K version of the F3!

In summary the difference today is that I can afford to have  2 or 3 cameras tailored to specific shooting styles for the same cost as what I’ve been used to spending on a single jack of all trades camera in the past.”

Alister Chapman XDCAM URER.com

Thanks Alister, last night I sat and watched Philip Blooms candid review of the Canon C300 for CVP and was rather disappointed when Philip was comparing the C300 versus the Sony F3 remembering the C300 was only 8bit and no 1080 50p or full HD slow mo, that is very limiting for a camera of this magnitude, seemingly because Canon used a current 8 bit processor they were limited to 8 bits but we all know what version 2 will have !!!

As I have pointed out before when you bring out a camera you need to equal or better the competition thats why I am still confused as to why anyone with an F3 (10 bit out) would look at a C300 (8 bit out).



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

Merry Christmas from HD Warrior

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What a year for new cameras…fourteen to be precise and what about large sensor cameras, the Panasonic AF101, Sony FS100, F3, REDs Scarlet and the Canon C300.

I think like the majority of us Canon was going to bring out a £10K and a £6K Super 35mm camera but alas it was not to be though many of us are hoping santa will drop a C300 into our wish list of presents.

News is getting slacker this time of year and with just 2 sleeps till Christmas it only remains for me to thank you all for reading my blog over the last exiting year and lets hope Japan are going to give us a further dose of goodies during 2012.

Just a note for any stray Japanese camera designer…

1. Make sure your Super 35mm camcorder has 50MB/s or better !

2. 4:2:2 or 4:4:4

3. 10 bit minimum

4. HD SDI output as well as HDMI

5. Hi resolution viewfinder


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

14 Cameras in one year Part TWO

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We are fast approaching June 2011 when HD Warrior reported their one millionth hit, H Preston Media had its first open day in Glasgow, I produced a music video called Insecure using the Sony FS100 and  Final Cut Pro 10 became the first Apple product to attain 81 one star ratings because it was so badly conceived.


It was over two and a half years ago that I reviewed JVC-HM700 and I was more than impressed with it though when you consider the time span between the 700 and the 790 I feel this design is getting a wee bit tired now.

The GY-HM790U is a modular HD camera with solid state recording capability as well as studio functionality. It was developed to address the needs of modern broadcast and production facilities offering the highest level of HD picture quality in both 1080i and 720p formats.

Whether used on the shoulder for electronic newsgathering, field production, or as a primary studio camera, the GY-HM790U is everything that a broadcast camera should be.

Panasonic AG-AC130 and 160 (2 camcorders)

I had the good fortune to review a 160 camcorder and I must admit I was very impressed, the camera ticked all boxes bar one, no 1080 50p with sound, since my review Panasonic have announced that they are bringing out a FW update to enable 1080 50p with LPCM sound during the Spring of 2012…fantastic.
There is a lesser spec camcorder, the 130 with no SDI outputs and not switchable to NTSC is exactly the same otherwise but for the price differance of £400 most people are pluming for the 160.

Sony HXR-NX3D1

I reviewed this camera during the Edinburgh Fringe, the camera itself is a fat MC50 with professional XLR sound connectors. The LCD is 3D which is a great feature and it only uses the left lens if you decide to use the camera in mono mode.
This is a great step forward as a portable 3D camcorder allowing you to use the 10x zoom and the professional sound inputs is a major bonus.
Picture wise the camera pulls in a great 3D picture but I found the camera very limiting in 3D mode only having the ability to adjust Focus and exposure, the feature I felt it fell flat on was its inability to have any control over your gain.

Panasonic HDC Z10000

I first saw this 3D camcorder at IBC 2011 and it had an impressive number of features for the money.
3D is not for everyone but if you are looking at a semi pro 3D camcorder this must be one of your choices.
A bright 0.45-inch Live View Finder (LVF) with high-speed responses and a 1,227,000-dot high-resolution. The superb LVF makes it easier to optimize the focus, or for use in a situation that requires no excess light from an LCD screen.
  • A dual SD Memory Card slot with the option of extended recording or back-up. When two SD Memory Cards are inserted and the first card reaches full capacity, the system automatically and seamlessly switches*3 to the second card. This allows extended recording without having to worry about interruptions due to a lack of card capacity. Or, during backup recording, the same data is recorded onto both cards for immediate duplicating or archiving purposes in the case of a faulty SD card.
  • The bundled HD Writer XE 1.0 Software lets users cut out full HD 3D and progressive images and save to a computer.
  • 2D/3D Still Image Recording Any Time. The user simply presses the shutter button to record a 2D or 3D (MPO compliant) still image*4 at any time. It is also possible to cut out images in all modes while shooting or playing videos. 3D and 2D still images are recorded simultaneously with 2.1-megapixel resolution.


Scarlet was announced the same day as the new Canon C300 which gave bloggers like me a major headache that evening.

