View Full Version : Handled a C300 today. Not very handheld friendly, even with it being small.

03-22-2012, 09:40 AM
I am quite disappointed with the balance and feel of the c300 after handling one in the flesh today. It was clearly designed to be compact, but why such a strange form factor? does anyone else feel the same way? I like the way it is an all in one unit, ready to rock out of the box, but the positioning of the lcd screen, side grip etc all felt a bit compromised. The reason i bring it up is because the Sony FS-100 was next to it on display, and is of similar size - obviously not in the same league in technical terms, but I was amazed at how non ergonomic the c300 felt when compared to the similarly sized fs-100.

03-22-2012, 09:49 AM
Like any cam, it will take some getting use to. How was it when it was up to your eye? that third point of contact should help a bit I would think.

There's always small support rigs to set it up on.

I do admit it is a bit strange looking compared to what were used to. But I kind of like it the more I see it.

03-22-2012, 10:20 AM
I use the C300 nearly always handheld with no support rig. It's the only S35 digi-cine cam that I've been able to do that with. But it's not a "one-handed" cam - you need two on the camera at all times. One on the side grip and the other supporting the bottom tongue (using your fingers to control lens functions). Or, without the side handle and monitor - using the right hand to support the bottom with the thumb on the thumbrest, and the left hand supporting under the tongue and/or operating the lens - and looking down into the EVF (this is my favorite way to operate the camera, it reminds me of shooting MF film on an old TLR).

In most cases, if I'm going handheld with no rig, I'm using the EVF instead of the monitor - notable exception being if shooting low with the top handle attached. Remember, you can arrange the camera in multiple fashions, with several monitor mounting options and even more tilted and swiveled orientations once you have it in place. There is no single positioning of the monitor - mount it as you like best. Or don't mount it at all! Also experiment with the angle of the side grip.

As with any camera that gives you many options, it takes some time to experiment and find what works best for you. Likewise, the lens you have mounted will make a difference in how you want to arrange it's options. Any L series zoom lens will add a good amount of weight to the front, and should be considered when adjusting it's form factor (I like using a slight back angle on the side grip when I have a 70-200mm f2.8 IS mounted). I do think, though, that the camera is the most comfortable to use handheld with prime lenses, or lighter zooms (16-35mm f2.8 L and 17-55mm f2.8 EF-S are exceptionally nice).

I also recommend using a wrist strap for added confidence in handheld shooting, especially when you're initially experimenting with your ergonomic preferences: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/13104-REG/Canon_3118A002_WS_20_Wrist_Strap.html

03-22-2012, 11:40 AM
My experience is the opposite. The C300 feels like itīs made to be handheld a lot. I use it with and without LCD and both ways it works fine, although the LCD is high when you also attach the C300-handle. Thatīs why I ordered a cage to put the LCD a bit to the left.

Mostly I leave the handle off, have the LCD on top and grab the camera on the side handle with one hand and support the lens on the other. It is almost like a photographer-handling.

03-22-2012, 12:31 PM
I have to say that if the C300 is more awkward than the FS100 for handhled work, that would prety much make it unuseable. I've been shooting a doc with the FS100 for several months and still find it horrible ergonomically, and this is after I spent 30 - 40 hours experimenting with my kit to make it work for me. Maybe this is just a case of to each his own. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one of these soon though, so I can see for myself.

Mike McNeese
03-23-2012, 04:46 AM
I agree that the C300 lends itself well to handheld shooting. Once you figure out that your left hand needs to be up front towards the lens, the balance is great. Obviously, this depends on the lens. If you're using a 400mm or something then, yeah, it's gonna be pretty front heavy. It's different than the F3, but I would say that they are equally suited to handheld work.

03-25-2012, 12:04 PM
People who have taken photos with the Hasselblad 500 series or Mamiya medium format cameras have no problem adapting to this camera.lol

03-27-2012, 10:33 PM
totally agree that this is a great handheld camera. just directed an entirely handheld commercial on the c300 (which the whole crew loved especially my DP). it looks awkward i agree but as soon as we were in the real world we were getting shots we wouldn't think of getting. holding the camera like a football. shooting high/low. i suggest you really use it in the field and i think you'll have a very different experience. next day i took it out to shoot for a feature documentary and it was a dream to work with. having no rig was amazing and when using an IS lens it feels really steady.

03-28-2012, 12:03 AM
My experience was the opposite, I found the C300 to be solid, and was a pleasure to hold. Albeit I cut my teeth in the beginning with 20lb + cameras, so this was a feather to me. The C300's image is stunning for 2K, it was cool to shoot with. However sometimes it takes getting used to new form factors like this camera. It reminded me of medium format cameras I've shot with, so it felt good in my hands, just as Epic and Scarlet do. I think this form will be here for awhile, unless there's some other design we haven't seen yet.