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View Full Version : Canon 300 <---- Is it worth the price?



Kenneth Lau
01-03-2012, 04:14 PM
To all cinematographers, I like to hear your opinions about the camera Canon C300.

Knowing the camera is the next 5D with all the video camera features such as build-in ND filters, XLR input etc, is actually quite exciting.

However, I have read that the camera only records in 1080. ( not understanding why Canon keeps mentioning 4K in the website )

My question is, for a camera that records only 1080, and have maybe some upgrades on the features from the 5D, which cost around $2000 when

it first came out, does it really worth $20000?

I mean, if this camera is 10x more expensive than the previous version, I kind of hoped that it can at least shoot more than 1080....

What do you guys think??

$20000 for C300... worth it or is a little too much?

f64manray
01-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Well, it's not going to be $20K. It will probably be under $15K US. Canon mentions 4K because the sensor is capturing a very pristine 4K image, but it's down converting to a full 1080P 4:2:2 8 bit image in a broadcast ready codec in camera. This should be fine for everything from TV to cinema.

"Act of Valor" will be released in theaters in Feb 2012. 85-90% of that film was captured on a 5DII. You'll have to go watch it and see if it meets the bar for you. I believe the codec of the 5DII is something less than true 1080P and only 4:2:0 8 bit and with a sensor prone to aliasing and moire. The C300 will be quite a bit better than that, but Hurlbut ASC still seems to prefer the 5DII.

Gary Huff
01-03-2012, 07:04 PM
The 5DII will still be preferred because of the full frame look which is unique in video.

Dave Đ
01-03-2012, 10:12 PM
"Act of Valor" will be released in theaters in Feb 2012. 85-90% of that film was captured on a 5DII.

Off-topic but just to clarify, according to Shane Hurlbut recently, 75% of the film was shot on the 5D.

SPZ
01-04-2012, 12:28 AM
Its worth it, specially if you're doing broadcast work like TV Commercials, TV Fiction or Documentaries. For Short Films, Features, Cinema- and this is my subjeective opinion- you would do better going for a Scarlet package.

The C300 will show a much, much better image than a 5D if you do not have a huge post-production budget or time. The C300 out of the box gives you better dinamic range, better colors, no aliasing and moire and better low light than the 5D, as well as much better controls, LCD and a robust, Broadcast approved codec. The image from the C300 should be probably the best of the 8bit cameras on the market, giving better image than every 2/3rds 20K plus 8 bit camera on the market. Due to its codec and fast workflow I can see this camera becoming some sort of a Broadcast standard for Fiction and documentary production. But for the higher end Commercials, MTV's and short films, and this is again my subjective opinion, the Red Scarlet should be the way to go.

Osslund
01-04-2012, 01:31 AM
I would say it's not worth it but each to his own. No 10-bit output and overcrank in only 720 is a big no-no for me for that kind of cash.

diegocervo
01-04-2012, 02:03 AM
Totally agree with Editman.

Even though I like the form factor and resolution of this camera, I'm not spending this amount of money for something that misses 1080 60p and outputs 8bits via SDI.
I will keep on using my AF100 and wait patiently to see what Panasonic will release.
After all, my clients are happy of what comes out from the AF100. Nobody ever complained. It's just me that want to get more resolution and dinamic range :)

Kenneth Lau
01-04-2012, 02:26 AM
diegocervo, You rather stick with your AF-100 eh.

I was excited when this camera first came out too but the crop factor hold me back from buying it. I figure most productions would probably prefer

shooting with the 5D/7D instead because of the image sensor, and plus the fact that it is cheaper to purchase/rent. However, I was a DVX user

myself back then and I am really putting my hope on PANASONIC to come out with a camera that is as competitive as 5d and as hot as the DVX back

then.

reem12
01-04-2012, 07:51 AM
I hopped on the c300 bandwagon for a minute, but after seeing philip blooms shot out I'm not convinced anymore. Besides Ron howard and crew still managed to incorporate the canon 5d in the c300 short film they did, which I couldn't tell which shot was which. If I were going to make a move now it would be Red. Not take a step backwards to an inferior and played out codac. I can get 720 60p from a 7d, grant it with some moir workarounds, but not interested in shelling out $15,000 or anything remotely close to it when there are cams out there under $2000 providing a similar image. Don't get me wrong I would still purchase this cam but under $10,000.