Scarlet has its following its down to RED to ramp up production  to keep up with demand.

Scarlet brings your images to life with 4K footage that will change the way you look at motion.

No matter if you’re shooting a feature film or web content to go side-by-side with your stills, you will be working with crisp REDCODE RAW files that will give you ultimate freedom and control when finishing.

Scarlet harnesses the power to bring life to imagery and imagery to life.




Canon EOS C300

This was the major announcement at the end of 2011 the Canon EOS C300.

Its well built produces a cracking picture and has an ever increasing line of DPs wanting to buy one.

Canon pulled another first out of the bag by adding the magical 50MB/s broadcast spec in order to be the first Super 35mm sensor camera to be accepted by the BBC the same as their XF305.

Canon have played a great card with this camera and remember its the first and only Super 35mm camcorder to accept Canon EF glass which is further increasing its popularity.

Round up

So thats all 14 cameras produced this year my own personal favotites are the FS100 and the NX70 as they both compliment each other and match really well when cut together in the same program. Out of all the cameras I reviewed this year the Panasonic 160 was a joy to use and full of very useful features, if it had not been for the colour matrix not matching Sony I may have been tempted to buy one.

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

14 New Cameras in one year (Part One)

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What recession and do we remember an earthquake in Japan during January that brought video manufacturing to a stand still…what a year and unbelievably 14 new camcorders were produced last year alone.

I take my hat off to the men and women of the Japanese video manufacturing industry who through severe adversity produced an amazing amount of cameras and disruption was kept to a minimum.

Panasonic AG-AF101 micro Four Third sensor camera

Officially the Panasonic AF101 did not start to ship till January 2011 so this is my first port of call.

This was my first taste of large sensor video production and it takes a bit of getting used to. The first thing you notice is the total lack of zoom facilities that 95% of cameramen have been used to over the last 20 years or so.

Not only are all the lenses fully manual but are also photographic glass and if you decide as I did to go with Nikon…they pull focus anticlockwise not something that is natural when all your previous ENG lenses focus clockwise.

The positives are the fantastic shallow depth of field and the AF101 was no exception, by some miracle I managed to get hold of a 25mm Nokton f0.95 lens which I must admit was my favourite stock lens for the AF101 giving you an amazing shallow depth of field.

The AF101 takes micro Four Third lenses (mFT) and back in January we had an adapter from MTF which took Nikon to mFT, Kipon also had a frig which allowed you to go from Canon EF to mFT but this adapter proved weak so I stopped using it.

We were promised an electronic Canon EF adapter from Birger but to this date in time nothing has materialised.

The AF101s Achilles heal has to be the 800 line sensor which proved no match for the 1000+ sensor Sony was to produce later on in January.

Sony PMW-F3 Super 35mm sensor camera

During my spell with the AF101 I was sent a Sony PMW0F3 to review, this camera was a tad more serious not only in looks but lenses as well.

I decided to take the F3 through to Edinburgh one cold January evening to film some low light footage and I was astounded at the footage I brought back, this was indeed the king of low light filming.

I had three Sony PL lenses a 35mm, 50mm and an 85mm, good lenses but large and bulky.

During a corporate job for the NHS I decided to use the F3 and the AF101 to film a conversation with two people, nurse and patient. The F3 footage was far superior and the 1000+ lines of resolution put the AF101 to shame.

The Sony F3 was a good size but quite restricting only having the PL mount till MTF came up with a Nikon adapter by then I had sent the camera back.

The F3 is a good alrounder and fantastic in low light its major letdown is its 35MB/s recording speed when the camera is clearly directed at the broadcast drama market.

Sony NEX-FS100

As I write this is the Super 35mm camera of my choice as I own one.

Interviews have never been more sexy or easy with a 50mm f1.4 Nikon lens giving a cracking shallow depth of field.

The other benefit is lack of noise 9dBs is noisless giving you far more leaway if you are forced to stop down your lens to give myself a wee bit more breathing space.

The camera looks a lot better with a matte box added but the handle is shoddy and I notice 3rd party vendors coming out with alternatives.

Sony will be updating the FS100 in January with FW adding switchable 50/60 Hz, ISO display, expanded focus x4, x8 and other features.

The quality of the FS100 pictures is the best I have seen to date excluding the F3.

Sony HXR-NX70 camcorder

January was indeed the month for camcorders with the Sony NX70 a single chip HD camcorder with a picture to blow your socks off.


I loved this camera from day one having most of the pro features of cameras 3x the price and a picture to match.

This was the first Sony Pro camcorder to film at 1080 50p which produces some stunning footage its only let down by a 10x lens that has some chromatic aberrations especially on the tight end. I have to admit not to seeing these aberrations in most of my filming but there was the odd occasion that I had a less than perfect picture but at £2500 what do you expect.

