Canon C300 first look review by Paul Joy

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We've been watching some folks as they've gotten their hands on the Canon EOS C300 because Canon has been touring the USA and Europe showing off the camera as well as some of the local camera shops are getting their hands on some demo units and doing their own ‘show' and we found this post from Paul Joy who did a very detailed report when he got his hands on one the other day.

Canon EOS C300 side view from Canon

Canon EOS C300 side view from Canon

Some of Paul's comments on the Canon EOS C300

Canon C300 first look review - A look at the LCD controls

Canon C300 first look review - A look at the LCD controls by Paul

Today I went along to CVP in Brentford London to have a closer look at the new Canon EOS C300. Announced on November the 3rd this new Canon S35 camera has received a lot of attention as well as a fair amount of criticism due to the combination of a much higher RRP than expected and some less than cutting edge specs.

The C300 was announced with a recommended retail price of $20,000 without a lens. Many DSLR users were expecting a camera that would compete with Sony’s FS100 but as it turned out a it’s closest competitors are the much higher end Sony F3 and the Red Scarlet, the later of which which was launched on the same day as the C300. Since the release there has been a lot of rumours about the price actually being less than $20,000, certainly in the UK the price CVP are currently listing is £12,500 but even CVP admitted that they still have no confirmed price from Canon.

Like the Sony F3 the C300 records at a maximum resolution of 1080p to it’s internal cards. The C300 trumps the F3 slightly in this regard with it’s BBC approved 50 mbps XF codec but whereas the F3 has the ability to output a full blown 4:4:4 uncompressed signal to external recorders with the addition of an S-LOG option the C300′s single HD-SDI port is limited to a 1080p 4:2:2 8bit output. This single limitation is seen by most as being the biggest failure on Canon’s part.

The Red Scarlet is a slightly less featured version of the Epic, the king of high resolution raw output with it’s 5K sensor and workflow. For my use though working with 5K or 4K raw footage would actually make my workflow a lot more time consuming and complicated than it is at present and my clients wouldn’t see the benefit of that. I moved away from having to transcode footage when I started using Premier Pro a year ago, I don’t want to go back to doing that again it’s just not worth it for the work I’m picking up. Should a project come along that needs super high frame rates or 5K I would rent an Epic.

So what many see as the C300′s Achilles heel isn’t actually a problem for me, I’ll be perfectly happy recording to the cameras internal compact flash cards at 1080p. The one specification that I was disappointed by was that the C300 can only record over cranked 50 fps or 60 fps material at 720p. It would have been great if Canon had built the camera to do 1080/50 but much like the Sony F3 and EX range it means switching to 720p first.

Other than the over cranking limitation I had a few reservations and questions based on ergonomics and the main functions of the camera. If I purchase one I’ll be using it for projects that have previously been shot on both my EX1 and the 5D so as well as providing an alternative to the 5D the C300 would also need to be able to perform some similar functions as the EX1. Things like exposure aids, audio capabilities and hand holding ability were amongst the list of things I wanted to answer today so below is run down of that list and the answers that I found.

Finish by reading Paul's report

We can't take the credit for writing it – so jump over to Paul's blog to read the rest!

via Canon C300 first look review | Paul Joy.

(cover photo credit: snap from Canon)

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