Gary Huff
01-04-2012, 08:07 AM
I would say it's not worth it but each to his own. No 10-bit output and overcrank in only 720 is a big no-no for me for that kind of cash.

The F3 will be about the same price-wise and it only does 720p overcrank.

diegocervo
01-04-2012, 08:54 AM
The F3 gives you the ability to record 1080p 60fps on some external recorders. I'm not saying it's a cheap option, but at least sony offers it if you can afford it.

Gary Huff
01-04-2012, 09:50 AM
Well, the trade-off from 10-bit 444 and 1080 60p is a codec that's actually useable for a lot of projects that can benefit from a camera like the C300, but don't need that much quality.

It's frustrating really. If the F3 came with XDCam instead of XDCam EX, then I think it would be the clear winner (outside of the option for the native EF mount...that's pretty enticing as well).

Bern Caughey
01-04-2012, 11:17 AM
We hope to test the C300 soon.

If it doesn't chroma clip like the Sonys, or Panasonics, it will be worth every dime, & we may pick up a pair.

alpi69
01-04-2012, 01:54 PM
I would say it's not worth it but each to his own. No 10-bit output and overcrank in only 720 is a big no-no for me for that kind of cash.

I didnīt see it yet, but I am quite sure the C300 in 720p will give similar resolution to the 1080p over crank of the only cam in this price range that does it: the AF100.

F3 does over crank 720p and so does the C300. There is probably a technical reason why they do it this way. MAybe they also want to leave some reason for us to upgrade next year again :P

Jim Martin
01-04-2012, 04:08 PM
Not take a step backwards to an inferior and played out codac

Please, not a great statement......its a working broadcast codec around the world and virtually the same codec that almost all of the 1 hour shows here in Hollywood record to. You are just too caught up in "It has to be 4k"

Jim Martin
Filmtools.com

Kenneth Lau
01-04-2012, 06:03 PM
I am just afraid that 1080 will become the SD we have right now thats why it is holding me back on investing $15000 on a camera that does not have the greatest

tech. People have been saying even with the RED 4K, what you are projecting in the theatre or on television is not 4K anyways. But if you think about it, that

happened the same when HD came out. Commercials and music videos were started to be shot in HD cameras whereas broadcast was only SD. And in a

business sense, why would anyone spend that much money buying a SD camera where the industry demands is on HD.

Max Smith
01-04-2012, 07:26 PM
I didnīt see it yet, but I am quite sure the C300 in 720p will give similar resolution to the 1080p over crank of the only cam in this price range that does it: the AF100.

F3 does over crank 720p and so does the C300. There is probably a technical reason why they do it this way. MAybe they also want to leave some reason for us to upgrade next year again :P

If you watch Philip Bloom's resolution comparison there is a clear difference between the C300's 720p60 and the FS100's 1080p60, with the FS100 being clearly sharper. I'm not saying this invalidates the C300, not everyone needs 1080p60 but if you do then that is a clear shortcoming for the C300.

Philip Goetz
01-04-2012, 07:35 PM
50mb/sec seems to be a magic number for some distributors. AVC-Intra was an addition to some of the big Panasonic cameras but has since been added as standard equipment on the P2 cameras. It's twice what the 5D can record. It's not an aggressive variable bit rate codec like AVCHD/H.264 which Panasonic says in some situations can outperform P2, but the Canon codec is twice what AVCHD records. I don't know. One thing is to have a camera with actual knobs and buttons, audio and ND and you can manipulate the iris on EF lenses and OIS works. That's the thing for me over the AF100 or F3, putting that canon glass to work. How about that peripheral illumination correction? Kind of like chromatic aberration correction in the Panasonic world, right? I can't wait to see the camera one week from today.

