The Canon EOS C100

June 27, 2014

I’ve been shooting film and video for more than 35 years (yes I know, that makes me very old), first with an Arriflex 16BL and then with a wide variety of video cameras (my latest main cam is a high-end Sony), but I’ve never been as impressed with the images I’ve captured (and I’d like to think at times I’ve shot some pretty good stuff) as those the MCOMM crew and I captured this week with our new Canon EOS C100… they are simply stunning.

Let me fill you in.

This week’s assignment was to shoot a variety of people, from all different walks of life, in various “scenic” city locations for a series of television commercials. We’ve been researching new cameras for quite a while, with the idea of taking a more cinematic approach to productions, and this project would be our first step down that path. “A more cinematic approach” entails a whole “mess” of things; lighting, camera movement, shot composition, and perhaps most importantly, total control over depth of field. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve always had these tools in our workshop, and we’ve put them to good use, we just wanted to up the ante a bit and knew to do so we would need some new gear. After lots of research and “window shopping”, we finally decided on the C100.

If you don’t already know, the C100 is one of three cameras in Canon’s Cinema line. It’s considered to be the entry-level model, but has the same image sensor as it’s more expensive siblings. Its main drawbacks are an anemic viewfinder (yes it’s very poor), and the fact that it captures video with the highly compressed AVCHD codec. As it turns out, these are not unsurmountable issues, and since budgets are always a concern at MCOMM, that’s great news. We already rely heavily on Zacuto’s EVF for DSLR shoots, and the Zacuto just happens to work equally as well with the C100, that’s cool, and with the help of an Atomos Ninja Blade, it’s possible to record footage as Pro Res 422HQ files… so those problems were easily solved. (I’ll post more on the Atomos in the upcoming weeks, it’s fantastic in its own right). It’s important to mention that the controls on the C100 are very intuitive, and it’s relatively easy to tweak the images so that you get precisely the look you’re after. That’s huge in my book.

Our shoot also included a Canon 24-70 2.8 L lens, Arri HMI lights, a doorway dolly, EZ FX jib arm, a variety of filters, several talented actors, and an awesome crew. Eric, MCOMM’s Production Assistant, and I took extra care to scout just the right locations, and during production, the entire crew made sure every shot was perfect. And again, I think the end results are amazing.

There are a few things about our new Canon that will take getting used to, I’ve become quite accustomed to a servo zoom for instance, but I feel comfortable saying the C100 will now be our go-to cam. And that’s a pretty dramatic statement, especially when you consider the fact that the camera it will be replacing was purchased at 6 times the cost of the C100.

I’ll be posting the final commercial spots on our Portfolio Page within the next few days, so please take a look and you can let me know what you think about our work. And hey, if you’ve also been shooting with the C100, I’d love to know your thoughts on that as well.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

Ray Monell