I was so impressed with the camera that I bought 2 of them.

The one major problem is its poor zoom rocker switch on the camera, you go from full on to creep with nothing in the middle, this is being tackled by a firmware upgrade due in March 2012.

JVC GY-HMZ1U Pro 3D hand held camcorder

Amazingly its not till April that we get camera number four the JVC GY-HMZ1U 3D camcorder.

Not a lot I can say about this wee camcorder as I never got one to review.

Is was the first hand held 3D camcorder to include XLR inputs and a usable 5x zoom.

The GY-HMZ1U is a 3D camcorder offering full HD recording (1920 x 1080 x 2) to dual SDHC/SDXC flash memory. Its unique integrated 3D twin lens delivers professional results in a surprisingly easy-to-use package.

Equipped with JVC’s proprietary Falconbrid™ LSI processing, full HD recordings can be made in either 60i, providing smooth motion for sports and fast action, or 24p for a film-like effect. It also shoots great 2D footage in Full HD, recorded in the AVCHD format.


Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 camcorder

Early doors we got a sneak peek at a camcorder that was going to rock P2 to its foundations, at £4000 plus vat you get a full HD broadcast spec camcorder for a third of the price of a shoulder mount equivalent.

During April Panasonic announced the forthcoming HPX250 P2 full HD camcorder, with specs like 4:2:2 and 10 bit processing let alone AVC Intra this camcorder was causing a big stir especially around the P2 fan club.

Never before had so many professional features both inside and out been seen on a hand held camcorder.

Panasonic were taking P2 to a new level and although you can’t fault the pictures it would be fair to say that P2 followers are saddled with rather expensive media, about 4x the price of an equivalent CF card.

I would like to see a reduction in price of P2 media during 2012 as such a move would bring a lot more followers into the P2 marketplace and help sales of the HPX250 which is a cracking camcorder for the money.

  • Progressive-compatible U.L.T. (Ultra Luminance Technology) image sensor (1/3-type 2.2-megapixel 3MOS sensor)
  • 22x Zoom Lens with Wide Coverage from Wide-Angle to Telephoto
  • Full P2HD Image Quality with AVC-Intra Codec Recording
  • High-End Operation with Multi-Camera Synchronizing and VFR Recording
  • 4-position (clear, 1/4 ND, 1/16 ND, 1/64 ND) optical neutral density filter wheel

 Sony F65

This is one of the big boys cameras, producing a 4K image the F65 is about as good as it gets but at £80400 pounds its more and likely a camera that you would rent rather than buy.

The F65 is a top-end motion picture camera. It features a true step-change in sensor technology, using a 20 Mega pixel 8K CMOS sensor. The F65 runs up to 120Fps, creates HD/2K or genuine 4K resolution images with a huge colour gamut, outstanding dynamic range, and high sensitivity.

The dockable SR-R4 SRMemory unit records 16bit linear SRRAW directly on to an SRMemory card at up to 5 Gbps. This can be developed with industry-standard NLEs from companies such as Adobe, Avid, Apple, Film light, Quantel, Sony and many others. For maximum operational flexibility, the SR-R4 can also support SStP (same as HDCAM SR) recording which can be used natively on the same NLEs.

 Sony PMW TD 300

Once again this is a camcorder that I glanced at during IBC 2011 but as 3D is no where on my radar there is not a lot I can write about.

The PMW-TD300 is a professional 3D camcorder with a compact, shoulder-mount design that helps provide a comfortable, stable shooting platform – crucial to creating proper 3D images.

Affordable and fully integrated, the PMW-TD300 makes it easier to set up and shoot high quality 3D. Dual three 1/2-inch type Exmor™ CMOS sensors provide high quality 3D recordings at 1920 x 1080 resolution on to SxS cards using the XDCAM EX codec.

The dual three 1/2-inch type Exmor™ CMOS sensors provide high-quality 3D images with an excellent sensitivity and 1920 x 1080 resolution. The sensor type has been chosen to achieve an ideal balance between high quality and compact design – the camcorder body is a similar size to current 2D models.


So thats the first eight camcorders of 2011 as you can see January and April are the prime months for camcorder announcements and with January just round the corner maybe we might get a sniff of the AF101 update or will it be a cheaper F3, lets hope the 3D phase is passing us by, to be quite frank only Hollywood is now driving 3D with the odd smattering of broadcast sports productions…the public don’t want 3D and thats the fuel to drive the 3D bus.


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

Canon C300 v Sony F3 v Canon DSLRs

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Interesting comparison the main things I take out of this is the amazing film look almost 1960s 400 asa Kodak Ektachrome at iso 20.000. Its interesting how bad the 2 DSLRs are against the F3 , C300. Also be aware that some of the above footage was also experimenting using different gammas which is why some shots look flat.

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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*


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

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

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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

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