Phil1076
01-05-2012, 01:34 PM
I am just afraid that 1080 will become the SD we have right now thats why it is holding me back on investing $15000 on a camera that does not have the greatest

tech. People have been saying even with the RED 4K, what you are projecting in the theatre or on television is not 4K anyways. But if you think about it, that

happened the same when HD came out. Commercials and music videos were started to be shot in HD cameras whereas broadcast was only SD. And in a

business sense, why would anyone spend that much money buying a SD camera where the industry demands is on HD.


1080 will be the next SD? Really? Do you even know what size your TV would have to be for you too see any visible difference between 1080 and 4k?

Seriously, on anything less than a 120" TV, you can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. Unless you're rolling with a 400" TV, 1080p will be fine for the foreseeable future. Also, dDo you realize how much bandwidth would be required for broadcasters to actually broadcast 4k?...but I digress..


Let's say, for a moment....let's just hypothesize...that 4k actually makes it big within the next 10 years. Technology gets old REALLY fast. The 4K cameras that will be on the market in 3 years will make today's cameras look like Fisher Price toys.

Buy the camera that you need TODAY. If you get a stupid, stubborn client who demands 4K delivery then fine!!! Buy a 4K camera, but make sure you charge your client appropriately. The image quality we're seeing today is garbage compared to what it will be in five years...just like the image quality we're seeing today is amazing compared to what it was 5 years ago; that's the just how technology goes.

4k, 8k, 16k....this just marketing BS...most viewers don't care...why did DVD succeed? Because it provided a huge leap above VHS, in both picture quality and usability. Why is BD struggling? Because the jump in quality from DVD is moderate and the usability is the same as DVD...plus, more and more people watch videos and movies on their computers.

4k is a fad...while it will be useful for large screen productions, it will simply be unnecessary for most other intents and purposes.

Concentrate on making quality content instead of getting caught up in this resolution fiasco....it's like the megapixel race of digital cameras and the megahertz race between Intel and AMD.


Personally, I'd rather watch Scarface in 320x200 than Gigli in 4k.

Gary Huff
01-05-2012, 02:23 PM
4k is a fad...while it will be useful for large screen productions, it will simply be unnecessary for most other intents and purposes.

4k is not a fad, and it has its uses even for web/home video content. However, we won't be seeing 4k TV sets in the home for a long, long time.

Zephyrnoid
01-05-2012, 05:36 PM
Do you even know what size your TV would have to be for you too see any visible difference between 1080 and 4k?

Does this mean that eminent 50" OLED panels will have no bearing on that statement ?

greenheron
01-05-2012, 07:39 PM
Does this mean that eminent 50" OLED panels will have no bearing on that statement ?

LG 55-inch OLED TV panel slapped with $8,000 price tag. Now that's a statement!

Mike McNeese
01-06-2012, 05:50 AM
Does this mean that eminent 50" OLED panels will have no bearing on that statement ?

WARNING: Unscientific response...

I went with a 42" 720p plasma in our bedroom because I could NOT tell the difference between 1080p and 720p from more than 12' away. If you apply the right algorithm you could figure out that you would need to be 3' away on a 42" screen to see the difference with 4k.

Let's remember, though, 4k is not an imminent broadcast format. For the foreseeable future, the benefit of 4k is film-out, digital theatre projection, and making billboard-size artwork out of any given frame of your project.

Gary Huff
01-06-2012, 09:34 AM
Just found this (http://thebuibrothers.com/blog/2012/01/killing-tv-lighting-4k-and-10-bit-canon-c300-late-night-chat-with-rodney-charters-drew-gardner-and-lan-bui-part-1/) with Rodney Charters.

