Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

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

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).




Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “The need for more cameras…Why ?

  1. I think the most important is the final image quality that your eyes will see, rather that to know that camera has 8 bit or 10 bit 1080p slow mo or not, when I see the Philip Bloom C300 Mont St Michel video, I was surprised to see no difference between the same shoot in 720p and 1080p in my eyes, ok this is a compressed vimeo video. But that seem a good sign for me ! The F3 have no more quality “all in one” you need to add some items to take the full potential of the camera. The C300 have very very good quality without need to buy extra material.

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