Thread: C300 mkiii?

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    C300 mkiii?
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    Senior Member chris f's Avatar
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    After doing all of my tests with the C200 vs. C500 MKII I'm 95% sure I won't be purchasing the C500 MKII (spoiler alert for those following my other thread). Originally I decided I wasn't going to make the jump because of finances (cost of new camera vs. continuing to use my already paid for cameras), but ultimately I've decided to not purchase it because I don't like shooting full frame and that's the ultimate deal breaker for me.

    I'm still formulating my opinions and there's a chance I may be doing a 10-day C500MKII rental for this ongoing documentary project in a few weeks and will really try to see if my tune changes after getting more real-world time with it and running a few more tests, but as of now I think the "perfect" camera for me would be the mythical C300MKIII if it had the following features:

    -5.9K Super 35mm sensor
    -No 5.9K recording modes (don't need it, just give me proper 5.9K to 4K downscaling in camera)
    -No raw recording modes (would be willing to sacrifice raw if it could lower the price of the camera, otherwise 4K 1Gbps raw light is fine)
    -410mbs AVC-HD codec
    -120fps 4K no sensor crop would be ideal, would settle for 120fps 2K with no sensor crop
    -same exact body/form factor/modularity as the C500 MKII (I have no interest in any of the expansion units and would prefer to not have to pay for them as "built-in" to the camera.)
    -5 axis in-body image stabilization (bit of a snoozer for, me, but helpful in a few situations and the tech exists, so throw it in there)
    -dual slot recording (don't care about proxies)
    -user loadable LUTs
    -timecode in/out
    -dual pixel autofocus

    Dream list, but not a deal breaker if not included:
    -Prores recording in-camera (I'd take 422 at this point, for me having Prores in camera would be the holy grail)
    -Sensor stabilization instead of the current electronic stabilization
    -two SDI out ports that are actually usable at the same time

    For price I'm thinking $9,500 - $11,500 and this would truly be the heir to the original C300 as the industry standard workhorse for mid-level productions.

    Personally I'm predicting (and kind of hoping for) a backlash against FF sensors. Top line hollywood/commercial productions want FF because they're operating more in the creative wide angle space that's driven by story and style (they have the budget and set design to purposely "show" their sets and locations, whereas in the lower budget world we're often trying to hide as much as possible) and they have the crew and gear to properly handle the difficulties of focus, framing, and camera movement when working wide and shallow. Then beginner filmmakers want FF because "it's full frame!" and perhaps they're coming from photography where full frame is the norm or they're just going through a phase that most of us have gone through of being wowed by ridiculously shallow depth of field. I think everyone in between (aka the type of people that actually own and operate mid-level production cameras) would prefer to operate a super 35mm sensor, where you're looking for good zoom ranges and are often shooting on the longer side of things, depth of field that's pleasing, yet still possible to maintain focus as a single operator, and an incredibly wide range of usable lenses.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by chris f; 02-16-2020 at 03:20 PM.
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    It seems like BM would check off a lot of boxes, as well as the FX9. But you might not be a fan of interbrand matching or BM's reliability as well. I don't think any camera checks off all your boxes.

    I didn't think you'd go for the 500 II.

    I think even though in the moment drifting seems to be smitten by the FX9 sirens, he's right. I think they'll sell some. I think 500 IIs will sell less. I think they're both good cameras that don't have a huge audience at this point.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chris f View Post
    Personally I'm predicting (and kind of hoping for) a backlash against FF sensors.

    Thoughts?
    I doubt this is going to happen. We will more likely see more FF sensors coming to market, and fewer "new" S35 models, as it's a chance to sell new glass, and frankly, this business is a trendy as any other. As for preferring to shoot super35, as others have said, there really isn't a difference, given you own the appropriate lenses. To me there's a benefit to FF in that it gives you the option of shooting either way, and gives you some benefits in terms of noise, and thus ISOs, and shallower DOF at the same aperture. Perhaps as a still photographer first, used to MF and FF still cameras, I'm just more comfortable with (and own) glass that's all cut for larger formats. All said, I think your decision makes sense. If I had a C200 and 11 grand (or 9500 :-) to spend, I'd probably be looking at a second C200, or some better lenses, lighting or support.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    So in other words, you want a Canon FX9? ;-)

    If I had a spare few grand laying around, I would still buy a clean, used C300 MKII personally. From a business standpoint, for $6k area or even less, soon, it would make more business sense than buying a second C200 because I could then handle all of the calls for a mid-range codec and TC i/o, that's it.
    Having a RAW camera and then a broadcast camera for those types of shoots, would be great and the ability to shoot the two of them together on the same shoots would be handy and profitable.

    We are spolied for choice right now, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to trying the C500 MKII and shooting the FX9 next week.
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    Senior Member cpreston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    So in other words, you want a Canon FX9? ;-)
    Except that he doesn't want the full frame, which appears to be a common request. I am guessing that Canon will be announcing some version of this type of the camera this year since it really does seem to be the hole in the line-up. It is basically the current C300 MK II, but with the improved body style, better frame rates, and a proper 4K sensor. My guess is that the sensor may actually be an 8K sensor downscaled to 4K, though. They've been testing the 8K S35 cinema camera for years so they might as well release it. They could add an expansion module that would allow you to output the 8K RAW as well.


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    All the currently available and bandied about RF-mounts are full frame. With 8K on the near horizon, the pro gear isn't looking back to the smaller sensors, especially since AF is getting so good. Canon will, obviously, release something "cine" in under $10,000 ... at some point. Or maybe they think that 1D XMKIII is good enough. And it just may be.


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    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    5.9K S35? That will be noisy as hell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
    5.9K S35? That will be noisy as hell.
    Not as clean as FF but not noisy as hell either. It’s quite okay with BM 6K and EVA1.


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    Senior Member chris f's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
    5.9K S35? That will be noisy as hell.
    Why would that be inherently noisy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris f View Post
    Why would that be inherently noisy?
    The initial point may be small pixels, however filtered downsampling tends to do a great job with reducing noise (for 5.9 => 4K). At 6K, the noise will be really fine, so typically not an issue. Sensors are also much better + the latest in camera NR makes dealing with noise in post less of an issue in 2020.

    From your comments it appears the C200 is fine for your use cases right now. Perhaps the upcoming EOS R5 could be an interesting addition if needing a smaller platform with better AF and where 8K could be useful for post reframing (or enabling multi-lens shots via post cropping). The 4K from any ~6K camera is significantly better / more detailed than the C200, C300 II- that could come in handy too for post work. If you don't need more detail/resolution for current work, probably best to save your money and wait: the newer smaller cameras will ultimately rule the game (which can be built up to any desired size or stripped down for handheld, gimbal, crashcam etc.: a lot of flexibility along with much lower cost).


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