Darren Levine
01-06-2012, 10:25 AM
to hell with you all, i'm switching back to SD...with pulldown...Interpolated...and......INTERLACED

;P

Gary Huff
01-06-2012, 10:57 AM
Skip pulldown and just go interlaced! Isn't 59.96fps the wave of the future? :cheesy:

Osslund
01-06-2012, 11:50 AM
The F3 will be about the same price-wise and it only does 720p overcrank.

I know but then atleast you have 10-bit output!

Gary Huff
01-06-2012, 12:40 PM
Have you ever worked with 10-bit video files before?

c3hammer
01-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Just found this (http://thebuibrothers.com/blog/2012/01/killing-tv-lighting-4k-and-10-bit-canon-c300-late-night-chat-with-rodney-charters-drew-gardner-and-lan-bui-part-1/) with Rodney Charters.Thanks for the link! There's some great discussion there on the state of the game that these types of cams are bringing to the table.

Cheers,
Pete

Osslund
01-06-2012, 01:36 PM
Yes

alpi69
01-07-2012, 02:48 AM
I know but then atleast you have 10-bit output!

yep. That is also the strong argument in favor of the F3.
It comes down to look at your needs and options. The F3 is is definitely cleaner and offers 10-bit and even 4:4:4 with a Gemini. At that pricerange (F3, S-LOG, lens-Adapters, external recorder) and for those projects where you need these features I ask though, if you shouldnīt already be on a RED Scarlett or RED Epic!?

The C300 is definitely capable of similar images than the F3; in camera. For less investment.

I believe we can stop comparing the C300 and F3 to the DSLRs (even the new Nikon). These two cameras are made for cinematography and they both deliver more than most of us ever get out of them. And IMO they are both at a price where they are worth it if your needs are there.
If your need is not fast and flexible workflow on set and in post, then IMO go for the GH2hack. If you want at least a decent videocamcorder setup (in-cam-audio, waveform etc), but donīt need every bit of resolution take the AF-100.

The C300 and F3 are priced well above all of these (multiple times!!) for a reason.
I like my 7D images, but when I watch the newest breed of cams I am shocked how bad it is in direct comparison in terms of noise, resolution, codec, workflow. So when we look back in 5 years we will say: "ah look at this look from the DSLR era", just as we see 8mm looks from the 70s. But the new S35 cameras bring the whole filmscene back to its origins: 35mm sensorsize and DOF and an enphasis on the story and light instead of mere shallow DOF looks and pumping focus.

Gary Huff
01-07-2012, 07:41 AM
I like my 7D images, but when I watch the newest breed of cams I am shocked how bad it is in direct comparison in terms of noise, resolution, codec, workflow. So when we look back in 5 years we will say: "ah look at this look from the DSLR era", just as we see 8mm looks from the 70s. But the new S35 cameras bring the whole filmscene back to its origins: 35mm sensorsize and DOF and an enphasis on the story and light instead of mere shallow DOF looks and pumping focus.

+1000 times this.

Zephyrnoid
01-08-2012, 09:41 AM
ySo when we look back in 5 years we will say: "ah look at this look from the DSLR era", just as we see 8mm looks from the 70s. But the new S35 cameras bring the whole filmscene back to its origins: 35mm sensorsize and DOF and an enphasis on the story and light instead of mere shallow DOF looks and pumping focus.
I think when we all look back we will say " ah look at how much money the manufacturers of DSLRs made off of suckers willing to pay too much for beta designs" !!! LOL

Zephyrnoid
01-08-2012, 09:47 AM
Don't get me wrong I would still purchase this cam but under $10,000.
$100 bet says it will that by Q4 2012. ALL pre-release prices are arbitrary 'positions' designed to gauge the real price at which the volume, available units and profitability intersect. it takes 12 months to shake down the position price to the 'settled' price, which I think is closer to $8,000.
You all forget, that unless there is a heap of patents attached to the product, there's about $100 worth of production costs and about $1,000 of marketing and licensing attached to each unit. the rest is all about automated manufacture- the retail prices are highly flexible :)

Gary Huff
01-08-2012, 10:18 AM
Canons, historically, don't get cheaper. The XF300 is still $7499 after all (the original MSRP was $7999).

cowpunk52
01-08-2012, 01:20 PM
Canons, historically, don't get cheaper. The XF300 is still $7499 after all (the original MSRP was $7999).

Just a minor correction - the XF300 is actually priced at $6499 currently, and it's the XF305 (with SDI) that is at $7499.

Gary Huff
01-08-2012, 02:11 PM
You are correct. I meant the 305.

TimurCivan
01-08-2012, 02:17 PM
The C300 is puzzling to me on paper.

The images look good. I just have a strong feeling the codec in 8 bit isnt going to hold up to the mean things we do to footage in post. need to see it for my self to be sure.

But honestly, im so in love with my F3, and with a new scarlet on the way, i feel like i can live my whole life and never need to touch a C300.

Gary Huff
01-08-2012, 02:22 PM
But honestly, im so in love with my F3, and with a new scarlet on the way, i feel like i can live my whole life and never need to touch a C300.

Frankly, if I already had an F3, I probably wouldn't be that interested in a C300.

Jim Martin
01-09-2012, 03:02 PM
The C300 is puzzling to me on paper.

The images look good. I just have a strong feeling the codec in 8 bit isnt going to hold up to the mean things we do to footage in post. need to see it for my self to be sure.

But honestly, im so in love with my F3, and with a new scarlet on the way, i feel like i can live my whole life and never need to touch a C300.

This has been gone over and over......4K chip 10bit processing funneled down to 2K, 8 bit recording. Dana Christiansson ASC DP who shot the short "XXIT" using a TON of complicated green screen (shot at Universal's Big green screen stage with over 80% of the lights off) didn't even know the C300's recording was 8 bit....until a week before the event when they went to Paramount to test screen the film! He thought it was 10 or 12 bit all during the shoot. If there was any problem with the 8 bit, it would have reared its head during his post process.

Jim Martin
Filmtools.com

Osslund
01-09-2012, 03:18 PM
The C300 is puzzling to me on paper.

The images look good. I just have a strong feeling the codec in 8 bit isnt going to hold up to the mean things we do to footage in post. need to see it for my self to be sure.

But honestly, im so in love with my F3, and with a new scarlet on the way, i feel like i can live my whole life and never need to touch a C300.

If I also had a F3 with S-log I wouldn't look at the C300 either ;)

GH2user
01-09-2012, 05:45 PM
This has been gone over and over......4K chip 10bit processing funneled down to 2K, 8 bit recording.

Yes, exactly... this is why it's frustrating on paper. The 5D is a 6k chip, 14-bit processing funneled down to 2k, 8-bit recording... $2300. The GH2 is a 5k chip, 10-bit processing funneled down to 2k, 8-bit recording... $700.

There is just a spec-to-price ratio that's out of whack with the C300.

Gary Huff
01-09-2012, 08:13 PM
Not really. There's a whole lot more involved with the C300 than just down sampling and color bits.

RPLace
01-15-2012, 08:17 PM
I'll chime in and say that if a cinematographer wants to own a camera, they should probably buy the camera that is best worth the price - in this age, all the 4K cameras can also do 1080p, with all the frame rates one can imagine. (Red Scarlet). Also, these cameras are now quite portable, like the new Alexa or again, the Scarlet. For $15,000, these cameras really do everything, from cinema quality 4K RAW to 1080p 60p broadcast work, ans everything in between, just in case you say, wanna shoot 3K to downsample to 1080P.Now, cameras like the C300 or F3 are a bit more limited in those aspects, and slightly cheaper. If you only do television work and never will produce theater work, 1080P is perfect and will be perfect for probably more than a decade. I don't personally believe 1080P is perfectly suited to large theater projections; I can barely get 1080P to look crisp on a computer, but if it came down to it, both of these cameras can probably make images that hold up very well on the theater screen. And if the codecs and lack of post-transcoding make it easier for folks to do television work, it may be worth the same amount of money.One thing I think about, though, is that for television work, why DSLR's, for a mere $900, aren't suitable choices... I've seen some amazing looking documentary work done on them and it simply looks superb. And the codec is probably the easiest, doesn't the GH2 even have 1080 60i for those that need it?

RPLace
01-15-2012, 08:30 PM
Also, if I were going to spend $15,000 on anything, I'd shoot RAW 4K. Don't care. You're going to have to use Red's software regardless, and you're going to need a monster computer and genius editor regardless. RAW cover one's butt a bit more, and I say that is primarily worth the $15,000. Other than that, if you're a genius cinematograpgher, you'll get great footage from a DSLR - GH2 film Green Hills proves that, for quality, color, view, and literally everything.

Anything beyond that, I'd use $15,000 for RAW - you're going to have to transcode and downscale and convert no matter what you do, why would it cost more? If I spent $15,000 on a C300, I'd really have to trust myself as a cinematographer, and trust that the camera truly makes things truly easier on the quick go. However, if these cameras were more around $7,000 or less, it'd be the thing to snatch up in a heartbeat, to heck with RAW or 4K.

Elton
01-15-2012, 10:27 PM
I'm going to a local c300 event (Salt lake City) on Tuesday. They're going to show lots of stuff on the big screen and let us play with the camera and talk to a few reps.

Will post my impressions later.

dracalat
01-16-2012, 01:00 AM
Also, if I were going to spend $15,000 on anything, I'd shoot RAW 4K. Don't care. You're going to have to use Red's software regardless, and you're going to need a monster computer and genius editor regardless. RAW cover one's butt a bit more, and I say that is primarily worth the $15,000. Other than that, if you're a genius cinematograpgher, you'll get great footage from a DSLR - GH2 film Green Hills proves that, for quality, color, view, and literally everything.

Anything beyond that, I'd use $15,000 for RAW - you're going to have to transcode and downscale and convert no matter what you do, why would it cost more? If I spent $15,000 on a C300, I'd really have to trust myself as a cinematographer, and trust that the camera truly makes things truly easier on the quick go. However, if these cameras were more around $7,000 or less, it'd be the thing to snatch up in a heartbeat, to heck with RAW or 4K.

The only problem you'll find is that for $15,000 you simply can't shoot RAW. The basic 'workable' Red Scarlet package costs $16,000, an that won't get you through a whole day's work. To achieve that you need to spend around $20,000 at the very least (that's to get 2 extra batteries and more media).

Anyway, the C300 is 'reasonably' priced if you look at the F3, not the Scarlet - it costs similar to the F3, but offers better internal recording and CLog at no extra price. I'm sure in the future cameras will get better and cheaper, but 'unfortunately' at the moment no other big sensor camera offers the same picture quality and full professional features (XLR, ND's, useable viewfider + screen, waveform, ...) at the same price as the C300.

By the way, shooting RAW is not some sort of magic recipe that will make you pictures instantly look incredible. It can save your butt as much as it can expose it. Give me good latitude over RAW any day (I prefer the Alexa to the Red for that reason - it can really save your butt if you have a bad day in the office), and also give me a well lit scene over definition any day too.

Osslund
01-16-2012, 02:07 AM
I had a read on Alan Roberts test of the C300 and some very good comment about the design of the camera. All talk about the sensor being superior and well worth the price when it comes to resolution at 1080 seems to be true. But with higher resolved lenses like the 100L you also get aliasing and 720 downscaling is not performed as good as one could ask for. He discovered some minor colour errors but overall good remarks about the C300.

As this is Canons first large sensor video camera it looks promising in the future. I think that in the next generation from Sony, Panasonic and Canon we'll see something really worth the price with most of todays quirks worked out.

boghav
01-23-2012, 07:27 PM
Dont understand why Canon would give up the valuable sensor real estate that their extensive line of full frame lenses cover. They simply have a me too camera. It appears that their failing is the image processing ability to convert a full frame image into a clean 1080 codec.